Update: Until recently, Bank of America administered Federal Student Loans. Currently, these loans are issued exclusively through the U.S. Department of Education Direct Loans Program. Additional privately funded student financing options have historically been a part of Bank of America's lending portfolio, but these student loans programs have been suspended until further notice.
The following entry is provided for historical reference and to serve as a resource; should Bank of America initiate student loans at a future date. For specific and current information, contact Bank of America directly at 1-800-344-8382.
Bank of America, like many other lenders, offers student loans to help finance your college experience. At first glance, many private student loans look the same, but there are distinctions worth noting.
Education loans are structured differently than other loans, and they offer unique benefits to borrowers. It is important to make distinctions between the types of loans Bank of America offers, so that you can make informed education financing decisions.
Bank of America is a student loan originator. When you are awarded student loans, as part of your federal financial aid package, you are permitted to choose your own lender. Bank of America can serve your needs in this area.
Bank of America handles the most common federal loans, Including Stafford Loans, PLUS loans (for parents), Graduate Student PLUS loans and Federal Consolidation Loans.
Stafford loans are issued as ‘dependent' loans or as ‘independent' loans. When determining financial aid needs for dependent students, the Department of Education considers parental income, as part of the financial aid application. Independent student need relates only to the income and assets of the individual student. As a result, student loan borrowing limits are higher for independent students.
Private loans from Bank of America are not tied to your federal financial aid offers. They are similar to other loans you'd request from banks and credit unions, in that eligibility is based on your credit history. If you do not have a positive credit record, you might need a cosigner to get a private student loan.
However, there are some important considerationsto be aware of when pursuing private student loans.Specifically, Bank of America offers two types of private student loans: those that are certified by your school and those that are not.
The two types of certified loans offered by Bank of America are Private Student Loans and Bank of America TERI Loans. Private loans help fill gaps left when your other financial aid resources are exhausted. Private loans can be accessed by undergraduate and graduate students, and offer flexible repayment terms that sometimes require minimum monthly payments as low as $50.
Bank of America TERI Loans are aligned with a non-profit agency called The Educational Resources Institute. Founded in 1985, the Institute's stated mission is to increase access to higher education for low-income students. Since its founding, the group has aided over one-million individuals. Update: Due to unusual market conditions, TERI has suspended all student loan programs. The Institute continues to provide educational planning and advising services, and is working with lender partners to minimize the disruption of lending services.
The other private loans offered by Bank of America do not need to be certified by your school. One example is the CampusEdge Student Loan, which acts as a supplement to other federal financial aid. It can be applied to education expenses like textbooks, dorm fees and cafeteria meal plans.
Another non-certified BofA loan is the Education Maximizer Loan, which also acts as a supplement to federal loans and grants. You can use the money for any education-related expenses, with generous borrowing limits of up to $40,000 a year. Payments can be postponed until after you have graduated from college.
Although Bank of America has suspended student lending, the bank does offer some helpful student services. “Solutions for Students” is a convenient source of banking for college students. The service includes:
The Bank of America Student Platinum Plus Visa Card is another resource for students. Designed with college students in mind, the card includes 4 years of free identity theft protection and no annual fees. A competitive interest rate and a host of student-friendly services help you build your own credit, as you attend school.