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Nelnet Student Loans Review: Why You Should Take Out A Loan From It

When taking out a loan, it is important to look for the best based on what your needs are. With this Nelnet student loans review, anyone who’s looking for either a private student loan or a student loan refinancing will have an idea of whether the lending company is worth dealing with or not.

Nelnet Student Loans Review

In an article published by Forbes online, it says that as of 2020, student loan debt in the United States has already reached about $1.56 trillion, which was collectively loaned by 45 million borrowers.

With such an increase in number, it is not surprising why student loan debt became the second-highest consumer debt category — next to mortgage debt.

While there could be a lot of different reasons behind the increase, one thing’s for sure, looking at it on a positive way, it says a lot about how people today (especially the young ones) value education that no matter what situations they’re in, they are likely to find ways – in this case, loan money — to be able to pursue education.

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In the country today, there are a lot of lenders around. While some are focused on providing usual types of consumer loans only, others provide student loans.

To be honest, there are a lot of student loan providers in the country today, and when they’re too many, it can get overwhelming sometimes. You know, choosing which one is the best among a sea of options.

One of the existing student loan providers nowadays is Nelnet. Thus, this Nelnet student loans review, which aims to provide all the important details every student loan borrower must know before signing a deal with the lending company.

In particular, we are going to provide answers to the following very important questions:

  • What is Nelnet?
  • What products does Nelnet offer?
  • What do borrowers need to know about Nelnet student loans?
  • Who qualifies for a Nelnet student loan?
  • How to apply for a Nelnet student loan?
  • What are the pros and cons of Nelnet student loans?

WHAT IS NELNET?

Nelnet was founded in 1996. While it does have several offices in different parts of the world, the company is headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Currently, Nelnet has over 6,500 associates working together to serve various communities and in making their customers’ dreams come true.

Nelnet is known for providing some of the best student loan rates in the country.

The company, primarily known as a student loan servicing company, also provides various services including consumer finance, telecommunications, and K-12 and higher education.

As a student loan servicer, the company works directly with borrowers — helping them, manage, at the same time repay their existing student loans.

Although the loans are owned by the federal government, the lending company contracts with the U.S. Department of Education to handle repayments of federal student loans.

Nelnet Student Loan Servicing is the student loan arm of Nelnet Diversified Solutions.

On its company website, it says that Nelnet operates in four particular business segments, which include the following:

  • Nelnet Business ServicesPayment technology, school administration software, and community management solutions for K-12 schools, higher education institutions, churches, and businesses.
  • Nelnet Communications ServicesConnects homes and businesses in Nebraska and Colorado with fiber internet, TV, and phone services.
  • Nelnet Diversified ServicesProvides customer service for student loan borrowers, technology related to student loan customer service, and outsourcing services for guaranty agencies.
  • Nelnet Financial ServicesPrivate student loans, student loan refinancing, and life and disability insurance to assist students and families.

The company is driven to ensure they get to live by the company mission to serve customers, associates, and communities, and to realize its vision of (as mentioned earlier) making dreams possible.

Meanwhile, if you want to know more about Nelnet student loan servicing, here’s an informative video created by Student Loan Planner. You should check this out:

WHAT PRODUCTS DOES NELNET OFFER?

When shopping for a student loan provider, it is important not just to learn about who and what the company is all about, but also the products and services they offer.

A lender with various options is ideal so as a borrower, you have a lot of choices to choose from. You know sometimes, some borrowers do not even know yet what they actually need until they get to see and understand what the available products are.

With Nelnet, we like the fact that it does offer various services. When it comes to repayment plans, in particular, Nelnet offers borrowers the following:

  • Standard Repayment Plan – This type of repayment plan is the most common plan. With Standard Repayment, what happens is that payments are spread equally all throughout the life of the loan. According to the Nelnet website, the required 120 payments for PSLF should be made under an Income-Driven Repayment Plan. Any payments made under the Standard Plan count toward the required 120 payments. However, it requires full repayment in 10 years, and the borrower would have no loan balance left to forgive.”
  • Graduate Repayment Plan – Unlike the previous one, with this plan, payments increase over time. Payment amounts increase every 24 months until the loan balance is fully paid. This type of repayment plan is ideal for people who are expecting to make more money in the future years. As their salary increases, they become more capable of making payments.
  • Extended Repayment Plan – With this type of plan, borrowers are given more time to repay the loan by allowing you to increase the repayment term on your student loan. It is important to note, however, that while this plan makes monthly payments more affordable, it will take a longer amount of time to pay off the loan (up to 25 years), and that borrowers will technically pay more interest.
  • Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan – This particular repayment plan can be used with Federal Family Education Loans (FFELP). It allows the borrower to adjust the minimum monthly payment based on his or her income for up to five years. However, it is important to note that after five years, the account will defer to either the Standard or Graduated Repayment Plan.
  • Income-Driven Repayment Plan – If you want a more affordable monthly payment, then, this plan is the best option. Your monthly payment amount is tailored to your income. However, to ensure eligibility, the borrower needs to submit his or her income and family size annually.

As you can see, the company has diverse options to choose from, and it all boils down to what you are most comfortable with, needless to say, what you can afford.

WHAT DO BORROWERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT NELNET STUDENT LOANS?

When looking for the right student loan provider, or any type of loan for that matter, make sure to do your own research. Do not just settle for a lending company because it is popular or because you saw an ad and you think the offer is good.

Always make it a point to check every single detail and compare it to other lenders. By doing so, you are doing yourself a very important favor – ensuring you are signing up with the best deal possible.

There are a few factors to consider when getting student loans, in this case, a federal loan repayment plan. This includes the following items:

  • Interest Rates
  • Loan Amounts
  • Loan Terms
  • Fees
  • Payment options
  • Deferment
  • Forbearance
  • Other Features

Now, let’s get into details —

Interest Rates

It is important to know that unlike other lenders since Nelnet is a federal student loan servicer, the rates they follow are based on federal student loans.

Currently, the interest rate of Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans for undergraduates is 2.75%. Meanwhile, the interest rate on Direct Unsubsidized Loans is 4.30% for graduate and professional students.

Meanwhile, for current or prospective students who opt for Nelnet private student loans, the company offers such loans through U-fi From Nelnet.

For this particular loan type, fixed-rate student loans start from as low as 4.70% while variable ones from 1.55%.

Loan Amounts

For Nelnet private loans, in particular, loan amounts start at $1,000 and can go as high as $125,000 for undergraduate programs, while $500,000 for graduate medical programs.

Loan Terms

Loan terms vary depending on the borrower’s eligibility, plus the repayment plan used.

Also, if the borrower has obtained the loan from other lenders that use Nelnet as their servicer, the rates as well as loan terms will depend on the lender.

Fees

Apart from interest rates, another important factor to consider when taking out a student loan or a repayment plan is the fees involved. Fees vary from one lender to another, thus, make sure to also look into this when shopping for a lender.

As mentioned earlier, Nelnet is a federal student loan servicer, which means it follows the rules implemented for federal student loans.

In this case, for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Nelnet charges a 1.059% loan fee.

Payment Options

Once your loan application is approved, payments automatically come next.

Unlike other student loan providers, or in the case of Nelnet, a federal student loan servicer, the company does offer a variety of payment options such as the following:

  • Autopay – By choosing this method, your monthly payment is automatically deducted from your account. This is the most ideal payment method of all as it ensures you will never forget making payments. What’s also good about auto payments is that most lenders offer a lower interest rate when a borrower applies for this payment method.
  • Online Bill Payment (Through Your Bank) – Apart from autopay, another convenient way to make payments is through your bank’s online bill payment service. However, make sure to check with your bank first as some may incur a fee.
  • Multiple Payment Options – Nelnet provides its customers with various options to pay bills — could be through online, via mail, mobile app, or through telephone.

Deferment

Nelnet offers deferment options for borrowers who are going through financial hardship, unemployment, as well as those who opted to go back to school or are currently on active duty military services.

Depending on the borrower’s loan type, he or she may not accrue interest while on deferment.

Forbearance

For those who are working an internship, performing a specific type of community service, or those who are going through financial difficulty, you may check with Nelnet as you may be qualified to postpone payments with forbearance. However, it is important to note that all loans accrue interest while on forbearance that is why it’s highly recommended to pay at least the monthly interest to avoid interest capitalization. Furthermore, forbearance helps resolve delinquency on the borrower’s account.

Other Features

Apart from the above-mentioned factors to consider when considering taking a student loan or a Nelnet repayment plan, the lending company also provides the following additional loan features:

  • Due Date Adjustment – With Nelnet, adjusting payment due dates is possible. This is very helpful for those with multiple loans with different due dates. Just call Nelnet and ask them to adjust the dates to one particular date during the month so you get to pay them all at once.
  • Text Reminders – To ensure you get to pay your monthly payments on time, all you have to do is sign up for text alerts. This helps you keep reminded of your dues.
  • Bundling Similar Loans – Nelnet also allows borrowers to group their loans based on the qualities they have in common.

Contact Information

If by now you already have decided to apply for Nelnet student loans or that you want to know more about the products and services offered by the company, all you have to do is to get in touch with Nelnet through the following channels:

Phone: United States:

United States – 1-888-486-4722 (Service from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday)

International – 1-303-696-3625

Mailing Address:

Nelnet

P.O. Box 82561

Lincoln, NE 68501-2561

For California residents

Nelnet

P.O. Box 82578

Lincoln, NE 68501-2578

WHO QUALIFIES FOR A NELNET STUDENT LOAN?

At this point in our Nelnet student loans review, we are going to talk about who qualifies for a student loan for the said lender.

When you are shopping for a student loan provider, it is important to check the qualifications set by the company to ensure you are not wasting time and effort.

With Nelnet, since it is a federal student loan serviced, student loan borrowers are not able to get a loan directly from the company. Instead, the company will service federal student loans that borrowers obtain from the country’s Department of Education.

To put it simply, you need to check and ensure you qualify for a federal student loan from the Department of Education to be able to get the chance of getting a loan from Nelnet.

However, it is also important to take note that usually you do not get to decide who the lender would be. It usually depends on the department.

Anyway, to qualify for federal student loans, all you have to do is fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The borrower has to fill out the FAFSA for every school year that he or she hopes to get a loan for.

HOW TO APPLY FOR A NELNET STUDENT LOAN?

As mentioned above, student loan borrowers cannot go directly to Nelnet to apply for a loan (unless you are a private student loan borrower).

So, for those who are obtaining a service federal student loans from the Department of Education, all they have to do is to fill out a FAFSA — as mentioned earlier. Again, make sure to fill out the FAFSA for each school year that you hope to get a loan for. Make sure to complete the FAFSA as soon as you can because some sources of federal aid are limited.

Once you complete the FAFSA, you automatically become eligible for need-based loans like Direct Subsidized Loans, wherein eligibility for this type of loan depends on the household income.

When a student loan borrower’s course borrows through the Department of Education, he or she does not have the freedom to choose who the lender will be. Rather, it is the department that will assign you to a loan servicer like Nelnet.

For private student loan borrowers, you may proceed to Nelnet’s company website to kick off your student loan application process.

WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF NELNET STUDENT LOANS?

This Nelnet student loans review will not be complete without our list of pros and cons. This basically sums up everything about Nelnet student loans. So, here they are —

PROS

  • Multiple Repayment Plan Options – Nelnet provides student loan borrowers with multiple repayment plans depending on what they can and cannot afford — as well as depending on how much you earn on a monthly basis.
  • Forgive Loan Balance – Through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program or once the borrower has achieved a certain number of student loan payments, the remaining loan balance may be forgiven. This depends on the requirements set by the company.
  • Option for Loan Consolidation – There is an option for loan consolidation with the Department of Education.
  • Forbearance and/or Deferment – Nelnet allows loans to be put into forbearance or deferment if the borrower goes through financial challenges, are in a residency program, or have opted to go back to school.

CONS

  • Borrowers do not get to choose the federal loan servicer, which means it is likely that he or she may not end up with Nelnet. The Department of Education has the say who a borrower’s servicer will be.
  • The company has a lot of consumer complaints in the past that some thought it’s a scam.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON NELNET STUDENT LOANS

To sum it all up, Nelnet, just like other student loan providers out there does have its share of good and bad. While it may have failed a lot of borrowers in the past, the company continues to strive and be better — which perhaps is the reason why it still exits these days.

While we have provided you almost all of the essential information you need in this Nelnet student loans review, at the end of the day, it’s up for you to decide if you think this lender is worth a try or not.

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Commonbond Student Loans Review: Every Student Borrower’s Guide

Commonbond is worth considering if you are looking for a lending company that caters to financing a specialized degree. That said, this Commonbond student loan review will provide you the essential information you need to know.

Commonbond student loans review

According to a report published at Forbes online, as of 2019, student loan debt in the United States has been the highest ever recorder.

The latest student loan debt statistics show that there are a total of 45 million borrowers in the country as of 2019 who collectively owe more than $1.5 trillion in student loan debt.

Based on the current number, student loan debt has become the second-highest consumer debt category in the country — following mortgage debt, and higher compared to credit cards and auto loans.

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Furthermore, experts believe that the number will continue to rise in the years to come particularly this year with the recent crisis the world is facing. With people losing jobs, losing means to earn, the more likely that they will resort to getting loans.

Now, there are a lot of lending companies out there providing various student loan options. However, there are only a few that cater to specialized degrees such as a medical, dental, or MBA degree. Let’s be realistic, these degrees need a lot of money to get done.

Commonbond, a private lender that underwrites and originates all of its loans, is one of the few lending companies that provide student loan borrowers with the option to borrow money particularly to pursue a specialized degree.

If you are looking for one, you should check out what Commonbond has to offer, and see for yourself if it’s worth dealing with or not.

To help you assess, we are going to share with you essential information about Commonbond student loans for your reference.

In this Commonbond student loans review, we are going to particularly answer the following most commonly asked question about the lending company:

  • Who is Commonbond?
  • What are the student loans offered by Commonbond?
  • What do borrowers need to know about Commonbond student loans?
  • Who qualifies for a Commonbond student loan?
  • How to apply for a Commonbond student loan?
  • What are the pros and cons of Commonbond student loans?

Before moving on to our Commonbond student loans review, we thought you’d like to learn more about getting a student loan. In the video below by The Financial Diet, you will find everything you need to know about student loans. Check it out by clicking the play button.

WHO IS COMMONBOND?

Commonbond was launched in 2013 and is currently headquartered in New York, New York.

Commonbond was built as a private lending company dedicated to providing student loans and refinancing. Although it primarily targeted MBA students when it started, over the years, the company has expanded its products and services including other loan programs for undergraduate, graduate, and medical and dental school.

