Santander Personal Loan Review

Posted May 21, 2018 2:46 p.m. EDT
Updated May 22, 2018 6:00 p.m. EDT

What is Santander?

Banco [SantanderPL]Santander[/SantanderPL] was founded in Spain in 1857 and while it operates mostly across Europe and South America, Santander US opened for business in the United States in 2013. Santander’s 600-plus U.S.-based branches are located primarily in the Northeast, although the bank also offers auto financing nationwide.

Santander offers traditional banking products and services, ranging from checking and savings accounts to mortgages and personal loans. In this review, we’ll focus on Santander’s personal loan offerings.

[SantanderPL]Santander[/SantanderPL] Personal Loan Highlights

  • [SantanderOrgFee]No origination fees: Santander doesn’t charge origination fees for its loans,[/SantanderOrgFee] and [SantanderPrepayFee]there are no prepayment penalties for paying off your loan early.[/SantanderPrepayFee]
  • Lower APR for “ePay”: Opt into automatic payments using a Santander checking account and get a 0.25% discount on your APR.
APR6.99%To16.99%Credit Req.680

Minimum Credit Score

Terms24 to 60


Fees No origination fee


on Santander’s secure website

Santander’s personal loan might be a great option for you if you want to work with a traditional brick-and-mortar bank. In order to get your personal loan, you actually need to sign your loan documents at a local branch. While this gives you the familiarity and security of working with a traditional bank, these loans are only available in select areas where branches are located.

Santander Personal Loan Details


Fees and penalties

  • Terms: Terms range from 24 months to 60 months.
  • APR Range: Loan APRs range from 6.99% to 16.99%. If you do not elect ePay, your APR will increase by 0.25%.
  • Loan amounts: You can borrow a minimum of $5,000 and a maximum of $35,000.
  • Origination fee: There is no origination fee for Santander personal loans.
  • Prepayment fee: Santander has no prepayment penalties for personal loans.
  • Other fees: There are no application or annual fees.

Eligibility requirements

Although Santander doesn’t provide explicit credit requirements to qualify for its personal loans, it does state that borrowers must meet their “highest credit standards” — however, there is no specific credit score requirement listed. At many traditional financial institutions, [SantanderCreditScore]you need a credit score of 680 or above to be considered for a loan and a 740 or higher to get the best loan rates.[/SantanderCreditScore]

When you apply, Santander will review your score and your debt-to-income ratio, among other factors, and your APR will vary according to your credit worthiness. You do not have to have a Santander checking account to be eligible for a personal loan, but without one you won’t qualify for the APR discount.

Santander also requires that you live in one of the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, D.C.

Applying for a personal loan from Santander

You can apply for a Santander personal loan at your local Santander bank branch or online. If you choose the latter, expect the process to take 10 to 15 minutes. You’ll need the following information to complete your application:

  • Social security number
  • Employment history
  • Income information

Santander does allow co-applicants on personal loans — you’ll be asked to provide that person’s information as well.

Pros and cons of a Santander personal loan



  • Low rates. Santander has lower starting rates than many lenders, although those rates are reserved for borrowers with the highest credit scores.
  • Minimal fees. There are no origination, application, or annual fees for personal loans. In addition, Santander doesn’t penalize you for paying off your loan early.
  • Term options. With terms ranging from two to five years, you have the option to pay your loan off quickly or over a longer period.
  • Limited to borrowers in certain states. Santander only serves personal loan customers in states that have — or are near — brick-and-mortar branches. If you live outside of the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic, you likely won’t qualify.

Who’s the best fit for a Santander personal loan

If you are looking for a lender you can meet with face-to-face, Santander is one to consider. Thanks to the residency requirement to apply for a personal loan, you won’t be far from a bank branch if you’re actually eligible for their services.

[SantanderTerm]Santander’s loan terms (24 to 60 months)[/SantanderTerm] give borrowers a lot of flexibility to pay off their loans quickly or reduce their monthly payments by extending the term out longer. Many personal loans have terms of 36 or 60 months, so if you’re looking to minimize the time you carry this debt, Santander might be a good option for you.

[SantanderAPR]Santander has reasonable rates compared to other lenders — their highest APR is set at 16.99%[/SantanderAPR] with the ePay discount — though you will need a good credit history to qualify. These loans are also good for those who want to avoid fees, as [SantanderOrgFee]Santander doesn’t charge origination, application, or annual fees or assess prepayment penalties.[/SantanderOrgFee] Assuming you make your payments on time, you are unlikely to owe anything extra.

