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Best Credit Repair Company Services to Use in 2021 [Review]

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Let’s face it. Your credit score affects your life in so many ways. You can’t apply for a loan, finance a property, rent a home or do almost anything with a low or poor credit score. A low credit score eats into your finances, where you will be forced to pay thousands of dollars on the mortgage, car insurance, and loan repayment. On the other hand, a bad credit score can even prevent you from securing formal employment.

The good news is that there are many ways you can rectify this situation and restore your credit score and trust. With the help of a reputable credit repair company, you can improve your credit score by topping up the deficit by a hundred points.

All credit repair agencies claim that they can successfully help you repair your bad credit score and boost it with hundreds of points. However, not all of these agencies strive to walk the talk. While some are legit and can help you repair your bad credit ratings at a competitive fee, others don’t live up to that expectation.

So which one is the best credit repair services company and which one should you go for? We researched, tested, and approved the following online credit score repair services, and below are our findings that informed our rankings.

Top Credit Repair Services And Companies To Work With In 2021

After testing and analyzing several credit repair services, we found the best options available regarding customer experience, terms of services, and fees. So assuming that you have an average income with an equally average credit score seeking to boost it, we hope this list of our best credit repair services will help you make the right choice when looking to improve your credit score. Our list of 14 best credit repair services include:

  • Credit Saint
  • Credit Sesame
  • CreditRepair.com
  • Credit Karma
  • CuraDebt
  • Credit Monkey
  • FreeScore360
  • The Credit People
  • The Credit Watcher
  • Sky Blue Credit
  • Leap Credit
  • Lexington Law
  • MyFICO
  • TransUnion

That said, let’s dive into the top credit score repairing companies that have carved a name for themselves and which you can run to for genuine and legitimate help.

Credit Saint

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Credit Saint helps restore your credit score by expertly challenging any inaccuracies in your credit data. One good thing about this company is that it offers an upfront free consultation to see how it works and the many ways they can help you. It’s also one of the few credit repair companies that offer a 90-day money-back guarantee. This ensures that you get a full refund if you were not satisfied with the company’s services, how they conduct business, or the outcome of the credit score ratings.

Additionally, Credit Saint also offers a unique private dashboard for each of its online customers. It has informative and productive materials and provides users with a great online customer experience. Credit Saint not only provides fast, easy to access, and effective services that help you restore your bad credit score, but it also offers multiple free services such as free credit analysis and evaluation.

Sky Blue Credit

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Sky Blue Credit offers credit repair services at $79 per month, complete with a six-day free trial. The purchase also comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee, which is not common with other credit repair companies.

Sky Blue Credit is one of the oldest credit repair service providers, having been in the business since 1989. Another good thing about Sky Blue Credit is that it can identify and evaluate credit issues that other companies tend to overlook, guaranteeing you will receive a better score improvement than if you worked with similar service providers.

Sky Blue Credit offers professional analysis, timely dispute resolution (a minimum of 15 items every 35 days), and custom disputes tailored to your circumstances. The company conducts state law research for every debt collection issue, among other perks. Sky Blue Credit is one of our top-ranked credit repair companies on this list with a meticulous approach to credit challenges and actionable improvements in credit score.

Lexington Law

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Lexington Law offers effective credit repair services online at LexingtonLaw.com. As the name suggests, the company’s credit repair processes are backed by a professional law firm. However, good credit repair doesn’t happen overnight and requires time, effort, and legal input. That’s what makes Lexington Law stand out by offering this expertise to enable you to repair your credit score.

To achieve this, the credit repair company begins by researching and analyzing your credit report. The company then examines and reviews your credit report and decides which negative items falsely affect your credit score. From there, the company will challenge and dispute each item, pushing the bureaus and your creditors to review each negative item and confirm if they are accurate and fair. If they cannot verify this information, they will need to remove them from your records and score legally.

Finally, Lexington Law takes over the management and monitoring of your credit score over a specific period, addressing and handling any new issues as they come up on your report.

