Iowa Student Loan Review
Iowa Student Loan offers loans for undergraduates, graduate students, parents of students, and those looking to refinance their existing student loans. These loans are only available to students from Iowa or to those who are attending college in Iowa.
What we like:
Long forbearance terms
|Fixed Rates||5.88% – 7.64%|
|Variable Rates||5.50% – 6.86%|
|Loan Terms||10, 15 years|
|Loan Amounts||$1,001 – $80,000|
Iowans looking to pursue their academic dreams may be able to turn to the Iowa Student Loan Company for financial assistance if they have exhausted other resources such as federal student loans from the U.S. Department of Education.
Iowa Student Loan was established in 1979, and since then, this private, nonprofit lender has helped over 392,500 students pay for college.
This review will take a look at the different types of loans Iowa Student Loan offers, their benefits, and their downsides.
Iowa Student Loan Overview
The primary goal of Iowa Student Loan is to provide financial assistance to families who have exhausted other aid sources, specifically those provided by the federal government. To do this, the company offers three specific private loan products.
Overall, loan products provided by Iowa Student Loan have interest rates that are higher than many competitors. For reference, you can see current student loan interest rates here.
Loan products from this financial institution are designed for those with good credit (670 or higher), and therefore some applicants may not meet eligibility requirements without a cosigner. This is similar to other private student loan lenders, however.
Jump to a specific loan:
Partnership Advance Education Loan
The Partnership Loan is one student loan option that helps students and parents by acting as supplemental aid with a loan amount that can fill the gaps between existing aid and total educational costs.
To be eligible for the Partnership Loan, you must:
- Have a FICO score of 670 or higher (though there is a cosigner option)
- Be an Iowa student attending a college or university at least half-time within the U.S. OR a student from any state attending a school in Iowa.
Note that you can release your cosigner, if you have one, after 24 on-time monthly payments if you apply with one.
The Partnership Loan is also available with a variable interest rate between 5.87 and 7.42 percent. This rate is also considerably higher than other private student loan lenders.
College Family Loan
Unlike the Partnership Loan, which is open to students and parents, the College Family Loan is a parent student loan designed specifically for parents of students and cannot be applied for or cosigned by the student.
As such, repayment and the repayment options remain the sole responsibility of the parent, even after the student leaves school (i.e. the loan is non-transferable).
Applicants must have a FICO score of 670 or above, a debt-to-income ratio of below 25%, and the ability to show two years of continuous employment (though the employment requirements are waived for retirees and disabled persons).
Rates are fixed and based on the repayment and loan term:
- Immediate Repayment: 5.50% to 6.30%
- Interest-Only Repayment: 5.70% to 6.42%
- Deferred Repayment: 5.80% and 6.85%.
As of July 1, 2019, the fixed interest rate for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan, which is another loan designed for parents, has a fixed interest rate of 7.60 percent, making the College Family Loan the more affordable option for eligible borrowers.
Reset Refinance Loan (Reset Loan)
In addition to primary loan products, Iowa Student Loan also offers a student loan refinancing option through the Reset Refinance Loan. This loan can allow eligible borrowers the opportunity to secure lower monthly payments, better rates, or simpler repayment plans.
The Reset Refinance Loan can be used to refinance different student debt federal loans, including subsidized and unsubsidized undergraduate and graduate loans, as well as PLUS loans, private education loans, and student loans that have been previously consolidated or refinanced.
To be eligible for this loan, applicants must have a FICO score of 690 or above and a debt-to-income ratio that does not exceed 25%. Further, borrowers and cosigners who have defaulted on a private or federal loan will not be eligible.
Rates are fixed and currently range from 3.50 to 7.50 percent.
There is a variety of student loan refinance financial products available on the market today, so some borrowers may find a better deal through other top refinancing companies like Commonbond, SoFi, and Lendkey – though this certainly doesn’t suggest that the Reset Refinance Loan isn’t competitive among those top contenders.
Before refinancing through Iowa Student Loan, it’s best to shop around and find the best rate and whenever possible find lower interest rates for your current debt and credit score. This is made easier by the fact that Iowa Student Loan extends rate quotes using the information from a soft credit inquiry.
Iowa Student Loan has a variety of loan products and resources that can help student borrowers and parents secure and manage the funds they need to meet the financial obligations associated with higher education.
Additionally, students who have already paid for their schooling may find they can secure an interest rate reduction or lower repayments for their repayment term through the Reset Refinance Loan by obtaining a new loan for their student loan debt.
Overall, the interest rates are somewhat high, and because of the credit score and credit history requirements, the benefits provided by Iowa Student Loan may be slightly out of reach for anyone with average or poor credit or those with a debt-to-income ratio that exceeds 25%.
As with any private loans, there are certain things not available from Iowa Student Loan that are available with federal loans, such as income-driven repayment and loan forgiveness options, which is why federal student loans should be the first option for most borrowers before searching for the best private student loans.3.66 Iowa Student Loan
Author: Jennifer Lobb
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