Citizens Bank Student Loans Review
Through Citizens Bank, undergraduate and graduate students and their parents have options for borrowing to help finance education needs. The lender also offers refinancing options for qualified borrowers and perks like a loyalty discount for bank account holders.
Citizens Bank provides a variety of financial products including bank accounts, credit cards, personal loans, student loans and more.
In terms of student loans specifically, Citizens Bank offers private loans for undergraduates, graduate students, and parents of students, as well as refinance loans, with a variety of term lengths, interest rates, and repayment plans.
This review takes a look at each of these options and goes over the pros and cons of each.
In this review:
- New Student Loans for College
- Student Loan Refinancing
- Alternatives to Consider
Citizens Bank Student Loans Overview
What we like:
Up to 8 Years of deferment while in school
|Fixed APR||5.25% – 12.09%|
|Variable APR||4.45% – 12.32%|
|Loan Terms||5, 10, or 15 years|
|Loan Amounts||Up to $90,000 for undergraduate student loans and up to $295,000 for graduate student loans|
As mentioned, Citizens Bank offers loan solutions for nearly all types of students and parents.
Citizens Bank’s approval process is often as short as two business days, provided all the information submitted with an application is verifiable. The application process is simple through the bank’s online platform and funding can be sent directly to the school where the student is earning his or her degree.
Below are in-depth details about each of the private student loan offerings from Citizens Bank.
Private Student Loans for Undergraduates
In order to be eligible, borrowers must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and be at least 18 years old. For students currently in school, Citizens Bank also requires that borrowers be enrolled at least half-time at an eligible institution.
There are also minimum credit requirements that borrowers must meet or they can opt to add a qualified cosigner to their application. International students may also apply so long as they have a U.S. citizen or permanent resident apply as a cosigner.
Citizens Bank offers term lengths of 5, 10, and 15 years. The longer your repayment term, the lower your monthly payment will be but you will typically end up paying more over the life of the loan because more interest will accrue.
Borrowers have the option of choosing either a variable or fixed interest rate. Variable rates range from 4.45% up to 12.32% APR and fixed rates range from 5.25% to 12.09% APR.
In-School Repayment Options
Borrowers can opt for immediate repayment, interest-only repayment, or a deferred monthly payment option.
Interest Rate Discounts
Citizens Bank offers an automatic payment discount of 0.25% and another 0.25% discount for those who have a Citizens Bank account.
Private Student Loan for Graduate Students
In order to qualify for private graduate student loans from Citizens Bank, students must be enrolled at an eligible institution and they may need to have proof of income, a strong credit history, and be able to verify the total cost of attendance with the school.
Like undergraduate loans, graduate student loans from Citizens Bank require borrowers to be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and if they cannot qualify based on credit and income, a cosigner may be added to an application.
Graduate students can choose a term length of 5, 10, or 15 years.
Loans have either fixed or variable interest rates, with fixed rates ranging from 5.74% to 11.65% APR and variable rates from 4.45% up to 11.82% APR.
For graduate loans from the bank, borrowers can elect immediate repayment, interest-only repayment, or deferred repayment while in school.
The maximum loan amount depends on the type of graduate degree program a student is enrolled in.
Graduate students are eligible for up to $150,000, law and MBA students are eligible for up to $225,000, and healthcare profession students are eligible for up to $180,000 or $350,000 depending on the degree.
Citizens Bank offers the same discounts as undergraduate loans including 0.25% for setting up automatic payments and 0.25% for having a Citizen Bank bank account.
Private Student Loan for Parents
Citizens Bank also offers private student loans for parents. Individuals applying for a parent student loan with the bank must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and have a student enrolled at least half-time at an eligible institution. Borrowers must have strong credit to qualify, as well as verifiable income.
Parents applying for a student loan must also provide the student’s total cost of attendance based on the school’s award letter, his or her anticipated graduation date, and the loan period and amount requested. Applications for parent student loans are also submitted online.
Parent borrowers may take out from $1,000 to $350,000 with Citizens Bank based on their credit history and income. This is far higher than many other parent student loans offered by private institutions.
Repayment options are limited to 5 or 10 year terms, and parents can choose between immediate monthly repayment or interest-only repayment while the student is in school.
Variable interest rates range from 5.74% to 8.56% APR, while fixed interest rates range from the lowest rates of 5.43% to 8.75% APR.
Qualified borrowers may receive a 0.25% interest rate discount for making automatic payments and another 0.25% for having a Citizen Bank bank account. Multi-year approval is also an option for parent private student loans.
Citizens Bank Student Loan Refinancing
What we like:
No degree required to refinance
|Fixed APR||3.89% – 9.99%|
|Variable APR||2.98% – 9.72%|
|Loan Terms||5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years|
|Loan Amounts||$10,000 to $500,000|
Citizens Bank Student Loan Refinancing
Citizens Bank provides private student loan refinancing to undergraduate and graduate students once they have left school. With a refinanced loan through Citizens Bank, borrowers must have graduated from an eligible institution and not be in default on their current student loans.
Undergraduate and graduate students must have strong credit to qualify, as well as verifiable income. If this is not the case, a cosigner may be added to the loan application to strengthen the chance for approval.
Applications can be completed easily and quickly completely online.
Cosigner release is available after 36 consecutive, on-time payments are made on a refinanced loan through Citizens Bank.
Borrowers who refinance their federal or private student loans with Citizens Bank can select a repayment term of 5, 10, 15, or 20 years and repayment begins immediately.
Variable interest rates for a refinanced loan range from 2.98% up to 9.72% APR, while fixed interest rates range from 3.89% up to 9.99% APR.
A minimum of $10,000 in student debt is required to refinance with Citizens Bank and the maximum depends on the type of degree earned and total outstanding student loan debt to be refinanced under the new loan.
Citizens Bank offers interest rate discounts of 0.25% for setting up automatic payments and 0.25% for having a Citizen Bank bank account.
Student Loan Refinancing for Parents
Parents who took out a student loan, either federal or private, have an option to refinance with Citizens Bank as well.
A parent refinance student loan is available to U.S. citizens who have a student either currently enrolled in or graduated from an eligible institution. Parents may qualify if they have a strong credit history and verifiable income.
Parents who refinance a parent student loan with Citizens Bank must start repayment immediately but can select a repayment term of 5, 10, 15, or 20 years.
Variable rates range from 2.98% to 7.45% APR and fixed rates range from 3.89% to 7.71% APR.
Parents may receive a 0.25% interest rate discounts for signing up for autopay and another 0.25% for having a Citizen Bank bank account.
Alternatives to Citizens Bank
Although Citizens Bank offers a variety of undergraduate, graduate, parent, and refinanced student loans, it is important for borrowers to shop around before making a final decision.
There are other lenders that offer private student loans with comparable or, in some cases, lower interest rates and more flexible repayment terms.
Citizens Bank has one of the most comprehensive private student loan programs available to nearly all types of students and their parents.
Interest rates and repayment terms, and rate reduction options are competitive, and borrowers have options to add a cosigner if their credit history or income is not high enough to qualify on their own.
Citizens Bank is a smart place to begin the search for private student loans as an undergrad, graduate, or graduated student or parent of a student, but it is crucial to get multiple quotes from other lenders to ensure your loan is affordable.
*see important Citizens Bank Private Student Loan Disclosures
*see important Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Disclosures
Author: Melissa Horton
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