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Citizens Financial Group introduces refinancing for federal student loans

Enhancement to Citizens’ Education Refinance Loan now allows borrowers to refinance federal student loans in addition to private student loans

To date, Education Refinance Loan customers have lowered their private student loan monthly payments by an average of $127 and lowered their average APR by 1.5 percent

PROVIDENCE, RI (September 16, 2014) – Citizens Financial Group today introduced a new way for student loan borrowers to manage the long-term cost of college – the ability to refinance federal student loans via its Education Refinance Loan®, which Citizens launched earlier this year with an initial focus on private student loans.

To date, Citizens’ Education Refinance Loan has helped private student loan borrowers lower their monthly payments by an average of $127 and lower their average APR by 1.5 percent, saving thousands of dollars in interest payments over the lives of their loans. Others have utilized refinancing to set consistent monthly payments for the duration of their private student loan by switching to a fixed rate. With today’s announcement, qualified borrowers can now use the Education Refinance Loan to consolidate federal student loans in addition to private student loans, significantly broadening the appeal of this product.

Federal student loans represent 92 percent of student loan debt in the United States, according to industry estimates. In addition, a recent report stated that 40 million consumers now hold at least one student loan with the average consumer holding 3.7 open student loans. Citizens research published in August showed that many consumers – both students and their parents – now see the cost of college threatening their future home purchase and retirement plans. The Education Refinance Loan helps qualified borrowers better manage their student loan debt and save money.

“While a college education is one of the best investments a young adult can make, paying for it afterward while trying to achieve other financial milestones can be difficult,” said Brendan Coughlin, President of Education Finance for Citizens Financial Group. “Loans that are affordable when students are 18 years old often are not the best solutions for them five or more years later, when they have built a strong credit history. In one recent example, we saw a customer reduce his monthly payment by more than $800 through refinancing. Having seen the value of refinancing for private student loan borrowers, we are pleased to be able to extend the Education Refinance Loan now to help federal student loan borrowers as well.”

Depending on borrowers’ individual needs, the Education Refinance Loan offers potential benefits like a lower monthly payment, lower interest rate, lower overall cost of their loan, locking a variable rate into a fixed rate or a single monthly student loan payment. The loan offers eligible applicants interest rates as low as 2.31 percent for variable rates and 4.74 percent for fixed rates, with eligible discounts applied. There are no application, origination or disbursement fees, no prepayment penalties and refinancing.

Detailed information on qualifications required for the loan is available on the Citizens Bank website and the Charter One website. As part of its commitment to student loan borrowers through the life of their student loans, Citizens also has a dedicated team of education finance specialists who work with borrowers to make sure they are aware of all of their options. This team can be reached by phone at 1-888-411-0262.

This enhancement of the Education Refinance Loan comes as part of Bank Better, a company-wide Citizens program driven by the goal of making banking simple, clear and personal. Other recent Bank Better enhancements include:

  • One Deposit Checking, where just one deposit each statement period – of any amount – waives the monthly maintenance fee.
  • Protecting customers from overdraft fees for transactions of $5 or less, with the bank’s signature innovation, $5 Overdraft PassTM.
  • Mobile Deposit, which offers customers the ability to deposit checks quickly using our Mobile Banking apps. By using the mobile device’s video camera there is no need to tap a button, making depositing checks quick and simple.
  • Fast BalanceTM, an exciting new feature that allows busy, on-the-go customers to view account balances without needing to log in to their Mobile Banking app.
  • State-of-the-art ATMs so customers can make ATM deposits as late as 10 p.m. local time on a business day and still have the deposits count as “today.”

For more information on the Citizens Bank and Charter One Education Finance products, please visit www.citizensbank.com/student-services or www.charterone.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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