Owned by LendingTree, SimpleTuition helps students and student loan borrowers navigate the complex issues around student loans, refinancing, consolidating, and financial aid.
SimpleTuition is all about helping people pay for college and manage student loans. The site features four main sections depending on the reader’s level in school and where they’re at in the student loan process.
This section is focused on future and current students looking to pay for school. Here, visitors can find resources on tuition, fees, other college expenses, student credit cards, and other financial decisions specific to college students.
This section takes scholarship seekers step-by-step through the process of discovering and applying for scholarships.
Readers will learn about many types of scholarships, how to earn them, and can even see a breakdown of some specific scholarships based on college major, financial need, academic performance, ethnic and religious background, extracurricular involvement, lifestyle, and other categories.
Student loan comparison
This section helps users compare private student loan options and make the best decision based on their own information, including student status, the university or college they’re attending, how much funding is needed, and expected graduation date.
Entering example information for a graduate student looking for $20,000 in loans for an MBA, the site displayed six possible loan options from five different lenders: SallieMae, CollegeAve, PNC, SunTrust, and Discover.
Student loan refinance
This section offers three featured refinance lenders: CollegeAve, Citizens One, and LendKey. Users can compare rates, loan terms, and more all on one page.
In addition to those main sections, SimpleTuition offers detailed explanations of major loan types including Federal Direct Loans, Federal Perkins Loans, Federal PLUS Loans, Federal GradPLUS Loans, and private loans.
For existing loans, tutorials exist for both refinancing and consolidation. For current and future students, there is information on scholarships, grants, and the infamous FAFSA.
The site’s products are broken down into two primary categories: new student loans and existing student loans.
For new student loans, borrowers use the form on the homepage to access a listing of student loans. For existing student loans, users can access options to consolidate through Citizens Bank and Charter One.
To refinance, borrowers have access to one of the three previously mentioned partners: CollegeAve, Citizens One, and LendKey. Each of the consolidation and refinancing partners has its own rates and terms.
Using the SimpleTuition online platform
New student loans
New student loans are available through the comparison tool. The comparison tool is accessed through a simple form, found front and center on the homepage.
For this example, let’s look at a student from the Denver area looking to borrow $20,000 for an MBA at the University of Colorado graduating in May 2017.
After submitting the form, users get some basic information about their school, including the next tuition due date and the first day of classes. The most important part, however, is the listing of student loan options by lender.
In the list presented in our example, all loans were variable rate with the exception of SallieMae, which offered both a variable rate and a fixed rate loan option.
Clicking apply takes you to the lender’s website to complete an application.
To access the refinancing section, click on the orange “Student loan refinance” link on the left side of the homepage. From there, you will be prompted with a student loan amount you wish to refinance.
Entering $20,000 as an example, SimpleTuition suggests three lenders as an option.
Clicking “learn more” takes you to the specific lender’s website to fill out a full application.
The consolidation section is more of an informative article on consolidation than a comparison tool. At the very bottom of the page, there is a link to the Citizens Bank loan refinance page.
SimpleTuition interest rates and fees
Because SimpleTuition does not issue the loans directly, there are multiple different possibilities for rates and fees depending on the type of loan, the amount requested, and other details about the borrower.
As an example, information was entered for a current student graduating from the University of Texas in Austin, living out of state, and looking to borrow $25,000.
Interest rates from 2.50% to 9.38% APR are available for a 6-year loan with a variable rate, or 5.75% to 11.85% APR with a fixed rate. Both loans offer a .25% interest rate reduction with automatic payments.
Loans start at $12,000 and offer a 6 month grace period. They carry a $50 minimum monthly payment and charge no origination fee or early repayment fee.
Interest rates from 2.41% to 7.97% APR available for a 10-year loan. No fixed rate option available. This bank offers a .25% interest rate deduction with automatic payments.
Funded by Firstrust Bank, these loans are available from $2,000 to $100,000, offer a 6 month grace period after graduation, and have a minimum $50 monthly payment. No origination fee or early repayment fee.
Interest rates from 3.49% to 7.28% APR available for a 7-year loan. No fixed rate available. SunTrust offers a .25% interest rate deduction with automatic payments and an additional .25% if automatic payments come from a SunTrust bank account.
At graduation, borrowers can get a 1% principal reduction. Loans are available from $1,000 to $65,000. There is a $50 minimum monthly payment and no origination fee or early repayment fee.
Interest rates from 3.46% to 8.79% for a 15-year loan with a variable rate. No fixed rate option available. Discover offers a .25% rate reduction with automatic payments.
Loans are available starting at $1,000 and come with a $50 minimum monthly payment. This loan does not charge an origination fee or early repayment fee.
For a $20,000 loan refinance, the following options are available:
Variable rates starting at 2.50% and fixed rates starting at 3.25% ARP with loan repayment lengths ranging from 5 to 15 years.
Variable rates starting at 2.88% and fixed rates starting at 3.50% APR with 5, 10, 15, and 20-year repayment options.
Variable rates starting at 2.56% and fixed rates from 3.15% APR. They offer 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20-year repayment terms.
SimpleTuition eligibility requirements
Each of the SimpleTuition partners has its own eligibility requirements. For new borrowing, these are the basic requirements listed.
SallieMae loans are available to students enrolled full-time, half-time, and less than half-time.
Discover loans are available to students enrolled at least half-time in a Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree program at an eligible school, and are only available for degree-seeking students.
Applicants must meet their school’s academic performance requirements and must be a US citizen, permanent resident, or international student with a cosigner who is a US citizen or permanent resident. Applicants must be at least 16 years or older and pass a credit check.
SunTrust and CollegeAve do not list their specific requirements for loans through SimpleTuition.
More about SimpleTuition
SimpleTuition is owned and operated by LendingTree. Launched in 2006, the site claims to have helped over 20 million student loan borrowers and parents navigating student loan and college expenses.
LendingTree was founded in 1996 by Doug Lebda, who still acts as the company’s CEO. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, LendingTree matches borrowers with lenders for home loans, auto loans, personal loans, business loans, student loans, and credit cards. As a whole, the company has facilitated over 55 million loan requests and over $251 billion in closed loans.
The idea behind LendingTree came to the founder after going bank-to-bank applying for a home mortgage loan. He found the process frustrating and inefficient, and created LendingTree as a platform where multiple banks can offer applicants interest rates from one simple form. The site grew to include other types of loans, including student loans.
Because SimpleTuition does not originate the loans themselves, most customer service for these loans takes place through one of their lending partners.
LendingTree can be reached via their email contact form, by phone at 1-800-813-4620, and in writing at:
11115 Rushmore Drive
Charlotte, NC 28277
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1 = Citizens Disclaimer.
2 = CollegeAve Autopay Disclaimer: All rates shown include the auto-pay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
* 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.
3 = Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.
|4.04% - 12.66%2||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents||Visit CollegeAve|
|4.11% - 12.19%||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit Ascent|
|3.87% - 11.85%*3||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit SallieMae|
|2.93% - 9.67%||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents||Visit CommonBond|
|3.78% - 11.99%1||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents||Visit Citizens|
|4.51% - 9.69%||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit LendKey|
|3.91% - 11.45%||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit Connext|