Having been in the business since 2004, Lexington Law is one of the most professional and experienced credit repair websites. Since then, the company has handled more than 70 million credit repair cases and removed them from customers’ credit reports. With almost two decades of offering credit score repair for customers, Lexington Law remains one of the best options available.

CreditRepair.Com

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CreditRepair.com is a credit repair service that offers several free incentives that other companies offering similar services don’t. These include a credit score and summary, a credit improvement plan, and a negative item review – all provided free of charge.

That’s something you won’t receive from other credit repair service providers on this list. After receiving all of these free services for free, you can then sign up for CreditRepair.com’s complete credit repair services.

CreditRepair.com works in the same way other top-ranking service providers on this list do. The company begins by analyzing your credit report to identify any inaccurate entries, then challenges the lenders and bureaus to review those entries. Legally, bureaus are required to correct and remove any false entries they cannot verify and approve. With this approach, CreditRepair.com significantly improves the client’s credit score.

Since its inception in 2012, CreditRepair.com has challenged and successfully removed over 1.8 million incorrect credit items. The website has further handled over 19 million challenges and disputes. The company also conducted more than a million interventions in 2019 alone.

This is why CreditRepair.com remains one of the best and top-rated credit repair services. Finally, it’s one of the few select companies that offer flexible pricing options and affordable plans depending on how you wish to increase your credit score.

TransUnion

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TransUnion is one of three leading credit repair services in the United States. The others are Experian and Equifax. TransUnion focuses primarily on credit repair and credit protection services. The company can help you improve your credit score through tracking as well as through subscription services.

TransUnion provides several tools to assist in repairing your credit score. When you subscribe to TransUnion’s $25 per month subscription services, you access tools like CreditCompass and Credit Lock Plus. CreditCompass offers recommendations that point your credit score in the right direction. At the same time, Credit Lock Plus allows you to protect your TransUnion data and any further damage in case your personal information is compromised.

Another notable TransUnion’s offering is its ID theft insurance. You may receive up to $1 million of identity theft insurance when you subscribe to credit repair services. If someone illegally uses your details and you lose money, you will be compensated by TransUnion. Additionally, TransUnion provides multiple tools to assist you repair and manage your credit score with free ID protection and other benefits.

Credit Sesame

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Credit Sesame has an effective mobile app that allows you to access and leverage your credit score. The Credit Sesame mobile app is available for Android and iOS users, making it easy and flexible to manage and repair your credit score any time anywhere.

Credit Sesame’s mobile app is centered on the personal credit management (PCM) platform from which you can observe all issues related to your credit. You can access your credit score, analyze your credit report free of charge at any time, and receive helpful insights into what your credit score entails.

The good thing with Credit Sesame is that it’s offered for free. While some of the top leading providers charge an access fee to handle your credit report, Credit Sesame provides the same for free. The company offers customized services depending on your existing credit, allowing you to leverage your credit for different opportunities. If you utilize those opportunities, Credit Sesame will receive a commission. Otherwise, you can download and use the app free of charge.

Credit Karma

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Credit Karma is a well-known credit repair service that offers a wide range of credit repair services and similar products. The company has a free mobile app to download and join over 100 million users of credit Karma for financial growth.

The good thing about Credit Karma is that just like Credit Sesame, its services are offered for free. The company provides you with free insights into your credit score as well as a free credit report. They then provide you the opportunity to enlist their complete credit repair services based on that information.

Credit Karma offers accounts, loans, credit cards, mortgages, savings, and auto financing. However, it’s not a mandatory requirement for you to take advantage of any of these offerings. You can only do so if you want, and you can use their app for free.

Ideally, the best credit repair services are those that you can manage yourself. With Credit Karma, you can easily manage and monitor your credit score so that you can avoid the penalties of any mistaken entries.

The Credit Watcher

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The Credit Watcher gives you instant access to your three credit scores from the three different top bureaus. You also receive instant, safe, and verified online delivery of your three credit reports upon registration. From there, you’ll be presented with daily credit scores and credit reports.

The Credit Watcher, just like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame, offers better monitoring and reporting services since it doesn’t offer comprehensive credit repair services. However, the company can give you access to the correct information about your credit score and reports, so you can track your progress and credit improvements over time and avoid any inaccurate entries.

