U.S. Bank Personal Loans Review 2021: No Fees and Fast Funding, but Confusing Information Online

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As part of U.S. Bancorp, U.S. Bank was founded in 1863 and is a full-service financial institution, offering everything from checking and savings accounts to credit cards, mortgages, loans, and wealth management services. U.S. Bank has over 2,000 branches across 26 states, according to the company website

U.S. Bank offers several personal loan products, including a standard personal loan, unsecured home improvement personal loans, personal lines of credit, and a unique product called the U.S. Bank Simple Loan. Simple Loans are only available to customers with an existing U.S. Bank checking account. With a Simple Loan, you can borrow up to $1,000 directly from your checking account, receive the money within minutes, and pay it back in 3 monthly installments. 

U.S. Bank’s website gives conflicting information about the borrower requirements for its regular personal loans, especially in regards to whether borrowers who are not existing U.S. Bank customers can qualify. We reached out to the company for clarification but have not received a response as of the time of publication. What we do know, however, is that non-U.S. Bank customers may face greater borrowing restrictions in terms of how much they can borrow, the credit score they’ll need in order to qualify, and how they can close the loan. 

U.S. Bank offers next-day funding, competitive rates, and no origination fees on its personal loans, which can make them a good option for those who qualify. However, the conflicting information online makes it unclear who can qualify for a personal loan. Other lenders may offer similar benefits with greater transparency. 

What to Know Before Getting a Personal Loan

Personal loans can be an easy way to access cash when you need it. They can be used for a variety of purposes: to cover an emergency, consolidate debt, pay for a major expense, or to cover bills or rent.

However, it’s important to know what you’re getting into and how to use personal loans responsibly. Before you apply for a personal loan, make sure it’s truly necessary and you know what you’ll be using the money for. There’s no grace period for personal loans, so you’ll need to come up with a plan to pay off your loan on time and in full.

When you apply for a personal loan, the rate you qualify for might be different than what’s advertised. That’s because your rate depends on your income, credit score, the loan amount, and the loan terms. Depending on the lender, you might be able to pre-qualify for a loan, which will give you a rate quote with just a soft pull on your credit. However, some lenders might do a hard pull of your credit, which typically dings your credit by a few points. You’ll want to do your homework and comparison shop with a handful of lenders to find the best rate.

Formally applying for a personal loan results in a hard pull of your credit, no matter the lender. Beyond the interest rate, it’s important to know whether the lender charges any fees, including prepayment penalties, origination fees, and late fees. 

Before you apply for a personal loan, be sure you know if it’s a secured or unsecured loan. Unsecured loans don’t require any collateral, while secured loans require you to put up an asset — such as a house or car — that the lender can take if you fall behind on payments. Secured loans may offer lower interest rates but are also riskier for the borrower, so it’s important to take that into consideration when deciding between a secured and unsecured loan. 

Alternatives to Personal Loans

While a personal loan can be a solid choice to pay for necessary expenses, it’s certainly not the only option. Here are some alternatives:

  • A home equity loan, home equity line of credit (HELOC), or a cash-out refinance. If you’re a homeowner, you might be able to tap into your home equity for cash. These options all use your home as collateral, so you might be able to secure more favorable rates than an unsecured personal loan. However, be aware that they also carry the risk of foreclosure if you default on your loan. 
  • A balance transfer credit card. If you have strong credit and want to consolidate debt, consider transferring your existing debt to a balance transfer credit card. Some credit cards have an intro offer of 0% APR lasting anywhere from 18 to 20 months. The key is to pay off the balance before the intro offer ends. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck paying the standard credit card APR on the remaining balance, which can get expensive. Balance transfer cards may charge a one-time balance transfer fee, which is usually a percentage of the balance you’re moving to the card. 
  • Saving up for large expenses. If your financial need isn’t an urgent one, consider saving up funds in a personal savings account. For example, if you have a large purchase on the horizon, you can put aside a set amount of money each month with the goal of paying for that expense in cash. It’s helpful to have a target date to reach your savings goal and set up automatic transfers to a savings account with every paycheck. Creating an emergency fund with three to six months’ worth of expenses can also help you avoid the need to take on debt to cover unexpected expenses. 
  • Borrowing from friends and family. If you are in a financial pinch and need a small amount of cash quickly, consider asking trusted members of your social circle for help. To avoid awkwardness or broken relationships, be sure to lay out repayment terms and expectations. It can be a good idea to get everything in writing so that both parties know what to expect.
  • Credit counseling. If you’re drowning in debt or need some professional guidance in money management, not-for-profit credit counseling organizations offer free or low-cost help to steer you toward financial wellness. While they won’t lend you money directly, they can provide financial guidance and resources to help you meet your needs. 

