Study: How US College Costs Stack Up With the Rest of the World

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No one can deny the social and personal benefits of a higher education. College introduces you to new perspectives, challenges you with thought-provoking ideas, and opens the door to high-paying jobs.

But for many students in the U.S., a college education comes with sky-high tuition costs.

According to the College Board, tuition and fees at private universities have risen to an average of $34,740 per year. J.P. Morgan predicts four years at a private college could cost as much as $487,004 in 2035.

Curious how much the rest of the world charges for college, Student Loan Hero took a look at 10 other countries, all of which are home to leading universities. Most had lower tuition fees than the United States, but surprisingly, the U.S. didn’t top the list for most expensive colleges.

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Below you’ll find the full ranking, starting with countries with the least-expensive college tuition and counting down to those with the highest.

11. Germany: $0

10. France: $217

9. Switzerland: $1,168

8. Netherlands: $2,420

7. China: $3,300 – $9,900

6. South Korea: $4,578

5. Australia: $4,763

4. Canada: $4,939

3. Japan: $5,228

2. United States: $8,202

1. United Kingdom: $12,414

11. Germany


  • Top-ranked university: Technical University of Munich, ranked No. 60 worldwide
  • Average annual tuition fee at a public college: $0 (some colleges charge a semester contribution fee of about $300 or less)
  • Percentage of population with a bachelor’s: 15%
  • Employment rate for bachelor’s degree holders: 88.1%
  • Student population: 2.98 million
  • Total population: 81.71 million
  • Cost of living index: 73.18, ranked No. 26 worldwide

Germany is one of the few countries in the world that offers free higher education for both German and international students alike. Although some universities charge a small semester fee of about €150 to €250 ($176 to $294) for student services, students essentially get a world-class education at no tuition cost.

However, this policy of free higher education isn’t without its detractors. According to Quartz, a survey by the Ifo Center for the Economics of Education found that 44 percent of Germans want to bring back tuition fees.

And the state of Baden-Württemberg recently decided to reintroduce fees of €1,500 per semester for international students, citing a €48 million higher education funding gap, reported The Independent. Even if other regions follow suit, this fee remains lower than tuition fees in a lot of other countries.

That’s why so many international students have flocked to Germany. The Institute of International Education (IIE) estimates the number of foreign students studying in Germany for the 2017 school year is 251,542 — an increase of more than 15,000 students over the previous year.

German nationals appreciate the low fees, too. As of 2016, only 18 percent of German students graduated with loans, according to Inside Higher Ed. Of those with debt, 50 percent owe less than €4,000. Plus, many German students get financial support from their parents. In fact, German parents are legally obligated to support their children through university.

10. France


  • Top-ranked university: École normale supérieure, Paris, ranked No. 33 worldwide
  • Average annual tuition fee at a public college: $217
  • Percentage of population with a bachelor’s: 9.5%
  • Employment rate for bachelor’s degree holders: 83.3%
  • Student population: 2.39 million
  • Total population: 64.46 million
  • Cost of living index: 81.16, ranked No. 18 worldwide

Similar to colleges in the U.K., many degree-granting programs in France span three years. Unlike their neighbor to the north, though, France charges low tuition fees to its students. Public universities charged only €184 ($217) to students in the 2016-2017 year, according to Campus France.

Fees for international students were the same, which might be why 310,000 foreign students chose France in the 2015-2016 school year, reported the IIE. That being said, fees at private universities are a lot higher, with Campus France showing an average annual cost between €3,000 and €10,000.

Government financial aid is available, as well as subsidies to cover living costs. Plus, a number of organizations offer grants and scholarships to national and foreign students alike.

Health insurance is covered for EU students, and non-EU students can get coverage for an annual fee of €200. Although the majority of programs are taught in French, universities are offering an increasing number of courses in English.

For any international students interested in taking advantage of France’s low tuition, you can get help with the application and Visa process from Campus France.

