Learn About Private Loans

Use private loans for school expenses that arise unexpectedly

Unexpected or large expenses, like books, computers, extra tuition, and travel, can come up during any semester. Private loans help fill the financial gap after you've exhausted all of your other financial resources, including grants, scholarships and federal loans.

  • Overview
  • Private Loan FAQs

College private loans help cover the costs of school

Private loans, like our Citizens Bank Student Loan®, can give you the versatility to pay for all your education-related expenses and the flexibility to apply when you need the funding most.

Citizens Bank is a school-certified private loan option for undergraduate students attending eligible institutions at least half-time. Some of the benefits include:

  • No application, origination or disbursement fees
  • Easy, online application process
  • Ability to be used with Stafford Loans
  • Funds sent directly to the school
  • Three repayment options
  • An interest rate reduction when you sign up for an automatic payment deduction from any eligible Citizens Bank account
  • Possible lower interest rates when you apply with a qualified cosigner

View interest rate and repayment examples.
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Learn more about school private loans here

How much can I borrow with a Citizens Bank Student Loan®?
There are no annual limits. You may borrow up to the cost of your education, less any financial aid. The Citizens Bank Student Loan does have lifetime aggregate limits (including both federal and private loan debt) of:

  • Undergraduate: $120,000
  • Graduate: $150,000
  • Business and Law: $175,000
  • Medical: $225,000

Can a Citizens Bank Student Loan help pay for my books and personal expenses while I'm at school?
Yes. Our Citizens Bank Student Loan can be used to help pay for your indirect costs while you are enrolled in school. You can borrow up to the cost of attendance minus other financial aid you have received, as determined by your individual school.

Do I have to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for private loans for school?
No, you do not have to complete a FAFSA to apply for a private student loan. The FAFSA is used to determine federal student aid only.

I have bad credit. What should I do?
Obtain copies of your credit report from all three major credit bureaus and pinpoint exactly what is hurting your score. Then, read over our student loan credit section for helpful tips and advice on how to establish, improve and maintain good credit.

How do I apply for a Citizens Bank Student Loan?
To apply for the Citizens Bank Student Loan, all you need to do is fill out the quick and simple online application. Before you apply, make sure you have the following items available so you can easily complete your application:

  • Name, address, phone number, email address
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Driver's license number
  • Gross monthly household income
  • Employer name, phone number and length of employment (if applicable)
  • Monthly rent or mortgage payment (if applicable)
  • Name of school you plan to attend
  • School's Department of Education code
  • Cost of attendance and any financial aid received (see award letter from your school)
  • Anticipated graduation date (MM/YYYY)
  • Private college loan amount requested
  • Loan period (MM/YYYY to MM/YYYY)
  • Cosigner name and valid email address (if applicable). Remember, students are encouraged to apply with a qualified co-signer to increase their chances of receiving the lowest rate possible.

Are there any fees for a Citizens Bank Student Loan?
The Citizens Bank Student Loan has zero fees for all borrowers.

What kind of credit is required for a Citizens Bank Student Loan?
The lender will need to see a reasonably strong credit history, which is derived from your credit score. If a student does not have sufficient credit history, he or she should apply with a credit-worthy cosigner.

What if I am not approved for a Citizens Bank Student Loan?
If you apply for a private student loan on your own, without a cosigner and are denied, it's probably because you have insufficient personal credit history, as is typical for a student. You'll simply have to find a qualified cosigner, such as a parent or other guardian, and re-apply.

When can I begin repaying a Citizens Bank Student Loan?
Your repayment options vary depending upon the option you choose when you completed your promissory note:

  • Immediate. Students can make payments while in school.
  • Interest-only. Students can make interest-only payments while in school, helping lower total loan debt.
  • Deferred. Students can defer payment on our alternative student loan until 6 months after graduation, leaving school or when they drop below half-time status.

Are there any penalties for paying off a Citizens Bank Student Loan early?
There's no prepayment penalty.

Any other questions about Citizens Bank Student Loans?
Please talk to one of our Student Loan Specialists at 1-888-411-0266.

Helpful Tools & Information
Establishing Good Credit Your credit score is more important than you think. Find out why.
Maintaining Good Credit Good credit is a big deal. Bad credit is a big problem. Follow these tips to keep it pristine.
Raising Your Credit Score A good credit score is essential to a great interest rate. Let us help you boost it.