Given the challenges in the private loan markets and the uncertainty surrounding the future of FFEL, it should not be surprising to see SimpleTuition seeking to diversify the services they offer. With student loan defaults accelerating and the savings rates in the U.S. jumping in recent months, these partners seem to make sense but I was still surprised to see them on a student loan site.
- Debt Rescue USA provides the following marketing pitch about their services:
- ING Direct Checking accounts:
- WT Direct Savings Account:
In terms of their partners on the private loan side, after a few searches on schools throughout the country, their primary lender partners include two non-traditional and four traditional student lenders (Note: lender partners are signified by logo next to their name on the SimpleTuition Search Results page):
- CompleteEd - Credit union product managed by CUNA
- Lending Club - social lending network
- Traditional lenders
- Citibank - new partner
- PNC Bank
In order to increase the number of private loan options, SimpleTuition also lists non-partner lenders, such as Chase, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo. Interestingly, the leading private lender, Sallie Mae, did not appear on the sample of searches that I ran today.