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Tuesday, January 25th
Funding University, or Funding U for short, believes that all high-achieving college students deserve access to student loans, even if - or especially if - they lack the cosigners or income that most lenders require.
Many states not included
While we love the spirit behind this institution, Funding U is limited in several ways. First, they're not available to residents of all states. At the time of this evaluation, the list of eligible states (which you can find at the bottom of the site) only included 32 out of 50. Fortunately, the six most populous states were in that eligibility list (California, Texas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois).
Loans limited to undergraduate programs
There's also only one type of loan here: 10-year fixed rate, with discounted rates if you set your loan repayments to be automatic. Funding U reserves their best rates to seniors with "outstanding academic performance" , and your rate will be determined by your school year, GPA, and overall creditworthiness. There are no loans available outside of full-time undergraduate bachelor's degree programs, and you can only borrow from $3,001 to $15,000 per academic year.
2 repayment options
With Funding U, you only have two choices for repayment terms: $20 monthly fixed payments or interest-only payments, both while you're still in school and for up to 51 months. Your regular repayments begin six months after you graduate, and that's when your 10-year loan term actually begins. But, if you want to make extra payments either during or after graduation, prior to your required repayment schedule, you definitely can.
Not much feedback from borrowers
Finally, it's challenging to find borrower perspectives on the experience of getting student loans with Funding U. The company doesn't have a rating from the Better Business Bureau despite being in business for at least six years, and there were no complaints or reviews on their BBB listing. The three student testimonials on the Funding U site are nice, but we'd feel more confident in this lender if we could find several dozen more - particularly independently-verified ones. There's nothing here that screams "red flag!" , though.
Has potential but not suitable for many students
All of this combines to give Funding U a "good enough" rating. We like what they have to offer for undergraduate students who might not qualify for a student loan they can afford, and all of their terms and conditions seem honest and uncomplicated. Funding U will need to expand into more states - and be available for a wider range of students who might not be seeking just a bachelor's degree - before it can move higher in our rankings. However, if you meet their eligibility criteria and can't get the funding you need with another student loan provider, give Funding U a try.
With 45% of high school graduates finding it necessary to take on student debt to finance their higher learning, that's an important question to answer. While most student loan debt comes from federal loans, some people discover that their government loans just aren't enough to cover the full costs of tuition, room and board, expensive textbooks, and everything else necessary for their college education.
If you find yourself in that situation - for your studies or your children's - you might get overwhelmed trying to figure out where the money will come from. And even once you've selected a lender, you still need to decide what repayment terms are best. Fixed- or variable-rate? Interest-only or small fixed repayments while still in school or fully deferred for 6-9 months after graduation? Repaying over five years or twenty? There are a lot of factors to consider that are unique to you.
Fortunately, there are quite a few providers of student loans that can help you not only figure out those answers but also connect you with the money you need to pay for school. Many of them can even prequalify you for a loan with just your name, address and birthdate, with no impact on your credit report. Rest assured that millions of students (and many of their parents) have successfully navigated this process - and you can too.
Here are several aspects of student loan providers to keep in mind as you decide which ones merit further consideration:
To help you get the funds you need for your education, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best options for student loans today. We're confident that this information will make it possible to find the right way to cover the costs of your tuition, books and more!
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