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      July 9, 2020

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Credible vs Wells Fargo

To help you find the Best Student Loans, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Credible and Wells Fargo.

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Apply for Your Student Loan at SunTrust Today As the costs of higher education rise, so does the need for student loans. While some individuals are eligible for federal loans, those loans don't always cover the full cost of getting an education - not just tuition and room/board, but books, laptops, transportation and other expenses. And, people who are ineligible for federal loans don't necessarily have overflowing savings accounts to match their college or university costs.

Private student loans are the way that many students close that gap. On average, students have nearly $40,000 in student loan debt at the time of graduation; without those funds, their aspirations of being a teacher, engineer, or social worker may have been put on hold indefinitely.

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Best Reviews

2020

Student Loan Reviews

4 stars
Credible

CREDIBLE

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Features:

  • No application or origination fees
  • No prepayment penalties
  • No service fees
  • Customer service available 7 days a week: 866-540-6005
  • 3-way phone support with lenders and borrowers
  • Apply with multiple lenders using a single application

Credible wants to save you time when it comes to applying for student loans. Instead of having to complete one application after another, hoping for great rates and reasonable terms (with no fine print or "gotcha!" moments), you enter your details one time and get matched with reputable lenders. Credible works as a connection service: they vet all of their lenders to ensure that they don't charge application or origination fees, and Credible is free for you to use too.

8 student loan partners

At the time of our most recent visit to their site, Credible offered student loans through eight partners (some of which you'll find evaluated in more depth in our other reviews):

  • Ascent
  • Citizens Bank
  • College Ave
  • Discover Student Loans
  • EDvestinU
  • INvestEd
  • MEFA
  • Sallie Mae

On loans available through those partners, terms ranged from 5 to 20 years. Fixed interest rates were between 3.95% APR and 12.49% APR, while variable rates ranged from 1.79% APR to 10.37% APR. All of them, with the exception of Sallie Mae, offered student loans for both undergraduate- and graduate-level studies.

Cosigner helps

Get started with Credible by selecting whether you're a student or a cosigner. Helpful hint: Credible says you're three times more likely to qualify if you have a cosigner. We found that to be true; when we started the process just as a student requesting a modest loan, we weren't given any results until we added a cosigner. Either way, the process takes about three minutes to complete. You can apply for up to one year of studies at a time, and you'll enter that information along with your expected graduation year, the name of your school and degree type, and so on. Surprisingly, we weren't asked to provide our Social Security number during the application process. That happens after you select the loan you want and finalize it with the actual lender.

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Lender options

We were only prequalified for loans through Citizens Bank, and we were given 18 options ranging from fully-deferred until after school to interest-only plans while still in school. We didn't meet the criteria for five of Credible's lending partners, and we were told we'd have to apply directly with two others in order to see their rates. So much for only having to fill out a single application!

Best rate guarantee - for personal loans

You might have noticed that Credible offers a Best Rate Guarantee, offering you $200 if you find a better rate with another lender. However, if you look at the fine print in the terms and conditions, this guarantee only applies to personal loans. We're pretty sure that Student Loans are not eligible, so don't get your hopes up too soon.

Excellent reputation

Credible stacks up nicely when considering their reputation. With both an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, plus thousands of 4- and 5-star reviews from student loan recipients, it's easy to see that the service is providing value to users. And, while it's true that it wasn't as simple as a single application for every possible loan, it was still much more convenient to know right away that we wouldn't be eligible for student loans through certain lenders - rather than applying for each one and being rejected. (Who needs that kind of negativity, right?)

Overall, this service gives you an easy way to check out the prospects of getting a student loan from up to eight different lenders with just a few clicks of the keyboard. That's a great time-saver and could help you get the money you need for your studies. The only caveat is that our highest-ranked provider of student loans isn't included as one of their partners, so we'd encourage you to compare the offers you get with Credible against our first-place lender as well.

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2 stars
Wells Fargo

WELLS FARGO

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Features:

  • No application or origination fees
  • No prepayment penalties
  • No payments required until 6 months after leaving school
  • Interest rate discounts available
  • Variable interest rates from 3.39% to 10.49% APR
  • Fixed interest rates from 5.94% to 12.99% APR
  • Minimum monthly payment of $50 during repayment period
  • Customer service: 888-511-8086

Wells Fargo is a well-established name in the financial industry, from checking accounts to mortgages and investments. They offer a variety of student loans, including Wells Fargo Collegiate and Wells Fargo Graduate programs.

