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Citizens Bank

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Citizens Bank is a financial services firm that was founded in Providence, Rhode Island in 1828. It is one of the oldest financial services firms in the United States. Citizens Bank works towards offering services to a wide variety of institutions as well as individuals.

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The Good

  • Multi-Year Approval 
  • Flexible Repayment Options 
  • Student Loan Calculator 

Multi-Year Approval

Citizens Bank offers a multi-year approval which is designed to aid borrowers in securing funding for the additional years that they are in school. With this feature, Citizens Bank claims that borrowers will not have to worry about impacting their credit scores for those years to come. This is meant to provide borrowers with a level of security within their financial plan.

Flexible Repayment Options

When it comes to repayment options, Citizens Bank provides three basic plans to help borrowers depending on their situations. The three repayment options include the following:

  • 5-year term: Out of the three options, this usually has the lowest interest rates and lowest borrowing cost total.
  • 10-year term: This plan presents low interest rates with moderate total borrowing cost savings.
  • 15-year term: Lastly, this plan has the lowest monthly payment with highest interest rates as well as borrowing cost total.

Citizens Bank also allows borrowers to make additional payments without any penalty regardless of which plan they choose.

Student Loan Calculator

Citizens Bank provides a student loan calculator tool to aid borrowers in finding which student loan fits their needs the best. It takes several factors into consideration:

  • Loan Amount
  • Student Loan Type
  • Degree Type
  • Credit Rating
  • Term
  • Repayment Options
  • Discounts

This calculator gives borrowers a solid estimate of which loans will work for them.

Check Rates

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The Bad

  • High APR Rates
  • Co-signer Push
  • Lack of Transparency

High APR Rates

Citizens Bank has some of the highest fixed and variable APR rates in the student loan industry. Their lowest recorded fixed APR rate sits at 5.99% and their lowest variable APR rate rests at 4.49%. Although Citizens Bank offers a chance to lower your interest rate with a discount, the rate remains higher than other companies.

Co-Signer Push

To start with, Citizens Bank strongly recommends each borrower have a co-signer on the loan. This comes across as a challenge to receive a loan without a co-signer. Other companies in the student loan industry allow co-signers, but they do not push for all borrowers to have a co-signer like Citizens Bank.

Lack of Transparency

The Citizens Bank website does not disclose that much detail regarding the student loan process and additional fees that may accompany that process. This refrains borrowers from quite a bit of information that they should easily be able to locate on the website such as fees, the step-by-step application process, etc.

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The Bottom Line

Overall, Citizens Bank provides borrowers with a reliable multi-year approval process that allows some financial security. They also give borrowers flexibility through their repayment options; however, Citizens Bank also has incredibly high APR rates and may not be worth looking into simply because of that. All things considered, Citizens Bank might not be the right fit for someone who is looking for lower APR rates and better website transparency.

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