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Insider’s experts choose the best products and services to help make smart decisions with your money (here’s how). In some cases, we receive a commission from our our partners, however, our opinions are our own. Terms apply to offers listed on this page.

Insider’s Featured Student Loan Companies

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APR

Variable: 2.49% – 13.85%, Fixed: 3.22% – 13.95%

Editor’s Rating

4.5/5

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APR

Variable: 3.37% – 13.72%, Fixed: 3.75% – 13.72%

Editor’s Rating

3.25/5

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APR

Variable: 3.04% – 11.55%, Fixed: 4.12% – 14.27%

Editor’s Rating

3.5/5

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Pros and cons of Citizens Bank student loans

Citizens Bank undergraduate student loans

Citizens Bank Undergraduate Student Loans


Fees

Undisclosed late fee


APR

Variable: 3.75% – 12.14% Fixed: 4.74% – 13.15%

Citizens Bank Citizens Bank Undergraduate Student Loans

Citizens Bank Undergraduate Student Loans


Fees

Undisclosed late fee


APR

Variable: 3.75% – 12.14% Fixed: 4.74% – 13.15%

On Citizens Bank’s website


APR

Variable: 3.75% – 12.14% Fixed: 4.74% – 13.15%


Fees

Undisclosed late fee

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Citizens Bank sets itself apart from other competitors by including a multi-year approval feature for its undergraduate student loans.

Multi-year approval allows borrowers to secure funding for multiple years of school without having to undergo a hard credit inquiry in future years. Borrowers will be presented with the overall amount they qualify to borrow for all of their school years combined. International students can’t take advantage of this perk. 

Citizens Bank graduate student loans

Citizens Bank Citizens Bank Graduate Student Loans

Citizens Bank Graduate Student Loans


Fees

Undisclosed late fee


APR

Fixed : 5.72% – 11.74% Variable: 4.25% – 10.74%

Citizens Bank Citizens Bank Graduate Student Loans

Citizens Bank Graduate Student Loans


Fees

Undisclosed late fee


APR

Fixed : 5.72% – 11.74% Variable: 4.25% – 10.74%

On Citizens Bank’s website


APR

Fixed : 5.72% – 11.74% Variable: 4.25% – 10.74%


Fees

Undisclosed late fee

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Citizens Bank‘s graduate student loans are similar to the undergraduate ones, though the graduate loans come with slightly higher interest rates. 

Citizens Bank student loan refinancing

Even Financial Citizens Bank Student Loan Refinancing

Citizens Bank Student Loan Refinancing


Fees

Late fee of 5% of the loan payment amount


APR

Variable: 3.99% – 11.07% APR, Fixed: 4.59% – 11.27% APR

Even Financial Citizens Bank Student Loan Refinancing

Citizens Bank Student Loan Refinancing


Fees

Late fee of 5% of the loan payment amount


APR

Variable: 3.99% – 11.07% APR, Fixed: 4.59% – 11.27% APR

On Even Financial’s website


APR

Variable: 3.99% – 11.07% APR, Fixed: 4.59% – 11.27% APR


Fees

Late fee of 5% of the loan payment amount

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Citizens Bank has a very high maximum refinance amount of up to $750,000. If you have a substantial amount of student loan debt, it may be easier to refinance here than with other lenders. However, it has a minimum refinance amount of $10,000, which is higher than with some other student loan companies. 

Citizens Bank is best for borrowers who want a brick-and-mortar lender (although you have the option to apply online). Many student loan companies are online-only, so you won’t have the advantage of being able to talk to a loan officer face-to-face like you do with Citizens. Additionally, borrowers who want to square away their financing for several years will like Citizens Bank multi-year approval option. 

How Citizens Bank student loans compare 

Citizens Bank and Sallie Mae both have five, 10, and 15-year repayment term lengths to choose from. On top of that, Ascent also offers seven, 12, and 20-year repayment lengths. 

Of these three lenders, only Citizens Bank offers student loan refinancing.

Each lender has a unique perk designed to entice borrowers to choose them. With Sallie Mae, you get four months of the study service Chegg for free. Chegg offers expert Q&A, and students can submit up to 20 questions per month. You may qualify for a 1% cash-back reward from Ascent that will be paid to you after graduation. Citizens Bank allows multi-year approval, which is detailed above.  

How Citizens Bank student loans work

Citizens Bank offers fixed-rate undergraduate and graduate loans, as well as bar study, medical residency, and parent loans. You won’t be able to get a variable-rate loan with the bank, unless you refinance.

Citizens Bank also has options to refinance federal, private, and parent loans. You might get a lower rate when you refinance, though you’ll lose key protections if you refinance a federal loan.

Undergraduate and graduate loans have five, 10, and 15-year repayment term lengths, while other other types of loans and refinancing options have either five or 10-year term lengths. 

US citizens or permanent residents are eligible for a student loan, and international students can apply with a creditworthy citizen or permanent resident cosigner. You’ll also need to be enrolled at least half-time in your program and have no previous student loan defaults.

You’re able to apply with a cosigner, which may reduce your interest rate and the overall cost of your loan. You’ll need a “reasonably strong credit history” to qualify for a Citizens Bank student loan, according to the company’s website.

Citizens Bank won’t charge origination fees, application fees, or prepayment penalties, but you may have to pay a late fee. You’re eligible for up to a 0.50% rate discount if you or your cosigner have a qualifying Citizens Bank account at the time you submit a complete application and you sign up for automatic payments.

You’re able to contact Citizens Bank‘s customer support by phone or by visiting a branch. 

Citizens Bank doesn’t allow you to prequalify for a student loan, meaning the lender will perform a hard credit inquiry before giving you your rates. A hard inquiry gives a lender a comprehensive view of your credit history, but it may hurt your credit score in the process.

What options do I have to repay my Citizens Bank student loans?

Citizens Bank offers three repayment options on your student loans: immediate, interest-only, and deferred. You may prefer one option over the other depending on your financial situation. 

Deferred payments will be more expensive than interest-only or immediate payments because interest will accrue while you’re in school and during your grace period.

This interest will then capitalize, which means it will be added onto your loan balance after periods of nonpayment, including forbearance, deferment, and after your grace period. This will up your overall loan principal, and you’ll then pay interest on that higher amount, increasing the total cost of your loan. 

Citizens Bank is a Better Business Bureau-accredited business and has an A+ rating from the BBB. The BBB, a non-profit organization focused on consumer protection and trust, measures its score by evaluating a company’s response to consumer complaints, truthfulness in advertising, and openness about business practices. 

The bank has been involved in a recent controversy. In 2020, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau filed a lawsuit against Citizens Bank, alleging the bank violated the Truth In Lending Act by improperly managing credit card disputes. If this controversy makes you uncomfortable, you may consider taking out your student loan from a different financial institution. 

Frequently asked questions

On its website, Citizens Bank says you need a “reasonably strong credit history” to get a loan from the lender. This isn’t a defined minimum, but you should expect to have your credit in good shape if you want to borrow from Citizens Bank. 

Getting a student loan from a bank is the same as from any other type of lender — first, you send in an application with all of your relevant financial and personal information. Then, the bank will review your situation and send you the loan terms it is offering you. If you choose to accept, the bank will fund your loan within a set time period and you will be locked into the repayment process. 

You (and your co-signer, if applicable) will have to provide personal information, such as your name, address, and social security number, as well as information about your income and employment. You’ll need to be prepared to carefully review the terms you’re offered, choose a repayment term while you’re in school, and then sign on the dotted line. 



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