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8 Best Credit Repair Companies Near Me For Bad Credit Score [Latest Services]

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Do you have a bad credit score or errors on your credit report? If you face either of these issues, hiring a credit repair company would be the wisest decision you can make.

A credit repair company not only helps you improve your credit but also helps you get bad credit loans with guaranteed approval. But, with so many credit repair companies in the market, it might become difficult to differentiate between a legitimate one and a fake one. And, naturally, where matters of money are concerned, one cannot be vigilant enough. It becomes crucial you only consider reputable credit repair companies for your credit history concerns.

Therefore, we have put together the following guide to help you sift through the best credit repair companies in the industry and pick the right one for yourself.

How We Made This List of the Top Credit Repair Companies

In order to create a comprehensive list of the best credit repair companies out there, we undertook some steps to ensure only the best companies would meet our stringent standards.

We started with an exhaustive list of all of the popular credit repair companies in today’s market. We narrowed down our options from this long list by conducting in-depth research into each company and looking at the reviews of their customers, the brand’s experience, and their reputation.

Based on our findings, we filtered through the list further to bring you only the eight best names among all of the credit repair companies we found.

When we were cutting down our list, we tried to match each company with the following criteria:

  • Company’s willingness to provide you with a written contract that contains all of the necessary details of their services
  • Track record, previous experiences, and reputation of the company
  • Company’s refund options in case your credit score did not improve satisfactorily
  • Cost of their credit score services in comparison to other companies that offer the same
  • The ability of the company to improve your credit score realistically without promising unattainable goals to the customer

After looking closely into the above factors, we created this list of the eight best credit repair companies that will help you fix your credit score.

Top Products for the Best Credit Repair Services[Full Reviews]

#1. Credit Saint: Best Overall & Editor’s Choice

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Credit Saint was founded in 2004 and has made a name for itself as one of the fastest-growing credit repair companies in the world.

Right from 2007, Credit Saint has received continuous A+ ratings from the Better Business Bureau, making it one of the most trustworthy and reputable credit repair companies out there.

Credit Saint offers three service packages:

  • Credit Polish
  • Credit Remodel
  • Clean Slate

Your first consultation with Credit Saint will be free, and the set-up fee will vary from $99 to $195. All three packages cost anywhere from $79.99 to $119.99.

The most basic plan is the Credit Polish Plan, and this is most suitable for those having very few negative items on their credit report. The Credit Remodel Package moves up a notch by adding five more disputes every month, along with questioning repossession and bankruptcies.

The final package, Clean Slate, provides far-reaching credit repair with unlimited disputes.

Highlights

  • Three Distinct Packages: Credit Saint accounts for all types of credit repair issues with their three comprehensive packages, each one designed to suit different credit needs.
  • Personalized Service: As a customer of Credit Saint, you will be connected to a team that will be in touch with you throughout the entire process. Their job is to ensure you take the necessary steps to improve your credit score while working to fix any damage.
  • 90-Day Money-Back Guarantee: Credit Saint promises that if there are no deletions from your credit report within the first three months, you will receive a complete refund of your money.

Pros

  • Straightforward pricing policy
  • A+ BBB rating for ten years
  • Custom dispute letters curated for every customer according to their individual needs
  • 90-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Unavailable in some states such as Kansas, Georgia, and South Carolina
  • High initial setup fees, compared to others in the industry

=> Visit the Official Website of Credit Saint for More Information

#2. Lexington Law: Most Experienced

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Lexington Law was founded in 2004 and primarily employs paralegals and attorneys, which is rare in credit repair companies.

What makes Lexington Law stand out is its law-driven process of fixing your credit score and improving your overall credit report. Since its founding in 2004, Lexington Law’s clientele has seen more than 70 million removals on their credit reports.

Lexington Law also offers an initial free consultation, followed by three packages that you can choose from:

  • Concord Standard Plan
  • Concord Premier Plan
  • PremierPlus Package

If you want some basic bureau and creditor challenges, the Concord Standard Plan will ensure the Fair Credit Reporting Act is enforced on your behalf at $89.95 per month. If you level up to the Concord Premier Plan, you will have continuous credit monitoring and regular credit score analysis at $109.95 per month.

Lastly, the PremierPlus Package includes legal assistance as you deal with third-party debt collectors. It is an added and unusual feature that you will not find in other credit companies.

