With the national student loan debt surpassing $1.4 trillion, millions of Americans are looking for solutions. Fortunately, financial tech companies like LendEDU have stepped in to help.
Created in 2014, LendEDU is an online marketplace for comparing refinanced student loans, private student loans, personal loans, and credit cards.
It’s a free service that lets you window shop a variety of products and lenders. If you find the right deal, you’ll go on to submit an application with the lender itself.
Here’s how LendEDU can help you compare rates and improve your personal finances.
There are tons of banks, online lenders, and credit companies that want to sell you their products. Whether you’re trying to refinance your student loans, take out a new loan, or choose a credit card, it’s tough to know where to start.
LendEDU simplifies this process by partnering with lenders offering competitive interest rates. Plus, it checks your creditworthiness to see if you prequalify for any refinancing or loan offers. (Note that none of these offers are final until you submit a full application with the lender.)
In a few minutes, you can see whether you’re eligible. And this process won’t affect your credit score at all. LendEDU does a “soft pull” on your credit, so it doesn’t impact your score.
Besides comparing offers, you can also browse LendEDU’s financial resources. The LendEDU blog shares articles on student loans, credit cards, and other financial topics. It has video courses on financial aid, as well as a college scholarship guide.
Between its financial resources and online marketplace, LendEDU helps you learn about your options and make smart choices about your loans.
LendEDU helps you shop for four main products:
- Student loan refinancing offers (between $5,000 and $300,000)
- Private student loans (amounts vary)
- Personal loans (between $1,000 and $100,000)
- Credit cards
The company started primarily as a marketplace for student loan refinancing. But as LendEDU grew, it added student loans, personal loans, and credit cards to the mix. As with refinancing, you’ll answer a few questions to see if you prequalify for student loan or personal loan offers.
To browse student loan rates, for instance, you’ll indicate whether you’re a student or parent. For personal loan offers, you’ll explain why you need the personal loan, whether it’s to help with debt consolidation, medical expenses, or another reason.
If you’re interested in credit cards, you don’t need to go through any prequalification check. Just go directly to LendEDU’s credit card marketplace. Then once you’ve chosen a card, you’ll head to the company’s website to apply.
Pros and cons of LendEDU
One benefit of using LendEDU is that it simplifies the loan and credit card shopping process. You don’t have to sift through hundreds of banks and companies. Instead, LendEDU pre-selects some of the best ones.
But on the flip side, this marketplace limits your options. LendEDU mainly shows rates from its partner companies. Although some have great reputations, including SoFi and CommonBond, you won’t see a comprehensive list of banks and online lenders.
Some borrowers, for instance, might find better deals with their local community bank or credit union. As you use LendEDU, remember that there are other options out there.
You should also note that 43 percent of LendEDU’s refinancing applicants are denied by lenders. In other words, you need to have particularly strong credit and income to qualify for refinancing through LendEDU.
If you’re unsure about the strength of your candidacy, keep this high threshold in mind as you compare your options. Even if you’re not approved through LendEDU, you could find an offer somewhere else.
LendEDU interest rates
One of the best perks of student loan refinancing is lowering your interest rate. Lowering your rate by even one point can save you a great deal of money over the life of your loans.
The interest rates you qualify for largely depend on your income and creditworthiness. Student loan and personal loan lenders also look at these factors to determine your rates. If you have weak credit, you could get a better deal by applying with a cosigner.
Interest rates vary by lender. Among LendEDU’s refinancing partners, variable and fixed interest rates start as low as 2.10% and go as high as 8.38%.
LendEDU’s student loan partners offer variable rates starting at 2.751%. Fixed rates start at 4.751% and go as high as 12.99%.
Finally, personal loan interest rates range from 5% to 15.74% for variable rates. Fixed rates go from 2.19% all the way up to $35.99%.
As you can see, variable rates can start lower than fixed rates, but they have the potential to increase over time. The rate type you choose largely depends on how long it will take you to pay off your loans and your comfort with risk.
How to use LendEDU online
LendEDU has a straightforward, easy-to-use online platform. All you have to do is answer a handful of basic questions to browse loan offers. Questions include your name, address, phone number, and education level. After providing this information, you’ll choose a password to create your account.
When you head to the website, you’ll see your four options for financial products: student loan refinance, private student loans, personal loans, and credit cards.
As mentioned above, you don’t have to answer any personal questions to browse credit card offers. You’ll just indicate whether you’re looking for a rewards, travel, student, balance transfer, hotel, or another type of card. In the marketplace, you can filter your results even more — by card type or credit score.
The other categories require some more input. Let’s say you click on the “student loan refinance” tab. First, you’ll indicate what kind of student loans you’re looking to refinance.
Second, you’ll enter your level of education. For the third step, you’ll say how much you owe in student loans. The minimum to refinance is $5,000, and the maximum is $300,000.
Next, you’ll enter your zip code and street address before creating a login by providing your email and choosing a password.
At this point, LendEDU will perform a soft credit check to verify your details and get a sense of your credit history. Then, it will show you a bunch of refinancing offers from its partner lenders.
You’ll see both variable and fixed interest rates, as well as repayment terms ranging from five to 20 years. You’re not obligated to choose any of them, but if you find one that’s appealing, you can head to its website and submit a full application.
If you submit an official application, the bank or online lender will run a hard credit check. As long as your information checks out, you should get the same offer you saw through LendEDU.
The process for comparing student loans and personal loans asks for slightly different information. When applying for student loans, for instance, you’ll indicate whether you’re a student or parent. If you’re a student, you’ll provide your college name and current school year.
For a personal loan, you’ll say how much you want to take out and the reason for the loan. Whatever product you’re interested in, the questions will only take you two to three minutes to answer. Then, you’ll have a list of offers to compare.
How did LendEDU start?
Cofounders Nate Matherson and Matt Lenhard started LendEDU in August 2014. Both graduated with student loan debt and wanted to help other borrowers.
They developed their company vision through the Iowa Startup Accelerator and Y Combinator. LendEDU also acquired funding from Built by Iowa, MicroVentures, and various angel investors.
The company started as a marketplace for refinancing lenders, but has since expanded into student loans, personal loans, and credit cards.
LendEDU contact info and customer support
For more information beyond this LendEDU review, call (800) 928-3940 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also connect directly with a member of LendEDU’s support team via the Live Chat function on its website.
To stay up to date on company developments, follow LendEDU’s social media channels:
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1 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
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