Citizens Bank recently rolled out exciting new options for current and prospective student loan borrowers. These changes provide more flexibility during the repayment process. One of the new changes provides students with the ability to pay only the interest on their loan for a year after it begins. These changes were made in an effort to support borrowers who are facing challenges with paying off their student loans.
In addition to traditional student loans, Citizens Bank also offers loans to parents of college students who want to pay for their children’s education. The interest loan on these parent loans is slightly less than the loans offered through the federal Parent PLUS Loan program, which makes them a viable alternative for parents who qualify.
Citizens Bank can also provide student loan refinancing options of current student loans to eligible students and parents. This company is among the few who will refinance either private student loans or federal loans. Although Citizens Bank is located in Rhode Island, it provides national refinancing options.
Highlights of Citizens Bank Student Loans
There are many advantages offered to borrowers who accept loans through Citizens Bank. First of all, the company offers a six month grace period after graduation before students must begin to repay the loans. This allows students a window of time to apply for and accept a full-time job. Secondly, the company offers a variety of loans, with varying interest rates. To add to the flexibility of these loans, borrowers can choose from a variety of years that they wish to spread their payments over (i.e., 5 years, 10 years, or 15 years).
Furthermore, for students who are experience challenges repaying their loans, the company may offer additional time to repay the loan and the ability to request a reduced interest rate. Lastly, students have the option of paying twelve months of interest-only payments while they get on their feet. For the Parent Loans, the company offers a less expensive alternative to borrowing than the federal government can provide.
Who is Eligible for Citizens Bank Loans?
Citizens Bank has physical locations in eleven states, primarily in the New England region of the country, where they offer traditional banking options at these locations. In addition, they offer refinancing and loan options to out-of-state customers, so you can apply regardless of your location! In order to be eligible for refinancing through Citizens Bank, students must have an income of at least $24,000 and have a demonstrated history of timely loan payments. Proof of income is required and must be provided during the application process.
New loans are also available to current college students and their parents. Undergraduate students, graduate students, and their parents are all eligible to apply for these loans. Typically, students with strong credit scores, or those who have a cosigner with strong credit, are approved.
What are Citizen Bank Student Loans?
Citizens Bank offers a number of different student loan and refinancing options to those who are eligible. In the following sections we will go over each of them.
Refinancing options are available for previously consolidated loans and any type of loan (both private and federal loans). Loans as small as $10,000 or loans over $150,000 will be considered. Borrowers have the options of choosing between a variable interest rate or a fixed rate repayment plan. Current variable interest rates are as low as 2.78% or as high as 8.03%. The exact rate depends on your financial history and credit score. Fixed rates currently range from 3.74% to 8.24% . A small rate discount is awarded to current customers of Citizens Bank, as well as borrowers who sign up for automatic payment of their loans. Students are permitted to have a cosigner if wish and the cosigner can be removed after the borrower successfully makes three years of on-time monthly payments.
Undergraduate Loans begin at 3.12% and are open to qualified students who are attending an eligible degree-granting college or university at least half-time. In addition, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and have good credit or a qualified cosigner.
Graduate Loans are open to students in professional training programs, such as medical school, psychology, and dental programs. In addition, these loans are open to students seeking other types of eligible degrees. A 15-year loan begins at an interest rate of 3.12%.
Parent Loans provide a nice alternative to Federal Parent Plus loans, as they omit the origination fee and provide a lower interest rate. A 10-year fixed rate may begin as low as 6.64% and variable rates are also available. Citizens Bank claims that parents who use their loan saves $637 in fee savings, on average.
In order to be eligible, students must need a loan between $1,000 to $170,000. Students must be enrolled as a half-time or full-time students in a degree-granting program. The student’s institution must be eligible, as decided by Citizens Bank. The borrow and cosigner must be residents of the United States, however international students will be considered for a loan if they have a cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
What are the Benefits?
Citizens Bank offers borrowers a number of advantages, which range from discounts on loan interest rates to flexible repayment options. Furthermore, they work with students who are having difficulty repaying their loans. They offer a grace period prior to beginning loan repayment and they do not charge additional loan fees (aside from the interest rate). The company provides unemployment protection to their borrowers, so that if an unexpected job loss affects finances, students are not required to pay their loans during that time. Lastly, cosigners are no longer required after the borrow makes 36 timely payments in a row.
What Do I Need to Apply?
In order to apply, students may complete an application online at Citizens Bank website. Prior to beginning the application, students will want to collect the necessary information to complete the application form. This includes relevant financial information, such as pay stubs or pay checks and documents for how much they pay for housing and other monthly living expenses. In addition, they will need to gather information about their school such as their graduate date, the amount of the loan, and the length of the loan that they desire. Lastly, students must list the name of references who can support their application.
After completing the application, a decision will be made depending on the student’s creditworthiness. At that time, borrowers will have the option to choose their length of repayment and their interest rate. The company will then request the borrow to upload additional documents and complete an E-signature for their loan. After those steps have been completed, the school receives the funds.