State Lowers Rate on College Loan for Undergrads
BOSTON [July 7, 2016] - The Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) is reducing the rate on its low-cost college loan for the upcoming academic year. The MEFA Loan's fixed interest rate is lower than its federal equivalent, the Federal Direct PLUS Loan, giving parents and students an opportunity to lower the cost of borrowing for college.
"The Commonwealth is pleased to offer a low-cost college loan that supports both the dreams of families seeking higher education and the colleges and universities in our state competing to attract students from across the nation," said Governor Charlie Baker. "MEFA's innovative loan program, which requires no taxpayer dollars, is just one of the many valuable resources MEFA offers to help families plan, save, and pay for college and contribute to the Commonwealth's exceptionally well-educated workforce."
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.
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 and the Federal PLUS Loan. As a family loan, the MEFA Loan asks the parent or guardian and student to co-sign.
"MEFA helps families across the Commonwealth by providing great information and guidance on planning, saving, and paying for college. For those families in need of college financing, MEFA is able to provide low-interest college loans, allowing families to achieve the dream of a college education while reducing the cost of borrowing," said Thomas Graf, Executive Director of MEFA.
The MEFA Loan, with a variety of flexible repayment options, offers fixed interest rates starting as low as 4.69% (APR* 5.82%--6.21%) for the 2016-2017 academic year. MEFA is now accepting loan applications for the upcoming academic year. 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.
Families may select from immediate, interest-only, and deferred repayment options when completing an easy online application. By providing clear, complete information to families, MEFA informs borrowers in advance of the amount of their fixed monthly payment and the ultimate total cost of the loan.
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. MEFA can be reached at (800) 449-MEFA (6332) during business hours or online anytime at mefa.org.
For more information on how MEFA helps families plan, save, and pay for college, call (800) 449-MEFA (6332) or visit mefa.org. Also, 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.
The Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) is a self-financing quasi-public authority, not reliant upon state or federal appropriation, working to make higher education more accessible and affordable for students and families across the Commonwealth. MEFA's mission to increase college access and affordability is achieved through community education programs, financing expertise on planning, saving, and paying for higher education, and college savings and education loan programs. In its over thirty-year history, MEFA has assisted hundreds of thousands of families finance a college education. Follow MEFA on Twitter through @mefatweets and on Facebook.com/mefaMA.
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