Citizens One Private Student Loans Review
Citizens One in a Nutshell
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One of the most complicated aspects of obtaining student loans is the fact that you have to reapply for them every year. Fortunately, we found that Citizen One not only presents you with a multi-year option, but also a great variety of benefits that range from interest-rate discounts to excellent flexibility on your loan terms.
Citizen One is a relatively new, but increasingly popular student loans provider. The company is part of the lending division of Citizens Bank, and it offers loans for both undergraduate and graduate studies, and even for parents of students seeking to finance their children’s educations. Explore our Citizen One expert review to see if it’s the right student loan for your academic needs.
Citizens One is the lending branch of Citizens Bank outside of its 11-state branch footprint. The bank is one of the 15th largest in the United States, and counts over five million individuals, businesses, and institutions as its clients. More importantly, it’s one of the oldest banks in the country, as it was founded in 1828. Citizens Bank offers services to individuals and companies throughout the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and New England regions, with headquarters in Rhode Island.
The bank manages over $160 billion in assets and thanks to 1,100 branches within its footprint, provides excellent service if you’re living within their geographical area. Despite it being a regional bank, however, Citizens One lending is available to students around the US, regardless of their location and their relationship to Citizens Bank. The company has won multiple awards, including prizes for customer experience, diversity, and its military-friendly policies.
Overall, we found that Citizens One is backed by a financial services stalwart, with excellent ratings from the major credit companies (S&P, Moody’s, and Fitch all gave it high marks), and an impressive accompanying array of benefits if you’re a member. Even if you’re not, you can still access outstanding loans at competitive rates.
Why Get a Loan from Citizens One?
Although we’ve seen a big trend toward non-traditional lenders, Citizen One’s backing by a major financial institution gives it some key advantages over the competition. One of the biggest benefits of this is for existing Citizens Bank customers, who are eligible for discounts on their interest on loans in addition to other banking services.
During our review, we were also happy to see that Citizens One supports multi-year loans, a big bonus in a lending industry that generally offers single-year loans and forces you to reapply each year. This can result in damage to your credit score, uneven interest rates and payments, and other issues. Instead, Citizens One’s loans simply require a soft credit check each year (which doesn’t affect your score) to ensure you’re still eligible.
Finally, we were happy with Citizen One’s variety of student loan offerings, which include standard undergraduate loans on top of various graduate-specific offerings designed to cover medical school, law degrees, and MBA students. You can even get a loan if you’re a parent, simplifying the process of paying for your kids’ tuition.
What Student Loans does Citizens One Offer?
If you’re applying for a student loan from Citizens One, you can access one of the following options to cover your educational costs:
- Undergraduate Loans: This is the company’s standard offering for students, and gives you up to $100,000, multi-year approval, and a variety of payment options (full amount, interest-only, deferment)
- Student Loans for Parents: Aimed at students’ parents, this loan type lets you avoid having to cosign, and increases the available borrowable amount ceiling to $350,000 in aggregate.
- Graduate Student Loans: Depending on your educational track, you can access a variety of loan options. Programs available include MBA, graduate studies, Law studies, and medical-dental programs
Which Private Student Loans Does Citizens One Offer?
Our Citizens One loans reviews show that the company focuses exclusively on providing private student loans. The company’s undergraduate loan packages are fairly standard, though they include the useful multi-year approval feature. Graduate student loans offer some more variety, and cover the following:
- MBA loans, which cover up to $90,000
- Graduate loans, which cover up to $110,000
- Law school loans, which cover up to $180,000
- Medical-dental school loans, which range between $150,000 and $295,000 depending on your degree
Additionally, the company underwrites loans for parents of students, which lets you borrow up to $350,000 in aggregate.
Citizens One Rates, Fees and Terms for April 2020
Perhaps one of the biggest surprises in our Citizens One student loans review is the company’s friendly fee and rate structures. None of the company’s loans have the application, origination, or disbursement fees, meaning you’re not paying extra just to receive your loan. Citizens One claims that they can deliver average fee savings of over $650 compared to some federal loan options.
In terms of interest rates, you can request both fixed or variable rates for any of the company’s loans, though the lowest rates vary based on loan type.
- Undergraduate rates start as low as 2.02% - 10.13% APR for varaiable rates and 4.72% - 12.04% APR for fixed rates.
- Standard graduate rates start as low as 1.97% - 9.29% APR for variable rates and 4.64% - 11.35% APR for fixed rates.
- Law interest rates start as low as 1.95% - 8.68% APR for variable rates and 4.45% - 10.59% for fixed rates.
- Bar Exam rates start at 5.27% - 10.33% APR for variable rates and 7.39% - 12.82% APR for fixed rates.
- MBA interest rates start as low as 1.95% - 8.68% APR for variable rates and 4.45% - 10.59% APR for fixed rates.
