07.24.13 | 5 Ways to Cover College Costs

Paying for CollegeWhether you’re a soon-to-be freshman or second semester senior, it is never easy to figure out how to cover the costs of college. With tuition and hidden fees of private colleges averaging out to about $40,000 per year, many of you are still wondering how your family is expected to pay for $35,000 of your education, even after having received your Student Aid Report (SAR) three months ago. To help you out in your pursuit of a college degree, here are 5 ideas for paying for college when Federal aid comes up short.

Befriend the Financial Aid Office

If you are disappointed by the amount of financial aid that you receive, try talking to your financial aid office. Many colleges have an appeal process for financial aid, so get on a first-name basis with someone in the financial aid office and see what else can be done.

Search for Scholarships

There are millions of dollars in scholarships that go unclaimed every year, so why not spend a few days this summer searching and applying for as many scholarships as you can find? On average, you will win 1 out of every 10 scholarships that you apply for, so don’t get discouraged. For starters, try visiting our recommended scholarship search website, or try winning scholarships through the ScholarshipPoints program. (more…)

07.19.13 | College Costs Out of Control

Today, 20% of adults owe money on student loans, and 57% are worried about repaying these loans. Many have expressed concern about the recent legislation which increased the interest rate of subsidized loans to 6.8%, but the problem is not the cost of student loans. As stated by Mark Kantrowitz in a recent article published by MarketWatch, this will not double loan payments, but rather, will lead to about a 17% increase in monthly payments.

The real problem is the rising cost of college, and decline in government grants. A recent study by Gallup indicates that only 15% of Americans think that it would be reasonable for colleges to charge students more than $20,000 per year. Yet, many schools, such as MIT, Cornell, and Harvard, charge over $50,000 per year, after tuition and living expenses are taken into account. (more…)

07.12.13 | Pros and Cons of Private Student Loan Consolidation

Congratulations on finally finishing college.  While it’s great to be working and living on your own, you now get to pay your own bills (and yes, now you finally understand why your parents always yelled at you for taking more than 10 minutes in the shower).  Amongst these bills, the most pressing may be those student loan repayment letters that start to arrive all too soon after graduation.  With student loan debt averaging out to $23,000 per borrower, you could end up paying $200 per month for the next 15 years!

Fortunately, there is an alternative: college loan consolidation. Student loan consolidation enables you to lower your monthly payments and pay back your loan over a longer period of time. To give you a better idea, let’s explore the pros and cons of consolidating your student loans. (more…)

08.06.12 | 5 Private Student Loan Statistics

Posted in Financial Aid, PLUS Loans, Private Student Loans, Stafford Loan, Student Loans by Student Loan Network Staff

Student loans have been all over the news in the past year, and borrowers are researching college financing options more than ever. In light of this, it’s important to know the facts so you can make better-informed decisions about paying for college.

  1. 90% of private loans require school certification
  2. Schools must approve a loan based on the student’s cost of attendance. This ensures that borrowers aren’t taking out more than they need, keeping them out of further debt.

  3. More than 90% of approved applicants applied with a cosigner
  4. Because many students have little to no history, most loans will require a credit-worthy cosigner to be approved. The good news is that cosigner release is now common among private loan lenders, allowing the cosigner to be released from obligation after a certain number of on-time monthly payments. (more…)

03.15.12 | CFPB now taking your student loan complaints

Posted in News, Private Student Loans, Repayment, Student Loans by Student Loan Network Staff

OmbudsmanIf you have had any issues with your federal student loans, you may be familiar with the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman office. This office is responsible for mediating issues with your federal student loans or financial aid office. Students weren’t lucky enough to have this luxury for private student loans, that is, until now.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created a private student loan Ombudsman office to handle consumer complaints with loan lenders, servicers, and collectors.

What does it really mean for you, the borrower? Well, for starters, a single federal agency is now responsible for overseeing private student loans, which will hopefully provide easy answers to families seeking assistance. This new office will allow families to file complaints, at which point the office will contact the loan lender to help resolve any issues. These could be issues such as you were billed while loans were in deferment, or your payments were not applies as specified. The CFPB will now be able to help resolve loan repayment issues between you and your private loan lender.

While this office does handle complaints, they are also available to answer questions you may have about borrowing a private student loan. For more information or to submit a complaint or question, visit http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/ or call 1-855-411-CFPB.

08.30.11 | How do you fill your financial aid gap?

