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By Michael Souza
PBN Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE – RBS Citizens Financial Group Inc. has announced the expansion of its student lending business to include private student loans to college students in the continental United States.
To be eligible, students must be enrolled at least half-time in a four-year undergraduate or graduate program.
Previously, the bank’s TruFit Student Loan program was only available to students who lived or attended school in one of the 12 states served by Citizens Bank and Charter One.
The loan is available with a fixed or variable rate, giving students the ability to choose the option that bests fits their needs.
The fixed rate is as low as 6.75 percent APR to 12.75 percent APR. The variable rate is as low as 2.94 percent APR to 9.99 percent APR.
Borrowers receive a 0.50 percent interest rate reduction for automatic payments from any eligible Citizens Bank or Charter One account or a 0.25 percent interest rate reduction for automatic payments from accounts at other banks.
The loan also offers three repayment choices: immediate, interest-only or deferred until six months after graduation.
“The rising cost of college continues to challenge many students and their families, and we are committed to making higher education affordable and attainable,” said Brendan Coughlin, president of education finance for the bank.
“We have seen a terrific response from our customers since launching the TruFit Student Loan in 2009 and are excited now to help even more students benefit from our competitive rates and our consultative approach to helping them finance their education.”
To help students decide what federal or private student loans are best for them, the bank’s education finance experts work with students to ensure they are aware of the federal aid available to them and that they have fully explored those options before making a decision about a private college loan.