BMO Harris Personal Loan Review: Rates, Fees, & Terms

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BMO Harris is one of the largest banks in North America by assets. Though its parent company resides in Canada, the institution’s U.S. holding company makes its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. The bank boasts over 500 branches in eight states, primarily in the Midwest, plus nationwide digital banking.

As to its personal loans, BMO Harris provides rate quotes as low as 6.94% in the eight states with physical branches. (Customers elsewhere will need to call customer service for a tailored rate quote.) Loan sizes range from $1,500 to $35,000 with repayment terms of 1-5 years. Customers can also enjoy features like due date flexibility, an autopay discount, and limited fees.   

Best for Traditional Personal Loans
BMO Harris Loans
  • Loan Amount
    $1,500 - $35,000
  • Est. APR
    6.94% - 14.70%
  • Learn More
  • Loan Details

BMO Harris Personal Loans Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Competitive interest rates
  • Term and due date flexibility
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Autopay discount
  • Loan amounts as low as $1,500

Cons:

  • Funding can take up to two weeks after application
  • Relatively low maximum loan sizes
  • One-time application fee
  • Need excellent credit to get the best interest rates
  • Must apply over the phone or in-person for personal loan products

BMO Harris Personal Loan Features and Benefits

Competitive Rates

BMO Harris offers APRs as low as 6.94% in the eight states where it has physical branches, with rates as high as 14.70%. (Maximums and minimums may vary in other states.)

Limited Fees

Customers can expect to pay a $75 application fee upfront. But aside from this one-time charge, BMO Harris charges no additional fees on its personal loans, including prepayment penalties.

Pay on Your Schedule

BMO Harris offers flexible terms ranging from 12 to 60 months. You can also build a monthly payment plan with a due date that works for you.

Rate Discount

Customers who enroll in autopay with an eligible BMO Harris checking account can qualify for a rate discount of up to 0.50%.

BMO Harris Personal Loan Drawbacks

No Online Application

While the bank touts that their “most popular loans and lines of credit can be applied for with our easy and secure online application,” that sentiment doesn’t extend to personal loans. Instead, you’ll have to call customer service or visit a branch in-person to begin your application.

>> More: Best Online Personal Loans

Slower Funding Times than Some Competitors

BMO Harris notes on its website that it can “get you money in just days.” By comparison, many other personal loan lenders offer next-day or even same-day funding.

Limited Branch Locations

The bank only has a physical footprint in eight states despite doing business nationwide.

Customer Service

Some customers have complained about BMO Harris’ policies and customer service, including:

  • Being informed that checking accounts “never close completely”
  • Having trouble with the verification process when calling for support
  • Being charged various late, erroneous, or unspecified account fees on both banking and loan products

Moreover, a handful of customers report issues or an inability to get these fees credited or waived when they contact customer support.

How to Qualify for a Personal Loan from BMO Harris

BMO Harris offers little information about their qualification requirements aside from providing personal identification with a current address. That said, it does note that “successful applicants” demonstrate a positive credit history. They also offer a Credit Builder Loan Program to help denied applicants build their credit score before applying again.

>> More: How to Prequalify for a Personal Loan

How to Apply for a BMO Harris Personal Loan

To apply for a personal loan, prospective applicants will need to call, visit a branch, or request contact online. A bank representative will then walk you through the application process and assist you in selecting the right loan for your needs.

If approved, you’ll receive the funds by check or direct deposit in a matter of days. Then, you can make repayments online, by mail, or in person. You can also repay your loan in full anytime with no prepayment penalties.

How Do BMO Harris Personal Loans Compare to Other Lenders?

#1. Upgrade vs. BMO Harris

Upgrade is a lender that funds personal loans up to $50,000 in 48 states. Borrowers can opt for repayment terms ranging from 2-7 years and may qualify for an APR as low as 5.49%. This lender charges no prepayment penalties and offers rate discounts for autopay and payment due date flexibility. They accept borrowers with credit scores of 580 or higher.

>> More: Upgrade Personal Loans Review

#2. BMO Harris vs. Upstart

Upstart is a lending platform that uses AI to match lending partners to prospective borrowers. They permit loans up to $50,000, while repayment terms run from 36 to 60 months. And though their APRs can be as low as 3.50%, they can run as high as 36% thanks to myriad charges including origination, late, insufficient fund, and even paper copy fees.

>> More: Upstart Personal Loans Review

#3. BMO Harris vs. Payoff

Payoff is a lender that specializes in credit card consolidation loans. Eligible borrowers may receive $5,000 to $40,000 in funding with a minimum credit score of 640 or higher. APRs range from 5.99% to 2499% with no application, late payment, or prepayment fees. However, you may be charged an origination fee up to 5% of the loan amount. Typical loan terms run from 24-60 months.

>> More: Payoff Personal Loans Review

#4. Avant vs. BMO Harris

Avant is an online lender licensed to lend in 42 states. They offer personal loans of $2,000 to $35,000 with repayment terms of 24-60 months and accept credit scores as low as 580. Their APRs run on the higher side from a low of 9.95% to 35.99%, and borrowers may pay “administration fees” as high as 4.75% of the loan amount. They also charge a $25 late fee.

>> More: Avant Personal Loans Review

What Can BMO Harris Personal Loans be Used For?

On its website, the bank notes that customers commonly use personal loans for:

  • Home improvements
  • Debt consolidation
  • Weddings
  • New vehicles
  • Medical expenses
  • And any other big purchase

How Long Does BMO Harris take to Approve Personal Loans?

BMO Harris can take up to several days to review your application and approve your loan. Then, they may take another few days to deposit funds into your account.

Does BMO Harris Offer Personal Loan Refinance?

BMO Harris’ website makes no mention of personal loan refinancing, though they do offer student loan refinancing.

What Credit Score is Needed for a BMO Harris Personal Loan?

BMO Harris doesn’t disclose credit score requirements for personal loans. However, they do direct some borrowers toward their Credit Builder Loan Program, suggesting they may have stricter credit score requirements than some lenders.

Does BMO Harris Charge Any Personal Loan Fees?

BMO Harris charges a $75 “loan processing” fee (essentially an application fee) on all personal loans.

Bottom Line: BMO Harris Personal Loans Review

BMO Harris personal loans are best for people with excellent credit who want to borrow under $35,000. Because the application process must be completed in person or over the phone, it’s better for individuals living near a physical branch.

Flexible repayment terms, relatively low fees, and an affordable APR range also make BMO Harris a viable candidate for a personal loan lender.

That said, if you need the funds immediately, you’ll need to choose another lender. And unfortunately, many customers report that their customer service leaves

Jordan Blansit
Jordan Blansit

Jordan Blansit is a Senior Writer, Researcher, & Product Analyst for SimpleMoneyLyfe with an inexplicable predilection for mortgages, investing, and personal finance. When she’s not click-clacketing from the comfort of her living room, you can find her in the California Redwoods or Oregon Siskiyous. Jordan’s areas of expertise are mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, and investing.