Citizens Bank Student Loan Reviews

Feeling relieved of finally getting a student loan from the Citizen Bank? Know more about the features, benefits, drawbacks of borrowing from the firm. Happy reading.

Updated by Theres Ann on 17th December 2020

Citizens Financial Company became a full dependant publicly-traded company, just after it initiated and completed the largest Initial Public Offering in US history. The bank now aspires to become a top-performing regional bank. The bank was built on the principle that we succeed only when our customers succeed. Citizens Bank student loans are one of the oldest financial service firms in the United States. The history of it can be dated back to 1828, with the High Street Bank.

The Citizens Savings Bank was also established in 1871. By 1981, the firm had grown up to 29 branches in the Rhodes Island, with almost $1.0 Billion of assets. The Citizens group became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the RBS Group, in 1988.

After the acquisition by the RBS group, the Citizens group grew largely through a series of bank acquisitions. This helped in increasing the expanse of the branches throughout New England, Mid Atlantic, and the Midwest. The group aims at serving the customers and communities.

Table of contents

Citizens Bank Student Loan Reviews

Why do Citizens Bank Student Loans stand-out?

Citizens Bank tends to offer the best financial solution at the most affordable prices. They also promote stability as well as hassle-free financial solutions. The bank offers private student loans for graduates, undergraduates, and parents. Debt financing is offered for the loans to make it more affordable.

For student loans, over $1,50,000 is offered by the lender, combined with the federal financial aid and offers 0.50% off for borrowers, who have qualifying Citizens Bank account and have signed up for automatic payments. You can also qualify for an automatic payment discount even though the account may not be available.

If you have a cosigner or enough credit history to qualify for the loan with reasonable rates, then Citizen Bank can be the best choice that you can make. However, to qualify for a refinance loan, you need to hold a degree from a federally accredited institution. Before refinancing, you must have made 12 full on-time payments on loans.

Some Pros and Cons are mentioned below : 

Pros Cons
Co-signer and loyalty discount offers are available No in-school repayment option or pre-qualification available
Bar and residency loans available Loan transaction process is not performed online
Can refinance parent PLUS loans  36-month mandatory repayment plan 

While most lenders provide service online, Cizitens bank work with paperwork and documentation. 

Citizen Bank Loan Programs

Private student loans are a great option to consider as they are available in abundance, with several private student loans to choose from. The loan programs offered by the Citizen Bank are given below.

Undergraduate Student Loan

Private Student Loans such as Undergraduate student loans are offered to students in an eligible institution. To receive approval from the bank, the borrowers must provide information about income, employer, name of the school that you attend, and the total cost of attendance based on the school’s award letter. Immediate, Interest-only, or Deferred monthly payments can be made by the borrower.

The name, address, and contact information of the borrower is listed on the application. Applications are then submitted online. Because of the need for good credit and a credit check, Private loans vary from federal loans. 5, 10 or 15 year repayment periods are granted and the interest rates of the loans are either variable or fixed. The variable rates of loans range from 4.45% to 12.32% Annual Percentage Rate. The fixed loan rates vary from 5.25% to 12.09% Annual Percentage Rates.

Features of the undergraduate student loan program are given below.

  • Private Student Loans of up to $1,00,000 are granted. Any federal loans that you may be eligible to receive are not provided.

  • You can borrow up to $1,50,000 including federal loans over your entire undergraduate career.

  • You must be enrolled in school at least half a time to be eligible.

  • To apply on your own, you’ll have reached a majority in your state.

  • Even after being of majority age, you don’t need to have a credit or good credit. You can just have a co-signer on your loan.

  • Borrowers are allowed to make interest-only payments, even while they are still in school.

  • You’ll have the option to defer the payments.

  • You can also let the interest accrue until you graduate.

