Bank of America Student Loan Review
What is Bank of America?
Bank of America is the second largest bank in the United States. Though previously a student loan lender , Bank of America stopped offering private student loans in 2009.
For those looking for private student loans, there are many other options to consider. We recommend checking out our other lender reviews or visiting our compare lenders page to find the option that is right for you.
Alternative Options to a Bank of America Student Loan
Before you take out private student loans, it’s important to max out your federal student aid. The first step in doing this is filing the FAFSA®. The FAFSA is free and can be filed online. Filing the FAFSA is the only way to be eligible to receive federal student loans and grants. Once you file the FAFSA you will see what subsidized and unsubsidized loans, and well as grants you qualify for.
Once you’ve filed the FAFSA and determined your outstanding need, it’s a good time to look at private student loan lenders to help fill the financial gap. Here are some things to consider.
- Interest Rates: Private student loans come with competitive interest rates. For those with good credit, the rate may even be lower than that of federal student loans. Most lenders will offer the option of fixed or variable interest rates.
- Cosigner Options: Most students do not have the income or credit history to qualify for a private student loan on their own and may require a cosigner. A cosigner is someone who is equally responsible for your loan and is typically a parent, spouse, or close family member or friend. Many lenders offer cosigner release as an option, which allows the student to release the cosigner from responsibility for the loan after a series of consecutive on-time, monthly payments.
- Interest Rate Deductions: When comparing lenders, look for those that offer an interest rate deduction for enrollment in auto-pay. Many lenders offer a deduction of 0.25% for borrowers taking advantage of this benefit.
- Repayment Options: Private student loans will come with a variety of repayment options to choose from. These options typically range from 5 to 20 years, giving you the flexibility you need to manage your finances. Note, the longer you take to repay your loan, the more interest you will pay over the life of your loan.
- Customer Service: You will be dealing with your lender for a long time. Our lender reviews touch on the customer service of many national lenders and can help you choose the lender that is right for you. Look for features such as 24-hour customer service or online chat. Consider when and how you will want to reach your lender as you review your options.
What Do I Do With My Existing Bank of America Student Loans?
If you had a loan/s which was/were originally issued by Bank of America, they may or may not be the company which is servicing your student loan. Your student loan servicer, sometimes on behalf of your lender, will be the one to send you loan statements, and where you send your monthly payments. If you are unsure of who to contact with your student loans, there are a few ways to determine who your loan servicer is.
For federal loans previously serviced by Bank of America you can log into the Federal Student Aid website with your FSA ID to find your student loan servicer.
For private student loans previously held by Bank of America, you can find your current loan company by requesting a copy of your free annual credit report. On your credit report you will be able to see the names of your loan servicers and outstanding balances. This will come in handy if you’re looking to refinance your student loans.
Refinance Bank of America Student Loans
Regardless of who now services your loans, you may want to look into student loan refinancing which allows you to choose your preferred lender and combine all your student loans in one place. When you refinance, your new lender will pay off the outstanding balances of any loans you include (you may include both federal and private), resulting in one new loan with new terms.
Through this process you may be able to lower your interest rate and lower your monthly payments by increasing your repayment term. (Note: increasing your repayment term will increase the amount of interest you pay over the life of your loan).
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