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  1. #1
    WilliamsEph97 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    AUA (private loans) vs. SGU/Ross (Federal loans) total cost?

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    Hello, I'm just starting to look into various schools. The total tuition at AUA is slightly less than at Ross and considerably less than at St. George. However, AUA isn't Title IV eligible so only private loans are available. Over the life of a typical loan (say 30 years) how much would the cost difference be? If I understand correctly the main advantage of the federal loans is that the interest isn't accumulating while in school and the rates are lower, correct? The federal loans have a fixed 6.8% interest rate. Right now most private lenders are offering prime + 2, so it would actually be lower than the federal rate.

    In short, which would be the most cost effective school to attend? Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    anesthetic_ambitions is offline Senior Member 518 points
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    I like UMHS, because even though they're not one of the "Big 3" (that have fed loans), they offer Citibank loans that have rates comparable to a Stafford. To my knowledge everyone outside of the "Big 3" uses Ed Invest or some other random loan that may have high interest rates (12 - 23%). Another option would be the Davenport Program at certain schools, (I think SABA and MUA, maybe others?). Davenport is a U.S. based online school so it allows you to get Stafford loans but only for Davenport class credits (MBA in Public Health Admin.) Anyone, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. I'm still a little new to this, lol.

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    MDisME is offline Senior Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by anesthetic_ambitions View Post
    I like UMHS, because even though they're not one of the "Big 3" (that have fed loans), they offer Citibank loans that have rates comparable to a Stafford. To my knowledge everyone outside of the "Big 3" uses Ed Invest or some other random loan that may have high interest rates (12 - 23%). Another option would be the Davenport Program at certain schools, (I think SABA and MUA and SMU, maybe others?). Davenport is a U.S. based online school so it allows you to get Stafford loans but only for Davenport class credits (MBA in Public Health Admin.) Anyone, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. I'm still a little new to this, lol.
    I'm so proud.
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  4. #4
    anesthetic_ambitions is offline Senior Member 518 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDisME View Post
    I'm so proud.
    LOL, I try

  5. #5
    shayloure is offline Senior Member 511 points
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    Well if you go to AUA and can get a loan with Bank of Lake Mills, and have a co-signer you can get a low interest rate. My loan got approved with an interest rate of 7.9%.

  6. #6
    isalador is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    AUA just raised tuition cost nearly $1,000 per semester. The craziness of lowering our allowed loan amount and increasing tuition in the same term is discussed in another thread. Tuition at AUA does not cover room and food or transportation. You take a loan for ~$20,000 per semester to cover all costs. Most of SGU's semesters are ~$20,000 per (a few are ~$8,000), and includes all but food.

    The difference between federal and private loans is not slight. It is more than interest rate, although at these levels of borrowing 1% difference is thousands of dollars. Federal loans have safety nets--forebearace and deferment, income based payments and interest only payments. Also with federal loans you can take part in Upromise which is a program that gives you money towards your loans when you buy stuff at CVS and the grocery store (and a bunch more). Lenders like Sallie Mae and AES have thier annoying problems but they have been around forever and you don't get the sense that they are trying to rip you off. Late fees aren't too bad and you you can get a 1% interest rate decrease if you use direct debit. Also, if you die your parents will not be responsible for your loan. If you become permanently disabled your loan can be waived.

    If you die with your mom as your cosigner on a private loan she will have to pay it. Private lenders buy and sell your debt and if you don't stay right on top of it you can end up with a myriad of problems. You will have to start payment while earning a resident's salary ($40-50,000/yr). Assuming you have you have $250,00 in debt, paying over 30 years at 8%, you will have a bill of ~$2,000 a month. You will end up paying a total of $660,000 back with $410,000 being interest. If any disaster or setback occcurs they will not show pity. If for some reason your loan goes into default there won't be a nice way to get a payment plan set up--they will just want the whole kit and kaboodle.

    My new financial advisor suggests that private loans should be paid off as quickly as possible while you benefit from just paying the minimum on federal loans.

    IMHO attending AUA is not a deal, and private loans are only a last resort.
    I encourage anyone researching a Caribbean med school adventure to use one of the many interest/payment calculators on the web and to heavily consider availabilty of clinical roatations. There are threads discussing how the two clinical years can become three or more due to unavailable rotations--but you are still paying tuition.

    Alternative Payment Frequencies - Financial Calculators from Dinkytown.net

    Good Luck!
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