Do you have a great handle on personal finance but no credit history to back it up? With Citizens Bank student loans, it’s possible to refinance your student loans to a more affordable interest rate.
Citizens Bank provides qualified borrowers with a unique student loan product at competitive interest rates. When it comes to private student loans, Citizens Bank is far and away the most innovative option.
What follows are the essentials for understanding Citizens Bank’s student loan refinancing options.
Citizens Bank Student Loans
Variable APR: 4.40% to 12.72%
Fixed Rates: 4.74% to 12.18%
Loan Amounts: $1,000 minimum
Citizens Bank, now shortened to Citizens, is among the largest commercial banks in the United States. The Providence, Rhode Island-based company has over 900 locations nationwide and provides student loans to students from coast to coast.
Students at all levels of education can benefit from Citizens Bank’s student loan services, as the bank originates both private and federal student loans and facilitates refinancing. Citizens are one of the only refinancing lenders that will work with borrowers who have left school without a degree.
No up-front costs are associated with a Citizens Loan, including application processing, underwriting, or funding.
Citizens Bank Undergraduate Student Loan Details
At Citizens Bank, undergraduates can only qualify for loans with fixed interest rates; loans with variable rates are not offered. U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and international students with qualified guarantors can apply for federal student loans.
Amounts and Conditions of Loans
Citizens Bank offers private student loans with terms between five and fifteen years.
There is a $150,000 cap on the loan amount, with a minimum of $1,000. The maximum allowed sum combines all of a student’s private and government loans.
Interest and other financing expenses
Students can get undergraduate loans from Citizens Bank with fixed interest rates between 4.74% and 12.18%. The range of the variable interest rate is 4.40%-12.72% currently.
There are no up-front or closing costs, but there are late payment penalties from the lending institution. Citizens Bank will assess a 5% late fee on the total payment amount if a payment is late.
Deferred: Deferred repayment allows borrowers to put off making payments on their student loans either while they are still in school or for up to six months after graduation. Interest starts piling up while you’re still in school, making the deferred repayment option the most expensive option.
Benefits and Features Worth Mentioning
Citizens Bank Refinance Loan Details
As a rule, refinancing companies will only consider applicants with a bachelor’s degree. However, Citizens Bank deviates from the norm. Even if you dropped out of school before receiving your bachelor’s degree, you might still be eligible for a student loan.
Refinancing is available to those with any level of education, including a high school diploma or GED, as long as they have been employed for at least 12 months after leaving school.
Citizens Refinancing Loans are available with either a variable or fixed interest rate, and the lender also provides refinancing for student and parent loans.
Loan Amounts and Conditions
The minimum outstanding loan balance required for refinancing is $10,000. If you have a graduate degree or higher, you can refinance up to $500,000. If you only have a bachelor’s degree, the maximum amount is $300,000.
Fees and Interest on Loans
The range of interest rates available to you is between 4.59% and 11.28% (fixed) and 3.99% and 11.07% (variable). The 5% late payment fee is in addition to the 0% application, origination, and disbursement fees.
Choices for Repayment
The repayment periods for borrowers refinancing their student loans can range from five to twenty years. After settling on a repayment period, your monthly payments will be distributed uniformly across that time frame.
Features and Benefits Worth Mentioning
The advantages of a refinancing loan from Citizens Bank are as follows:
Discount for continued patronage: Citizens Bank currently offers a 0.25% interest rate reduction to all existing customers with a checking, savings, or loan account.
Cashback on automatic payments: Borrowers can save 0.25 percentage points on their interest rate simply by setting up automatic payments.
How to Qualify for a Citizens Bank Student Loan
You must be a whole- or part-time student at an approved school to receive a Citizens Bank student loan. The United States Department of Education offers student loans to citizens, permanent residents, and international students with a co-signer who is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
Criteria for Eligibility
The minimum age for applying for citizenship is the one set by each state. Typically, this means that you must be at least 18 years old in the state where you reside.
