While debt is never advisable as a first option, the hope for students is that a significant investment in their education proves to reap lifelong rewards.
Let's look at Alliant student loan refinancing.
Like many providers, Alliant Credit Union offers loans for both undergraduate and graduate students, with an optional deferment meaning no payments are due until six months after graduation. As a credit union, it can offer competitive rates – their current best rate is just 3.25 % for student loans and 3.5% for consolidation student loans as of March 2016. Although it should be noted that these are variable APRs. Located in Chicago, it offers a full online banking service meaning location is no barrier.
Alliant, like all credit unions, is a member-only banking service. However, it offers a number of ways to qualify for membership and, if you don’t live in a qualifying area, work for a particular company or are a relation of a worker in that company, you can simply make a donation of $10 or greater to Foster Care for Success to become a member.
Remember, before you look at any rates, make sure you compare Alliant with other lenders. Using Credible, you can compare up to 8 lenders to make sure you get the best rate possible.
Students can opt to borrow between $15,000 and $60,000 over the course of their loan, with repayment terms up to twelve years. Not as long as some other banking institutions, but generous nonetheless. There are no prepayment penalties with Alliant Credit Union, meaning that borrowers can choose to shorten the life of the loan and, of course, pay less interest overall as a result. Upfront fees are payable with the application but at a total of $40, this shouldn’t be too off-putting for prospective students.
Approval and Processing
A cosigner isn’t required to apply for a student loan with Alliant, but having a cosigner may result in a lower interest rate. The lead time for submitting an application to receiving funds into a designated bank account is usually no more than of 61 days, and often fewer, with initial approval taking place in just twelve days. For students who already have financial aid or a partial scholarship, an Alliant Credit Union student loan can make up the difference between that and the total amount needed. The funds can also be used pay for non-tuition expenses like housing, books and meals.
Alliant members are generally glowing with praise for the organization, with marks awarded for customer service, user-friendliness of the online banking service, and of course, the rates offered by the credit union.
A traditional loan from a lender which isn’t one of the big banks may pay off both short and long-term. Check the interest rates, ask how to get their best rates and consider a cosigner.
Best for: Independent students – no need to ask Mom or Dad to cosign; and ethical borrowers – greater transparency in their banking practices and the knowledge that real people are benefiting from the credit union, not absent shareholders. Before you choose Alliant, make sure you compare all of the best rates at Credible.
Make sure you check out our Student Loan Refinancing Tool to compare all of the different student loan lenders.