The company provides loans not only to individuals but also through businesses that want to help employees fund their children’s higher education.

While there are a lot of lending companies out there providing student loans, what makes Commonbond unique is that it is the first financial company that committed to a one-for-one model of business. This means, for every degree fully funded through the company, Commonbond, in return, will fund the education expenses of a needy student in a developing nation.

Furthermore, Commonbond has a partnership with a nonprofit organization called, Pencils of Promise wherein they provide schools, teachers, and technology to thousands of students in Ghana.

It’s probably safe to say that borrowing money from Commonbond, and allowing the company to help you fulfill your degree means being able to help as well to a needy student from somewhere in the world.

It’s like ripples of goodness spreading all throughout the world, one student at a time, right?

WHAT ARE THE STUDENT LOANS OFFERED BY COMMONBOND?

As mentioned, Commonbond does not only offer specialized education student loan options but more.

In particular, Commonbond student loan options are as follows:

  • Undergraduate Student Loans
  • Graduate Student Loans
  • MBA Loans
  • Dental School Loans
  • Medical School Loans

Here’s a quick glance on what you can expect from each of the student loan options, as well as how each varies from one another:

Now, let us talk about each of these loans to have a better understanding —

Undergraduate Student Loans

Of all the student loan options offered by Commonbond, the undergraduate student loans have the most flexible payment plans, as well as loan terms. More so, Commonbond automatically includes the Money Mentor into this account. Money Mentor refers to the financial advisor assigned to every student loan borrower. 

Graduate Student Loans

Similar to undergraduate student loans, graduate student loan borrowers may experience the same kind of flexibility. Borrowers may also opt to receive a free Money Mentor.

MBA Loans

Unlike other MBA loans offered by other lending companies, Commmonbond does not require a co-signer for their MBA loan if you are enrolled in one of the company’s in-network partner schools (there are about 30 of them).

Apart from the loan, Commonbond also offers one-of-a-kind perks to its business school borrowers like summer career development series, an internship program, as well as trips to Ghana.

Dental School Loans

Anyone who is a DMD or DDS student attending any dental school in the country is qualified for dental school loans offered by Commonbond, which comes with a six-month grace period, as well as the option for residency deferment.

Medical School Loans

Wherever you are in the U.S., as long as you are a medical student from one Commonbond’s 59 partner medical schools across the country, you automatically qualify for this type of student loan. Unlike the previous one though, the company does not offer deferment in residency. However, Commonbond lets you pay a monthly payment for as low as $100.

WHAT DO BORROWERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT COMMONBOND STUDENT LOANS?

Now that you already know who Commonbond is, what it does, and the different student loan options it provides, this time around in our Commonbond student loans review, we are going to share with you the other very important details a borrower must know before sending a student loan application to Commonbond.

In particular, we are going to talk about the following:

  • Loan Amount
  • Interest Rates
  • Loan Terms
  • Loan Fees
  • Loan Discount
  • Rewards
  • Repayment Options
  • Forbearance/Discharge Options
  • Student Loan Refinancing
  • Disbursement of Funds
  • Customer Service

Loan Amount

The first thing that we thought you should know is the amount of money that you can borrow from the company. With Commonbond, student loan borrowers can avail of up to $500,000 lifetime borrowing limit. If you look at the amount, it definitely is enough or more to fund specialized education like dental, medical, as well as an MBA degree.

Interest Rates

The rates vary depending on the type of student loan you will apply for. For your reference, see below table:

Degree Fixed APR Variable APR
Undergraduate 5.45% to 9.74% 1.43% to 7.41%
Graduate 5.40% to 9.74% 1.33% to 7.41%
MBA 5.37% to 7.2% 3.15% to 4.87%
Medical 5.56% to 6.76% 3.46% to 4.64%
Dental 5.33% to 6.98% 3.23% to 4.87%

Furthermore, Commonbond offers refinancing option as well, which charges flexible loan rate options that range from 5.45% – 9.74% (fixed), 1.44% – 7.42% (variable), and 4.25% to 6.10% (hybrid). As with hybrid loans, the rate is fixed for the first half of the term, and then it automatically switches to a variable rate for the last half of the term.

Loan Terms

Borrowers of Commonbond student loans can select from flexible loan terms ranging from five- to 20-year terms depending on the loan type. See below list for your reference:

  • Undergraduate and Graduate Loans: 5, 10, or 15 years
  • MBA Loan: 10 or 15 years
  • Dental and Medical School loans: 10, 15, or 20 years

The lending company, as mentioned, also offers different repayment options to fit the borrower’s budget. It is also important to note that payment starts 30 to 60 days after the disbursement of funds.

Loan Fees

Unlike other lending companies that offer student loan options, Commonbond does not charge application fees or prepayment penalties on any of the loan it offers. However, Commonbond charges a late payment fee, which amounts to 5% of the unpaid amount of the payment due or $10, whichever is less. The company also charges a $5 fee for any returned checks.

Loan Discount

You may be wondering why there is such a thing as a loan discount on our list, but that is because Commonbond offers it. Yes, for real!

All loans made via Commonbond are qualified for a 0.25% interest rate reduction (which is reflected in Commonbond’s advertised rates) when borrowers enroll in auto-draft payments.

Rewards

Apart from discounts, Commonbond also has a rewards program.

The lending company has a referral program wherein you, the borrower can earn $200 every time someone goes through a successful student loan or refinancing application using your referral link.

Repayment Options

One thing we like about Commonbond is that it offers a variety of repayment options. To be exact, Commonbond offers four in-school repayment options that are valid through a loan’s six-month grace period.

Here are the different options:

  • Full – This refers to paying a full monthly payment of a student loan, principal, as well as interest, which starts while you’re in school.
  • Interest-only – This allows borrowers to pay only the interest that accrues. This is available to undergraduate, graduate, as well as MBA students only.
  • Fixed – This option allows borrowers to make low fixed payments every month while the borrower is still in school. Fixed payments amount to $25 per month for both undergraduate and graduate students, and $100 per month for those taking up dental or medical school. Unfortunately, there is no fixed option available for MBA students.
  • Deferred – This refers to the postponement of payments until the end of the borrower’s grace period. Only by the will, all interest will be capitalized.

Forbearance/Discharge Options

Another reason to like about Commonbond student loans is the fact that it does of forbearance and discharge options.

If in case the borrower goes through financial hardship or medical impairment, the borrower can put his or her loan payments on pause for three months at a time for up to 12 months over the life of the loan.

In the event of death or total and permanent disability, a borrower’s loan will be canceled and will not be passed on to anyone else.

Student Loan Refinancing

Commonbond offers refinancing options, too, as we have mentioned earlier. The lending company refinances federal, private, Parent PLUS, as well as previously consolidated loans without charging application, origination, or prepayment fees.

The company offers refinancing of up to $500,000 worth with repayment terms of as short as five years or as long as 20 years.

Similar to regular student loan types offered by the company, its refinancing option also includes a 0.25% discount for enrolling in auto-draft. Refinanced loans are also qualified for up to 24 months of forbearance.

Furthermore, the company’s refinancing services are also open to international students with any major U.S. visa who graduated from a university in the country.

Disbursement of Funds

Once Commonbond confirms your enrollment, the loaned amount will be automatically disbursed directly to your school. Usually, confirmation can take between five days to three weeks.

In case you borrowed more than required for official expenses like tuition, board, and room, your school will be the one to send a refund check.

Customer Service

If you need more information about its products and services, or if you have any questions we were not able to provide an answer on, you may contact Commonbond via phone or live chat from Monday through Friday from 9 am to 8 pm EST.

You may also access them through live chat on their website or email. A response is usually provided within less than 24 hours.

WHO QUALIFIES FOR A COMMONBOND STUDENT LOAN?

Of course, this Commonbond student loans review will not be complete if we will not provide you information regarding who qualifies for a student loan at Commonbond, and who does not.

The lending company provides loans of at least $2,000 up to as much as $500,000 — or up to the cost of attendance as determined by the borrower’s school’s financial aid office. The cost typically includes tuition and fees, room and board, transportation, books, and supplies as well as other personal expenses.

Now, the important question is, who qualifies for a Commonbond student loan?

To qualify for a Commonbond private student loan, you must be able to meet the following requirements:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident card holder
  • Must be currently enrolled at least half-time at a qualified school
  • Must have a minimum credit score of 660

Furthermore, the lending company also looks closely at an applicant’s free cash flow. This means Commonbond looks into how much disposable income you have after you have paid your monthly debt obligations.

HOW TO APPLY FOR A COMMONBOND STUDENT LOAN?

Commonbond’s application process is pretty simple and easy. The company uses an online application, and every approved application is valid for one school year.

When applying for a student loan, make sure to keep the following handy:

  • Your school information
  • Social Security Number
  • The amount of money requested
  • Expected financial aid
  • Your financial information, which includes your income, as well as your rent or mortgage payments

WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF COMMONBONS STUDENT LOANS?

We are almost done with our Commonbond student loans review. This review will not be complete, however, we are not going to provide you with the pros and cons of Commonbond student loans.

Here they go —

PROS

  • Minimal Fees and Charges – Apart from late payment charges and check return fees, Commonbonds has no other fees or charges. It does not have an application or origination fee, as well as a prepayment penalty, which means you can pay off the loan any time prior to the maturity of the loan without having to worry about getting charged.
  • Access to Money Mentor – Commonbond offers free mentoring to borrowers. It’s basically a text messaging service that offers borrowers counseling on various topics like getting more money while in school, budgeting, as well as about finding internship opportunities.
  • Simple Co-Signer Release – Unlike other lenders, borrowers only need 24 consecutive months of payments after graduation to be able to apply to drop their co-signers.
  • Forbearance of 24 Months – As compared to other lenders, Commonbond offers forbearance of 24 months, which is definitely way longer than other lenders out there.
  • Online Preapproval – Commonbond offers an online preapproval process that won’t affect your credit score.

CONS

  • Higher Repayment Amounts – Although not all, higher repayment amounts are particularly evident with an in-school, fixed-payment option for dental and medical school students, which amounts to $100 per month.
  • No Medical School Residency Deferment – After their six-month grace period, even as residents, medical students are required to start payment of at least $100 per month.
  • Requires Co-Signer for Undergraduate and Graduate Loans – Commonbond requires a co-signer for student applicants for undergraduate and graduate loans. Otherwise, the loan will not be approved.
  • Loans Not Available in Mississippi and Nevada – While it Commonbond student loans are available to most states, it is not in Mississippi and Nevada.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON COMMONBOND STUDENT LOANS REVIEW

As student loans continue to rise in the country, we’d like to think of it in a positive way. That means a lot of students today are doing their best to finish school – whether it be getting an undergraduate degree, a graduate degree, or a specialized degree.

While there are a lot of options out there, we thought Commonbond student loans do offer one of the best deals – especially when it comes to specialized loans.

So, how do you find Commonbond now after learning all the information we shared?

Well, we do hope that this Commonbond student loans review helped answer some very important questions about the company’s products and services and that it will help you come up with a decision real soon.

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5 Popular Ways On How to Pay for Supplemental Education

With the huge amount of competition in the workforce today, it has become critical that professionals continue to work on their skills to be highly competitive. But while others can afford to pay off their education, some cannot. Thus, we are going to share with you various ways on how to pay for supplemental education.

How to Pay for Supplemental Education

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, most students take a median of 52 months (4.33 years) before they could complete a bachelor’s degree program. As for a master’s degree, it would usually take one and a half years or even longer to finish.

Although continuing education is not a prerequisite for most jobs, if a professional wants to be highly competitive in his or her field though, he or she needs to keep up. Earning more and getting into the top of the career ladder is easier when one has all the skills and knowledge related to the job.

While there are people who can afford to pay off further education expenses, other people especially students with disabilities face additional hindrances in reaching their education goals.

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If you are not aware, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been existing for 30 years now. In 2016 alone, nearly 20% of undergraduates reported having a disability, which means there really is a problem down there.

Regardless of the situation though, institutions of higher education offer various levels of services as well as accommodations for students with disabilities, which adds to the challenge of pursuing education for some people.

Meanwhile, other people believe that getting a degree is not the ideal career path for their field of interest. Thus, some professions do not follow a traditional college career path. Instead, they pursue an equally rewarding career as follows:

  • Aesthetics and beauty professions
  • Coding, programming and computer technology
  • Electronics and machine maintenance and repair
  • Industrial, commercial and home technical services
  • Medical and veterinary assistants

Moreover, there are also professionals who opt to pursue industry certifications to further their knowledge in certain fields. These certification courses are not considered as an advanced degree but a way of career advancement — basically, to be more competitive in an industry where they are at.

On one hand, there are employers who provide assistance to their employees by paying for industry certification courses. By doing so, they get to ensure that their employees are properly trained for the job. On the other hand, some professionals choose to pay for their own industry certification expenses.

Some of the most common industry certifications are:

  • Cloud Computing (Microsoft, AWS, CCSP)
  • Information Security and Technology (A+, Network+, CCNA, CCNP, CCIE)
  • Human Resources (PHR, SPHR, SHRM)
  • Project Management (PMP)

As mentioned, these are just some of the industry certification courses available. Usually, there’s one for every industry – particularly the professional ones.

Moving on, as we all know, while getting an education is essential, we cannot deny the fact that pursuing higher education (most especially) could really break the bank. Unless of course, you have prepared for it for ages!

Thus, it is not surprising that in 2020, student loan debt in the United States is already about $1.56 trillion according to a Forbes report published online. Currently, there are 45 million borrowers who collectively owe the said amount in the country. No wonder student loan debt has now become the second-highest consumer debt category, next to mortgage debt.

With education particularly college being expensive, more adult learners seek a type of education that could provide more immediate benefits to their careers than what a degree does.

That is when supplemental education gets in the picture.

Imagine, while a bachelor’s degree can cost more than $26,000, a certification course (which is considered as supplemental education) can only cost between $250 and $4,500. These figures were based on a report by the Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP).

If we are going to compare, the amount you pay for a certification course is definitely way cheaper as compared to a bachelor’s degree.

As a result, professional certifications and other non-degree programs become more reachable for adult professionals especially those who have obligations in life (such as work and family) already.

Now, with all that’s been said, perhaps it’s clear now, or maybe you have already gotten the picture of what we are going to talk about today.

We are going to talk about supplemental education and ways on how to pay for it – because at the end of the day, there is still a cost involved, and for some people, even if it is way cheaper as a bachelor’s degree, it still cost a lot.

