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06 May 2011, 17:16
If you have good credit, the Wells Fargo rate is 1.45% base + prime (currently 3.25%) for a total of 4.7% with no origination fees. WF will reduce your base by 0.2% if you allow them to take automatic withdrawals from a bank account and they will reduce the base another 0.5% when you graduate.

I'm considering using a private loan my first year and using the Federal Plus Loans for my second year so that the interest doesn't accrue to much while I am in school.
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11 May 2011, 14:02
socalmike wrote:
If you have good credit, the Wells Fargo rate is 1.45% base + prime (currently 3.25%) for a total of 4.7% with no origination fees. WF will reduce your base by 0.2% if you allow them to take automatic withdrawals from a bank account and they will reduce the base another 0.5% when you graduate.

I'm considering using a private loan my first year and using the Federal Plus Loans for my second year so that the interest doesn't accrue to much while I am in school.

That sounds pretty decent - I also like the idea of mixing loan types.

Have you looked into Sallie Mae? I haven't started the process, but just glancing at their site it seems they offer loans at 2.5% +LIBOR (effectively 0) with deferment options and things like that similar to the Stafford/PLUS loans. Guess it makes sense since they're one of those quasi-governmental groups.
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11 May 2011, 16:10
Expert's post
Private loans can be a great deal while the interest rate is low.
I still have my Citi loan and it is at 2.87% for the first year and 2.5% for the second year.
Of course this has been at 7.87% and 7.5% when the economy was doing well, but you may not need to worry about it for a while.

The balance is less than half of what I borrowed and I could pay them off but why bother with such interest rate? I keep it in the mutual funds and so far it is covering the interest fairly easily - we'll see how it goes further but so good so far.

P.S. i believe Citi has discontinued their student loan program
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11 May 2011, 19:02
mEEchigan04 wrote:
socalmike wrote:
If you have good credit, the Wells Fargo rate is 1.45% base + prime (currently 3.25%) for a total of 4.7% with no origination fees. WF will reduce your base by 0.2% if you allow them to take automatic withdrawals from a bank account and they will reduce the base another 0.5% when you graduate.

I'm considering using a private loan my first year and using the Federal Plus Loans for my second year so that the interest doesn't accrue to much while I am in school.

That sounds pretty decent - I also like the idea of mixing loan types.

Have you looked into Sallie Mae? I haven't started the process, but just glancing at their site it seems they offer loans at 2.5% +LIBOR (effectively 0) with deferment options and things like that similar to the Stafford/PLUS loans. Guess it makes sense since they're one of those quasi-governmental groups.

I'm thinking of taking the $20,500 Stafford loan then getting a low interest private loan for year 1. The economy I think will get better but it's going to take a couple of years. By the time it gets to 8%, hopefully, I would have paid off most of my loans so the amount that accrues at that rate is limited. Any thoughts on this strategy? Founder Affiliations: AS - Gold, HH-Diamond Joined: 04 Dec 2002 Posts: 13709 Location: United States (WA) GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42 GPA: 3.5 Followers: 3239 Kudos [?]: 18478 [0], given: 4222 Re: Financing Your MBA [#permalink] ### Show Tags 11 May 2011, 23:07 Expert's post I am not a finance expert (please chime in if I am totally off base here) but I think it makes sense to mix a fixed & variable rate loans. You can pick which one you want to pay off first and take advantage of either scenario. (e.g. economy does great, so your variable loan shoots up - you can pay it off first; or economy is in the crapper, hopefully you can find a job, and then you pay off the federal loan first). Another strategy to consider is that if the economy does go down, your chances of finding a high paying job out of the gate, will be slimmer than if the economy does well and in that case, having a private (variable interest loan is better) but it is definitely riskier. Perhaps you can get a 5/1 ARM? _________________ Founder of GMAT Club US News 2008 - 2017 Rankings progression - New! Just starting out with GMAT? Start here... Need GMAT Book Recommendations? Best GMAT Books Co-author of the GMAT Club tests GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings Manager Joined: 05 Jun 2007 Posts: 101 Followers: 4 Kudos [?]: 33 [2] , given: 8 Re: Financing Your MBA [#permalink] ### Show Tags 17 May 2011, 15:11 2 This post received KUDOS If you have good credit, this may be very tempting. The LIBOR Rate has been pretty low the last 10 years, even at it's highest before the 2008 crash, it was at 5.5%, which is still much lower than the 7.9% from the federal loans. From graph below, LIBOR seems to fluctuate less than the US Primate Rate as well. Customers who sign up for automatic electronic payments may qualify for an additional rate reduction of .25 percentage point, and there is no prepayment penalty. Also, Sallie Mae and Wells Fargo have a Total and Permanent Disability Discharge policy. You never know what your health will be like in 10 years or an unexpected event to happen. http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110516006405/en/Sallie-Mae-Lowers-Rates-Education-Loans-Adds NEWARK, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sallie Mae, the nation’s No. 1 financial services company specializing in education, today introduced new lower interest rates on student loans for the 2011-12 academic year. The Smart Option Student Loan, designed to supplement federal financial aid, now offers degree-seeking students the lowest rates in the country and the most choices to help customers save money and pay off faster than a conventional private loan. “With the Smart Option Student Loan, I make a small$25 a month payment,” says Jaclyn, a senior special education major from Pennsylvania. “It’s a good money-management tool because it encourages me to pay monthly. You pay a little now and you owe much less when you get out in the real world.”