9. Switzerland


  • Top-ranked university: ETH Zurich, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ranked No. 8 worldwide
  • Average annual tuition fee at a public college: $1,168
  • Percentage of population with a bachelor’s: 20.1%
  • Employment rate for bachelor’s degree holders: 88.5%
  • Student population: 294,450
  • Total population: 8.32 million
  • Cost of living index: 138.16, ranked No. 2 worldwide

The majority of universities in Switzerland are public institutions, and they charge low or no fees to incoming students. That doesn’t necessarily mean going to college is cheap, though. Switzerland has one of the highest costs of living in the world, second only to Bermuda.

According to Numbeo, the cost of living in Geneva is 32 percent higher than it is in New York City. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment goes for about $2,000, and an inexpensive meal at a restaurant still costs around $25.

Because so many students receive help from their families, however, only about 15 percent graduate with a loan, according to SWI. Many receive education grants, plus three-quarters of students work during university to cover living costs.

Students can study in a mix of languages, as most schools offer programs in German, French, or Italian. Some programs are also taught in English, which might be why 2,032 Americans studied in Switzerland in the 2015-2016 school year, according to the IIE.

8. Netherlands


  • Top-ranked university: University of Amsterdam, ranked No. 57 worldwide
  • Average annual tuition fee at a public college: $2,420
  • Percentage of population with a bachelor’s: 20.8%
  • Employment rate for bachelor’s degree holders: 87.5%
  • Student population: 842,601
  • Total population: 16.94 million
  • Cost of living index: 79.61, ranked No. 20 worldwide

Despite lower tuition fees — $2,420 at public colleges — students in the Netherlands are experiencing some of the same debt challenges as those in the U.S. According to Dutch student organization ISO, student loan debt rises by 55 euro cents (67 cents) per second.

Today, students collectively owe €17.6 billion, up from €12 billion five years ago. The average graduate owes €14,000 upon graduation.

This burden makes it difficult to afford other expenses after graduation, such as buying a house. The ISO says the country needs to do a better job of educating students about the real costs of a higher education.

It also started a campaign to reduce tuition costs across the board. If these efforts are successful, tuition costs will go down rather than keep rising, as they’ve been doing for the past few years.

That said, students who are earning less than the full-time minimum wage are not required to make student loan payments. Plus, your monthly bills are typically capped at 4 percent of your gross earnings above minimum wage.

Because of these safeguards, along with lengthy 15- and 35-year repayment terms, student loan default is not a major problem in the Netherlands. However, students are still more burdened than they used to be as a result of 2015 legislation that replaced grants with loans.

7. China


  • Top-ranked university: Tsinghua University, ranked No. 24 worldwide
  • Average annual tuition fee at a public college: $3,300 to $9,900
  • Percentage of population with a bachelor’s: 3.5%
  • Student population: 43.37 million
  • Total population: 1.38 billion
  • Cost of living index: 45.78, ranked No. 74 worldwide

Public colleges in China have an average tuition cost between $3,300 and $9,900 per year. Unlike in the U.S., where the highest-ranked colleges are private, China’s most prestigious universities are public.

To get in, high schoolers in China must pass the National Higher Education Entrance Examination, or Gaokao. They can only take this intensive, three-day exam once per year, and their acceptance into college is contingent on their performance.

Unfortunately, not all students get the preparation they need to master this exam. Project Partner reported that 95 percent of students from rural areas drop out before the Gaokao rolls around.

China has more than 2,000 universities with a total student population of 43.37 million, according to UNESCO. It’s also the leading place of origin for international students studying in the U.S.

The IIE revealed that 350,755 Chinese students studied at U.S. colleges in the 2016-2017 school year, making up 32.5 percent of the total population of foreign students. Comparatively, just 11,668 Americans studied in China in the 2015-2016 school year.

6. South Korea


  • Top-ranked university: Seoul National University, ranked No. 35 worldwide
  • Average annual tuition fee at a public college: $4,578
  • Average annual tuition fee at a private university: $8,205
  • Percentage of population with a bachelor’s: 33.7%
  • Employment rate for bachelor’s degree holders: 77.5%
  • Student population: 565,350
  • Total population: 50.59 million
  • Cost of living index: 81.07, ranked No. 19 worldwide

South Koreans face high tuition fees, with an average fee of $4,578 at public colleges and $8,205 at private ones. To manage these fees, Korean students can get government-backed grants, loans, or work-study from the Korea Student Aid Foundation (KOSAF).

