Money: How to Find Student Loan Discounts

For UC Davis students, summer time is a great time to reexamine your student loan situation. The folks over at GoCollege have a great article on How to Find Student Loan Discounts. Here are a few of our favorite tips:


The Direct Debit Discount

This is perhaps the most popular, and common, type of loan discount. When you agree to have your lender automatically deduct your monthly loan payments from your checking account, your lender agrees to discount your loan’s interest rate. The average discount is around 0.25%, which may look small at first but definitely adds up over the life of your loan.

Banks and lending companies like to offer this form of discount as it helps them save money on paperwork and administration. It can also help you save money on your regularly accruing interest, and is certainly worth considering if offered by your lender.

The Waived Origination Fee Discount

It is common for banks and lending companies to charge borrowers a ‘loan origination fee’. This is meant to cover the administrative costs associated with loan applications of any kind. In an effort to attract customers, however, many student loan companies will agree to waive this fee entirely. If you shop around, you will find a number of private lenders offer this waiver on all of their student loans.

Students considering a college loan should remember that origination fee waivers are standard for all Federal loans including the Stafford, the Perkins and the Direct PLUS Loan for Parents.

The On-Time Payment Discount

Making your monthly loan payments on time seems obvious, but you might be surprised at the number of borrowers who fail to do just that. Lending organizations expect payments to be made on time, and penalize the chronically late. They also like to reward the diligent customer who consistently makes their payments on time. So, many banks and student loan companies offer discount programs for borrowers who have a history of on-time payments.

For example, when it comes to a Stafford loan, you can receive up to a 2% reduction in your interest rate after making complete and timely payments for four consecutive years. Many lenders offer similar reductions on other Federal and private loans. These may look like small amounts at first glance, but on a loan with a 10, 15 or even 20 year lifespan it definitely adds up.

The key to these kinds of discounts is to stay consistent. It may seem like an easy proposition to make your loan payments on time, but it can easily get away from you. Stay focused, be disciplined, and you will be rewarded in real financial savings.

Read the rest at GoCollege: How to Find Student Loan Discounts.