When I was getting ready to finance my college education, (after hitting up my parents) I looked to Federal Pell grants and the beloved FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). But things have changed, and in the age of Facebook and online interconnectivity, it only makes sense that students are utilizing these new tools for borrowing.
Several companies have popped up in recent months that allow students to tap into cyber-resources. On Fynanz.com, students design a profile detailing goals, interests and financial need, and then non-institutional lenders can shop through profiles based on majors, academic institutions or other interests.
The terms are set by the student, who can choose to start paying it back immediately, pay only the interest, or wait up to 20 years. Rates are between 7% and 12%, a good chunk cheaper than the 16% that's more common for private loans.
GreenNote.com, which launches June 4, seeks to utilize a student's social network to solicit friends and family to contribute to a college fund. Much like Fynanz, the student creates a profile with personal details and academic interests. However, then the student invites friends and family to contribute, and hopefully, pass on the profile to other community members. There's something very encouraging about people being able to support young people they know, or who are in their circle, with small loans.
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