Overture Technologies Develops Online Service to Provide Students with More Secure, Reliable Way to Shop for Private Student Loans

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Student Loan Marketplace to Enable Unprecedented Comparison Capabilities for Students, Transparent Resource for Schools, Efficient System for Lenders

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We built the Marketplace to put students in control of their private loans, giving them unprecedented insight into the details of the loan options available to them

Overture Technologies, the leading provider of decisioning software solutions that enable transparent, accurate and responsive lending processes for the mortgage and education finance industries, has announced the development of an online service that will be able to provide a more secure, reliable way for students to shop for private student loans. The Student Loan Marketplace is an innovative education financing tool that can help students and their families learn about and compare loan terms in an open and transparent network of lenders.

Overture plans to launch the service through marketing partners, such as associations of colleges and universities, and with participating lenders. The Student Loan Marketplace is the first multi-lender platform that allows students to review reliable private student loan terms based on their own personal and financial information instead of "as low as" advertisements for rates.

Amid the current rising costs of college and challenging economic environment, U.S. Department of Education data indicates applications for federal student aid in 2009 have increased by more than 20 percent over the same period last year. After exhausting all available scholarships, grants, work-study and low-cost federal loans, many students often must consider private student loans to finance part of the cost of education. This search has proven to be a challenge for many students, particularly those with little or no credit record, as the strain on credit markets has also resulted in a contraction of lending sources.

According to a College Board report on student borrowing trends, private student loan volume accounts for almost 25 percent of total education loan volume. The Student Loan Marketplace has been created to give students a secure, transparent resource where they can be matched with lenders to choose a loan based on the criteria that is most important to their individual situations.

*More Secure, Reliable Comparison Shopping for Students Who Are New to Borrowing

Currently, students new to borrowing are faced with a very confusing and time-consuming process to make apples-to-apples comparisons of private student loan terms from multiple lenders. If a student wishes to compare accurate rates and terms, he or she must enter personal information at each lender's web site and consent to a credit pull before obtaining information suitable for comparison shopping, and then determine how to interpret calculations of APR and other costs across various loan products. With just one credit pull, The Student Loan Marketplace presents a side-by-side comparison of reliable loan products and terms on one page, and provides helpful explanations of terms.

"We built the Marketplace to put students in control of their private loans, giving them unprecedented insight into the details of the loan options available to them," said David Kirby, general manager of Overture Technologies' Education Finance Solutions group. "The Marketplace platform enables reliable comparisons of multiple private student loans in minutes - until now, no resource like this has been available."    

*Providing Schools with a Transparent Way to Help Students Find Private Lenders

Financial aid administrators are trusted advisors to students who help them intelligently navigate the financial aid process by following smart borrowing practices and understanding the factors to consider before selecting a loan. The Student Loan Marketplace lists loan products in a transparent way, by total cost of the loan, APR and monthly payment amount, and allows advisors, such as school administrators, to feel confident that their students will have the information they need to select the optimal loan terms for their particular situations.

"By educating students about private loans and giving them the ability to select a loan product based on the criteria that is most important to them, the Marketplace can provide financial aid offices with a valuable new resource to share with their students to learn about and compare private student loans," said Kirby.

*Helping Lenders with Limited Liquidity to More Efficiently Reach Borrowers

Lenders' typical marketing outreach via traditional and web-based advertising programs can result in a number of borrower inquiries that do not meet their lending guidelines. Inquiries that fail to match the lenders' specified geographic region, school, FICO score or other criteria must be sorted out, adding costs to origination processes. In the Student Loan Marketplace, lenders can finely tune the parameters for presenting loan information to only those borrowers whose information matches with their terms.    

"Our platform levels the playing field for smaller lenders, such as state or regional credit unions and community banks, to enter the private student loan market with products that efficiently reach their targeted populations," said Kirby.

About Overture Technologies
Founded in 2000, Overture Technologies is the leading provider of decisioning software solutions that enable the transparent, accurate and responsive lending processes required in today's mortgage and higher education industries. Overture's customers are dedicated to providing superior mortgage underwriting, servicing and securitization services and to increasing students' access to higher education financing alternatives. Our leadership team applies decades of industry experience from leading financial services and technology firms to help our customers achieve their goals. For further information, call (301) 492-2155 or visit http://www.overturecorp.com.

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Robin Dvorak
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