For your reference, we are specifically discussing the following:

  • What is supplemental education?
  • What are the different types of non-degree training programs?
  • What are the payment options available for supplemental education?
  • Other resources available for special or protected groups

WHAT IS SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATION?

Supplemental education or in a more popular term, this refers to certificate courses or industry certification courses that anyone could take either to further their skills and knowledge on a certain field or in lieu of a traditional bachelor’s degree program.

If you want to know more about the difference between a certificate course, a diploma, and a degree, you may check below informative video by Learning English Matters.

According to the Colorado Department of Education, industry certification is “a credential recognized by business and industry at the local, state or national level. It could be an assessment, an examination, or a license that is administered and recognized by an industry third-party or governing board.”

Furthermore, CDE states that industry certificates “measure competency in an occupation, and they validate the knowledge base and skills that show mastery in a particular industry.”

Meanwhile, another term that is associated with supplemental education in non-degree programs, which refers to courses offered on a college campus or online sans the credits that usually go with a formal or a bachelor’s degree program.

In addition, the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi defines a supplemental certification as something that gives “certified educators the option of adding additional certifications in a specific content area within the grade level of their initial teaching certificate.”

While there are different definitions available, to put it simply, a supplemental education refers to any certificate courses that allow students to hone their skills in a specific industry in lieu of a formal bachelor’s degree program.

Most of the time, pursuing a supplemental education is way cheaper than pursuing a bachelor’s degree, which makes it ideal for those who are facing financial difficulty but would want something that could make them competitive in their professional industry of choice.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF NON-DEGREE TRAINING PROGRAMS?

As mentioned earlier, supplemental education may also be referred to as non-degree training programs, which means you get to learn about a certain field sans the bachelor’s degree.

Anyway, some people may not be aware that there are actually a lot of different types of non-degree training programs available today. Some of the most popular ones are:

  • Vocational Training
  • Certificate Programs
  • Certification Programs
  • Coding Boot Camps

Vocational Training

Vocational training schools also referred to as “trade schools” are designed to help prepare students to work as technicians in a particular trade like cosmetology, carpentry, plumbing, as well as welding.

Usually, it is easier to acquire funding for vocational courses from government agencies as compared to other non-degree programs out there. Needless to say, there are institutions that offer grants and scholarships for this particular program.

In most cases, vocational training programs last about two years only.

Meanwhile, vocational training schools may include technical schools, as well as vocational schools that are dedicated to specific industries like aeronautics.

Certificate Programs

A lot of people usually confuse certificate programs to certification programs. To make it clear, certificates are awarded to students by an educational institution similar to a degree. Meanwhile, a certification program “provides students with a professional designation.” Later on, we’ll discuss the latter further.

Anyway, certificates refer to credentials that apply to a very narrow area of study. Normally, you can acquire a certificate either as an undergraduate graduate student or as a non-enrolled student in an institution.

There are three commonly known types of certificate programs, and these are secondary school certificate programs, trade school certificate programs and postgraduate studies programs.

If you are interested to get a certificate program, you may acquire one from various educational institutions like community colleges, training schools, online schools, as well as traditional colleges and universities.

Certification Programs

As mentioned, the certification program “provides students with a professional designation.”

Certification programs are typically offered by an independent body such as an industry or trade association, and not an educational institution.

Coding Boot Camps

Coding boot camps refer to intensive learning programs that are intended to teach a substantial number of skills in a short period of time.

Students who attend a coding boot camp may focus on a particular type of coding or various types like data science, cybersecurity, user interface design, or web development.

Instead of attending a traditional degree program that usually takes more than two years to complete, a coding boot camp teaches you the skills and knowledge you need for just a matter of months.

WHAT ARE THE PAYMENT OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATION?

As mentioned, we are going to focus on how to pay for supplemental education. We know a lot about how to finance a college or a bachelor’s degree, but let’s admit it, we hardly know anything about financing a supplemental education or a certificate course.

Most adult learners are not aware that there are actually a lot of ways to pay for supplemental education if paying it out of their own pocket is difficult. Some of the ways we know-how, which are the ones we are sharing with you today are as follows:

  • Student Loans
  • Personal Loans
  • Scholarships
  • Payment Plans
  • Employer Assistance

Now, let’s dig deeper into each of these ways on how to pay for supplemental education –

Student Loans

What most adult learners do not know is that you can also finance a supplemental education by getting or applying for a student loan.

By applying for a student loan, you get to strategize your payment plan since usually, these types of loans offer flexible repayment options. Needless to say, lenders who offer student loans also offer deferment or forbearance if the borrower is caught in certain financial difficulties.

Student loans, for us, is probably one of the most ideal forms or ways to finance a supplemental education. As mentioned, it comes with a lot of perks and features that will make it easy to bear.

However, it is important to note that there are some federal student loan programs — like those a student could apply for through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) — may not be available unless you are enrolled in a particular degree or certificate program at your college or career school. In most cases, federal student loans are only applicable to school expenses that are related to a Title IV school like a certified trade school, college, or university.

The nice thing about pursuing a student loan over other forms of loans or ways to pay for supplemental education is that you can choose from a variety of lenders out there — may it be banks, credit unions, or online lenders. You can compare how one lender fair to another, and essentially apply to the one that offers the best rates and terms. 

Even popular financial institutions like Wells Fargo offers student loans for those who are attending either a formal college education or those who attend a non-traditional school or career-training programs.

Personal Loans

Another popular, needless to say, an excellent way on how to pay for supplemental education is by applying for a personal loan.

As we all know you can use personal loans basically for almost anything and everything under the sun — and that includes paying off expenses for a certificate course or a non-degree program.

Personal loans are very accessible, and a lot of lenders (including banks, credit unions, and online lenders) offer it.

In addition, by acquiring a personal loan, there is a greater chance that you get the exact amount you need to pay off your program.

Normally, if a borrower qualifies based on his or her credit score as well as borrower profile, there is no need for enrollment requirements.

Similar to student loans, you may also apply for flexible terms when getting a personal loan to make paying it off easier for you.

Just the same, with a lot of lenders offering personal loans around, all you got to do is check the best ones out and compare rates and terms before you finally settle to one.

Scholarships

What a lot of adult learners do not know, too, is that even with supplemental education, scholarships do exist. There are grants and scholarships available for both supplemental education and professional degree programs.

However, it is important to note that usually, these grants and scholarships are highly competitive.

In most cases, these endowments may require the student to enroll in a degree program, or may only cover a portion of the cost of your education.

Nonetheless, if you think you can beat your competitors, go ahead. Even if you are not sure, there is totally nothing wrong with trying. After all, no one really knows until you try, right?

If you are interested to get your supplemental education funded through grants and/or scholarships, all you need to do is check with specific programs to learn if there are indeed any grants or scholarships available.

Payment Plans

Depending on the institution where you intend to get your supplemental education, payment plans may be available.

This means certificate and supplemental education programs allow students to complete payments through personalized installment plans.

This particular option is highly recommended for individuals who are currently employed and have spare money to pay off for their education on a regular basis.

The thing about payment plans though is that it will require out-of-pocket payments at the time you are enrolled in the program, and in most — if not all — cases, you cannot defer the payment.

So, better make sure that before you opt for any payment plans, you have savings on hand to pay off for whatever initial costs that need to be settled.

Employer Assistance

As mentioned earlier, in some cases, employers offer supplemental education assistance to help ensure that their employees are fully equipped for the job or the designation they are assigned to.

To be honest, this is probably the best way to pay for supplemental education, do you agree? Well, you get to study and hone your skills without spending a penny (or in some cases, spending just have of the total cost).

It would be nice if you look for employers who invest in their employees by paying off costs for professional programs, including certificate programs.

While some employers cover the entire cost of the program, others may offer to cover just a portion of it.

Nevertheless, either the employer pays for the cost in full or a portion, it would still be a big sigh of relief for a student, right?

If you are looking into attending a certificate course to hone your skills at work, make sure to check with your employer first before you even look at other payment options.

OTHER RESOURCES AVAILABLE FOR SPECIAL OR PROTECTED GROUPS

If you belong to a special or protected group, you may be eligible for additional financial resources intended for acquiring supplemental education.

Below are some resources that you can check:

Minority Students

  • American Indian College Fund
  • Sallie Mae Minority Scholarships
  • The National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN)
  • The Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Scholarships
  • UNCF Scholarships

Low-Income Students

  • Cal Grant Programs
  • Federal Pell Grants
  • The Jeannette Ranking Women’s Scholarship Fund
  • The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • The Federal Work-Study Program

Students with Disabilities

  • Organization for Autism Research Scholarship
  • Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education
  • The Jackson-Stricks Scholarship
  • The Microsoft Disability Scholarship
  • The Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarship

Veterans

  • Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance
  • The Post-9/11 GI Bill
  • The Yellow Ribbon Program
  • The Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
  • VA Vocational Rehabilitation

FINAL THOUGHTS ON HOW TO PAY FOR SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATION

With the competition at the workforce now, if acquiring a bachelor’s degree program may be challenging, getting supplemental education will surely be an excellent option.

It’s nice knowing that adult learners these days do have a number of ways for them to hone their craft or learn new skills. Needless to say, there are ways to pay for supplemental education.

Are you considering getting a supplemental education soon? How do you intend to finance it?

Keep in mind that as we have mentioned all throughout, there are a number of ways on how to pay for supplemental education, and that money should not hinder you from getting your desired program.

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Investment Apps and Websites

7 Best Student Loan Refinance Companies in 2020

When finding the best student loan refinance companies, make sure they are capable of reducing your rate as low as possible. After all, the very purpose why borrowers get into refinancing is to be able to lessen the amount of money they pay for loans.

Best Student Loan Refinance Companies in 2020

In a report published by Center for American Progress, it says that “about 43 million adult Americans—roughly one-sixth of the U.S. population older than age 18—currently carry a federal student loan and owe $1.5 trillion in federal student loan debt, plus an estimated $119 billion in student loans from private sources that are not backed by the government.”

In addition, the report also stated that “college debt is even more concentrated among young people,” and that there is “an estimated one-third of all adults’ ages 25 to 34 have a student loan.”

As you can see, based on the numbers shown, a student loan is indeed growing as years pass by. In fact, according to an article published by Forbes online, it says that “there are 45 million borrowers who collectively owe nearly $1.6 trillion in student loan debt in the U.S,” which makes student loan second highest consumer debt category (behind mortgage debt).

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Well, we thought it’s not surprising because there are more young people now. Needless to say, a lot of the young population are very much eager to finish school even if it means they need to get into a student loan.

Good thing though as the number of lending companies that offer student loans is growing as well, giving borrowers more options to choose from. From the business perspective, it means there is a better competition when it comes to interest rates.

Anyway, while there are a lot of choices out there, it’s always a good idea to go and look for the best student loan refinance companies.

By finding the best among the choices means you get to enjoy the best deals, the best rates, as well as the best service possible.

So, having said that, we are going to share with you our very own list of the best student loan refinance companies.

But before that, here’s a quick refresher first:

WHAT IS STUDENT LOAN REFINANCING?

Student loan refinancing works similarly to any other loan refinancing there is in the market. It basically is an option for borrowers to change how and what they pay on their loans every month.

Essentially, by refinancing your current student loan, it means you replace it with a new one — with a new payment amount, completely new term length, but what makes the difference really is a new and lower interest rate.

The idea of refinancing your student loan is being able to lessen the amount of money you pay for the loan. More so, to also have a more manageable monthly payment or in some cases, help you get a co-signer off of a loan.

HOW TO REFINANCE YOUR STUDENT LOANS?

We’ve said that when you are finding a company that would refinance your loan, you have to factor in that it gives you the best interest rate possible. After all, that is the very essence of refinancing a loan. Refinancing becomes useless if you are going to pay the same amount, or worse, even higher as compared to what you are paying now.

Moving on, refinancing a student loan can be a smooth and upfront process. In fact, thanks to technology and the internet, many lenders offer online applications now. Furthermore, a lot of lenders nowadays only takes a few days to review and process your loan application, which makes it extra convenient for any borrower.

Meanwhile, if you have decided to refinance your student loan, all you have to do is follow these simple, easy steps:

STEP 1: Look for lenders you are interested in refinancing with. Before settling for one lender, make sure to take the time to shop around first. This allows you to find the best possible refinancing deals. We bet you, you will be surprised how one lender’s offer is totally different from the other.

STEP 2: Keep all information and documents handy. Make sure to gather and prepare all documents as well as the information you need when processing a loan. Included in the list is making sure your credit report is free of errors. If by any chance, you find any, make sure to dispute them. Also, make sure you know your total student loan balance and interest rates for each loan, and knowing your total monthly payment as well.

STEP 3: Get estimates from lenders you are eyeing for. To be able to get estimates, you may need to fill out applications or in other cases, you may be able to get prequalified. Once you have all the estimates, compare them from one another, and see what works best for you. Generally, a loan application asks for personal information such as your address, income, current loan information, assets, as well as the age of loans.

STEP 4: Choose the best offer. Once you are done comparing offers, choose the best offer you have. Again, ideally, it has to have better term lengths, as well as lower interest rates. If you are good, you will then have to sign a contract for the new terms of your debt. You will also have to get the 10-day payoff amount from your original lender, and then submit it to your new lender. Normally, there is what they call as rescission period, it’s a three-day period wherein you or the lender can pull out the agreement if you or the other party fined it unnecessary.

Please take note that up until your new loan is completed and approved, you have to make payments to your original lender.

STEP 5: Refinancing starts. Once your new lender approved your loan application, it will automatically pay off your debt to your original lender, which means you also need to start making payments on the new one.

WHO QUALIFIES FOR A STUDENT LOAN REFINANCING?

The requirements or qualifications for a refinancing program differ from one lending company to another.

However, to give you an idea, here are some of the common requirements for student loan refinancing:

  • You must be at least 18 years old, and a legal resident of the United States.
  • You must have at least $5,000 worth of student loan debt.
  • You must have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. (Note: Some lenders consider non-graduates for as long as you have made at least 12 consecutive, on-time payments.)
  • You must have a low debt-to-income ratio.
  • You must have a good or excellent credit score.
  • You must have a history of on-time payments.
  • You must have solid employment.

If you meet these requirements, the more likely you are to get approved of a loan. We highly recommend, however, to check with the lending company that you are eyeing for regarding their requirements and/or qualifications for a student loan refinancing to be sure.

