Shopping for loans, HEA

Advice for Choosing a Student Loan

In light of ongoing revelations about conflicts of interest among some colleges, lenders, and the Department of Education, students and families need more truly independent information about student loans. We have developed three fact sheets with practical advice on how to choose a student loan, with key questions and tips to help borrowers evaluate loan offers and understand their options.

(NEW!) Look Before You Leap: Shopping Tips for Student Loans lays some basic ground rules for evaluating a college’s loan recommendations, recognizing different types of loans, and shopping around for a good deal.

Comparing Student Loan Discounts helps borrowers compare the relative value of common discounts offered by federal student loan providers.

Questions to Ask About Private Loans walks prospective borrowers through what they need to know before signing up for a private student loan.

Treacherous Territory

News & Views, a new section of the Institute’s web site, is where we post our commentary on current events, recommended links and news articles, and other items of interest related to college access and success. The latest post – Shopping for Student Loans: Treacherous Territory -- is an eye-opening account of Robert Shireman’s experience trying to compare student loan offers online.

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Our Legislative Recommendations

The Institute has submitted recommendations to the U.S. House of Representatives Education and Labor Committee for its version of the Higher Education Act reauthorization. Our proposed amendments aim to strengthen the federal financial aid system by improving protections for student loan borrowers, waving the tax on cancelled loans for those with high debt burdens, and simplifying the federal financial aid application process.

(This announcement was sent to the Project on Student Debt mailing list on April 25, 2007)