Student Loans Tips, Info & FAQs
A loan designed to help students pay for post-secondary education expenses
Looking to invest in your future? United Texas provides affordable higher education financing and refinancing of existing loans for students and recent graduates through LendKey, a credit union managed network.
Thinking about online college classes? Here are three things to consider.
1. The money you’ll spend
You might think online = cheaper, but it’s actually not that simple. How much you’ll spend for college varies greatly from program to program. In general, courses from colleges that have physical campuses tend to run about the same in price, online or off. Online only universities may be a little cheaper. However, more dramatic differences in cost are usually determined by whether you are considering in-state programs or community college.
Online classes are a really good fit if you have a full-time job or childcare responsibilities since you can work them around your schedule. Some colleges offer late classes as well, but not to the same degree of flexibility. On the other hand, some also find it more difficult to stay on task with their work in an online environment than they would in a traditional classroom.
3. The school’s reputation
This is one of the most important factors to consider, as it can affect your ability to get a job. Always look up an online university’s reputation before you sign up for classes. Some receive rave reviews, whereas others are not even technically universities. This is why it’s important to do your research beforehand.
From our Blog
Am I eligible for a student loan from United Texas?
To be eligible, you must become a credit union member during the application process. You must also meet the following criteria:
- US citizen or permanent resident
- Enrolled at least half-time in an eligible school
- Meet minimum credit requirements
What are private student loans?
Private student loans are credit-based loans for college that are used to pay for qualified educational expenses including tuition, room and board, books, and other school related expenses. A private student loan serves as a way for students to fill the funding gap between the cost of attending school and the amount of federal loans, grants, and scholarships available to them.
What is the difference between federal and private student loans?
Federal student loans are available through the US Department of Education and offer fixed interest rates. Private student loans are credit-based loans, feature fixed and variable interest rates, and are available through credit unions or banks.
How do I know if I'm eligible for financial aid?
Eligibility for federal, state and university funded financial aid is determined by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). All students are strongly encouraged to apply for federal aid by completing the FAFSA, which can be obtained online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
Do I need to complete the FAFSA in order to qualify for private student loans?
No. However, we encourage you to complete the FAFSA each year to ensure that you take full advantage of grants and other federal aid you may be eligible to receive. Private student loans are a way for you to fill the funding gap between the cost of attending school and the amount of federal loans, grants, and scholarships available to you.
What is the importance of a cosigner?
Applying with a creditworthy cosigner not only increases your chance of approval, but also may lead to a lower loan rate.
What are some tips to keep in mind?
When applying for a student loan, remember to:
- Exhaust all federal loans before moving on to private loans
- Get started on your application early
- Only request the amount you need for the current academic period
What is the difference between consolidation and refinancing?
When you consolidate student loans, you’re combining multiple loans together into one single loan, with one payment. You’re still paying the same total amount and same total interest. You now just have one loan instead of multiple loans.
When you refinance student loans you basically consolidate them into a single loan with a new interest rate, new terms, and monthly payment amount. The lender will evaluate you and your creditworthy cosigner’s (if applicable) financial information to offer you a new low and a lower rate.
Can I refinance my federal and private student loans together?
If you want to combine your Federal and private student loans together, you have to do it through a private lender. The Federal Direct Consolidation Loan program does not consolidate private loans into Federal loans. However, many lenders in our network do allow you to combine your private and federal loans into one payment.
Does it matter if I graduated and where I attended school?
You must have completed an associates, undergraduate, graduate or doctorate degree from a Title IV eligible school to be eligible for student loan refinancing.
What is the difference between interest rate and APR?
The interest rate is simply the percentage of the loan amount that is charged for borrowing money. The APR reflects not only the interest rate, but also any other fees charged by the lender. The APR represents the total cost of borrowing and for that reason is usually higher than the interest rate.
What does the Student Loan Interest Freeze Mean?
On Friday, March 13, President Donald Trump announced he would freeze student loan interest. This action is part of a package of emergency executive actions designed to mitigate the economic fallout as a result of the Corona virus outbreak. The unprecedented move will provide relief to the 42 million-plus Americans who owe over $1.5 trillion in federal student loans.
Since this announcement, there has been much confusion about what this freeze actually means for student loan borrowers. To reduce confusion, United Texas Credit Union has answered some common questions about the freeze.
What does a student loan interest freeze mean?
With the president’s student loan freeze in effect, no further interest will accrue on certain federal student loans until further notice. Borrowers will only be responsible for paying the principal payments due on the loan for as long as the freeze is in effect.
Which loans are frozen?
The interest freeze only applies to student loans that the U.S. Department of Education and its contracted student loan servicers hold. Loans issued by private borrowers are not subject to the freeze (unless indicated by the lender). In addition, some federally guaranteed student loans, including federal Perkins loans and FFEL program loans, may not be subject to the freeze if they are not held by a federal government agency.
How long will the freeze be in effect?
As part of the administration’s relief efforts during the Corona virus outbreak, the freeze is temporary. The administration will implement the freeze automatically and continue it until the policy changes. The administration has not announced an end date for the freeze end.
Does the freeze include any student loan payment relief?
The freeze does not include any student loan payment relief. College graduates who are paying off their student loans must continue to make their monthly payments as usual. The move only affects the interest on qualifying federal student loans going forward.
How does the freeze affect borrowers who have already accrued a significant amount of outstanding interest?
Payments made during the freeze will apply to loan principal only after borrowers pay all outstanding, non-capitalized interest.
If the borrower has defaulted on their loan, the “forced collections” implemented in case of default will continue as usual. This includes the borrowers being subject to wage garnishment, offset of Social Security payments and automatic confiscation of federal and state tax refunds.
Trump’s interest rate freeze will halt balance growth and reduce the cost of repayment for some borrowers; however, it will not provide direct student loan relief for borrowers who are struggling to meet their loan payments due to lost income because of the Corona virus outbreak.
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Student Loans Rates & Calculator
Information and interactive calculators are made available to you as self-help tools for your independent use. We cannot and do not guarantee their accuracy or their applicability to your circumstances. We encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding all personal finance issues.
|Fixed Rate Private Student Loan||as low as 4.89% APR*|
|Variable Rate Private Student Loan||as low as 5.21% APR*|
|Fixed Rate Student Loan Refinance||as low as 4.49% APR*|
|Variable Rate Student Loan Refinance||as low as 4.38% APR*|
*APR means Annual Percentage Rate. Rates are effective as of January 15, 2023. The specific rate and term will be dependent upon your credit rating, collateral value, amount financed, and other factors. Rates and terms are subject to change without prior notice; other restrictions may apply. Student loans serviced by LendKey Technologies, Inc., NMLS #1266627.
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Student Loans Why United Texas
- No origination fees or prepayment penalties
- 0.25% interest rate reduction with automatic payments
- Cosigner release available
- All loans funded by community lenders like not-for-profit credit unions and community banks
- Competitive rates
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Student Loans How it Works
How it Works
Click the red “Apply with LendKey” button to access LendKey.
Choose the appropriate option for your needs: Apply for a new loan or refinance your existing loan(s).
Follow their process to source your loan locally and reliably.
Related Products & Services
* Private student loans should be used as supplemental funding after exhausting all other sources of financial aid, including grants, scholarships, and federal student loans. Federal loans offer more attractive terms when compared to most other borrowing options, including private student loans. For more information on federal loans, visit https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa.
Great Lakes will service all existing federal student loans closed prior to July 1, 2010.