An education loan Consolidation Review: Charter One and Citizens

Citizen’s/Charter One Bank

Interest Rates
Co-Signer Release
Loan Terms
Repayment Length



Citizen’s Bank is among the last of the major banks offering student loan consolidation. The rates are not terrible; but better options exist.

Updated on 7/3/19 to include the latest interest rate information and $200 new customer bonus.

Charter One Bank, together with parent company Citizens Bank, is one of the few remaining traditional banks left within the student loan refinance marketplace.? Though Citizens and Charter One are technically two different entities, the borrowed funds rates and terms appear to be exactly the same.? Based on their advertised rates of interest, their loans might be one of the better possibilities.? Like most financiers, there are several causes of concern with these financing options, but overall Charter One/Citizens has a very competitive program.? Because Citizens is a solid choice but for a couple drawbacks, Citizens happens to be ranked #8 from 19 lenders within our education loan consolidation company rankings.

The Basics

Interest rates start at 2.60% for variable interest loans and the current highest rate is 8.90% (because these are variable rate loans the rates may go up or down within the lifetime of the loan).? The fixed rate loans start at 3.59% and peak at 8.66%.? One the low end, these minute rates are excellent, however the higher rate loans are pretty abysmal.? Whether Citizens/Charter One ends up being the best deal will be based upon your credit rating and income.

Citizens does get high marks for the period of time open to repay the loans.? With up to 20 years to repay your loans, Citizens has among the longest repayment plans in the market.? Smart borrowers know that paying the minimum within the life of the loan is a recipe to spend a lot on interest, but by stretching out repayment to date, the minimum is a lot more manageable for months when the budget is tight.

Citizens Bank Interest Rates vs. Other Lenders

When we break down the eye rates based on loan type (fixed and variable) as well as loan length, Citizens does rank within the top three over a couple of the next categories: 20-year fixed-rate loans, 15-year fixed, 10-year fixed, or the variable-rate loans.? Additionally, Citizen’s is routinely just outside the top three in lots of loan categories.

Ultimately, while Citizens advertised rates across many loan types are extremely competitive, the only way for an individual borrower to verify they are obtaining the most effective rate is to apply with several different student loan refinance companies. ?It is because each lender utilizes a unique formula when evaluating credit applications.

Some Concerns

One thing we don’t like is Citizens focus on co-signers.? While co-signing may be a necessity for some, it’s something that most borrowers would be a good idea to avoid.? The mandatory 36 month waiting period for a co-signer release is also one of the longest we view.? Many co-signers may wish to be able to be removed from the borrowed funds within a year or two.

Citizens and Charter One appear to be targeting people with federal loans for his or her refinancing.? At a student Loan Sherpa, we believe private consolidation of federal loans can be a huge mistake. ?However, for others could it be is nice idea. ?It’s important for any perspective borrower to understand that if you consolidate your federal loans having a private lender, you won’t ever be eligible for a education loan forgiveness or an income-driven repayment plan.

However, Citizens and Charter One do a better job than a lot of companies at mentioning a few of the risks related to private loan consolidation.

Citizens Bank Refinancing Review: The Bottom Line

This new loan consolidation program vaults in to the top seven of our Student Loan Consolidation Rankings, based largely around the low interest rates advertised.? Due to the a lot of different possible interest rates, borrowers could be a good idea to apply to several different companies in order to find the cheapest rate actually available.? By working with multiple companies, potential customers also get the opportunity to directly compare the businesses and just how they communicate with their clients before any contracts are signed.? Please be aware, should you choose decide to go this route, be sure to apply to these inside a short period of time in order to prevent any harm to your credit score.

Because Citizen’s is one of the most financiers around the Credible education loan platform, borrowers are able to submit one application to check on their rates with many lenders. ?Additionally, borrowers can get a $200 bonus when they refinance through this route.