With zero origination or repayment fees, Sallie Mae’s Smart Option Student Loan is available at degree-granting institutions at variable rates ranging between 2.25 percent and 9.37 percent APR, based on today’s LIBOR index. Students can also earn back 2 percent of their scheduled monthly in-school payments simply for making their payments on time.

Sallie Mae also added a new Tuition Insurance Benefit to the Smart Option Student Loan, which reimburses up to $5,000 of tuition, room, board and other covered fees not refunded by the school if a student is forced to withdraw for eligible medical reasons. Sallie Mae’s Tuition Insurance Benefit, for loans first disbursed between July 1 and Oct. 31, provides 12 months coverage at no charge to the student, giving families peace of mind and safeguarding their college investment. The program was a financial lifesaver to tuition insurance customer Margaret after her daughter had to withdraw from college for medical reasons. “My daughter should be able to get back to school for the summer or fall session, and it certainly makes it easier knowing that her college fund is now replenished and waiting for her to get back to college,” she says. With the introduction of the Smart Option Student Loan, Sallie Mae revolutionized the private student loan marketplace with a powerful idea: empower families to pay interest while in school and repay over a shorter time period. In fact, customers to date who continue to make on-time payments are on track to save more than$1.7 billion in interest charges over the life of their loans. Three-quarters of customers say they would recommend the loan to a friend or family member.

Today, customers may choose from three in-school monthly repayment options. Depending on the option selected, the typical freshman can save an estimated 17 to 49 percent in interest charges and pay off the loan three to eight years faster after graduation, compared to a conventional payment-deferred loan with a 15-year term:

Interest Repayment Option: Under this option a student, often with the assistance of a cosigner, pays only the monthly accruing interest while in college. After school, the loan’s repayment period is typically eight years shorter, resulting in an average savings of 49 percent in interest charges.

