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Last update: January 23, 2024

3 minutes read

Citizens Bank: Private Student Loan Review

Explore our comprehensive Citizens Student Loans private student loan review, where we examine interest rates, repayment options, eligibility criteria, and additional benefits.

By Brian Flaherty, B.A. Economics

Edited by Rachel Lauren, B.A. in Business and Political Economy

Citizens Review Snapshot

Citizens logo
Check rate

VARIABLE APR

5.80% - 13.95%*

FIXED APR

4.43% - 12.57%*

Embarking on your higher education journey is a big decision, and finding the right student loan lender can be tough. But fear not! We’re here to guide you through Citizens Bank's Private Student Loans offering to help you determine if they are the right choice for you.

Our final verdict

Citizens Bank is a great choice for student loans, with competitive rates, flexible terms, and exceptional customer service. They offer a unique blend of financial solutions catering to undergraduate and graduate students, making them a go-to resource for anyone embarking on a journey into higher education.

    About Citizens

    Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a leader in the financial industry, has a reputation for excellence and reliability. As a major financial institution with assets of over $223.1 billion, Citizens is known for its dependability and excellence.

    Their student loans division, Citizens Student Loans, focuses on helping students at four-year, Title IV accredited colleges and universities. They offer loans up to $150,000, or the total cost of education, with both fixed and variable rates. This means students from various financial backgrounds can find the help they need for their education.

    A big plus of Citizens Student Loans is that they don't charge fees for origination, application, or disbursement, and you won't be penalized for early repayment.

    But Citizens isn't just about student loans. They also offer various banking services, including personal and commercial banking. With over 1,100 branches and 3,400 ATMs, they provide services like banking accounts, mortgages, auto loans, credit cards, business loans, and wealth management. For businesses, Citizens offers lending, treasury management, foreign exchange, and more.

    TuitionHero tip

    Remember to borrow wisely and always explore federal loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study options before taking out a private student loan. Our user-friendly platform lets you explore and compare college financing options personalized to your unique situation.

    Undergraduate loan details

    Citizens provides loans that range from $1,000 up to $150,000 (aggregate) for undergraduate students. They offer fixed rates from 4.43% to 12.57% or variable rates from 5.80% to 13.95% (including the autopay discount!).

    Borrowers can rest easy knowing that there are:

    • No application fees

    • No origination fees

    • No disbursement fees

    • No prepayment penalties

    Adding a cosigner to your loan, such as a friend or relative with strong credit, may also be an attractive option because you may likely get a lower rate and a higher chance of approval.

    Repayment options

    Citizens offers various hardship and other repayment options that provide borrowers with relief during times of financial stress. Some choices include deferring payments until after graduation, making interest-only payments while in school, or temporarily making partial payments.

    • Grace period: 6 months

    VARIABLE APR

    5.80% - 13.95%*

    FIXED APR

    4.43% - 12.57%*

    LOAN AMOUNT

    $1,000 - $150,000

    TERMS LENGTH

    5, 10, 15-year

    MIN CREDIT SCORE

    Not disclosed

    VARIABLE APR

    5.80% - 13.95%*

    FIXED APR

    4.43% - 12.57%*

    LOAN AMOUNT

    $1,000 - $150,000


    TERMS LENGTH

    5, 10, 15-year

    MIN CREDIT SCORE

    Not disclosed

    WHAT WE LIKE

    • Competitive interest rates

    • No application, origination, or late fees

    • No early payment penalty

    • Multi-year approval for funding future education years without reapplying

    • Provides a loyalty discount (existing account holder) and an auto-pay discount, adding up to a .50% savings

    WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

    • Co-signer release requires 36 consecutive on-time payments

    • Two-year schools, community colleges, and for-profit schools are not eligible

    • Autopay discount: Receive a 0.25% interest rate reduction on your Citizens student loans when you sign up for automatic payments.

    • Loyalty discount: You will be eligible for a 0.25% interest rate reduction on your loan if the you (or your cosigner) have a qualifying account in existence with Citizens at the time of submitting a completed application and authorizing Citizens to review your credit request for the loan.

    Eligibility

    Who can benefit from Citizens's loan options? Here are the core eligibility requirements for their private student loans:

    1. Age: You must be at least 18 years or the age of majority in your state of residence

    2. Class load: You must be enrolled in a degree-granting program at an approved school or institution for at least half time

    3. Location: All U.S. states are eligible if you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, but international students can apply with U.S. co-signer

    4. School attended: Students attending four-year, Title IV public or private institutions are eligible

    TuitionHero tip

    If you're not eligible, try applying with a cosigner! Adding a cosigner to your loan application may help you get a lower interest rate and increase your chances of being approved.

    Compare Citizens to other lenders

    Unsure if Citizens is the right lender for you? Take a moment to check out some of their biggest competitors to see which lender works best for you.

