Your parents are broke but not broke enough for you to qualify for full need. You have no chance of getting a student loan. During your summer vacation, you burned through your savings. Tuition prices just shot up another 7%. And despite receiving several scholarships, you will still owe thousands of dollars for your college education. So what do you do?
Borrow from a source besides the banks: your peers…family, friends, community leaders, etc., who can help subsidize your college education costs. Through peer-to-peer lending, students are getting the funds they need from people who actually value their education. Or from total strangers who have money to burn.
The idea for peer-to-peer lending originated from Muhammad Yunus, who established the Grameen Bank in 1974 to make small loans for poor families in Bangladesh. The loans, typically offered in the amount of $10 or $20, helped families start businesses. Since its founding, the Grameen Bank has been able to help break the cycle of poverty by lending nearly $6 billion to more than 6 million borrowers. Now, different organizations are hoping to apply the same charity and accountability to students hoping to attend college.
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GreenNote is a friends and family peer-to-peer lending network where students can ask people in their family and community circles for small student loans. Rather than having your grandma hand you an envelope of $500 with x's, o's, and a pinky promise to payback, GreenNote handles the formalization of preparing the loan documents. Thereby, making your student loan transfers legit.
Students have access to low-interest loans, paying an interest rate of 6.8% versus the private lending interest rates ranging anywhere from 8 - 20%. They also aren't "approved" on a basis of a good credit score. Instead, students receive loans on the basis of good character, which is "approved" by their peer lenders.
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There are also other types of peer-to-peer education loans, like Fynanz, which match you up with a stranger who is willing to lend you money for your education. These stranger-to-stranger loans tend to charge higher interest rates than friends and family.
Some students may ask whether peer-to-peer lending is actually effective. All of that depends on your social network-do you have friends and family who are willing to assist you in financing your education? It is safe to say, though, that peer-to-peer lending sites are growing rapidly. They are another option for students who are finding it difficult to obtain private student loans.
So if you're in a pinch or caught in the credit crunch, lending through GreenNote, Fynanz or other peer-to-peer education loans
is a creative way to get that cover costs.