The SimpleScore is a proprietary scoring metric we use to objectively compare products and services at The Simple Dollar.
For every review, our editorial team:
- Identifies five measurable aspects to compare across each brand
- Determines the rating criteria for each aspect score
- Averages the five aspect scores to produce a single SimpleScore™
Here’s a breakdown of the five aspect scores and their rating criteria for our review of the best student loans of 2020.
Max Fixed Rate
Lenders who offered a lower maximum fixed rate were awarded higher scores.
|Max Fixed Rate||Over 15.01%||13.01% – 15%||11.01% – 13%||9.01% – 11%||Under 9%|
We awarded higher scores for lenders that list more perks including services, discounts and special offers for their borrowers.
|Perks||No perks||1 perk||2 perks||3 perks||4 + perks|
Lenders that laid it all bare by publishing important data about products — APR, offered loan amounts, applicable fees and customer support contact links — scored higher for transparency.
|Transparency||0 data points||1 data point||2 data points||3 data points||4 data points|
Lenders that offered higher loan amounts compared to others received higher scores.
|Loan Amount||Under 200K||N/A||$200K – $500K||N/A||100% of cost|
We awarded higher scores to lenders that have fewer loan fees for borrowers.
|Fees||+4 fees||3 fees||2 fees||1 fee||0 fees|