Best Private Student Loans – You may want to consider private student loans if you have exhausted all of your scholarship, grant, work-study, and federal student loan options.
We recommend adding a creditworthy cosigner to your student loan application in order to increase your chances of approval from private lenders. To save money on your loan, a cosigner may be able to get you a lower interest rate by signing on.
We’ve spent countless hours researching rates, repayment terms, unique benefits, and more to bring you the best private student loans from our partners.
Compare the Best Private Student Loan Lenders
The street is College Avenue
The Best of the Best
College Ave is a Delaware-based online student loan lender. All of the lender’s efforts are directed toward making a college education more affordable for students and their families.
College Ave offers its Multi-Year Peace of MindTM when you borrow from them. 90% of undergraduates who apply for additional loans with a cosigner are approved, thanks to this benefit.
That isn’t the only reason why College Avenue is a great location. Selecting the repayment term and plan that works best for you is also explained in detail in this tool.
If so, would you like to learn more about getting a loan from College Ave? With a single click, you can get an instant credit decision in as little as three minutes!
Sallie Mae & Co.
This is our top pick for cosigners:
Newark, Delaware is the headquarters of Sallie Mae, the world’s most popular student loan lender. It used to be a government agency in charge of servicing federal student loan debts when it was first set up. During the period from 1997 to 2004, Sallie Mae became a fully private bank and began offering private student loans.
Sallie Mae is the largest private student loan lender in the United States today. Credit cards, savings accounts, and other services have all been added to the company’s product line.
Benefits for Sallie Mae borrowers include four months of free Chegg® study help, Multi-Year Advantage, and no origination or application fees. Returning undergraduates who have a cosigner are 95 percent more likely to be approved for a future loan when using Multi-Year Advantage.
You can apply for Sallie Mae’s loans here. To get a credit decision in 15 minutes or less, simply click here.
Best for No Fees is our selection.
Earnest is a San Francisco-based online lender. Higher education is a top priority for the lender, which is why it was set up in the first place.
Earnest loans come with no fees, which is one of the main advantages of taking out a loan with Earnest. In many cases, lenders advertise their student loans as having no application or origination fees, but this only refers to these fees. It’s free to apply for a loan with Earnest, and there are no fees if you pay off your loan early or make late payments.
Earnest doesn’t charge any fees, and it also offers a longer grace period than the industry average and the option to skip a payment once a year.
Do you want to work for Earnest? Click here to see if you qualify in under two minutes.
In terms of forbearance, this is our favorite.
Ascent is a San Diego-based online student loan lender. In comparison to other lenders, it offers three different options for student loans. All three of these options are non-cosigned and do not require a cosigner to guarantee the loan.
Ascent’s deferment and forbearance options will be welcomed by borrowers looking for repayment protection. The deferment of Ascent’s student loans is available to active-duty military personnel, students still enrolled in school, and students completing a residency or internship.
Temporary hardship forbearance, administrative forbearance, and natural disaster or declared emergency forbearance are some of the loan options available to those in financial distress. There are three ways in which you can extend the term of your loan.
Are you thinking about submitting an application to Ascent? By clicking here, you can prequalify and check your rate without affecting your credit.
For Member Benefits, this is our favorite.
Based out of San Francisco, California, SoFi is a mobile-first online personal finance company. In 2012, it became known as the first company to refinance both federal and private student loans at the same time. There have been more than $50 billion in loans funded since then in nearly all consumer lending markets.
To borrow money from SoFi, one of the most enticing features is the wide array of benefits available to its customers. There are three types of advantages: financial, social, and professional.
Among the monetary perks are expert financial planning advice, referral bonuses, and discounted member rates. Attending networking events, dinners, and happy hours is one way to reap the benefits of the community. Benefits for your professional development include resources to help you get a raise, individualized career guidance, and unemployment insurance.
Is SoFi on your list of potential lenders? By clicking here, you can prequalify in minutes without affecting your credit score.
This is How We Selected the Best Private Student Loans:
When it comes to private student loan lenders, LendEDU has been conducting reviews since 2014. It included 12 of our partners, including some of the biggest players in the industry.