The only downside of The Credit Watcher is their pricing of $39.90 per month, although the company offers information on free credit monitoring services highlighted above.

The Credit Watcher doesn’t offer personalized credit services like Credit Sesame or Credit Karma, but you pay a premium to safeguard your details.

Credit Monkey

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Credit Monkey prices its services between $99 to $499 per month. Credit Monkey is available in about 50 states in the United States and is reputable for its exceptional services to improve the overall credit score of its members through legal removal of erroneous entries.

Credit Monkey reports that about 89% of credit reports usually include errors or serious mistakes that most bureaus cannot prove. These errors can range from simple inquiries to charge-offs, collections issues, bankruptcies, and late payments, all of which can significantly affect your credit ratings and score.

Credit Monkey offers six various plans to its members. The amount you pay determines the number of entries you can remove from your credit report. They have a basic $99 per month plan, which allows you to remove up to five negative or erroneous items from your credit record. Their highest plan is $499 per month, which comes with five active credit cards, inquiries, a $10,000 credit line, and the removal of an unlimited number of negative records, incorrect items, and other perks.

MyFICO

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As an official branch of FICO, an analytical company that helps consumers track their credit history using data from three notable bureaus. MyFICO offers two different subscription services going for $29.95 and $39.95 per month, respectively. Whether you subscribe to advanced or premier services, you’ll be able to monitor your credit score from time to time and check for any erroneous entries.

Generally, MyFICO packages its credit repair and tracking services as one complete package and offers credit data from three separate bureaus. Since your lenders will be using your FICO score, you should ensure you understand what and how your FICO score works. MyFICO makes it easy to track the crucial metrics and improve your credit score, mainly since about 90% of the leading lenders use FICO scores to calculate rates.

By subscribing to MyFICO services, you get coverage from three bureaus and compensation of 1million dollars in case of identity theft. MyFICO can restore your identity within 24 hours if your details are stolen and provide round-the-clock credit score and credit report monitoring.

CuraDebt

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CuraDebt specializes in providing debt relief services in the United States and has been in operation since 2000. Since then, the company has offered debt solutions and relief for credit cards, tax debt, medical bills, and similar unsecured debts.

CuraDebt also provides a free savings estimate that enables you to determine how much you can save before seeking debt relief from the company. CuraDebt has over 200,000 clients and offers real-time debt solutions and timely financial comfort. One sure way to boost your credit score is by reducing your debts, and a debt solutions company like CuraDebt can help fill that gap by helping you reduce the money you owe and significantly improving your credit score.

FreeScore360

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With a monthly subscription fee of 29.95 per month, a 7-day trial, FreeScore360 provides you with credit scores from three major bureaus. After the one-week trial, you’ll be required to pay the monthly subscription fee to access credit monitoring, tracking, and reporting services.

The monthly subscription is charged each month unless you unsubscribe from their services. The monthly subscription fee comes with free access to ScoreSense, FreeScore360’s system that includes credit monitoring and alerts. The subscription also gives you access to an interactive center to gain all the valuable insights you need to know about your credit score and how it works.

Generally, FreeScore360 offers the same credit monitoring and reporting services as other top credit repair services highlighted in this list, although it is not as reputable as other top-ranked providers. However, it’s an affordable option for those who need to check their credit score from time to time and receive daily alerts of their improvement.

The Credit People

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The Credit People reports that customers who use their program will boost their credit score by 53 to 187 points. The company also records strong reviews online from major review websites, including Consumer Affairs.

So far, The Credit People has successfully initiated the removal of over 1.4 million negative credit issues for its clients. The company further reports that over 78% of its clients received approval for auto loans, 71% got approved for home loans, and about 81% were approved for new credit after using their services.

The Credit people operate online at TheCreditPeople.com and offer instant access to at least three credit reports and credit scores. You also receive guaranteed results in less than 60 days and a significant improvement in your credit score.

The Credit People has been in operation for the past 15 years and offers credit repair services at only $19 per month. The credit repair services company offers credit tracking, monitoring, and more.

