SOURCE: NextStudent

February 23, 2007 16:16 ET

Funding for Study Abroad Programs Available Through NextStudent

PHOENIX, AZ -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 23, 2007 -- According to NextStudent, the Phoenix-based premier education funding company, PLUS Loans, or Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students, are available to parents who want to fund their child's study abroad program. These programs help students explore the globe and offer much more than academic benefits. For college students studying language or international relations, study abroad programs have become a staple of the "college experience," not to mention they add a boost to any resume.

Federal PLUS Loans offer generous borrowing limits and are available to parents year-round. If parents have paid tuition and most other education expenses for their child, they still can apply for a PLUS Loan to pay for a study abroad program. However, the overseas program the student wants to attend must be sponsored by a U.S.-based accredited university. Also, these loans are not need-based. However, students must have filed the FAFSA in order for parents to be eligible.

PLUS Loans are part of the Department of Education's FFELP Loan Program. Therefore, the loans are federally funded loans and the interest rates are set by the government. All private lenders that offer PLUS Loans must offer the same interest rate and distinguish themselves by the incentives that they offer to parents, who are the prospective borrowers.

NextStudent offers aggressive incentives for PLUS Loans that include: a cash rebate of 3 percent on the remaining principal balance of a loan after the first 12 months of consecutive on-time payments; a rate reduction of 2 percent interest after the first 48 months of consecutive on-time payments; and an interest rate reduction of .25 percent for electing to use Auto-Debit.

PLUS Loans are eligible for the Federal Consolidation Loan Program. However, repayment begins within 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed because there is no grace period. Additionally, PLUS Loans taken out for multiple children under one parent's Social Security number can be consolidated together into a single consolidation loan.

Most applicants for NextStudent's PLUS Loans qualify within as little as five minutes when they apply online. NextStudent also offers a simple application process with E-Signature. If a parent already has one PLUS Loan it is easy to receive another one, using the same application file for the initial PLUS Loan. The borrower must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN), and this note is good for 10 years provided that the student remains at the same college, files the FAFSA each year, and the borrower is credit-approved.

A study aboard program is a good way to go to get the most out of the "college experience." Through these programs students are immersed in a foreign culture and can learn more about their global neighbors.

About NextStudent

NextStudent, http://www.nextstudent.com/, federal lender code 834051, is dedicated to helping students and their families find affordable ways to pay for college. NextStudent offers one-on-one education finance counseling and has a portfolio of highly competitive education finance products and services including a free online scholarship search engine, federally guaranteed parent and student loans, private student loans, both federal and private student loan consolidation programs, and college savings plans.

The NextStudent Scholarship Search Engine, one of the nation's oldest and largest scholarship search engines, is updated daily, available free of charge, completely private -- and represents 2.4 million scholarships worth $3.4 billion.

For more information about NextStudent and its student loan programs, please visit the company's Web site at http://www.nextstudent.com/.

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