Graduate Student Loans

To qualify for graduate student loans, the graduate student must be enrolled in an eligible institution, to qualify. Proof of income, strong credit history, score, and the total cost of attendance with the school have to be verified. Moreover, the borrower has to be a US citizen, who can qualify based on credit and income. If in case, the borrower does not qualify based on credit and income, a cosigner would have to be added to the application.

The loan amount depends on the type of graduate program in which a student is enrolled. However, healthcare students can receive a maximum of $3,50,000 and law or MBA students can receive a maximum of $2,25,000.

Features of graduate student loan programs are as given below.

  • If you decide on higher education after you graduate, private loans for Graduate students are offered by the Citizens Bank.

  • You can even defer the loan up to 8 years if you are still in school. Interest will accrue just like the undergrad loan. But you needn’t make any payments if you are unable to.

  • A total of $1,10,000 can be borrowed for graduate school from the Citizens Bank during a lifetime.

  • An additional amount of $40,000 can also be borrowed with federal loans and a total of $1,50,000 is offered for graduate school.

  • For the students into management studies or law, an amount of $1,80,000 can be obtained from the Citizens Bank and $45,000 can be obtained from Federal Loans.

  • Students in medical school can borrow money ranging from $1,50,000 to $2,95,000. Almost $1,80,000 to $3,50,000 can be received from the federal government.

Parent Loan

Candidates applying for Parent PLUS Loans under Citizen should be a US Citizen or a Permanent Resident. Moreover, the student for whom the loan is applied should be enrolled at least half the time in an eligible institution. Borrowers should have favorable credit history and as well as verifiable income.

The variable interest rates range from 5.43% to 8.75% Annual Percentage Rates. The range of fixed interest rate is from 5.74% to 8.56% Annual Percentage Rates. Qualified borrowers receive a 0.50% interest rate.

Features of the parent loan are given below.

  • If you are a parent finding no means to pay your child’s tuition, then Citizens Bank has come with solutions to pay off your loans. The firm aims to offer a lower rate for parents than they would receive from the Federal Direct PLUS Plan.

  • Citizens Bank grants offer for automatic payments and the discounts offered for these payments are taken into consideration.

  • Funds for these types of loans are disbursed directly to parents and not to the schools.

  • Parents can choose to make interest-only payments in the beginning and can then wait for payments once your child is out of school.

Application Process

Application to a student loan or student loan refinancing is easy. The application can be directly made at the website, with just a little information to be entered. To apply for Citizens Bank Students Loan, the first is to create an account with a username and password. Name, Social Security Number, Date of Birth, and Email are should be entered. Apart from the name, address, date of birth, and social security number, you’ll also need to provide information about:

  • The cost and other details of the school that you have attended or plan to attend.

  • Your graduation date to help in refinancing

  • Details about your financial aid

  • Income proof of the two previous months (If you are earning)

  • The latest pay stub.

  • The amount paid per month for housing.

  • Information about the school

  • Information about the employer

  • Cost of attendance

  • Prospective graduation date

  • Desired Loan Amount

  • Personal Loan reference

  • Apply for cosigner information, if it is applicable

Application and loan are handled online. You can log into your portal and then find everything that you need on your dashboard.

Eligibility Requirements

There are a few requirements to get approval for a Citizens Bank Student Loan.

  • The borrower should be a US Citizen or a permanent resident.

  • He/she should be enrolled in a qualifying school for at least half time.

  • They should either apply with a cosigner or have certain credit requirements.

  • The borrower should be 18 years of age or older.

The Citizens Bank customer service team can be approached 24/7.

Refinancing and loan repayment plans

Features of refinancing a student loan are as given below.

  • Student loan refinancing is also one of the options chosen by the Citizens Bank to get through School.

  • Lower interest rates, flexible terms, and student loan consolidation options are promoted to increase the popularity of student loan refinancing.

  • You’ll need to be out of college to qualify for the program. You’ll have to prove your income and also have a solid repayment history on your student loans.

