Citizens Financial Group in Providence, R.I., has expanded its student loan-refinancing program to include more options for shorter loan terms.
The $131 billion-asset company will give consumers the option to repay student loans in either five or 10 years. Previously, borrowers could choose between only a 15-year or a 20-year term.
"Customer feedback revealed that this is an industry that doesn't offer the flexibility that customers deserve," Brendan Coughlin, president of education finance for Citizens Financial, said in a phone interview.
"This product offering will be a decent part of our originations going forward," Coughlin said. It will be targeted to consumers who want to become debt-free faster, or those who want to refinance at a lower rate, he said.
"There has been so much pent-up demand for this that it's just not about recent graduates, but anyone who has student debt," Coughlin said.
Citizens started offering education loans in January, limitings its offerings to the refinancing of private student loans. The company expanded its program in September to refinance federal student loans.
Borrowers must have a minimum of $10,000 in federal student loans to qualify for Citizens' refinance program. The product offers fixed rates as low as 4.74%, and variable rates as low as 2.3%, according to the Citizens website explaining the loan benefits. Borrowers also need a minimum credit score of 660 to qualify, Coughlin said.