Citizens One

Citizens One

 4.0/5 (315 ratings)
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About Citizens One

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Citizens Bank (NMLS #433960) is a mortgage lender that’s part of Citizens Financial Group, headquartered in Rhode Island. With roots going back to 1828, it is one of the oldest banks in the country. It offers an online application process for borrowers in all states and in-person mortgage services at branches in 14 states and Washington, D.C. Mortgage rates are available on its website.

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    Overall Satisfaction Rating

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    Pros

    • Publishes daily rates online
    • Calculator for rates, payments and closing costs
    • Rate discount for bank customers
    • Online application

    Cons

    • Physical branches in only 14 states and D.C.
    • Doesn’t provide borrower requirements online
    • No USDA loans

    Bottom Line

    Citizens Bank is a bank mortgage lender that offers rate discounts to members. It has an online application process; you can also apply by phone or in person at a physical branch in 14 states. Loans are available in all states.

    Top Citizens One Reviews

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    Rated with 4 stars
    Verified

    My mortgage used to be with Franklin American but then was, I believe, bought out by Citizens One Home Loans. I liked Franklin American Mortgage better but at least now Citizens O...

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    Rated with 2 stars
    Verified

    I had a great guy in Citizens One that I was working with up until I closed on my home loan. However, he was laid off within a few weeks, and I got confusing emails about things a...

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    Rates

    Citizens Bank publishes current rates daily for 15- and 30- year fixed-rate mortgages and seven-year/six-month adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) on its website. The published rates include the interest rate, annual percentage rate (APR), estimated monthly payment and discount points. You can get a more personalized rate estimate with closing costs if you fill out a quick online form with your income, estimated credit score, state, home cost and down payment.

    Citizens Bank gives point discounts for bank members or if you set up automatic loan payments. A rate point is a prepaid or lender-offered reduction of the published rate. You can prepay for a point reduction in your closing costs, which usually costs 1% of your loan price and reduces your rate by 0.25%.

    From 2019 to 2021, the average home purchase rate from Citizens Bank was close to the national average, according to data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. In 2021, its average rate was 0.12% lower than the national average.

    Citizens One average home purchase rate vs. national average

    YearDifference from national average
    2021-0.12%
    2020+0.01%
    2019+0.01%
    Information pulled from public Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. Rates reflect noncommercial home purchase loans only.

    Application process

    Citizens Bank offers several ways to apply for a mortgage. You can apply in person at a branch, go online or call. If you do it online, you can complete the entire application, including uploading documents and getting final approval. There is also an online form to get preapproval, which you can provide to sellers when making a home purchase offer.

    When you apply for a mortgage with Citizens Bank, you can request a rate lock. This helps if rates are fluctuating and you don’t want to risk an increase. Citizens Bank has a 60-day rate lock.

    Citizens One application features

    FeaturesAvailability
    Online application
    Mobile document upload
    Physical branches14 states
    Publishes minimum rate on website
    Rate lock60 days
    Pre-qualification (no hard credit pull)
    Certified approval letter

    Loan types

    Citizens Bank offers the most common loan types, including conventional mortgages and government-backed loans (such as FHA and VA loans). The company also has some unique products, like new-construction mortgages and home loans specifically for doctors. Home loans and refinancing are both available with fixed or adjustable rates.

    From 2019 to 2021, home purchase loan applications steadily increased at Citizens Bank. In 2021, the lender received 43,170 applications and eventually closed 33,438 home purchase loans. It denied about 13% of the applications.

    Loan applications for home purchases only by year

    202120202019
    Home purchase applications43,17040,50437,481
    Home purchase loans closed33,43831,38828,827
    Home purchase applications denied5,5505,0614,922
    Home purchase preapprovals denied000
    Information pulled from public Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. Includes conventional, USDA, VA and FHA mortgages.