Citizens Bank requires borrowers and co-borrowers to have an annual income of $12,000 to qualify for student loans. The lowest amount that can be refinanced is $24,000.
Citizens don’t specify a required minimum credit score but state that applicants should have “reasonably strong” credit. Most people who were accepted, however, had stellar credit. Citizens Bank reported that 88% of its education loans in 2020 went to borrowers with credit scores of 740 or higher. If your credit score is lower than 740, you may need a co-signer to get a loan.
A cosigner is acceptable on a private student loan or refinancing application at Citizens Bank. When a borrower has made 36 on-time payments, they are eligible to request that their co-signer be released from their loan.
How to Apply for a Citizens Bank Student Loan
However, Citizens Bank’s private student loan application process does not include a prequalification tool like those offered by other lenders. After submitting an application and undergoing a rigorous credit check, you will know if you are approved for a loan and at what interest rate you will be offered to finance.
The online application process only requires basic information about you and your institution. Proof of income (such as recent pay stubs), proof of housing costs (such as a current mortgage or rental payment statement), and expected date of graduation are also required. An immigration document may be requested from you if you are an international student or a DACA recipient.
Citizens will review your application and run a credit check once submitted. When approved for a Citizens’ loan, you will be allowed to choose from various loan terms. When you’ve decided on a loan, the next step is to sign a promissory note agreeing to the terms.
When you sign the contract and promissory note, Citizens Bank will wire the money to your college.
Pros & Cons
Available for a period of years: A new application for financial aid is typically required each year by student loan providers. After your first year of college, you can apply for Citizens One in advance for multiple years to come, saving you time and protecting your credit from unnecessary hard pulls. In order to make sure you still meet Citizens’ requirements, they will perform a soft credit inquiry once a year prior to releasing any additional funds.
Deals and discounts for Loyal Consumers: If you have a loan with Citizens Bank, you could get your interest rate lowered by 0.25%.
Co-signer releases are available: If a borrower makes their payments on time for 36 months in a row, their cosigner may request that they be released from their obligations.
Loans for law school and medical school residencies: Citizens One provides loans at rates lower than many personal loans for recent graduates who need money for expenses such as bar exam preparation or medical residency.
There is currently no way to prequalify: You must submit a complete application to learn if you qualify and the rates that would apply to you. For this reason, a thorough credit check will be performed, which may lower your score.
There is no simple installment plan available while enrolled in school: If you’re a current student who can’t afford interest-only payments but also doesn’t want to defer repayment entirely, you may be able to make a minimum monthly payment, often as low as $25. Citizens One prohibits this fairly typical choice.
Inadequate in terms of financial technology: The website’s interface is as dated as traditional bank branches (online chat is available, but it’s not intuitive to use). Citizens One, in contrast to many other lenders, still prefers to handle the vast majority of its customer service interactions over the phone or in person.
As of 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received more than 4,133 complaints about private student loan lenders. There were 28 comments relating to Citizens One.
There is a customer service number, 1-800-922-9999. You can call if you have any questions or concerns about your loan.
Is Citizens Bank A Worth Private Student Loan to Apply?
Citizens Bank might be a good choice if you need a private loan to finance your education. The program allows for approvals that span multiple academic years, meaning that students need only apply once to secure funding for their entire time at university. A lower interest rate may be available if you are already a customer of Citizens Bank.
However, there are limitations and requirements for borrowing at Citizens Bank. Furthermore, there is no prequalification tool to check rates and eligibility without impacting credit. As of September 30th, 2022, all balances and other account information are correct.
Citizens Bank is an excellent option if you’re looking to borrow money to cover college costs. Multi-year approval ensures you always have access to the funding you need to succeed academically without reapplying each year. The lender also provides attractive interest rate discounts and low overall rates. But there is a hard cap on total borrowing. Borrowers enrolled in expensive programs, such as an MBA or medical school, will likely reach the limit and need to find another lender to obtain funding to complete their degree.
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