    Our top pick

    Citizens

    Citizens

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    5.80% - 13.95%*

    Fixed APR

    4.43% - 12.57%*

    Repayment Options
    • Grace period
    • Forbearance
    • Immediate repayment
    • In-school deferment
    Fees
    • No application fees
    • No prepayment penalties
    • No origination fees
    • No disbursement fees
    Discounts & Benefits
    Autopay discount: 0.25%
    Loyalty discount: 0.25%
    Loan Details
    Loan amount: $1,000 - $150,000
    Term lengths: 5, 10, 15-year

    Citizens

    Citizens

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    5.80% - 13.95%*

    Fixed APR

    4.43% - 12.57%*

    Repayment Options
    • Grace period
    • Forbearance
    • Immediate repayment
    • In-school deferment
    Fees
    • No application fees
    • No prepayment penalties
    • No origination fees
    • No disbursement fees
    Discounts & Benefits
    Autopay discount: 0.25%
    Loyalty discount: 0.25%
    Loan Details
    Loan amount: $1,000 - $150,000
    Term lengths: 5, 10, 15-year

    Citizens

    Citizens

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    5.80% - 13.95%*

    Fixed APR

    4.43% - 12.57%*

    Repayment Options
    • Grace period
    • Forbearance
    • Immediate repayment
    • In-school deferment
    Fees
    • No application fees
    • No prepayment penalties
    • No origination fees
    • No disbursement fees
    Discounts & Benefits
    Autopay discount: 0.25%
    Loyalty discount: 0.25%
    Loan Details
    Loan amount: $1,000 - $150,000
    Term lengths: 5, 10, 15-year

    College Ave

    College Ave

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    5.59% - 16.65%¹

    Fixed APR

    4.11% - 15.44%¹

    College Ave

    College Ave

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    5.59% - 16.65%¹

    Fixed APR

    4.11% - 15.44%¹

    College Ave

    College Ave

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    5.59% - 16.65%¹

    Fixed APR

    4.11% - 15.44%¹

    Sallie Mae

    Sallie Mae

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    6.37% - 16.70%¹

    Fixed APR

    4.50% - 15.49%¹

    Sallie Mae

    Sallie Mae

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    6.37% - 16.70%¹

    Fixed APR

    4.50% - 15.49%¹

    Sallie Mae

    Sallie Mae

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    6.37% - 16.70%¹

    Fixed APR

    4.50% - 15.49%¹

    Ready to get started?

    Compare student loan rates from all the top lenders with zero impact on your credit score.

    Customer service

    Customer support can be a make-or-break factor when evaluating a lender. Citizens Student Loans prides itself on its customer service.

    Citizens offers multiple ways to contact them.

    • Website: www.citizensbank.com/student-lending

    • Email: studentlending@citizensbank.com

    • Phone: 1-888-411-0266

    • Hours: Monday to Friday, 8am to 9pm; Saturday, 8:30am to 5pm; Sunday, 9am to 2pm EST

    Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

    Here are some of the most common questions we get asked about Citizens.

    International students are eligible for the Citizens Student Loan, provided they apply with a creditworthy co-signer who is either a US citizen or a permanent resident. International students must apply through the online application process.

    Yes, they offer the Citizens Student Loan™ for Parents, enabling parents to borrow a private student loan to cover the cost of their child's college education without adding debt to the student. This loan comes with no origination fee and may be a preferable option to the Federal Direct PLUS Loan for eligible applicants.

    No. Citizens Student Loans have no origination, application, or disbursement fees.

    The Citizens Student Loan™ is available to help cover school-certified indirect costs while enrolled. The maximum borrowing amount each year is determined by the individual school through loan certification.

    A reasonably strong credit history, as indicated by the credit score, is required. If a sufficient credit history is lacking, it is recommended to apply with a creditworthy co-signer.

    Final thoughts

    Citizens Bank offers a well-rounded private student loan package with competitive rates, flexible repayment terms, and solid customer service.

    Choosing the right student loan is critical for a bright educational future. At TuitionHero, we strive to provide comprehensive and unbiased reviews to help you confidently make that decision. Explore TuitionHero for more resources, and take a step closer to your academic dreams today.

    Sources


    Author

    Brian Flaherty avatar

    Brian is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he earned a B.A. in Economics. After graduation, Brian spent four years working working at a wealth management firm advising high-net-worth investors and institutions. During his time there, he passed the rigorous Series 65 exam and rose to a high-level strategy position.

    Editor

    Rachel Lauren avatar

    Rachel Lauren is the co-founder and COO of Debbie, a tech startup that offers an app to help people pay off their credit card debt for good through rewards and behavioral psychology. She was previously a venture capital investor at BDMI, as well as an equity research analyst at Credit Suisse.

    At TuitionHero, we're not just passionate about our work - we take immense pride in it. Our dedicated team of writers diligently follows strict editorial standards, ensuring that every piece of content we publish is accurate, current, and highly valuable. We don't just strive for quality; we aim for excellence.


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