In March of 2012, U.S. Bancorp announced that it was pulling out of the private student lending business, and no longer offering U.S. Bank student loans. After the federal government stopped guaranteeing the loans they originated in 2010, a handful of private student lenders began exiting the industry.
Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank sent a letter to participating colleges and universities announcing that it would no longer be accepting loan applications as of March 29th, 2012. “It’s a very small business for the bank, and we’ve decided to make a strategic shift and move resources” said U.S. Bank spokesman Thomas Joyce.
Although U.S. Bank is no longer accepting student loan applications, any outstanding student loan debt with the bank must be repaid. However, there are alternative repayment plans available.
Can I Refinance My U.S. Bank Student Loans?
If you are currently in the process of repaying your U.S. Bank student loans, then your loans are eligible for refinancing. However, as the borrower, there are eligibility requirements that you must meet before you can refinance, such as a strong credit history and employment.
You can refinance your student loans like you would refinance your mortgage. During the refinancing process, a new lender will pay off your original loans with U.S. Bank and issue you a new loan with different terms.
How does this benefit the borrower?
New student loan refinance lenders are willing to offer lower interest rates and flexible term lengths. By obtaining a lower interest rate, the borrower stands to save a lot of money over the life of their loan.
Want to learn more about the top student loan refinance lenders in the industry? Check out our Top Student Loan Refinance Lenders page.
Looking for a New Student Loan?
Although U.S. Bank no longer offers private student loans, there are some great alternatives that allow students to afford the cost of higher education.
The first step is to complete the FAFSA. The FAFSA allows you to see if you qualify for federal financial aid. Scholarships and grants are great ways to obtain financial assistance, so it is important to take advantage of them if you qualify. If you do not qualify for any grants or scholarships, then you should consider taking out a federal student loan.
If you have drained all available federal financial aid options, the next step would be to turn to private student loans. Eligibility for private student loans is dependent on a variety of factors, including a strong credit score, consistent income, and a low debt-to-income ratio. If you do not meet the requirements, finding a co-signer can greatly increase your chances of being approved. Check out our recommended private student loan lenders below.
Citizens Bank Student Loans
Citizens Bank is a U.S Regional Bank headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island. Citizens Bank allows prospective students to borrower anywhere from $1,000 to $175,000. Citizens Bank’s private student loan products also offer very competitive interest rates (starting at 5.25% variable and 4.47% fixed). Additionally, student loan borrowers can choose between 5, 10, and 15-year term lengths. Best of all, Citizens Bank lets student borrowers choose if they want to defer payments, make full payments, or make interest only payments while they are still in school.
College Ave Student Loans
College Ave is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 2015, College Ave partnered with Liberty Bank to originate their private student loan products. Similar to Citizens Bank, they offer private student loans ranging from $1,000 to $175,000. College Ave’s starting interest rates are slightly lower than Citizens Bank, starting at 4.20% variable and 5.29% fixed. College Ave offers unique term lengths, including 8, 10, 12, and 15-year loan term lengths. College Ave also allows student loan borrowers to defer payments until after they graduate.
U.S. Bank was never a major player in the private student loan industry, however, if you have outstanding student loan debt with U.S. Bank then it must be repaid. For those with private student loans from U.S. Bank, refinancing is a great way to lower your interest rate and save money. If you are seeking a new student loan to finance your college education, there are still a handful of great lenders who are willing to help you out.
Author: Jeff Gitlen
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