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Citizens Bank launches new alternative to federal student loans for families

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Citizens Bank today announced the launch of the Citizens Bank Student Loan for ParentsTM, a new alternative to federal loans for parents who are helping students pay for college. With no origination fee, the Student Loan for Parents will save families an estimated average of $6272 in annual fees alone and also guarantees approved borrowers receive a lower interest rate than the federal William D. Ford Direct PLUS rate.

The new loan is the latest offering from Citizens Bank designed to help people pay for higher education in a more affordable way, and furthers Citizens’ Bank Better commitment to make banking simple, clear and personal for consumers. In addition, the Student Loan for Parents is an option for anyone who is looking to help a student finance their education, allowing parents or other sponsors to finance a student’s education without obligating the student to the debt.

“A college education remains one of the best investments students can make, but many families continue to struggle with the cost,” said Brendan Coughlin, President of Auto and Education Finance for Citizens Bank. “Our new Student Loan for Parents provides approved borrowers with a guaranteed lower interest rate than they can get from PLUS loans, with more term flexibility and no fees. We are excited to be providing this new option for parents as they develop strategies for managing the cost of college.”

Last year, parents spent an estimated $400 million dollars in origination fees through the William D. Ford Direct PLUS loan program1. With no origination fees and rates as low as 6.60 percent when borrowers take advantage of rate-reducing benefits, the Citizens Bank Student Loan for Parents offers borrowers an attractive alternative. In addition to an improved interest rate, borrowers of the Citizens Bank Student Loan for Parents can save an average of $627 every year simply by avoiding the Federal Direct PLUS loan’s annual origination fee. The loan is available in multiple repayment terms. In the event the parent does not qualify, Citizens Bank will redirect the customer back to the PLUS program ensuring the family always has the information they need to make the best loan decision.

The Student Loan for Parents is the latest offering from Citizens Bank which also offers the Citizens Bank Student Loan (formerly known as the TruFit Student Loan) and the Citizens Bank Education Refinance LoanTM, which enables borrowers to refinance federal and private student loans. Since launching the Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan last year, the average customer savings is $145 a month, meaning customers are thousands of dollars in interest payments over the life of their loans.

Detailed information on qualifications required for the loan is available on the Citizens Bank website and the Citizens 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 student lending specialists that can be reached by phone at 1-888-411-0262.

Money Magazine recently selected Citizens Bank as one of the nation’s best banks in its 2014 list of “The Best Banks in America,” recognizing the company for its level of customer convenience. Citizens won similar honors from Money Magazine in 2013 in the customer experience category. To learn more about Citizens Bank, customers can call the 24/7 customer contact center at 1-800-922-9999, Like the bank on Facebook, follow the bank on Twitter or visit the Citizens Bank website. To learn more about Charter One, customers can call the 24/7 customer contact center at 1-877-242-7837, Like the bank on Facebook, follow the bank on Twitter or visit the Charter One website.

About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.

Citizens Financial Group Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $132.9 billion in assets as of December 31, 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. Citizens Commercial Banking 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 on the Citizens Bank website.

1 Average savings and total fees are calculated using the 2014/2015 Award Year Federal Direct PLUS Loan program reporting.

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