This CornerStone personal loans review will help you understand better the pros and cons, as well as other important details you need to know about getting a personal loan from one of the most experienced financial institution, CornerStone Bank.
In one way or another, we all will get into situations or circumstances wherein we’ll have no choice but to borrow money from lending institutions – and that is totally fine. After all, loans were made to help people who need immediate financial needs.
While there are several types of loans, personal loans particularly unsecured ones are one of the most popular among consumers.
For those who are not familiar with what a personal loan is, it basically refers to a short-term unsecured loan that usually ranges between $100 and $100,000. Personal loans come with fixed or variable interest rates depending on the financial institution where you’ll get the loan from.
As we have said, personal loans are very common among American people. In fact, according to the Chamber of Commerce, “there are 21.1 million outstanding personal loans in the U.S.” More so, “the total outstanding personal loan debt in the United States is $143 billion.”
Such a huge amount of money, right?
Moving on, there are so many financial institutions out there to get a loan from — there are banks and credit unions. Although, between banks and credit unions, the former seems to be the most accessible and the most popular place to get a loan from.
Among the many choices out there is CornerStone Bank.
Having said that, and as we have mentioned earlier, today, we are going to do a CornerStone personal loans review. We are going to dig deeper into what the bank has to offer especially when it comes to personal loans. Hopefully, at the end of this, we get to give you clarity as to whether Cornerstone Bank is worth borrowing money from or not.
In particular, we are going to tackle the following:
- Who is CornerStone Bank?
- What are the different loan products of CornerStone Bank?
- What to like about CornerStone Bank?
- What are the things to consider when getting a loan at CornerStone Bank?
- What do you need to know about Cornerstone personal loans?
- How to secure a personal loan at Cornerstone Bank?
WHO IS CORNERSTONE BANK?
Before we look into the bank’s persona loan details, let’s get to know who CornerStone Bank is first.
Considering the fact that CornerStone was just formed back in 2017, which is very recent as compared to other banks, CornerStone has indeed gone a long way already.
Although it is relatively new, the bank’s foundation was built on two local, mutual banks joining together. These banks are the SpencerBANK and Southbridge Savings Bank.
If we are going to look at the banks behind CornerStone, both have good reputations. In fact, both proudly served and supported customers as well as communities in Central Massachusetts since 1871 and 1848, respectively.
Furthermore, we cannot question the bank’s credibility as both of them made positive impacts in the lives of the people and businesses they have served.
Going back to CornerStone Bank, although they have just started in 2017, the bank has already branched out. In fact, they currently operate in 13 branch offices. The bank, however, is headquartered in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Based on their website, CornerStone Bank is “is a local, community bank that delivers a personal touch that only a local bank can offer.” More so, they are “dedicated to providing high quality, personal customer service and convenience for individuals, businesses and community organizations in Central Massachusetts.”
The bank is centered by ensuring they deliver their customer promise, which is “Built on Trust.”
CornerStone Bank is determined to become a trusted financial partner within the communities where their branches are located.
CornerStone provides personal loans, as well as other financial services with a focus on high-quality customer service.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT LOAN PRODUCTS OF CORNERSTONE BANK?
Although relatively new, CornerStone Bank has a wide selection of loan products to choose from. This includes the following:
- Consumer Loans
- Home Equity Lonas and Lines of Credit
Under each loan category, there come different sub-categories. For your reference, here’s what’s under each category:
- Unsecured Personal Loans – The financial institutions provide unsecured personal loans — which means no collateral needed to apply for a loan — that comes with competitive rates as well as flexible terms.
By the way, if you are interested to know more about the difference between secured and unsecured personal loans, check this video out by One Minute Economics:
- Overdraft Protection/Cash Reserve Line of Credit – This basically serves as a protection for your checking account. This helps you avoid bank overdraft, at the same time, protect your credit.
- Auto Loans – CornerStone promises to help you buy the car of your dreams by providing you with easy financing options.
- Motorcycle/Recreational Vehicles/Boat Loans – Apart from car loans, CornerStone also offers Motorcycle/Recreational Vehicles/Boat Loans with competitive rates as well as financing that fits your budget.
- Mass Save® HEAT Loan – Based on their site, the bank offers “0% interest financing for approved energy efficiency upgrades” through this program
Home Equity Loans & Lines of Credit
- Home Equity Loan – CornerStone Bank’s home equity loan allows you to borrow a certain amount for a particular period. You can use it to fund home renovations, pay for tuition, or consolidate debt. It does not come with an application fee.