Leap Credit

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Last but not least, Leap Credit is the only credit repair service that offers credit solutions to people with various credit levels to access financial solutions as quickly as possible. Leap Credit offers easy application procedures, instant approval, and other benefits.

The only requirements are that you must be a US citizen aged 18 and above, have a verifiable source of income, and open a transactional account to access instant loans with Leap Credit. If you qualify, the money will be deposited in your account within two business days.

What It Takes To Rank Top Credit Repair Services

All credit repair companies affirm that they use proven and reputable techniques to improve your credit score. However, not all of these companies fulfill their claims. To separate the tares from the wheat, here’s how we ranked the above top companies in our list:

Overall Credit Score Improvement

You enlist the services of a credit repair company because you want to improve your credit score. When comparing credit score companies, we looked at the average number of points they used to improve credit scores. Our best picks can improve your credit score by at least 100 points.

Pricing And Value

Some people can spend thousands of dollars on improving their credit scores. However, not everyone can afford this, and most people opt for lower pricing options. In our ranking, we considered the pricing options versus value-added in each of the above services.

Honesty And Transparency

Some credit repair companies give customers high expectations that they cannot live up to. They can promise to improve your credit score by hundreds of points in a few weeks, and yet only a few companies can live up to that. We selected credit repair companies whose claims were realistic and practical.

Credit Score Estimates

The best credit repair companies can maintain and track the average number of points to improve customers’ credit scores. For example, TheCreditPeople.com estimates its credit score increase at 53 to 187 points. They base their estimates on average increases from past customers.

Monitoring Services

Some credit companies claim they do reliable round-the-clock monitoring. Others use specific techniques to repair clients’ credit scores. If you don’t know anything about credit repair services, you may not know how these companies operate. We selected credit companies with tangible credit repair services instead of just credit monitoring.

Credit Repair Strategies

Most credit repair services work by analyzing credit data in your reports and challenging inaccurate entries. This is a simple job that only requires contacting the three notable credit bureaus. However, the best credit repair companies go beyond merely eliminating mistakes and harmful data from your credit report. They challenge credit bureaus to verify and prove each item on your credit report failure to which they can compel them to do so using legal means.

Customer Satisfaction Refund Policy

It is rare for credit repair companies to guarantee they will improve your credit score. However, the best credit repair companies support their claims with satisfaction and money-back guarantees. For example, Credit Saint offers a 90-day money-back guarantee to clients who may be dissatisfied with their services or results.

UserInterface And Convenience

Some credit repair companies provide a seamless user dashboard that helps you manage and monitor your credit score. Our rankings focused on overall customer service and experience and preferred companies that included better customer experience in their credit repair offerings.

Experience And Reputation

We looked at credit repair services with at least seven years of service. For example, Lexington Law has almost two decades of experience offering credit repair services and improving scores online. We gave special considerations to such companies instead of startups and those less than seven years old.

Why You Need To Have a Stellar Credit Score

If you have a good credit score, it would be easier to get a mortgage or rent a home. It also increases your chances of securing employment. A good credit score can save you a lot of money on auto or home insurance. And yes, you can get a good partner if your credit score reads well. Here are the benefits of a good credit score.

It Can Influence Your Life Partner

According to a 2018 Market Watch survey, 58 percent of Americans assert that they would be very adamant about marrying someone deep in debt. Most participants in the survey indicated that they would go as far as checking on potential mates’ credit scores before taking the relationship to the next level! A tainted credit score is a huge red flag, one that can block you from marrying the love of your life even if everything else seems okay. Do not let a tainted credit ruin your love life.

It Makes It Easy To Purchase Cheaper Car Insurance

The average cost of car insurance in America is $139.50 per month or $1,674 per annum. This figure shoots up to well over $2,100 per annum for individuals with bad credit. Insurance companies in all the states, except California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts, can refer to your credit score when determining your premium. This is because drivers with poor credit scores tend to be riskier to do business with, hence the justification for higher premiums. You will save thousands of dollars in car insurance by improving your credit score.

