Knee-deep into my annual analysis of school lender lists and the prevalence of lenders on those lists, I thought I would come up for air and highlight some interesting observations:
- Western Michigan University used results from a student survey to rate their alternative lenders. The five survey questions focused on application process, value, customer service, would student recommend to friend and overall satisfaction. Almost 20% of their student borrowers responded to the survey. With a top possible score of 20, the scores for the seven lenders varied from 12.97 to 15.85.
- Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in implementing a similar survey tool at your school (at no cost!)
- Minnesota State University, Mankato provided students with two lender lists. One is a list of all lenders used by MSU students over the past three years presented in alphabetical order. The other list provides volume data by lender, showing that Wells Fargo provided $6.8 million in loans to students in 2009-10 with Minnesota's SELF loan at #2 with $2.9 million in volume.
- Let the analyst in me dream...if only all schools provided this information...
- University of Southern California provides a link to the TILA disclosures (the application/solicitation disclosures now required from all lenders) for each lender on their list. Lenders are required to provide this information to schools whom they have a "preferred lender arrangement." Given that most lenders have buried this disclosure into their application process (Citizen's Bank being an exception by placing this disclosure on their home page), placing this information on the school's lender list can be helpful.
- At the bottom of their lender list, Tufts University provides the average amount borrowed by Tufts students last year through each of the lenders on their list.
- More schools are providing information to students about self-certification and the need to complete that form prior to funds being disbursed. Here is one example (and there were numerous) from Lycoming College: "Due to Regulation Z requirements, banks/lenders must provide several disclosures and a Self Certification form to the borrower BEFORE the loan will be disbursed. This will slow down the approval and disbursement of all private student loans. PLEASE FOLLOW ALL INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE LENDER AND RESPOND IN A TIMELY WAY SO YOUR LOAN CAN BE PROCESSED AS QUICKLY AS REGULATIONS ALLOW. Private student loans will now take a minimum of three (3) weeks from the start of your application to disbursement. Your bank/lender will give you a Self Certification form, but here is a lender-neutral form in case you do not receive it. The student is responsible to complete this form and return it to the bank/lender, not Lycoming College. Information required for this form - Cost of Attendance and Estimated Financial Assistance are both found on your award letter that can be found on WebAdvisor. If you do not understand any of the required documents, you must contact your bank/lender for clarification."
Have any more interesting examples? Please send them along.