- Home Equity Plus Loan – Unlike the previous one, this gives you more flexibility. More so, it allows you to borrow up to 90% of your home’s value. It still comes with no application fee.
- Home Equity Line of Credit – If you want endless funds, then this is the best option for you. CornerStone offers a flexible line of credit as you need it.
- Home Equity Plus Line of Credit – Just like the Home Equity Plus Loan, this one gives you more flexibility. Just the same, it gives you a flexible line of credit as you need it.
CornerStone Banks offers different options with it comes to mortgages. You can choose any of the following based on what fits your financial capacity:
- SAVE $500 on Your Mortgage Closing Costs
- SAVE $750 on Your Mortgage Closing Costs
- Affordable First Time Home Buying Program
- MassHousing Programs
- Operation Welcome Home
- FHA (Federal Housing Administration) Loans
- Adjustable-Rate Mortgage
- Fixed-Rate Mortgage
- Construction Mortgage
- Investment Property Mortgage
If you want to know more about the bank’s loan programs, you may either check their website, contact them through their customer service hotline 800-939-9103 or you may visit a branch near you.
Take note though that while the bank offers a lot of loan options, we are particularly focusing on their personal loan product. Later on, we’ll tell you more about it.
WHAT TO LIKE ABOUT CORNERSTONE BANK?
There are certain things to particularly like about CornerStone Bank, and here are some of them:
First, it offers a customer promise of “Built on Trust” to show its commitment to build relationships within the community they serve. Thus, the company regularly makes charitable donations to programs and businesses within the local area. They also offer concierge-level customer service to remain at the forefront of the company’s banking model.
Second, since we are talking about the bank’s personal loan program, the bank provides customers multiple repayment terms, which is definitely worthwhile.
Third, for customers who already have existing accounts with CornerStone Bank, they can benefit from its rewards and referral programs for repeat customers. Once a loan has been successfully issued, customers can get a 0.5% interest rate discount should they register for autopay.
Lastly, for those planning home renovations or upgrades, the bank provides attractive lending options for this purpose. More so, if you are a partner in the Mass Save® HEAT Loan program, the bank offers 0% interest financing on qualifying home improvements. This includes solar hot water systems, energy-efficient thermostats, as well as Energy Star® windows, and more.
These are just some of the things to like about getting a loan from or making transactions with CornerStone Bank.
WHAT ARE THE THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN GETTING A LOAN AT CORNERSTONE BANK?
Before we get into a more in-depth CornerStoner personal loans review, we just want to share some of the things you need to consider when banking or when getting a loan from CornerStone Bank.
First, as we have mentioned earlier, the bank does have 13 branches. However, these branches are all located in the central Massachusetts area only. Thus, customers who want to borrow money from the bank and live elsewhere have to be comfortable with either remote or self-service management.
While for some, this may be a concern, what’s nice about CornerStone is that they made ways to ensure that people or customers outside central Massachusetts still get to conveniently manage their loans or accounts. For instance, payments can be made remotely via mail, online, or through bank transfer. Furthermore, customers will also be given access to an online portal where they can manage their loans.
You see, even if there are no in-person services available for customers outside central Massachusetts, the bank made ways to make banking still convenient for their customers.
Second, with regards to the bank’s personal loans, they are basically simple and very straightforward. However, we notice they lack bonus features or discounts through other lenders, which we thought might be one of the factors customers may consider getting loans from their competitors instead of them. But you know, this should not be much of an issue if the rates are good, right?
Lastly, although the bank has other loan options like loans for motorcycles, cars, and other vehicles, their personal loans intended for other uses like home improvements or vacations are only limited to $2,000. So, if you need a bigger amount, you may work with a different lender instead.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CORNERSTONE PERSONAL LOANS?
This CornerStone personal loans review aims to provide you important information you need before you even apply for a loan in this banking institution.
So, to start off, first and foremost, to be able to get approved for CornerStone personal loans, you must meet certain bank requirements, which includes:
- At least 18 years old and above
- A minimum credit score of 680 (For customers with credit challenges, they will need to look for a co-signer or consider getting a personal loan with other institution.)
- No more than $2,000 worth of loan (This applies for a qualifying home improvement through the Mass Save® program.)
