Better Choices for Your Future
Better Choices for Your Future
Your loan options should be as wide open as your future. We can help you find the best financial plan to pay for your educational journey. Prequalify1 in minutes to check your rate with no impact to your credit score. With a Custom Choice Loan®, you’ll get great benefits and the ability to design a loan that’s customizable to your needs.
What You Need to Apply
- Pay stub (no more than 30 days old) or other proof of income
- Monthly housing cost (rent, mortgage, other)
- Permanent resident aliens and Eligible Non-Citizens2 will be required to provide documentation regarding current immigration status in the United States. The document(s) must be valid through the academic period.
- Anticipated graduation date
- Loan amount
- Academic period for loan
Additional information may be required after your application is submitted for review.
Check Out Our Competitive Rates
Make automatic payments from a bank account and receive a .25% discount.3 Plus, all loans include a 2% principal reduction with proof of graduation.4
2.67% - 11.55%
3.65% - 12.47%
Lowest APRs include a 0.25% discount when auto pay is elected.5,6
.25% Interest Rate Reduction
Customers who choose auto pay earn a 0.25% interest rate reduction for making automatic payments from a savings or checking account.3
2% Principal Reduction
Receive our Graduation Reward, which is a 2% principal reduction included on all loans upon providing proof of graduation.4
No Extra or Hidden Fees
There are absolutely no fees associated with a Custom Choice Loan, including no late or prepayment fees. Plus, we offer natural disaster and unemployment protection.7
A cosigner may be released upon request after making 36 consecutive on-time monthly principal and interest loan payments.8 Learn About Cosigners »
Flexible Borrowing Options
Students can choose whether they want to lock in a fixed interest rate or allow for changes with market volatility with variable interest rates.
The choice is yours whether to pay your loan over 7, 10 or 15 years.9 You know which repayment timeline works best for your budget.
Limits and Maximums:
- $1,000 minimum loan amount10
- $99,999 annual loan maximum10
- $180,000 aggregate student loan limit (total amount of student loan debt allowable)10
Have some questions for us?
We have answers.
Everything you need to know about private student loans.
Before applying for a private student loan, Citizens and Cognition Financial recommend comparing all financial aid alternatives including grants, scholarships, and both federal and private student loans.
The Custom Choice Loan® is made by Citizens (“Lender”). All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to Lender’s underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions and other terms and conditions apply. LENDER AND COGNITION FINANCIAL CORPORATION EACH RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. TERMS, CONDITIONS AND RATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
*Students enrolled less than half-time are only offered the Immediate Repayment option.
1. In order to provide you with a range of rates you prequalify for, Citizens will perform a soft credit inquiry, as authorized by you. Soft credit inquiries do not affect your credit. If you prequalify, the rates and loan options offered to you are estimates only. Once you choose your loan options and submit your application, Citizens will perform a hard credit inquiry. Loan approval, options, and final rates depend on the verification of information provided on your application, and information obtained from the hard credit inquiry (and any cosigner’s hard credit inquiry).
2. The Custom Choice Loan is available to applicants who are U.S. citizens, permanent resident aliens, or Eligible Non-Citizens (DACA residents); it is not available to international students. Eligible Non-Citizens (DACA residents) must apply with an eligible cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien.
3. Earn a 0.25% interest rate reduction for making automatic payments of principal and interest from a bank account (“auto pay discount”) by completing the direct debit form provided by the Servicer. The auto pay discount is in addition to other discounts. The auto pay discount will be applied after the Servicer validates your bank account information and will continue until (1) three automatic deductions are returned for insufficient funds during the life of the loan (after which the discount cannot be reinstated) or (2) automatic deduction of payments is canceled. The auto pay discount is not available when reduced payments are being made or when the loan is in a deferment or forbearance, even if payments are being made.
4. The principal reduction is based on the total dollar amount of all disbursements made, excluding any amounts that are reduced, cancelled, or returned. To receive this principal reduction, it must be requested from the Servicer, the student borrower must have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher and proof of such graduation must be provided to the Servicer. This reward is available once during the life of the loan, regardless of whether the student receives more than one degree.
