Citizens Bank Review

ByBestmoney StaffJan. 03, 2021
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In a Nutshell

Citizens Bank is a nearly 200-year-old bank with an online platform that facilitates refinancing of federal and private student loans, including parent PLUS loans. It offers holders of student debt the opportunity to consolidate multiple loans with a single payment and reduce their annual interest rate by up to 3.6%. With a completely online application process, Citizens Bank makes it easy to secure a student loan refinance.

pros

  • Refinancing of student and parent loans
  • Option of adding co-signer
  • Access to other banking and lending products

cons

  • Minimum $10,000 refinance amount
  • Rates not published

Citizens Bank ID Card

Loan types  Student loan refinancing for students and parents
Refinance amount  $10,000 - $500,000
Repayment Terms  5-20 years
Suitable for  Holders of multiple federal and/or private student loans

Citizens Bank Citizens Bank View Rates

Suitable For?

Citizens Bank offers student loan refinancing to anyone who attended school in the past and has student loan debt from private and/or federal loans, e.g. Citizens Bank student loans, private loans from other lenders, or federal loans such as Federal Direct PLUS or Stafford loans. 

Loan Features

Citizens Bank is one of the oldest financial institutions in the United States, having been founded in 1828. Based in Providence, Rhode Island, it offers a wide range of banking and lending products, including student loan refinancing. It targets a broad range of people with student debt, including holders of federal and private student loans and parent loans.

These are the highlights of Citizens Bank’s student loan refinance platform:

  • Combines all your federal and private loans and undergraduate and graduate loans into one loan with one monthly payment.
  • Average saving of $3,306 per year or $253 per month.
  • Completely online application.
  • Co-signer option. After making 36 consecutive on-time payments, a borrower may release the co-signer from their loan.
  • 0.25% automatic payment discount
  • Additional 0.25% loyalty discount for having a Citizens Bank checking or savings account (only available in the 11 states where Citizens Bank has physical branches: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT)
  • The Application Process

    It takes only 15 minutes and 3 simple steps to navigate Citizens Bank’s streamlined application process. First, complete the online application from your computer or mobile device, filling in information about yourself and your student loans. Then, choose a fixed or variable rate and a loan term from the options and nominate how and when you want to repay the funds. Finally, you and your co-signer (if you have one) must sign and accept the loan documents electronically.

    Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements: at least $10,000 in student loans to refinance (across all types of loans); US citizen, permanent resident, or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number; applicants with an Associate’s degree or no degree must have made at least 12 qualifying payments since leaving school.

    Loan Terms, Amounts, and APR

    Citizens Bank is flexible when it comes to loan amounts, repayment terms, and interest rates. It calculates rates based on the applicant’s financial profile, namely credit score.

    Here are the key figures:

  • APR: As low as  2.49%
  • Loan amounts: $10,000 - $300,000 for bachelor’s degree or below; $10,000 - $500,000 for graduate degree
  • Terms: 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years
  • How Safe Is It? 

    Citizens Bank is a fairly large bank, with all the security measures in place that come with its position in society. It has a number of measures in place to protect its users’ financial information and Social Security numbers. Although geared more toward its banking customers than student loan refinance applicants, it’s also worth pointing out that Citizens Bank offers a free version of IBM Security Trusteer Rapport software on its website.

    Help & Support

    Although primarily an online platform, Citizens Bank offers each applicant the option of speaking with a student lending advisor. On the downside, Citizens Bank does have a worrying number of poor customer reviews, highlighted by a 1-star rating from the Consumer Affairs – although the vast majority of these reviews pertain to confusion over applications for non-student loan products such as savings accounts and credit cards.

    Summary

    Well-known to banking customers in New England, Citizens Bank offers student loan refinancing to holders of student debt in all 50 states and DC. Citizens Bank has a broad offering that encompasses all types of student debt – federal and private loans, undergraduate and graduate, student and parent loans. As such, it is a solid option for anyone looking to simplify and save money by consolidating several student loans into one.

    Physical Address

    Citizens Financial Group, Inc

    One Citizens Plaza

    Providence, RI 02903

    Citizens Bank Citizens Bank View Rates

    Citizens Bank customer testimonials

    AverageReviews 9
    TrustPilot is the world’s most powerful review platform, free and open to all.
    Excellent
    0%
    Great
    0%
    Average
    0%
    Poor
    11%
    Bad
    89%
    • author
      pat
      Nov 25, 2020
      Very Poor Customer Service

      Applied for a loan, called 3 times after 6 weeks of the initial request to check on status of loan, no one ever responded to my inquiry. Finally reached a representative to find out I was missing one document. The loan officer assignment to my account, never contacted me. I went to another bank and actually was approved for the loan with 48 hours.

      ...

    • author
      Nk. El
      Nov 14, 2020
      Financing Pulled Last Minute Due To Covid Virus

      Worst mortgage experience of our life that we will be reeling from for years. Citizens Bank pulled their financing after issuing a commitment just days before our closing in late March after the Covid virus temporarily shut down our business. We had 130% of the entire purchase price in liquid savings and would have been able to make years worth of on-time monthly payments from our savings in a worst case scenario. Citizens officials treated it as if our business would never reopen again. Citizens treated the situation as if we were abruptly closed permanently. Agents were extremely busy juggling multiple deals and would re-ask for the same documents multiple times over which wasted much time. Communication was good, but you have to stay on top of them to move the process along, which was difficult. Underwriter was extremely tedious to a point that they acted like they were looking for an excuse to kill our deal even with 800+ credit scores and substantial savings. Once they pulled their commitment, we even offered to put a significantly larger downpayment and even pay a higher interest rate to save the deal, but it did us no good. Citizens Bank completely kicked us to the curb last minute when the Covid virus struck us, and now we are in litigation with the seller for a missed closing deadline. We are now paying litigation legal fees that would equal months worth of mortgage payments. Please AVOID using Citizens Bank for your mortgage and home financing needs at all costs. Biggest mistake of our lives was to work with Citizens Bank based on a personal relationship we had with their agent from knowing them for years. Never again.

      ...

    • author
      Kian Wilkinson
      Sep 21, 2020
      Very poor customer service

      Very poor customer service. I had to get a new card to cancel one of my payments, and I ended up waiting for my new card for like 1.5 months. They sent it multiple times but I never got it until I changed the delivery adress to my friend's adress. And after all that they made me pay for fast delivery. And this is when I completely lost it so they had to refund me all the money they've charged me plus they gave me some kind of bonus. I thought the perk of choosing Citizens over Bank of America would be personalized customer care, but I got none of that. Very dissapointed.

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    • author
      Ka
      Sep 20, 2020
      1 hour of my life I can't get back

      Worst web site ever.

      ...

    • author
      Ka
      Sep 11, 2020
      Good grief

      They are closing branches. At remaining branches they are limiting tellers. Longer lines? Duh, social distancing, small lobby. Really? I can't get a bank statement mailed to me. Once I went to a branch at a stop and shop to cash a check and they told me they didn't have enough money. Oh boy a bank with no money. I was speechless. I'll stop here. I think you get the idea.

      ...

    Citizens Bank