Bank Of North Dakota Student Loans Review

Feeling overwhelmed by the choices of student loans available out there? Find out why Bank of North Dakota has the right student loans for you by getting an in dept understanding of the loan terms and what to expect with Bank of North Dakota

Updated by Taskeen Fatema on 18th December 2019

Student loans have become an unavoidable reality when it comes to after school education. The good part is that the choices of student loans in the market are so many, personalized to each and every possible situation. The flipside of the coin, however, is not to let this huge array of choices overwhelm you to the point of rash decision making.

Simply put, student loans being a means of investment for your future needs to be a fruitful investment. The Bank of North Dakota(BND) offers ways to help pay for the education of a college-bound citizen by providing more than one generous program. Established in 1919, The Bank of North Dakota is known to be the first publicly owned state bank back when it was set up by the North Dakota government. It works in correlation with the other financial institutions locally.

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Bank of North Dakota Student Loans Review

The services pertaining to students offered by Bank of North Dakota include private student loans as well as student loan refinancing. BND lends that money directly to students, cutting out the middleman, unlike with their other services like business loans, farm loans, etc. 

There are certain requirements of eligibility to be covered in order to avail of these services, which we will cover in our review.

Private student loans are the right option to cover educational expenses once you've exhausted your federal options. Given below are the pros and cons to give the borrower an overall idea of what to expect with Bank of North Dakota.

Pros

The best student loans are ones that offer extra benefits for borrowers. Here are some of the perks BND offers:

  • A discount of 0.25% for borrowers who sign up for automatic payments.

  • ​Borrowers can choose which day of the month they want their payments due therefore offering flexible repayment term options. (whether in school or after school)

  • Once borrowers have made 24 consecutive, on-time payments, they may be eligible for a cosigner release from the loan responsibility.

  • Competitive interest rates

Cons

  • This loan is only available to students living in or attending school in the northern region of those six states.

Loan Types offered by Bank of North Dakota 

There are broadly two types of student loans offered by the bank, for the purpose of refinancing :

  1. The first type of loan is  DEAL One Loan which permits North Dakota residents to refinance federal and private student loans from one or more lenders formulating into one loan at a low-interest rate.

  2. The second type is DEAL Consolidation Loan which is specifically for non-North Dakota residents who have a DEAL Student Loan. It allows them to refinance their DEAL Student Loan along with any other private or alternative student loans they have with other lenders. It is to be noted that federal student loans are excluded from this.

Both fixed and variable interest rates are offered by the bank.

The DEAL Student Loan can help you cover the cost of attending college if federal loans, grants, scholarships, and savings don’t meet funding needs. Undergraduate and graduate classes likewise can benefit from this.


Loan Terms offered by Bank of North Dakota

While getting a student loan it is crucial to understand the loan terms, you can use the terms offered as a basis to decide on a student loan lender. 

DEAL Student Loan

For both undergraduate and graduate students, the maximum loan limit is $50,000. Even though there is a specified limit, the bank makes sure to not lend you more than what your school certifies you to be needful of.

Repayment Options

There are 4 main repayment plans to choose from:

  1.   Standard Repayment Plan for a term duration of 10 years, with a levelled type of payment.

  2.   Graduated Repayment Plan for a term duration of 10 years, with a type of payment that increases over time.

  3.   Extended Repayment Plan for a term duration up to 25 years, and a levelled form of payment.

  4.   Extended-Graduated Repayment Plan for a term duration up to 25 years, and a payment type which increases over time.

For the extended repayment plan and the extended graduated repayment plan, the borrower must generally have a minimum of $30,000 in loans to qualify.

A point to be noted here is that if you are struggling with keeping up your payments, then longer repayment plans is the option to go for, even though you will have to pay more interest comparatively over the life of the loan.

For those students who don’t have a current high income but expect it to increase and grow over a certain period of time, also can find it beneficial to make payments which increases over time. (Banks graduated-payment)


DEAL One and DEAL Consolidation Loans

Unlike the DEAL student loan, these loans don’t have any loan limits on its refinancing options by the bank. However, there are certain credit criteria and eligibility requirements that vary based on the amount and the loans that the borrower wishes to refinance.

Repayment Options

The repayment terms under these type of loans depend on the amount being refinanced.

  •     With a loan amount up to $10,000, the term duration is 10 years.

  •     With a loan amount between $10,001 and $20,000, the term duration is 15 years.

  •     With a loan amount between $20,001 and $30,000, the term duration is 20 years.

  •     With a loan amount of $30,001 and up, the term duration is 25 years.

