Citizens Bank Student Loan Review

Citizens Bank has gained a reputation in the student loan space for having some of the most comprehensive loan offerings for undergraduates, graduates, medical residents, and parents, regardless of whether you’re an American student or an international student with a qualified co-signer. In this Citizens Bank student loan review, MoneyGeek takes a look at interest rates and fees, as well as the minimum qualifications needed for loan approval.

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Last Updated: 7/28/2022
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Citizens Bank offers private student loan and refinancing options at competitive interest rates, flexible payback arrangements and rate-reduction options. It allows graduates with low incomes to qualify for loans if they have a creditworthy co-signer. But what sets it apart from other lenders is its multi-year approval commitment, where the bank agrees up-front to fund your college costs through graduation.

At a Glance: Citizens Bank Student Loans


  • Citizen Bank

    • 3.48%–10.78%Fixed APR Range
    • 1.99%–8.39%Variable APR Range
    • Up to $150,000Loan Amounts
    • Six monthsGrace Period
    • Only for some borrowersCo-signer

    on Citizen Bank Website

MoneyGeek Breakdown: Citizens Bank Student Loan Details

Citizen Bank Details

  • Fixed APR

    • Undergraduate student loans: 3.48%–10.78%
    • Graduate student loans: 4.89%–11.34%
    • Parent student loans: 4.80%–8.23%
    • Refinancing student loans: 2.99%–8.64%
    • Refinancing medical school loans: 2.99%–7.44%
    • Refinancing parent student loans: 2.99%–7.54%
  • Variable APR

    • Refinancing student loans: 1.99%–8.39%
    • Refinancing medical school loans: 1.99%–7.19%
    • Refinancing parent student loans: 1.99%–7.29%
  • Loan Types

    Undergraduate, graduate, medical residents, parent student, refinancing

  • Loan Amounts

    Up to $150,000 or the total cost of education, whichever is lower

  • Repayment Terms

    5, 10, or 15 years

  • Grace Period

    Six months

  • Co-signer Required

    Only for some borrowers

  • Time to Receive Funds

    Within 3–5 business days, though the total application process runs approximately 2–4 weeks

  • Late Fees

    5% fee for payments more than 15 days late

  • Prepayment Penalty Fees

    No origination, application or prepayment fees; $15 fee for returned or refused payments

  • Perks

    0.25% rate discount when enrolled in an automatic payment program; parents save up to 4.228% by combining federal and private parent student loans

  • Mobile Application

    Yes

Citizens Bank Student Loan Application Requirements

1

Be enrolled at least part-time in a degree-granting program at an eligible institution.

2

Be a U.S. citizen (or have a U.S. citizen co-signer).

3

Be of legal age in your state of residence (or have an eligible co-signer).

4

Have an established credit history (or a creditworthy co-signer).

5

Have no prior student loan defaults.

6

Have made at least 12 qualifying payments if looking to refinance a student loan.

Is Citizens Bank Right for You?

Comparing fees, loan terms and conditions are critical steps when choosing a student loan. Here MoneyGeek has identified the borrowers best suited to a Citizens Bank student loan.

Type of Student Citizens Bank Is Perfect For

Citizens Bank loans are best for current bank clients, who immediately enjoy a rate reduction.

Citizens Bank is also a suitable option for students with good financial standing who haven’t completed their education and non-U.S. citizens who have a qualifying co-signer. Parents who want to borrow money to pay a portion of their child’s education may also find Citizens Bank’s rates competitive.

Citizens Bank private student loans are an excellent option for applicants with good credit who need funding for the entire term of their education. The bank simplifies the process of applying for financial aid through its multi-year approval option. Borrowers apply once and can obtain subsequent student loans simply by making a request and undergoing a soft credit check.

Who Should Not Choose Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank may not be the best option if you have limited or bad credit unless someone with an excellent credit score is willing to be your co-signer.

If you want to take over your parents’ loan, you may find Citizens Bank’s process complex compared to other lenders. Your parents will need to refinance their loan first and include you as a co-signer.

How to Apply for a Citizens Bank Student Loan

Below, MoneyGeek lists the necessary steps to complete a Citizens Bank student loan application.

1

Fill Out Online Application Form

Unlike other banks and lenders, Citizens Bank does not have any prequalification. The application process takes place entirely online, and you’ll need to provide the following:

  • Social Security number
  • Proof of income or pay stub less than 30 days old
  • Anticipated graduation date, loan amount and academic period for the loan
  • Immigration status (for international applicants)
2

Select Rates and Terms

Before submitting your application, you will also need to select your rate and loan terms, including how and when you want to repay the loan.

3

Wait for Approval

Once you have submitted your application, the bank may request additional documents to verify the information you’ve provided. The student lending advisors from Citizens Bank will let you know whether you qualify for their multi-year approval option during this stage.

4

Review Loan Agreement

It’s important to review all the fees and charges you may incur during your student loan’s term. Citizens Bank will also ask you to review and sign an application, promissory note and a self-certification form.

5

Sign Loan Agreement

After reviewing your documents, you will sign the loan agreement through the Citizens Bank platform. Co-signers will also need to sign the document electronically.

6

Receive or Direct Funds

Immediately, or within three to five business days of signing the documents, Citizens Bank will transfer the funds to your school.

7

Make Payments

You can choose between different payment options to pay off your student debt. Note that each will have different interest rates.

  • Deferred Repayment: You may choose to pay the principal and interest six months after graduation.
  • Interest-Only Repayment: You can make interest-only payments while in school and full payments after graduation.
  • Immediate Repayment: You can also pay the principal amount and interest right after graduation if funds are available.

What to Do if You Are Rejected From Citizens Bank

Receiving a loan rejection can be discouraging, but know there are always other options for you. When lenders reject an application, they should provide a basic explanation for their decision. Feel free to give the bank a call and ask why you were denied. You can work on improving the factors that contributed to your rejection before reapplying to Citizens Bank or elsewhere.

If you decide to go with a different lender, thoroughly review the application requirements. Make sure to have all the necessary documents, and improve upon determining factors where you can.

Lastly, aside from student loans, there are several other ways to pay for college. These include financial aid from your school, federal student loans or grants and scholarships.

Frequently Asked Questions About Student Loans

If you’re interested in a Citizens Bank student loan, MoneyGeek has answers to frequently asked questions, including who these loans are best suited for, how long it takes to get approved and others.

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*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
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