Fixed Repayment Option: With the Fixed Repayment Option, students pay a simple $25 per month regardless of loan balance or interest rate. With the average loan’s five-year-shorter repayment term, a typical customer can save more than 30 percent in interest charges over the life of the loan. No in-school minimum payment or Deferred Repayment Option: No minimum payment is required while in school, though students and cosigners receive monthly statements on accruing interest, an updated balance, and information on how to make a payment. After graduation, the average term is three years shorter than the traditional 15-year repayment term, enabling a typical customer to save an estimated 17 percent in interest charges—or more if the student made any in-school payments. The best rates are offered to those who opt to make payments in while in school. Applying with a cosigner may increase the likelihood of approval and access a more favorable interest rate. Customers who sign up for automatic electronic payments may qualify for an additional rate reduction of .25 percentage point, and there is no prepayment penalty. More details are available through a savings example. Customers automatically receive Sallie Mae’s unsurpassed consumer safeguards designed to reward students for establishing responsible financial habits. Students and their cosigners receive easy-to-read disclosures when they apply, when they are approved, and upon acceptance of the loan. Applicants have 30 days to compare competitors’ rates before accepting an offer and have three days after accepting the loan to cancel with no obligation. In addition, the company was the first national lender to provide loan forgiveness for cosigners of its Smart Option Student Loan in the tragic circumstance of the death or permanent disability of the primary borrower. To learn more about Sallie Mae’s Smart Option Student Loan, visit http://www.SallieMae.com/choosesmart. Manager Status: Deciding Joined: 27 Jul 2010 Posts: 105 Schools: Ross or Fuqua? WE 1: Master of Science, including Masters Thesis WE 2: 5 years at multiple Government Contractors Followers: 2 Kudos [?]: 29 [0], given: 6 Re: Financing Your MBA [#permalink] ### Show Tags 19 May 2011, 08:54 socalmike wrote: mEEchigan04 wrote: socalmike wrote: If you have good credit, the Wells Fargo rate is 1.45% base + prime (currently 3.25%) for a total of 4.7% with no origination fees. WF will reduce your base by 0.2% if you allow them to take automatic withdrawals from a bank account and they will reduce the base another 0.5% when you graduate. I'm considering using a private loan my first year and using the Federal Plus Loans for my second year so that the interest doesn't accrue to much while I am in school. That sounds pretty decent - I also like the idea of mixing loan types. Have you looked into Sallie Mae? I haven't started the process, but just glancing at their site it seems they offer loans at 2.5% +LIBOR (effectively 0) with deferment options and things like that similar to the Stafford/PLUS loans. Guess it makes sense since they're one of those quasi-governmental groups. I'm thinking of taking the$20,500 Stafford loan then getting a low interest private loan for year 1. The economy I think will get better but it's going to take a couple of years. By the time it gets to 8%, hopefully, I would have paid off most of my loans so the amount that accrues at that rate is limited.

Any thoughts on this strategy?

That's the exact strategy I'm taking. My financial aid award just came, so I finally applied for the Sallie Mae loan. We'll see how low of a rate I actually get - I have great credit, but 2.25% to 10.125% is quite a wide range. Also, I chose the interest only repayment option. It's supposed to give you a lower rate and I should be able to pay the monthly interest with my wife's income or my savings (earning 1%, lol).
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24 May 2011, 13:20
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Just thought I'd update this with some info I've gotten back from Sallie Mae. I asked for the exact amount I was "awarded" by the grad plus loan and just received my interest rate... marginally better than the GRAD plus. I was told by the loan officer that I received a phenomenal rate - most single borrowers she sees approved at 11-12%

I can't imagine that I'll spend any more time looking for a private loan... cannot believe that I could buy a house and car and the interest rates combined wouldn't equal almost 8%!

If anyone has a success story, would appreciate hearing it.
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24 May 2011, 15:00
mEEchigan04 wrote:
Just thought I'd update this with some info I've gotten back from Sallie Mae. I asked for the exact amount I was "awarded" by the grad plus loan and just received my interest rate... marginally better than the GRAD plus. I was told by the loan officer that I received a phenomenal rate - most single borrowers she sees approved at 11-12%

I can't imagine that I'll spend any more time looking for a private loan... cannot believe that I could buy a house and car and the interest rates combined wouldn't equal almost 8%!

If anyone has a success story, would appreciate hearing it.

wow thanks for posting your experience, I was just wondering if I would be able to get much better than the GRAD plus rate and if it would be worth my time if to shop around or take the risk of a variable rate if they are close to the same. My credit is above average, but I would not say great, so this makes me think I will most likely just go with the GRAD plus
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25 May 2011, 00:20
mEEchigan04 wrote:
Just thought I'd update this with some info I've gotten back from Sallie Mae. I asked for the exact amount I was "awarded" by the grad plus loan and just received my interest rate... marginally better than the GRAD plus. I was told by the loan officer that I received a phenomenal rate - most single borrowers she sees approved at 11-12%

I can't imagine that I'll spend any more time looking for a private loan... cannot believe that I could buy a house and car and the interest rates combined wouldn't equal almost 8%!

If anyone has a success story, would appreciate hearing it.