Loan Amount

Different banks and student loans have different loan limits specified by them.

Generally, the minimum student loan amount that can be borrowed is $500 and the maximum loan limit is $50,000; for undergraduate students and for graduate students. As mentioned above, the borrower cannot borrow an amount more than certified by his/her respective school.

If the maximum amount of $50,000 isn’t enough to cover up the fees for the school of your choice, you can get a work-study job and try to pursue scholarships and grants as well.

Interest Rates offered 

The interest rates are competitive through DEAL loans, starting at 3.79% for the variable annual percentage rate and 4.53% for the fixed-rate loans. Before immediately deciding the lower interest rate for the variable rate is the better option, keep in mind it will fluctuate over time and potentially end up higher than the fixed rate.

There is also a 3.75% administration fee for the loan that is added to the total payment amount, but BND covers that fee for North Dakota residents and those who attend a North Dakota school.

The APR calculation assumes a loan of $10,000, two disbursements 120 days apart, a fixed interest rate of 4.74% or a variable interest rate of 3.93%, a loan fee BND pays for you and a 10-year repayment term. 

The APR calculation also assumes that no payments are made by the consumer until 4.5 years (estimated in-school/grace period) after the first disbursement is made. Interest that accrues during in-school and grace periods (if not paid) is added to the balance when the loan enters repayment.

And it also offers a 0.25% interest rate reduction for borrowers who sign up for auto pay. For the refinance, the rates are the same as they are for the DEAL student loan.

Fees

A highlight here is that BND pays any fee that comes up for you whether you are a North Dakota resident or an out-of-state resident attending a North Dakota school.

Eligibility Requirements 

When the option of federal loans, grants, scholarships and the limited savings fail to meet your funding needs; the DEAL student loan from BND comes into the picture.

The eligibility requirements for the DEAL student loan financial aid option include borrowers having an existing BND student loan, or they have to be residing in attending an eligible school in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming, or Wisconsin. . If you are an out-of-state resident attending a North Dakota school, you do not pay fees and may choose a fixed or variable interest rat

Whereas, if you are a resident of North Dakota, it may be used for approved in-state and out-of-state schools.

Some eligibility requirements also vary depending on the type of loan being applied for.

Certain basic qualifications deem you to adhere to the following:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen attending an eligible school making satisfactory progress in an accredited program and not having any loans in default.

  • You should attend school more than half-time and must have completed the FAFSA. But note that if you attend less than half-time, you do not need to complete the FAFSA.

  • Your respective school has the authority to certify your current enrolment, acceptance for enrolment, academic progress and eligibility.

  • Being a North Dakota high school student and being a part of a dual credit program.

  • You i.e. the borrower or a creditworthy cosigner, must meet specific credit criteria and bank requirements.

How to apply

First and foremost, the primary requirement for applicants interested to partake in benefiting from DEAL private loans is to have to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) just as students pursuing federal student loans would have to complete.

The official website has made it user-friendly to access information regarding interest rates, fees, eligibility requirements, and so on. There is a detailed FAQ section that will answer most and any of your related queries.

Clicking the ‘learn more’ button will lead you to further narrow your options as per your citizenship, the type of loan and so on, making it convenient to find what you’re looking for.

This kind of transparency is generally not the case with many loan companies without having to call the company or visiting the physical branch.

Next, you can apply for a loan by creating an account with Bank of North Dakota. Once you fill out your application, Bank of North Dakota will review it and determine your eligibility.

You can easily apply online by clicking “Apply now” below. First, click on “Login/Create Account” then “Apply Online” as it comes. If you prefer to complete a paper application, click on the tab of ‘forms’.


Contact Information

The user-friendly and beneficial interface with  set system in place grants direct access to private, alternative and public loans that will fund undergraduate or graduate college degree 

If you have any questions regarding the application as such, feel free to contact on the following number

701.328.5660.

Website - https://bnd.nd.gov/

Although the bank has no physical branches, it offers banking and loan services through its headquarters in the state’s capital, Bismarck. It also partners with more than 100 North Dakota financial institutions to better serve the state’s residents on a local level.

The Bank of North Dakota, serendipitously owned by the state government, provides a number of attractive student loan options to North Dakota residents. BND is akin to a state-sanctioned clearinghouse for the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) loans, including college planning tools and articles, interest rate calculators, and even information on the tax benefits of your financial aid package.

Before locking into anything or starting the official application process, make sure to fully explore your options so you can get the best rate available to you and reduce the cost of your college experience.