Student Loans: How to Pick Your Lender

Aug 14, 2018 2:44:33 PM

There are so many decisions to make during the college planning process; it's easy to get overwhelmed. By the time you need to finance your own or your child's education, you may have reached decision fatigue. All too often, decision fatigue leads to inaction, analysis paralysis, or a hastily-made choice - none of which are likely to result in the best of outcomes. 

Choosing your student loan lender is a big deal. This is an organization you are likely to work with over the next 5 - 20 years of your life. Conventional wisdom may inspire you to simply compare rates, choose the lowest, and get the whole process over with quickly. Or maybe you just plan to go to your bank to keep all of your finances in one place. But there can be some major differences in the rates, fees, level of service, and benefits student loan providers offer, so doing a more thorough comparison is a wise move.

Don't be one of the many borrowers filled with regret about their choice of lender. We've put together the below guide to help you select a student loan provider that you'll be happy with. It may take a little bit more of your time, but it will be well worth your effort in the long run. 

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Topics: Borrowing for College, student loans

10 Best Things to Pack for College

Aug 6, 2018 3:33:00 PM

Not too long ago, I was getting ready to head off to college and I remember struggling with what to pack and what to leave behind. You may think that you're going to need all 4 seasons worth of clothing and those shoes that you only wear once a year. But the reality is, you never use everything that you bring to college with you! It's time to narrow down your packing list and only bring the necessities! I've come up with the 10 best things that I brought to college and that you should bring too.

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Topics: College Planning

College Planning Tips for August

Aug 1, 2018 10:42:00 AM

August is considered the "kick-off" month for applying to colleges because the Common Application is released the first of the month. Senior year is a busy time and it is extremely important that you stay organized so you can successfully navigate the college admissions process. This means it is time to get all your ducks in a row and come up with a solid plan for applying to colleges

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Topics: College Planning

New Tool Will Help Families Navigate the College Process

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.

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Common Student Loan Myths

Jul 26, 2018 4:06:11 PM

Students and parents beware. What you hear about student loans - from friends, family, or even the media - isn't always true. We have outlined some common student loan myths and the truth behind them. 

Myth #1: It doesn't matter how much I borrow - my loans will be forgiven.

According to a survey by LendEDU, more than half of student loan borrowers in the class of 2017 believed that their student loans would be forgiven. But as LendEDU notes, "There simply aren't enough public service and non-profit jobs that would qualify for forgiveness as compared to the jobs that don't qualify" for this to be true. 

"What's concerning about this apparent lack of understanding of student loan forgiveness is that borrowers may slack off on making payments or actively trying to pay down their debt if they think it will eventually just be wiped away. This can lead to a higher total loan cost, or even worse, default." according to LendEDU. 

Our take? Always be a responsible borrower. Enroll in an income-driven repayment program if it helps to make ends meet or if you are working for a non-profit organization, but don't count on loan forgiveness until you have done your research and submitted an application and are certain you meet the qualifications. 

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Student Loan Refinancing FAQ

Jul 23, 2018 12:29:00 PM

We get tons of questions on a regular basis regarding student loan refinancing. If you have questions, we have answers! If you don't see your question below, feel free to write to us at

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Topics: refinancing

Dorm Room Design on a Budget

Jul 17, 2018 11:17:00 AM

As we get further into the summer, it's time to start thinking about moving into college. For some, it might only be a month away, and for others, it may be more like a month and a half! Regardless of your move in date, you've probably already been coordinating with your roommate(s) how you want to decorate your dorm room. When it comes time to purchase dorm decor, it can leave your wallet feeling a little thin. Lucky for you we've come up with creative ways to design your dorm room on a budget. If you're looking for some design inspo, you have come to the right place!

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Topics: College Dorm Rooms, Dorm Room Design

Live Like You're in College, Even After You Graduate

Jul 10, 2018 5:11:00 PM

It might not sound appealing to live on a college budget, even after you have graduated. But if you want to repay your student debt quickly, this is the smartest route to take. We get that having a bigger salary is exciting and you probably want to buy things you weren't able to in college. But, we recommend that you continue living like a college student before you start to enjoy life's luxuries and until your debt is repaid. Example: skip out on the fancy dinners and the brand new car and allocate that money towards your student debt. We've gathered some tips and other daily savings tricks to help you stay on track and sail towards debt freedom faster!

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Topics: Adulting!, Money Management, career planning

College Planning Tips for July

Jul 2, 2018 10:32:00 AM

Summertime is finally here and the beach is most definitely calling your name, but it doesn't mean that you should slack off when it comes to college planning. Sure, use this time to relax and spend time with family and friends. But also use your recess from school to get ahead with planning for college. There are some things you should continue to think about and do as  your senior year quickly approaches. Here's our short list to keep you on track this July! 

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Topics: College Planning

What to do if You're Denied on Your Refinancing Loan

Jun 27, 2018 4:38:00 PM

Refinancing can be a great way to save money and combine your student loans into one easy to manage monthly payment. Refinancing is typically a draw for those who are looking to reduce their interest rate, lower their monthly payments, or both! If a lender rejected your application, you might be feeling disheartened. Don't get yourself down just because one lender denied you; it doesn't mean there's nothing left for you to do. We've rounded up some tips to help you recover from your rejection and take control of your student debt.

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Topics: refinancing