Unlike most of the private student loan companies that we have reviewed, Credible is not actually a student loan lender.
Instead, Credible is more of a student loan marketplace. A prospective borrower fills out one Credible application and gets prequalified rates from a number of student loan companies.
This process allows borrowers to shop around very quickly and efficiently. However, there are some major limitations that all borrowers should understand prior to using Credible.
The Credible Process
The student loan process on Credible is similar to that of any other private student loan lender. After you submit your information, Credible does a soft credit pull and provides you with offers from multiple student loan lenders.
One of the advantages of this process is that the lender does not get your contact information unless you choose to move forward on the loan. This means that you will not have a bunch of different lenders calling you from companies you have chosen not to deal with.
Ultimately, the major perk of Credible is the ability to check your rates with many different lenders. We think that shopping around is essential to getting a good interest rate on student loans, and Credible is a useful tool in this endeavor.
We reached out to Credible to find out if anyone ever approved for a loan on their process is ever ultimately denied the loan once the lender does a hard credit pull. According to Credible, this late-stage denial happens infrequently, but it is possible. They said it was usually the result of a change in circumstances between the prequalification process and taking out the loan, such as a change in the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio.
Student Loan Lenders on Credible
Credible currently has eight different private student loan lenders on their platform. They are: Ascent, Citizens Bank, Custom Choice, College Ave, EdVestinU, INvestEd, MEFA, and Sallie Mae.
This collection covers a number of lenders but still excludes many others. Borrowers can definitely utilize Credible as a shortcut to reduce the time it takes to shop around but to find the best rates, students should not limit themselves to the handful of companies with Credible.
Despite the clear advantages to using Credible to find student loans, there are a few major disadvantages that any potential borrower should understand.
First, Credible only offers private student loans. If you are going to borrow money for college, step number one should be to borrow federal loans. Federal loans have far better borrower protections and repayment options. In fact, we encourage people to avoid private student loans if at all possible.
Second, Credible is limited in the lenders that they work with. Because Credible only has a fraction of the student loan lenders in their marketplace, borrowers would still be wise to look at other lenders as well, rather than just relying upon the results from their Credible application.
Finally, one of the disadvantages of Credible is that the time their process saves could result in missing out on some valuable information. When you apply for a student loan you typically visit the website of a lender and may call their customer service to have a question or two answered. Though these steps are a bit more time-consuming, it offers a potential customer valuable information about a company. Is the website helpful, informative, and easy to navigate? What are the wait times like to get a question answered? Are their employees well-trained and easy to reach? Going through these steps could help a borrower avoid doing business with a company that doesn’t feel right.
Credible is definitely unique in the student loan world.
Because shopping around is essential to getting the best deal on a private student loan, Credible is a good option because they make shopping around very quick and easy.
The Credible process is not without flaws, but it is a great tool in finding the lowest possible interest rate. Click here, to check your rate with Credible.