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What we like:
Quick application process
|Fixed APR||3.99% – 9.99%|
|Variable APR||4.00% – 11.50%|
|Loan Terms||Up to 15 years|
|Loan Amounts||Up to $120,000|
Thrivent is the fifth largest faith-based credit union in America. It is a Fortune 500 company and has over $500 million in holdings. Like all credit unions, Thrivent is a non-profit owned by its members. That means that they aren’t in the business of maximizing their profits but in providing financial services.
Serving their customers is what made them want to start providing student loans. When they saw that many of their members were going into student loan debt to get an education, they decided to launch a suite of student loans and student loan refinance products.
They also own cuLearn, which is a credit union service organization (CUSO) that functions as a marketplace for students to find student loans and provides support to credit unions across the US who want to provide student loans to their members.
In this review:
Thrivent’s In-School Private Student Loans
Thrivent has a few different options for students who need help paying for college including both undergraduate and graduate student loans, as well as a line of credit.
With Thrivent’s line of credit, existing members of the credit union can complete the full application process just once rather than every academic year. Then they can draw upon the line of credit in subsequent years as needed for qualified education expenses.
Interest Rates (APR)
Rates change based on the type of loan or line of credit and what type of interest you select. Here are the current rates for Thrivent’s student loans:
- Thrivent Private Student Loans: Fixed rates range from 5.68% to 9.99% and variable rates range from 4.29% to 11.50%
- Thrivent Student Tuition Line: All rates are variable and range from 4.75% to 11.50%
The interest rate you will end up paying on any of the loans will depend on your personal financial or credit situation or the financial or credit situation of your cosigner.
In-School Repayment Options
When it comes to their student loan products, students have the option to defer their payments and make no payments until after they graduate and a six-month grace period has elapsed – similar to how federal student loans work. With their line of credit, there’s also the option to make no payments while in school.
The term lengths for both undergraduate and graduate student loans are up to 15 years. The draw period for the line of credit product is up to 25 years.
Thrivent believes in principled lending and actively encourages their borrowers to borrow as little as possible and to look for alternative solutions other than borrowing money for school such as going to a cheaper school or finding scholarships.
They offer tools to help you find scholarships and also to compare the cost of the different schools that you’re considering.
The application process for a Thrivent loan is fairly simple. You have to fill out an online application and they will typically get in touch with you within a couple of days.
One of the complications when it comes to borrowing from a credit union is that you do have to qualify for membership in the credit union and you also have to apply for membership. To qualify for membership at Thrivent, you must be Christian or the spouse of a Christian.
Thrivent Refinance Loans
Thrivent also offers borrowers the option to refinance their student loans. When you refinance student loans, you get a new student loan to pay off your old loan or loans. This option only makes sense if you qualify for a lower interest rate than what you are already paying on your existing loans, among other things.
Interest Rates (APR)
You can choose between fixed-rate loans that have APRs between 3.99% and 9.99% and variable rate loans that have APRs between 4.00% and 11.50%.
Your rate will depend on your personal financial and credit situation or that of your cosigner.
Thrivent’s refinance loans have term lengths that go up to 15 years.
You can choose a graduated repayment plan that allows you to pay less on your loans right after you graduate when you are likely not making.
To apply, you fill out a quick online application. When deciding whether to lend to you, they look at things like whether you had a job for two years after graduating from college, what kind of loans you have, and what your current payments are.
The benefits of Thrivent’s loans are that they have competitive interest rates and give you a number of different options for term lengths. The unique option of being able to choose a graduated repayment plan is also a great benefit.
Finally, the line of credit product is very unique and could be a better choice over a loan depending on your financial situation.
Author: Jeff Gitlen