Before moving on, if you want to assess whether refinancing is right for you or not, here’s a very helpful video by Aja Dang. Check it out by clicking the play button below:

BEST STUDENT LOAN REFINANCE COMPANIES

So, now that we are done refreshing our minds with what a student loan refinancing is all about, it’s time to proceed with our list of best student loan refinance companies. On our list are as follows:

  • SoFi
  • Earnest
  • Splash Financial
  • Citizens Bank
  • CommonBond
  • PenFed Credit Union
  • Discover

SOFI

SoFi, an online- and mobile-based financial company, offers a variety of products. They do have savings accounts, investing, insurance products, and of course, loans.

Based on what it offers, SoFi is ideal for graduate students, as well as those who have just completed a professional degree. SoFi focuses on high earners when it comes to their student loan refinancing programs.

What we do like about the company though is that it opens the door to a lot of perks like career coaching, exclusive member events, as well as financial planning.

SoFi does not have an official limit as to how much it can refinance for as long as it is not less than $5,000. Thus, making it a smart option for those who want to refinance a large student loan balance.

When it comes to rates, SoFi offers variable rates from 3.21% to 6.69% APR and fixed rates that ranges from 3.49% to 6.69% APR (after you’ve signed up for autopay and received a 0.25% discount). Meanwhile, SoFi’s loan terms vary from five up to 20 years.

One more thing we like about SoFi is that it offers a refinancing option specifically for medical and dental school grads. The loan sets monthly payments at $100 while the borrower is on residency. For this product, variable rates are from 3.75% to 7.01% APR and fixed rates range from 3.74% to 7.01% APR (with autopay).

EARNEST

Earnest is a trusted student loan lending company with over 124,000 clients. Founded in 2013, the company strives to provide its customers with flexible and customizable plans.

For its student loan refinancing program, Earnest offers very competitive rates as well as a few good features.

Currently, Earnest’s variable rates range from 1.99% to 6.43% APR, while the company’s fixed rates range from 3.19% to 6.43% APR (after signing up for autopay and receiving a 0.25% discount).

When it comes to repayment of loans particularly for loans between $5,000 and $500,000, Earnest offers flexibility. You can make payments either biweekly or monthly — depending on what’s convenient and feasible for you.

In addition, you also are given the option to customize your loan terms from five to 20 years. Earnest also allows you to skip payments once every 12 months, or you may opt to apply for up to 12 months of forbearance if you are going through financial trouble.

With all that’s been said, Earnest is best when it comes to flexible payment terms

SPLASH FINANCIAL

Splash Financial is ideal for both med school students (the company claims a 95% satisfaction rate for that), and married couples who wish to manage their student debt together.

Firstly, for residents and medical fellowship students who wish to refinance their student loans, they are given the option to just $100 a month during their residencies and fellowships, and for six months afterward. However, the maximum duration to pay $100 a month is 84 months.

With regards to interest rates, both fixed and variable rates are offered with the lowest interest rate at 2.80%. Given this rate, it definitely makes a huge payment difference especially if you are someone who is into long-term residency.

Secondly, for married couples who wanted to manage their student loans together, Splash Financial provides an option to combine both spouses’ loans into one refinanced student loan. You may also choose to transfer ownership of student loans from one spouse to the other.

Splash Financial offers very competitive student loan refinance rates. In fact, for variable rates, they range from 1.99% to 7.10% APR. Meanwhile, fixed rates range from 2.88% to 7.27% APR (after signing up for autopay and receiving a 0.25% rate discount).

Loan terms also vary between five to 20 years (just like the other lending companies in our list) for loans amounting to $5,000 and/or more.

CITIZENS BANK

Earlier, we mentioned that one of the common requirements among lenders when it comes to student loan refinancing is having a degree. With Citizens Bank though, they are open to student loan refinancing even for those who are non-degree holders.

The bank accepts lenders and takes into consideration student loan refinancing applications from those who do not hold a degree. TO qualify though, you must have already made 12 payments on your current student loan.

Citizens Bank also offers forbearance for up to 12 months when the borrower is going through financial difficulty. If, for instance, the borrower decides to go back to school to complete a degree, he or she is likely to qualify for in-school deferment on refinanced student debt.

At Citizens Bank, loan amounts range from $10,000 to $500,000, with repayment term length that ranges from five to 20 years.

Meanwhile, student loan refinancing starts from 2.49% to 8.38% APR for variable rates, while it ranges from 3.20% to 8.63% APR (after signing up for autopay and receiving a 0.25% discount) for fixed rates.

COMMONBOND

Of all the student loan refinancing companies we listed, CommonBond is probably the best overall.

First, it offers some of the lowest interest rates on refinancing loans in the market today. For loans that range from $10,000 to $500,000, CommonBond charges from 3.20% to 6.08% APR that is for variable rates, while 3.21% to 6.45% APR for fixed rates.

CommonBond does have the best hybrid APRs as well. For those who are not familiar with this, this APR approach basically offers a fixed rate for part of the life of the loan and then switches to a variable rate. While this kind of feature could be appealing to a lot of borrowers, it’s usually unusual, needless to say, an outstanding feature for any lender.

CommonBond’s hybrid rate offers variable rates for the first five years. After that period of time, a fixed rate for the remaining five years will be implemented.

Hybrid rates of CommonBond usually range from 4.25% to 6.10% APR.

After signing up for an autopay and receiving the 0.25% discount, all rates will automatically reflect what you could qualify for.

CommonBond does have forbearance, too, and it lasts up to 24 months, which we think is the longest potential forbearance period available in the market today.

Moreover, the company also allows co-signers and even provides the option to release them once the borrower is done making 36 on-time payments.

If by any chance your parent has existing student loans, which was used to pay for your college expenses, CommonBond also has this feature allowing you to refinance that loan, and then transfer the ownership of the loan to yourself.

And the good things do not end there yet!

CommonBond also provides grace period deferment for recent graduates. Borrowers can also choose from five loan terms.

Another thing we like about CommonBond, well, this has something to do with a website feature they have called Refi Guide. This comes with a short quiz and explains the basics of refinancing in a digestible manner. That way, if you are not that familiar with how refinancing goes, you’ll get an idea rather be knowledgeable about it.

PENFED CREDIT UNION

PenFed for us is the perfect lending company for parents and co-signers who own student loans.

The company offers a few flexible features that are ideal for both parents and co-signers. They give you options on whether to keep the loans in your name or transfer ownership to the student for whom the parent borrowed the student loan.

Unlike other companies, PenFed accepts applicants with co-signers. More so, they also allow co-signer release once the borrower has made 12 on-time, consecutive payments.

In terms of interest rates, PenFed offers competitive rates at 2.17% to 5.53% APR for variable rates, and 3.23% to 5.53% APR for fixed rates.

Loan amounts range from $7,500 to $300,000, with repayment terms that last between five and 15 years.

DISCOVER

Discover is ideal if you are looking for a lending company with outstanding borrower protection.

Discover provides various safeguards in case the borrower faces life changes while on a student loan refinancing.

The company’s deferment feature may be paused for years if the borrower opts to return to school, serve in the military, complete a health care residency, or work at a public service organization.

They do have forbearance, which can suspend payments for up to 12 months in case the borrower faces a medical disability, unemployment, excessive student loan burden, or other financial difficulties.

Furthermore, the company also offers a feature wherein it can reduce payment options by dropping monthly payments to $50 for up to six months.

Unlike other student loan refinance companies in our list, Discover does have two student loan refinancing terms only. You may choose between 10- and 20-year repayment periods.

Discover, just like the rest do have variable and fixed rates for refinanced loans. For variable rates, the rates range from 2.99% to 6.74% APR while it is 3.99% to 7.74% APR (after signing up for autopay and receiving a 0.25% rate discount) for fixed rates.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON BEST STUDENT LOAN REFINANCE COMPANIES

As you can see, there are a lot of lending companies that offer amazing features for student loan refinancing. All of them are very competitive not just with the rates, but with what else they have to offer.

Have you found what fits your student loan refinancing needs yet?

With our list of best student loan refinance companies, we hope that you are able to pick the right lender for you based on your student loan refinancing needs.

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Investment Apps and Websites

Aspire Student Loans Review: What You Need To Know

Whether you have used Aspire as your loan servicer before or are using this lending company for the first time, this Aspire Student Loans review will provide you all the information you need to come up with an informed decision.

Aspire Student Loans Review

According to Debt.org, America’s Debt Help Organization, the average college tuition cost ranges from $9,410 for an in-state university to $32.410 for private schools. While grants, as well as scholarships, help in aiding school fees, a lot of students, do still need student loans to make it through school.

Still, according to the said organization, the United States does have a total student loan debt of $1.4 trillion as of 2017 (and the number continues to rise), and that the student debt accrued every second amount to $2,858. Meanwhile, the average student debt in the same year was $37,172.

As you can see, a student loan is very popular among American students, and experts do not see it slowing down in the near future. No wonder why there are a lot of lending companies out there providing competitive student loan rates.

Speaking of lending companies, the industry is quite booming right now. As we mentioned, there are so many choices to choose from. One of the options though is Aspire.

Aspire has a complex story particularly on what loans it has serviced and is still servicing. But hopefully, through this Aspire student loans review, we get to detail everything and help you understand fully how Aspire actually works.

With that said, here are the key points that we are going to tackle on:

  • Who is Aspire?
  • What are the student loan services provided by Aspire?
  • What are the repayment options offered by Aspire?
  • How to refinance Aspire student loans?
  • How is Aspire’s student loan forgiveness program?
  • What military benefits does Aspire provide?
  • Who are Aspire’s partners for private loans?
  • What are the pros and cons of Aspire student loans?
  • How to contact Aspire?

WHO IS ASPIRE?

First of all, if you are eyeing for a lending company to borrow money from, make sure to at least know (no matter how little information you have) the institution’s history. This will help you understand why things go this way in this company instead of the other way, and so much more.

Having said that, let go down memory lane and see Aspire’s very interesting history.

Aspire started as a not-for-profit company back in 1979. It was then called the Iowa Student Loan. However, in 2001, the company launched a for-profit subsidiary to specifically handle services outside of its regular business. The subsidiary was called Aspire Resources.

In 2021, Aspire Resources got a contract to service federal student loans. During their stint as a loan servicer for federal students, the company had a remarkable reputation with high customer satisfaction ratings from the Department of Education.

However, in 2015, Aspire’s CEO, Steve McCullough decided to end a contract to service 200,000 federal loans. The decision caused a lot of confusion, controversy, as well as customer complaints.

The decision, though, according to McCullough, was made because the company does no longer has enough accounts to warrant the cost of operations.

Fast-forward to today, while Aspire Resources no longer have the kind of reputation they once had, the company never stopped operating. In fact, today, Aspire still keeps an A-plus rating from the Better Business Bureau in the United States!

Well, this goes to show that while they faced a bump in the business for a while, they managed to play their game the way they know how to. For instance, while they get customer complaints, which is not uncommon anyway, they made sure they get to come up with a solution to address the said complaints. This is the very reason why they kept a high rating still from BBB.

The complex story of Aspire does not end there yet though, because, in 2014, another subsidiary of Iowa Student Loan was formed. They called it the Aspire Servicing Center. This particularly services federal loans from Iowa Student Loan.

Just the same, Aspire also services private student loans from both Iowa Student Loan and its partners.

Having said that, let’s proceed to learn more about the services they offer.

WHAT ARE THE STUDENT LOAN SERVICES PROVIDED BY ASPIRE?

Before we proceed to discuss Aspire students loan services, we thought you might be interested to learn about some tips on student loans, here’s a very informative insight by Debt Free Millenials we thought we should share with you:

So, as promised, Aspire student loans review will provide you with the key details you need to know about Aspire. So, this time around, let’s look through each of the products and services that Aspire provides:

Aspire Federal Student Loans

As mentioned earlier, this particular product or service is handled by Aspire Servicing Center.

Aspire Servicing Center basically services federal student loans leftover from the Iowa Student Loan. These loans though are totally different from the ones that were transferred to the Higher Education Loan Authority of the State of Missouri, or MOHELA when the company gave up servicing federal direct loans.

This particular type of student loan provides several repayment plan options, which include:

  • Standard Repayment Plan
  • Graduated Repayment Plan
  • Extended Repayment Plan
  • Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan
  • Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan

Later on, we are going to discuss all these plans in detail.

Meanwhile, federal student loans serviced by Aspire can also qualify for loan forgiveness — either through Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) or other forms of forgiveness available.

However, you must first meet certain requirements for you to be able to enjoy such privileges.

Aspire Private Student Loans

Apart from federal student loans, Aspire Servicing Center also provides support and services for private loan borrowers. The loans come from different sources, which include:

Iowa Student Loan Programs

  • Partnership Advance Education Loan
  • College Family LoanAlliant Credit Union

Credit Union Programs

  • Alliant Credit Union Private Student Loan
  • Ascentra Credit Union Private Student Loan Program

Bank Programs

  • American State Bank Private Student Loan Program

Aspire’s private loan options have different qualifications for eligibility. Thus, it is best to check with Aspire first to check whether you qualify or not for a specific private loan option.

Also, please take note that for credit union programs, you must be a member or become a member of the credit union to avail of the loan. As with the bank programs, “you may need to be a current bank customer or meet other eligibility criteria to apply for loans offered” according to their website.

Again, it’s best to check with Aspire first before kick-starting your application process.

WHAT ARE THE REPAYMENT OPTIONS OFFERED BY ASPIRE?

Earlier, we already mentioned the different repayment options provided by Aspire. This time around, we are going to provide you a more concrete explanation about each repayment program.

As a borrower, it is important to know the available repayment options so you get to decipher if you can actually manage to pay off the loan through the plans they offer. Anyway, here are the different repayment options from Aspire:

  • Standard Repayment Plan – This particular plan is the cheapest plan among the options. Through this, you get to pay off your student loan debt in either 10 years or less.
  • Graduated Repayment Plan – The thing about this plan is that it starts with lower payments, and eventually, it will increase every two years. While this sounds a good idea, we thought this particular plan is ideal for those borrowers who can guarantee an increase in their income relatively early in their careers. If not, this may seem too risky. It may lead to forcing yourself on the side when an increase in the minimum monthly payment surpasses an increase in your income.
  • Extended Repayment Plan – With this plan, you are given 25 years to repay the loan. Although it also sounds like a good idea, paying the loan for such a long time actually means you will pay more in interest. The good thing about this plan though is that you can pay more than the monthly minimum if you want to pay off the loan earlier. This repayment plan is like a standard plan with extra flexibility.
  • Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan – For this particular repayment plan, the monthly payment cost is never more than 15% of the borrower’s discretionary income. he lowest earners may be eligible for monthly payments as low as $0 a month. Take note though that is not similar to loan forgiveness as interest will continue to spike up and, and your balance will continue to grow as well. However, any debt outstanding after 25 years of payments is forgiven.
  • Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan – For this repayment plan, payments cost from 4% up to 25% of your gross income. This is quite the same as the IBR plan, but, your payments will not dip lower than the interest accumulated by your loans. So, if your loan for instance accrued $5 in the interest the previous month, the lowest your monthly payment could be is $5.

