Brazos Student Loans is part of the Brazos Higher Education Service Corporation, Inc., also just called Brazos Higher Education. Headquartered in Waco, Texas, Brazos Higher Education is a self-funded, independent organization not affiliated with any educational institution.
The history of the company goes back 40 years, and the corporation is classified as a nonprofit. Brazos Higher Education defines their mission as helping students and parents finance higher education and promoting college affordability. Specific funding options offered include Brazos Refinance Loans and Brazos Parent Loans.
How to Apply for Brazos Student Loans
For a Brazos refinance loan, there are certain eligibility requirements. A borrower has to be a Texas resident who’s at least 18 years old. The applicant should have received a bachelor’s degree from an accredited Title IV institution, should have verified income, a strong credit history, and should be able to show they will be able to repay the new loan.
Refinancing applicants should be employed or self-employed when they begin their application. The minimum annual income requirement is $60,000, or if applying with a cosigner, $30,000. A refinance applicant should have a FICO score of at least 720. With a cosigner, applicants should have a FICO score of at least 690.
Required information to apply includes proof of Texas residency, social security number, address, proof of income, and information about the student loans being refinanced.
Brazos parent loans are designed to help families pay for their student’s education. To be eligible, the borrower should be financing education for a student who is enrolled at least half-time at a Title IV school with financial aid eligibility. The student needs to be attending a four-year-degree-granting school, and it can be a state or private school. The student who’s benefitting from the loan also has to maintain strong academic performance.
Borrower eligibility includes being a resident of Texas, and the minimum income requirements and FICO score requirements are the same as what’s outlined for refinancing loans through Brazos.
You can apply online and get preapproved in minutes. Brazos Education Lending Corporation originates loans, and Firstmark Services is the processor. The application process requires a hard credit pull. Most applicants receive an instant prequalification decision, and they then have to upload their documents to verify things like income. The entire process usually takes a few weeks.
The Costs of Brazos Student Loans
Interest rates for student loan refinancing are based on credit score and the terms of the loan. There are fixed and variable rates as well. For example, with a five-year loan term, and a credit score ranging from 720 to 745, the repayment APR fixed rate would be 5.10%. With an autopay discount and a high credit score, a variable APR for a refinancing loan can start at 2.85%.
For parent loans, rates start at 4.15% with an autopay discount.
Borrowers can customize their loan terms, there are no origination fees, and there are no prepayment penalties.
Loan limits are available up to the cost of attendance, minus any other financial aid. This must be certified by the school.
Brazos Student Loan Perks
There are a few notable things about Brazos Student Loans that might appeal to borrowers. First, there are no additional fees. There are also options to customize a loan package based on the terms that work best for the borrower.
Another benefit of Brazos is the transparency. You can put in things like your credit score and determine what your interest rate could be before you apply and have a hard credit pull. Other benefits include that interest rates can be lower than with federal loans, with a good credit history.
There are different repayment terms, and it’s possible to borrow up to the full cost of attendance.
Things to Consider
Possible downsides of Brazos Student Loans include the fact that there aren’t as many deferment, forbearance, and loan repayment options as what a borrower would have with federal loans. There aren’t the same kind of loan forgiveness programs, either. There are also stringent criteria that parent borrowers and refinancing borrowers have to meet to qualify.
Making a Decision
If a borrower is searching for a transparent lending company for private student loans and they live in the state of Texas, Brazos Student Loans might be a viable option. There are downsides to weigh, but also some positives including no fees, flexible terms, and lending limits up to the cost of attendance. You can check out the best student loan companies that we have reviewed to compare Brazos.