If you’ve got private student loans in your college debt portfolio and are looking to refinance at more competitive rates, the new offering we’ll discuss today may be of interest to you. The New Hampshire Higher Education Loan Corporation (NHHELC) has launched EDvestinU™ – a private student loan consolidation program (essentially also a refinancing program) – that is open to students not just in New Hampshire, but all across the country. Here are some details on their offerings, considerations and caveats:
NHHELC became concerned about the high levels of educational debt because their state is rated second highest for individual student loan debt with an incredible $32,700 per graduate. Only Delaware has higher debt levels. Their new website comes online March 1 and will offer more than just the opportunity to redo your debt at lower rates – they’ve set up extensive borrower resources and it’s these supplemental offerings that are most intriguing.
Here are some of the financial tools that NHHELC is making available to the public as well as those that borrow, refinance or consolidate through their non-profit.
Financial Education – This library covers a wide range of topics from getting the most out of federal student aid to communicating with your financial aid office, understanding borrowing, budgeting while in school, understanding your credit score and what affects it, dealing with credit cards and more.
Webinars – Monthly webinars intend to provide educational training during and after college. Webinar categories include financial literacy, college costs and financial aid, career planning and college planning. This is a great tool that’s available to all who care to check them out.
Career Planning – Materials in this area of their website include info on mentors, networking, internships, public service work, graduate school and more. Detailed articles on a wide area of career planning topics also include links to external resources to dig in deeper.
Financial Calculators – NHHELC has created a large selection of calculators on college funding, student loans, budgeting and salaries. The calculators are well explained and most are embedded in the pages so you don’t have to go chasing links.
NHHELC has not yet released EDvestinU™ interest rates, but the lowest tier of their private student loans are competitive. Rates range from 4.9%-9.9%. For initial student loans, rates are lower for those with a co-signor. Only New Hampshire residents may access fixed rates. Both NH and non-NH residents can apply for variable rate loans based on LIBOR plus points.
The refinance and consolidation loan services that will launch in a couple of weeks will offer low fixed and variable rates, no application or processing fees and flexible repayment options. The financial education components of NHHELC’s EDvestinU™ are the real differentiator for this program. What would be even better is if they went a step further and didn’t just present static career sources, but actively worked with debtors (particularly those out of work) to help them find job opportunities.
As with any debt, before you borrow, refinance or consolidate loans, it’s wise to compare available rates from more than one source to ensure you are getting the most competitive interest rate you qualify for. And if you have federal student loans, it’s important to consider the benefits you’ll lose if you transition federal loans to a private refinance or consolidation. Options like Income Based Repayment, Pay As You Earn and loan forgiveness will be lost for good if you convert federal loans. But if you’re earning a solid income and can afford your payments, shopping for a better rate can be a wise financial strategy.
No matter if you have federal student loans or private ones – primary loans, refinanced or consolidated – Tuition.io’s free student loan tool can help you manage and optimize your debt. Also, read our blog and check out our Student Loan Help Center.