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When it comes to student debt, Idaho is behind the curve.
- As of the end of 2017, federal Idaho student loans totaled $6 billion shared by 203,600 borrowers, according to the Department of Education.
- Students attending college in the state can expect to graduate with around $27,130 in student debt, which was the average for the Class of 2016, reported the Institute for College Access and Success.
- Idaho came in at No. 36 in our rankings of the best states to repay student debt, meaning borrowers in this state face high student loan balances and payments compared to their earnings.
These numbers underscore the importance for Idaho college students to borrow with care. Finding the best Idaho student loans can go a long way in limiting interest charges and keeping student loan payments affordable.
Here’s what you need to know about getting and refinancing Idaho student loans.
Where to get Idaho student loans
The first step to getting Idaho student loans is understanding the options available to you. Idaho doesn’t have a state-level program to extend loans to college students.
Students in the state can still get institutional loans from Idaho colleges, federal student loans, and private student loans. Here’s what you should know about these types of Idaho student loans.
Student loans from Idaho colleges
Many colleges offer their own financing, such as institutional or emergency student loans.
Sometimes these student loans are openly advertised, as are the University of Idaho student loans listed below. Other times, a student must contact their school’s financial aid office to inquire about student loans offered by the school itself.
Either way, Idaho college students should see if institutional student loans could be an option for them.
Here are some college-provided student loans in Idaho:
- The Benjamin O. Braham Loan has an interest rate of just 3.00% and is offered to current University of Idaho students who graduated from Kellogg High School.
- Vandal loans carry a 5.00% rate. Students enrolled at the University of Idaho should speak with the financial aid office to find out if they qualify.
- Emergency or short-term student loans are offered at many colleges to help cover costs that are due before federal student aid or other funds are disbursed. The University of Idaho, for example, offers short-term emergency loans of up to $600 at a 7.00% interest rate.
Federal student loans
Alongside institutional student loans, you might want to explore federal student loans offered through the Department of Education. Idaho college students who meet federal aid eligibility requirements can get these loans.
Federal student loans are a smart option to finance college, thanks to several benefits:
- Accessibility: There are no credit requirements for undergraduates who need federal student loans.
- Affordability: Federal student loans offer low interest rates and low fees. You might even qualify for Direct Subsidized Loans, for which the government pays your interest while you’re still in school.
- Repayment protections: Borrowers have many options to delay or adjust federal student loan repayment. This includes pausing payments through deferment or forbearance or lowering payments through income-driven repayment.
These benefits make it easy and cost-effective to borrow federal loans. Here are the details, as of June 4, 2018, on federal student loans:
|Type of federal student loan||Who is eligible?||Loan fee||Interest rate|
|Direct Subsidized Loans||Undergraduates with demonstrated financial need||1.066%||4.45%|
|Direct Unsubsidized Loans||Undergraduates||1.066%||4.45%|
|Direct Unsubsidized Loans (graduate students)||Graduate and professional students||1.066%||6.00%|
|Direct PLUS Loans||Graduate and professional students, and parents of undergraduates||4.264%||7.00%|
Private student loans
Some students might need to borrow more student loans than they can get through the federal government. In these cases, private student loans can provide students and their families with the necessary funds for college.
Before applying for private student loans, students should learn about the potential drawbacks.
For instance, private student loans require an applicant to have decent credit to qualify. If you’re like most college students, you’ll need a parent or other student loan cosigner to help you get a private student loan.
You’ll also want to pay attention to costs and terms offered on private student loans:
- Interest rates and fees on private student loans will affect what you pay to borrow. The lower, the better, so try to find lenders with competitive costs.
- Loan lengths on private student loans often range from five to 15 years. Which term you choose will impact both monthly payments and your total loan costs.
- In-school deferment means you don’t have to pay student loans before you graduate. With College Ave, for example, you can choose to defer in-school payments fully, pay $25 a month, or pay interest only until you graduate.
- Borrower protections help you manage your private student loan in repayment. CommonBond, for instance, offers hardship forbearance for their borrowers who encounter a financial setback.
It’s important for students and their cosigners to shop around for private student loans. Check out all available options, from online lenders to credit unions and banks, to be sure you’re getting the best private student loan you possibly can.
Refinancing Idaho student loans
If you’re stuck paying a high interest rate on your student loans, it’s not too late to find a better option. Lowering your interest rate through student loan refinancing is possible.
If you have good credit, a stable income, and a low debt-to-income ratio, you could qualify to refinance your student loans at a lower rate. The best loans to refinance student debt offer interest rates as low as 2.54% for variable rates or 3.15% for fixed rates as of June 4, 2018.
Some risks can come with refinancing student loans. If you refinance federal student loans, for instance, you’ll lose access to federal benefits such as access to different repayment plans and federal student loan forgiveness.
Understand the risks before refinancing Idaho student loans and only do so if you’re confident you can responsibly repay your new debt.
Which Idaho student loans are right for you?
College students in Idaho should try to use scholarships, savings, and other federal student aid before turning to student loans.
If you need to get or refinance Idaho student loans, the information here can help you get started in your search. It’s up to you to choose wisely, so do your research and compare lenders to find the right student loans for you.
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|
|4.37% – 11.23%*,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|