Fifth Third Bank Personal Loans Review: Should You Apply?

(3 out of 5) MyBankTracker Editor's Rating

Hunting for a personal loan? You might be thinking about getting one from Fifth Third Bank.

Available for any purpose, such as refinancing debt, paying for home improvement, or covering an unexpected bill, Fifth Third personal loans (called Signature Loans) can be an option for borrowers.

They offer a wide range of borrowing amounts and repayment periods.

Best of all:

There are no major fees to worry about.

If you’re in the market for a personal loan, learn everything you need to know about Fifth Third Bank’s personal loans before submitting an application.

In this Fifth Third Bank personal loans review, we'll compare rates, fees, and services to other loan providers.

Flexible Loan Sizes and Repayment Terms

When you’re applying for a personal loan, you’re most likely doing so with a specific financial need in mind.

You might need some extra cash to cover a car repair bill or you might be trying to consolidate your debts.

No matter the situation, you’ll have a specific amount that you’d like to borrow.

That means that you need to find a lender who is willing to offer loans of that size.

Surely:

You don’t want to borrow more money than you need and there’s no reason to borrow money at all if you can’t borrow enough.

Fifth Third Bank offers personal loans in amounts ranging from $2,000 to $50,000.

Fifth Third Personal Loans Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
  • Wide range of borrowing periods
  • Rate discount possible
  • No origination fee, annual fee, or prepayment penalty
  • Cannot apply online
  • Rates not the absolute lowest

That wide range makes it easy to borrow exactly the right amount for your situation. If you need to borrow more than $50,000, you might have to look for alternatives.

After you’ve decided how much money you need to borrow, the next step is to decide how long you’ll need to pay the money back.

This is known as the loan’s term.

For example, a loan with a 5-year term will give you a payment schedule that will result in your paying the loan off five years from the date you borrow the money.

Available terms are:

  • 12 months
  • 24 months
  • 36 months
  • 48 months
  • 60 months

The benefit of longer terms is that they result in lower monthly payments. The drawback is that they result in you paying more interest.

Long-term loans also tend to have higher interest rates, compounding the issue.

Short term loans come with higher monthly payments but save you money in the long run. There’s less time for interest to accrue and short-term loans tend to have lower interest rates.

You should try to strike a balance between an affordable monthly payment and as short a loan term as possible.

Application Requirements

There are no explicit application requirements to receive a personal loan from Fifth Third Bank.

You can apply whether or not you already bank with Fifth Third Bank and regardless of your credit score.

Obviously:

Having good credit will improve your chances.

If you have bad credit, don’t be surprised if your application is rejected outright. Being a current customer can help your chances if you’re on the cusp of approval.

When you apply for the loan, you’ll have to provide information about your existing assets and debts and provide verifiable income history. This information will be used to make a lending decision.

You can apply for a personal loan in any Fifth Third Bank branch.

When you apply, make sure that you have all of the required information with you.

You don’t want to slow down the process by forgetting necessary documents.

You also want to make sure that the documentation you bring is clear, accurate, and easy to understand. The fewer questions you leave the loan officer with, the better your chances of getting the loan are.

Generally:

To qualify for the best interest rate available, aim to have an excellent credit score before you submit your application.

Credit scores above 760 are considered excellent by most lenders. Any score above 700 is considered good.

Fees and How Long It Takes to Get the Money

When you look at different personal lenders, you’ll find that each lender has its own specialty.

Some lenders are great at getting your money deposited to your checking account quickly. Others specialize in offering very large loans. 

Fifth Third Bank prides itself on having a quick application process.

Your application can be processed quickly, and you can get the money you want to borrow in a few days to a week.

Another benefit of working with Fifth Third Bank is that there are no fees to worry about.

  • No origination fees
  • No prepayment penalty
  • No annual fee

Rate Discount for Automatic Payments

If you already bank with Fifth Third Bank, you can save money on your loan by signing up for automatic payments.

By signing up for payments from your Fifth Third checking account, you’ll get an interest rate discount of 0.25%.

Borrow Larger Amounts with a Secured Option

If you are a Fifth Third customer, you’ll get access to Fifth Third’s secured personal loans.

These loans are backed by the money you have in your Fifth Third savings, CD, and investment accounts.

If you provide 50-100% collateral, you can borrow as much as $500,000 at an interest rate that is as low as half of the rate charged by a standard Fifth Third personal loan.

This can be a great way for Fifth Third customers to borrow a lot of money or save on interest charges.

How to Get Approved for a Personal Loan

Once you’ve decided that you’re going to apply for a personal loan, you should do whatever you need to do to make sure your application is approved.

During the application process, you’ll be required to submit information that the lender can use to make a decision.

The information you’ll be asked to provide will often include:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Proof of identity, such as a driver’s license
  • Social Security number
  • Annual income
  • Proof of income, such as bank statements or pay stubs
  • Verification of employment

It might sound daunting to gather that much paperwork, but it’s vital that you put in the effort.

Showing up with incomplete or unclear information reduces your odds of getting approved for a loan.

At best, you’ll slow down the application process.

At worst, your application will be rejected outright.

Improving Your Chances of Getting Approved for a Personal Loan

Before you fill out your application, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of getting a personal loan.

Increase your credit score

The number one factor impacting your loan application’s success is your credit score.

Your credit score is a numerical measure of your financial trustworthiness. A good credit score indicates that you’re good at paying bills on time.

Bad credit indicates that you’re likely to miss payments.

Having good credit is important because it makes it easier and cheaper to borrow money.

Your payment history is the most important factor, followed by the amount you owe. Always make timely payments on your bills.

Even one missed payment can have a huge impact on your score.

Also, avoid taking on a lot of debt or maxing out your credit scores.

Unfortunately, the two most important factors in your credit are the hardest and slowest to influence.

In the short-term, avoid applying for new credit cards or loans in the months before any important loan application.

Each time you apply for a loan, your credit score drops by a few points.

Also, avoid using your credit cards in the month before applying for a loan.

Having your cards report a low or no balance will improve your score as it makes it look like you don’t have much debt.

Reduce your debt-to-income ratio

Your debt-to-income ratio also has a large impact on the success of your loan application.

This ratio measures the percentage of your monthly income that goes towards required bill payments.

You can calculate your debt to income ratio by dividing your monthly income by the sum of your monthly minimum payments on your debts and your rent bill.

So, if you make $5,000 per month and your rent and bill payments add up to $2,000, your debt-to-income ratio is 40%.

You can improve this ratio by paying down existing debt. This will also increase your credit score, making it a great way to improve your chances of getting a loan.

If you decide to improve the ratio by increasing your income, make sure the income is documented.

How Does It Compare?

Any banks offer personal loans. Fifth Third Bank is far from your only option.

When you compare personal loans, start by making sure both meet your needs. Meaning, make sure they’ll let you borrow enough and that they offer a term that gives you a manageable monthly payment.

Once you’ve found loans that meet your needs, compare the interest rates and fees. Try to choose the loan with the lowest total cost.

Conclusion

Fifth Third Bank’s personal loans aren’t a bad option by any means, but the bank doesn’t offer anything to differentiate its loans from others.

The best use case for a Fifth Third personal loan is for existing customers to get a secured loan.

The money you already have at the bank acts as collateral, so you don’t have to move money around to get the loan.

The secured loans also come with huge limits and low rates.

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