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Author Topic: ACCESS GROUP versus T.H.E.  (Read 1365 times)

DrPepperGuy

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ACCESS GROUP versus T.H.E.
« on: June 23, 2006, 04:08:45 PM »
HELLO ALL,

I have been reading about Access Group and T.H.E. and have gathered a variety of opinions and information about the 2 of them. They are both recommended by my school where I will be a 1L in the fall but there isn't a clear cut answer to which is better.

I would truly appreciate anyones opinion.....

1) What are the advantages/disadvantages between ACCESS GROUP and T.H.E.?

2) Why you choose one versus the other?

3) Any "insider" info or advice that is beneficial regarding these different programs?

THANKS SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO RESPOND!!

Mr. Burnz

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Re: ACCESS GROUP versus T.H.E.
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2006, 10:49:48 PM »
I've narrowed my lenders down to these two lenders and I'll tell ya what I know.  It's a lot of little details so I hope I'm getting them all right...

1) ADVANTAGE: For Staffords, their interest rate reduction begins IMMEDIATELY after the repayment period begins.  At most of the other places, you have to make 36 consecutive payments ON-TIME to qualify for a 3.3% interest discount, but if you miss 1 of those payments, you lose your shot at the rate reduction for good.  If you miss a Stafford payment at THE (2 months) or Access (12 months), they have ways for you to get it back (see below).  For THE the interest reduction is 1.3% for Staffords and 1% for private loans.  For Access, it's only .8% reduction on Staffords with an additional .25% reduction for automatic withdrawals.  For private loans, Access group only offers a .5% reduction after 48 on-time payments and the .25% auto-withdrawl discounts with NO way to regain the incentive eligibility if you miss a payment, so I'd stay away from Access for private loans.

ADVANTAGE: I got a better PRIVATE interest rate from both Accesss (LIBOR + 1.7% = ~7.15%) and THE (LIBOR + 1.75% ~7.15%) than from the others.  From Citibank and Sallie Mae, I was offered Prime + 0% (about 8%).  Who knows how long the LIBOR will be lower than the prime, but for now it works out well.

ADVANTAGE: The FA officer told me both are non-profit lenders that try to funnel money back to students rather than shareholders.  They're also supposed to have much better customer service and leniency according to the experience of the FA officer I spoke with.

ADVANTAGE: Neither Access nor THE have any origination or repayment fees  Make sure you watch this with other lenders!

DISADVANTAGE: For private loans at THE, their interest rate cap is 18% vs. I think 9% or 10% with Citibank.  Interest rates are topping out right now but its still something to consider...

DISADVANTAGE: You have to do the calculations, but the 3.3% interest rate reduction offered by Sallie Mae after 36 on-time payments may be a better deal than getting only 1.3% in the short-term.  This will depend on how long you plan on taking to pay back your loan obviously...

2) -For private loans, DEFINITELY go with THE as described above.

-In repayment for a Stafford, THE's cashback incentive is 1.3% vs. 1.05% for Access Group (assuming you do the automatic withdrawals).

-THE allows you to regain the 1.3% incentive as long as you have no delinquent accounts in the last 60 days whereas Access takes 12 months to regain the incentive if you miss a payment.


3) No insider info, but I can give you my personal advice:
If you plan on paying back your loan within the first 4 or 5 years after graduation, THE is probably the best way to go for both Staffords and Private loans.

If you plan on paying back you loan over the 10 or 20 years period, you should do the calculations but its probably better to go with someone other than Acess and THE (Sallie Mae offers 3.3% back after 36 ontime payments BUT they also charge a 3% repayment fee, so watch for it.  Citibank gives you 2.25% back after 36 payments but with NO repayment fee.)

Yikes, that was wayyyy more info than I planned on when I started typing!  There's so much info there, someone please make any corrections or additions where you see fit.  Anyhow, I hope its helpful.  Personally, I've decided to go the way of THE for both my Stafford AND private loan just to make it easy to keep track of my loans...but whatever you do, good luck to ya!

DrPepperGuy

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Re: ACCESS GROUP versus T.H.E.
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2006, 09:31:33 PM »
OK, that was a great in-depth post. I really appreciate it. Seems like T.H.E seems to be a betterfit for me.

ANYBODY ELSE HAVE THOUGHTS ON THESE TWO LENDERS?

whoisjohngalt

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Re: ACCESS GROUP versus T.H.E.
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2006, 05:38:46 PM »
Just an FYI, I contacted T.H.E. and was told the following:

"However eligibility for our programs (Stafford and Private) tend to go hand-in-hand.  Because our program's success depends on a healthy balance of Stafford and Private loans, we do not have Private loans available for students at Direct Lending schools."

That will help anyone who goes to a direct lending institution and was thinking about using T.H.E.

Yale College Inferno

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Re: ACCESS GROUP versus T.H.E.
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2006, 06:09:25 AM »
Can someone give me a link to the T.H.E. website please?
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Mr. Burnz

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Re: ACCESS GROUP versus T.H.E.
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2006, 06:19:01 AM »

Yale College Inferno

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Re: ACCESS GROUP versus T.H.E.
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2006, 08:25:25 AM »
thanks!

unfortunately they don't offer service for HLS.. grr.. another great idea shot down.. strike MEFA, T.H.E., and Access Group... I feel like an orphan
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SanchoPanzo

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Re: ACCESS GROUP versus T.H.E.
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2006, 11:04:03 PM »
thanks!

unfortunately they don't offer service for HLS.. grr.. another great idea shot down.. strike MEFA, T.H.E., and Access Group... I feel like an orphan

You can apply "manually". here is the response I got when I inquired

T.H.E. offers both GradPLUS and Stafford loans for students at Harvard
University Law School.  You may apply online or by phone for the
Stafford loans.  Harvard 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
Harvard's financial aid office once you have completed your
applications.


1L
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Yale College Inferno

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Re: ACCESS GROUP versus T.H.E.
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2006, 11:55:06 PM »
i didnt see the online app for  HLS stafford on their (THE) site...HLS didn't appear in the school list when I chose stafford..did you see it?
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SanchoPanzo

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Re: ACCESS GROUP versus T.H.E.
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2006, 10:11:59 PM »
i didnt see the online app for  HLS stafford on their (THE) site...HLS didn't appear in the school list when I chose stafford..did you see it?

No I did not. However, I'd suggest you give them a call. I found them to be very responsive and helpful. More so than the other 2 or 3 lenders I contacted.
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