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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Boston-based company launches site to help higher education funding

Boston-based company launches site to help higher education funding

The First Marblehead Corporation, a national lender that specializes in funding higher education, launched SmartBorrowing, a Web site designed to help parents and students find answers to questions about loan financing and borrowing money.

First Marblehead’s Web site, which hit the Internet on Sept. 20, is meant to serve as a “study guide” for those who are looking to educate themselves in higher education financing, and provides users with tools to help visualize the process of paying for college.

It is divided into five sections, which were decided on through surveys conducted that found that many people are not aware of the lowest-cost ways to help pay for a college education.

One of the sections is called “Start Early,” which suggests that parents begin to plan for college as soon as the discussion of higher education begins, noting that before high school is a good time to start as to not procrastinate, which First Marblehead said is “common in college funding preparation.”

Also, they have suggested that parents try to “estimate their share,” as to not borrow too much or too little and to examine all financial aid options before applying for private loans by applying for scholarships, grants and federal student loans first.

First Marblehead also said that many were not aware of the benefits that student loans have, such as payment deferments, the ability to pay off portions of loans over the Internet and that payments on private loans can be delayed if the borrower is experiencing financial difficulty.

To examine their sections further and to gain more information on how to better finance a college education, visit www.smartborrowing.com. To find more information on First Marblehead Corporation, visit www.firstmarblehead.com.