Qualify For Better Credit Cards With Higher Limits

You will qualify for credit cards with higher limits and lower interest rates when improving your credit score. This is because a good credit score is indicative that you are good at repaying your loans. And this means that lenders will be more than willing to do business with you. Thus, instead of a credit card with, say, a $2,500 limit, you will qualify for one with a $25,000 annual limit with several attractive perks and incentives. For instance, some top credit card companies often provide up to 4% cashback on expenses like gas and groceries to clients with good credit scores.

Qualify For Cheaper Mortgage Rates And Faster Approval

Let’s face it, getting a mortgage can be difficult. And it does not get any easier for folks with tainted credit scores. And even if they get a mortgage, they often serve it at a significantly higher rate than folks with stellar credit scores. The result is always a higher total cost on their mortgage. Improving your credit score by at least 20 to 50 points can significantly reduce your mortgage cost and save you thousands.

Have An Easy Time Getting a Rental Approval

If you are renting, then chances are your credit score is getting checked regularly. Most landlords and property management companies ask for credit reports from potential tenants before letting out their properties to them. Finding a safe and affordable place to rent can be a nightmare if your credit score is tainted. Most landlords will prefer tenants with better credit scores to those with bad ones with all factors constant.

Have the upper hand During Negotiations

A bad credit score strips you of any negotiating powers. You will have no choice but accept the lender’s rates. You cannot bargain with them because they understand your options are limited. A lower negotiating power can impact pretty much all your financial decisions. You can overcome all these and strengthen your negotiating ability by improving your credit score.

Qualify For Better Cell Phone Plan

Cell phone operators tend to favor subscribers with stellar credit scores with better contracts. Most often, these contracts do not require security deposits. The result is a better cell phone plan than you would ordinarily get. On the other hand, subscribers with poor credit scores are often compelled to purchase prepaid phones or opt for pay-as-you-go plans that come with very high rates.

No Need For Security Deposit On Your Utilities

Folks with bad or no credit at all are always compelled to pay security deposits on utilities. This is because utility companies anticipate that they are likely to struggle with payments, hence needing a security deposit to take care of late payments. Depending on the utility in question, the security deposit can be $100 to $300. You can avoid the hassle of security deposits by strengthening your credit score.

Get Cheaper Homeowners Insurance Plans

A typical homeowner’s insurance costs around $1,312 per year. However, this amount can double if you have bad credit. Again, the reason for this is simple: people with bad credit scores are riskier to do business with. Insurance companies believe you have a greater risk of a missing payment or committing insurance fraud, so that they will set a higher premium for you.

Walk With Your Head Held High

Oh, yes. A good credit score is proof that you are a responsible human being. It is a testament to the people around you that you are in control of your financial future. An excellent credit score equals higher bragging rights. Even if you do not go around announcing your credit score, an excellent credit score will give you greater peace of mind, and with this, higher confidence levels.

FAQs About Credit Repair Companies

Most people are not informed about credit repair services. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about credit repair services, credit scores, and credit reports.

Q: What is credit?

A: Credit is receiving money, goods, or services with a written agreement to pay for it later with extra interest.

Q: What is a credit score?

A: A credit score is any rating number between 300 and 850. It shows your trustworthiness as a borrower based on the debts you borrowed and repaid in the past.

Q: How does my credit score help lenders?

A: Lenders first check your credit score to estimate if you are eligible to borrow or a risk. If your credit score is low or you are a repeat defaulter, the lender may charge you higher rates—the lower the credit score, the higher the rates, and vice versa.

Q: How do you define a good credit score?

A: Credit experts place an excellent score at 670 and above.

Q: And what is a bad credit score?

A: Anything less than 670

Q: How does my credit score get lowered?

A: Late payments, bankruptcies, multiple credit accounts, foreclosures, and several negative items in your credit report.

Q: How long do items stay on my credit report?

A: Items can stay for as long as seven or ten years, but it depends on the credit bureau. However, bankruptcies and late payments can hurt your credit score.

Q: Why do I have several credit scores?

A: Generally, you have three credit scores from three notable credit bureaus. These bureaus use different tools to track your credit score, although they’ll have almost a similar rating.

