If you’re shopping around for a personal loan, big banks have plenty to offer. Boston-based Santander Bank is one of the largest retail banks in the U.S., with over $80 billion in assets as of December 2014.
In addition to checking accounts, savings accounts and mortgages, Santander Bank offers unsecured personal loans ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to eligible borrowers. If you need to consolidate debt or finance a large purchase, take a look at what Santander has to offer.
Loan eligibility and application process
Santander is a traditional brick-and-mortar bank with branches in New Hampshire, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Vermont. You’ll have to live in one of these states or the District of Columbia to apply.
You can complete the application online and you don’t need to have a Santander checking account to get started. When you apply, you’ll plug in your name, address, employment history and income information as well as your Social Security number. Santander does do a hard pull of your credit which will show up on your report.
It can take up to 48 hours for the underwriting department to review your application. You may have to upload copies of your pay stubs or tax returns before a final decision can be made. Once your loan is approved, you’ll have to pop in to your local branch to sign off on the loan paperwork.
Rates, terms and fees
All Santander personal loans come with a fixed APR which ranges from 6.99 percent to 16.99 percent based on your creditworthiness. Those rates include a 0.25 percent discount for Santander customers who set up automatic payments from their checking account each month.
Repayment terms last 2, 3, 4 or 5 years, depending on what you borrow. There’s no application fee and no closing costs, although Santander does charge a $20 late fee when you’re 15 or more days behind. If your payment is returned, you’ll get hit with another $35 returned payment fee.
How Santander Bank rates
Santander Bank is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau but does have an A+ rating. Factors that raised its rating include the length of time its been in business, the number of complaints filed relative to its size and the resolution of those complaints.
As of December, the bureau had closed 286 complaints about Santander filed by consumers during the last 3 years, including 62 closed in the last 12 months. Roughly half of those involved a problem with Santander’s products and services. The majority of the remaining complaints were focused on billing and collection.
Only one negative review was listed which centered on issues with a Santander Bank car loan. We checked other consumer review sites and found that the complaints and negative reviews were frequently linked to issues with auto loans and credit cards issued by Santander, rather than personal loans.
The bottom line
If you’re already a Santander customer and you have great credit, the 6.99 percent APR is pretty appealing compared to the higher rates you’ll find with some online lenders. Just keep in mind that if you need to borrow more than $25,000 you may want to look elsewhere for a personal loan.
Rebecca Lake is a writer and blogger who specializes in all things finance. She likes writing about debt, credit, investing, retirement, taxes, college planning, insurance and real estate.