March 28, 2008
As a result of recent legislative action, several student loan lenders have decided to increase efforts to get students/parents to use private loans to finance a college education. Some of these lenders are well established in the student lending industry, while others are unknown. There are several things you must keep in mind should an entity directly contact you.
- Direct to Consumer loans typically do not require school certification, however if the school is aware of the loan it must include the amount as a resource.
- Direct to Consumer loans are considered high risk even for the lenders who make the loans because there is no confirmation of enrollment, purpose of loan, or the amount actually needed.
- Direct to Consumer loans have a higher fees and higher interest rates than other loan products.
Even with reputable lenders, direct to consumer loans will cost the student more than the same loan product which the school certifies for the student.
- Direct to Consumer loans will have a negative impact on a credit score and could impact future student loan borrowing (non-federal loans).
Many students need to utilize loans to cover the cost of their education. It is important to make sure that you utilize federal and state loans first, since they offer interest rates and repayment terms which are more favorable. However should you need to borrow from other resources it is important to make sure you are receiving the lowest rates and fees which are available to you. If you have any questions about the terms or reputation of a Direct-to-Consumer loan offer, please contact the Office of Financial Assistance.