iHELP is an agency established to help students seek private loans for higher studies. It is an initiative administered by the Student Loan Finance Corporation (SLFC) and sponsored by Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA).
It offers a helping hand to all those students who want money to bridge the gap between the cost of education and other scholarships and grants. It supports federal as well as private student loans. It pairs up students with community banks so that you can fund your education easily.
iHELP promises lowest interest rates possible and a convenient online application. Some of the qualities of the program are:
- No origination fees
- No payments required when still in school
- Multiple payment plans
- Easy to use checklist and search tool for planning for college
- Release of cosigner after 24 consecutive months of on time payments
It seems that this company has several attractive features that is sure to ease most of your worries. Let us look at the pros and cons of making iHELP your student loan adviser.
Pros of using iHELP
- Low Interest Rates – The first thing that any borrower looks at is the interest rate. iHELP assures a fixed rate of 4.65% to 8.84% APR and a variable rate of 3.58% to 9.47% APR. Borrowers can choose a 10 to 15-year repayment period for fixed rate loans and a 20-year term for variable rates.
- Partial Payment Option –iHELP allows forbearance or partial payment of loans for all those who qualify. Moreover, it has a 0.30% interest rate reduction for those who have qualified for the LIBOR + 8.50% interest rate, once the borrower enters repayment.
- Three Repayment Options – Students can choose any one out of the three repayment options namely deferred payments, interest only payments and principle + interest payments, while the borrower is attending school at least half time.
- Access to More than 5000 Banks – iHELP has a nationwide reach that connects students to more than 5000 lending institutions and banks. This ensures that you find the money you want and can fulfill your dream of higher studies.
- Excellent customer support – All questions about your loan are answered by an iHelp account manager. Your calls are directed to loan officials who have access to your account. They look in to all individual queries and provide an answer promptly.
Cons of using iHELP
- Requires Excellent Credit–The minimum credit score required to apply for student loans through iHELP is 650. The higher your credit, the brighter are your chances to be qualified for a loan. However, those with less than perfect credit can find it challenging to be eligible for student loan.
- Credit History also Considered – The student or the co-signer should provide a minimum of 3 years of positive credit ratings. This means, you should not have had bankruptcies, foreclosures or repossessions during the past 7 years. Also, the borrower or the co-signer should not have defaulted a previous student loan.
- Debt to Income Ratio – In addition to the credit rating, iHELP requires the borrower to have a debt-to-income ratio of less than 45%. Also, the applicants or co-signers should have a yearly income of $24,000 or more for two consecutive years.
- Longer Loan Tenure – If you compare the loan tenure of other lenders, you will realize that most of the lenders offer loans for a 5-year term, however with iHELP the minimum loan period is 10 years. This means you will be liable to pay more interest throughout your loan period.
- Supplemental Fee Applicable – Although there is no application fee and no origination fee, iHELP charges 2% on the loan amount towards supplemental fee at the time of disbursement. Also, it does not offer any rate reduction even if you enroll for automatic payments.
One of the best features of iHELP is that it connects you to various lenders so that you can compare interest rates yourself. It assists borrowers in filling up a pre-approval form to see if they qualify and tells them the approximate interest rate charged based on their credit history.
iHELP is one among various lenders that assists in student loan programs. All lenders have their own terms and conditions and looking at iHELP’s pros and cons it is evident that they can be an excellent choice for those looking for loan assistance.