Regarding T.H.E. not loaning to students at your school, I assume you concluded this based on your school not being listed on their site? If this is the case, you may still be able to get your loan through them. After not seeing my school listed on their site, I emailed and this was their responseT.H.E. offers both GradPLUS and Stafford loans for students at your school. You may apply online or by phone for the Stafford loans. Your school has not yet set up processing preferences for the GradPLUS loan, so if you wish to apply for this loan type, you must complete a paper application which can be downloaded from our website. In both cases, you should submit the signed Master Promissory Notes to your school's financial aid office once you have completed your applications.
Since then, Iíve crunched some more numbers and looked at other lenders and it appears that I can get better slightly rates for GraduatePLUS from Citibank and for Stafford from MEFA (http://www.mefa.org/
). MEFA loans are only available to students attending in Massachusetts. I will likely select these since in addition to having better rates, my school lists them on the financial aid site.
I have not gone through the application process yet, though.
By the way, many of the loan products are very similar. After crunching the numbers for my loan, the rates from MEFA, T.H.E. and Wachovia turned out to be very similar. Using a 5-Year repayment period, T.H.E cost $160 more than MEFA and Wachovia cost $700 more than MEFA. The difference was more significant when I used a 10-years payment period.