HOW TO REFINANCE ASPIRE STUDENT LOANS?

Just like most lending companies, Aspire also offers refinancing options for student loans.

Aspire Student Loans can be refinanced by getting another private loan that comes with a lower interest rate.

Acquiring another private loan or personal loan should not be a problem especially if you have a good or excellent credit score, low debt ratio, and if you meet the underwriting criteria set by the lending company.

With so many lending companies out there, you can definitely explore the market and acquire a loan that offers better rates and terms.

Refinancing is actually one of the best options if you want to change your current servicer — especially if you no longer are comfortable with it.

Meanwhile, for federal loans, there are various benefits such as forgiveness, as well as income-based repayment plans that people will have to give up on if they opt to refinance their student loans. If giving up such benefits is a big deal for you at all, then you can have your loans consolidated instead. This helps ensure that the loans stay as they are regardless of the servicer is replaced.

HOW IS ASPIRE’S STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAM?

At this point in this Aspire student loan review, we are going to talk about the company’s forgiveness program.

There are certain professions that may qualify for Aspire student loan forgiveness programs. If you are a nurse, teacher, or a public service worker, contact Aspire soonest and check if you are eligible to have your loans reduced, or better, forgiven outright.

To give you an idea, here are some of the federal student loan forgiveness programs being offered by Aspire to nurses and teachers:

Nurses

Each program has its own qualifications.

For example, for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, you need to make 120 qualifying payments on your student loans, at the same time be employed by a government organization or a qualified non-profit organization to be able to take advantage of the program. If you qualify then PSLF automatically forgives the remaining balance on your student loan.

For your reference, below is the list of various forgiveness programs for nurses:

  • NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF)
  • Federal Perkins Cancellation for Nurses
  • Iowa Registered Nurse and Nurse Educator Loan Forgiveness Program

Teachers

Aspire also has forgiveness programs for teachers. In fact, they do have a few options to choose from — of course, depending on your qualifications.

For the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program (TLF), it forgives up to $17,500 of Direct or FFEL subsidized or unsubsidized loans. To qualify for this program, you must first and foremost teach at a qualifying school for at least 5 years.

For your reference, below are the different forgiveness programs for teachers offered by Aspire:

  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program
  • Federal Perkins Loan Teacher Program
  • Teach Iowa Scholars Program
  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program (TLF)
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

In addition to the above list of forgiveness programs by the company, your loans may also be forgiven should your school closes before you are even able to complete your studies.

WHAT MILITARY BENEFITS DOES ASPIRE PROVIDE?

Surprisingly, we found that Aspire also provides military benefits — not just one but two. These programs aim to help students who are pursuing military services.

These benefits are:

  • SCRA Interest Rate Limitation – Students who qualify for this program will be charged an interest rate of at most 6% on their student loans.
  • Armed Forces Interest Reduction Program – Students who are on active military duty will get to enjoy a deducted interest rate, which is 0% for up to 24 months. To qualify, students should not have defaulted on their private loan and must be deployed between September 11, 2001, and June 30, 2019.

WHO ARE ASPIRE’S PARTNERS FOR PRIVATE LOANS?

For both private and federal student loans, the Aspire student loan servicing is available. The company offers private student loans through its mother company, Iowa Student Loans. As mentioned earlier, through Iowa Student Loans, you may be eligible for either the Partnership Advance Education Loan or the College Family Loan.

Aspire also works with Alliant Credit Union and Ascentra Credit Union. The partnership helps bring consumer student loans at very competitive rates. However, as we earlier mentioned, you will need to be a member of the credit union to qualify for the loan. By joining or being a member, you get to shop fixed rates for as low as 4.25%.

Aspire also partnered with American State Bank. If you are someone who’s more confident in dealing with banks, then this one’s the best option for you. The rates can go as low as 4.75% (based on April 2020 data), which is lower than the 6.08% that the federal government charges students to borrow for graduate-level studies.

WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF ASPIRE STUDENT LOANS REVIEW?

To complete this Aspire student loan review, we are going to share with you some of the pros and cons we found with Aspire. These are as follows:

PROS

  • Co-signer Release – Unlike other lending companies, Aspire allows borrowers to apply for a co-signer release for as long as borrowers meet certain requirements.
  • Interest Rate Reduction – By setting up automatic monthly payments, you can earn a 0.25% interest rate reduction for yourself.
  • Military Discount – As we have shared with you earlier, Aspire does have military benefits. Qualified members of the U.S. armed forces gets to enjoy a reduced interest rate on their student loans.

CONS

  • Requires Membership – Most of Aspire’s partner student loans require borrowers to be members of the credit union. It also requires borrowers opting to loan through their bank partner to be a bank customer to be able to qualify for a student loan.
  • Restrictive Loans – Unfortunately, Aspire’s services are exclusive for Iowa residents attending colleges across the country and for students from other states who are attending colleges in Iowa. If you are nowhere in between, then you better look for another lending company instead.
  • Poor Customer Service – There are a lot of reports of poor customer service, which is not a good thing really.

HOW TO CONTACT ASPIRE?

If you have questions, clarifications, or if you have already decided that Aspire is the one for you to get a student loan from, all you have to do is contact them through the communication channels below:

Customer Service:

(800) 243-7552 or (515) 243-5626

8 a.m.–7 p.m. (Monday–Thursday)

8 a.m.–5 p.m. (Friday)

Private Loan Application Assistance:

(800) 542-6005

8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. (Monday–Friday)

In-Person:

Office Location

6775 Vista Drive

West Des Moines, IA 50266-9305

8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Monday – Friday)

FINAL THOUGHTS ON ASPIRE STUDENT LOANS REVIEW

While others may find the story of Aspire a little complex, if you look at it, the company is still working the way it should work. Needless to say, it continues to provide student loan options until today.

To sum this Aspire student loans review all up, we just have to say that Aspire does have its share of highs and lows, and it’s all up to you to decide whether you will give Aspire a try or not. At the end of the day, what matters is that you gain confidence with it, and the end goal is, it is able to provide assistance to your needs – which is money to fund your education.

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Citizens Bank Student Loans Review: The Right Lending Company For You

This Citizens Bank student loans review will present to you very important information that will help you decide whether this one’s worthwhile or not. This is ideal for people who, particularly, are eyeing to get a student loan at this bank.

Citizens Bank Citizens One student loans review

In a report published by Forbes online, it says that as of the moment, there are “45 million borrowers who collectively owe nearly $1.6 trillion in student loan debt in the United States.” Because of the increase in number, student loan debt is now ranked as second highest in the consumer debt category — right behind mortgage debt and surpassed both credit cards and car loans.

Furthermore, in the same report, it says that the “average student loan debt for members of the Class of 2018 is $29,200, a 2% increase from the prior year.” The data was from the Institute for College Access and Success.

So, if you are planning to take a student loan, hopefully, this information helps you come up with informed decisions.

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One of the most crucial thing though that a student loan borrower has to decide upon is where to get the money from — where to borrow funds.

There are quite a number of financial institutions out there that offer student loans, and one of them is the Citizens Bank.

Having said that, today, we are going to particularly scrutinize the bank through this Citizens Bank Student Loans review.

In particular, we are going to look into the following to help us decipher whether or not the bank’s student loan is worth it:

  • Who is Citizens Bank?
  • What are Citizens Bank student loan options?
  • Who qualifies for a Citizens Bank student loan?
  • How to apply for a Citizens Bank student loan?
  • What are the loan rates, terms, fees, and discounts?
  • What are the repayment options available?
  • What are the pros and cons of a Citizens Bank student loan?

AT A GLANCE: CITIZENS ONE

Before we head on talking about the more definite details of Citizens Bank student loans, here’s a quick view first of what you can expect from getting a student loan at Citizens One:

Lender Allowed Loan Amount APY Range Terms Key Benefit
Citizens Bank $1,000  – 350,000 4.68% – 11.04% fixed; 1.29% – 10.60% variable 5 – 15 years Multi-year approval program

Now, it’s time for a more detailed review. Let’s begin with knowing who Citizens Bank first.

WHO IS CITIZENS BANK AND WHAT IT CITIZENS ONE?

To start off this Citizens Bank student loans review, we are going to share with you first a few information about the bank. As a potential borrower, it is important to know the history of the bank that you are eyeing to deal with. This way, you get an assurance of its credibility and trustworthiness. Both are important especially since we are talking about money here.

Citizens Bank is a traditional bank. It started off in 1828 in Rhode Island.

Citizen Bank has a lending arm, which is Citizens One. The division offers student loans as well as student loan refinancing options to qualified borrowers.

Specifically though, Citizens One offers loans for international students. It also offers a good deal for the bank’s existing customers who may be interested or are eyeing to get a student loan.

The bank’s refinancing loan option meanwhile is ideal for financially stable borrowers who did not graduate or are not citizens of the United States.

Compared to other financial institutions offering student loans, Citizens One definitely has competitive rates. Needless to say, they are very transparent, too.

We particularly like the fact though that the bank’s student loan is open nor just for undergraduates, but for graduates and even parents, too.

To know more about Citizens Bank’s student loan program, check below video by TheRhodeShow:

WHAT ARE CITIZENS ONE STUDENT LOAN OPTIONS?

Now that you already know who Citizens Bank is, and its lending arm, Citizens One, let’s proceed to talk about the real deal – the Citizens Bank student loans review.

Citizens One offers different types of student loans. These are as follows:

  • Undergraduate Student Loans
  • Graduate Student Loans
  • MBA Loans
  • Parent Loans
  • Health Profession Loans
  • Medical Residency Loans
  • Law School Loans
  • Bar Study Loans

Let’s take a look at each of these —

Undergraduate Student Loans

With Citizens One’s Undergraduate Student Loans, students are allowed to borrow for as low as $1,000 up to $150,000 aggregate, or as much as the entire amount of their undergraduate education, whichever between the two is lower. Students are also given the option to defer payments for up to eight years or as long as they are enrolled in an accredited school program.

For this specific type of loan, variable rates vary between 1.54% and 9.65%, while fixed rates are between 4.72% and 12.04%. Meanwhile, loan term options are 5, 10, or 15 years.

Graduate Student Loans

For this particular type of student loan, students who are enrolled at least half-time in a graduate degree program at an accredited school can avail of the loan. Just the same, the least loan amount allowed in $1,000 up to the total cost of attendance in school.

Meanwhile, Graduate Student Loans variable rates vary between 1.47% and 8.81%, and the fixed rates run from 4.40% to 11.35%. Loan terms available are 5, 10, or 15 years as well.

MBA Loans

To qualify for Citizen One’s MBA Loans, a student has to be enrolled at least half-time in a qualifying MBA program. Unlike the previous ones, the allowable loan amount is at least $1,000 up to $225,000 or up to the total cost of attendance, whichever is applicable.

For this type of loan, variable rates range from 1.47% to 8.20%, while fixed rates vary between 4.45% and 10.59%. Loan term options are also 5, 10, or 15 years.

Parent Loans

Citizens One also offers Parents Loans. This means parents can loan money intended for their child’s education. With this kind of loan, parents are given the option to make full payments or interest-only payments while their kid is still in school. Loan amounts also range between $1,000 and the total cost of attendance.

When it comes to interest rates, for variable rates, it’s 3.09% to 6.23%, while fixed rates range from 5.48% up to 8.52%. Available loan term options are only 5 and 10 years.

Health Profession Loans

Another student loan option offered by Citizens Bank – Citizen One is Health Profession Loans. For students who are enrolled at least half-time in a qualifying MD, DMD/DDS, OD, DO, DPM, PharmD, or DVM degree, they are eligible for loan amounts ranging from $1,000 up to $350,000 or up to the total cost of attendance.

Meanwhile, students who are taking cardiac perfusion, chiropractic, cytotechnology, nurse practitioner, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and physician assistant degrees, are eligible for up to $180,000 loan amount.

Variable rates range from 1.47% up to 7.10% for this particular student loan type, while fixed rates vary between 4.40% and 9.49%. You may opt to repay the loan either in 5, 10, or 15 years.

Medical Residency Loans

For medical students who graduated in the last 12 months or are at least in their second year of medical studies may avail Medical Residency Loans. They can borrow at least $1,000 up to $20,000 from the bank. Furthermore, payments can be deferred for up to 48 months during residency or you may opt to make full or interest-only payments.

Variable interest rates range from 3.88% up to 7.08%, while fixed rates are between 6.97% and 10.08%. For this type of student loan, repayments can be done either in 5 or 10 years.

Law School Loans

Law School Loans are also available for students who are enrolled at least half-time in a qualifying law degree program. Qualified students can take out up to an aggregate of $225,000 in financing or up to the cost of attendance, whichever between the two is lower.

For this student loan type, variable rates vary between 1.47% and 8.20%. As for fixed rates, it ranges from 4.45% up to 10.59%. The loan is payable either in 5, 10, or 15 years.

Bar Study Loans

Last, but definitely not the least is Citizens One’s Bar Study Loans. This student loan type is applicable to law students who graduated in the last six months or are enrolled at least half-time at an eligible law school and are within six months of graduation. You may borrow up to a $16,000 loan amount from the bank.

With this loan type, you can opt to defer repayment of the loan while in school or for up to six months after graduation. Repayments can be done through either in 5 or 10 years.

When it comes to interest rates, variable rates range from 4.79% up to 9.86%, while fixed rates vary between 7.39% and 12.82%. Repayment options are either 5 or 10 years.

WHO QUALIFIES FOR A CITIZENS ONE STUDENT LOAN?

Although we have already mentioned some of the important qualifications per type of student loan, Citizens One has laid out eligibility criteria when it comes to who can avail such loans.

So, for your reference, below are the major qualifications for you to be able to avail any of the student loan offered by Citizens One:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident card holder
  • Enrolled at least half time in a degree program at an eligible school
  • Have a good credit score or have a qualified co-signer
  • Have attained the age of majority in the state you reside or have a co-signer
  • No prior student loan defaults
  • For international students without a U. S. Social Security number must have a creditworthy U.S. citizen or permanent resident co-signer

Unfortunately, Citizens One did not specify what they mean with “good credit”. However, the bank asks for income information to determine the eligibility of the borrower.

In addition, Citizens One states that the bank’s lowest advertised rates are available only to students with a co-signer.

Good thing though is that Citizens One student loans are available across all states in the country.

HOW TO APPLY FOR A CITIZENS ONE STUDENT LOAN?

