Students Encouraged to Exercise Right to Choose Lender

by Jeff Mictabor

Achieving the American dream of a college education is not as simple or inexpensive as it once was. Therefore, it is imperative that students and their parents carefully scrutinize their Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) funding options, taking ample time to research the best deal and benefits out there to meet their needs, according to NextStudent, the Phoenix-based premier education funding company.

Since there are varying degrees of customer service, discounts, incentives and repayment options with different lenders, it is critical that students not only research their FFELP options with respect to funding the popular subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford student loans and PLUS Loans, but that they also are aware of their rights.

College Preferred Lender Lists Only are 'Suggestions'

Many borrowers may not know that they actually have the ability to choose their lender since most colleges make a recommendation of which lender or lenders to work with, and many students simply go along with the recommendation. However, colleges cannot REQUIRE that a student go with the recommended or "preferred lender." Many colleges neglect to mention that students may select an alternate lender of their own choosing, based upon students' personal criteria. The Higher Education Act stipulates that colleges cannot require borrowers to use the preferred lenders or those recommended by the school's financial aid office.

At this point in time, most colleges fund students' educations through either the government's Federal Direct Lending Program (FDLP) or the FFELP. A little-known fact is that a few remaining schools offer both programs. So, when borrowers go with the FDLP, they are receiving funds generated through the U.S. Department of Education in conjunction with their school. On the other hand, when a FFELP lender is used, borrowers select from a pool of private lenders to fund their education.

Research is Key to Wisely Financing College Education

When borrowers use a FFELP lender to fund their educational dreams, NextStudent encourages families to strategically invest their time in careful research of the companies in order to select the lender that best meets their needs. Important factors may include a company's reputation for quality customer service and character, flexible repayment options, and incentives and benefits.

At NextStudent, borrowers are assigned their own personal Education Finance Advisor who will answer any questions about student loans, private student loans and student loan consolidation as well as guide them through the financial aid process from start to finish. This makes financing your college education a simple, easy process, bypassing many of the frustrations often associated with it and making the transition from high school to college a seamless one.

NextStudent believes that getting an education is the best investment you can make, and it is dedicated to helping you pursue your education dreams by making college funding simple. Learn more about student loans, private student loans, and student loan consolidation at

About the Author

Jeff Mictabor is an enthusiast on the topic of student loan issues in the news. He has been writing for the past 10 years for a variety of education publications. He now offers his writing services on a freelance basis.

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