Q: What’s the lowest credit score?

A: 300, and it’s also the worst possible credit score.

Q: What’s the highest credit score?

A: 850. It’s the best possible credit score.

Q: Who Is responsible for tracking my credit score?

A: Your credit score is tracked by three leading bureaus in the US, namely Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Q: How is my credit score checked?

A: The concerned person (e.g., lender, employer, or bank) will contact the three main bureaus to check your credit score.

Q: What is a credit bureau?

A: This is a private company that tracks every individual’s worthiness as a borrower. They follow total credits used and other factors to determine if you are worthy of lending or borrowing.

Q: Is there a difference between a credit report and a credit score?

A: A credit score is your ratings showing your worthiness as a borrower, while a credit report is a comprehensive list highlighting the items that affect your credit score.

Q: How do you describe a FICO score?

A: Your FICO score is also a three-digit number developed by FICO, a private company that aggregates your credit score across all three bureaus. Most reputable lenders use FICO to assess the extent of your risk.

Q: How do you calculate a FICO score?

A: Your FICO score includes your payment history, which is usually 35%, the amounts you owe about 30%, the duration of credit history (15%), credit mix (10%), and new credit (10%).

Q: How can I get a good credit score?

A: Make timely payments, maintain a low credit balance, and avoid overborrowing.

Q: How is credit repaired?

A: By removing the erroneous entry from time to time.

Q: How do credit repair services work?

A: Credit repair companies work by checking your credit report for any negative entries they remove. They also challenge credit bureaus about the negative items in your account. Legally, leaders and bureaus must prove each item failure to which they must remove it.

Q: What are the contents of my credit report?

A: Account names, identifying details, credit limits, tradelines, inquiries, collections, credit history, public records, records on late payments, and your credit score are the contents of your credit report.

Q: Can a credit score impact my employment prospects?

A: Yes, credit scores affect your chances of getting a job. Employers are legally allowed to use your credit report to determine your eligibility for employment or promotion. The higher the score, the better.

Q: What is the minimum credit score for buying a home?

A: At least a minimum of 670 can help you qualify for homeownership.

Q: What is the required minimum score for buying a car?

A: To qualify for a car loan, your credit score should be at least 550.

Q: What is credit repair?

A: A credit repair entails removing or addressing negative items on the credit report to improve your credit score.

Q: Are credit repair services legitimate?

A: Yes, there are several legitimate and reputable service providers in the credit repair industry, some of whom are highlighted here.

Q: How long does it take to have my credit repaired?

A: It depends on your credit situation but can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

Q: How much do credit repair services cost?

A: The average cost of repairing your credit score can be between $0 to thousands of dollars, depending on the company and your credit situation. Otherwise, a law firm could charge a minimum of $1,000 to repair your credit, while most credit repair services offer pro bono services in exchange for promos and advertisements.

Q: Can I repair my credit by myself?

A: Yes, you need to contact credit bureaus or lenders, ask for your credit report, and request lenders to remove incorrect items.

Q: Can a student loan affect my credit score?

A: Yes, any loan, including student loans, can hurt your credit score. But if you make timely payments, it cannot affect your credit score.

Best Credit Repair Company Services to Use in 2021 Final Thoughts

Millions of Americans have negative items on their credit reports. A bad credit score negatively affects some of the most vital aspects of your life. Not only will it be harder for you to rent or own a home, but even buying insurance or seeking employment will be a challenge.

Having your credit score repaired is the first step to re-organizing your life and your financial future. The best credit repair companies employ proven strategies and tools to improve your credit score in different practical ways. That said, the above are some of the best credit repair companies you should consider using in 2021 and beyond.

Affiliate Disclosure:

The links contained in this product review may result in a small commission if you opt to purchase the product recommended at no additional cost to you. This goes towards supporting our research and editorial team and please know we only recommend high quality products.

Disclaimer:

Please understand that any advice or guidelines revealed here are not even remotely a substitute for sound medical advice from a licensed healthcare provider. Make sure to consult with a professional physician before making any purchasing decision if you use medications or have concerns following the review details shared above. Individual results may vary as the statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


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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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