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Bank offers student loan refi

By Marcie Geffner ·
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Posted: 2 pm ET

Citizens Bank has introduced an Education Refinance Loan that allows borrowers to refinance or consolidate private student loans, according to information posted on the bank's website.

The consolidated or refinanced loan has no application or origination fees, relatively low fixed or variable rates and 15- or 20-year repayment terms. Maximum loan amounts are $90,000 for associate's or bachelor's degrees, $130,000 for graduate and doctoral degrees and $170,000 for professional degrees, such as dental, medical and law school, according to the website.

Only private student loans are eligible. Graduate and undergraduate private loans can be consolidated. Borrowers must be in the repayment period of their existing private student loans and cannot be currently enrolled in school. Other requirements also apply.

Headquartered in Providence, R.I., Citizens has bank branches in 12 states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, and nonbranch retail and commercial offices in more than 30 states.

In an August 2012 report to several congressional committees, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, CFPB, a federal government agency, said:

• U.S. consumers owed more than $150 billion in outstanding private student loans.

• Borrowers didn't necessarily understand the differences between federal-government and private-market student loans.

• Private student loans were significantly more common to finance education at for-profit colleges.

• Many borrowers were struggling to repay their private student loans.

Last month, the CFPB issued a rule that allows it to supervise nonbank student loan servicers that have more than 1 million borrower accounts as well as student loan servicing at the largest U.S. banks. This development brings new oversight to the student loan market, the CFPB said.

The CFPB estimated that the seven largest student loan servicers with a combined 49 million borrower accounts likely would fall within the definition.

Do you know someone who has had trouble paying back their student loan?

Follow me on Twitter: @marciegeff.

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January 02, 2015 at 2:05 pm

Tried to refinance my student loans with Citizens. Response after 45 minutes on-phone application it was decided that I need a co-signer. I have a FICO over 700 and earn 6 figures. But they want a co-signer. Ridiculous. Obviously they only want to refi to a very select group with what, an 800 FICO score? No debts? If I was in that category I wouldn't have student loans any more.

August 27, 2014 at 12:44 am

My husband was denied this loan immediately. We need this so badly. I don't know what we are going to do if he can't find someone who will let him refinance. I'm very sick, and I'm waiting for my disability hearing (which can take another year). We are barely making it. We both did everything right, but we are a product of very unfortunate circumstances. His parents would not co-sign his loans, and I have a chronic illness with no cure. It's a nightmare we can't wake up from. I'm praying for a miracle.

January 17, 2014 at 6:11 pm

I am seeking a 7 year fixed 5% on $80,000. refinance consolidation.
No banks are interested and most if willing insist on tying a loan to a 2nd mortgage. When will the banking community get on board with the potential income in this area when the gov backed loans are at 8%?

January 17, 2014 at 10:03 am

Debt…. it's the American way, an inalienable right. Not me, I'm a throwback to the barter system.LOL!!!

January 17, 2014 at 9:28 am

I have two kids in college, funded by loans. We have been paying interest and loan payments every month in order to keep their debt level as small as possible. We have a loan and they have theirs. If find it near criminal that colleges seem to be able to raise tuition every year while everyone else cuts back-why? Because they know that the costs will be a loan and kids do not realize the gravity of the financial weight they will bear four years later as interest accumulates along with tuition and board! They were sold a bill of goods on the American dream and that a college education was their ticket! Many will learn that the low paying entry level job they will be forced to take will be swallowed up by their debt! This is the next big financial crisis in our country and no one stepped up to tell bloated colleges to lower their tuition rates! Shame on post-secondary education...epic fail!

January 17, 2014 at 8:35 am

Good news.

Sandra Sutherland
January 17, 2014 at 6:14 am

I am afraid that Student Loan debt will soon be the issue of our times. Kids are getting so far into debt before they even start their careers that they will spend their whole adult lives paying it all back. And guess what, folks, you can't get rid of it even in bankruptcy. Excluded! Just be careful out there. Be wise and cautious when it comes to your money and your future!