Shop Around for Student Loans

With the recent fallout about educational institutions accepting all matter of filthy payola in exchange for letting private lenders get exclusive access to students, it’s apparent borrowers need to take Student Loan Shopping 1000. NYT goes into how you can look for a better deal:

• Get Federal loans First: Ask your financial aid office about Stafford, PLUS and Perkins loans. These are guaranteed by law protected against you defaulting and they have capped, low interest rates.
• Ask the bank that your family has a mortgage with
• Find state nonprofs that provide student loans, like the Education Finance Council.

Get your learn on, try and go for a private loan that acts as much as possible like a federal loan, and know whether the interest rate is variable, or some bank is going to be schooling you in the ancient art of usury for the next 35 years. — BEN POPKEN

Try Shopping Around for Student Loans [NYT]
(Photo: Morton Fox)


Edit Your Comment

  1. pockygt says:

    I wish this story had been here BEFORE I racked up a ton of debt with Sallie Mae.

  2. gafpromise says:

    pockygt, I second that!

  3. joyflop says:

    Is it possible to get another company to take over my Sallie Mae loan? If so, how does one go about getting that done? I just started paying it off a few months ago. It’s about $18K.

    Sallie Mae really scares me, after all the stories I’ve read on here….

  4. Nicholai says:

    That’s what I do! Just stick a little donation box in the living room.
    But it isn’t exactly for collage……..

  5. patchmonkey says:


    Is the Sallie Mae loan you have a federal loan through them, or a private education loan (they offer both, if I recall correctly). If it is a federal loan, you can consolidate (or sometimes “reconsolidate”) through a different provider. If it’s a private educational loan, only a few banks will “consolidate” private loans, so I’d check the websites of college loan providers.

  6. Crazytree says:

    The problem with having your student loans with a company you have other business with is this: If you miss a student loan payment, they can seize funds from your accounts, or even foreclose on your car. I have seen this “offset” numerous times. Although unlikely, a bank may have the right [depending on state law] to foreclose on a secured asset to offset a delinquency on another account with zero warning.

    Just something to think about. Don’t put your eggs all in one basket!

  7. mac-phisto says:

    if you live in pennsylvania (or are going to school there), AES/PHEAA are excellent organizations for student loans. in pa, the lending is provided on the state level as opposed to other states (like connecticut) that provide state funding to schools individually. all my loans are now consolidated under AES at less than 3%.

    seeming how a college education can easily set a kid back 6-digits these days, it would be nice if political powerhouses like the national governor’s association would start pooling information on their respective state programs to create a more accessible funding system.

    ideally, any student with the desire & motivation to attend a school should never be denied based on funds.

  8. CRSpartan01 says:

    I actually consolidated my undergrad loans with AES (I’m from Missouri) and I have an interest rate that’s almost four points below what other lenders are offering. GO PA!!

  9. The Walking Eye says:

    @joyflop: I graduated 5 years ago and was inundated with consolidation offers. I signed up for a 20 year at 3.25% cause I couldn’t afford a 10 year at the time through Citibank ( and they were offering the lowest percentage rate.

  10. joyflop says:

    Thanks everyone! I don’t have my paperwork in front of me, but I’ve already consolidated it with Sallie Mae, because I wasn’t sure I could trust any of the offers that I was getting from other people. I’m hoping it’s possible to re-consolidate with someone else. I really have to get to researching this!

  11. Trackback says:

    Dude Busted For Running An Illegal Bank For Tax Evaders From His Suburban Home Today’s lesson: don’t give your money to someone you don’t know who runs a “bank” out of his house. Oh, and you’ll get caught if you try evading taxes.

  12. sodipodium says:

    I will soon have to get a student loan for UCR and I’ve been hearing bad news about Sallie Mae, are there any services like Sallie Mae or Astrive that are maybe not advertised as much?

  13. Daniel says:

    The federal student loan system has become predatory. The root cause of this is the unprecedented removal of all meaningful consumer protections, and the establishment of draconian collection powers, which caused the lenders, guarantors, collectors, and even the Department of Education to make more income when students default on their loans. The wrongly directed financial motivations caused, over time, the system to be inclined towards acting in ways that would promote, rather than discourage defaults. In this environment, damaging consequences resulted including an incredibly high default rate, heinously bad or nonexistent oversight, uncontrolled inflation, indefensible corrupt activities (systemwide) and other systemic failures too numerous to list. These results are in addition to the personal damage, destruction and additional need in cash loans online that has been visited upon citizens who were trapped in this predatory system, and their families.