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Citizens Bank Student Loans Review: Interest Rates & Process Guide!

Published On January 8, 2024

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With years of experience in researching the economy and finance sector, today I will provide the details of Citizens Bank Student Loans. When it comes to pursuing higher education, financing your studies is often a first concern.

Students and parents try to look for reliable options to fund school/college expenses. Citizen Bank is one such institution that offers a lots of student loan solutions.

Let’s discover the various areas of Citizen Bank student loans, including their features, eligibility criteria, rates and application process.

How Can You Apply for Citizens Bank Student Loan?

Applying for a Citizens Bank student loan is a straightforward process that can be completed entirely online. 

  • Begin by filling out the online loan application. You can fill the online application from your computer or mobile device.
  • To complete the application, you will need to provide personal information, details about the school you plan to attend, the cost of attendance, your anticipated graduation date, any financial aid you have received, and any co-signer information if applicable.
  • Once you have submitted your application, you will await the approval decision. Citizens Bank will review your application and credit history to determine your eligibility.
  • If you are approved, you will have the opportunity to select your loan’s interest rate type (fixed or variable), the loan term, and your preferred repayment plan.
  • After customizing your loan, you will electronically sign and accept the loan documents through the Citizens Bank platform. If you have a co-signer, they can also sign electronically.

Before you apply, make sure you have the following items available so you can easily complete your application:

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source: citizensbank.com

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What are the Key Features of Citizens Bank Student Loans?

Citizens Bank distinguishes itself in the competitive student loan landscape through several key features:

Various Loan Options: 

Citizens Bank provides an array of student loans catering to different educational needs. These options includes loans for undergraduates, graduates, professional programs like law school and medical residency, These options also includes loans for parents who want to support their children’s education.

Furthermore, Citizens Bank also offers student loan refinancing, which is not contingent on having a four-year degree.

Multi-Year Approval: 

One standout feature is the multi-year approval program. Unlike some lenders that require students to re-apply for loans each academic year, Citizens Bank streamlines the process.

With a single application, students can secure funding not just for the current year but also for subsequent academic years.

This simplifies the financial planning and application process, reducing the administrative burden.

Interest Rate Discounts: 

To make education financing more affordable, Citizens Bank provides borrowers with interest rate discounts. Students who opt for autopay can receive a 0.25% rate reduction.

Additionally, those who maintain an existing Citizens checking, savings, or loan account can enjoy an extra 0.25% loyalty discount.

Co-Signer Release: 

Citizens Bank also understands that some students may need a co-signer to secure their loans initially. However, after making 36 consecutive on-time payments, borrowers have the option to apply for a co-signer release.

This feature allows students to build their credit history and financial independence gradually.

Accessibility for International Students: 

International students who aspire to study in the United States can also benefit from Citizens Bank’s offerings. While being a U.S. citizen or permanent resident is typically a requirement, international students can apply for loans with the assistance of a creditworthy co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

This is an advantage for students from all around the world and pursuing education in the United States.

What are the Drawbacks of Citizens Bank student loan?

While Citizens Bank offers attractive loan options, it is crucial to be aware of some potential drawbacks:

No Pre-Qualification: 

Unlike some lenders who offer the convenience of pre-qualification, Citizens Bank doesn’t provide an online pre-qualification process for in-school loans.

You must submit a full application to determine the loan rates. This will affect your credit score also. Pre-qualification can be useful for borrowers who want to explore their options without a complex credit check.

Lifetime Borrowing Limits: 

Citizens Bank imposes lifetime borrowing limits, which means you cannot borrow an unlimited amount. The specific limits vary depending on the type of degree and program.

For example, undergraduate and graduate students have different limits than those pursuing law, MBA, or healthcare degrees. It is crucial to be mindful of these limits when planning your education financing strategy.

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What are the Eligibility Criteria for Citizens Bank Student Loan?

