hey SanchoPanzo, could you confirm for me that MEFA is better for our school than wachovia? i guess i'm having a hard time seeing it but i'm just eyeballing the reductions. this is probably a totally dumb question, but i was starting to get excited on wachovia until i just read your post. lol
This is correct. I found that for a 10-year payment period, MEFA is better. However, if you intend to pay your loan back in say 3 years, Wachovia appears to be the less expensive option (not necessarily better. See below). This is because whereas MEFA has interest rate rebates, Wachovia offers principal reductions.
I used the loan calculator at http://www.variousbits.com/loan.php I logged in as guest/guest and created sea_MEFA and sea_Wachovia (you can log in to loans I added). This is what I got for the 3 loan repayment periods I used. These numbers reflect total payments.
10 years $15185 $16043
5 years $13655 $13785
3 years $13041 $12981
Now, these numbers are very similar. However, if you consider that MEFA is listed on the school website (perhaps a preferred lender?) and that once you achieve the on-time payment rebates with MEFA you never loose them, I felt MEFA was the better choice.