Alternative personal loan options

Here are several alternatives to Santander personal loans:


APR5.96%To35.97%Credit Req.620

Minimum Credit Score

Terms36 or 60


Fees 1.00% - 6.00%


on Upgrade’s secure website

Loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 5.96%-35.97%. All loans have a 1% to 6% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay. For example, a $10,000 loan with a 36 month term and a 17.97% APR (which includes a 5% origination fee) has a required monthly payment of $343.28. Upgrade is available in all states except: Connecticut, Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, West Virginia.

If you need your loan quickly, want to check rates without impacting your credit, or need to borrow less than Santander’s minimum loan amount, online lender Upgrade is a good option. [UpgradeLoanAmt]Fill out an online form to apply for personal loans between $1,000 and $50,000[/UpgradeLoanAmt] — you’ll receive a decision almost immediately and your money within four business days of approval. [UpgradeAPR]Loan APRs range from 5.96% to 35.97%,[/UpgradeAPR] higher than many other lenders, and [UpgradeTerm]terms are set at 36 or 60 months.[/UpgradeTerm] To be eligible for the best rates, you’ll need to sign up for autopay. [UpgradeOrgFee]Upgrade does charge an origination fee of 1% to 6%,[/UpgradeOrgFee] and may assess other charges and fees over the life of your loan.

[MarcusGoldmanSachsPL]Marcus by Goldman Sachs®[/MarcusGoldmanSachsPL]

APR6.99%To24.99%Credit Req.Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms36 to 72


Fees No origination fee


on Marcus By Goldman Sachs®’s secure website

Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification of your identity and credit information.... Read More To obtain a loan, you must submit additional documentation including an application that may affect your credit score. Rates will vary based on many factors, such as your creditworthiness (for example, credit score and credit history) and the length of your loan (for example, rates for 36 month loans are generally lower than rates for 72 month loans).Your maximum loan amount may vary depending on your loan purpose, income and creditworthiness. Your verifiable income must support your ability to repay your loan. Marcus by Goldman Sachs is a brand of Goldman Sachs Bank USA and all loans are issued by Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Salt Lake City Branch. Applications are subject to additional terms and conditions. Read Less

The Marcus by Goldman Sachs loan is a no-fee personal loan — that means all you’ll pay is your loan principal and interest, even if you pay late or miss a payment. [MarcusGoldmanSachsAPR]Rates range from 6.99% to 24.99% APR[/MarcusGoldmanSachsAPR] and [MarcusGoldmanSachsTerm]terms from 36 to 72 months,[/MarcusGoldmanSachsTerm] and [MarcusGoldmanSachsLoanAmt]you can borrow up to $40,000.[/MarcusGoldmanSachsLoanAmt] If your credit is lower or you choose a longer term, you will generally pay a higher rate. While there is no explicit minimum credit score, [MarcusGoldmanSachsCreditScore]you’re more likely to qualify with a score above 660.[/MarcusGoldmanSachsCreditScore] If working with a traditional bank appeals to you, this may be a good alternative to Santander. Marcus does not currently allow applicants from Maryland


APR5.95%To14.74%Credit Req.No Minimum FICO Score

Minimum Credit Score

Terms36 to 84


Fees No origination fee


on SoFi’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

SoFi offers some of the best rates and terms on the market. ... Read More Through their online service, you can obtain your loan rate without a credit inquiry. Their loans come with fixed rates, fixed terms, and no prepayment penalties, making the payment process easy and predictable. They also have no upfront fees. To make these great offers available, SoFi is strict with the approval process. Read Less

Fixed rates from 5.950% APR to 14.740% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.825% APR to 14.365% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of May 18, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.825% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 1.90% plus 4.175% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account.SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of IL is 8.99% APR, for residents of AK, OK, and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, KS, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, IL, OK, TX, VA, WY.Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi's underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (

SoFi has lower rates, longer terms, and higher loan amounts than many other lenders, and [SoFiOrgFee]they don’t charge any fees.[/SoFiOrgFee] [SoFiAPR]APRs range from 5.95% to 14.74%,[/SoFiAPR] and [SoFiTerm]terms are set at 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 years[/SoFiTerm] for [SoFiLoanAmt]loans of $5,000 to $100,000.[/SoFiLoanAmt] Like many lenders, SoFi offers the best rates to borrowers who sign up for automatic payments. [SoFiInq]SoFi will only do a soft credit pull[/SoFiInq] when you check your rates with their online form, and [SoFiPrepayFee]you’ll never encounter origination fees or prepayment penalties.[/SoFiPrepayFee] Another advantage to borrowing from SoFi: if you lose your job and apply for their unemployment protection program, they will suspend your payments without penalty and provide job placement assistance.

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