- Health Professional Loans start even lower at 1.95% - 7.58% APR for variable rates and 4.40% - 9.49% APR for fixed rates.
- Medical Residency loan starts at 4.36% - 7.52% APR for variable rates and 6.97% - 10.08% APR for fixed rates.
- Parent loans start at 3.57% - 6.71% APR for variable rates and 5.48% - 8.52% APR for fixed rates.
Undergraduate and Standart Graduate Loans :$1,000 - $150,000
Law and MBA loans : $1,000 - $225,000
Medical Loans: minimum $1000 / max: $180,000 or $350,000 depending on your degree
You can also select between 5, 10, and 15-year terms for any of the available loans, though your interest rate may increase for longer terms. You can also get a 0.25% interest rate reduction if you are willing to do your payments for auto-pay. On top of that if you happen o have a bank account from Citizens One you can get another 0.25% reduction.
How to Refinance With Citizens One
One of the biggest things we looked for in our Citizens One student loan refinance reviews is the company’s accessibility and benefits. Citizens One claims that their refinancing plans let you reduce as much as 2% from your interest rate, and the company lets you lock in a fixed rate as well. The company’s refinancing is available if you meet the following criteria:
- You’ve graduated from your program
- You have a history of on-time payments
- You can provide proof of income
- You must have at least $10,000 in outstanding loans
- Be a US citizen or legal resident
Refinancing Citizens One Rates, Fees and Terms March 2020 For Students
|Loan amount||$10,000 - $300,000|
|Fixed Rates||3.79% - 9.30% APR|
|Variable Rates||2.72% - 9.05% APR|
|Loan Terms||5, 10, 15, or 20 years|
|Interest Rate reduction||0.25%|
|Fees||no application fee / Late fee: 5% of the amount|
|Cosigner Release||yes, after 36 on-time payments|
|Grace Period||6 months|
Refinancing Citizens One Rates March 2020 for Parents
|Fixed Rates||3.27% - 6.99% APR|
|Variable Rates||2.20% - 6.81% APR|
One important factor we appreciated in Citizens One’s offering is the fact that they offer multiple repayment options for students. You can choose one of the following options to start paying down your debt while in school:
- Full payment - If you can afford it, Citizens One lets you start paying a full repayment amount every month to help you get ahead of your debt. These payments include both principal and interest.
- Interest-only repayment - If you can’t afford to make full monthly payments, you can still repay your monthly interest to avoid it being capitalized to your principal and raising your total repayment amount. This is also available for students’ parents while their children are enrolled.
- Deferment - You can also choose to forgo any payment while you’re in school, deferring your repayments until your grace period ends once you are no longer enrolled.
We were happy to see that in addition to the benefit of having physical branches borrowers can visit, Citizens One invests in its customer service. The company offers an informative FAQ and educational resources, and you can also reach them via phone at any time.
Citizens One Pros and Cons
- Avoid overpaying for your loan thanks to no application or origination fees
- Get approved for your full educational track instead of reapplying every year
- Disburse your loan directly to your school to avoid any complications or stress
- Receive a discount of up to 0.50% interest by having a Citizens Bank account and setting up auto-pay
- Pay your loan when you’re ready, even if it’s early, without any prepayment penalties
- Reward your co-signer with an early release thanks to Citizens One’s benefits
- The company requires high credit scores for approval (roughly 700)
- Co-signer releases require up to 36 months of on-time full loan payments
- The company does not offer forbearance if you fall into hard times after your grace period expires
How to Apply for a Citizens One Student Loan
You can apply for a Citizens One student loan directly from the company’s website, even if you’re not an account holder. To get started, you’ll need the following:
- Basic contact and personal information
- Social Security card or number
- A pay stub from the past month or other proof of income and monthly housing payments
- Your employer’s information (if applicable)
- The name of the school you’re attending
- Information about the cost of attendance and financial aid you’ve received
- Anticipated graduation, as well as loan terms and amounts requested
- Co-signer’s information
With that in hand, you can quickly fill out your application, though be sure that you meet the company’s eligibility requirements:
- Be a US citizen or legal permanent resident
- Be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program
- Have a good credit score (700+) or a qualified co-signer
- Be of legal age in your state (unless you plan on having a co-signer)
Overall, our Citizens One review revealed a student lender that is both accessible and flexible. We were impressed by the truly wide variety of loan terms, amounts, and repayment periods available, which give you great freedom to find a loan that works for you. Additionally, great perks like multi-year approval and interest rate discounts sweeten the deal and help you de-stress this important decision.
Finally, having the ability to refinance your loans (even if they’re not originated by Citizens One) means you can always find the optimal repayment options to suit your current financial condition. On the whole, Citizens One represents a great choice if you have strong credit and need a flexible but reliable student borrowing option.