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MEFA’s College Loan for Families Offers Interest Rates Among Nation’s Lowest

Contact:
Martha Savery, Director of Public Affairs
msavery@mefa.org
617.224.4813

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) will offer its low-cost college loan for the upcoming academic year with interest rates notably below the federal equivalent. With a fixed interest rate starting at 4.69% (APR* 5.81–6.18%), the MEFA Loan has among the lowest rates offered by a state-sponsored college loan lender and is a significantly lower-cost option than the Federal Direct PLUS Loan.

The MEFA Loan’s starting rate is more than two points below the 7% rate of the PLUS Loan. Both loan programs are typically for parents of undergraduates. While the rates on federal loans increased this year, MEFA held its rates steady.

The result of the lower MEFA rate will be the ability for Massachusetts families to save thousands of dollars in interest payments over the life of the loans. This will help to reduce the overall cost of borrowing and make college educations more affordable.

“The Commonwealth continues to be a national leader in helping families afford the cost of higher education," said Governor Charlie Baker. "While college loan rates for students and parents are rising across the board, Massachusetts is fortunate that MEFA's sound loan program is able to offer low-rate college loans so our students can pursue higher education and learn the skills that will make them competitive in today's global economy."​

The MEFA Loan is a state-based loan available to Massachusetts families with a student attending college anywhere in the United States, or to any U.S. family sending a student to college in Massachusetts. As families make plans to finance college costs, MEFA recommends that students first exhaust their Federal Direct Student Loan eligibility, allowing students to take advantage of the federal government’s flexible repayment plans. Then, parents and students should consider other loan options, including the MEFA Loan.

“MEFA continues to work hard every day to provide the best possible loan option for families in Massachusetts. The MEFA Loan is just a part of the services we offer to help families plan, save, and pay for college. We understand the challenge of paying for college, and our expert staff is ready to assist with guidance and information,” said Thomas Graf, Executive Director of MEFA.

Families may select from immediate, interest-only, and deferred repayment options when completing the easy online application for a MEFA Loan. MEFA provides clear, complete information to families, and informs borrowers in advance of the amount of their fixed monthly payment and the ultimate total cost of the loan. The MEFA Loan bases approval on the applicant’s credit score, and, as a family loan, the MEFA Loan asks the parent or guardian and student to co-sign.

In addition to its low-cost college loan program, MEFA also offers free advisory services to all Massachusetts families seeking guidance on how to pay for college and how to select the right college financing option. Families are encouraged to contact MEFA for guidance on college financing, advice on selecting college loans, and help with monthly payment calculators.

The MEFA Loan, with a variety of flexible repayment options, offers fixed interest rates starting as low as 4.69% (APR* 5.81%--6.18%) for the 2017-2018 academic year, and is now accepting loan applications. The MEFA Loan’s low, fixed interest rate is available to all qualifying borrowers, and unlike loans offered by other lenders, the rate does not vary depending on credit score.

MEFA can be reached at (800) 449-MEFA (6332) or info@mefa.org. Follow MEFA on Twitter through @mefatweets and on Facebook.com/mefaMA for tips and information.

* The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is designed to help consumers understand the relative cost of a loan. The APR reflects the interest rate, timing of payments, and any other costs paid during the life of a loan.

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About MEFA

MEFA is a not-for-profit state authority, not reliant on state or federal appropriations, established under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 15C. MEFA's mission, since its founding in 1982, has been to help Massachusetts students and families access and afford higher education and reach financial goals through education programs, tax-advantaged savings plans, low-cost loans, and expert guidance. Recently, MEFA's mission has been enriched through its statutory designation to establish and administer the ABLE Savings Plan, created to help individuals with disabilities save for disability-related expenses. Visit mefa.org to learn more or follow MEFA on Twitter @mefatweets and on Facebook at mefaMA.

 





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