Citibank was founded more than 200 years ago, in 1812. The original name of this bank was the City Bank of New York, but it later changed names a couple of times and finally settled on Citibank. It is a member of Citigroup Inc. In total, Citibank has nearly 1,000 bank branches which are heavily represented in large cities, such as Washington, D.C., New York City, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Citibank offers comprehensive banking services to its customers. In addition to traditional banking services, such as savings and checking accounts, it also provides customers with a variety of choices for investments, credit cards, and loans.
Does Citibank Still Offer Student Loans?
No, Citibank does not currently offer student loans. However, it used to be one of the largest student loan lenders in the United States. In fact, Citibank’s major competitor was the loan mega-giant, Sallie Mae. You may wonder what changed and why Citibank stopped offering private education loan options.
Back in 2010, Citibank sold all its student loans to Discover and Sallie Mae. Today, the company does not offer student loans. The majority of the loans were sold to Sallie Mae, which paid $28 billion for them. Discover purchased approximately $4 billion in student loans from Citibank.
During this time, the company also paid more than $13 billion to the federal government as compensation for the loans they purchased to keep Citibank from declaring bankruptcy.
This was due, in part, to the increase in restrictions on student loans, students borrowing less money for college, and concern over the risk of unsecured loans.
What Loans Were Offered by Citibank?
During the many years when Citibank worked as a student loan lender, students could opt to borrow federal loans or private loans through the company. Detailed below is information about these loans for current borrowers or in case Citibank decides to start offering student loans again in the future. Read on to find out the wide array of loan services that were once offered through this bank:
CitiAssist Loan: This was Citibank’s private student loan. There were six different paths that students could opt for, depending on their major. In general, these loans were appealing to many students who had maxed out their federal financial aid. The CitiAssist loans offered students a number of unique advantages that set the company apart from other lenders.
First, students could borrow up to the complete cost of tuition at the institution they were attending, after subtracting any other financial aid they received. Secondly, the loans boasted very low interest rates. Students could opt to defer payments until after their graduation, which increased the chances that they would be working before having to repay their loans. The company also offered a variety of flexible repayment options so students could choose a route that best met their financial goals. Students could also receive a discount of up to 0.75% on their interest rate by paying their loan on time every month. In addition, students could quickly and easily apply for this loan online and receive a quick decision.
You may wonder, what were the six different CitiAssist Loan options? The only one for undergraduate students was known as the CitiAssist Undergraduate Student loan. The interest from this could be deducted for tax purposes, the payments could be deferred until after graduation, and students could qualify for a low interest rate, particularly if they opted to use a cosigner.
The program also had five different paths for graduate students. The CitiAssist Health Profession Loan and the CitiAssist Residency, Relocation, and Review Loan were both geared towards medical students or other students in health related fields. The Residency loan permitted students in their final year of medical school to borrow a maximum amount of $18,000 while they completed their requirements for board certification and residency year.
The CitiAssist Law Student Loan and the CitiAssist Bar Exam Loans were geared exclusively toward law students. While studying for the Bar exam, students could borrow up to $15,000 in additional funding to meet their living expenses and exam review materials. The CitiAssist Graduate Student Loan Program met the needs of all other graduate students who needed to borrow a private loan to complete their studies.
As with any private loans, Citibank encourages responsible borrowing. Students could opt to add a cosigner to qualify for a lower rate. Additionally, students can find more information on the website to help them borrow responsibly. This is especially important if they decide to move forward without a cosigner because they are more likely to take out a loan with a higher rate.
Federal Student Loans: Citibank served as a primary lender for the loans that are serviced through the federal government. More specifically, students and parents could borrow money through any of the following federal student loans: Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate and Professional Students, Federal Direct Stafford Loan, Federal Direct Consolidation Loans, and the Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Parents. Student borrowers (or their parents) could designate Citibank as their preferred lender.
More Information About Citibank Student Loans
Students who already have existing student loans through Citibank can find information such as FAQs, customer service, and support information listed at this website. Citibank also offers resources on their website to help students understand the loan repayment process. For example, they have a section for students who are having trouble repaying their current loans, information about how to manage your student loans online, and an introduction to the repayment process. Additionally, for any student who is thinking of borrowing a loan, they offer a loan calculator so you can determine how much your monthly loan payment will be once you graduate. All of this information can be found at this website.
If you are planning to borrow a student loan to attend college, you will need to find another lender since Citibank is not currently offering loans. You will want to spend some time aggressively comparing interest rates if you plan to borrow a private loan. Keep in mind that you will want to maximize your federal financial aid first, so be sure to spend some time filling out the FAFSA.