Highlights

  • Provide Specialized Legal Advice: Credit repair companies usually do not provide legal services to their customers. But, Lexington Law seeks to provide this along with an increased credit score.
  • Maximizes Usage of Digital Resources: Due to their high revenue, Lexington Law can afford to invest in the industry’s best digital tools their competitors cannot beat.

Pros

  • Three distinct plan levels specific to your credit repair needs
  • Provision of legal assistance under the PremierPlus Package
  • Long track record with more than 500,000 active clients
  • Provision of identity theft protection

Cons

  • No refund policy or money-back guarantee
  • Higher fees, compared to other companies in the industry
  • A few allegations of legal violations

=> Visit the Official Website of Lexington Law for More Information

#3. CreditRepair.com: Best Credit Repair with Affordable Rates

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CreditRepair.com is a viable and relatively more affordable option for your credit repairing needs with a simple yet highly effective credit score improvement system.

CreditRepair.com starts by checking your credit reports for unfair or invalid negative items. They will follow this up with the credit bureaus and help you address various issues such as judgments, late payments, foreclosures, repossessions, etc.

The company provides three different types of services based on the number of negative items on your credit report, like most credit repair companies. You can also choose either the basic, moderate, or aggressive model.

CreditRepair.com’s initial fee is also lower than other companies. Standing at $14.99, followed by $99.95 per month, you will find their services are efficient and cost-effective.

Highlights

  • Customized Service Recommendations: After providing the company with some basic information, they will review your score and negative items for free. Following this, they will recommend the ideal service for your credit requirements.
  • Deal with Several Issues: Whether you are struggling with late payments, collections, judgments, bankruptcies, or charge-offs, CreditRepair.com has all of these covered.

Pros

  • Offers services via a mobile application that will track your credit progress
  • Customized credit repair plan based on your unique circumstances
  • Simple, straightforward, and efficient process
  • Offers free access to information about debt, loans, savings, and credit improvement on their website

Cons

  • No clarity on the qualifications and expertise of the people who handle credit reports
  • No accreditation with the Better Business Bureau
  • Low initiation fees

=> Visit the Official Website of CreditRepair.com for More Information

#4. Sky Blue Credit: Best Value Service

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Sky Blue Credit is one of the older credit repair companies that has been around since 1989. What makes them stand out is their simple pricing model — you pay $79 as an initial work fee, followed by $79 every month.

Moreover, you receive a discount if you hire their service as a couple, and your monthly fee falls to $119 a month instead of $158.

Sky Blue Credit provides a range of services, including settlement of debt, debt validation, cease and desist letters, and goodwill letters. Along with this, they offer advice on how credit score improvement works according to your unique circumstances.

If you are looking for a company willing to give you a free trial period, then Sky Blue Credit is your answer. The company works free of charge for the first six days, following which you will have to pay your initial fees and the first round of monthly fees.

Sky Blue Credit also offers some flexibility in canceling their services as and when you please. The company says the process of credit score improvement can take approximately six months, and customers are free to cancel their services at any point with no penalty.

If your financial conditions are subject to constant fluctuation, Sky Blue Credit offers you a way out without any extra costs.

Highlights

  • Easy Pricing System: Sky Blue Credit offers flat-rate credit repair systems, making it simpler for customers, as they will not have to choose out of multiple packages offered.
  • Provide Cease and Desist Letter Services: In order to bring debt collector harassment to an end, Sky Blue Credit offers the service of customizing cease and desist letters according to your credit needs.

Pros

  • A+ BBB rating
  • Worthwhile couples discount
  • Easy to understand and affordable pricing system
  • 90-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Online management structure has very limited features and capabilities
  • Offers limited services compared to other companies

=> Visit the Official Website of Sky Blue Credit for More Information

#5. The Credit Pros: Fast & Affordable Credit Repairs

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If you are looking for affordability and reliability, The Credit Pros offers some enticing packages for you to consider.

This company was established in 2009 by Jason M. Kaplan to help people improve their credit scores and avoid the same credit errors in the future. The Better Business Bureau awarded The Credit Pros with an A+ rating for their impeccable services.

The Credit Pros works like any other credit repair company by accessing your credit report and finding all of the inaccuracies and errors. They will then help you remove these items from your credit report, thereby improving your credit score.

The Credit Pros provides several services, such as writing goodwill letters, credit dispute letters, cease and desist letters, and most importantly, an individualized plan of action from a recognized credit repair official.

