Citizens Bank (also known as Citizens), is a major American bank offering student loan refinancing and other financial products and services. It can refinance a combination of federal and private student loans as well as parent loans and medical school loans. It is open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and even non-citizens (with a cosigner), as well as people who haven’t graduated.
Loan types: Refinance federal, private, medical school and parent loans
APRs: Variable rates start from 1.99%, fixed rates start from 2.44%
Repayment terms: 5-20 years
Refi amount: Maximum $300,000 for undergraduate degree, $500,000 for graduate degree, and $750,000 for professional degrees
Origination fees: No
Citizens offers variable-rate loans ranging from 1.99% - 7.58% APR and fixed-rate loans ranging from 2.44% - 7.83%. These advertised rates include a 0.50% rate discount consisting of a 0.25% autopay discount and 0.25% loyalty discount for having a qualifying bank account with Citizens at the time of application.
There are never any application, origination, prepayment or disbursement fees associated with a Citizens student loan refinance.
Citizens lets you pick any repayment term between 5-20 years, with the most common terms being 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years. Its website shows examples of how different repayment terms affect your monthly payments and total pay back, based on different APRs.
Principal and interest payments begin within 21 to 50 days after your loans have refinanced (and Citizens will notify you in advance so you have time to prepare your first payment). If you qualify for a refinance loan for medical residents, then you’ll pay $100 per month during your program and begin paying full principal and interest six months after your residency completion date.
As mentioned, Citizens offers the opportunity to earn up to a 0.50% rate discount for:
Citizens accepts student loan refinance applications online or over the phone from residents of all 50 states, or in branches in 11 states (CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT). Applying for a personalized rate quote online only requires a soft credit query and won’t affect your credit score. Personalized rates are good for 30 days.
To submit a full application, you (and your cosigner, if you have one) will need to submit proof of:
To be eligible to refinance, you must meet the following requirements:
If you have poor credit or annual income lower than $24,000, then Citizens Bank recommends applying with a cosigner. We would go a step farther and say that if you have anything other than excellent credit, it’s always worth considering a cosigner because it can help you qualify for the best APRs on offer.
The good news is that you may apply for cosigner release after making 36 consecutive on‑time payments of principal and interest. When applying for cosigner release, a credit review will be performed to ensure you meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines for holding the loan on your own. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on time payments after re-entering repayment to qualify for release (excluding emergency Covid forbearance).
Citizens offers customer service online and on the phone, as well as in branches in 11 states in the Northeast and Midwest. On its website, you can find insights from Citizens’ banking experts on frequently asked questions about student loan refinancing and other products.
Branch: Use the branch search tool on the Citizens website to schedule an appointment.
Live chat: Coming soon to the Citizens website.
Citizens Financial Group is a bank headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, with branches in the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. It was founded in 1828, making it one of America’s oldest banks, and usually hovers between around 15th and 25th on the annual list of the largest banks in the United States. Citizens offers a wide range of consumer financial products and services including student loans and refinancing, bank accounts, credit cards, home loans, auto loans, and investment and retirement solutions.
Citizens offers competitive APRs and flexible terms with borrowers who can demonstrate strong credit – or bring a cosigner with strong credit. One of the best things about Citizens is that it caters to almost everyone, even accepting international students, people who haven’t graduated, and people undertaking a medical residency. If you’re looking at refinancing your student loans, then there’s a good chance Citizens has something to offer you.