Wow, thanks for pointing out that the repayment bonus doesnt apply to the Premier Rate loans. I'm gonna switch my loans to Access tomorrow for this reason. I'm starting to wonder if they just snuck that into their website on me or if its a new policy after I applied.
Anyhow, regarding Access Group, in addition to that 48-month repayment incentive, they offer a .25% interest rate reduction immediately upon repayment.
Neither company has any origination/disbursement fees and both seem to have very good service. But with a .05% cheaper interest rate and the .25% incentive (vs. 0% from THE), it's a no-brainer. Barring a VERY VERY catastrophic financial collapse of the US economy (think: 10x worse than 9/11), interest rates will not go beyond 18% anytime while we're in school. With that said, I think I'm gonna use THE for my Stafford and Access for my private loan.
And again, thanks for the heads-up about that little footnote I missed. Good luck!