Students in college might think federal student loans or private student loans are their only borrowing options for school. But there’s a third option to consider: state-specific student loan programs.
One example is Iowa Student Loan, a nonprofit that helps students face their college costs head-on and gives borrowers a chance to refinance their student debt. Here’s what you need to know about Iowa Student Loan.
Iowa Student Loan Review
Iowa Student Loan offers private student loans to Iowa residents attending college around the country and students attending college in Iowa. Here’s an overview of what Iowa Student Loan offers:
- Iowa Student Loan scholarships: The nonprofit offers cash scholarships to parents saving for college, high school seniors in Iowa, and high school seniors in neighboring states who intend to attend an Iowa college.
- Iowa Student Loan Partnership Loan: This is a private student loan offered to current undergraduate and graduate students who are attending an Iowa school or are from Iowa.
- Iowa Student Loan College Family Loan: The College Family Loan is a private student loan open to anyone (not just parents) who wants to help pay for the educational costs of an eligible college student.
- Iowa Student Loan Reset Loan: The Reset Loan is open to both Iowa residents and nonresidents looking to refinance their student loans.
Benefits and features of Iowa Student Loan options
Iowa Student Loan recommends that college students or those borrowing for a college student view these student loans as supplemental to other forms of student aid, including federal student loans.
Still, Iowa Student Loan offers many benefits for borrowers looking for affordable college financing options. Check out the major features available for each Iowa Student Loan option below.
|Partnership Loan||College Family Loan||Reset Loan|
|Who can use this loan?||Current undergraduate or graduate students from Iowa or attending an Iowa school||Parents, relatives, or anyone looking to help an eligible student pay for college||Student loan borrowers currently in repayment (both Iowa and out-of-state applicants accepted)|
|Student loan terms||10 or 15 years||10 or 15 years||5, 10, or 15 years|
|Repayment options in school||Immediate, interest-only, or full deferment||Immediate, interest-only, or full deferment||Immediate|
|Minimum credit score||670||670||720|
|Interest rate discounts||0.25% for autopay||0.25% for autopay||0.25% for autopay, 0.20% to 0.80% for IT or engineering professionals|
|Discharge for death or disability||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Option to add cosigner||Yes||Yes||Yes|
How Iowa Student Loan stacks up against other borrowing options
Thanks to affordable student loan rates and a lack of fees, Iowa Student Loan offers in-school borrowing options that are low-cost compared to most private student loans.
Iowa Student Loan rates also beat those offered on some federal student loans, such as PLUS Loans. Here’s a comparison of Iowa Student Loan in-school borrowing options versus federal student loans.
|Partnership Loan||College Family Loan||Direct Unsubsidized Loan||Parent PLUS Loan|
|Fixed rates*||5.80% to 7.22%||5.80% to 7.22%||4.45%||7.00%|
|Variable rates*||5.01% to 6.61%||Not offered||Not offered||Not offered|
|Who is eligible?||Students only||Parents or family members of student||Undergraduate students||Parents of undergraduate students|
*Loan rates assume a $10,000 balance and fully deferred repayment while in school.
Some private student loans enter full repayment as soon as they’re disbursed. Iowa Student Loan, however, offers a few repayment options for borrowers:
- Immediate full repayment of principal and interest with a 10-year term
- Interest-only payments while the student is enrolled, with a six-month grace period after enrollment ends before full payments are required and a 10-year term
- Full deferment of payments while the student is enrolled, including a six-month grace period and a 15-year term
Both students and College Family Loan applicants require a minimum credit score of 670. You might need to meet additional requirements to have your Iowa Student Loan application approved. You also can add a creditworthy cosigner if you can’t qualify on your own.
Iowa Student Loan refinancing
Iowa Student Loan also offers student loan refinancing for both Iowa residents and nonresidents. Its flexible student loan refinancing terms ensure borrowers have the freedom to choose a student loan term that makes sense for them.
A shorter term will mean lower rates and less interest overall. A longer term, however, will come with lower monthly payments, which will be more affordable for borrowers with low income relative to their student loan balance.
Borrowers can refinance between $5,000 and $150,000 in student loans, with the following choices of loan lengths and rates:
- Five-year student loan with rates from 3.75% to 5.25%
- 10-year student loan with rates from 4.75% to 6.55%
- 15-year student loan with rates from 5.25% to 6.75%
Note that the rates above are current as of January 2018. They assume a $25,000 loan balance and a 0.25% discount for Iowa residents.
Iowa Student Loan offers an additional rate discount of 0.25% for enrolling in automatic payments as well as a discount of 0.20% to 0.80% for applicants who work in information technology or engineering fields.
Nonresidents will face slightly higher student loan refinancing rates. Your rates also might differ based on your creditworthiness and refinancing amount.
Here are the eligibility requirements you must meet to qualify for Iowa Student Loan refinancing:
- A current debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of 40 percent or less, including mortgage or rent
- A credit score of 720 or higher, with better scores qualifying for lower student loan refinancing rates
- A credit history free of recent derogatory marks such as delinquencies, charge-offs, repossessions, collections, foreclosures, etc.
