Legitimate student loan company?!?

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Techie-Micheal
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Legitimate student loan company?!?

Post by Techie-Micheal » Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:11 am

Being a college student, I need loans (and jobs, and grants, and scholarships, and ..., the list goes on). So the past few weeks, I've been noticing commercials for a company called Astrive Student Loans. Each time the commercial airs, I see a different domain name for the company.

They have astrive.com. But I've not seen an advertisement for it. But I have seen advertisements for 177 and 67 and so on. Turns out, not only do they have astrive.com but they own all the domain names from astrive1.com through 450. Anybody else question the legitimacy of such a company? Who thinks it is okay to do that?

On the same vein, I've seen "work from home" commercials that pull similar stunts. Various ones have been proven by others to be fraudulent.

So, the discussion is, would you not trust a company based on a) how many domain names they own and b) how similar those domain names are? The word scammer pops in to mind for me, what about you?
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Re: Legitimate student loan company?!?

Post by battye » Sat Sep 08, 2007 5:33 am

It sounds a little strange to me Techie. Legitimate companies would advertise one domain all the time, everytime.

Would you trust a company that advertises a different postal address each time you see their advertisement?
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Re: Legitimate student loan company?!?

Post by Techie-Micheal » Sat Sep 08, 2007 5:43 am

Exactly. That's why I'm thinking they are at the very least questionable, and possible worse.
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Re: Legitimate student loan company?!?

Post by A_O_C » Sat Sep 08, 2007 1:25 pm

im a college student too, and although i have seen the commercials, i have to admit that i never really paid attention to the domain name (namely because i have a great deal on my current loan). :D

you do bring up good points though. why would a company present a different domain name each time they advertise their service. how would you know whether your at a legit site or not?

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Re: Legitimate student loan company?!?

Post by A_Jelly_Doughnut » Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:32 pm

It is called per-inquiry advertising, and it is quite the industry. Your TV station/cable company is not paid for the airtime these advertisers occupy. They are paid somewhere between $5 and $50 for each person who calls the special 800 telephone number or visits the certain domain name. They use domains like foofoo83.com to differentiate "their" partners.

Consider Dr. Micheal Pinkus, creator of NuZymes, who claims that Jello killed his Grandma (she died of cancer; he claims that the coloring causes cancer; she ate Jello)
Matthew Lesko, the hyperactive, question-mark wearing man who has written over 70 books on Government programs

Yes, plenty of these products are worthless. But they aren't all bad...for example, many insurance policies are sold this way.

I don't have any particular comment on this student loan company. I just wanted to describe the process of PI advertising.
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Re: Legitimate student loan company?!?

Post by Techie-Micheal » Sat Sep 08, 2007 6:53 pm

Except that the commercials show up on the same channel, each time with a different name. Same company, same phone number, different domain name. There are less suspicious ways of accomplishing what you are looking for. Not to mention less expensive. How about example.com/abcd which would give them the same thing?
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Re: Legitimate student loan company?!?

Post by Techie-Micheal » Sat Sep 08, 2007 6:54 pm

A_Jelly_Doughnut wrote:Consider Dr. Micheal Pinkus, creator of NuZymes, who claims that Jello killed his Grandma (she died of cancer; he claims that the coloring causes cancer; she ate Jello)
Matthew Lesko, the hyperactive, question-mark wearing man who has written over 70 books on Government programs
What point are you trying to make exactly?
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Re: Legitimate student loan company?!?

Post by A_Jelly_Doughnut » Sat Sep 08, 2007 7:04 pm

The point of the quoted paragraph: there are some products sold this way that should not be on the market.

I'm not sure why they register a bunch of separate domains. I've seen one that did "charter.somedomain.com" (Charter was the cable company that played the spot.) I've also seen "call 1 800 974 1117 or visit buyvitamins1117.com".

As far as the multiple domains and same phone #, I have no idea. :? I've seen campaigns that weren't per-inquiry use a different phone number for each spot they ran to measure the effectiveness of a particular commercial. But I don't think I've ever noticed that.

Bottom line for me: if a per-inquiry advertiser and a "traditional" advertiser are offering similar service, I am inclined to do business with the traditional advertiser.
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Re: Legitimate student loan company?!?

Post by daskol » Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:37 pm

Hello all students. This is not "per inquiry" advertising, though that was pretty close. These loans, under the names Laurel Collegiate, Astrive and Monticello--are all products of a company called First Marblehead. They are a legitimate company, actually a pioneer in the private student loan industry. Even if you get a private student loan through your bank, there's a decent chance it's being underwritten by FMD, if your bank is, for example, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America or one of the other of dozens of FMD's cusotmers.

These above-mentioned brands, which are marketed directly to consumers, are used by the company as market research which it shares with its customers. They're testing the response to the individual ads--hence the ridiculous number of commercials during this high season for student borrowing, often with different URLs. In general, FMD private student loan products tend to be among the most competitive out there, so you should not be put off by the ads.

Do your homework, of course, but these loans are a good place to look after you've exhausted all the federal loan money and need to supplement with private student loans (better than credit cards, for example, if you can get the best available APRs).

Disclosure: I don't work for the company, just involved in the banking industry, have an interest in debt products and am investor in the company First Marblehead.

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Re: Legitimate student loan company?!?

Post by Techie-Micheal » Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:44 pm

It looks like they do have different phone numbers (now?).

But surely daskol, you see why my/our opinion is one of worry about the company in question?
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Re: Legitimate student loan company?!?

Post by Brf » Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:56 pm

Techie-Micheal wrote:Except that the commercials show up on the same channel, each time with a different name.
I noticed that myself a couple nights ago... Each commercial had a different "flavor" too, like they were written by different authors. I wonder if they are having some sort of contest where the commercial with the most replies would get some sort of reward. That would be one reason to have separate domains.

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Re: Legitimate student loan company?!?

Post by Heimidal » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:26 pm

I have had a great deal of success with Chase's (formerly BankOne's) Education One student loans. I highly recommend them.

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