5. Interest rates and APRs (Annual Percentage Rates) depend upon (1) the student’s and cosigner’s (if applicable) credit histories, (2) the repayment option and repayment term selected, (3) the expected number of years in deferment, (4) the requested loan amount and (5) other information provided on the online loan application. If approved, applicants will be notified of the rate applicable to your loan. Rates and terms are effective as of 8/1/22. The variable interest rate for each calendar month is calculated by adding the 30-Day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate ("SOFR") index, or a replacement index if the SOFR index is no longer available, plus a fixed margin assigned to each loan. The SOFR index is published on the website of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The current SOFR index is 1.52% as of 8/1/22. The variable interest rate will increase or decrease if the SOFR index changes or if a new index is chosen. The applicable index or margin for variable rate loans may change over time and result in a different APR than shown. The fixed rate assigned to a loan will never change except as required by law or if you request and qualify for the auto pay discount.
6. APRs assume a $10,000 loan with one disbursement. The high APRs assume a 15-year term with the Full Deferment option, a 31 month deferment period, and a six-month grace period before entering repayment. The low APRs assume a 7-year term, and the Immediate Repayment option with payments beginning 30-60 days after the disbursement via auto pay. See footnote 3 for auto pay details.
7. Available in increments of no more than two months, for a maximum period of 12 months. To be eligible for forbearance a required number of monthly principal and interest payments must have been made and the loan cannot be more than fifty-nine (59) days delinquent. During a forbearance period, principal and interest payments are deferred and the interest that accrues during the forbearance period may be capitalized at the expiration of such forbearance period. To be eligible for more than one incremental period of forbearance, (a) at least twelve (12) monthly principal and interest payments must be satisfied following the prior period of forbearance and (b) the borrower cannot have utilized more than two (2) forbearance periods in the five (5) years prior to the last day of the most recent forbearance period. The repayment term will be extended month-for-month for the number of months of forbearance applied to the loan.
8. A cosigner may be released from the loan upon request to the Servicer, provided that the student borrower has met credit and other criteria, and 36 consecutive monthly principal and interest payments have been received by the Servicer within 10 calendar days after their due date. Late payment(s), or the use of a deferment or forbearance will reset the number of consecutive principal and interest payments to zero. Use of an approved alternative repayment plan will disqualify the loan from being eligible for this benefit.
9. The 15 year term and Flat Payment Repayment option (paying $25 per month during in-school deferment) are only available for loan amounts of $5,000 or more. Certain repayment terms and/or options may not be available depending on the applicant's enrollment status and/or debt-to-income ratio. Making interest only or flat interest payments during deferment will not reduce the principal balance of the loan. Payment examples (all assume a 14-month deferment period, a six-month grace period before entering repayment, no auto pay discount, and the Interest Only Repayment option): 7-year term: $10,000 loan, one disbursement, with a 7-year repayment term (84 months), and a 7.69% APR would result in a monthly principal and interest payment of $154.32. 10-year term: $10,000 loan, one disbursement, with a 10-year repayment term (120 months) and 7.54% APR would result in a monthly principal and interest payment of $118.91. 15-year term: $10,000 loan, one disbursement, with a 15-year repayment term (180 months) and a 7.53% APR would result in a monthly principal and interest payment of $92.87.
10. The minimum loan amount is $1,000, except for student applicants who are permanent residents of Iowa in which case the minimum loan amount is $1,001. The maximum annual loan amount to cover in-school expenses for each academic year is determined by the school’s cost of attendance, minus other financial aid, such as federal student loans, scholarships, or grants, up to $99,999 annually. The loan amount must be certified by the school. The loan amount cannot cause the aggregate maximum student loan debt (which includes federal and private student loans) to exceed $180,000 per applicant (on cosigned applications, separate calculations are performed for the student and cosigner).