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Putting Social Media to Work in Finding Student Loans

Social media offers potential students a lot of information about college, career options and even, financial aid. For students looking for help paying for college, there are plenty of ways to use social media to find student loans.

social-mediaOnline Forums

Online forums can be a great way for students to talk to others about loan opportunities and financial aid options.

Wells Fargo, for example, began a forum to give students and their parents an opportunity to ask questions and gain information about student loan options.

The forum is moderated by Wells Fargo representatives but the conversation doesn’t have to revolve around Wells Fargo’s student loans. Instead, community members discuss any college-related topics, such as selecting a major or finding affordable housing.

Community members can also ask questions about financial aid and they can gain insight not only from Wells Fargo professionals, but also from other students and parents.

SoFi

SoFi, which is short for social finance, is a company that offers student loans in a non-traditional manner. Through SoFi, college alumni actually loan the money to students and use it as an investing opportunity.

Alumni donate the money to a general fund, which reduces each investor’s risk. After graduation, students begin repaying the loan in a similar fashion to traditional loans.

SoFi currently works with 78 different schools. The program reports that over $90 million has been invested with a zero default rate.

SoFi uses social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to attract perspective investors as well as students in need of financing.

GreenNote

GreenNote is another alternative way to borrow money for education by leveraging the social media power of friends and family.

Students looking to borrow money can fill out an online profile at GreenNote. Anyone in the student’s social network is then invited to loan money to the student.

GreenNote creates a legally binding contract for the loan and handles the details. The interest rate is fixed at 6.8 percent.

One of the benefits is that there is no credit check so students with a poor credit history can obtain funding. There is also no need for a co-signer.

Personal Social Media Efforts

Some students have taken financial into their hands and have found ways to leverage social media to help pay for tuition.

For example, some students have made announcements on Twitter asking people to help pay for their education.

Others have created their own websites or used Crowdfunding sites to attract attention to their financial. Some students ask for donations while others ask for loans.

Financial Aid Institutions and Social Media Problems

Some of the major financial aid institutions have been criticized for the way they’re using social media.

Sallie Mae has been in the spotlight for deleting criticism from students on its Facebook and Twitter pages. They’ve even been accused of blocking anyone who makes negative posts on their social media sites.

A financial institution’s use of social media can certainly have a big impact on how it is viewed by the community.

While many traditional lending institutions haven’t yet embraced social media, other non-traditional sources are using social media’s power to obtain funding for students.

About The Author:

Today’s guest article comes from Amy Morin. She writes about business and psychology topics, such as how small businesses can review reputation problems.

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