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Citizens Bank Student Loans Review

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Table of Contents

Our Citizens Bank student loans review covers new loans and student loan refinancing. Citizens Bank, now simply called Citizens, offers student loans and refinancing for all levels of 4-year secondary education and post-graduate schooling in Title IV public or private schools. The company scores a spot in our annual best student loan refinancing companies review.

Citizens offers student loans with multi-year approval, no application or origination fees, and no cost or commitment pre-qualifying without impacting your credit score. Citizens also provides student loan refinancing regardless of whether or not former students have earned a degree. We’ll answer questions about Citizens and cover some essential student loan information.

Citizens Bank student loans review feature image

Student Loans


  • Multi-year approval

  • No application or origination fees

  • Pre-qualifying won’t affect credit score

  • Co-signer release available

  • Refinancing is available regardless of graduation status


  • Some low review ratings

  • Requires 720 credit score to qualify

  • Fully deferred payments are unavailable for parent loans

  • Not available for 2-year schools

Citizens Bank Student Loans Review: Features and Benefits

Citizens Bank operates out of Providence, Rhode Island, with about 1,100 branches throughout the northeast, mid-Atlantic, and midwestern states. However, the company provides student loan funding and refinancing nationwide to citizens and official residents of the US.

  • Multiyear approval
  • Fixed APR between 4.48% and 13.29%
  • Variable APR between 6.38% and 14.28%
  • No application or origination fees
  • Refinance APR between 6.99% and 10.99% fixed
  • Refinance APR between 7.29% and 12.44% variable
  • Pre-qualifying won’t affect credit score
  • Co-signer release available after 36 months
  • Loan terms between 5 and 15 years
  • Refinance terms between 5 and 20 years
  • Some low review ratings
  • Loan amounts from $1,000 to $350,000 (depending on degree)
  • Requires 720+ credit score to qualify
  • Up to 0.50% interest rate deduction for account holders and autopay
  • Refinancing is available without graduation
  • Hardship forbearance available
  • Three repayment options
  • Parent loans don’t qualify for deferred payments
  • 6-month grace period after leaving school
  • Refinancing is only available after leaving school

Citizens Bank Student Loans Review: Editorial Rating

Trusted Company Reviews Rating Score for Citizens Student Loans: 8.4

While Citizens Bank suffers somewhat from some low consumer ratings, many experts agree that the company offers solid benefits for students, parents, and cosigners. Citizens offers competitive interest rates with fixed rate or variable options and loan terms extending from five to 15 years for loans and up to 20 years for refinance lending.

Our Citizens Bank student loans review awards the institution 8.4 out of 10 possible points. Our primary reasoning for awarding a high score, despite review issues, relates to the company’s offering of refinancing availability for former students who haven’t graduated and the option to apply to release co-signers after 36 months of on-time payments.

Other benefits include offering three repayment options and a wide range of repayment terms. However, loan amounts depend on the student’s degree, and parent student loans don’t qualify for deferred repayment except for an interest-only option.

Fixed APR 4.48% to 13.29%
Variable APR 6.38% to 14.28%
Refi Fixed APR 6.99% to 10.99%
Refi Variable APR 7.29% to 12.44%
Loan Terms 5, 10, 15 Years
Refi Terms 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 Years
Repayment Options Immediate, interest-only, deferred
Loan Amounts $1,000 to $350,000 (degree dependent)

About Citizens Bank Student Loans

Citizens student loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students in approved education institutions. The company offers student loans and refinancing through its online platform and select online lending platform partners, as described in our review.

The Bank offers flexible repayment options, competitive fixed and variable rate APRs, and a couple of interest-rate discounts. Discount options include a 0.25% APR reduction for signing up for autopay repayment and a 0.25% APR discount for existing Citizens’ banking customers in select eastern and northeastern states.

Citizens doesn’t provide details about a required credit score for loan or refinancing approval. However, most approved applicants have a credit score above 720 or a co-signer with that score or better. Students can apply for a co-signer release after three consecutive years of on-time payments.

Pre-qualifying for a loan or refinancing on the company’s website won’t affect your credit score and allows you to see the APR and terms you may qualify for. Hardship forbearance is an option with Citizens and requires communicating directly with the company if you can’t make your scheduled payments.


Solid features exist when working with Citizens. However, some small print applies.

  • Citizens offers deferred, interest-only, and immediate repayment plans. However, parent loans don’t qualify for the fully deferred option—Interest-only payments are acceptable.
  • Loan amounts cover a wide range from $1,000 to $350,000. However, only MBA and law school students can borrow up to $225K, while parents and medical, dentistry, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine students may qualify for the $350K amount.
  • Deferred payment options are subject to a 6-month grace period before beginning payments on your student loan.

About Citizens Bank Student Loan Refinancing

Citizens offers student loan refinancing between $10,000 and $750,000 for federal or private loans. Students don’t need to graduate to be eligible for refinancing through Citizens. However, they must be out of school to qualify.