Financial aid from KOSAF is either need-based or merit-based. Student loans are specialized by type, and they include income-contingent loans, loans for rural students, and living expense loans.

The most widely accessible loan types are Direct Loans, and they can be used at the undergraduate or graduate level and have a fixed interest rate of 2.70%. In fact, the interest rate for most KOSAF-backed student loans don’t exceed 2.70%, and some even come with no interest at all.

The standard repayment plan spans 10 years, but students with income-contingent loans don’t have to make payments until their salary exceeds a certain threshold.

An estimated 565,350 South Korean students enroll in their home universities, reported UNESCO. An additional 58,663 South Korean students come to the U.S. to study.

Education is highly valued in Korea, but some economists suggest the financial pressure on families might cause problems in the future.

5. Australia


  • Top-ranked university: Australian National University, No. 22
  • Average annual tuition fee at a public college: $4,763
  • Average annual tuition fee at a private college: $8,827
  • Percentage of population with a bachelor’s: 24.7%
  • Employment rate for bachelor’s degree holders: 84.4%
  • Student population: 2.87 million
  • Total population: 23.8 million
  • Cost of living index: 85.96, ranked No. 13 worldwide

With tuition fees averaging $4,763 per year at public colleges and $8,827 per year at private ones, students in Australia are facing a steep price tag for their degrees.

According to the New York Times, the average Australian student graduates with $22,000 in student loans. They then enter an automatic repayment plan, which is based on their income.

Graduates don’t pay anything until they’re earning around $40,000 or more per year. Once they reach the earnings threshold, they pay between 4 and 8 percent of their income, a payment the government takes out automatically from their bank accounts.

If their income rises, so do their payments. If their income decreases, payments drop. In the U.S., you need to file paperwork to get on or off an income-driven repayment plan. In Australia, the adjustments happen automatically.

U.S. readers might also be jealous to hear that federal student loans in Australia don’t come with interest. They might rise along with inflation, but they don’t accrue interest before or during repayment.

Whatever your opinion of this system, it makes it almost impossible to default on a student loan. That’s a far cry from the U.S., where nearly 5 million Americans are in default on their student loans, according to the Wall Street Journal.

4. Canada


  • Top-ranked university: McGill University, ranked No. 30 worldwide
  • Average annual tuition fee at a public college: $4,939
  • Percentage of population with a bachelor’s: 20.6%
  • Employment rate for bachelor’s degree holders: 82.8%
  • Student population: 1.01 million
  • Total population: 35.95 million
  • Cost of living index: 72.82, ranked No. 28 worldwide

Canada has over 1 million full-time students and 290,000 part-time students studying across its universities. Although colleges are more affordable than they tend to be in the U.S. — about $4,939 per year at public schools — Canadian students are not immune to student loan debt.

The average student graduates with loans in the amount of 26,819 Canadian dollars ($21,042). However, they don’t necessarily need to start paying back their debt immediately after graduation.

Like Australia and the U.K., Canada has a universal income-based repayment system for college graduates. Students don’t have to pay anything until they start making at least CA$25,000 per year.

If you qualify to pause payments, the government will cover interest for up to 10 six-month periods during the decade after you graduate. If you stay on this repayment assistance plan, you’ll continue to receive government help, as well as a loan discharge after 15 years.

Although these rules help protect Canadian citizens, they’re not available to foreign students. That, along with the higher fees for international students — CA$15,942.90 to CA$40,802.70 per year at McGill, for example — might be why only 1,716 American students studied in Canada in the 2015-2016 school year, reported the IIE.

3. Japan


  • Top-ranked university: The University of Tokyo, ranked No. 34 worldwide
  • Average annual tuition fee at a public college: $5,228
  • Average annual tuition fee at a private college: $8,428
  • Percentage of population with a bachelor’s: 29.4%
  • Employment rate for bachelor’s degree holders: 86.8%
  • Student population: 3.56 million
  • Total population: 127.98 million
  • Cost of living index: 89.50, ranked No. 8 worldwide

Japan’s tuition costs are relatively high, averaging $5,228 per year at a public university and $8,428 at a private college.