Student loan criteria

In order to be eligible for a Wells Fargo student loan, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program, seeking a degree, certificate, or license (you can be enrolled less than half-time)
  • U.S. citizen or national, permanent resident alien, or international student who is a temporary resident alien with a current US address and evidence of eligibility
  • Meet certain credit/employment/debt-to-income requirements OR have a cosigner (US citizen cosigner required for permanent and temporary resident aliens)

Check current rates

Before starting an application, we recommend that you click on the green "Check Rates" arrow in the middle of the main student loans page. You'll enter your school's information (state and name), along with your field of study. You'll then be taken to a page that will show you all of the current interest rate ranges for your loan, whether that's a fixed-rate loan for graduate school or a variable-rate loan for your four-year degree.

During the actual application process, you'll need to provide your school's information, your Social Security number, your permanent (home) address, employment and income information for you (and your cosigner, if you have one), the costs of attendance, and, finally, the amount of financial assistance you expect to receive from any source.

Interest rate reductions

Wells Fargo offers several ways to reduce your interest rates. First, if you set up your monthly payments to be automatically withdrawn (known as ACH), you may qualify for a discount of 0.25% off your interest rate. Also, they offer three "relationship interest rate discounts" if you or your cosigner have an established history with Wells Fargo before you complete the loan process: 0.25% discount if you have a prior federal or private student loan through Wells Fargo, 0.25% discount if you have a qualifying consumer checking account with Wells Fargo, or a 0.50% discount for a Wells Fargo PMA Package (a combination of a specific number and type of accounts, including Premier Checking, investments, and so on). Finally, if you have newly-established (or poor) credit, having a cosigner with good credit can both help you qualify for a student loan and get a lower interest rate.

Wells Fargo also saves you money with no application or origination fees, and no prepayment penalties if you pay off your loan early.

No repayments for 6 months

With Wells Fargo student loans, you will not be required to make any repayments until 6 months after you graduate or leave school. Be aware that there's a maximum in-school period: you have four years from your first loan disbursement if you attended a 2-year school, five years if your loan covers graduate school, and seven years from your first disbursement if you attended a 4-year school. In other words, Wells Fargo doesn't penalize you for being on "the 5-year-plan" (taking longer than the traditional 2- or 4-year period expected with an Associate or Bachelor degree), but you can't claim to still be in school for an unlimited period of time without beginning the process of repayment.

Negative reviews

Unfortunately, we found hundreds of reviews from students with loans through Wells Fargo that expressed deep dissatisfaction with the service they received once the loan was disbursed. Some of the problems we frequently found were errors on Wells Fargo's side that cost borrowers money and hurt their credit score, unhelpful representatives, and lack of flexibility when the unexpected occurs (such as death or disability interfering with borrowers' ability to repay). Across multiple websites, it was difficult to find reviews from students who were happy with the service they received from Wells Fargo over the course of their student loans, even when those individuals had been paying their loans faithfully over several years.

While Wells Fargo has the advantage of being a major player in the financial industry, it seems that they don't apply that experience and skill to their servicing of student loans. You may be more satisfied with the service you receive from another lender in our review.

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Continued from above

Fortunately, there are many lenders who want to make it as affordable and simple as possible to complete undergraduate and graduate-level studies. Some represent well-known, established financial institutions, while others work directly with networks of community banks to get much-needed cash into the hands of eager learners.

Comparing offers from lenders can be as easy as going online; in a matter of minutes and mouse clicks, you can see a variety of interest rates, repayment terms, and other details of each program for which you are eligible. This saves you significant time compared with going hat in hand to your local bank or other lending institution, hoping that they will say yes to your loan application.

When deciding on which lender to use for your student loan, you should consider the following factors:

  • Interest rates. The higher your interest rates, the more you pay over the life of the loan. Does the lender have rates that are competitive? Does the lender offer you the choice between fixed and variable rates?
  • Loan terms. What is the repayment term? Does it give you enough time to get a good job and pay it back? Can you pay it off in advance with no penalty?
  • Discounts. Can you get your interest rates lowered by setting up automatic payments from your checking account? Will you get any perks for having a relationship with the lender in other ways, such as a checking account or credit card?
  • Reputation. Some lenders have a solid history of working with borrowers, while others have a not-so-great track record when it comes to customer service after the loan has been disbursed. How does this lender measure up?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Student Loan providers available today. We hope this information helps you to get the money you need for your studies right away!

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