Lender Blender Helps College Financing Search

July 8, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - If you're trying to figure out college financing, a new online tool might help make things easier.

Virgin Money USA has launched The Lender Blender, which the firm describes as “an easy and fun” online tool that allows students to evaluate all potential sources of funding and concoct an overall “blended” interest rate.

The Lender Blender allows the student to select his or her school, preferred loan options and then takes the weighted average to determine the student’s potential blended rate. Students can choose from a number of actual funding options such as (the ever-popular) Mom & Dad, other family or friends, private loans, Federal Plus Loans, Stafford and Perkins Loans, to mix in the virtual blender and create their “ideal” combination.

Blended Rated

“The ‘blended’ rate is the most important number families should pay attention to when developing a college financing strategy,” said Virgin Money student loan product manager, Su Joun. “After exhausting traditional education savings and financial aid options, they should take a hard look at all potential options—including less conventional approaches—and work to understand their total borrowing costs.”

The Lender Blender combines pertinent financial information from multiple sources with the convenience of a one-stop shop, according to the firm.   The online tool is free, allowing the student to choose the funding sources that work best for them . Users can access the tool anytime and from anywhere and then email their “saved blends” to others, facilitating a family discussion about education financing options, according to the firm, a financial services company.

Virgin Money US entered the student-financing arena in May, with the introduction of Student Payback, a new financial service to help families collaborate on the cost of college.

The Lender Blender can be found (and even “enjoyed”, according to the firm at http://www.virginmoneyus.com/Student