The amount of student debt to be refinanced is $5,000. Refinancing can grow up to $90,000 if you are an undergrad. If you already have a graduate degree, then the amount can go up to $2,25,000. 

Loan Repayment Plans

Citizens Bank offers three different plans and these are a really good option for those who are looking for multiple repayment options. These three plans are - in-school, deferred, and interest-only repayment. Many lenders offer only two, in-school, and deferred repayment plans which help students to pay the principal and interest all at once.

1- In-School Repayment Option- Borrowers who want to save the money during repayment can consider it as a good option. In this, you can start making full principal and interest payments while going through school as soon as your loan is disbursed, it seems the easy and cheapest option but the difficult one as you would need enough funds to pay off the loan while attending school.

2- Interest-Only Repayment Option- Start to repay interest until six months after school if you are unable to afford student loan payments on both your principal and interest but can put some money toward paying off the loan. This is one a helping option for the students and is not offered by many lenders. Those students who choose interest-only repayments will leave school with zero to little interest, meaning smaller monthly payments upon graduation.

3-Deferred-Repayment Option- One of the common options choose for the repayment after graduating, leaving school, or dropping below half-time status. Citizen Bank allows a six months grace period before payments are due, giving the borrower a period for finding a job and repayment period. While being the most common option one concern is being the most expensive option for borrowers due to the interest that accrues, which is applied to the total loan balance while attending school.

Deferment and Forbearance

Citizens Bank allows undergraduate and graduates borrowers a grace period of six months after leaving school while if a student enrolled in a graduate or professional program, he/she can defer payments for up to eight years while still enrolled in school but don’t forget interest will still accrue during these periods.

Student loan borrowers are offered industry-standard deferment options and forbearance in certain situations and if you meet the eligibility of the option you can enjoy the benefits. If the borrower meets the eligibility requirements for forbearance, Citizens Bank offers up to 12 months in total, allow to postpone payments in two-month increments but a borrower can be eligible for forbearance for reasons such as financial hardship or public service. 

Parent borrowers do not qualify for deferred-repayment and must choose between immediate or interest-only repayments while the student is in school if a student or their parents still face difficulty they can check on Citizen Bank for alternative options. 

Reasons behind the popularity of Citizens Bank Student Loans

Several reasons made of Citizens Bank Student Loans popular. The reasons are given below.

1) A minimum amount of fees 

As there is no application or processing fee Citizens bank makes it easy for the student to apply. If the loan is taken, the origination fee is not paid. This can help to lower the cost of the loan.

2) Lack of pre-payment penalty 

You are free to pay the loan that you want, provided you meet the minimum required payments. If an extra payment has to be made at any time, then you can even do that. This helps to reduce your interest payments.

3) Multi-year Approval

Have you ever thought of receiving an approval for undergraduate or graduate career at once? This multi-year approval helps in creating less hassle when you apply for new loans and the funds that you need can also be received.

4) Flexible Payment Options

Flexible payment options are granted for 5, 10, or 15-year terms. Though 15-year has the lowest monthly payments, the total to be paid throughout the life of the loan is higher in this case.

5) Direct disbursement to your school

The money is sent directly to your school of choice. Hence some pressure is taken off your tuition, books, and room/ board. The risk of borrowing is also eliminated.

6) Reduction in interest rates 

Interest rate deductions can be secured in case if you have a qualifying Citizens Bank account or if an automatic payment is a set-up. In both cases, a 0.25% discount is granted.

7) Refinancing ability to those who don’t graduate 

Most lenders do not allow a refinancing option if you have dropped out of school. However, Citizens Bank allows you to refinance your loan, even if you didn’t finish school. It is necessary to prove that you make at least 12 on-time monthly payments towards your debt before you apply.

How did Citizens Bank become a standalone US Regional Bank?

Several steps taken by the Citizens Bank to reposition and strengthen their business profile include the transformation of business, maintaining a low-cost and more stable demand, optimization of geographic footprint, refinement of service delivery model, increase in infrastructure investment, and more.

