Multi-year approval is a student loan option that lets you see how much money you can borrow for your entire degree with just one loan application. This, in turn, can make planning your finances easier for you and your family and give you peace of mind knowing that your college expenses will be covered. However, there are a few considerations to keep in mind before applying.
What is Multi-Year Student Loan Approval?
Instead of requiring borrowers to apply for a loan each academic year before classes begin, some private lenders offer borrowers a multi-year approval option for their student loans. This feature allows students with a creditworthy co-signer to obtain funding for multiple years of study with a single application and a single firm credit application.
Mindy Hager, senior vice president of student loans at Citizens Bank, says when students and their families complete their application, the lender will look at them holistically, instead of just focusing on what they can afford today. today.
“If a family comes in during the student’s first year and is looking to borrow $15,000, for example, we’ll see if they can afford that amount over a four- or five-year period,” says Hager. “Then we’ll approve them for that total amount of $15,000 multiplied by four or five, so we’re going to tell them, ‘You have $60,000 or $75,000 available for all of this borrower’s education.'”
Of course, the lender will not pay you the full amount in one lump sum, only the amount you requested for that academic year, which in this example would be $15,000. But you have the certainty of knowing that you can come in the next few years and apply for any amount up to that cap of $60,000 or $75,000, and you’ll be approved – as long as your credit score and your circumstances financial will remain more or less the same.
It should also be noted that although you will be pre-approved for the funds, your interest rate and terms will not necessarily be the same for all of your loans. You still have to choose an interest type (fixed or variable) and a repayment term for each loan you apply for under the multi-year option. Plus, interest rates from private lenders fluctuate with market conditions, which means that even if your credit score and income stays the same (or even better), there’s still a chance you won’t. may not get exactly the same rate as originally. secured.
Lenders that offer multi-year approval
Not all lenders offer multi-year approval, and those that do each have their own version of this feature.
With multi-year citizen approval, borrowers can complete the student loan application online or on the company’s mobile app. Once you complete the form, the system will automatically let you know if you are eligible for multi-year approval. From there, you just need to check the box accepting this option and sign the papers.
It’s also worth pointing out that Citizens Bank lets you take your loans with you, meaning you can change colleges and still be approved for the multi-year option. However, to remain qualified, you will need to apply using the same co-signer each time and pass a soft credit check.
College Ave Multi-Year Peace of Mind will let you know if you are eligible for multi-year endorsement during the online application process. At that time, you will also be able to choose the type of interest you want for this first loan, as well as the repayment term.
However, to remain pre-approved for future loans, your school will need to verify that you meet their satisfactory academic progress guidelines. You will also need to pass a soft credit check.
Discover tells borrowers if they’re approved for its multi-year option during the loan application process, which can be done online or over the phone. In the years to come, a large part of the loan documents will already be pre-filled.
Discover requires that you use the same cosigner and pass a soft credit check in order to remain prequalified, and you must be at the same school and program that you listed on your first application.
Sallie Mae lets you know if you’re approved for her multi-year benefit once you complete an application online or over the phone. Sallie Mae lets you keep its multi-year option even if you change programs or schools. However, you will be subject to a soft credit check each time you apply for a loan.
What are the benefits of using one lender for all student loans?
Having all your loans under the same umbrella has certain advantages, including:
- Faster approval. Your lender will already have all of your information on file and each application will be pre-populated for you. All you have to do is verify that the information is still correct, sign the papers and you’re done.
- Less impact on your credit. Serious credit inquiries can drop your credit score by up to 10 points and can stay on your report for up to two years. David Green, CEO of Earnest, says that by selecting multi-year approval, you avoid further nicks in your credit score because the lender will only do a soft credit check for all future loans.
- More savings. Most lenders offer a standard interest rate reduction of 0.25% for signing up for automatic payments. But if you’re a returning borrower, you might qualify for additional discounts and loyalty rewards. For example, Citizens Bank offers a 0.25% loyalty rebate on every subsequent loan you take out with the company.
- Easier reimbursement. Using the same lender allows you to manage and repay all your loans in one hub, so you don’t have to jump between websites. It can also be useful if you decide to refinance in the future, as you won’t have to get statements from multiple lenders.
How to apply for multi-year accreditation
Applying for multi-year approval is quite simple. Simply select a lender that offers this option and have the following on hand to complete the application:
- Your school information.
- Your expected graduation date.
- Amount of your requested loan.
- The academic period for which you will need funding.
- A copy of your passport, license, or other state-issued identification.
- Your social security number.
- Your contact details.
- Copies of your last two pay stubs, W-2s, or tax returns (if applicable).
- Your employer’s contact details (if applicable).
If you are applying with a co-signer, you will also need to include that person’s name, contact information, social security number, income, and employment details. Some lenders may also ask you to provide one or more personal references as part of the application process.
Using this information, the lender will determine if you are approved for the loan, in addition to your eligibility for multi-year approval. If you qualify for multi-year approval, you will be able to select the multi-year option before signing the loan.
How to request funds for each school year
Hager says that once your college year is over, the lender will contact you to see if you want to apply for another loan for next year. If you haven’t received your school’s bill by the time you get the call, don’t worry – you can still apply later.
Once you’ve worked out the numbers and figured out how much you’ll need, go to your lender’s page and log into your account. There you will see the option to apply for another loan under your multi-year approval plan. This new application will already be pre-populated for you using last year’s information.
As a final step, the lender will perform a soft credit check to ensure that your financial situation has not changed drastically over the past year. If everything checks out, you will be approved for the funds and the money will be sent to your school.