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Do you know how to pay for your college education?

College students and their parents both expect the cost of college to negatively impact other financial goals like home ownership and retirement, Citizens Financial Group survey finds

PROVIDENCE, RI – As students get ready to go back to school, a new study from Citizens Financial Group finds an overwhelming majority of young adults, college students and parents concerned with the rising cost of college, with many without a plan to manage and pay down student debt.

According to this research, 94 percent of parents with college students and 94 percent of college students are concerned about rising college costs. But only 55 percent of parents with college students and 63 percent of college students say they have a plan in place to manage the loans that they have taken on to help pay for school.

As they seek answers to the financial challenge posed by the rising cost of college, respondents to the Citizens survey indicated that they are aware of the consequences of not developing a plan to pay down their college costs:

  • Seventy-one (71) percent of college students believe that the cost of college will impact their ability to buy a home.
  • Fifty-four (54) percent of parents with kids in college say they worry that the cost of college for their children will impact their ability to retire when they had planned to.

“As the cost of college continues to rise, consumers are increasingly concerned about their ability to manage this cost,” said Brendan Coughlin, President of Education Finance, Citizens Financial Group. “The findings of this study underscore how critical it is for students and their parents to work proactively to develop a plan to manage the cost of college and not allow it to detract from the incredible value of their education. Whether they manage this through private student loans and refinancing opportunities with banks or through federal loans or other means depends on their individual financial situation, but it’s safe to say that the vast majority of families looking at the cost of college today find it to be very challenging.”

Overall, the majority of college students surveyed are concerned about how their student loans will influence their futures. While 83 percent of current students feel college is a worthwhile investment, 41 percent are concerned that investing in college will negatively impact their overall financial stability in the future. Parents also expressed concerns for their own financial stability and for the financial stability of their children.

“College is one of the most significant investments in a student’s lifetime,” added Coughlin. “This study supports the importance of students having a strong understanding of the elements of the student loan process and how it will impact them once they enter repayment.”

As part of its commitment to students through the life of their student loans, Citizens has created a number of resources including tips and tools to assist students in saving and budgeting for college, applying for financial aid and establishing and maintaining good credit. The company also has a dedicated team of education finance specialists who work with students to make sure they are aware of all of their options.

Citizens’ Education Finance products include the TruFit Student Loan for undergraduate and graduate students and the Education Refinance Loan for private lenders. The company’s TruFit Student Loan Annual Summary provides student loan borrowers and their parents or co-signers with annual updates on loan amount and repayment, enabling students and their families to have more visibility into their total debt and estimated monthly payment well in advance of graduation.

The research released today, commissioned by Citizens Financial Group and conducted by TNS, a leading global research firm, fielded a survey to 5,000 American adults between the ages of 18 and 34 in July and August to gauge perceptions and sentiment around educational financing. For a link to the complete survey, please click here.

For more information on Citizens Financial Group’s education finance offerings, please visit www.citizensbank.com/student-services.

About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.

Citizens Financial Group Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $130.3 billion in assets as of June 30, 2014. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, the company offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. Consumer Banking helps its retail customers “bank better” with mobile and online banking, a 24/7 customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 3,200 ATMs and approximately 1,200 Citizens Bank and Charter One branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Citizens also provides mortgage lending, auto lending, student lending and commercial banking services in selective markets nationwide. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers corporate, institutional and not-for-profit clients a full range of wholesale banking products and services including lending and deposits, capital markets, treasury services, foreign exchange and interest hedging, leasing and asset finance, specialty finance and trade finance. Citizens operates via subsidiaries Citizens Bank, N.A., and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. Additional information about Citizens and its full line of products and services can be found at www.citizensbank.com.



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