Astute College Loans

Please Note: as of Fall, 2012, the following warning greets those seeking Astute loans:

Thank you for your visit. We are no longer offering private student loan products.
If you have a loan already in progress, we will continue processing your loan request as promised.
If you would like to check the status of your application, please click here or call 1-800-297-6403.

The rest of this page has been preserved as historic reference.

Quick and Last-Minute Loan Fixes

Many aspiring college students receive some very disappointing news when they find out how much federal financial aid they are awarded. The gap between the cost of tuition, books and housing, and amount awarded often leaves many scrambling to make up the difference.

Astute Student Loans provide a quick and easy alternative to lackluster federal loans.

The Funding Gap

"Agents" or lending institutions approved by the government, traditionally write student loans. The federal government guarantees these loans. Many factors figure into the government’s eligibility formula, including your family’s financial situation. The total cost of the school you want to attend is surprisingly not one of the factors. This rigid funding formula often leaves students and their families holding the bag and short a substantial amount of money.

How An Astute Student Loan Can Help

Astute Student Loans don’t adhere to the same formula as does the federal government.. Astute loans are unsecured, meaning that there is no collateral, and they’re not guaranteed by the government. Of course, that means you’ll have to be credit-worthy to get one, and you’ll most likely need a co-signer. However, the advantage of this type of loan is that you can borrow as much as your credit will allow, up to $40,000 per year, often eliminating the funding gap.

Easier Applications, Faster Approvals

Since the loan is credit based, you’ll have to fill out another application, but since these loans are made by a private agency, the paperwork is less cumbersome than the federal financial aid application. Applications can be made online or over the phone, typically in about 20 minutes. Preliminary approval is faster, with answers as fast as 15-20 minutes and the longest waiting time still beating the federal application process by weeks and sometimes even months.

Other Loans and Grants? No Problem

If you’ve received other federal aid, it doesn’t affect your eligibility for an Astute Student Loan. Neither does receiving a private grant. You can combine those funding sources with your Astute Student Loan and finance the remaining cost of your education in full. You can pay for tuition, books, room and board, necessary equipment, computers, travel expenses to and from school and other activity fees. You can even use the Astute Student Loan as part of your family’s expected contribution requirement for a federal student loan in many cases.

Family Income Will Not Drag You Down

If your family makes a good living, or has done a good job of saving for your education, this won’t reduce the amount of your loan. You aren’t penalized for all the hard work your parents did in preparing you for college.

Finalize Your Loan and Get Your Check Quickly

Once your loan is approved, you can download your loan papers and fax them right back with your signature. After providing your institution and enrollment information, you can expect a check in about a week.

Flexible Repayment Plans

You can choose one of three repayment plans for your Astute Student Loan:

  • You may choose to Defer Payments until you leave school. As long as you are enrolled at least half time, you can defer your payments for up to five years. After you graduate or stop going to school full time, you’ll have 6 months before your payments begin. Interest accrues from the date of the loan based on current interest rate levels.
  • The Interest Only Repayment option allows you to reduce the amount of interest you’ll owe by making monthly interest payments while you’re in school. About a month and a half after your receive your check your first payment will be due. Using this plan allows you to reduce the amount of interest that you’ll owe once you leave school, while minimizing the payments you have to make while you’re in college.
  • Finally, you can begin making interest and principal payments right away. Not only will you reduce the total amount of interest you’ll pay, but you’ll start paying down the principal of your loan as well. Again, payments begin about a month and a half after your check arrives.

Of course, with any of the plans, there is no penalty for paying the loan off early. Payment plans can be for up to 20 years, with a minimum required monthly payment of $25.

Choose an Astute Student Loan

If you’re looking for an alternative and last minute way to bridge the college funding gap, an Astute Student Loan may be right for you