New Tool Will Help Families Navigate the College Process

Posted by Lindie Johnson on Jul 27, 2018 6:41:00 AM

RISLA is excited to be part of a new online tool to help families plan and pay for college. The tool — — will help families more easily navigate the process of planning, saving, and paying for college.

The site features expert content and resources for students and families, and encourages families to maximize free money, as well as federal student loans, before exploring the low-cost nonprofit loan options available to them.

Students and families can also access information about the free resources offered by RISLA, including free counseling on college planning and financial aid.  


Nonprofit and state-based organizations are experts that families can trust. They’re guided by a robust set of principles that define their consumer-first programs, and their interests are inherently aligned with the students and families they serve — not shareholders. Nonprofit and state-based lenders also integrate personalized counseling as part of their loan programs to ensure that borrowers are fully aware of the options available to them and only borrow what they need and can afford to repay.

Currently, all nonprofit and state-based lenders offer a loan with a lower rate than the Federal Direct PLUS Loan, and with low or no origination fees. The interest rate for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan increased on July 1 for the second year in a row.

The majority of these nonprofit loan programs require a credit-worthy borrower or co-signer, resulting in extremely low default rates (often less than one percent). Many of these programs also include borrower benefits, such as flexible repayment options, interest rate reduction options, no prepayment penalties, forgiveness in the event of death or disability, and benefits for graduates that work in a critical field in the organization’s state. Furthermore, loans made by nonprofit and state-based lenders are subject to an extensive array of existing consumer protection laws, including the Truth-in-Lending Act.