So, now you already know what Citizens Bank and Citizens One are all about, as well as the different student loan types they offer. More so, we have already talked about who’s eligible to get the student loans the bank offers.

This time around, in this part of our Citizens Bank student loans review, we are going to share with you the process of application for a student loan at Citizens Bank.

First off, you have to gather all the information as well as documents required by the bank. As mentioned, the requirements vary depending on the specific loan type that you will be applying for. However, some of the most common information that you are going to provide are as follows:

  • Social Security Number
  • Proof of Income
  • Information About Your School
  • Immigration Status Documentation (For International and DACA borrowers)

Second, go to Citizens One website, and complete the online application. Make sure to add a co-signer if deemed necessary.

Third, choose the type of student loan you will be applying for, select the rates, as well as the loan terms.

Lastly, make sure to sign and accept your loan documents once the loan is approved by the bank.

WHAT ARE THE LOAN RATES, TERMS, FEES, AND DISCOUNTS?

A few important things that you need to look into when looking for a financial institution to get a student loan from are the interest rates, fees, or penalties, as well as loan terms.

Loan Rates and Terms

Earlier, we already shared with you the different interest rates as well as the loan terms for each type of student loan that Citizens One offers. Hopefully, you still remember them. If not, please feel free to go back to what we have discussed earlier.

Fees/Penalties

Now, with regards to fees and penalties, if you are planning to apply for a student loan at Citizens One, be aware that once a student loan payment is 15 days past due, it automatically is subject to a fee that is equivalent to 5% of the late payment.

Apart from this, Citizens One does not charge fees like application, origination, disbursement, or prepayment fees on any of the student loans they offer.

Discounts

Meanwhile, Citizen One offers a 0.25% interest rate reduction if the borrower’s or their co-signer has an existing qualifying account with Citizens Bank at the time their application is submitted.

Qualifying accounts include any savings, checking, and money market accounts, as well as credit cards, certificates of deposit, and any loans that are owned by Citizens Bank.

In addition, a 0.25% interest rate reduction is also given if you enroll in auto-pay.

Please note that both discounts are included in the advertised rates of Citizens One.

WHAT ARE THE REPAYMENT OPTIONS AVAILABLE?

Just like most financial institutions offering student loans, Citizens One also provides repayment options. In particular, the lending company offers three in-school payment options, which include:

  • Full Deferent (No In-School Payments Required)
  • Interest-Only Payments
  • Full Payments (Both Interest and Principal)

Unfortunately, parent loans are not eligible for deferment while the student is in school. Meanwhile, a six-month grace period is provided for all private student loan borrowers.

WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF A CITIZENS BANK STUDENT LOAN?

At this point in our Citizens Bank student loans review, we are going to share with you the benefits as well as the drawbacks we find with the Citizens One student loan program.

PROS

  • Offers multi-year approval. Usually, student loan lenders require borrowers to fill out a new application every year for financial aid. With Citizens One though, after your freshman year, you may apply for several subsequent years in advance, which is really beneficial. Needless to say, it helps you save a lot of time, and also avoid hard credit inquiries. Citizens, however, conduct soft credit inquiry annually before they release any additional funds to make sure that you continue to meet their qualification.
  • Co-signer release is available. Unlike other banks or financial institutions, Citizens offer co-signer release, which means after 36 consecutive on-time payments, a borrower can apply to free his or her co-signer of his or her obligations.
  • Offers loyalty discount. For the bank’s loyalty discount, they provide a 0.25% interest rate decrease on the loan of customers who are eligible for it.
  • Offers bar study and residency student loans. Not all lending companies provide these kinds of student loan types. That is why it is good knowing that Citizens One gas it. What’s even good about it is that Citizens One offers loans at rates lower than many personal loans out there.
  • Allows international students to apply for a student loan. Not all bank or financial institutions in the country provides student loan program/s to international students. Fortunately, Citizens One does for as long as the borrowers do have a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with good credit.

CONS

  • Does not provide a flat in-school repayment option. Unfortunately, unlike many lenders out there, Citizens One does not offer a flat in-school repayment option. This usually applies to borrowers who cannot afford to pay interest-only payments, at the same time, do not want to defer repayment totally — instead of paying a small amount monthly (usually as low as $25 a month).
  • Does not offer a pre-qualification process. For you to find out whether you qualify for a Citizens One student loan or not, you have to submit a full application, which means you will go through hard credit score. So, if you are in doubt, or if your credit score is not that good, you better look for other options instead.
  • Not as techie as other lenders. Unfortunately, we find Citizens One overall website user experience a so-so. It’s old-fashioned, and unlike most lenders who use SMS, email, and chatbots, Citizens only offer via phone or in-person customer service.
  • Only offers student loans for four-year, Title IV-eligible public and private institutions. To put it simply, if you are attending a two-year institution, including community colleges, or a for-profit school, you do not qualify for any student loan program the bank offers.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON CITIZENS BANK STUDENT LOANS REVIEW

It’s nice knowing that Citizens Bank’s Citizens One is providing a number of student loan options – which include undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as allows parents to get a student loan for their kids’ education.

While it has its drawbacks, we have to say that overall, Citizens One student loans are worth a try. The benefits definitely overpower the downsides.

Have you decided yet?

While we have provided you in this Citizens Bank student loans review our personal thoughts about the bank, at the end of the day, you got to check whether or not you qualify for the any of the loans they offer, and if you can manage to pay off whatever loan you choose.

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Navient Student Loans Review: A Borrower’s Guide

This Navient Student Loans review will provide you a number of reasons why you should still consider getting a loan from this company regardless of the controversies it has been involved in recent years.

Navient Student Loans review

Navient is one of the largest federal student loan service provider in the United States. It is known for helping student borrowers go through a long-term process of student loan repayment.

While it has established itself as a student loan giant, as we earlier mentioned, unfortunately, in January of 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) sued Navient. CFPB claims that the company has cut corners to be able to save on operating costs. Furthermore, it says that the lending company did an overall poor job in terms of helping borrowers in paying off their loans.

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Speaking of student loans, in an article published by Forbes, it says that Americans have recorded $1.6 trillion student loan debt in 2020. This amount was collectively owed by 45 million borrowers. Based on this figure, “U.S. Student loan debt is now the second-highest consumer debt category,” says Forbes. It runs behind mortgage debt and higher than credit cards and car loans.

Furthermore, the report says that the “average student loan debt for members of the Class of 2018 is $29,200, a 2% increase from the prior year.” The data came from the Institute for College Access and Success.

You see, student loan debt is such a big deal.

If you are a student loan borrower, rather you are planning to apply for a student loan, it is important to take time to check financial institutions that offer such service, and compare.

One of the financial institutions that offer student loans is Navient.

So, to be able to do this Navient student loans review, and hopefully, help you gauge whether it’s the right lending company for you, here are our guide questions:

  • What is Navient?
  • What are the different types of Navient student loans?
  • What are the repayment options for Navient student loans?
  • Does Navient forgive student loans?
  • Is refinancing possible with the Navient student loan?
  • What are the pros and cons of getting a student loan from Navient?
  • How to contact Navient?

WHAT IS NAVIENT?

Navient is one of the most popular student loan providers in the United States. In fact, it is one of the financial institutions that the Education Department contracts with to manage student loans.

Navient used to be part of Sallie Mae. However, in 2014, the two companies formally split up into two separate businesses. Sally Mae stayed in-charge of handling private student loans, while Navient focused on handling federal student loans.

Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, Navient currently serves almost 6.5 million borrowers. At the same time, the company manages a portfolio of about $227 billion federal student loans, which makes the company third-largest of the federal loan servicers.

Apart from providing federal student loans, the company also provides loan servicing for a portfolio of private student loans.

Navient Lawsuits and Complaints

Earlier, we mentioned that company faced one of its greatest hurdles when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which is a government agency that oversees the financial industry, filed a suit against the company in January 2017. The CFPB claimed that Navient misallocated student loan payments and that it gave inappropriate advice as well as inaccurate information. Such actions lead to borrowers failing at every state of repayment.

Furthermore, attorneys general in California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Washington also filed legal claims against the lending institution.

The student loan giant, though, called all claims unfounded and promised to “vigorously defend” against them. In June 2018, the company published a fact sheet, which was posted on its website. It says that the suits targeted the company “based on unannounced servicing standards applied retroactively and only against one servicer.” The company also stated that Navient’s borrowers are 37% less likely to default on student loans as compared to other student loan servicers.

Last year, the company started issuing refunds averaging about $770 each to 80,000 veterans who were overcharged for their student loans. Navient will have to process payments of $60 million in total.

In addition, Navient also faces nearly 26,000 formal complaints coming from consumers, which were filed at CFPB. The number is by far the biggest percentage a single student loan servicer got ever.

Some of the complaint made has something to do with receiving bad information, as well as having trouble with how the company handles payments.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF NAVIENT STUDENT LOANS?

As part of this Navient student loans review, we are going to look into the different types of student loans that the company offer. This way, you’d your options.

As mentioned earlier, while Navient focuses on providing federal student loans, it also provides private student loans.

FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS

Navient is one of nine student loan servicers that is used by the Education Department to service federal student loans, which include the following:

  • Direct subsidized loans
  • Direct unsubsidized loans
  • Parent PLUS loans
  • Grad PLUS loans
  • Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP)

So, if you have federal student loans, you were assigned a student loan provider or services by the U.S. government through the Department of Education once your loan funds were first distributed.

Sadly, borrowers do not have a choice. They cannot choose their loan services, which means, if the Education Department assigns you to Navient, even if you do not like the company, you have no choice but to accept.

PRIVATE STUDENT LOANS

Navient also provides private student loans, and these loans come from a variety of lenders, which include banks, credit unions, and other finance companies.

Navient’s private student loans have different repayment plans available. Choosing a repayment plan is usually at the lender’s discretion.

WHAT ARE THE REPAYMENT OPTIONS FOR NAVIENT STUDENT LOANS?

One thing to particularly like about Navient is that it gives you access to all types of federal repayment programs. More so, it also offers repayment programs to those under private student loans.

With regard to federal student loans, keep in mind that upon receipt of the loan, it will be automatically set up with the standard plant by default.

Meanwhile, if you are into learning how to lower your student loan debt with Navient, check this very informative video by Gamez Law Firm to know more:

Moving on, here are the different repayment plans Navient provides:

FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS: TRADITIONAL REPAYMENT PLANS

Navient offers three traditional repayment plans for federal loan borrowers. These are:

  • Standard Repayment Plan – This particular plan lasts up to ten years. It comes with a fixed payment (at least $50), and your monthly payment will be based on the total amount of your loan.
  • Graduated Repayment Plan – This plan starts with lower monthly loan payments. It will then gradually increase over the course of the loan. Typically, repayment terms are set at ten years as well. Meanwhile, monthly loan payments increase every two years.
  • Extended Repayment Plan – This plan is similar to that of the Graduated plan. However, it has 25-year terms. While it sounds good, borrowers will actually end up paying a lot when choosing this option because of the interest.

FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS: INCOME-DRIVEN REPAYMENT (IDR) PLANS

Navient also offers IDR plans, and federal student loan borrowers may opt any of the following:

  • Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) – With this plan, the monthly payment is 10% of your discretionary income. Once you have made payments for 20 or 25 years for graduated loans, whatever outstanding balance you have is forgiven.
  • Pay As You Earn (PAYE) – This plan is quite similar to REPAYE except that you are not going to pay more under this plan than you would under the standard plan ever.
  • Income-Based Repayment (IBR) – This plan lets you make payments of 10% or 15% of your discretionary income. After 20 years of making payments, your loan will be forgiven.
  • Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) – With this plan, how much you pay for the loan will be determined by your income. Just the same, your loans are forgiven after 20 years.

PRIVATE STUDENT LOANS REPAYMENT PLANS

When it comes to the repayment of Navient’s private student loans, they are mainly dependent on the terms and conditions set by private lenders.

Some of the repayment options the company provides for private student loans are:

  • In-School Interest-Only – With this plan, borrowers will only pay monthly interest payments while they are still in school, as well as during their grace period.
  • In-School Fixed – For this repayment plant, borrowers pay a $25 monthly payment while in school, as well as during grace period. Interest may capitalize on this plan.
  • Deferred – This is applicable to borrowers who would choose not to make payments while in school. Usually, no monthly payments are required up to six months after graduation. The same goes if you drop below half-time as a student. Interest will also capitalize on this plan.

DOES NAVIENT FORGIVE STUDENT LOANS?

Now that you already know the company’s repayment options, this time around, let’s talk about student loan forgiveness.

Does Navient forgive student loans?

The answer to that is a resounding YES, they do. In fact, we mentioned some of them already earlier. But for you to fully understand the rules when it comes to student loan forgiveness at Navient, read on.

For those who have federal student loans serviced by the company, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness through different government programs such as:

PUBLIC SERVICE LOAN FORGIVENESS (PSLF)

It takes ten years to qualify for a Public Service Loan Forgiveness or PSLF. Once you are done paying off the loan for 10 years, you may already apply for this program.

To qualify, borrowers must make 120 qualifying monthly payments while working full-time for a qualified employer. If requirements are met and the application is approved, the remainder of the student loan will be forgiven tax-free.

Furthermore, borrowers need to make on-time payments that are paid in full. They also need to move their loans to one of the found IDR plans, which we already discussed earlier.

For employers to qualify, they must be part of any of the following:

  • Government organizations
  • 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations
  • Other qualified non-profit organizations
  • Full-time AmeriCorps or Peace Corps volunteers

With PSLF, your designation at work is immaterial. What only matters is that your employer qualifies.

Please take note that only payments made while working for a qualified employer counts. Payments, however, do not have to be made consecutively. Also, it may come from more than one qualified employer.

INCOME-DRIVEN REPAYMENT LOAN FORGIVENESS

Earlier, we discussed the different plans under IDR. Just to refresh your memory, with IDR, you need to make payments between 20 and 25 years, depending on the plan you are in, and then, any outstanding balance after those years will be forgiven already.

Unlike PSLF though, with IDR you will have to pay taxes. They are considered taxable income by the IRS as payments were made for a longer period of time.

OTHER OPTIONS

Not a lot of Navient borrowers know that there are actually other options for their loans to be forgiven. Most of these options though are specialized according to where you reside, your career choice, as well as other factors.

Some of the loan forgiveness options offered by Navient are:

  • Teacher Student Loan Forgiveness
  • Indian Health Service (IHS) Loan Repayment Program (LRP)
  • Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program
  • State-Run Forgiveness Programs

Keep in mind though that qualifications vary for each. If you want to know more, better check directly with Navient.

