What Is The William D Ford Direct Loan Plan

By Ian Wilkie

At the time of researching your student loan consolidation information alternatives you need to examine the William D Ford Direct Loan Plan.

The Direct loan program began about 15 years ago and in reliable American fashion was used to remove the middle man, instead of having the banks, credit unions and other private businesses lend money to students and their parents, the Federal government loans the dollars directly.

Direct programs overlap in many areas, the alternative known FFELP (Federal Family Education Loan Program), the latter is the acronym for programs that work via private lenders, since they duplicate in a few ways the FFEL schemes, it is critical for lenders to target which program they want as both offer Stafford and PLUS loans, Direct loans have similar criteria for eligibility, they adhere to a similar need-based guidelines, or have similar credit check requirements for non-need-based services, providing similar programs according to a similar standard raises a natural question, how to pick between them?

In part the decision involves picking out which of two types to use, both provide customer service personnel to answer any questions, in a good number of cases the private lenders will be more flexible and helpful and the government more bureaucratic or indifferent, reading many of the forums, which can be accessed on-line could be the better way to obtain more information about which would best suit an individuals situation, with the growth of social networks it has become much easier to get a diverse set of views and opinions, many of these views are based less on objective criteria than personal taste, reading the posts may instantly allow a person to decide which side they favor.

More concrete differences between the two products do exist, though since FFELP loans are funded and serviced by private financial institutions who you sign a promissory note and could possibly not be who you re-pay the loan to, it is a basic practice for lenders to re-sell loans to other businesses, mortgage companies have been doing this all the time, you may have gone to the trouble to discover a lender and their services you like, you could have decided over and above the rate and repayment terms preferring their customer service and then for example finding the loan has been sold to another business, you may now be repaying the loan to a company you rejected, however in the situation of Direct loans since the Federal government is the lender the loans are not sold to any third party.

The most critical difference to many people will be the possibility that rates, charges and repayment terms could differ between the two, officially the interest rates of both Stafford and PLUS loans are fixed, nevertheless private lenders have some flexibility in other areas.

The lenders could possibly charge or not charge origination and insurance charges (officially assessed at 3% and 1% according to the Federal laws, which themselves are changing in the next few years). Though the fees are still there the lender may agree to absorb them in order to obtain your business, they could possibly modify the dates on which interest charges are calculated, or extend grace periods or lengthen the re-payment time.

The only way to find out what is available is to shop around much as you would for any other kind of loan and calculate the total cost of the loans, it is imperative to keep this information at hand when considering any student loan consolidation information.