To be eligible for a Citizens Bank student loan, you need to meet certain criteria:

  • You must be enrolled at least half-time in an approved school or institution. This ensures that the loan is used for educational purposes only.
  • Citizens Bank primarily lends to U.S. citizens or permanent residents. However, international students can still access loans by applying with a creditworthy co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Having an established credit history and a good credit score can increase your chances of securing a loan without a co-signer. Alternatively, you can apply with a creditworthy co-signer who meets these criteria.
  • A clean credit history, particularly in relation to previous student loans, is typically a requirement. Prior student loan defaults can hinder your eligibility for new loans.
  • You should be the age of majority in your state, or you can have a co-signer who meets this requirement.

Citizens Bank Student Loan Refinancing

Typically, most lenders for refinancing student loans require applicants to have at least a bachelor’s degree. However, Citizens Bank is different. You can qualify for a loan with just an associate’s degree or even if you didn’t finish school.

If you have an associate’s degree or no degree, you can apply for refinancing after making 12 qualifying payments after leaving school.

Citizens Bank offers both variable and fixed interest rates for refinancing, and they also allow refinancing for parent loans.

Here are some key points to consider:

Loan Amounts and Terms:

  • To qualify for refinancing, you need at least $10,000 in student loans.
  • The maximum amount you can refinance is $300,000 for those with a bachelor’s degree or below, and $500,000 for graduate degrees.

Loan Costs and Fees:

  • Fixed interest rates range from 7.00% to 10.99%, and variable rates range from 7.30% to 12.44%.
  • There are no application, origination, or disbursement fees, but there is a 5% late fee.

Repayment Options:

  • If you’re refinancing your own loans, repayment terms can be between five to 20 years.
  • Your monthly payments will be evenly spread over the chosen repayment period.

Noteworthy Perks and Features:

  • Citizens Bank offers a loyalty discount: Existing customers with a Citizens checking, savings, or loan account get a 0.25% interest rate reduction.
  • There’s also an automatic payment discount: By signing up for automatic payments, borrowers get a 0.25% interest rate deduction.

Today’s Citizens Bank Student Loan Rates

Fixed RatesVariable Rates
4.43% – 12.56% APR5.81% – 13.95 APR

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Conclusion

In the end, Citizen Bank stands as a good companion for student loans, who provides a wide range of options with competitive interest rates. Their multi-year approval program makes it easy for students to secure funds throughout their academic journey without the hassle of reapplying each year. Moreover, they are open to working with international students, as long as there’s a U.S.-based co-signer. However, it’ is important to look into its potential drawbacks like the absence of pre-qualification. Apart from this, Citizens Bank student loans offer an easy and accessible way to finance your education. You just need to understand their features, eligibility criteria, and application process that can help you make an informed decision about your educational financing.

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FAQs for Citizens Bank Student Loan

No, Citizens Bank does not offer online pre-qualification for their in-school loans. Borrowers need to submit a full application to determine their loan rates, which may result in a credit check.

Yes, Citizens Bank has lifetime borrowing limits, which vary depending on the type of degree and program. It is important to be aware of these limits when planning your education financing strategy.

Borrowers can apply to release a co-signer from their loan after making 36 consecutive on-time payments, demonstrating their creditworthiness and financial responsibility.

Citizens Bank offers interest rate discounts. Borrowers can get a 0.25% rate reduction for enrolling in autopay, and an additional 0.25% loyalty discount if they have an existing Citizens checking, savings, or loan account.

Yes, international students can apply for Citizens Bank student loans, but they need a creditworthy co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to assist them in the application.

With Citizens Bank’s multi-year approval program, students can apply once and secure funding not just for the current year but also for subsequent academic years without the need to reapply. This simplifies the financial planning process.

Citizens Bank provides a range of student loans, including those for undergraduates, graduates, professional programs, and even loans for parents. They also offer student loan refinancing.

The maximum student loan amount is $150,000. Keep in mind that there are overall limits for the total amount of loans you can have throughout your education journey. The minimum limit is $1,000, while for undergraduate and graduate degrees, it’s set at $150,000.

To qualify, you need to be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident. If you’re an international student, you can still apply if you have a U.S. citizen or permanent resident cosigner with good credit. Additionally, the student must be enrolled at least half-time in a program that grants a degree at a school that meets our criteria.

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