Amazon Prime Could Help You Save Money on Your Student Loans. Here’s How
Editor's Note: CNNMoney reports that this promotion ended on Aug. 31, 2016.
Amazon Prime Student is already an awesome deal for college students.
For $49 a year (after a free first six months), you get a lot: free, fast shipping on everything from textbooks to toilet paper, grocery-money-saving access to Prime Pantry and -- perhaps best of all after a long day of exhausting classes -- tons of movies and TV to binge through Prime video.
And that’s just the start: A Prime Student membership may even help you save money on your student loans.
Yep, you read that right! Here’s how.
Amazon Prime and Wells Fargo Team Up to Reduce Student Loan Interest Rates
On Thursday, the two companies announced they’ve teamed up to bring Prime Student members a special discount on private student loans through Wells Fargo, the largest private student lender among U.S. commercial banks.
As a Prime Student member with a Wells Fargo loan, you’ll be offered a 0.50% interest rate discount -- and you can stack another 0.25% reduction on top of that by enrolling in Wells’s automatic monthly loan repayment plan.
But what do those numbers actually mean for you?
Forbes writer Maggie McGrath uses the example of hypothetical College Student Cathy, who’s taken out a 10-year, 7%-fixed-rate loan for $10,000 through Wells Fargo.
If she doesn’t start paying until after a 15-month deferral, she’d be looking at a repayment total of $15,202.80.
But with the combined 0.75% reduction through this new deal, that total would be $14,611.20 in the same circumstances -- a savings of $591.
Not bad, right? Keep in mind McGrath’s math doesn’t include the actual cost of membership… but more on that in a moment.
To apply for the reduced-interest-rate loan, you or a cosigner will already need to be an Amazon Prime Student member in good standing. Since you can’t sign up for Amazon Prime Student until you actually enroll, this option will help with refinancing or taking out additional loans beyond the ones you used to first enroll in classes.
But the fine print doesn’t specify you have to remain a Prime or Prime Student member throughout the length of your loan -- you just need to have the membership in place before the date of first disbursement.
And since you’ll get a free six month trial of Prime Student when you first sign up, that means you might not have to pay a dime for this sweet discount.
To check out the full details for yourself and see about signing up, click here.
Want to Save Money on Your Student Loans?
Before you take Prime and Wells Fargo up on this offer, proceed with caution: Private loans are one of the costliest ways of financing your education.
If you can find a way -- any way -- to self-fund and avoid student loan debt in the first place, that’s your very best course of action.
A great way to do that? Apply your butt off for lots of scholarships and grants. It’s literally free money, so it’s worth the effort.
Cut down your debt by applying to a school that offers a great financial aid package. Some of the best value colleges in the country may very well raise your eyebrows.
And even if you do decide to hit the books and need to take out loans, look to Federal aid first -- its interest rates are lower, especially right now.
“Because they’re tied to the ten-year Treasury note (which fell in May’s auction),” McGrath explains, “rates on federal subsidized and unsubsidized student loans disbursed to undergraduates between July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017 are now 3.76%, down from 4.29%” from last year. Graduate student loans are at a similar low.
But if you still need private loans on top of everything, it’s worth saving a little bit more with your Prime membership. After all, it’s college -- everything helps.
No matter where you get your loans from, do your best to repay them as quickly as you can. We have resources to help!
This guy repaid his student loans before he graduated -- all by writing a blog.
And this girl got debt-free before graduation day, too… by working a side-job she designed and then leveraged into a full-time position.
Inspired yet? Here’s our guide to repaying student loan debt, no matter how much of it you have -- or avoiding it in the first place.
Happy studies! Hopefully those Prime movies will help -- and not hurt -- your cause.
Your Turn: What’s your major? And what’s your favorite thing to buy shipping-free on Amazon Prime?
Disclosure: What would Abe do? Probably pat us on the back for placing affiliate links in this post. Thanks for helping us fill The Penny Hoarder’s beer fridge!
Jamie Cattanach is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Her writing has also been featured at The Write Life, Word Riot and elsewhere. Find @JamieCattanach on Twitter to wave hello.