    Refinancing

    Between 2019 and 2021, Citizens Bank made more refinance loans than home purchase loans. Refinancing is more popular when rates go down, as they did throughout 2020 and 2021. In 2022 rates have been steadily climbing, so there is expected to be less demand among homeowners.

    Still, refinancing remains a viable option for some borrowers. Reasons you might consider refinancing include getting a reduced interest rate, switching to a fixed-rate loan or cashing out home equity.

    Home purchase vs. refinance loans by year

    202120202019
    Home purchase loans28.09%30.41%32.81%
    Refinance loans36.97%43.66%33.81%
    Cash-out refinance10.71%10.00%9.98%
    Information pulled from public Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Data. Includes conventional, USDA, VA and FHA mortgages.

    Home equity loans and HELOCs

    Citizens Bank offers a home equity line of credit (HELOC) with a 10-year borrowing period and a 15-year repayment period. There are no application fees or closing costs. This type of loan allows you to use the equity in your home to access funds for renovations, paying off debt, paying for education or making large purchases. Citizens doesn’t offer home equity loans as of the publishing date.

    Requirements

    Citizens doesn’t state specific borrower requirements on the website. Each loan type will have a different set of standards for qualification, which help determine the rate at which you can borrow and how much Citizens will lend. These guidelines include:

    • Credit score and history
    • Down payment amount
    • Debt-to-income(DTI) ratio

    The DTI is calculated by taking your monthly debt obligations and dividing them by your gross income. Many lenders look for a DTI ratio no higher than 43%, including your mortgage payment. In most cases, 28% or less of your gross income should be dedicated to a mortgage payment, according to the Citizens website.

    Conventional loans typically require a credit score of at least 620, a minimum down payment of 3% and a 45% or lower DTI ratio. Keep in mind that jumbo loans have more stringent requirements.

    Government-backed loans, like FHA, VA and USDA loans, typically have less strict requirements than conventional mortgages. For an FHA loan, you can get approved with a credit score as low as 500 (but having a credit score of 580 or above lowers the down payment requirement from 10% to 3.5%). Other government-backed loans, like VA loans, are available with zero down, but they require higher credit scores.

    National mortgage requirements by type

    Min. credit scoreMin. down paymentCompare with other lenders
    ConventionalTypically 620Typically 3%Mortgage lenders
    FHA5003.5% with 580 credit scoreFHA lenders
    VASet by lender (often 580)0%VA lenders

    For information about USDA loans, check out our guide on USDA lenders.

    Cost and fees

    Citizens Bank doesn’t give a specific breakdown of mortgage loan costs online. You will get a personalized Loan Estimate form detailing your loan terms and closing costs within three business days of submitting your loan application. Closer to the closing date, you will get a Closing Disclosure, which has final loan costs.

    Closing costs usually range between 2% and 6% of the loan amount, according to Citizens, and can include the following:

    • Origination fee
    • Appraisal fee
    • Attorney fees
    • Discount points
    • Escrow funds
    • Title fees

    The company advertises no application fees or closing costs for HELOCs. There is a $50 annual fee, which Citizens waives the first year.

    FAQ

    What is Citizens One?

    Citizens One is a part of Citizens Financial Group, which is one of the largest financial institutions in the U.S. It offers conventional and government-backed loans for home purchasing and refinancing, as well as HELOCs.

    Is Citizens One legit?

    Citizens is a legitimate lender and one of the largest banks in the U.S., with $226.7 billion in total assets as of June 30, 2022. In 2021, Citizens closed on over 33,000 home purchase loans throughout the country.

    Where is Citizens One available?

    Citizens is available for mortgage lending nationwide. The company has branches in 14 states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

    Citizens One Reviews

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    How do I know I can trust these reviews about Citizens One?
    • 4,188,850 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
    • We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
    • We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
    • Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.

    For more information about reviews on ConsumerAffairs.com please visit our FAQ.

