This Student loan organization is relatively smaller than most others in the student loan industry. With help from lender partnerships, iHelp became the middleman in helping match student loan borrowers with the smaller and community banks. Community banks focus on one local, geographical area, and are more than happy to help customers manage student loans. This also means that with the partnership of iHelp Student Loan Consolidation Programs, more community banks have the opportunity to merge into the student loan refinance market. The ultimate goal of iHelp is to create a large platform of lenders, especially those with great interest rates and excellent customer service.
iHelp Student Loan Consolidation Basics
iHelp has two different rates available for borrowers dependant on whether or not a cosigner is used. If a cosigner is used than the loan consolidation rate could be at 6.00% APR, or 6.22%APR. Without a viable cosigner, rates are going to start higher, usually around 7.00% APR, or 7.21% APR. These are all fixed rates; they will not change over the life of the student loan consolidation.
iHelp has some specific criteria for disbursing their loans. Unlike other lenders, iHelp does charge its borrowers a supplemental fee, typically at 2% on top of the loan balance.
Also, iHelp has an ‘approved school list’ and although very large, it is limited to certain states. Those states that can work with iHelp are: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. As said above, iHelp’s community bank partners focus on a narrow list of geographical regions.
To use iHelp as a student consolidation loan plan, borrowers must be creditworthy. The qualifying eligibility list is as follows (and additional criteria can apply):
- Has not had open collections or charge offs in the past 2 years.
- Does not have bankruptcies, foreclosures or repossessions during the past 5 years.
- Has not defaulted on a federal or private student loan.
- Meets the minimum credit score. Has at least 2 years of credit history.
- The borrower or cosigner must have an annual income of $24,000 or greater for the past 2 years to qualify for the iHelp Consolidation Fixed Rate Program.
- Does not exceed the debt to income threshold of 45%.
The Benefits of iHelp Student Loan Consolidation
More student loan consolidation companies are catching on to the cosigner release benefit, and iHelp is one of them. After making all 24 monthly payments on time, you have the ability to remove the cosigner. The borrower still must maintain good credit requirements in order to qualify for the cosigner release.
iHelp offers three different repayment options. There is the standard payment and then there are the interest only payments, where the borrower has the option to pay only on the interest for 24 months. For borrowers only looking to temporarily lower their monthly payment, this helps. The next repayment option is a graduated repayment. The borrower makes interest only payments for a set amount of time, then gradually the payment amount increases until the borrower is able to make the full payment of principal and interest.
iHelp also offers forbearance options, if something was to happen and you couldn’t pay, they will delay your monthly payments thru forbearance.
The Downside of iHelp Student Loan Consolidation
If you are a creditworthy and qualified applicant for student loan refinance, then it is better to shop for lenders who offer lower interest rates than iHelp.
As well, iHelp’s supplemental fee charge is expensive. The supplemental fee is currently 2% of the borrowers loan balance. Factor in the costs of this fee and the interest rates, and see if this is the loan consolidation program for your student loans.
The iHelp Student Loan Consolidation program is a viable choice for those borrowers who:
- Want to consolidate student loans
- Are interested in cosigner release
- Want interest only payment plans
- Want a community bank lender.
Summary of iHelp Student Loan Consolidation Program
- Student loan consolidation rates start at 6.00%, or 6.22% APR
- 15 year term length
- Only fixed rate options
- Cosigner release is available after 24 months
- Interest only payments are available for 24 months
- Graduated payments available
- Community bank lenders
- School must be on accepted school list
Go to https://www.paymystudentloans.com/student-loan-consolidation/ for a list of student loan consolidation companies in 2015.