How It Works
We use group buying power to negotiate with lenders to get you the best interest rates available. Think student loans, with a volume discount.
While we grow our group year round, our negotiations happen in the spring. From there, we send all of our members a special link to access the lender who offered us the lowest rates.
Step 1: Build a large group of students, graduates and families seeking loans.
Potential borrowers provide the following information when they join:
- Contact Information
- Education Information
- Financial Information
Specifically, we ask for the following optional financial information to assist with lender negotiations:
- Estimated credit score (we do not run any credit checks)
- Expected annual income (for many this is zero and that's fine)
- Co-signer status
- Estimated amount of loans needed
The information provided is not directly used for loan applications, but rather to inform lenders of the loan pool size and the general creditworthiness of our group. Finalized information will be required later through the selected lender’s application process.
Step 2: Ask lenders to compete for our member's business.
We evaluate each offer based on a range of factors, with a heavy emphasis on how much money each bid will save each of our members. We also evaluate non-financial features. Generally, these include:
- Interest Rate
- Fees (Application, Origination, Prepayment, You name it)
- Term Options (5 Year, 10 Year, etc.)
- Repayment Options
- Customer Service and Ease of Loan Application
- Death and Disability Policy
- Eligibility Criteria
- and a lot more.
Based on our evaluation, we select a single lender for a large group of members. We have found this approach works best as it prompts lenders to offer rates and terms that are better than anything available to our members in the market currently.
Step 3: Share the exclusive deal with members.
We inform our members about the negotiated deal via email and share a link through which members can take advantage of the negotiated rate.
We provide our members with a sophisticated and unbiased calculator that can help members decide which loan is best for them, i.e. the negotiated offer or any other offer they might come across. We also highlight the differences between the negotiated deal and federal loan options (for members who are U.S. Citizens and U.S. Permanent Residents).