Although tuition has risen, News on Japan reported that wages have not. As a result, the government-backed Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), which lends 99 percent of the country’s student loans, is seeing a record number of defaults.

Although universities at Japan are not as cheap as in France or Germany, Japan was still a popular study abroad destination for American students. The IIE revealed it was the 10th-most popular destination in the world for study abroad, with 7,415 students going to Japan in the 2015-2016 school year.

2. United States


  • Top-ranked university: MIT, ranked No. 1 worldwide
  • Average annual tuition fee at a public college: $8,202
  • Average annual tuition fee at a private college: $21,189
  • Percentage of population with a bachelor’s: 22.2%
  • Employment rate for bachelor’s degree holders: 81.6%
  • Student population: 19.53 million
  • Total population: 319.93 million
  • Cost of living index: 77.23, ranked No. 24 worldwide

While the U.S. charges some of the highest tuition fees in the world, it’s also home to the greatest number of top-ranked universities. In Top Universities’ QS World University Rankings, more than half of the top 25 schools are located in the U.S., with the top three spots filled by MIT, Stanford, and Harvard.

Joseph Chamie, an independent international demographic consultant and the former director of the UN Population Division, said these rankings might be part of the reason tuition costs are so high.

“Colleges are able to charge higher tuition fees without any diminishment of the people coming in,” said Chamie. “There are always people in line who say, ‘We’ll pay it.’”

These prestigious colleges have no incentive to lower tuition costs, since there is a steady stream of applicants willing to pay whatever it takes to earn their degree from a top school.

This reality, however, can create a ripple effect of unequal access to higher education and later, to high-paying jobs.

“The gap seems to be widening,” said Chamie. “[There are] increasing disparities between upper-level incomes and lower-level incomes.”

Not only do we see an increasing socioeconomic gap, but student debt-burdened graduates are delaying life milestones. Millennials are waiting longer to get married, buy houses, and have children.

They’re also working more; 44 million Americans have side hustles on top of their regular work, reported Bankrate. Perhaps not coincidentally, the same number of Americans owe student loans.

Our collective $1.48 trillion in student loan debt poses major challenges to individuals and society at large. Although Chamie doesn’t see it as a national economic crisis yet, he suggests we’re “moving in that direction.”

“How we deal with [student debt] is going to affect our entire society,” said Chamie.

As we adapt to new challenges like globalization and advancing technology, access to higher education becomes even more critical. By looking to other countries, we might find solutions to some of the problems we have at home.

1. United Kingdom


  • Top-ranked university: University of Cambridge, ranked No. 4 worldwide
  • Average annual tuition fee at a public college: $12,414
  • Percentage of population with a bachelor’s: 22.9%
  • Employment rate for bachelor’s degree holders: 84.9%
  • Student population: 2.35 million
  • Total population: 65.4 million
  • Cost of living index: 76.02, ranked No. 25 worldwide

Although the U.S. used to hold the record for highest tuition costs, the U.K. now leads the pack, with OECD estimates putting average tuition fees at a public university at $12,414 per year.

According to Student Loans Company, a government-owned nonprofit organization, U.K. students are graduating £32,220 ($43,298) in debt, even though most bachelor’s degree programs span three years instead of four.

The individual debt burden increased in 2012, with the passing of legislation that allowed universities in England to charge up to £9,000 per year.

Between March 2011 and March 2017, the country’s outstanding student loan debt has risen from £40.2 billion to £100.5 billion, reported Student Loans Company. That debt will likely continue to rise, with some universities charging as much as £9,250 per year.

Sarah Elsey, an English literature major who now runs her own blog, graduated from Liverpool Hope University £47,000 in debt.

“University is too expensive,” said Elsey. “There are funds available for those students who come from less well-off families, but they’re hard to come by. Nearly all students have to get jobs because their student loan doesn’t cover rent for the cheapest student accommodation.”

That being said, Elsey’s repayment plan is manageable for her budget. “Repayment is quite small,” she said. “If you’re on a wage of £21,000 per year, the monthly repayment is £24, which is definitely manageable.”

