Citizens Bank Student Loans Review: What You Should Know
- August 9, 2018
- Posted by: Dave Rathmanner
- Category: Student Loans
Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is the 13th largest retail bank in the nation with over $130 billion in assets, over 1,200 branches, and over $100 billion in deposits. Their founding dates back to 1828 in Providence, Rhode Island, where the company offered banking products to individuals and a variety of companies and institutions.
Fast forwarding to September 2014, Citizens Financial Group became a publicly traded company with the largest IPO from a commercial bank in United States history. Citizens Financial Group has cemented itself as a player in the banking industry for the foreseeable future.
Like other major banks such as Discover, Wells Fargo, and SunTrust, Citizens Bank started to offer private student loans. Citizens Bank offers a variety of options for students who need help funding their education. In this Citizens Bank student loans review we will go over the different options they offer, their refinancing options, and the benefits of choosing Citizens Bank, also known as Citizens One.
Citizens Bank Private Student Loans
Citizens Bank has three main private student loans that they offer based on who is looking for help. They have student loans for undergraduate students, graduate/professional students, and parents of students going through college.
Each differs slightly and it is important to understand the difference before selecting which is right for you.
All of the following student loans can be used for any expense related to attending college including tuition, room and board, laptops, supplies, and much more.
The Citizens Bank Student Loan
The first student loan that Citizens Bank offers is the Citizens Bank Student Loan. This is a private student loan that is disbursed directly to the student’s school. This loan can range from $1,000 to $295,000 depending on the customer’s level of education and can be repaid over 5, 10, or 15 years.
Citizens Bank offers a variable interest rate as low as 4.22% and a fixed rate as low as 5.74%. As with any private student loan, however, these rates are dependent on the borrower’s credit worthiness, if a co-signer is used or not, and what repayment option is chosen.
There are many benefits of the Citizens Bank Student Loan. First off, there are no application, origination, or disbursement fees. In addition, borrowers are not charged a penalty for prepaying for their student loans.
Another great perk Citizens Bank offers is the option to reduce interest rate by 0.25% for enrolling in automatic payment and another 0.25% for those borrowers who have an existing account at the time of the student loan application.
Finally, Citizens Bank allows the borrower to choose whether they want to start paying their student loans back while in school or make interest-only payments. In the latter case, the student can pay back the principal after graduation.
The Citizens Bank Private Graduate Student Loan
Citizens Bank also offers options for those students who have decided to further their education with a graduate degree. This includes those going through a typical graduate program, MBA students, Law school students, and Medical or Dental school students.
Each of the loans for these different students have similar rates and benefits. The Citizens Bank Private Graduate Student Loan offers variable rates from 2.99% to 9.59% and fixed rates from 4.75% to 11.42%.
There are a few differences between the normal student loan Citizens Bank offers and the loan for graduate or professional students. Most importantly, Citizens Bank allows for deferment up to 8 years while enrolled in school. This means that no repayment is needed while the student is obtaining their education.
Many graduate and professional schools are very expensive, leaving students with little money to put towards their student loans. Citizens Bank understands the struggle and is willing to work with students to help them best pay off their education debt.
The Citizens Bank Student Loan for Parents
Citizens Bank also created a loan for the parents of students attending college. It is no secret that parents often pay for some, if not all, of their students’ educations. For this reason, Citizens Bank created a loan that goes directly to the parents.
Like the other loans there are no fees or prepayment penalties and the same interest-reduction incentives apply. Also, these loans range from $1,000 to $170,000 and can be repaid over 5 or 10 years.
If you have looked at the section of Citizens Bank’s website regarding this student loan, you will know that they pride themselves on offering a better deal than the Federal Direct PLUS Loan. Citizens Bank claims their loan helps save parents an average of $637 in fees. The government charges a 4.29% origination fee while Citizens Bank doesn’t charge one at all.
In addition, when all interest rate reduction benefits are applied, Citizens Bank offers only fixed interest rates between 6.64% and 7.24%. The Federal Direct PLUS Loan has an interest rate of 6.84%. While this may not seem like much, when you are dealing with tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, it quickly adds up. Finally, the government requires parents to start making payments towards the loan immediately while Citizens Bank allows parents to make interest-only payments.
Am I Eligible for Citizens Bank Student Loans?
Like all other private student loans, Citizens Bank determines the borrower’s eligibility based on his or her credit score and the credit score of the cosigner, if applicable. The better the applicant’s credit history, the more trustworthy they are seen as, and the better interest rate they will be offered. Though Citizens Bank doesn’t declare a minimum credit score that they require, typically private lenders require a minimum FICO credit score of 660.
If parents aren’t approved for a Citizens Bank Student Loan for Parents loan, they are encouraged to apply their child for a Citizens Bank Student Loan with themselves as cosigners. This loan has less strict requirements and may still be a smart option for parents looking to support their child’s higher education.
To apply for one of the above loans, simply visit the student loans section of Citizens Bank’s website. The application is quick and easy and can be done completely online. The following information is needed for the application:
- Name and contact information
- Date of birth
- Social Security Number
- Name a cost of school to be attended
- Any financial aid already received
- Pay stub from the last 60 days or another proof of income
You can apply for a Citizens Bank private student loan on the company’s website, but it’s important to shop around first to find the lender that will offer you the lowest rate. Use our private student loan comparison tool to get rate estimates from Citizens Bank and other lenders all in one place.
Citizens Bank Student Loan Refinance
Citizens Bank has been able to set themselves apart from other lenders by offering student loan refinancing in the form of their Education Refinance Loan. By refinancing your student loans, you may be able to secure a lower monthly payment, a lower interest rate, a shorter term, and the chance to switch to a fixed interest rate.
Citizens Bank offers variable interest rates ranging from 2.78% to 8.03% and fixed interest rates from 3.74% to 8.24%.
Citizens Bank offers repayment terms of 5, 10, 15, and 20 years.
Those who have already graduated college, have a solid track record of paying student loans on time, and have a proof of income are eligible for Citizens Bank refinancing.
Though you may save thousands through refinancing, it is important to consider what you may be giving up. If you refinance your student loans with a private lender, you are also forfeiting your eligibility for certain federal programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Income-driven repayment plans. Many people will never be eligible for these benefits, however, so it is important to do your research before you write off refinancing.
You must have at least $5,000 in student debt to be eligible for refinancing with Citizens Bank. The maximum amount you can have to refinance is $90,000 if you have an undergraduate degree, $225,000 if you have a graduate or doctoral degree, and $300,000 if you have a medical, dental, or law degree.
You can apply for a Citizens Bank refinance loan on the company’s website or use our student loan refinance comparison tool to see what interest rate and repayment term you’re likely to receive from Citizens Bank and other lenders, all without affecting your credit score. Click the button below to begin comparing your personalized refinance options.
Citizens Bank has emerged as a leader in the private student loan industry. They offer a variety of options for students, such as student loans, refinancing, and have even gone as far as to offer a loan specifically for parents. In addition to their products, Citizens Bank truly has their customers’ best interests in mind. On the Student Services section of their website, they offer many resources such as a Education Refinance Loan Calculator, a College Savings Goal Calculator, and a Student Loan Calendar. Finally, Citizens Bank offers unparalleled 24/7 customer support and are ready to answer your questions at any time.
Citizens Bank student loans are a great option to consider, but make sure to compare your options.
*see important Citizens Bank Private Student Loan Disclosures
*see important Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Disclosures
NoneCitizen's Bank Refinance Student Loan
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