Highlights

  • Convenient Mobile Application: The Credit Pros offer a top-notch mobile app that allows you to check your credit score status and credit report on the go. The app is easy to use, free to access, and provides you with notifications about your credit report.
  • Access to Legal Network: Along with their range of credit repair services, the company also offers customers the option of speaking to credit attorneys and taking their counsel, if necessary.

Pros

  • Reputable company with positive customer feedback
  • Low monthly fees, starting at $19
  • Easy to use and highly efficient mobile application
  • Creation of a customized plan of action to improve your credit score

Cons

  • Difficult website navigation
  • Very few educational resources available for customers to access
  • Higher initial fees

=> Visit the Official Website of The Credit Pros for More Information

#6. The Credit People: Best Money-Back Guarantee

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The Credit People undoubtedly offers the best money-back guarantee you can find — a 60-day money-back period if you are unsatisfied with their services. Most credit repair companies will either offer you a 90-day money-back period or no money-back period at all.

Another interesting feature of The Credit People is their pricing structure, as you are free to either pay every month or at the end of six months. If you choose to go for a monthly payment, your initial fee stands at $19, followed by $79 every month.

If you opt for the payment at the end of six months, there is no initial fee you have to pay. You can directly pay the total amount of $419 at the end of the stipulated period, which works out to be around $70 a month.

The Credit People has a highly trained team that has served thousands of customers, all of whom have had only positive experiences with the company. They have been around for over 15 years, which may seem less than other credit repair companies. However, The Credit People has an unbeatable track record when it comes to credit score improvement.

Highlights

  • Opportunity to Speak with Multiple Experts: The Credit People does not offer the service of one expert for every customer, as you may get to speak to multiple credit experts and gain several perspectives.
  • Flexible Pricing Structure: You can choose to either pay at the end of every month or at the end of six months as a single lump sum. Regardless of which option you choose, this company has incredibly affordable pricing.
  • One Service Plan: Do keep in mind that The Credit People does not have a selection of multiple credit improvement packages, as the company offers one package for all.

Pros

  • Offers free credit scores and reports
  • At the lower end of the pricing spectrum with no hidden fees and flexible payment
  • Several educational resources available on their website
  • Online access 24/7

Cons

  • “C” rating given by the Better Business Bureau
  • Very few package options, since they offer a one-package service

=> Visit the Official Website of The Credit People for More Information

#7. Pyramid Credit Repair: Exceptional Customer Service

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Pyramid Credit Repair was founded in 2012 and is known for its exceptional customer service.

The agency provides you with a Personal Account Manager, who takes care of the complete process. Starting from the credit report request to the repairing, they will handle each step diligently.

Pyramid Credit Repair offers a free consultation to understand which program would be suitable for you. A great thing about the agency is that they do not give any long-term commitments.

The agency offers three plans:

  • Singles Plan
  • Couples Plan
  • Identity Theft Protection Plan

The Singles Plan will cost you $99 per month, whereas the Couples plan is $198 per month.

For the Identity Theft Protection Plan, you pay $29.99 per month, and you also receive an identity theft insurance amount of $25,000.

Even though the Better Business Bureau does not accredit the agency, they have a number of positive reviews. Furthermore, they also feature an amazing Trustpilot score, which also authenticates the agency.

Highlights

  • 100% Money-Back Guarantee: Pyramid Credit Repair gives you a 100% money-back guarantee in case they are unable to update any errors in your credit report within 90 days.
  • Customer Service: The agency is famous for its customer service for two main reasons. First, they assign you a point of contact who will handle your case. Second, despite this, you have the freedom to call any other professional you want.
  • Security: Your credit information is safe in the hands of Pyramid Credit Repair. It does not just protect your information from another individual, but from law enforcement as well. The only way law enforcement can get your reports is through a valid court order or a subpoena.

Pros

  • 90-day money-back guarantee
  • Free credit consultation
  • No advance fees to be paid
  • Extended customer services that go beyond office hours

Cons

  • Lacks accreditation from Better Business Bureau
  • Not available in all states

=> Visit the Official Website of Pyramid Credit Repair for More Information

#8. Ovation Credit Services: Experienced Credit Fixers

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Ovation was founded by LendingTree in 2004 and has several experienced credit fixers.

Their trained staff has extensive knowledge about the field and can provide you with the right resources and options which may help improve your credit score.