IS REFINANCING POSSIBLE WITH NAVIENT STUDENT LOAN?

Another thing that we will look into as part of our Navient Student Loans review is if the company allows refinancing for the student loan.

Luckily, the answer to that is a YES as well.

In fact, Navient offers plenty of refinancing options.

If you are interested in refinancing your student loan with Navient, all you have to do is visit NaviRefi.com.

The downside though is that these loans are kind of exclusive as you have to be an existing member of Navient and that you must receive an invitation to refinance your loans to be able to avail the refinancing option.

To refinance your student loan, the minimum amount required is $5,001. So, if your anywhere below that, then that automatically disqualifies you.

With Navient, rates can be as low as 4.65%. However, keep in mind that rates offered to vary depending on your income as well as your credit score. How much you are trying to refinance and the term length will also be taken into consideration.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Navient prefers to refinance college graduates. Although refinancing options are still available for those who did not graduate, the chances of approval though may be significantly low.

WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF GETTING A STUDENT LOAN FROM NAVIENT?

So, our Navient student loans review will not be complete without us sharing with you the pros and cons of getting a loan with Navient.

Here they are —

PROS

  • Navient offers a variety of repayment options. As you can see from above, they have a lot of repayment options to choose from depending on your preference as well as your qualifications.
  • The company offers the opportunity to refinance your loan.
  • The company provides borrowers the opportunity to customize their monthly payments within specific parameters, set up an automatic payment from your bank, and many more.
  • Federal student loan borrowers have the access to standard lineup of federal loan benefits, which include standard, graduated, and extended repayment plans; income-driven repayment plans; forbearance and deferment; and the potential for student loan forgiveness.
  • Navient offers hardship options for private student loans such as term and rate modification, a rate reduction program, interest-only, as well as extended student loan repayment plans provided you are eligible.

CONS

While working with or getting a student loan from Navient has a lot of benefits, it surely has downsides as well. These are:

  • Navient faced its share of controversy over recent years.
  • The company also faces the most number of complaints about a single lending company based on Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) data.
  • Attorneys general of California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Washington also filed legal claims against the Navient.

HOW TO CONTACT NAVIENT?

Navient can be reached by using different platforms depending on the type of loans you have. For assistance, questions, and inquiries, you can contact Navient via phone, email, fax, mailing address, and through their website.

For your reference, here’s the company’s contact information:

Navient customer service phone numbers:

Phone: 800-722-1300

TDD: 877-713-3833

International: 800-722-1300 or 317-806-0580

Fax: 866-266-0178

International Fax: 001-570-706-8563

For mail payments:

Navient – U.S. Department of Education Loan Servicing

P.O. Box 4450

Portland, OR 97208-4450

For general correspondence:

Navient – U.S. Department of Education Loan Servicing

P.O. Box 9635

Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773-9635

The cosigner can mail payments to:

Navient

P.O. Box 9988

Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773-9988

For general correspondence and submitting documents:

Navient

P.O. Box 9640

Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773-9640

FINAL THOUGHTS ON NAVIENT STUDENT LOANS REVIEW

Navient is a student loan giant. Needless to say, it is one of nine financial institutions that the Education Department contracts with to manage student loans.

With years of being in the student loan business, there surely is no doubt it’s a strong company.

However, just like any other strong companies out there, hurdles do come as well. Unfortunately, in recent years, the company do still has pending lawsuits and several borrower complaints to face, and get through.

Setting the controversies aside, focusing on what the company offers, we have to say that Navient is worth it. 

But then again, it is all up to you. Are you willing to give it a try? Do you think the company can bounce back after all these controversies?

Hopefully, this Navient student loans review was able to provide you with all the information you need about the company, and that it helped you decide whether or not Navient is worth a try or not.

Categories
Investment Apps and Websites

Discover Student Loans Review: What Makes It An Ideal Lender

Discover is popularly known as one of the primary credit card users in the United States, it also offers other products and services such as student loans. In this Discover student loans review, we are going to share with you all the basics that you need to know to be guided accordingly.

Discover student loans review

In a recent article published by Forbes, it says that student loan debt in the country is now about $1.56 trillion. Furthermore, in the same article, it says that “the latest student loan debt statistics for 2020 show how serious the student loan debt crisis has become for borrowers across all demographics and age groups.”

There are about 45 million borrowers who collectively owe this amount in student loan debt in the country. With this number, it is not surprising that student loan debt is not the country’s second-highest consumer debt category.

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Meanwhile, in another article, which was published by Pew Research Center, they provided five facts about student loans in the U.S. This was based on the research center’s analysis of a recently released data from the 2018 Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking by the Federal Reserve Board.

These facts include (written as it is):

  • About one-third of adults under age 30 have student loan debt.
  • In 2016, the amount students’ owed varied widely, especially by degree attained.
  • Young college graduates with student loans are more likely than those without loans to report struggling financially.
  • Young college graduates with student loans are more likely to live in a higher-income family than those without a bachelor’s degree.
  • Compared with young adults who don’t have student debt, student loan holders are less upbeat about the value of their degree.

The data we presented above data only show that student loans continue to grow over the years. That, there are people who find it essential especially those aiming to finish school and earn a degree.

Although some find it financially struggling to have a student loan, they still choose to go with it anyway.

So, what’s the point of sharing all these?

Well, we just wanted to show you that if you are thinking of whether to get a student loan, know that you are not alone. A lot of people are in there or have gone there.

But apart from that, we wanted to point out that student loans should not be a pain in the ass — for anyone. It is possible to borrow money, and pay it off eventually without having to sacrifice a lot.

One way to do that is by finding the right financial student institution that offers student loans – one of them is Discover.

As mentioned earlier, we are going to do a Discover student loans review. We aim to help you understand better what the company is all about, and what it offers. More so, what sets it apart from other student loan providers in the market today.

In particular, we are going to talk about the following:

  • What is Discover?
  • What are the loans available?
  • Who is eligible to apply for a Discover student loan?
  • How to apply for a Discover student loan?
  • What are the fees and charges?
  • Does Discover offer any rewards and discounts?
  • Is repaying a Discover student loan available?
  • What are the pros and cons of Discover student loans?

But before we move on to our Discover student loans review, here’s a very informative primer about how student loans work. This one’s from How to Adult.

 WHAT IS DISCOVER?

On their website, it says that the company “strives to be the leading digital bank and payments services company.” Furthermore, its mission is “to help people spend smarter, manage debt better, and save more to achieve a brighter financial future.

As we have mentioned earlier, Discover is popular for its credit card business. However, in 2007, the company officially launched its Discover Student Loans.

The company offers a wide range of financial products, which include private student loans for undergraduate, graduate, MBA, health profession, law, residency, as well as bar exam students.

Depending on your program, Discover allows you to borrow up to the total cost of attendance. That said, Discover makes an ideal lending company of choice for those who need money to be able to finish their degree.

More so, Discover is also known for offering forbearance options, which is very rare among private lenders. They also provide rewards for those with good grades, as well as those graduating from specific programs.

WHAT ARE THE LOANS AVAILABLE?

Earlier, we mentioned that Discover offers a wide range of student loan products, which include the following:

  • Undergraduate Student Loans
  • Graduate Student Loans
  • MBA Loans
  • Health Professions Loans
  • Law School Loans
  • Residency Loans
  • Bar Exam Loans

Here’s a quick overview about these loan types:

LOAN TYPE VARIABLE RATES FIXED RATES LOAN AMOUNTS LOAN TERMS
Undergraduate Student Loans 2.80% – 11.37% 4.74% – 12.49% $1,000 up to the total cost of attendance 15 years
Graduate Student Loans 3.74% – 11.37% 4.99% – 12.24% $1,000 up to the total cost of attendance 20 years
MBA Loans 3.74% – 11.24% 4.99% – 11.49% $1,000 up to the total cost of attendance 20 years
Health Professions Loans 3.74% – 9.37% 4.99% – 9.74% $1,000 up to the total cost of attendance 20 years
Law School Loans 3.74% – 9.37% 4.99% – 10.24% $1,000 up to the total cost of attendance 20 years
Residency Loans 5.97% – 8.37% 7.34% – 9.74% $1,000 up to $18,000 (Allopathy, Dentistry, Optometry, Osteopathy, Pharmacy, Podiatry, Veterinary Medicine);   $1,000 to $5,000 (Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant) 20 years
Bar Exam Loans 6.37% – 11.37% 7.74% – 12.74% $1,000 up to $16,000 20 years

Now, as part of our Discover student loans review, we’ll walk you through each of these products.

Undergraduate Student Loans

This refers to the student loan type that Discover offers particularly to undergraduate students who need financing to pay for school. Qualified students can borrow up to the total cost of attendance. In addition, they may also pre-qualify for loans in the future that comes with a multi-year approval.

Discover’s undergraduate student loans do not have an application, origination, and late fees, as well as prepayment penalties, should the borrower decides to pay off the loan early.

Graduate Student Loans

This type of loan is applicable to those who are pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree. Just like the undergraduate loan, you also do not have to worry about the application, origination, or late fees, as well as prepayment penalties.

MBA Loans

Are you planning to pursue an MBA? Well, you may do so. Discover’s MBA loans are zero-fee. In addition to that, you can also apply online, and borrow up to the total cost of attendance.

Health Professions Loans

This loan is applicable for graduate students in health-related degrees like nursing, occupational therapy, optometry, allopath, dentistry, osteopathy, pharmacy, physical therapy, podiatry, veterinary medicine, and physician assistant. Just like the previous ones, Discover does not charge application, origination, or late fees, and prepayment penalties.

Law School Loans

If you are a graduate student in law school who is in need of money to pay for school, worry no more because Discover offers law school loans. This no-fee loan lets you borrow up to the total cost of attendance. More so, you may also choose an interest rate type as well as a repayment option.

Residency Loans

Residency candidates in medical school can take advantage of this particular type of loan. These loans cover the cost of your residency, relocation costs, as well as your internship, and board exam review. The maximum amount of loans allowed depends on the field of study. As with loan terms, it is set at 20 years.

Bar Exam Loans

Bar takers may use this loan to cover the cost of bar study prep classes, as well as living expenses. The maximum loan amount for this particular student loan type is $16,000. Just the same, no application, origination, or late payment fees to worry about.

As you can see, Discover almost cover all types of student loans. From undergrad to further studies and specialties. It is safe to say that they have a loan product for every student type.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR A DISCOVER STUDENT LOAN?

As part of our Discover student loans review, let’s proceed now to who is eligible to apply for the company’s student loans.

Basically, to qualify for a Discover student loan, the borrower has to meet the following requirements:

  • Must be at least 16 years old at the time of application of the loan
  • Must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or eligible international student with a qualifying co-signer
  • Must be enrolled at least half-time in a bachelor’s or associate’s degree program (or other eligible programs if pursuing a graduate, MBA, law, or health professions degree) at an eligible school
  • Must have the intention to get a degree
  • Must make satisfactory academic progress as defined by your college
  • Must pass a credit check

In addition, you must prepare the following:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Selected school information, including the field of study
  • Loan amount requested
  • Expected financial aid
  • Financial information, including rent or mortgage payments and income
  • Permanent address and in-school address (if applicable)

Also, it is important to note that if you have a co-signer, you both need to fill out a separate application.

Now, if you think you pass all the aforementioned criteria and you have all the documents required, then all you have to do now is proceed with your application for a student loan.

HOW TO APPLY FOR A DISCOVER STUDENT LOAN?

Now, you already know the different student loan types offered by Discover. In addition, you also know already who’s eligible or qualified to apply for each of the loan types.

Given the fact that you qualify, how then do you get a student loan from Discover?

Basically, Discover accepts student loan applications from international students with a qualifying co-signer.

As mentioned earlier, students as young as 16 years old can apply for the loan, while for refinancing, the minimum age required is 18 years old.

Application of any of the aforementioned Discover student loans may be done on their website. All you got to do is click “Apply Now” on the page of the student loan of your choice.

WHAT ARE THE FEES AND CHARGES?

Of course, this Discover student loans review will not be complete if we will tackle the fees and charges that apply to the student loans. As a borrower, it is important to be well-aware of the fees and charges before you even submit a loan application.

This helps you assess whether the loan is perfect for you or you need to find a better option.

Anyway, unlike some student loan providers, Discover does not charge for anything at all.

Yes, you read it right. No charges apply.

Discover will not charge any application, origination, or late fees. In addition to that, the company also does not charge a prepayment penalty, which makes it ideal especially to those who plan to pay off the loan earlier.

To be honest, this is probably one of the best things about Discover student loans. Probably the very reason why people are drawn to apply for a student loan at Discover.

DOES DISCOVER OFFER ANY REWARDS AND DISCOUNTS?

Yes, they do.

In fact, there are two possible rewards that a Discover borrower can receive. These are as follows:

  • Good Grades – Discover gives a one-time cash reward on every student borrower that earns at least a 3.0 GPA (or its equivalent). The award that the company gives is equal to 1% of the loan amount.
  • Graduation – If a student borrower graduates from his or her degree program below six years after the loan’s disbursement, he or she may qualify for a Graduation Reward, which is equivalent to 2% of the total outstanding loan balance.

Also, Discover is just one of the very few lenders that offer multi-year approval, which means qualified borrowers can pre-qualify for future undergraduate loans to cover the rest of their school needs.

Meanwhile, Discover also offers auto-debit rewards. Basically, if you sign up for automatic withdrawal for your minimum monthly payment, the company will reduce your interest rate by 0.25%.

Furthermore, if you make interest-only payments while in school, you may also qualify for a 0.35% discount from Discover.

Now, that is indeed a great deal, right?

IS REPAYING A DISCOVER STUDENT LOAN AVAILABLE?

The answer to the question is yes. Discover provides repayment options.

In fact, they offer not just one but three repayment options, which are as follows:

In-School Interest-Only – You can qualify for a 0.35% point interest rate discount if you make interest-only monthly payments while you are still in school, and during the six months after your graduation.

In-School Fixed – You are required to pay a fixed payment of $25 per month while you are in school and during the six months after graduation.

Deferred – You may defer making any payments up to six months after graduation.

WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF DISCOVER STUDENT LOANS?

Before we end our Discover student loans review, it is but right to share with you some of the pros and cons we found about Discover student loans. This, hopefully, gives you clarity and guidance in assessing whether loaning money from Discover is the perfect choice for you.

