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Citizens Bank Review
Citizens Bank is open to U.S. citizens and non-citizens alike, as well as people who haven’t graduated.
Citizens Bank Review
Citizens Bank is open to U.S. citizens and non-citizens alike, as well as people who haven’t graduated.
December 12, 2021 / Nadav Shemer
Citizens Bank Review
Citizens Bank is open to U.S. citizens and non-citizens alike, as well as people who haven’t graduated.
December 12, 2021 / Nadav Shemer
0.25% rate discount
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Intro

Citizens Bank (also known as Citizens), is a major American bank offering student loan refinancing and other financial products and services. It can refinance a combination of federal and private student loans as well as parent loans and medical school loans. It is open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and even non-citizens (with a cosigner), as well as people who haven’t graduated.

Pros

  • No need to have graduated to qualify
  • Non-U.S. citizens can apply with cosigner
  • Up to 0.50% rate discount

Cons

  • Minimum credit requirement not disclosed
  • You must have at least $10,000 in student loans to refinance

Citizens Bank at a Glance

Loan types: Refinance federal, private, medical school and parent loans

APRs: Variable rates start from 1.99%, fixed rates start from 2.44%

Repayment terms: 5-20 years

Refi amount: Maximum $300,000 for undergraduate degree, $500,000 for graduate degree, and $750,000 for professional degrees

Origination fees: No

Refinance Rates and Fees

Citizens offers variable-rate loans ranging from 1.99% - 7.58% APR and fixed-rate loans ranging from 2.44% - 7.83%. These advertised rates include a 0.50% rate discount consisting of a 0.25% autopay discount and 0.25% loyalty discount for having a qualifying bank account with Citizens at the time of application.

There are never any application, origination, prepayment or disbursement fees associated with a Citizens student loan refinance.

Repayment Options

Citizens lets you pick any repayment term between 5-20 years, with the most common terms being 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years. Its website shows examples of how different repayment terms affect your monthly payments and total pay back, based on different APRs.

Principal and interest payments begin within 21 to 50 days after your loans have refinanced (and Citizens will notify you in advance so you have time to prepare your first payment). If you qualify for a refinance loan for medical residents, then you’ll pay $100 per month during your program and begin paying full principal and interest six months after your residency completion date.

Discounts and Rewards

As mentioned, Citizens offers the opportunity to earn up to a 0.50% rate discount for:

  • Autopay – 0.25% rate discount
  • Loyalty – 0.25% rate discount. To qualify for this, you must have a bank account or loan with Citizens prior to applying for your student loan refinance. Note that checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT.

Application Process

Citizens accepts student loan refinance applications online or over the phone from residents of all 50 states, or in branches in 11 states (CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT). Applying for a personalized rate quote online only requires a soft credit query and won’t affect your credit score. Personalized rates are good for 30 days.

To submit a full application, you (and your cosigner, if you have one) will need to submit proof of:

  • Social Security number (or Alien ID number for permanent resident)
  • Gross monthly income
  • Employer name, phone number, and length of employment (if applicable)
  • Monthly rent or mortgage payment (if applicable)
  • The current lender/servicer of your existing student loans, full account number of those loans, current loan balances, your monthly payment, the next payment due date, and the interest rate and type

To be eligible to refinance, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Reasonably strong credit history (the exact minimum score is not specified) and annual income of at least $24,000.
  • You cannot be currently enrolled in school, unless you have already completed your undergraduate studies.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number, residing in the United States with student loans from a domestic or foreign school being serviced by accredited/licensed U.S. based servicers or servicers in U.S. territories. Resident aliens must apply with a cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • You must have at least $10,000 in student loans to refinance.
  • Applicants with an Associate’s degree or with no degree must have made at least 12 qualifying payments after leaving school.

Cosigner Options

If you have poor credit or annual income lower than $24,000, then Citizens Bank recommends applying with a cosigner. We would go a step farther and say that if you have anything other than excellent credit, it’s always worth considering a cosigner because it can help you qualify for the best APRs on offer.

The good news is that you may apply for cosigner release after making 36 consecutive on‑time payments of principal and interest. When applying for cosigner release, a credit review will be performed to ensure you meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines for holding the loan on your own. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on time payments after re-entering repayment to qualify for release (excluding emergency Covid forbearance).

Customer Service

Citizens offers customer service online and on the phone, as well as in branches in 11 states in the Northeast and Midwest. On its website, you can find insights from Citizens’ banking experts on frequently asked questions about student loan refinancing and other products.

Branch: Use the branch search tool on the Citizens website to schedule an appointment.

Live chat: Coming soon to the Citizens website.

About Citizens Bank

Citizens Financial Group is a bank headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, with branches in the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. It was founded in 1828, making it one of America’s oldest banks, and usually hovers between around 15th and 25th on the annual list of the largest banks in the United States. Citizens offers a wide range of consumer financial products and services including student loans and refinancing, bank accounts, credit cards, home loans, auto loans, and investment and retirement solutions.

Summary

Citizens offers competitive APRs and flexible terms with borrowers who can demonstrate strong credit – or bring a cosigner with strong credit. One of the best things about Citizens is that it caters to almost everyone, even accepting international students, people who haven’t graduated, and people undertaking a medical residency. If you’re looking at refinancing your student loans, then there’s a good chance Citizens has something to offer you.

Get started now, visit Citizens Bank
By Nadav Shemer
Nadav Shemer specializes in business, tech, and energy, with a background in financial journalism, hi-tech and startups. Nadav writes for bestonlineeducationhub.com. He enjoys writing about the latest innovations in financial services and products.
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