Citizens Bank Loans Review [2024]: Low Rates for Home and Student Loans

LOANS - PERSONAL LOANS
Citizens Bank offers student and home loans for customers just like you.
Updated Jan. 2, 2024
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Whether you’re looking to refinance your home, buy your first one, or get funding for school, you want to go with a reputable lender that will offer you a reasonable rate and repayment terms. This means shopping around and doing your homework to see which lender can provide the best possible financing.

Founded in 1828, Citizens Bank is one of many traditional banks you may have in your backyard. You’ll find locations mainly in the Northeast and Midwest. However, you can get a loan from this bank if you live anywhere in the U.S.

Here is what this bank is all about and everything you need to know about how to get a loan before deciding to apply with Citizens Bank.   

In this article

An overview of Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank dates back to 1828, making it one of the oldest financial institutions in the U.S. It has since undergone substantial change and growth and is now a part of Citizens Financial Group, headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island. It currently has working branches in 11 states throughout New England, the Mid-Atlantic region, and the Midwest.

The bank’s guiding vision is to help customers succeed because that’s the only way Citizens Bank will grow. The financial crisis of 2008 enabled it to refocus on this mission to become more vital for its commercial and consumer banking customers. This involved divesting from some areas and investing in others to streamline the business for better efficiency and service.

Which loan products does Citizens Bank offer?

Citizens Bank offers several types of loans. It provides student loans for graduate and undergraduate coursework, parent-student loans, and refinancing options for existing student loans. Citizens Bank also used to offer personal loans, but no longer does.

If you’re looking to buy a home, Citizens offers mortgages. And for those who already have a home, it offers home equity lines of credit (HELOC), mortgage, and refinancing existing mortgages. Here is a closer look at each of these types of products.

Personal loans with Citizens Bank

Personal loans are prevalent right now. However, if you were looking for a Citizens bank personal loan review, you might be disappointed to learn that the bank no longer offers them. The good news is that you have several alternative options that might fit your needs just as well as Citizens Bank personal loans could have. Check out our list of the best personal loans.

Citizens Bank used to offer personal loans for debt consolidation, home improvements, weddings, engagement rings, and other personal finance needs. The bank offered personal loan amounts between $5,000 and $15,000 with loan terms between three to seven years. 

These loans had specific requirements, including a reasonably strong credit rating and an income of at least $24,000 a year. Other eligibility requirements included being a U.S. citizen or permanent resident living within one of the 50 states and having a Social Security number. However, the bank doesn't have personal loans on offer as of March 2023 but continues to offer auto loans. 

Student loans/refinancing with Citizens Bank

If you need a student loan for undergraduate or graduate work, are a parent who wants to take out a student loan for a dependent, or need student loan refinancing, Citizens Bank has some options for you.

Undergraduate loans

Citizens Bank offers private student loans for undergraduate study at fixed interest rates. Fixed rates range from 5.99%-14.00% (as of May 6, 2024) APR. You could apply for a one-time loan or one that will cover your education costs over several years, which might require a multi-year approval.

Undergraduate loans range between $1,000 and $150,000, depending on eligibility, and you need to be the age of majority to qualify. These loans could be paid back over terms lasing 5, 10, or 15 years. Repayment options include paying on the interest while in school or deferring payments until after graduation.

Students may apply with or without a cosigner release, at least one of which must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Citizens Bank looks for applicants with good credit, for which it would perform a hard credit check, and who will be enrolled at least half time at an eligible school.

Parent loans

Parent loans are designed to help pay for a dependent’s education without putting the loan in the student’s name. These loans look very similar to the student loans detailed above. You could get these loans at fixed rates to fund one or multiple years of school. Fixed rates are offered between 6.35%-9.56% (as of Sep. 6, 2023) APR.

Loans could range between as little as $1,000 and as much as $350,000, with repayment terms of five or 10 years. Interest-only payments are available while the student is in school. To be eligible for a parent loan, the applicant must be a parent or sponsor who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a student who is enrolled in an eligible school at least half time.

Graduate loans

If you’re looking for help paying for graduate school programs, such as law or medical school, business school programs, medical residencies, or help while studying for the bar, this loan type might be for you. Like undergraduate loans, you can get a fixed rate, and you could apply for one or multiple years of funding. Rates range from 5.00%-12.04% (as of May 31, 2023) APR.

There are different borrowing maximums for different programs, but all have a minimum of $1,000. Maximums are $225,000 for MBA and Law degrees, $180,000 to $350,000 for medical or healthcare degrees, and up to $150,000 for other graduate degrees.

Repayment terms are offered over five, 10, or 15 years. You could make interest-only payments while in school or defer payments until after graduation. The same eligibility requirements for undergraduate loans apply here. Citizens Bank also requires not having student loan defaults on your credit report.

Refinancing

Parents and students could apply to refinance existing student loans through Citizens Bank. Refinancing could be an option if you have one or many student loans, want to move an existing loan into your name only, or are looking to get your loans into a single monthly payment. It might also help get low rates.

Citizens Bank offers fixed and variable rate options. These loan rates range from 6.49%-10.98% (as of Mar. 19, 2024) APR for fixed loans and 7.04%-12.43% (as of May 6, 2024) for variable-rate loans. There could even be an interest rate reduction when parents apply for refinancing. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, have a Social Security number and be refinancing at least $10,000.

For students looking to refinance, you have to earn a bachelor’s or above degree. If you have an associate degree or no degree, you will have to show you’ve made at least 12 on-time payments on your loans after leaving school. The maximum amount you could refinance is $300,000 for undergraduate and $500,000 for graduate programs.