    Page 1 Reviews 0 - 10
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 4, 2023

    My mother has had a home loan with this company since 1999. Our experience with their customer interface has been going downhill for years, and now, she can barely get anyone on the phone without lengthy wait times (20+ minutes). I imagine one customer service rep sitting in a room at a folding table, handling all of the company’s calls. That’s how ludicrous it’s been. Probably the most unprofessional financial institution we’ve ever been forced to deal with. At one point, she had fallen behind on her payments (due to an acute medical situation), but was no more than 2 months behind. The company actually sent a man to our front door with an envelope that someone had scrawled CONFIDENTIAL on, banging on the door like they were the police.

    My mother was very unwell at the time, and she was shaking all over. I can’t imagine how that would’ve gone if I hadn’t been there. And he refused to identify himself. I called the company and threatened them with the NC attorney general’s office, and they started apologizing real quick, and promised it would never happen again. What reputable company does this?? Over a two month issue that was in the process of being resolved? They were menacing a sick woman over this and thought they could get away with it, which is appalling. We had no idea they had so many terrible reviews, with other customers having similar experiences. Please avoid this company at all costs.

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    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: May 3, 2022

    I tried to access my Citizens One pay account with the account number emailed to me. I was unsuccessful in registering with the new account number, nor could I access my old account with my user id and password. I called to get account access help. The person that answered the phone was initially cordial but became impatient with my questions. In the end, she reset my old account and I was able to access the old account so that I could then add the new account. Fine. I hung up and tried adding the new account. I could not access the new account.

    I called back and got the same person, who was immediately annoyed that I had called back. Not only was she inpatient and rude, she seemed confused as to which account I was trying to access/add. She said the new account was paid off and closed and that was why I couldn't access it. When I explained that I just opened the account, she corrected herself, stating the account was so new, I probably couldn't access it. Fine. I just have such a headache right now. She said the calls were recorded. I certainly hope they are and that a manager hears how she treated me. Is there really no customer service that is friendly in this world today? This is a person who has no business dealing with customers on a customer service line.

    Be the first one to find this review helpful

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      Rated with 1 star
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: April 5, 2022

      First of all, you better plan on the entire day if you need to speak with someone there! EVERY TIME I called I was on the phone for over an hour! I sat on hold with them one time for 96 minutes! There is absolutely no communication or documentation. They are SUPER unprofessional! The "customer service" department consist of not one person that is willing to help or even attempt to resolve an issue! We paid our vehicle off and they sent the check back to me and said the account was closed.... resent the check back to them and after 2 weeks the check was lost! Tracking number said it was delivered and signed for and it wasn't until I threatened them with legal action, then... mysteriously the check appeared! Awful is putting it nicely to describe the customer service with this institution!!!

      5 people found this review helpful
      Rated with 1 star
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: March 12, 2022

      Updated on 3/15/2022: Unable to close the account due customer service is unavailable for long hours. Reached the overdraft when I never enrolled in overdraft protection. The manager fixed the issue and rebates the overdraft but never closed my account. The Capital one took 120 dollars by transfer and I returned it to Citizens One bank. I got charge two late fee and now I’m stuck again unable to close the account. The late keeps adding on my account. I’m not in New Jersey and I’m not New York. I live in Lawrence, Kansas. ALL I WANT IS TO CLOSE THIS DAMN ACCOUNT. I have talk to bank employee in Clifton Park, NY and sent my Uncle to close this bank account/pay the balance. CITIZENS ONE BANK HAVEN'T CLOSED MY BANK ACCOUNT UNTIL NOW. Stay away from them.

      Original review: This bank account kept charging me overdraft daily while I'm not local. The supervisor fixed my account but never close my checking account. The Capital One took 120 dollars and the Citizen One bank charged me 2 late fee. Every time I try to cover up one fee. A new fee gets added. The transfer wire take another fee. The customer service wait time 30 minutes to 60 minutes just close this damn account. Do not use this bank at all.