For financially stable borrowers, refinancing is a great choice. This is particularly useful also for those who borrowers who didn’t graduate or are non-US citizens. As many other lenders provide, Citizens do not offer, a safety net for struggling borrowers beyond the 12 months of standard forbearance.

A few of the characteristics of the Citizens bank student loans are as given below.

  • Even borrowers without a degree can refinance. They needn’t have graduated from university.

  • A soft credit check helps in personalized rate estimates.

  • After 36 months of on-time payments, the co-signer is released.

Score Generation

Ways in which scores are generated for Citizen One Student Loan Financing is as given below.

Lenders can score high and make extra payments if they form varied term lengths and extra payments are made easily. If fees and the interest rates are limited even then the lenders score high. Transparencies of underwriting criteria along with personalization of rate estimates before application are also essential in scoring a high credit score.

For both criteria including faster payment, requirement disclosing, and cost limiting Citizens one score only really less. With service to the range of borrowers, lenders score high if they cater to the needs of customers in varying locations, different financial situations, and varying citizenship statuses.

Citizens One scores an above-average rate in this case of service to borrowers. Only below-average payment flexibility is offered by Citizens Pay for offering longer than 12 month forbearance period, in both school and military deferment and other flexible policies that help borrowers during tough times.

Interest rates and repayment periods 

Fixed interest rates range from 3.89% to 9.99% and variable interest rates range from 3% to 9.74%. Loan terms can vary from 5, 10, 15, or 20 years. Even the loan amounts can range from $10,000 to $3,50,000.

Almost after 36 months of on-time principal interests and payments, co-signer release will be available. Moreover, a parent loan can be transferred to the child.

The bank also offers soft credit to check and qualify what rate you’ll get. No application or origination fee is granted. A prepayment penalty is also not available. 5% of the amount to be paid is collected as late fees. The actual rate depends on the co-signer's credit history and the financial situation.

Privacy and Disclosure Policy

A minimum credit score is not disclosed, the minimum income is not disclosed. Typical credit scores of borrowers or approvers are 690 or higher. The income of approved borrowers is not disclosed. The maximum debt to income ratio is also not disclosed.

Qualification for the bankruptcy filing is also not disclosed. Eligible non-citizen qualifies with a US Citizen or permanent resident co-signer. Borrowers from all 50 US States can avail of the assistance of Citizens One loan services.

The citizens shouldn’t have graduated. It is not necessary that the student should have attended a Title IV accredited school. The percentage of borrowers without a cosigner is also not disclosed.

Repayment options 

Popular repayment options include academic deferment, military deferment, and forbearance. If you return to school at least half-time then academic deferment can be chosen. For military deferments, you can postpone your payments if you are on active military duty.

Payments can be postponed up to 12 months, in 2-month increments if economic hardship is experienced. Loans are also discharges in the case of disability or death of the borrower. Greater than minimum payments via autopay are also allowed. However, Biweekly payments via autopay are not allowed.

Loan Servicer

Loan Servicer for citizens bank servicing is Firstmark Servicer. There is also the presence of an in-house service team. The process for escalating concerns also exist. Borrowers don’t get a dedicated banker, adviser, or representative.

If in case the borrowers have a Citizens Bank account at the time of application, they get a 0.25% interest rate discount. The Citizens bank centers are present in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Lowest rates and the best fees in the industry are offered by the Citizens Bank.

The bank offers simple solutions at affordable prices. The bank also provides a reputation to promote stability and hassle-free financing options. Private student loans are offered for undergraduates, graduates, and parents. Student loan debt refinancing options are available to make your loans more affordable.

Comparing Citizens Loan with Discover, Wells Fargo, Suntrust, and SOFI

The comparisons results of Citizen Loans with other popular lenders are given below.