Ovation has two main plans:

  • Essentials Plan
  • Essentials Plus Plan

The Essentials Plan has a setup fee of $89, and the per month fee is $79. You will be assigned a personal case advisor who will take care of your disputes and repair. This plan is good for people who need to pay off their debt, prepare, and budget.

For more complex issues, you can opt for the Essentials Plus Plan. You will have to pay a first work free of $89 ad $109 per month.

Highlights

  • Discounts: Ovation offers discounts to eligible clients. If you and your partner wish to work on your credit together, you can get a 20% off couple’s discount. For people who are switching from any competitor, they offer a $50 credit. Military personnel and senior citizens get a 10% discount as well.
  • Add-On Feature: The agency offers two add-on features — identity optimization and fast-track. The former is for a $25 fee and is good for people with identity theft or fraud issues. On the other hand, the fast-track feature is for people who choose the Essentials Plus Plan and can get documents processed on the same day.
  • Personalized Attention: Once you sign up for the plan, you will be assigned a personal case advisor. The advisor will handle everything on your behalf and will be your point of contact. That makes it easy for the customer to reach the agency instead of calling numerous people.

Pros

  • Mobile application for easy access
  • A+ BBB Rating
  • Smooth communication channel
  • Free credit consultation

Cons

  • Not many customer reviews
  • Lack of online sign-up facility

=> Visit the Official Website of Ovation Credit Services for More Information

What Should You Know Before Buying the Best Credit Repair Companies?

Before you choose the best credit repair companies, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Below, we list important attributes every credit repair company should have.

Set-up Fee

Many credit companies take an advance on their credit repair services. These are the companies you should stay away from, because the United States Credit Repair Organizations Act prevents agencies from taking an advance on their services.

They could, however, ask you for a first work or set-up fee. It is a small fee taken by the credit repair agency to open your account. It is also a one-time fee, and there will be no recurring costs. The set-up fee can range from $6.99 to $200, depending on the agency.

Free Consultation

Any good and legitimate credit repair company will provide you with a free credit consultation. That is where they tell you the ways in which they can help you. You must have a free consultation so you can determine if the credit company is suitable for you.

The credit expert views your credit report and gives you an overview of their path to improve your credit report. You could also realize you might not require help from a credit repair agency altogether. Either way, you make a well-informed decision and save a lot of money.

Money-Back Guarantee

Every credit repair agency offers some sort of guarantee on their services. However, the guarantee is different for each agency, and you need to be aware of it before you sign any deal.

Some companies can provide you with easy cancellation and a money-back guarantee. That means you can cancel your association with them for any reason, and you will get your money back.

Other companies might only give you a money-back guarantee if they are unable to improve your credit score. In such cases, they might provide you with a 90-day guarantee if they cannot remove the negative items in your credit report.

BBB Rating

Repairing your credit score is a serious matter. So, you need to choose an agency which you can trust. One way to check this is the rating given by the Better Business Bureau.

An agency having a BBB rating of A+ is said to be the topmost. However, not every reputable agency will have the gold standard A+ rating. If the rating is good enough and they have a good performance record, then you can go ahead with the agency.

Monthly Plans

Most of the credit repair agencies will provide you with a monthly plan. The plans can start from $79 and go up to about $200 per month. It varies depending on what you require from the agency.

Moreover, you can compare with multiple agencies to see which one gives you the best rate. However, do not always go for the lowest rate. You must check the quality of their service and their past performances before you make your choice.

Dispute of Negative Items

Every credit repair agency will provide you several disputes for each cycle. The agency’s main job would be to dispute any unverifiable or inaccurate occurrences in your credit report.

The standard number of disputes for each cycle is five. If your credit report is fairly less challenging, then this number would be good. However, for more extensive repairs, you would require the disputes to go up.

In that case, talk to the agency and see how many they can provide you. There are several packages an agency can give you, including ones that even have unlimited disputes.

Experience

Experience is not something that would completely dominate your decision, but it is a reassuring factor. Several new credit repair companies can deliver excellent results. However, an experienced agent will know the process better.

They will also be better at handling any complications that may arise. With that said, you can always go for a new or semi-experienced agency if you trust their services.

How Long Does It Take to Repair Your Credit Score?

Credit repair agencies get 30 days to address the disputes in your credit report. Therefore, you would not be able to see any difference unless the 30-day period has passed.