If you don’t meet the above requirements, you can add a cosigner to improve your chances of approval for student loan refinancing with Iowa Student Loan.
Iowa Student Loan charges no student loan refinancing origination fees or prepayment penalties.
Iowa Student Loan applications
Iowa Student Loan offers online applications for all three of its student loan products. You’ll need to apply for a Partnership Loan, College Family Loan, or Reset Loan to get an approval and offer for a student loan from Iowa Student Loan.
Each type of loan has an “Apply Now” option listed beneath it on the site’s menu. Click it, and you’ll be taken to a form to apply for student loans online.
Iowa Student Loan doesn’t provide custom rate estimates with a soft credit check like many other private student lenders do. So you might have to complete a full student loan application and incur a hard credit inquiry that could ding your credit to know what rates you would pay.
However, Iowa Student Loan provides fairly comprehensive rates tables that outline the loan offers for different repayment terms and credit scores. It also has a student loan refinance estimator that will give a custom outline of payments based on the state you live in and the amount you want to refinance.
Iowa Student Loan customer service
If you have questions about Iowa Student Loan or the application process, you can contact Iowa Student Loan customer service through the channels below:
- Call (844) 268-2203 for general questions.
- Call (800) 542-6005 for application support.
- Send an email through the Iowa Student Loan contact form.
As you’re shopping for the best private student loans, compare Iowa Student Loan rates to other offers. The state-based nonprofit could give Iowa students and residents the best deal for taking out or refinancing student loans.
Need a student loan?Here are our top student loan lenders of 2018!
|1 Important Disclosures for CollegeAve.
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or Nationwide Bank, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
Information advertised valid as of 11/1/2018. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.
2 Important Disclosures for Discover.
3 Important Disclosures for Ascent.
Before taking out private student loans, you should explore and compare all financial aid alternatives, including grants, scholarships, and federal student loans and consider your future monthly payments and income. Applying with a cosigner may improve your chance of getting approved and could help you qualify for a lower interest rate. Ascent Student Loans may be funded by Richland State Bank (RSB). Ascent Student Loan products are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application, verification of application information and certification of loan amount by a participating school. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions, and certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. Ascent is a federally registered trademark of Turnstile Capital Management (TCM) and may be used by RSB under limited license. Richland State Bank is a federally registered service mark of Richland State Bank.
* Application times vary depending on the applicants ability to supply the necessary information for submission.
* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.
4 = Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.
5 Important Disclosures for PNC.
PNC Bank is one of the nation’s largest education loan providers. For over 40 years, PNC has been committed to helping students and their families make possible the adventure of college.
6 Important Disclosures for SunTrust.
Before applying for a private student loan, SunTrust recommends comparing all financial aid alternatives including grants, scholarships, and both federal and private student loans. To view and compare the available features of SunTrust private student loans, visit https://www.suntrust.com/loans/student-loans/private.
Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. SunTrust Bank reserves the right to change or discontinue this loan program without notice. Availability of all loan programs is subject to approval under the SunTrust credit policy and other criteria and may not be available in certain jurisdictions.
SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. ©2018 SunTrust Banks, Inc. SUNTRUST, the SunTrust logo and Custom Choice Loan are trademarks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All rights reserved.
7 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Additional terms and conditions apply. For more details see LendKey
8 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
A government loan is made according to rules set by the U.S. Department of Education. Government loans have fixed interest rates, meaning that the interest rate on a government loan will never go up or down.
Government loans also permit borrowers in financial trouble to use certain options, such as income-based repayment, which may help some borrowers. Depending on the type of loan that you have, the government may discharge your loan if you die or become permanently disabled.
Depending on what type of government loan that you have, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness in exchange for performing certain types of public service. If you are an active-duty service member and you obtained your government loan before you were called to active duty, you are entitled to interest rate and repayment benefits for your loan.
A private student loan is not a government loan and is not regulated by the Department of Education. A private student loan is instead regulated like other consumer loans under both state and federal law and by the terms of the promissory note with your lender.
If your private student loan has a fixed interest rate, then that rate will never go up or down. If your private student loan has a variable interest rate, then that rate will vary depending on an index rate disclosed in your application. If the interest rate on the new private student loan is less than the interest rate on your government loans, your payments will be less if you refinance.
If you don’t pay a private student loan as agreed, the lender can refer your loan to a collection agency or sue you for the unpaid amount.
Remember also that like government loans, most private loans cannot be discharged if you file bankruptcy unless you can demonstrate that repayment of the loan would cause you an undue hardship. In most bankruptcy courts, proving undue hardship is very difficult for most borrowers.
9 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|3.94% – 12.78%1||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|4.06% – 13.06%3||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.34% – 12.99%2||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.25% – 11.10%*,4||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|5.03% – 11.23%5||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.12% – 13.13%6||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|5.62% – 10.01%7||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|3.93% – 9.81%8||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|4.26% – 12.13%9||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|