Bank of America (BOA) was founded in 1904, under the name Bank of Italy. In 1930, the Bank’s name was changed to Bank of America. BOA is headquartered in the picturesque town of Charlotte, North Carolina. It is one of the largest banks in the United States, based on the number of assets it holds. In fact, there are more than 5,000 physical bank locations through this company. Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and JPMorgan Chase are the three main rivals of BOA. Bank of America offers customers a variety of different financial services. For example, they offer credit cards, checking and savings accounts, auto loans, student loans and much more!
What Student Loans Does Bank of America Offer?
Bank of America used to be one of the largest servicers for Federal Student loans. However, in recent years, all federal government loans are now offered only through the Direct Loan Program by the Department of Education. Bank of America also made the intriguing decision to halt its private student loans.
However, the loans that were once offered by Bank of America will be discussed below, in case you are a current student borrower or in case Bank of America decides to start reissuing student loans in the near future. Please keep in mind, at this time, students are unable to borrow new loans from Bank of America. Check out the loans that were once offered by using the list below:
Private Student Loans from Bank of America: These loans were offered to students who had unmet financial need after accepting federal student funding. Bank of America considered the student’s credit history when deciding whether to award these student loans to applicants.
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In addition, the amount that the student qualified for was based on their credit worthiness. Applicants had the option of adding a cosigner in order to help them qualify for a better interest rate or a higher loan amount.
These loans are similar to loans you would get from a bank if you were seeking a personal line of credit. Bank of America separated the loans into two main categories: non-certified student loans and certified student loans. The non-certified student loans could be used towards the cost of room and board, textbooks, and other related educational expenses. The Education Maximizer Loan (which allowed students to borrow up to $40,000 per year) and the CampusEdge Student Loan Program were both examples of non-certified student loans offered through BOA.
Loans that were certified by the student’s school on the other hand, were guaranteed to cover the gap between the actual cost of education and the award that was offered to the student. These loans were available to both graduate and undergraduate students. BOA offered a variety of repayment terms so you could choose the option that best met your unique financial circumstances. One example is the TERI Loans through BOA.
Like all private loans, there are some drawbacks to obtaining a private loan through BOA. Namely, private loans tend to have much higher interest rates than loans that are offered through the federal government. In addition, they offer fewer protections, such as loan forgiveness under certain conditions. Most federal loans permit the loan to be forgiven if the student becomes permanently disabled or dies. However, private loans may just transfer over to the cosigner. In addition, private loans tend to offer fewer options for deferment and forbearance than federal loans. Thus, it is important to borrow wisely and minimize the amount of loans that you take out.
CampusOne Student Loans: Through this funding mechanism, Bank of America serviced a variety of student loans, such as Graduate Student PLUS loans, PLUS loans, Stafford loans, and Federal Consolidation loans. When borrowing Stafford loans, students who filed their taxes as an independent student were likely to receive a much higher borrowing limit than students who filed their taxes as a dependent student. Through this program, BOA was a main loan originator and since students could pick any lender they wished, a student could simply choose to have their loan dispersed by BOA.
Does BOA offer Additional Benefits for Students?
Yes! Despite halting their student lending program, there is a portion of the Bank of America website that is still dedicated to providing student loan advice to borrowers. For example, one benefit they provide is a section about planning for college. This discusses how to apply for student loans and what you need to understand about the FAFSA form, which you will need to use to see whether you qualify for any federal funding.
Students can also sign up for mobile or online banking, which can help keep their budget in check. Additionally, students have access to checking, savings and credit cards through BOA Core checking, provided that they are under 23 years of age. The banking options are ideal for students with a low budget since they do not require a minimum balance. Additionally, students can access tools to help them budget, which is no easy feat for a poor college student! The website can be found here or you can just look for the “Solutions for Students” section under the Bank of America homepage.
Where Can I Obtain a Student Loan?
Since Bank of America student loan services are currently on hold, if you are looking to borrow a new student loan, you will have to look outside of Bank of America. Some of the largest and most well known companies that provide student loans include: Wells Fargo, PNC, and SunTrust.
Some newer companies tend to offer better customer service than the larger banks. Make sure you do your homework before signing for a loan. Some companies are better for borrowing new loans while others are better at consolidating. You will also want to explore any benefits that the company offers as well as compare how the companies respond when students run into trouble paying their loans