If your credit report has minor challenges, then the agency can repair it in almost 90 days. Even if the process is not complete, you may see a good enough improvement.

For extensively challenging credit reports, the timeframe is much higher. It will take more than 90 days to see even a slight improvement. The agency you hire can give you a better timeframe by checking your credit report. However, you should be prepared for a much longer period.

Even the most challenging of credit reports will see an improvement or will be near the end of the process in about six months. If your credit agencies take more than this, you might need to review their process or competency.

A very poor credit rating resulting from bankruptcy, charge-offs, or late payments takes a lot of time to repair. In such cases, your agency will advise you to change your financial habits.

They will give you tips on how you can rebuild your credit score with time. Mostly, the process will involve making your payments on time and not using too much of the credit you have left.

Process of Fixing Your Credit

The process of fixing your credit is different for every agency; however, the basic methods are the same. They follow the basic strategy of identifying and addressing the disputes in your credit report.

Disputes can be any inaccurate data, errors, identity theft, or other problems. Below is the standard process any credit agency would follow.

Get Credit Report

Before they can start fixing your credit reports, they will need to get them. The credit agency will help you get in touch with the three top credit bureaus, or they will do it themselves.

Once they receive your credit report, they will review it for any disputes, which helps them find the reasons which have led to your low credit score. At this stage, most top credit companies provide you with a free consultation.

Identify the Reason

Depending on your low credit reasons, the agency will move further in their association. If the reason for your low credit is authentic charge-offs, then the agency might not be able to help you much.

In this case, they can only give you tips to rebuild the credit score yourself. You will need to make your payments on time and improve your credit habits. However, if you have any disputes, then the process will be completely different.

In that case, the credit repair company will identify those disputes and move on to the next step.

Settle the Disputes

Once they have identified the disputes, the credit repair company will form dispute letters and send them to credit bureaus and creditors. They will do this on your behalf, and they will challenge the disputes so they get removed from your credit report.

If the situation demands, the credit agency can also send cease and desist letters or validation requests to your debt collectors.

The timeframe for identifying and investigating the disputes should be within 30 days, as set by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If the disputes are unverified, then, according to the law, the bureau will remove these items from the report.

Find a Solution

If the debts are not yours, then they will instantly have to be removed from your report. However, for valid debts, the credit repair agency will get into negotiations with your creditors.

They might be able to convince the collection agency or your creditor to accept a partial payment. However, that would mostly be in cases of old debts that you have not paid for a long time.

The agency may convince the creditor to remove certain negative items from the report in exchange for partial payment. In addition, some credit agencies send goodwill letters if you have missed out on one payment.

They might term it as a mistake and convince the creditor to erase the information. It is essential to remember credit repair agencies can only fix fair credits, and they cannot help you if you have a bad credit history or a case of bankruptcy.

In such cases, changing your credit habit and making changes to your financial situation is the only option.

What Should You Remove from Your Credit Report to Improve Your Credit Score?

If your credit report has disputes and negative items, then they have to be removed. Below are a few negative items that are considered. However, there are more than your credit repair agency may identify:

  • Unnecessary hard inquiries
  • Duplicate accounts
  • Identity theft is determined through inaccuracies
  • Missing information that can improve your score
  • Misspellings
  • Outdated items that should not be present
  • Closed accounts that are supposed to be open
  • Open accounts that are supposed to be closed
  • Accounts that are not yours and may belong to another person (someone who has the same name as you or an ex-spouse)

The credit bureau is asked to confirm if the entry is authentic for a disputed item. If the bureau is unable to verify it, then they will remove it. That is even in cases of negative information that may be true but have erroneous entries.

Why Should You Hire a Credit Repair Company?

A low credit score will impact your financial life to a great extent. If you have a bad credit score, then you need to fix it immediately. However, instead of doing it yourself, you might be better off hiring a professional service.

If you are doubtful about how a credit repair company can help you, here are a few benefits.

They Have Experience

Even the newest credit repair companies will be more experienced than you in handling bad credit. They have skills and knowledge that you do not possess. In addition, they have much better negotiation skills, which would help in communicating with creditors.

Saves Time

You can repair your credit yourself, but you need to learn how to do it. There are several concepts and processes that you have to gain knowledge of before doing them, which will take up a lot of your time.

If you have a busy work schedule, then you will find it hard to balance both. However, a credit repair agency takes care of the whole process for you. They already know about the policies and laws; so, they can repair much faster.