The following are the seven factors we considered when determining how well each lender performed:
Interest rates: Your loan’s interest rate is the most important factor in determining how much you’ll pay back. Lenders with low rates and discounts were highly regarded by us.
Our evaluation of repayment options was based on the fact that most borrowers will be repaying their student loans for a long time. Borrower-friendly terms were most valued by lenders.
Make sure you have enough money in the bank to cover all of your expenses before taking out a student loan. The best lenders are those who offer loans covering the entire cost of education. Please keep in mind that you should only remove what you actually need. Small student loans are an option if you don’t want to take on more debt than you have to.
Over 90% of new private student loans include a cosigner, according to most estimates. That lender was valued more highly than the others because it released its cosigners from their obligations.
Fees: This page cannot feature any private lender that charges fees for origination, application, or prepayment. However, lenders may impose additional fees, such as late payment penalties. The better a lender’s credit rating, the lower the fees it charges.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) assigns a grade to businesses based on their propensity to interact with their clients. Scores range from A+ to F. This is a helpful rating to keep in mind for students who may have questions about their loans at some point in their repayment period. The better a lender did, the higher its rating was.
To differentiate themselves from their rivals, most student loan servicers provide special perks and rewards to their customers. Free subscription, graduation reward, unemployment assistance are just some of the many perks available. The highest marks went to lenders who offered perks that allowed borrowers to keep a tighter rein on the costs of their loans.
In order to determine which lenders were best for different situations, we first rated each one. For example, if a lender didn’t allow borrowers to choose between in-school or deferred payments, they didn’t make the cut.
Which of the following is best for you?
The amount of federal student loans that can be borrowed each year of undergraduate study is capped. Federal Parent PLUS loans, private student loans, and state loan programs are all possibilities if you need to borrow more money.
When you graduate, you should have a good idea of how much money you have left over. You should be able to cover your monthly student loan payments from your expected starting salary once you’ve taken care of your basic living expenses, such as rent, groceries, and transportation. More student debt may not be the solution to paying for college if this appears to be a problem.
Make sure you and your family thoroughly research the various student loan options available to you.
How to choose the best private student loan
To help students and their families find the best private student loans, we’ve compiled a list of the best private loan providers. We also encourage students and their families to conduct their own research.
The most important thing you can do when looking for a private student loan is to compare your options. You’ll be able to find a low-interest loan with terms that are agreeable to you as the borrower if you do this. In order to find the best private student loans, we recommend following these steps:
Organize a list of student loan providers you’re interested in. It is best to select a company that has demonstrated a track record of supporting borrowers through the repayment process.
Check each lender’s requirements to see if you qualify. To qualify for a private loan, borrowers must meet a variety of different criteria. If you want to avoid a lot of hard credit checks, make sure you’re approved with the lender first. Remember that adding a cosigner to your loan will increase your chances of approval, but that cosigner is on the hook if you are unable to repay the loan. The lender should be eliminated from consideration if you or your cosigner do not meet the eligibility requirements for a loan therein.
Check out the loan terms. What happens if the loan is not paid back in the event of your death or disability? Loan discharge for death or disability is available from all of the lenders we’ve reviewed, but this isn’t true of all lenders. Students should consider low-cost life insurance to protect their cosigners if they borrow money from a lender who does not allow for forgiveness due to death or disability. There may be forbearance programs available if you lose your job in the middle of your repayment period even though private student loan lenders do not have the same income-based repayment plans as federal student loan lenders. Having a basic understanding of these programs can be beneficial.
Compare rates from the lenders for which you are qualified. The only way to know the exact interest rate you’ll pay is to prequalify or submit a full application, even if the lender shows a range of possible rates on their website. When possible, use soft credit checks to reduce the number of hard credit inquiries on your credit report.
Verify the accuracy of your estimates. Comparing your offers from each lender once you’ve received a rate estimate will help you find the best deal possible. Consider the length of the repayment period, the borrower’s rights, and any additional benefits that may apply.
Decide on a lending institution. In order to get the best deal, make sure the lender you choose offers a wide range of loan options, as well as protections for borrowers in the event of an emergency. Wait for the lender to tell you what the next steps are after you’ve chosen a lender and submitted your application.