TopTenREVIEWS - Bronze Award - Awarded for excellence in design, usability and feature set

Searching for student loans and financial aid can be an intimidating process. This is especially true for parents and students who have never gone through the process before and are just starting out trying to find the funding for college. It can be difficult to determine which student loans to apply for, whether a private loan is a good idea, and more. It can be an especially difficult decision to determine which online student loan company to go through.

One thing that can certainly help these students and parents is information. When you're looking for an online student loan company to choose, determine whether they provide you with plenty of information that can empower you to make the right decision. When visiting NextStudent, it's easy to see that their site contains a lot of information. This TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award winning site is clean, organized well and packed full of helpful facts and information – from consolidating student loans to the application process. NextStudent makes a good first impression.

Features
Compare
9.4/10
Nelnet
Student Loan.com (Citibank)
NextStudent
Chase
US Bank
Citizens Bank
Student Loan Network
Wells Fargo
Sallie Mae
MEFA
10
9.4
9.4
9.4
9.3
8.8
8.8
9.4
8.8
9.4

NextStudent offers a range of features that benefit students and their parents, including a secure web site. This means that the information you put into the online applications is encrypted and scrambled as it's sent from your computer to the database. So, even if the information would happen to be intercepted by questionable characters, it's virtually impossible that it would be able to be used at all – so your identity and your credit are safe. This is a very important feature that should be checked with every online student loan company you consider.

The online payment calculators available on the site allow students to enter their information and determine the amount they're likely to be paying each month for their student loans. This is a very helpful tool that can assist students in preparing to pay their student loans back in a timely manner and avoiding late fees.

NextStudent is accredited by the Better Business Bureau, meaning that they've agreed to uphold the strict guidelines regarding customer service and support as set forth by the Better Business Bureau. Companies must take the initiative to seek out the accreditation, pledging to provide excellent customer service. When a company is accredited in this way, it is a positive sign that you're going to receive wonderful customer service and that the company will do what they can to ensure that you're satisfied.

Finally, NextStudent has a tool called 'Scholarship Search,' which allows you to seek out scholarships that you might be qualified for, to help pay for the expensive costs of schooling. Overall, this company seems to be very competitive in their features department and while they may be lacking a few features that other online companies have, they seem to provide all that is really necessary.

Help and Support
Compare
9.5/10
Nelnet
Student Loan.com (Citibank)
NextStudent
Chase
US Bank
Citizens Bank
Student Loan Network
Wells Fargo
Sallie Mae
MEFA
9.4
9.5
9.5
9.5
9.5
9.5
8.8
9.5
8.8
9.5

Located on NextStudent's website is a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions. In many cases, the same questions and thoughts are going through parents' minds, and NextStudent has posted and answered many of those common questions. This allows you to quickly visit the website and find the answer to your question without having to contact a customer service representative. This can save you a lot of time, especially when you're just in the beginning phases of researching and trying to select a great online student loan company.

In addition to this, you have the option of emailing or phoning the company if you should need to speak with a representative. This allows you to get answers to your questions or concerns that may not be present on the frequently asked questions section. It's very important to be able to rely on quick, dependable customer service and support and NextStudent seems to be very competitive in this area, offering more than one option for customers to get in touch with them and receive helpful answers.

Loan Types
Compare
9.4/10
Nelnet
Student Loan.com (Citibank)
NextStudent
Chase
US Bank
Citizens Bank
Student Loan Network
Wells Fargo
Sallie Mae
MEFA
10
10
9.4
8.8
9.4
9.4
9.4
7.5
8.8
6.3

NextStudent offers help on a variety of different loans – including undergraduate loans, graduate loans, private loans, loan consolidation, and federal loan assistance. Some federal assistance loans offered through NextStudent include Federal Stafford Loans as well as Parent PLUS loans, in which parents can qualify to borrow up to 100% of the cost of their student's college education. Private loans, which are based on the student's personal credit rating, are also offered through NextStudent. Those who are considering private loans should check their credit to determine their credit rating. Those with a lower credit rating will almost always end up paying a higher interest rate.

Loan consolidation, as offered through this company, is helpful for creating breathing room in a student's finances, receiving a lower interest rate on loans and obtaining one convenient loan payment rather than keeping up with several. NextStudent has a competitive edge when it comes to the types of loans offered.

Payment Options
Compare
10/10
Nelnet
Student Loan.com (Citibank)
NextStudent
Chase
US Bank
Citizens Bank
Student Loan Network
Wells Fargo
Sallie Mae
MEFA
10
10
10
10
9.4
9.4
10
10
9.4
10

With a loan term of 20 years, which is about standard in the industry, NextStudent offers a few different methods of payment. It's not indicated on the website whether students can arrange to have the payments automatically taken from their accounts, which is a convenient solution that is offered by many different online student loan companies. However, students do have the ability to pay online, which is also very convenient. This saves the student time and money – which is very important to you when you're struggling to make deadlines and pay the bills.

It's also not indicated on the website whether individuals can pay via the phone or not, which is another option offered by many online student loan companies. There are fees associated with the payments, as there are with most online student loan companies. Customers searching for information would benefit better if NextStudent indicated exactly which payment methods they allowed and what the fees were for those methods, but overall, it seems that the company is competitive with the payment methods and options.

NextStudent Summary:
9.6/10

NextStudent offers a plethora of information regarding the loan process, the application process, the repayment process and much more. This information is very important to those students and parents who are trying to ensure that they've made the best choices for the future. In addition to the abundant information, NextStudent offers a variety of tools and features that make it easier for a student to determine whether they should go with this company and what types of loans they should apply for.

Their help and support is top-notch, allowing individuals to quickly and easily have their questions answered and their concerns addressed. Plus, they offer a wide variety of loan options – both for students who qualify for financial aid and those who don't. From federal loans that can be repaid after the student is finished with schooling to private student loans with competitive interest rates, NextStudent has all the options that most online companies have – with added features and tools. They are lacking in information regarding payment methods a bit, but a quick call to the company could confirm the methods utilized. Overall, NextStudent seems to be a very competitive company that would be a wise choice to go with for any student planning his or her future.

 

NextStudent

Pros
Complete information plus excellent customer support makes this company worth it.

Cons
Payment options are not clearly stated on the site.

The Verdict
: 9.57/10

An excellent choice for those who are considering taking out a student loan.