Citizens One Bank Mortgage Review

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.

J.D. Power Rating
5/5
Min. Credit
Not Specified
Min. Down Payment
Not Specified
SimpleScore
4.2 / 5.0
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SimpleScore Citizens Bank 4.2
Perks 5
Credit Impact 5
Customer Satisfaction 4
Product Variety 4
Fees 3

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.

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.

Citizens One Bank at a glance

Lender30-Year Fixed APRAvailable ProductsKey Benefit
Citizens OneNot 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

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 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.

J.D. Power Rating
3/5
Min. Credit
620
Min. Down Payment
3%
SimpleScore
3.8 / 5.0
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SimpleScore Bank of America 3.8
Perks 5
Credit Impact 3
Customer Satisfaction 3
Product Variety 4
Fees 4

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.

 BB&T

Branch Banking & Trust Company (BB&T) is another regional mortgage lender, mainly servicing the Southeast.

t
N/A
f
N/A
SimpleScore
3.8 / 5.0
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SimpleScore BB&T 3.8
Perks 5
Credit Impact 4
Customer Satisfaction 2
Product Variety 5
Fees 3

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.

Compare top mortgage lenders

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.

Methodology

SimpleScore

We’ve created the SimpleScore to help you objectively compare products and services here at The Simple Dollar.

Our editorial team:

  • Identifies five factors to compare across each brand
  • Determines the rating criteria for each factor
  • Calculate an average of those five factor scores to get one SimpleScore

We break down each of these five factors and their rating criteria for our review of the best mortgage companies.

Why do some brands have different SimpleScores on different pages?

Some brands like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Chase have different SimpleScores because they offer more than one financial solution — like home loans, auto loans, personal loans and more.

For instance, in our Bank of America Mortgage Review, we give the company a 3.8 out 5 based on our five rating factors for mortgages. In our Bank of America Auto Loans Review, we give the company a 4.4 out of 5 based on our rating factors for auto loans. By tailoring our SimpleScore to each financial solution, we’re able to give you a more accurate view of a brand’s services and how it compares to competitors’ services.

Perks

Mortgage lending companies that provide more perks receive a higher score from us.

Hard/Soft credit checks

We know that credit checks affect your score –– that’s why we favor companies that offer soft credit checks or hard credit checks when you want to see your pre-approval rates.

Customer satisfaction

We use the J.D. Power 2019 Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study℠ to find out how customers rate their experience with each company. (If a company is not included in J.D. Power’s study, we skip this rating factor and average the remaining factor scores.)

Product variety

Mortgage lenders that offer more products for their home loans are given higher scores.

Fees

Fees can add up fast. Companies that don’t require as many fees for your home loan receive a higher score with us.

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

  • Andrea Perez
    Andrea Perez
    Personal Finance Editor

    Andrea Perez is an editor at The Simple Dollar specializing in personal finance. Prior to that she specialized in digital marketing content for online learning websites. She holds a master’s degree in journalism and media studies from the University of South Florida.