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

Published On January 8, 2024

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Citizens Bank offers student loans to help students pay for their education. These loans can be used to cover tuition, books, housing, and other college expenses. There are three types of student loans available: undergraduate loans, graduate loans, and parent loans.

Borrowers have the option of fixed or variable interest rates, which are both competitive. The application process is simple, and borrowers can apply online.

Repayment options are flexible, allowing students to pay in full while still in school or defer payments until after graduation.

Citizens Bank also provides loan refinancing options for those looking to lower their interest rates or monthly payments. They provide useful resources and tools to help borrowers manage their loans effectively.

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
  • Multi-Year Approval
  • Interest Rate Discounts
  • Co-Signer Release
  • Accessibility for International Students

Various Loan Options: 

Citizens Bank offers various student loans for different education levels, such as undergraduates, graduates, and professional programs like law school.

They also have loans for parents supporting their children’s education. Additionally, they provide student loan refinancing, which doesn’t require 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 help students afford education costs, Citizens Bank offers interest rate discounts. By enrolling in autopay, borrowers can get a 0.25% rate reduction. Also, having a Citizens checking, savings, or loan account can earn 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.

Pros And Cons Of Citizens Bank Student Loans

ProsCons
Get lower interest rates by enrolling in autopay or being an existing customerBorrowing limits have a maximum cap
Apply once for multiyear approval to cover your entire college journeyLack of loan prequalification tool
Options for co-signer release
Refinance student loans even without completing a degree

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 sets limits on how much you can borrow over your lifetime. These limits vary based on the type of degree and program you’re in.

For instance, undergraduates and graduates have different limits than those in law, MBA, or healthcare programs. It’s important to keep these limits in mind when planning how to pay for your education.

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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.

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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Who Is This Loan Good For?

Citizens Bank is a wonderful option for students with good credit who require funding for multiple years of school. Students with multiyear approval can get grants year after year without having to reapply.

It’s useful since it saves time and effort. So, if you plan to stay in school for a while and have good credit, Citizens Bank could be a suitable fit for you.

Interest Rates and Terms

Citizens Bank gives two discounts to borrowers. You can get a 0.25 percent discount if you sign up for automatic payments. Also, if you have a qualifying Citizens Bank account, you can get another 0.25 percent discount.

These discounts can help you save money on your loan payments. So, if you choose Citizens Bank and take advantage of these discounts, you could pay less each month. It’s a good way to save some extra cash while paying for school or other expenses.

Conclusion:

Citizens Bank offers student loans with competitive rates and a multi-year approval program. They are open to international students with a U.S.-based co-signer. However, there’s no pre-qualification available. Overall, it’s a straightforward option for financing education, but make sure to understand the features and requirements before applying.

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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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