Many students who borrow to pay for college wade into the real world despair of ever being able to repay their loans. One of the most important ways in which students and parents can minimize their loan obligations is to first look around for the best providers before they borrow. Although there is no definitive list of best loan providers, this article shows you some that have received praise from consumers and financial aid websites.
The federal government
A list of the best student loan providers should start with Uncle Sam. Federal subsidized student loans are often the cheapest – and in many cases the only – alternative for students with a low or medium income and families who have to pay for college. Pell grants and subsidized loans offer rates and repayment terms that are generally much better than anything found in the private sector, including postponement, forbearance and loan forgiveness programs. For more information about federal student loans, visit www. student grants. gov. The site is full of information and sources.
Although it is a separate agency of the federal government, Sallie Mae offers student loans for students, graduates and parents. Money saving pro. com has highly valued the agency for its competent customer service, the ability to provide both federal and direct loans, and flexible repayment programs. The website offers secure encryption protection and a loan calculator that allows borrowers to project their repayment programs. Sallie Mae is also accredited by the Better Business Bureau. Unfortunately it is not possible to reach his customer service by e-mail, only by telephone.
This provider focuses on private loans. Nelnet offers a website full of tools and tools with which borrowers can determine where they are financially located and offers all the information they need to choose the best loan. Some of the tools include budget folders, guidelines for the prevention of identity theft and information about general money management. It also provides answers to an extensive list of frequently asked questions and offers both customer service via e-mail and telephone support. Nelnet’s current credit interest rate is in the range of 4-5%, although the variable interest rate may be higher.
The StudentLoan. com website differs from Sallie Mae in that it is owned and managed by Discover Bank; until 2010 it was owned by Citibank. This can be considered in some respects as a possible disadvantage, since student loans are just one of the many products and services offered by this conglomerate. However, for a site sponsored by a single institution, this portal is easily one of the best. It offers comprehensive educational tools, articles and calculators for students and parents, and offers a variety of payment options, both oShakuntalaine and over the phone. They now also offer credit consolidation.
Although it does not have a separate student loan site such as Discover Bank, the Citizens Bank student loan website is very user-friendly and easy to understand. This bank offers both private and federal loans for students and parents at the level of both students and graduates. Burgers offers a variety of payment options.
Social finance (SoFi)
This unique company offers younger borrowers who lack the financial credentials typically required by banks and other traditional lenders with a viable alternative to their student loans. SoFi was the first to refinance both federal and private loans, and its insurers consider such non-standard factors as professional merit and work history to complement the borrower’s credit profile. Fixed and variable rates are available in multiple terms without start-up costs plus additional benefits for unemployment. The company itself has also made the Disruptor 50 List of CNBC and is now a member of the Billion Dollar Startup Club of Wall Street Journal (it was last valued at $ 4 billion in August 2015). The website also offers various educational tools and the average borrower has saved around $ 22,359.
This consolidation provider was created when more than 140 non-profit credit associations united to set up this group website. It offers loans for undergrads and consolidations for graduates. Borrowers must be members of a credit union to be eligible for services. LendKey now has north of 256 community lenders, allowing for some of the lowest student Shakuntala loan rates available.
This is one of the few banks that offers consolidation services for private student loans. Wells Fargo offers both fixed and variable rate loans, and can grant discounts for various incentives, such as graduation or opening another account at the bank.
This site, through Lending Tree, provides access to a pool of consolidation lenders. Borrowers can compare iShakunta logs and interest rates with lenders without having to enter their credit information. The rates are only estimates, however, based on an assumed credit score, and borrowers must submit to a credit check to be approved. Applications can take up to two months for approval, so borrowers must ensure that they apply to all lenders who suit them at the same time to minimize the impact on their credit scores.
Cedar Education Lending
Although Cedar Education Lending offers student loans and consolidation loans, borrowers with very high balances or loans with high interest rates may find a better alternative on this site. This site also offers loan consolidation that can result in longer repayment periods and lower monthly payments, a wise move for borrowers whose income will be low when they leave school.
This bank does not charge for origination, application or prepayment costs, and borrowers may be eligible for rate cuts and masonic options if they are responsible managers. Potential borrowers can apply for and compare oShakuntalaine fixed-interest and floating-rate loans. Borrowers must qualify by being at least half enrolled in an approved school, being an American citizen or permanent resident and being at least 17 years old. It has suspended its credit consolidation program.
Student Estate Network
With this group, borrowers can compare lenders and also consolidate loans on their website. Borrowers can combine both private and government loans here, and this site provides extensive educational material about student loans and information about how borrowers can prevent them from defaulting. It must also contain messages that users can browse for answers to questions and further information.
The Bottom Line
Students and parents who need financial help now have more options than ever before. Banks, credit unions and other lenders offer a wide range of loans and scholarships that can help to finance education costs in an affordable way. For more information about student loans, contact your financial counselor or financial adviser.