Posted in Financial Aid, Student Loans by Student Loan Network Staff

Fill the Gap Infographic: How Students Pay for College

If you’re like most students, federal aid may not cover your whole Cost of Attendance. Between tuition, books, housing, and all of the other expenses you face in college, federal financial aid can only stretch so far. To help fill the gap, students turn to a variety of sources to help them get to that diploma.

Some of the most common ways students pay for school include private loans, part-time jobs, and parental help, just to name a few. To learn more tips and tricks to help pay for school, check out the Fill the Gap infographic.

» View the Fill the Gap Infographic: How Students Pay for College

Now it’s your turn. We want to know how you pay for school. Did you get a private loan? Maybe saved up money since middle school?

Leave a comment and let us know how you pay for school!

06.30.11 | In the News: Private Student Loans

Posted in Private Student Loans by Student Loan Network Staff

girl reading newspaperGreetings financial aid seekers and enthusiasts! We just wanted to keep you updated on the happenings in the world of private student loans. So read on to learn about loan news and what’s in season!

Updated Interest Rates

PrivateStudentLoans.com is excited to announce a recent update from our partner, Wells Fargo bank! Wells Fargo now offers a fixed rate student loan, the first major bank to do so since the credit crisis. Unlike most other student loans, which offer variable rates that are tied to a benchmark rate, this new fixed rate loan would prevent future spikes in interest, ensuring one rate for the term of the loan. The exact rate is determined by the applicant and co-cosigner’s credit score and history. Students can expect to see more banks offering better terms on student loans within the next year, including lower interest rates, and more fixed rate options.
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05.18.11 | Compare Private Student Loans

Posted in Private Student Loans by Student Loan Network Staff

Student loan applicationThere are a lot of private student loans out there, so finding the best one for you can be a difficult and confusing experience. Taking out a student loan is a big decision, and like all big financial decisions, you must be well informed before applying.

A tool that could prove very helpful to you in your search for a good deal is our private loan comparison tool. It allows you to compare some of the most popular lenders and review what benefits their loans offer. Plus, if you find a good option, you can apply for a private loan right there, making it a much simpler process. While the comparison tool is a great help, you also have to know what to look for. To help with this, make of list of what loan benefits are most important to you, that way, you can more easily narrow down your choices.
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04.05.11 | Not Enough Aid? What to do Next

Posted in Financial Aid, Private Student Loans, Scholarships by Student Loan Network Staff

So you’ve gotten your financial aid award package from your schools but you didn’t get as much federal aid as you had hoped. Now what? Well, there are some other financial options for you to consider.

Scholarships

Scholarships can be a great way to fill the gap between the aid you received and the aid you need. ScholarshipPoints.com gives away monthly $1,000 scholarships, and the best part is, it’s open to all students enrolled in college! There are none of the restrictions that most other scholarships have, if you participate, you can win! The program is pretty simple too- you earn points by completing surveys, or reading blogs, then you can enter these points into our monthly drawings! Easy as pie. PLUS, there are quarterly $10,000 drawings, so there’s really no reason no to join.
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02.28.11 | Choosing a Student Loan: Parent PLUS vs Private

Posted in Financial Aid, PLUS Loans, Private Student Loans, Student Loans by Student Loan Network Staff

Deciding on which student loan to apply for can be a headache for both parents and students. With so many aspects to consider, such as repayment plans, interest rates, and loan benefits, deciding on the best loan for you can be both confusing and difficult.

If a student is not eligible for federal loans, or is already taking the maximum, there are other loan options to consider. There is a variety of private student loans to choose from, or you and your parents may consider a Parent PLUS loan. However, these loans have some important differences to be aware of.

The most important aspect when choosing between a parent PLUS loan and a private loan is the borrower. A parent PLUS loan is taken out in the parent’s name and the responsibility legally rests on the parent to repay it. A student and parent can have an agreement where the student pays the loan, but remember, if it were to go into default, it is under the parent’s name not the student’s and is therefore the parent’s responsibility. Private loans, however, will be taken out in the student’s name and all repayment responsibility falls upon the student.

Another important difference to consider is financial disclosure. Private student loans do not require any parent or student information like which you would put on your FAFSA. On the other hand, Parent PLUS Loans require you to file a FAFSA which means you will have to provide financial information.

There are a number of other options to consider when deciding on a loan. Visit StudentLoans.com for more information on this differences between Private Student Loans vs Parent PLUS Loans.