I am planning to do my school's loan repayment assistance program after I graduate (It will be UVA's VLFP) so I needed to get a private loan with that in mind. It makes a big difference!
For instace, the recommended lender, B of A, has a 20 year repayment program on the GATE private loans, but you can only be in VLFP for 10 years. That means after VLFP you still have 10 years of private loan repayment on your own. Access group has the same situation. And they were all like WTF, this girl wants a 10-year repayment plan? Don't you know you can pay extra with no penalty? And I was like, no, that's not good enough, my school will only send the money if it's an official plan. Stupid lenders.
Northstar, whose standard repayment period is 15 years, confirmed for me (after several calls and much toing and froing) that when I graduate I can request an official 10 year repayment program, which means my loan assistance payments will be much higher, and I won't have to pay any more unless I'm earning a lot more money than I expect to.
This is important for public interest students to know, because most loan forgiveness programs seem to be scheduled over 10 years. Georgetown is an exception, in that I think they do 15 for private and 20 for federal (check to make sure).
I'm going with Northstar! Whew.