Student loan research is hard. There are tons of rules, companies, laws and procedures. At times it feels like getting all of the best information is impossible. To help you combat these issues, I’ve put together what I consider to be some of the finest sources of information for student loan research.
Here is a list of my personal favorite student loan assistance sites:
Student Loan Borrower Assistance
The Student Loan Borrower Assistance website is a project of the National Consumer Law Center. This group of lawyers may only represent a limited number of low income individuals in Massachusetts, but their information is helpful to everyone.
When I am educating myself about any new concept related to student loans, this is always my first step. The thing I appreciate about this site is their attention to detail. They have read all the fine print and spell it out for you. It may not be the most exciting or flashy source of information, but it is always of the highest quality.
The Department of Education
The Department of Education website on student loans is a great resource. Getting the information straight from the source is always a good idea, and they do a decent job presenting everything most of the time. Occasionally, you have to really hunt to get to the explanation you need, but for the most part it is very useful. When you are planning your financial future, this site should be considered mandatory reading.
The finaid.org website is a reputable site that does a solid job of getting into the nitty gritty on many programs. I initially had some concern about this site, because they are not backed by the federal government, nor are they a not-for-profit entity. However, after spending countless hours on the site, I can say that I’ve not ever come across information that seemed at all questionable. I find that I come away with a solid understanding of most student loan concepts once I read the finaid.org article along with the Department of Education article and the Student Loan Borrower Assistance article.
You may be saying to yourself, “if these sites are so good why does the Student Loan Sherpa exist?” I know I asked myself that very question before this website was created. The purpose of this site is not to be the sole or final authority on student loans. Instead, you should come here for advice based upon first hand experience. The above sites will tell you the rules of the game, I will try and tell you how it typically plays out. It is not something I can always do by myself, so I encourage everyone to get involved and participate.
The more information, the better!