The Right Resources

Repairing credit is not easy, especially if your credit report is messy. You will have to use several resources that you will not have. However, credit repair agencies do have the right resources to take care of your credit issues.

For example, these agencies know lawyers and have a good connection with credit bureaus and other essential resources.

FAQs: Credit Repair Companies

Q1. How will you recognize credit repair scams?

Along with hundreds of legitimate credit repair agencies, there are also several scams. These agencies take your money and give you nothing in return. So, before you choose your agency, you should ensure they are legitimate.

Some signs can confirm you are dealing with a scam:

  • The agency asks you to make the complete payment of the services upfront
  • They will not provide you with a detailed contract before starting with the services
  • Fraudulent companies will advise you to provide false information to get access to any credit facility
  • A legitimate credit repair agency will make you aware that it is your legal right to dispute any credit information yourself. However, a scam will give no such information

Q2. How much will it cost to hire a credit repair agency?

If you calculate the monthly fee you have to pay, the hiring cost for a credit repair company may seem too much. However, the cost will be higher if you try to manage the process yourself.

The price of a credit repair package varies with each company, and you will need to pay a set-up fee or first work fee to establish your account. Most agencies will provide you with a free consultation before they start any business dealings.

Once you hire the services of the agency, you will need to start paying a monthly fee. This monthly fee can start from $6.99 and go up to $200, depending on the plan and agency.

Q3. Why do you need to repair your credit score?

When you have a low credit score, you will get loans at higher interest rates, or you may not be able to get loans at all. The same goes for credit cards or any other credit options.

However, if you repair your credit score, you can slowly increase your chance of getting credits and loans at good interest rates.

When you go for credit repair, you will know the reasons why your credit is bad, which is highly beneficial in your financial journey.

Final Verdict: Which Is the Best Credit Repair Company? Are Credit Repair Companies Worth It?

By now, you should know about some of the best credit repair companies. You should also know what you need to look for in a credit repair service and how the process works. So, we suggest you try out Credit Saint or Lexington Law for the best guidance and customer service.

A credit repair company can also help you receive bad credit loans with guaranteed approval, which can help you lead a better life. In addition, these services can help to repair your credit and improve your credit score.

Once you get your credit repaired, you should be cautious about your financial dealings. It is best to make your payments on time and take care of your credit situation to avoid any such situation in the future.

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

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Are Sallie Mae Student Loans Federal or Private?

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When you hear the name Sallie Mae, you probably think of student loans. There’s a good reason for that; Sallie Mae has a long history, during which time it has provided both federal and private student loans.

However, as of 2014, all of Sallie Mae’s student loans are private, and its federal loans have been sold to another servicer. Here’s what to know if you have a Sallie Mae loan or are considering taking one out.

What is Sallie Mae?

Sallie Mae is a company that currently offers private student loans. But it has taken a few forms over the years.

In 1972, Congress first created the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA) as a private, for-profit corporation. Congress gave SLMA, commonly called “Sallie Mae,” the status of a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) to support the company in its mission to provide stability and liquidity to the student loan market as a warehouse for student loans.

However, in 2004, the structure and purpose of the company began to change. SLMA dissolved in late December of that year, and the SLM Corporation, or “Sallie Mae,” was formed in its place as a fully private-sector company without GSE status.

In 2014, the company underwent another big adjustment when Sallie Mae split to form Navient and Sallie Mae. Navient is a federal student loan servicer that manages existing student loan accounts. Meanwhile, Sallie Mae continues to offer private student loans and other financial products to consumers. If you took out a student loan with Sallie Mae prior to 2014, there’s a chance that it was a federal student loan under the now-defunct Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

At present, Sallie Mae owns 1.4 percent of student loans in the United States. In addition to private student loans, the bank also offers credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts to its customers, many of whom are college students.

What is the difference between private and federal student loans?

When you’re seeking financing to pay for college, you’ll have a big choice to make: federal versus private student loans. Both types of loans offer some benefits and drawbacks.

Federal student loans are educational loans that come from the U.S. government. Under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, there are four types of federal student loans available to qualified borrowers.

With federal student loans, you typically do not need a co-signer or even a credit check. The loans also come with numerous benefits, such as the ability to adjust your repayment plan based on your income. You may also be able to pause payments with a forbearance or deferment and perhaps even qualify for some level of student loan forgiveness.