The company doesn’t provide a particular credit score qualification requirement. Instead, Citizens states that applicants must prove they have enough income and a low enough debt-to-income ratio for approval. Like the company’s loan funding, most approved refinance customers have a credit score of over 720.

How to Apply for a Citizens Student Loan

Students, parents, and refinancing customers can apply at or at Citizens only makes customers apply once during their education. Once you receive lending approval, the company will perform a soft credit inquiry that won’t affect your credit score each semester when you need additional funding.

Restrictions include international students who don’t qualify for multi-year approval, and US customers can still be turned down for additional funding despite prior approval.

Citizens also provides a way to check the rate and terms you may qualify for with its pre-qualification step on its website and partner company sites. Students looking to refinance with Citizens must no longer be in school.

Pre-qualification doesn’t guarantee loan or refinancing approval. However, it can give you an idea about the details you’ll likely qualify for. The option may also allow you to select the most favorable terms for your financial or future situation.

Citizens Bank Student Loans Reviews

Citizens Bank student loan reviews are fairly elusive. While our team couldn’t track down much information regarding reviews and review scores directly related to student loans, Citizens Bank itself suffers from some low ratings.

The company carries a B rating with the Better Business Bureau with a 1.07 out of 5 stars review score. On Trustpilot, just 3% of reviews award the company 5 of 5 stars—however, most reviews center on the company’s general banking and customer service issues.

Some customers reported experiencing long wait times when dealing with problems and what were considered unreasonable policies. A few reports mention technical difficulties with Citizens’ mobile app and online presence.

Not all reports were as negative. Some Citizens customers have enjoyed their experience with the company and its policies. Even so, some of the same positive reviews stated that the bank could use some upgrading to its seemingly outdated ways.

SoFi Vs. Citizens Bank Student Loans

While our Citizens Bank student loans review focuses on a lender that works well for students and parents who require a substantial amount of money for school, SoFi student loans may be an option for students with a decent credit score who may not have access to a qualified co-signer.

SoFi and Citizens offer similar interest rates for standard student loans. However, SoFi offers a couple more repayment term options. Citizens customers in some degree programs may be eligible for up to $350,000 in funding, while SoFi’s lending maxes out at $100,000.

However, getting a loan or refinancing with SoFi has less stringent requirements. The company generally asks for a 670 credit score or higher, compared with Citizens’ 720+ requirement. One downside to SoFi student loans and refinancing is the potential for an origination fee between 0% and 6%.

Citizens SoFi
APR 4.48% to 13.29% 4.69% to 15.05%
Refi APR 6.38% to 14.28% 5.49% to 10.24%
Terms 5, 10, 15 Years 5, 7, 10, 15 Years
Refi Terms 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 Years 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 Years
Credit Score Requirements 720 670
Loan Amounts $1,000 to $350,000 (degree dependent) $5,000 to $100,000
Grace period 6 months 6 months


Frequently Asked Questions

Can a non-US citizen get a student loan?

Is it better to get a student loan from a bank?

Is a Citizens student loan private or federal?

How do I contact Citizens Bank?


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About Author

Dr. Ali
Deane Biermeier is a prominent figure in all things finance and home improvement, renowned for his detailed written content, analyses, and expert advice. Over the past several years, he's contributed to industry-leading publications such as Forbes Home, Angi/HomeAdvisor, US News and World Report, Newsweek Vault, and Family Handyman. Deane's expertise is further established and recognized through his review board roles and by providing expert insights at The Spruce and Family Handyman. His recent affiliation with in 2023 further solidifies his position as a respected authority in his field. Key Highlights Extensive Publication Contributions: Deane's work is featured across multiple esteemed platforms, including Forbes Home, Angi/HomeAdvisor, US News, Newsweek Vault, and more. Expert Consulting and Insight: Offers specialized content reviews and consultations for The Spruce and Family Handyman, using his vast knowledge and experience. What Makes Deane Biermeier Stand Out? Deane's writing goes beyond providing lists of information. He strives to make complex topics understandable and breaks them down into easy-to-understand points so his readers can make confident decisions quickly. His content covers a wide array of topics, offering practical and valuable information on home-related, DIY, and home and personal finances. Philosophy and Approach Deane firmly believes in the power of informed decision-making and empowers his readers to do the same. His reviews focus on delivering essential and pertinent information with honesty and transparency without bias. He stresses the importance of understanding the full picture before committing to financial products or home improvement services and provides relevant information to ensure his readers can make confident decisions. Impact and Recognition Readers and industry leaders have widely acknowledged Deane's contributions. Delivering trustworthy information has made him a go-to source for those seeking practical advice on home improvement and financial decisions. With years of field experience complemented by thorough research, Deane continues to serve as a valuable resource for homeowners and consumers alike. Engage with Deane Biermeier Readers are encouraged to follow Deane for the latest reviews and updates. His author bio page, featuring his latest content, is filled with valuable insights and information to refer to when making product and provider choices. Sharing his profile and work on social media is a great way to empower others with useful and factual information.
Dr. Ali

Deane Biermeier

Last Updated: April 15, 2024