How to Get Santander Bank Loans
Whatever your reason for looking to borrow money, actually getting a loan isn’t always easy.
Some banks don't offer certain types of loans while others do. You might have to look around to find the right loan that matches your needs. Luckily, as a full-service consumer-facing bank, Santander offers a wide variety of options to serve your borrowing needs.
Learn about all of the different loans offered by Santander Bank and find out how to improve your chances of qualifying for their loans.
Types of Loans Offered by Santander Bank
Santander Bank offers many different loans, including:
- Personal loans
- Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)
- Personal lines of credit
- Credit cards
A personal loan is a relatively simple type of loan. You ask for a specific amount of money and, if your loan is approved, the bank deposits that amount in your account. You then have to pay the money back over the course of a few years.
Santander offers personal loans of between $5,000 and $35,000, which should be enough to cover most expenses. And, you borrow for terms of 2, 3, 4, or 5 years. No collateral is required as these are unsecured personal loans.
Notably, these personal loans don't have any origination fee, application fee, or prepayment penalty -- making it a very low-cost option compared to many competitors.
Its interest rates are also low compared to similar options (without a doubt, the lowest rates are reserved for people with excellent credit).
A mortgage is a loan that is used to purchase real estate. For most people, their mortgage is going to be the largest debt they ever take on.
Because homes are so expensive, mortgages tend to have very long terms. Fifteen and thirty-year mortgages are standard.
Mortgages also tend to charge very low interest rates because the home acts as collateral for the loan. If you don’t make your monthly payments, the lender could repossess your home to recoup its losses.
Santander offers 15- and 30-year fixed rate mortgages. With a fixed rate mortgage, your interest rate and monthly payment never change.
The bank also offers 5/1, 7/1, and 10/1 adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs). With an ARM, your interest rate will change as market rates change. If interest rates increase, your rate and monthly payment will increase. If rates go down, so will your rate and monthly payment.
The numbers used when describing an adjustable rate mortgage describe the interest rate lock period. With a 5/1 ARM, your interest rate will not change for the first five years of the loan. After that, it can change once per year.
ARMs have lower rates than fixed-rate mortgages, so they’re good for people who expect to move or pay off the loan before the interest rate lock expires.
Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs)
Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) let you turn some of the equity in your home into cash. When you open a HELOC, you don’t have to withdraw cash immediately. When you do need cash, you can withdraw money from the HELOC just as if it were a bank account.
When you do make a withdrawal, you’ll start getting monthly bills for your HELOC balance. You’ll be charged interest until you pay the balance off in full. You can continue to withdraw more from the HELOC as you pay its balance down, up to the HELOC’s limit.
Personal Lines of Credit
A personal line of credit functions like a HELOC. It’s a pool of cash available to you as you need it. When you use your line of credit, you’ll start getting monthly bills.
The difference between the two is in the interest rate. HELOCs are backed by the value of your home.
If you don’t pay your HELOC balance, the bank can foreclose on your home to cover its losses. If you don’t pay off a personal line of credit, there’s no collateral for the bank to repossess. This increased risk leads to higher interest rates for personal lines of credit.
Santander offers lines of credit as high as $35,000.
Though you might not immediately think of them as loans, credit cards are just a different way for a bank to lend you money.
Like a personal line of credit, you can use your credit card as you need it, and leave it unused when you don’t. The difference is that you use credit cards when making purchases. With a personal line of credit, you need to plan ahead to withdraw the cash you need.
Santander offers three different credit cards:
Santander Ultimate Cash Back Credit Card
Pays 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
Bravo Credit Card
Gives you 1 point per dollar on purchases, with 3 points per dollar on purchases at supermarkets, restaurants and gas stations. Points can be redeemed for a variety of rewards.
Sphere Credit Card
Offers 18 months of 0% APR, helping you finance a big purchase. You also get 1 point per dollar spent.
Benefits of a Being a Checking Customer
Santander Bank offers some benefits for customers who opt to borrow money from it.
The biggest benefit is that borrowers who have a Santander checking account are eligible for interest rate discounts on many of their loans. Just sign up for automatic payments from your checking account to get an automatic rate reduction.
On personal loans and personal lines of credit, Santander checking customers receive a 0.25% rate discount when they set up automatic payments.
Your Credit Score and How It Affects Your Chances of Approval
Now that you know about the loans available to you, you’ll want to know how Santander decides whether to offer those loans to you. One of the biggest factors in your loan application’s success is your credit score.
Your credit score is a numerical representation of how likely you are to pay back money that you borrow.
Credit scores can range from 300 to 850, but a large portion of that range is considered to be bad credit.
To qualify for most loans, you want to have an excellent credit score, above 750. People with a score of 700 – 750 can qualify for most loans but might pay additional interest.
How is Your Credit Score Calculated?
Your credit score is calculated from five different factors on your credit report. In order of impact on your score, they are:
- Payment history
- Debt burden (amount borrowed and total credit utilization)
- Length of credit history
- Types of credit
- Recent applications for credit
Your payment history is how often you’ve paid your monthly bills on time. Every on-time payment will boost your score. Every late payment hurts it. Even one missed payment can have a big impact on your score, so make sure to always pay your bills on time.
The best way to improve your credit is to have a long history of timely payments.
Debt burden (amount borrowed and total credit utilization)
How much money you already owe affects your credit score. The less you owe the better your score will be.
Additionally, the ratio of the amount you’ve borrowed on credit cards to the total credit limit of your cards affects your score. The less you’ve borrowed when compared to your credit limit, the better it is.
Lenders feel more comfortable with your ability to make payments on a new loan if they know your income isn’t already tied up with payments on other loans.
Length of credit history
The length of your credit history is simply how long you’ve had access to credit. The longer you’ve been borrowing money, the easier it is for lenders to gauge your trustworthiness.
Lenders also look at the average age of your accounts. The higher the average age, the better, since lenders often like to build long-term relationships. Constantly opening and closing lines of credit will hurt your score.
Types of credit
The more different types of loans you’ve had, the better your credit score will be. Don’t take out a loan you don’t need to just to improve your score, but be aware that having experience with different types of debt is a good thing in the eyes of lenders.
Recent applications for credit
Each time you apply for a loan, the lender will look at your credit report. Credit bureaus take note of each time a lender asks for a copy of your report.
Because applying for a lot of loans at once is seen as risky behavior, each application will drop your credit score by a few points.
Records of loan applications fall off your report after two years.
How to Improve Your Chances of Getting a Loan from Santander
In the long-term, the best way to improve your chances of getting a loan is to improve your credit by making timely payments.
In the short-term, give your credit a boost by avoiding applying for other loans and by paying down existing debts. Also, avoid using your credit cards before applying for a loan.
Another trick is to improve your debt-to-income ratio. This is the ratio of how much money you owe to the amount you make each year. The lower this ratio, the better your odds of approval.
You can improve this ratio by paying down your existing debts. You can also improve it by increasing your income.
Try to work towards a promotion or raise at work to improve your annual income. You could also look for a side-job to provide supplemental income.
Either way, showing you have enough money to make payments on a new loan will boost your chances of approval.