SimpleTuition is an
Internetcompany that operates a website which enables college students to compare student loans offered by a variety of private and federal lenders. Founded in 2005 and based in Newton, Massachusetts, the company earns a referral fee each time they connect a student with a partner lending organization (NOTE - All partner loans are clearly marked). The service is free for users. They provide details on over 100 federal and private loan products from 45+ partner and non-partner lenders. Loan types included are: Stafford, GradPLUS, PLUS, Private Student Loans, and Federal Consolidation.
SimpleTuition was named one of [http://www.kiplinger.com/magazine/archives/2007/11/best.html Kiplinger's Best of the Web] in 2007 in the category Student Loan Sites.
SimpleTuition's [http://www.simpletuition.com/resource Student Loan Resource Center] contains many informative articles to help students and their families understand borrowing, including the following from "How to choose a student loan."
Your financial aid package for your new school probably includes loans, all of which must be repaid with interest. With so many options, choosing a lender can be daunting. But if you understand a few basics, you can usually find the best loans for you.
Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (or FAFSA). This is a must. Without it, you won’t have access to federal student loans – many of which are not based on need (or your income).
Always use federal loans first, such as the Perkins, Stafford, and PLUS loans. They carry lower, fixed interest rates and often have better terms than private (or alternative) loans.
Know the difference between the types of loans in your financial aid award.
* Subsidized Stafford loans: the government pays interest while you are in school
* Unsubsidized Stafford loans: you pay interest while you are in school
* PLUS loans: loans for graduate students and parents of undergraduate students
* Private loans: loans from banks or other non-government sources, often with competitive rates.
If you need to use private loans, consider all of the costs. Private loans can have origination fees, different ways of compounding interest, and higher interest rates or higher APRs. It pays to compare.
Know your credit score. The lower your score, the higher your rate will likely be on a private loan. If your rating is poor or non-existent, you might need a cosigner. Fees and penalties can be higher than with government-backed loans and your repayment terms may not be as favorable.
Investigate your options carefully.Consider the following:
* Total cost of the loan (after all of the interest and fees have accumulated)
* APR or annual percentage rate of interest
* Borrower benefits (such as cash back or interest rate reductions if you make payments on time)
Shopping for a student loan? Here’s some advice:
Avoid turning to credit cards to pay for college. Many credit cards come with high interest rates.
Put together a budget and do your best to follow it. Maintain minimal expenses and manage current expenses now, you can lessen your borrowing needs and save money for when loans come due.
Consider a part-time job and/or federal work study. Earning a couple of thousand dollars per school year can have a significant financial impact over time if you have reduced your borrowing.
Review education-related expenses, including student loan interest, when preparing your taxes. There are a handful of meaningful tax credits and deductions that may be available to your family.
Imagine your future income and expenses before taking out any student loan debt. Industry experts advise that student loan payments should not exceed 8 to 10% of gross monthly income.
Be aware of your debt even though you won’t begin repayment for years. The better your understanding of what you will owe after graduation, the more likely you are to be responsible about taking on more debt.
* [http://www.kiplinger.com/columns/drt/archive/2007/dt071205.html Three Keys to Handling Credit Wisely] , Kiplinger's, December 5, 2007
* [http://www.usnews.com/usnews/biztech/articles/070813/13loandeals.htm How To Find the Best Loan Deals] , US News & World Report, August 13, 2007
* [http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0514/p13s02-wmgn.html Time to consolidate student loans] , The Christian Science Monitor, May 14, 2007
* [http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/columnist/block/2007-05-08-student-loans_N.htm Your Money: Careful when consolidating student loans] , USA Today, May 8, 2007
* [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/31/AR2006053102172.html For Student Loans, Time for Payback] , June 1, 2006
* [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118480757690171098.html?mod=technology_featured_stories_hs Student Lending Hits the Web] , Wall Street Journal, July 19th, 2007
* [http://www.simpletuition.com SimpleTuition's website]
* [http://www.simpletuition.com/bb_index SimpleTuition's Paying for College Building Blocks]
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