In the U.K., all college graduates go on an income-based student loan repayment plan. Although this income-based system makes student loan repayment more manageable, it could also leave some borrowers in debt for a lifetime, since it sets the monthly payments quite low.

“It would take me 163 years to pay off my loan,” said Elsey. “If I was on a £30,000 wage, I would be paying £90 per month, taking me 43 years to pay my loan off.”

Fortunately, students don’t have to pay back their student loans forever. If they have a remaining balance after 30 years of repayment, the government will forgive the rest.

Although the U.K. struggles with student debt much like the U.S., its income-based repayment system means some grads are facing lower monthly payments after graduation without having to file any extra paperwork.

Students face high tuition fees around the world


Students in the U.S. aren’t the only ones who are seeing an increase in tuition costs. But some countries have managed to keep costs low, while others help new grads with automatic income-based plans for their student loans.

By keeping a global perspective, we can learn about new — and potentially more effective — systems of tuition, borrowing, and repayment. Plus, we can consider the perspective that public college should be free and accessible for all.

Of course, apart from a few exceptions, we’re a long way off from universal access to higher education. In the meantime, you can prepare yourself for the costs of college by saving money and applying for scholarships.

Before selecting a school, compare tuition costs around the country, not to mention around the world. Wherever you choose to study, you can empower yourself by learning about systems of financial aid and student loan repayment.

Research your options so you have a plan to deal with debt, should you choose to borrow. If you’re already dealing with major debt, search for ways to lighten the load. You might get loan repayment assistance from a government program, or consider refinancing your student debt to lower your interest rate.

Figuring out how to deal with student debt as individuals and as a nation is a complex issue with no simple answers. But when it comes to combating the growing student debt crisis — and improving access to higher education — we must keep sharing our experiences across borders.

Bringing these issues to the forefront of the cultural conversation is an important first step toward enacting reform.

 

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Earnest Disclosures

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Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.97% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.30% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.

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Laurel Road Disclosures

APR stands for “Annual Percentage Rate.” Rates listed include a 0.25% EFT discount, for automatic payments made from a checking or savings account. Interest rates as of 11/8/2018. Rates subject to change.

Variable rate options consist of a range from 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term, 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term, 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term, 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term, or 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rate will change on the first day of every month (“Change Date”) if the Current Index changes. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes. The variable interest rates are calculated by adding a margin ranging from 0.98% to 3.80% for the 5-year term loan, 2.35% to 3.85% for the 7-year term loan, 2.40% to 3.90% for the 10-year term loan, 2.65% to 4.15% for the 15-year term loan, and 2.90% to 4.40% for the 20-year term loan, respectively, to the 1-month LIBOR index published on the 25th day of each month immediately preceding each “Change Date,” as defined above, rounded to two decimal places, with no origination fees. If the 25th day of the month is not a business day or is a US federal holiday, the reference date will be the most recent date preceding the 25th day of the month that is a business day. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term would be from $180.89 to $193.75. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term would be from $139.65 to $146.76. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term would be from $104.56 to $111.98. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term would be from $78.77 to $86.78. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term would be from $67.05 to $75.68.

However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.


3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: Fixed rates from 3.899% APR to 7.979% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.470% APR to 6.990% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.470% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.30% plus 0.91% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score.
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4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.

LendKey Disclosures

Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.


5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.

All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.28% effective October 10, 2018.


6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Education Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of November 1, 2018, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.29%. Variable interest rates range from 2.79%-8.39% (2.79%-8.39% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Fixed interest rates range from 3.75%-8.69% (3.75%-8.69% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Lowest rates shown require application with a cosigner, are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.
  2. Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer with the Education Refinance Loan. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans and replace those with the benefits of the Education Refinance Loan. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision at http://www.citizensbank.com/EdRefinance, including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.
  3. Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Eligibility: Eligible applicants may not be currently enrolled. Applicants with an Associate’s degree or with no degree must have made at least 12 qualifying payments after leaving school. Qualifying payments are the most recent on time and consecutive payments of principal and interest on the loans being refinanced. Primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The cosigner (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a cosigner will be required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Education Refinance Loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned.
  4. Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  5. Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
  6. Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply.

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