WASHINGTON - Finding student loans that work best to your benefit or cover a portion of your tuition can be stressful. But what if finding a loan was as easy as searching and booking a flight on, let's say Expedia?
According to the CEO and Founder of Credible.com, Stephen Dash, it can be as simple as that. Credible is a free online platform that helps consumers shop for the best student loan rates. Credible also helps customers refinance student loan debt, saving them $18,000 on average.
Before we get to the summer tips that will help you choose the best rates, Dash shared a few words of wisdom with us.
The Aussie man started Credible.com because he saw "people getting ripped off and many massively confused by the whole system."
Dash elaborated by saying that he wanted to give people "real choices, and provide active guidance, something similar to Kayak and Expedia." Credible.com is all about making things simple and transparent. Based off the some 600 reviews on Trustpilot.com, Credible appears to be doing just that.
Here are a few things to consider before shopping for student loans this summer. It must also be noted that Credible.com does not impact credit score and your information is not shared with any of the lenders.
CREDIBLE.COM TIPS FOR CHOOSING A STUDENT LOAN THIS SUMMER:
- Max out on grants, scholarships and low-cost federal student loans before turning to private student loans.
- Research your expected earnings after graduation and use that as a guide to limit total borrowing. A recent Credible survey found fewer than half of those pursuing a bachelor’s degree say they researched what they could expect to earn with it. A good rule of thumb is not to borrow more than your projected annual earnings.
- Think twice before taking out PLUS loans for parents or graduate students. They carry the highest rates of all federal loans (7 percent) and offer fewer repayment options. Private lenders can often offer better rates, particularly when a parent is willing to be a cosigner.
- Understand your repayment options. Interest starts accruing as soon as you take out an unsubsidized federal loan or a private loan. Both the government and private lenders offer a variety of repayment plans that can have a huge impact on overall cost.
- Know the difference between variable- and fixed-rate loans. Fixed-rate loans generally start out at a higher rate, but the borrower is protected in a rising rate environment. Most private lenders offer borrowers a choice of a fixed or variable rate.
- If you need to turn to a private lender for unmet funding needs, make sure to check the rates and terms you can qualify for with different lenders.
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