On the negative side, most federal student loans feature borrowing limits, so you might need to find supplemental funding or scholarships if your educational costs exceed federal loan maximums.

Private student loans are educational loans you can access from private lenders, such as banks, credit unions and online lenders. On the plus side, private student loans often feature higher loan amounts than you can access through federal funding. And if you or your co-signer has excellent credit, you may be able to secure a competitive interest rate as well.

As for drawbacks, private student loans don’t offer the valuable benefits that federal student borrowers can enjoy. You may also face higher interest rates or have a harder time qualifying for financing if you have bad credit.

Are Sallie Mae loans better than federal student loans?

In general, federal loans are the best first choice for student borrowers. Federal student loans offer numerous benefits that private loans do not. You’ll generally want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and review federal funding options before applying for any type of private student loan — Sallie Mae loans included.

However, private student loans, like those offered by Sallie Mae, do have their place. In some cases, federal student aid, grants, scholarships, work-study programs and savings might not be enough to cover educational expenses. In these situations, private student loans may provide you with another way to pay for college.

If you do need to take out private student loans, Sallie Mae is a lender worth considering. It offers loans for a variety of needs, including undergrad, MBA school, medical school, dental school and law school. Its loans also feature 100 percent coverage, so you can find funding for all of your certified school expenses.

With that said, it’s always best to compare a few lenders before committing. All lenders evaluate income and credit score differently, so it’s possible that another lender could give you lower interest rates or more favorable terms.

The bottom line

Sallie Mae may be a good choice if you’re in the market for private student loans and other financial products. Just be sure to do your research upfront, as you should before you take out any form of financing. Comparing multiple offers always gives you the best chance of saving money.

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Tips to do some fall cleaning on your finances

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Wealth manager, Harry Abrahamsen, has five simple ways to stay on top of the big financial picture.

PORTLAND, Maine — Keeping track of our financial stability is something we can all do, whether we have IRAs or 401ks or just a checking account. Harry J. Abrahamsen is the Founder of Abrahamsen Financial Group. He works with clients to create and grow their own wealth. Abrahamsen shares five financial tips, starting with knowing what you have. 

1. Analyze Your Finances Quarterly or Biannually

You want to make sure that your long-term strategy is congruent with your short-term strategy. If the short-term is not working out, you may need to adjust what you are doing to make sure your outcome produces the desired results you are looking to accomplish. It is just like setting sail on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. You know where you want to go and plot your course, but there are many factors that need to be considered to actually get you across and across safely. Your finances behave the exact same way. Check your current situation and make sure you are taking into consideration all of the various wealth-eroding factors that can take you completely off course.

With interest rates very low, now might be a good time to consider refinancing student loans or mortgages, or consolidating credit card debt. However, do so only if you need to or if you can create a positive cash flow. To ensure that you are saving the most by doing so, you must look at current payments, excluding taxes and insurance costs. This way you can do an apples-to-apples comparison.

The most important things to look for when reviewing your credit report is accuracy. Make sure the reporting agencies are reporting things actuary. If it doesn’t appear to be reporting correct and accurate information, you should consult with a reputable credit repair company to help you fix the incorrect information.

4. Savings and Retirement Accounts

The most important thing to consider when reviewing your savings and retirement accounts is to make sure the strategies match your short-term and long-term investment objectives. All too often people end up making decisions one at a time, at different times in their lives, with different people, under different circumstances. Having a sound strategy in place will allow you to view your finances with a macro-economic lens vs a micro-economic view. Stay the course and adjust accordingly from a risk and tax standpoint.

RELATED: Financial lessons learned through the pandemic

A great tip for lowering utility bills or car insurance premiums: Simply ask! There may be things you are not aware of that could save you hundreds of dollars every month. You just need to call all of the companies that you do business with to find out about cost-cutting strategies. 

RELATED: Overcome your fear of finances

To learn more about Abrahamsen Financial, click here

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How to Get a Loan Even with Bad Credit

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Sana pwedeng mabura ang bad credit history as quickly and easily as paying off your utility bills, ‘no? Unfortunately, it takes time. And bago mo pa maayos ang bad credit mo, more often than not, kailangan mo na namang mag-avail ng panibagong loan. 

Good thing you can still get a loan even with bad credit, kahit na medyo limited ang options. How do you get a loan if you have bad credit? Alamin sa short guide na ito. 

For more finance tips, visit Moneymax.

 

 

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