Loan types - Private student loans and refinancing
Loan amount - Up to the full cost of attendance, varies by lender
Repayment Terms - 5 to 20 years
Top Pro - Partners with some of the best known alternative student loan providers
Top Con - Is not directly a lender, so it cannot guarantee any of the terms listed on the site
Best for - Students looking to shop around for loans without damaging their credit
Founded in 2015, LendEDU aims to redefine how loan marketplaces operate. The company offers a variety of credit services including student loans and refinancing options. LendEDU is not directly a lender, but works with a network of some of the most trusted names in lending and finance to provide uniquely transparent services. The company offers customers the ability to shop for a variety of student loans and refinancing choices directly from their website by using a single application. LendEDU aims to provide more clarity by helping customers make the best decisions through in-depth information and reviews of each partner operating within their network.
The extensive range of choices available through LendEDU make it an excellent alternative for customers looking to comparison shop for their student loans. The company offers potential borrowers access to in-depth analyses of each lending partner, and can show customers results in a matter of minutes. A simple application gives quick access to a network of some of the best-known lenders in the market including companies such as SoFi, Sally Mae, and SunTrust. The best part about LendEDU’s marketplace, however, is that the company only requires a single application to begin the matching process. This is great news for customers who prefer to weigh their options, but are afraid to do so because of the time involved and the possibility of harming their credit scores from several hard credit checks. Overall, LendEDU is ideal for borrowers looking for unambiguous options.
In a major departure from many of its competitors, LendEDU focuses on providing a more transparent lending service for its customers. The company offers an impressive range of features designed to simplify the decision-making process for prospective borrowers, as well as educational tools that help individuals understand of the implications of taking a student loan. LendEDU has developed an impressive network of loan and refinancing providers that includes some of the biggest names in the alternative lending and financial technology world. This includes industry mainstays such as SoFi, LendKey, and College Ave loans. Moreover, LendEDU’s single application takes less than five minutes, and will instantly pair applicants to several alternatives for their financing needs. For customers who like to do research before purchasing, the company hosts an expansive blog that features a variety of topics, as well as in-depth reviews of each partner participating in the LendEDU marketplace.
Some of the highlights of our LendEDU review:
Customers will appreciate how easy it is to get started with LendEDU. The initial step to apply for a loan through LendEDU is to complete a form that asks for basic details including information regarding a borrowers’ university status. Once this brief questionnaire is completed, customers can view the potential matches available to them. While prerequisites vary from lender to lender, customers should meet as many of these basic requirements as possible when applying through LendEDU:
Borrowers should always remember that LendEDU is not directly a lender, so they will also have to complete a full application for their chosen lender, as LendEDU does not prequalify customers for any of the loans offered through its network. When matched, borrowers can review the different lending option and compare the representative terms available before selecting their preferred partner.
It is important to note that since LendEDU does not originate any of the loans found through its service, loan terms and interest rates will vary from lender to lender. The company does work with several providers that offer both fixed and variable interest rates, as well as an excellent range of repayment terms and loan amounts. Some of LendEDU’s lending partners can finance up to the full cost of attendance with their loans, such as College Ave. Furthermore, LendEDU lets prospective borrowers shop for both private student loans and refinancing options for existing debt.
For private loans, the company has partnered itself with major financial services providers such as Sallie Mae and SunTrust, as well as smaller but rising alternative lenders. Variable rates offered for private student loans start as low as 2.75%, and can reach as high as 13.02%. Most of LendEDU’s partners offer variable rates, except for LendKey, which focuses on fixed rate loans exclusively. Customers seeking fixed rates can take advantage of interest as low as 3.63% from LendKey.
Student loan refinancing offers only fixed interest rates choices, but still provides an impressive range for customers. Interest rates start as low as 2.39% from ELFI and stretch upwards of 8.62%. For customers who are afraid they may have trouble repaying loans down the line due to unemployment, many of the companies operating in LendEDU’s network offer unemployment protection, as well as short-term grace periods to give borrowers time to get back on their feet. In addition, none of the companies operating within LendEDU’s marketplace charge application fees, origination fees, or prepayment penalties.
Borrowers will appreciate the variety of repayment terms provided by many of LendEDU’s partners. Customers looking to refinance their existing loans can choose from repayment periods that start as low as 5 years, but also include options for 7, 10, 15, and 20 years. Those looking for private student loans have slightly less variability, but can still pick from an excellent range of options. Borrowers can select from terms of 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, and 15 years. Overall, users shopping for a student or refinancing loan through LendEDU can find a term that works best for their particular needs without having to accept an offer they are unhappy with.
Customers have several channels available to contact LendEDU should the need arise. The company offers a live chat feature on their website which connects customers to knowledgeable service representatives in a matter of minutes. Apart from live chat, users can reach the company via a toll-free number, with representatives available Monday to Friday between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. Finally, users can also email the company directly, with responses usually arriving within one business day. Overall, the company’s staff showed themselves to be experienced and well-trained to respond to any question or potential problem.
Even with a few minor shortcomings, there were many aspects of LendEDU’s services to appreciate:
A transparent lending marketplace and reliable partners make LendEDU an intriguing alternative for prospective student loan borrowers. The company offers customers the peace of mind that comes from working with some of the best-known names in the student lending market while making it easy to compare alternatives without having to waste time or endanger credit scores. LendEDU is strongly committed to informing its customers about all the available options thanks to in-depth reviews of each of its lending partners. Additionally, LendEDU’s network offers an excellent variety of different loan terms and interest rates, helping customers find exactly what they need to satisfy their financing requirements.
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