SF company helps those buried in student loans get out of debt

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A San Francisco company helps those buried in student loans get out of debt. 7 On Your Side takes a closer look at how it helped one student.

Cole Spear graduated from Babson College in Boston in 2010 with $185,000 in student loan debt.

Making his monthly payments of $1,800 required both sacrifice and discipline.

"Friends and family would want to go out and experience life. Go to the movies, go out to dinner," Speak said.

Spear often missed out.

Then a friend told him about Credible.com. The site helped to consolidate his six loans into one, reducing his interest rate by 5 percent.

"My monthly payments ended up decreasing by just about $600 a month," he said.

Stephen Dash is CEO of Credible. He says his company has partnerships with 70 organizations and some 15 lenders. Borrowers can apply to all 15 by filling out a single profile.

"We're able to match them with an array of lenders. So in 60 seconds, a borrower can receive multiple offers from multiple lenders," Dash said.

Joe Ridout from San Francisco-based Consumer Action said refinancing works better for those with private loans. "If you're dealing with federal loans, you should exercise extreme caution before refinancing," he said.

Federal loans in general offer the best rates available. They also offer money-saving programs such as interest-free deferment and income base repayment plans.

"Be very hesitant before you refinance a federal loan because you'll lose access to those benefits," Ridout said.

But for people like Spear with a good job and good credit scores, refinancing is a good option.

"Having banks competing for my business as part of a larger entity really allows things like this to happen. It's an awesome experience," Spear said.
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