In addition, you must also provide your personal information, which includes the following:
- Contact Information
- Social Security Number
- Government-issued identification card
Make sure to keep all this information and documents handy for a quicker process of your loan application.
Now, another important thing that every customer look into when getting a loan is the rates or interest rates.
It is vital that you look into it because this is a big deciding factor whether or not the bank you are eyeing to loan money from is the right one for you or not.
With regards to CornerStone Bank’s personal loan rates, they vary between 12.5% and 15%. The rates depend on certain factors like the borrower’s credit score, as well as the amount of loan.
It is best to check with the bank’s loan officer for more concrete details — if you are really interested in getting a loan from CornerStone.
Another thing to factor in when borrowing money from a bank is the term length. This will help you choose the right option depending on your financial capacity.
With CornerStone, for their personal loans, term lengths range from 30-day, 60-day, or 90-day terms up to three years, which we find flexible enough. The length of time they offer for borrowers to pay off the loan is definitely acceptable, and competitive.
Your term length will absolutely depend on what you and the bank have agreed upon. Although we highly recommend choosing a shorter span of time in paying off the loan rather than a longer time. The shorter the term length means the lesser the interest rate, and the sooner you can pay off the loan, and be debt-free.
FEES AND PENALTIES
Unlike other banks, CornerStone does not charge any early repayment penalties. This basically means that if in case you want to pay your loan before maturity, you can definitely do so without having to worry about paying an extra penalty for paying ahead of time.
This absolutely makes us fall in love with CornerStone Bank’s personal loans because this is what flexibility is really all about, right?
Although the bank does not charge an early repayment penalty, they do, however, charge late payment fees, which is totally understandable.
Apart from this, we did not find any other fees that the bank charges in relation to their loan programs. Yup, no maintenance fee as well.
TYPE OF PERSONAL LOAN
Unlike other banks that offer both secured and unsecured personal loans, CornerStone Bank only offers unsecured personal loans, which means customers cannot provide collateral to lower interest rates, and that they also cannot qualify for higher loan amounts.
However, the bank does offer both auto and mortgage loans. Any other collateral that is related to secured loans will not be accepted by the bank.
Once your personal loan application with CornerStone is approved, it automatically means you need to make payments at a designated date every month.
Don’t worry about making payments because the bank made sure payments can be made easily. You can make payments online through your CornerStone Bank account portal, through automatic bank transfer, or you may opt to pay in-person at any CornerStone branch office near you.
Another option is paying by mail if it’s the best option for you.
You see, no hassle with payments because you are given a lot of options by CornerStone Bank.
HOW TO SECURE A PERSONAL LOAN AT CORNERSTONE BANK?
At this point in our CornerStone personal loans review, we are going to look into the process of securing a personal loan from this financial institution.
As a consumer or potential customer, it is important to know how things go or the process of acquiring a loan. This way, you get to save both time and effort.
So, to be able to secure a CornerStone personal loan, you should take the following steps:
- Make sure to gather all loan documentation, which includes your proof of identity, as well as income verification. (Note: Income verification is important to the bank knows if you have the capacity to pay off the loan.)
- Submit a loan application either online or in-person at one of the 13 branches of CornerStone Bank.
- Work with a loan specialist from the bank in finalizing your application.
- Make sure to sign all final paperwork to be able to secure the loan once approved.
- Make sure to set up an online account for the CornerStone Bank portal for easy and quick account management.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON CORNERSTONE PERSONAL LOANS REVIEW
Just like most financial institutions out there, CornerStone personal loans have its pros and cons.
We like the fact that they offer unsecured loans, which means you do not need any collateral to get approved of a loan. We also like the fact that they have flexible term lengths. But ultimately, what really caught our attention is that the bank does not charge for early repayments. So, anytime you have the money to pay off the loan already, you may pay it off without having to worry about getting charged. While it does have late payment charges, the bank does not have monthly fees or service fees.
Unfortunately, the bank does have its share of downsides as well. Like for instance, it only offers up to $2,000 for personal loans intended for other uses like home improvements or vacations. Also, it has a high credit score requirement. Thus, if you are someone whose credit score is quite challenging, then this may not be the right choice for you.
Overall though, we got to say that CornerStone personal loans are very competitive. While it has a lot of room for improvement, we definitely have to say that it is a good choice especially for those who need a small financial stop-gap.
So, do you think CornerStone Bank personal loan is the right one for you?