I just heard back from Sallie Mae and got the same as you and I have a very high 700 credit score across all three credit rating agencies. I think the way to get that low 2% + LIBOR loan is to have a co-signer. I'm going to try one more application and choose to pay the interest while in school and have my dad (800+ credit score) added to see if that will get me that 2% rate. If I don't get it, I'll just go with the Federal Loan.
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25 May 2011, 00:29
Expert's post
Back in my day, I did get a co-signer for my loan to get the private one (had no credit history in the US when applying). Here are my current interest rates - hopefully helps and hopefully you can get find a good private alternative.
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25 May 2011, 06:34
socalmike wrote:
mEEchigan04 wrote:
Just thought I'd update this with some info I've gotten back from Sallie Mae. I asked for the exact amount I was "awarded" by the grad plus loan and just received my interest rate... marginally better than the GRAD plus. I was told by the loan officer that I received a phenomenal rate - most single borrowers she sees approved at 11-12%

I can't imagine that I'll spend any more time looking for a private loan... cannot believe that I could buy a house and car and the interest rates combined wouldn't equal almost 8%!

If anyone has a success story, would appreciate hearing it.

I just heard back from Sallie Mae and got the same as you and I have a very high 700 credit score across all three credit rating agencies. I think the way to get that low 2% + LIBOR loan is to have a co-signer. I'm going to try one more application and choose to pay the interest while in school and have my dad (800+ credit score) added to see if that will get me that 2% rate. If I don't get it, I'll just go with the Federal Loan.

I took the "interest only" option and it didn't seem to help much. Be interested to hear how much a co-signer helps.

One more thing for anyone interested, while I was on the phone with Sallie Mae I learned that they no longer consolidate loans. I had gone into this process expecting that I could consolidate all of my student loans and get an even better rate. I consolidated after grad school and my rate is something under 3%... still in shock that rates are so high now.
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25 May 2011, 10:27
bb wrote:
Back in my day, I did get a co-signer for my loan to get the private one (had no credit history in the US when applying). Here are my current interest rates - hopefully helps and hopefully you can get find a good private alternative.

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25 May 2011, 11:36
Expert's post
socalmike wrote:
bb wrote:
Back in my day, I did get a co-signer for my loan to get the private one (had no credit history in the US when applying). Here are my current interest rates - hopefully helps and hopefully you can get find a good private alternative.

Yes, and the T&C are something along these lines (i copied from their site right now, but mine are the same as far as I remember).
I also got the 0.25% reduction after paying on time for 1 year or smth like that. Now they are offering 0.25% reduction for auto-pay enrollment.

 The variable rate is determined quarterly on the first day of January, April, July, and October based on the published LIBOR Index 15 days prior to those dates. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for a loan will increase if the 3-month LIBOR Index increases and would result in higher monthly payments, an increase in the number of scheduled payments, or both.

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25 May 2011, 12:55
Citi also gave me the best rate. In the high 3.xx
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25 May 2011, 13:08
Expert's post
Has anyone found a good single website to get rates, almost like a marketplace of lenders perhaps, such as lending tree or zillow?
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25 May 2011, 14:14
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bb wrote:
Has anyone found a good single website to get rates, almost like a marketplace of lenders perhaps, such as lending tree or zillow?

http://www.finaid.org/loans/privatestudentloans.phtml

This website has a fairly comprehensive list of private lenders and their current offers.
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26 May 2011, 05:29
maybe I'm I don't know enough about this topic, but if you're going in-state, why would you get a private loan over a Federal Loan? NC coves 20K a year and that covers most public and private universities here (I say most). Are we all talking about colleges that cost more than that?

I'm asking curiously because I'm depending on the fact that I get Federal Loans - which the Financial Aid office said I'm eligible for if I'm accepted.
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26 May 2011, 06:56
@carosemena - 1. Your sense of tuition and total cost of attendance are way to low 2. most top programs people are applying to on this forum are private (though some are public{darden, ross, UC schools), 3. The NC program is news to me and i can assure you very unique, particularly if it offers aid for private institutions
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26 May 2011, 07:29
MBABound11 wrote:
Citi also gave me the best rate. In the high 3.xx

Was this recently? Citi Graduate Assist Loan? I just applied and was offered low 6s. Did you apply with a cosigner or anything like that? I can't imagine a co-signer lowering my rate by 2% or so.

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