Comparison of Citizen Loans with Discover

  • Variable Annual Percentage Rate for Citizens Bank Student Loans varies between 2.63% to 7.98% whereas, for Discover Student Loans, the variable APR ranges between 4.12% to 7.37%.

  • THE fixed APR for Citizens Student Loans ranges between 3.20%-8.34% and for Discover Student Loans the fixed APR ranges between 5.24% to 8.24%.

  • The minimum amount granted by Citizens Bank Student Loan is $10,000 and Discover Student Loans is $5,000.

  • The maximum amount granted is $3,50,000 and for discover student loans, the subject is a credit to approval.

  • The loan term is 5 to 20 years for Citizens Bank Student Loans and Discover Student Loans, it is 10 or 20 years.

  • All states are eligible to receive the benefits by both Citizens Bank Student Loan and Discover Student Loan.

  • Degree requirements mean that you need to make 12 on-time payments to be eligible and a bachelor’s or higher is required for Discover Student Loans.

  • Income requirements equate to $24,000 for Citizens Bank Student Loans and no income requirements are essential for Discover Student Loans.

  • The borrower must be employed or employed before the first payment due date for Citizen Bank Student Loans. The employers must have verifiable employment.

  • Interest-only payments aren’t granted by both the companies.

  • No origination fee is collected by both the banks.

  • None of the banks collect any prepayment penalty

  • Citizens Bank offers more favorable payment flexibility than Discover Loans.

Comparison of Citizen Loans with SOFI

  • For Citizen Bank Student Loan a variable APR range between 2.63% to 7.98% is granted. For SOFI Student Loans, the variable APR ranges between 2.5% to 7.115%.

  • The Fixed APR ranges between 3.20% to 8.34% and the fixed APR for SOFI Student Loans range between 3.89% to 8.07%.

  • The minimum amount is $10,000 for Citizens Bank Student Loans and for Discover Bank Student Loans the minimum amount is $5,000.

  • The maximum amount granted for Citizens Bank Student Loan is $3,50,000 and for SOFI student loans, there is no maximum.

  • The loan term is 5 to 20 years for Citizens Bank Student Loan and for SOFI Student Loan it is 5 to 20 years.

  • All states are eligible to receive the services of both Citizens Bank Student Loan and the SOFI Student Loans.

  • Interest-only payments are not available for Citizens Bank Student Loans and SOFI Student Loans.

  • The origination fee of both the loan providers is none.

Comparison of Citizens Loans with Wells Fargo and SunTrust

Wells Fargo and Citizens Bank are similar in their offerings. However Wells Fargo doesn’t charge upfront fees, but it advertises low-interest rates. These included discounts may or may not be eligible to receive.

SunTrust is another possible option wherein you can choose between 7, 10, or 15-year terms, interest rate discounts, and the ability to release a cosigner after 36 months. Interest payment in partial amounts is a popular option from the SunTrust. This helps you to stay ahead of your payments.

  • No pre-payment penalty is applied by both Citizens Bank Student Loans and SOFI Student Loans

  • Soft Credit Check is offered by both Citizens Bank as well as SOSI Student Loans. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1.Is there a Citizen Bank loan my parents can take out for my education?

    The Bank offers the Citizens Bank Student Loan for Parents, which enables parents to borrow a private student loan to cover the cost of college without adding the burden of debt to the student. With no origination fee, this could be a better alternative to the Federal PLUS Loan for qualified applicants.

  • 2.Are international students eligible to borrow the loan?

    The Citizens Bank Student Loan allows international students to apply as long as they have a creditworthy co‑signer who is a US citizen or a permanent resident. International students must apply via online application.

  • 3.Can I borrow loans to study in a foreign country?

    Depending on the school you are planning to attend, you may be eligible to apply for a Federal Student Loan. Many foreign schools participate in both the Federal Direct Loan program and the Federal Direct PLUS Loan programs. At this time our Citizens Bank Student Loan is only available to students who need funds for a US school study abroad program.