      5 people found this review helpful
      Rated with 1 star
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: March 2, 2022

      I was on the phone for more than 1 hour just to make a online account since online site couldn't find my social or account number... and the rep suddenly place me on a hold and hunger up... no return calls.. So I called back and I was on waiting for 48 minutes... Finally got to the rep and talked for 2 minutes and it got hung up again... No return calls.. Worse of worse... This company should be vanished.. I make 68 dollers a hour... Do they pay me back for my time??? They charge you if you're late on fees but do they pay you back for wasting my time for the worse customer service I ever received???

      4 people found this review helpful
      Rated with 1 star
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      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: Dec. 22, 2021

      My original loan was sold to this company. On July 5, 2021 I was told I was pre-approved for refinance. I was told 60-90 days. When that date became close and I asked questions, I was told that it was 60-90 BUSINESS days (unheard of). 90 business days comes and goes, given a ton of excuses. As of 12/21/21, more excuses. I’ve been preapproved and approved and nothing. I spent the money on an appraisal. I have a great job and income just a horrific mortgage provider. Avoid this place at all cost!

      5 people found this review helpful
      Rated with 1 star
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: Nov. 3, 2021

      The customer service is VERY shady. Is this even a real company? They play games and pass you off to dead end phone numbers and fake managers. I don't understand how they are still in business. I still have no resolution to my issue with them and it's because I can never get a person who knows what they are doing.

      6 people found this review helpful
      Rated with 1 star
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: Aug. 2, 2021

      They been charging me $350-$550 yearly for shortage on my escrow and can't explain it, when you ask to speak to a manager they say no, happened numerous times,. When I did finally got a manager on the phone he said he was in a meeting and apologized but never answered my question and disconnected me, they overcharge you money on escrow and refuse to explain, keep transferring you to differing you to different people that can't explain. Yet We are out $1000 dollars in two years. My home is worth 170% more than when I purchased and they refuse to take off home owners insurance. With 185,000 equity on a 250,000 house. They are always rude and not knowledgeable. Definitely am refinancing, run from them, they are horrible, I have been disappointed since my bank sold my loan to them.

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      Rated with 1 star
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: July 29, 2021

      I had no choice but to go with this company as my local lender sold my mortgage. I get it. That's what they do. BUT OMG. This company is useless. I have been calling since December 2020 to have my loan modified. It's now July 29 and I am STILL waiting. I have called every week for the last 7 months and get told something different every single time. My account has been "escalated" 3 times in the last month and STILL no phone call, no follow up, no email, NOTHING. I can't even refinance because of the status they have put my account in while we wait for an answer. I'm absolutely trapped and it's completely their fault for being incompetent. Seven months I've been waiting for an answer! It's absurd.

      12 people found this review helpful
      Rated with 1 star
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: July 16, 2021

      My auto loan was sold to Citizens One and after the issues I'm having with them I'm looking into switching loan companies. I've been making auto draft payments from my bank account for the past 3 years and suddenly my bank account information was no longer in their system and my auto payment didn't go through. I was then sent a letter that unbeknownst to me I was incurring late charges. Their online system wouldn't allow me to sign up for auto draft payments and said the account was uneligible, even though it had been eligible for years.

      I called their customer service and kept getting transferred to the bill collection department even though I'd already made a payment. Whatever call service they use to connect you to India has terrible reception and it's already hard enough to understand non-native English speakers. We had a very difficult time understanding each other and it took 45 minutes to resolve a simple issue that should have taken less than 5. Very frustrating and I'm tired of speaking to unintelligble foreign call centers.

      10 people found this review helpful

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        ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. To learn more about the content on our site, visit our FAQ page. Specific sources for this article include:
        1. Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, “HMDA Data Publication.” Accessed Sept. 29, 2022.

        Citizens One Company Information

        Company Name:
        Citizens One
        Formerly Named:
        CCO Mortgage
        Website:
        www.citizensone.com