Pros and Cons of U.S. Bank Personal Loans

Pros

  • Can borrow up to $50,000 ($25,000 for borrowers living in CA and NV, as well those who aren’t current U.S. Bank customers)

  • Simple and fast online application process

  • No origination fees or prepayment penalties

  • Simple Loans offer quick decision and funding for small loan amounts ($100 to $1,000) and 3-month repayment period

  • Funds can be available within one day of loan closing

Cons

  • Conflicting information on the website leaves much room for confusion, and detailed eligibility criteria difficult to find

  • Not all loan amounts and programs are available in every state

  • Borrowers without a U.S. Bank savings or checking account face increased restrictions and must visit a U.S. Bank branch to close the loan

  • Simple Loans are only available to current U.S. Bank checking customers

U.S. Bank Compared to Other Lenders

U.S. BankMarcus by Goldman Sachs TD Bank
Current APR5.99% to 18.49% (0.50% AutoPay discount available)  6.99% to 19.99% (0.25% AutoPay discount available)6.99% to 21.99%
Loan Term Range1 to 5 years 3 to 6 years3 to 5 years
Loan Amount$1,000 to $50,000 (up to $25,000 for borrowers in CA and NV, and those who aren’t current U.S. Bank customers$3,500 to $40,000 $2,000 to $50,000 
Credit Score Needed660 (or higher for non-U.S. Bank customers) Unspecified Unspecified 
Prepayment PenaltyNoneNoneNone
Origination FeeNoneNoneNone
Unsecured or Secured DebtUnsecured Unsecured Unsecured

The above rates and loan information are accurate as of October 13, 2021. The NextAdvisor editorial team updates this information regularly, though it is possible APRs and other information have changed since the page was last updated. Some of the lowest advertised rates might be for secured loans, which require collateral such as your home, car, or other asset. Also, some loan offerings may be specific to where you live.

How to Qualify for a U.S. Bank Personal Loan

The U.S. Bank website has conflicting information about the qualification requirements for a personal loan, namely whether the loan is available to non-U.S. Bank customers. The website states, “not a U.S. Bank customer? You may be able to borrow up to $25,000” in one location and “approval for Personal Line of Credit or Personal Loan requires having a new or existing U.S. Bank Personal Checking account” in another. We reached out to the company for clarification, but have not received a response as of the time of publication.

Apart from that, you’ll need to be at least 18 years of age to qualify for a personal loan from U.S. Bank. You’ll also need to provide your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, home address, and employment information.

According to the U.S. Bank website, you’ll need a FICO score of at least 660 — or higher if you’re not a U.S. Bank customer — to qualify for a personal loan “in most cases.” A customer service representative told us that there’s also a minimum annual income requirement of $12,000.

Simple Loans — small, quick loans up to $1,000 — are only available to customers 18 and older with an existing U.S. Bank checking account that has been open for at least 6 months. You’ll also need to have at least three months of recurring direct deposits into a U.S. Bank checking account in order to qualify. We couldn’t find any information about credit score and income requirements for Simple Loans. 

Who Should Get a U.S. Bank Personal Loan

A U.S. Bank personal loan can be a solid option for existing U.S. Bank customers who want a quick loan with no fees and competitive rates. There are no origination fees and no prepayment penalties, and funds are available within one business day of loan closing.

For non-U.S. Bank customers, though, the drawbacks may outweigh the benefits. Non-customers will face lower loan amounts (up to $25,000), higher credit score requirements (the exact value of which is unspecified), and must visit a U.S. Bank branch to close the loan. And that’s assuming that U.S. Bank grants loans to non-customers at all, which is difficult to confirm based on the information provided on the website. 

The U.S. Bank Simple Loan, a separate product from its regular personal loans, can be a good option for current U.S. Bank customers to quickly cover immediate financial needs. The loan lets you quickly apply for and borrow up to $1,000 (in $100 increments) and repay it over three monthly payments. Be aware that there’s a $6 fee for every $100 borrowed for this loan. Because of the small loan amount and short loan term, the APR ends up being quite high — approximately 35.65% on a $400 loan. Still, the Simple Loan can be useful in a pinch and may be easier to get or faster to fund than a traditional personal loan. 

How to Apply for a U.S. Bank Personal Loan

1. Apply online. You find the personal loan application on U.S. Bank’s website. To submit your application, you’ll need to provide a Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), your home address and employment information. 

For Simple Loans, you must be logged into your U.S. Bank checking account to access the application from your checking account menu.

2. Wait for approval. U.S. Bank looks at your credit history, income, debt-to-income ratio, and other financial factors during the approval process. According to the website, you’ll receive notification of your approval status within minutes.

3. Receive your loan funds. Once your loan is approved, you can close the loan online if you’re a U.S. Bank personal checking or savings customer. If you don’t currently have one of those accounts, you’ll need to visit a U.S. Bank branch to close your loan in person. You’ll get your loan funds within one business day of the loan closing. 

U.S. Bank Personal Loan FAQs

Is U.S. Bank good for personal loans?

U.S. Bank can be a solid contender for personal loans for existing U.S. Bank customers, as it offers competitive rates, fast funding, and no fees. Non-customers may face greater restrictions in terms of loan amounts and credit score requirements.

What credit score do you need for a U.S. Bank loan?

Borrowers will likely need a FICO score of at least 660 — or higher if they aren’t an existing U.S. Bank customer — to qualify for a U.S. Bank loan “in most cases,” according to the U.S. Bank website. The website also states that in order to qualify for the lowest APR, you’ll need at least an 800 credit score, a repayment term of 12 – 36 months, and borrow at least $10,000.

Can I get a U.S. Bank personal loan with bad credit?

You’ll typically need at least a 660 credit score to be eligible, which is considered “fair” credit and falls slightly below the national average, according to credit bureau Experian.

Does a U.S. Bank loan hurt your credit?

No matter the financial institution or lending platform, officially applying for a personal loan results in a hard pull of your credit, which can ding your credit by a few points. Once you have the loan, late or missed payments can hurt your credit score as well. However, consistently making on-time payments and paying off the loan in full could help improve your credit in the long run.