Parents who want to refinance have to be the primary borrower or cosigner on the existing loans. The maximum amount you could refinance is $500,000, regardless of the degree type. For both types of borrowers, repayment terms could be five, seven, 10, 15, or 20 years.

Home loans and refinancing with Citizens Bank

Existing and prospective homeowners could find financing and refinancing solutions with Citizens Bank. Both fixed and adjustable-rate options are available to applicants. The Citizens Bank website offers a handy rate check tool that estimates both rates for several term lengths. However, these rates are based on someone who has an excellent credit history and earns the minimum income requirement, so check where you’re at before evaluating the numbers.

If you’re looking to get a mortgage to purchase a home, Citizens Bank recommends applying for a prequalification. This allows you to shop within a realistic budget and make an offer knowing that you have the money you need. Then, after your offer is accepted, you can move forward with your full loan application and closing.

For those who want to refinance an existing mortgage, the bank recommends speaking directly with a loan officer to go through the situation's specifics and what they’re looking to accomplish by refinancing. Generally, refinancing could be a good idea if you want to remove someone’s name from your mortgage, get an interest rate discount, lower your monthly payments, or change your repayment terms.

Once you’ve decided to move forward with the refinance, Citizens Bank could walk you through the remaining steps.

Home equity lines of credit and loans with Citizens Bank

Got equity? Want to cash it out? You could do that with a Citizens Bank home equity line of credit (HELOC). The bank also used to offer home equity loans, but it no longer does. There are several differences between a HELOC and a home equity loan, including potentially having higher rates and variable payments for HELOC.

A HELOC is based on the equity in your home. It's available for you to tap into as needed during a 10-year draw period. This means you could borrow money from that line during the draw period for emergency expenses, renovations, financing education, debt consolidation, and other purposes.

During the draw period, you would pay on the interest only during the draw period or both the interest and principal. After the draw period, you have a 15-year repayment period that will require payments to both interest and principle. Citizens Bank HELOCs have variable interest rates that start at 2.50% (as of May 31, 2023) APR. The website provides a tool to help you calculate how much you may be able to get with a HELOC and recommends strong creditworthiness to get the best rate.

The bank no longer offers home equity loans, so you may need to explore alternative options. 

What Citizens Bank customers are saying

Online customer reviews of Citizens Bank are overwhelmingly negative, though many sources have a small number of comments to draw from.

The bank’s profile with the Better Business Bureau is listed under the parent company, Citizens Financial Group. An average of 188 customer reviews leaves this profile with one star out of five. Negative comments focus primarily on mistakes with checking or savings bank accounts, customer service, and taking too much time to fix errors. There are also 1059 customer complaints filed. Most of them are unrelated to lending products.

Trustpilot gives Citizens Bank a TrustScore of 1.3 out of 5, but many of the 101 customer reviews on the site have to do with personal account issues. ConsumerAffairs.com shows 205 customer reviews that average out to a score of 3.4 stars out of five. Most of the negative comments focus on customer service experiences, issues getting documentation after a loan is paid off, and additional fees being charged.

FAQs about Citizens Bank

Where is Citizens Bank located?

Citizens Bank is headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island. It has branches and provides services to customers in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Delaware, Vermont, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Can I get a loan from Citizens Bank?

Citizens Bank offers many types of loans to people within the states it services. If you live in a state outside of its service area, you may be able to get a loan through Citizens One, which is the lending business of Citizens Financial Group. Citizens One provides loan products outside of the regions in which Citizens Bank does business. You don’t have to be an existing customer or account holder to borrow from Citizens Bank.

How do I pay my Citizens Bank student loan?

Citizens Bank services its student loans using Firstmark Services. Through the Firstmark Services tools, you can make payments to your loan, set up automatic payments, access loan details and account information, find receipts for payments made, and locate detailed instructions for making payments.

You can also request payments be automatically drawn from your checking or savings account; make payments by phone at 888-538-7378; or mail payments to this address:

Citizens Bank
Firstmark Services
PO Box 2977
Omaha, Nebraska 68103-2977

Is Citizens One the same as Citizens Bank?

Citizens One and Citizens Bank are both owned by Citizens Financial Group. Citizens One is the bank’s lending business that operates outside of the 11 states that Citizens Bank services. You’ll find Citizens Bank branches and services in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Delaware, New Jersey, Michigan, Vermont, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

The final word on Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank has a decent profile if you have good credit and make a modest annual income. However, nothing stands out about this lender as particularly noteworthy or advantageous for borrowers. On the other hand, and despite the negative reviews that can be found online, the bank appears to have a solid history of financial performance and customer service.

Submitting your information for a rate check won’t cost you anything, so it’s at least worth going that far to see whether Citizens Bank might offer you a good deal for a loan. You could also check out other lenders that could provide a rate check that won’t impact your credit score.

Citizens Bank no longer offers personal loans or home equity loans. But you could check out our list of low-interest personal loans to choose one that works for you.

AmONE Personal Loans Benefits

  • Loans up to $50,000
  • Min. Credit Score: 600
  • APR: 3.99%-35.99% (as of May 31, 2023)
  • No Collateral Needed

Author Details

Robin Kavanagh Robin is a freelance writer who lives on the South Carolina beach. She has spent the last 20 years writing about all kinds of topics for publications such as The New York Times, Yes! Magazine, Next Tribe, Parenting, and various trade magazines. On FinanceBuzz.com, you’ll find her mostly writing about smart ways to use credit cards, navigating personal loans, how to save when traveling, and ways to improve your financial health.

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