Founded in 1828, Citizens Bank is a trusted financial institution, offering traditional banking services, as well as loan products, including home loans, auto loans, student loans, and student loan refinancing.
Refinancing your student loans with Citizens Bank could save you an average of 2,600+ a year, significantly reducing your monthly payment. Citizens Bank offers competitive rates ranging from 2.24 percent to 8.90 percent APR (variable rate) and 2.97 percent to 9.15 percent APR (fixed rate), and you can select a loan term of 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years.
Continue reading for a full Citizens Bank student loan refinance review.
Citizens Bank is transparent with payment information, and there is no prepayment, application, or origination fee. Customers need to only pay one convenient fee that includes all of their student loans.
Citizens Bank offers a helpful savings calculator. Borrowers can input information like their loan amount and monthly payment to see what they could save by refinancing their student loans.
The application is user friendly and easy to fill out. The website clearly lists how to apply and is upfront about what kind of documentation Citizens Bank requires from borrowers. Some customers report filling out the application in less than 30 minutes.
Citizens Bank gives borrowers with little or no credit history the option to have a cosigner. Borrowers with a cosigner are more likely to qualify for refinancing as well as receive a lower interest rate. It is unique that Citizens Bank accepts cosigners, as many lender don't, especially for student loan refinancing.
Citizens Bank provides a cosigner release option. A cosigner can apply for cosigner release after 36 consecutive on-time payments, and you must contact Citizens Bank's loan servicing partner, Firstmark Services, to begin the cosigner release process.
Note, that Education Refinance Loans for parents are not eligible for cosigner release.
The company offers two great options to lower the interest rate:
Parents can refinance Parent Plus loans and consolidate their childrens' education loans, and save up to 2.97 percent on their interest rate with Citizens Bank.
Exact rates will vary based on your credit history and current finances, but Citizens bank offers variable rates ranging from 2.24 percent to 6.67 percent APR, and fixed rates ranging from 2.97 percent to 6.92 percent APR. You can lower your interest rate by 0.50 percent with either Citizens Bank's Loyalty or Automatic Payment discounts. You can then choose a repayment term of 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years.
In order to apply for a cosigner release, you must have made 36 consecutive, on-time monthly payments of principal interest. This is a longer than average waiting period since other companies offer an average period of only 24 months. The 36-month period is inconvenient because most cosigners will appreciate the ability to opt out after only one or two years.
The company requires a minimum annual gross income of $24,000. This amount can be split between the cosigner and borrower combined. This could be difficult for recently graduated borrowers without a cosigner.
Borrowers are required to have made three on-time loan payments to the principal and interest loans prior to applying. Additionally, borrowers must have reasonably good credit and a strong credit history, derived from their credit score.
While Citizens Bank is very transparent, it does not specify in which states it does or does not offer student loan refinancing. Additionally, the website does not provide information on school eligibility for its refinancing program.
Borrowers cannot refinance their student debt while still in school; no current students can apply for an Education Refinance Loan. Students who have not earned a degree from a federally accredited university are required to have made at least 12 payments on their principal and interest loans before applying.