Citizens One Bank Mortgage Review

Citizens One

Citizens One, a branch of Citizens Financial Group, offers competitive mortgage rates of a full array of mortgage products, as well as auto loans, student loans, credit cards and personal loans.

30Y APR
Not listed
J.D Power
3/5
Fees
N/A
SimpleScore
3.5 / 5.0
close
SimpleScore
Citizens One
3.5
  • Perks
    3
  • Credit Impact
    3
  • Customer Satisfaction
    3
  • Product Variety
    5
  • Fees
    N/A
Citizens Bank, headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, has been providing banking services in the Northeast region for almost 200 years. Its parent company, Citizens Financial Group, also owns and operates Citizens One, a lending arm that provides credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, student loans and personal loans to customers in states outside the 11 states served by Citizens Banks. Although Citizens Bank ratings have been excellent, recent complaints to Consumer Affairs say that the mortgage lender has misappropriated principal payments to interest, sent accounts immediately to credit counseling and charged hidden fees.
Full review

Our Two Cents — Citizens One Bank offers a variety of mortgage products to lenders in many U.S. states. Citizen Bank mortgage rates are competitive, but some products are not available in all 50 states.

Citizens One Bank at a glance

Lender 30-Year Fixed APR Available Products Key Benefit
Citizens One Not listed
  • Conventional
  • ARM
  • Jumbo
  • FHA, VA
  • Doctor Loan Program
Competitive rates are offered to potential homebuyers of all income levels

What we like about it

Citizens One Bank offers competitive rates on their mortgage loan products, and they offer good product variety, including jumbos, government-subsidized mortgage loan programs, and fully amortized adjustable rate mortgages. Over the years, Citizens Financial Group, the umbrella company, has received many awards for their service; local Citizen Bank reviews are good. They are compliant with both federal and local down payment assistance programs, meaning that low-income applicants may be eligible to receive a mortgage for as little as 3.5% down.

[Read: Best Mortgage Rates in 2020

Areas to consider

Since the advent of online banking, regional banks have struggled to compete with big national players like Quicken Loans and Chase. Citizen One offers competitive rates on mortgage loans in many states nationwide, but if you want to have a savings or checking account with them, you will find high overdraft fees and APY rates that don’t exactly dazzle. Moreover, Citizens Bank only services deposit accounts in eleven states — Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Michigan, Vermont, New Jersey, Delaware, Ohio and Pennsylvania. You can’t have a checking account with them unless you reside in one of those.

What you need to know

You won’t be able to view a teaser rate on any of Citizen One’s mortgage loan products. In order to receive a customized rate quote, you need to complete an online form. You can then contact a loan officer at 1-800-288-5569 or complete your loan application online. The Citizen One website does contain a variety of useful information for customers, including mortgage payment and home equity line calculators. There is also a Home Ownership Learning Center that gives useful resources to help prospective homebuyers research their options.

In addition to conventional mortgage loans, Citizens One offers FHA loans, which are backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and FHA loan refinances.  It also has a unique mortgage called the Doctor Loan Program, which is available to licensed MDs, DOs, DDSs and DMDs or medical residents who meet certain criteria. The program offers low down payments and sometimes waives mortgage insurance requirements.

Although the website doesn’t advertise its current rates, it does offer borrowers a 0.125% discount when they sign up to have automatic payments withdrawn from a Citizens Bank checking account. It also has construction-to-permanent financing as well, allowing homeowners to convert a construction loan and their primary mortgage into one loan.

Collateral and criteria

Citizens One approves borrowers with a credit score of at least 620 and reside in one of the states where the lender offers mortgage products. It works with borrowers who want to purchase conventional fixed-rate mortgages and individuals who qualify for federal government subsidized loan programs. You can borrow with as little as a 3% down payment.

Prospective homeowners will improve their chance of being approved for a Citizens One mortgage at a competitive rate if they have very good to excellent credit, a debt-to-income rate of 36% or less, regular income and the ability to make a 20% down payment.

[Read: 17 Things to Know Before Buying Your First Home]

Alternatives to Citizens One

Bank of America

Bank of America SimpleScore: 3.8/5

Bank of America is one of the best mortgage lenders in the United States, and it is a full-service bank offering credit cards, auto loans, small business loans and a wide range of deposit accounts. Bank of America® Mortgage current mortgage rates are 2.875% (2.992% APR) with 581 points for a 30-year fixed-rate loan and 2.375% (2.591% APR) with 0.610 points for a 15-year fixed-rate loan.

Because it is a giant national lender, Bank of America is a better bet for a loan-savvy borrower with very good to excellent credit.

Read our full Bank of America mortgage review.

 BB&T

BB&T SimpleScore: 3.8/5

Branch Banking & Trust Company (BB&T) is another regional mortgage lender, mainly servicing the Southeast. It recently merged with SunTrust to become Truist Financial Corporation, one of the largest banks in the United States. BB offers a wide range of low down payment loan options, including the CHIP and HomeNow programs, which allow you to purchase a home with as little as 3% down. It also offers USDA and VA loans.

Citizens One and BB&T have similar JD Powers ratings and similar profiles; however, they serve different parts of the country. Which mortgage lender of these two you choose depends largely on where you currently reside.

Read our full BB&T mortgage review.

Too long, didn’t read?

Citizens One offers a decent lineup of mortgage loan choices, including conventional fixed-rate mortgages, adjustable-rate mortgages, FHA and VA loans, jumbo loans and refinances. They also offer auto loans and credit cards. This mortgage lender is a solid choice, especially in the states where Citizens Bank services deposit accounts; with its local customers, the bank has a reputation for honesty and good customer service.

Keep reading

Methodology

The SimpleScore is our proprietary scoring metric to compare products and services at The Simple Dollar in a transparent, evidence-based way. Our editorial team identifies five quantifiable aspects to compare for every brand, determines the rating criteria for each aspect score, then averages the five aspect scores to produce a single SimpleScore. For mortgage loans, we compared perks, credit impact to check rates, customer satisfaction, product variety and fees for every major lender. Our ratings are meant to be a directional tool to help you in the process of choosing a mortgage loan provider. Be sure to continue your research and shop around for the best mortgage loan that fits your specific needs.

We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the mortgages we recommend. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

Valerie Fulton
Valerie Fulton
Contributing Writer

Valerie Fulton is a freelance writer who specializes in personal finance, real estate, higher education, home improvement and business copy. Her work has been published at Veros Real Estate Solutions, Bluehost, Sears, UPS, Movoto, Peak Communications and the University of Tennessee. Every summer, she travels from Austin, Texas to the coast of Maine with her two standard poodles in order to manage the vacation property she bought for a steal several years ago.

Reviewed by

  • Courtney Mihocik is an editor at The Simple Dollar who specializes in insurance, personal finance, and loans. Previously, she wrote and edited for Interest.com, PersonalLoans.org, Ballantyne Magazine, Thread Magazine, The Post, ACRN, The New Political, Columbus Alive and the Institute for International Journalism.