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COVID-19 & STUDENT LENDING

READY TO ANSWER
YOUR QUESTIONS

We're ready to help

On March 27th, 2020 Congress passed the CARES Act, which included broad relief for federal student loan borrowers. Check out our most frequently asked questions (FAQ) below and call our Student Lending Advisors at 1-800-708-6684 with any additional questions.

 

COVID-19 & Student Loans FAQ

  • The federal government recently announced that interest will not accrue and payments will not be due for a period of 6 months on federal student loans. Does this apply to my Citizens Bank Student Loan or Citizens Bank Education Refinance loan?

    Citizens Bank student loans are privately funded, so our assistance program differs from the federal act approved on March 27, 2020. We understand that these are difficult times for many of our customers and we’re ready to help. We are offering our student loan customers the following relief:

    • No late fees through June 2020 to help ease any financial worry you may have.
    • Offering a 3-month COVID-19 emergency loan forbearance option, a form of repayment relief temporarily postponing your payments. Although interest will still accrue during this 3-month period, it will not be capitalized and payment will not be due until forbearance period has ended.
    • If you experience financial hardship beyond the initial 3-month forbearance, you have the option to request an additional 3- month emergency loan forbearance extension (providing payment relief for a total of 6 months).
    • COVID-19 specific forbearance options will not count towards your forbearance allowance. Given these difficult times, this is considered an emergency offering so your future forbearance allowance will not be impacted, or prevent you from being approved for forbearance in the future should you need it.

    If you are in need of the emergency forbearance, please contact Firstmark Services at 1-866-259-3767. We understand this is a difficult time and we are making every effort to accommodate our customers’ needs.

  • I heard that you are offering a 3-month forbearance on Citizens Bank student loans. How will that impact my loan and am I eligible?

    Due to the recent events brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are making every effort to help our customers. All borrowers will be eligible for a 3-month forbearance should they need it. Forbearance is a form of repayment relief temporarily postponing your payments for that period. Interest will continue to accrue on your loan, but it will not be capitalized at the end of the period. If you are still experiencing financial difficulty at the end of this 3-month period you can request an additional 3-month forbearance. Upon completion of the forbearance, your loan would re-amortize, and your monthly payment amount would be adjusted. These forbearances will not count against your forbearance allowance as part of your loan agreement. If you are in need of the 3-month forbearance, please contact Firstmark Services at 1-866-259-3767.

  • How do the recent announcements around federal student loans in response to the COVID-19 crisis affect my decision to refinance my student loans?

    The federal government announced that interest will not accrue and payments will not be due for a period of 6 months on federal student loans. We recommend that all customers with federal student loan debt carefully consider their options before refinancing with a private student loan. This interest free period is beneficial to customers and we advise you to consider these benefits during the six month period and over the life of the loan prior to refinancing. When you refinance, you waive any current and potential future benefits of your federal loans and replace those with the benefits of the Education Refinance Loan.

    Depending on your rate and amount borrowed, refinancing may still be a good lifetime savings option for you. We are here to help you think through what might be your best option. Please call us at 1-800-708-6684.

    Please carefully review your current and potential future benefits on your federal loans before refinancing.

  • I have a student loan with Citizens Bank and my school is going to refund my room and board costs for the spring semester – how will this affect my loan?

    Many schools are giving students a choice between returning funds to the student, crediting a future semester or returning loan proceeds to us. If your school sends us back the funds through normal cancellation routines by the end of May 2020, we will credit your loan for the principal returned and waive any accrued interest for this time. Should you choose to take the funds or receive future credit your loan would remain as is. If you need assistance please contact Firstmark Services at 1-866-259-3767.

  • Will Citizens Bank be lowering my current interest rate to zero or offering zero percent interest if I were to get a Citizens Bank Student Loan or Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan similar to Federal student loans?

    Citizens Bank student loans are private loans and do not offer federal loan benefits such as temporary interest free periods. In addition, when you refinance a federal student loan, you waive any current and potential future benefits of your federal loans and replace those with the benefits of the Education Refinance Loan.


    In these unprecedented times, we are doing our utmost to protect the safety and well-being of our customers. As such, we have been hard at work designing solutions to help our customers in need during this difficult time, outlined here in these FAQs.

Still looking for more information? Visit our Resource Center.

Questions? Ask a Citizen.
Questions? Ask a Citizen.

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