PROS

  • No loan fees and charges. We honestly love the fact that Discover does not charge any loan fees and charges, which we find appropriate given the fact that the borrower is a student.
  • Borrowers may pre-qualify for future student loans. Once approved, borrowers may be pre-approved for future Discover student loans. No need to re-apply.
  • It provides rewards for good grades. Discover gives out a one-time cash reward for borrowers with good grades. The amount is equivalent to 1% of their Discover student loan. Qualified students must have at least 3.0 GPA or its equivalent.
  • It provides flexible in-school options. Discover provides borrowers with three repayment options while borrowers are in school.
  • The loanable amount is up to full college costs. Discover student loans, students can borrow money up to the full cost of attendance for either a college program or a graduate program.
  • Open for international students. If you are an international student looking for a student loan provider, Discover may be the right lender for you. They accept applications from international students provided they have a creditworthy U.S. citizen or permanent resident to act as their co-signer.

CONS

  • It does not provide parent-only student loans. Although Discover offers to lend for undergraduates and many other options for different graduate programs, it does not provide a parent-only student loan, which refers to the kind of loan that parents can take out on their children’s’ behalf.
  • It does not provide soft credit checks or rate quotes. Unlike many other lenders that provide soft credit check and rate estimates, Discover does not offer any pre-qualification or rate quotes. The company instead requires a full application, which includes a hard credit check.
  • No co-signer release. This basically refers to not allowing a borrower to remove his or her co-signer while the loan is still in repayment.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON DISCOVER STUDENT LOANS REVIEW

To be honest, there’s a lot of things to love about Discover student loans. They offer fair terms, they have various student loan options depending on your level of education, and more. But you know, what really draws us and perhaps a lot of student borrowers out there to Discover is the fact that their student loans are free of fees and charges. It’s very student-friendly.

While it is not perfect because we’ve seen a few flaws as well, the good things about Discover student loans overpower the not-so-good ones.

So, have you enlightened already about Discover student loans?

We hope that this Discover student loans review did give you all the essential information you need to know. Also, hope this helps give you clarity with regards to what you can expect from Discover student loans.

Categories
Investment Apps and Websites

Credible Loan Review: The Best Online Loan Marketplace Right For You

One thing about this Credible loans review is that we are focusing on learning how efficient this free online loan marketplace is. Also, this will help you understand better how everything works, and hopefully help you decide whether or not Credible is the right loan platform for you.

Credible loans review what you need to know

Perhaps a lot of people will agree with us if we say that loans are inevitable. At least once in a person’s life, he or she gets a loan – it could be a personal, student, emergency or other types of loans.

Don’t feel bad if you do have an existing loan or are thinking of applying for one. Borrowing money is not a bad thing at all – what’s not good is when you run away from your obligations (that is when you do not pay the loans you made).

As we have said, loaning or borrowing money is not new. In fact, in a report published by the Chamber of Commerce, it says that there are 21.1 million outstanding personal loans in the United States. Take note that we are just talking about personal loans here. If we are going to add other types of loans, perhaps the number can be quite overwhelming.

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In the same report, it says that for personal loans alone, the average interest rates vary between 10% and 28%. You see, people do not care about how huge or how small the interest rate is — after all when you are badly in need of cash or of money, the last thing you will think about is how to pay off the debt, as well as how much the interest rates are.

While there is nothing wrong about that, people have to change that kind of thinking. We should always consider our ability to pay off the debt, otherwise, we might end up being drowned in debts plus interest rates.

Good thing there are platforms that allow you to “shop” for the best or most appropriate loan setup for you. One of these platforms is Credible. As we have mentioned earlier, it is a free online marketplace, which helps you find the perfect lender for you. Basically, Credible acts as a middle man between lenders and borrowers.

Did that spark interest in you? Do you want to know more about Credible?

If yes, then do not go elsewhere as you are in the right place already. This Credible Loans review will specifically tackle some of the most commonly asked questions among borrowers (new and old alike).

In particular, we are going to talk about the following:

  • What Credible is all about?
  • What are its key features?
  • What are the products offered?
  • How is its customer service?

CREDIBLE AT A GLANCE

Before we proceed with the more thorough Credible Loans Review, here’s a quick glance on what Credible is all about, at the same time, what it offers. This will give you an idea of whether or not Credible is an efficient platform to use.

Name of Loan Platform Credible
Fees and Charges None
Products Student Loan Refinancing, Student Loans, Personal Loans, Mortgage, Mortgage Refinancing, Credit Cards
Key Benefit Compares multiple lenders all at once

WHAT CREDIBLE IS ALL ABOUT?

Credible is an online loan marketplace that allows borrowers to shop around for different types of loans, which include student loan refinancing, private student loans, personal loans, mortgages, and credit cards.

With Credible, you can compare rates and terms from multiple lenders all at the same time. Furthermore, it has a prequalification tool, which helps borrowers save a lot of time. The tools let the borrowers see personalized rates from up to nine different lenders with just one application.

It is important to note that Credible is (again) a marketplace and not an issuer of loans or a lender. What it primarily does is it connects borrowers with an array of lenders. Credible makes every borrower’s life easier as it helps you search for the best personal or student (or whatever type of) loan out there.

Credible is based in San Francisco, USA, and has currently had 157 employees. More so, at the moment, the company is working with more than 280 partner lenders.

WHAT ARE ITS KEY FEATURES?

So, you already know what Credible loans are all about. This time around, we’ll look into the company’s key features.

Credible’s key features include:

  • No Fees:  Credible does not charge you for using their service. It’s ultimately free for use for anyone.
  • Risk-Free Comparison:  With Credible, you can compare your options without having to worry about your credit score. It will not affect your credit score at all.
  • Shop with Confidence:  By using Credible, you do not have to worry about the information you share as the company assures you it will never share your personal information with anyone without asking your permission.
  • Safe and Secure:  Credible uses 256-bit encryption and SSL technology keeps your data secure. These are industry standard, thus, you should not worry about the safety and security of your transactions as well as the information you share online through the Credible website.
  • Power of Choice:  Credible thoroughly vet their lenders. That way, you can compare the best options there is.
  • Real People, Ready to Help:  In case you have questions or clarifications, Credible has a team of experts called, Client Success, who are always ready to help.

WHAT ARE THE PRODUCTS OFFERED?

As part of our Credible loans review, we are, of course, going to look into their list of products. Surely you know what you are looking for, but it is also nice to be aware of the other products the company offers. Who knows, you might just need of these in the future, right?

Anyway, so here are what Credible currently offers:

STUDENT LOAN REFINANCING

If you wish to find a lender to refinance your student loan, all you have to do is follow below steps provided by Credible:

STEP 1: Fill out a quick simple form. – With just one form, you get to access options from top lenders (who Credible are in partnership with). During this stage, checking your rates will not affect your credit score. Also, your information will not be shared with lenders yet.

STEP 2: Choose the option you like. – During this phase, you get to easily compare your prequalified options in just one place. You can also opt to use Credible’s comprehensive tools to quickly look for a plan ideal for you. Also, you may get annual rates according to your credit profile (no estimates).

STEP 3: Provide your loan details. – At this point, you may use Credible’s easy import tools to add the loans you want to refinance. You may also be asked to provide additional information about yourself. Once done, expect to receive your final offer in as quickly as one business day.

Meanwhile,  in order to qualify for a refinancing of student loan, lenders will look into a number of factors like your credit as well as your earnings history, the school you graduated from, your college degree, your credit report, as well as the size of the loan you want to apply for refinancing.

STUDENT LOANS

By availing Credible’s private student loans, you get to pay for college after you hit federal loan limits. While there are so many student loan options out there, by using credible you get to take advantage of the following benefits:

  • Multiple lenders compete to get you the best rate
  • No filling out duplicate forms
  • Get actual rates, not estimated ones
  • Finance almost any degree
  • Flexible repayment plans
  • San Francisco-based customer support 7 days a week
  • 3-way phone support connecting you and lenders

In addition to the above-mentioned, rest assured that the process will not cost you anything. Credible does not charge any origination fees, service fees, or prepayment penalties.

Before we move on, know more about Credible’s Student Loan Refinancing option through this video blog by The College Investor. Click the play button below to watch the whole thing:

Private student loans can be used to pay for education-related costs, as well as living expenses that may not be covered by your federal school loans. For your reference, some uses include the following:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Room and board
  • Housing utilities
  • Meals and groceries
  • Books
  • Supplies
  • A personal computer you’ll use for school
  • Dependant childcare expenses

Meanwhile, while each lender has their own requirements as to who qualifies for a private student loan, some of the basic requirements include:

  • Have a qualifying credit score (or a co-signer with one)
  • Have a qualifying income and debt-to-income ratio (DTI) (or a co-signer with one)
  • Be enrolled in an eligible education program
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident with a Social Security number
  • Be at least 18 years old and hold a high school diploma or equivalent (or have a co-signer)
  • Use the loan for education purposes only

PERSONAL LOANS

One thing that will catch your immediate attention is that Credible has the “Best Rate Guarantee”. That is how confident the company is about their personal loan service.

Three things that Credible personal loan offer:

  • Rates from 4.99% APR*
  • Loan amounts from $1,000 to $100,000
  • Compare rates from multiple lenders in just 2 minutes

Credible takes pride in having a fast process, low rates, and no stress personal loan service. You basically have to follow these three simple steps:

  • Find loans you qualify for (and compare the rates)
  • Complete your application online
  • Close your loan (by signing documents)

With Credible, you can avail a personal loan for different purposes like debt consolidation, credit card refinancing, home improvement, as well as bad credit loans.

As to how one can qualify to avail a personal loan through Credible, the requirements vary from one lender to another. However, some of the most common qualifications these lenders look for are as follows:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Must be a citizen or a permanent resident holder of the United States
  • Must have a valid Social Security number
  • Must have a steady income
  • Must have a good credit history

Meanwhile, with regards to allowed loanable amount, this will depend hugely on the borrower’s credit score and the person’s debt-to-income ratio (this refers to the amount of your monthly income that goes to your rent, credit card bills, car payments, etc.). The upper limits for online personal loans depend from one lender to another but usually falls between $35,000 and $50,000. With lenders on the Credible marketplace, however, qualified borrowers for a personal loan can borrow up to $100,000.

MORTGAGE

If you are looking for a lender that offers mortgage loans, then Credible is also perfect for you. This online loan marketplace also provides you with the best mortgage lenders out there.

To borrow money, all you need to do is go through Credible’s very easy mortgage loan process:

  • Get pre-approved in 3 minutes
  • Compare lenders and choose a rate
  • Submit your documents online
  • Finish your loan with Credible

What makes Credible’s mortgage product different from others is that it is “pain-free”. What does that mean? Well, Credible provides instant streamlined pre-approval process, they keep your personal data private, and lastly, they have a modern approach to mortgages.

One of the things that people look into when shopping for a mortgage loan is the rate. With Credible, you will be presented with both an interest rate, as well as an annual percentage rate and APR. This way, you get to choose the best option that is suitable for you.

With regard to requirements, it varies from one lender to another. However, some other common criteria that lenders look for are as follows:

  • Minimum credit score (The rule is — the lower your credit score, the higher the interest rate.)
  • Minimum down payment (Usually, homebuyers are required to make a down payment that is equivalent to 20% of the home’s value. But with Credible, again, it depends on the lender’s requirement.)
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio (This represents the percentage of your monthly income that’s required to meet ongoing expenses.)
  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio (This reflects how big the mortgage is in relation to the value of the home you’re financing.)

In addition, there are documents that you will need to keep on hand when applying for a mortgage loan. These documents will be used to verify your identity, as well as your income. These documents include:

  • Drivers license
  • Social Security card
  • Your two most recent bank statements
  • Signed tax returns for the last two years
  • Two years of W-2 forms
  • An estimate of the home’s value (an appraisal or recent sale price)
  • Documentation of the source of funding for your down payment (for home purchase mortgages)
  • For new home purchases, you’ll also need to submit the home purchase contract

MORTGAGE REFINANCING

With Credible’s mortgage refinancing, you get to compare lenders and save on interest, get cash out to pay off high-interest debt, and you get to prequalify in just a few minutes! That quick!

Furthermore, what makes this service different from others is the fact that Credible provides you with actual rates from multiple lenders, it uses smart technology by streamlining questions and automating uploaded documents, as well as providing you with end-to-end experience.

Before you apply for a mortgage refinancing, Credible lets you look for loan estimates from different lenders. You may request by providing the following details:

  • Your name and income
  • The property address
  • The property’s estimated value
  • The amount of the mortgage (how much you want to borrow)

Once you have already chosen the best loans and lenders based on your needs, you may process with your loan application. Usually, lenders require certain documents to verify both your assets and income.

Some of the documents required are as follows:

  • Contact info for your employers for the last two years, and copies of pay stubs for anyone who will be on the mortgage
  • Recent bank statements
  • Two years of W-2s and tax returns
  • Bank statements for two to three months
  • Records of investments and securities including stocks, bonds, and life insurance
  • Information about ongoing debt obligations including student loans, credit cards, and car loans

Again, requirements, as well as the criteria to qualify for a loan, depends from one lender to another.

Meanwhile, with regards to how much you can qualify for mortgage refinancing, this will depend on three vital factors, which are:

  • Your home’s appraised value
  • Your monthly income in comparison to your monthly debt (known as your debt-to-income ratio)
  • Your credit score

It is worth sharing that Credible’s mortgage marketplace is well-integrated with credit bureaus as well as lenders.

CREDIT CARDS

Credible also offers a comparison between credit cards. The comparison will be based on rewards points up to building credit. This gives you better options and allows you to make informed decisions when it comes to your credit card choices.

This service is ideal for those who are new to the idea of using credit cards, or those who want to make better choices when it comes to the cards they use.

With Credible, you can filter your credit card choices based on the following types:

  • Cash Cards
  • Travel Cards
  • Balance Transfer Cards
  • Low-Interest Cards
  • Zero-Percent Cards
  • Secured Cards
  • Student Cards

HOW IS ITS CUSTOMER SERVICE?

Another important aspect of this Credible loans review is the customer service support that the company provides. Since this one’s an online loan marketplace, customer service is a major thing.

Credible is known for its great customer service. The company has a team of people who are available to help you out 24/7 via phone, email, or live chat.

If we may add, Credible is highly rated with an A+ Better Business Bureau grade in terms of service. Thus, it is safe to say that you will not go wrong with Credible.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON CREDIBLE LOANS REVIEW

You see, Credible offers an array of loan choices. Basically, some of the most common loan products. While there are so many other online loan marketplaces out there, it has its own unique features that make it popular especially to those looking for lenders.

Having presented all the loan options offered by Credible, do you think it’s the right one for you?

Well, we do hope that this Credible loans review has helped you in making a decision. More so, we hope that by using Credible (which is for free), you get to find the best lender based on your needs.