Choosing The Right Lender Will Pay Off Long Term

We've narrowed down the list of all student loan lenders, and provide you with our top recommendations below.  Remember, before taking out student loans you should first apply for all scholarships, grants, and work-study programs you are eligible for.  This is a good way to get money for college, which you won't have to pay back in the future. 

You should then apply for federal student loans before deciding to take out private student loans.  Why?  Federal student loans have borrower protections that you may not find with private loans, such as forgiveness programs (in cases of financial hardship) or income-based repayment plans.

For many of us, the reality is that scholarships, grants, and federal loans will not cover the full cost of college, and that is where private student loans can play a key role. 

 

loansmack recommendations

We've done the hard work to narrow down the choices.

 

 
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FAQs about private loans

+ What are private student loans?

A private student loan is a loan that is issued by private lenders (including banks, credit unions, and other types of lenders) and is not issued by the federal government. Interest rates for private loans are determined by the lender, based on its underwriting criteria (borrower credit history, income, etc.).

+ Are there any downsides to private loans?

Private loans can be a great option to lower your monthly payments by getting a better interest rate. However, there are some things to consider when thinking about applying for a private student loan:

1) Private loans do not have income-driven repayment plans.

2) Private lenders aren’t required to have forbearance or deferment options, and each lender has different payment postponement policies.

3) Private student loans may require an established credit record. The cost of your private student loan will depend on your credit score and other factors.

+ How do I qualify for a private student loan?

In order to qualify for a private student loan, most student lenders look at a combination of credit score and income. If you have low credit or no credit history you may need a cosigner.


A little more on each lender


Access to multiple lenders at once

  • Student loans for undergraduate and graduate.
  • No origination fees or prepayment penalties.
  • Can apply with & without a cosigner; cosigner release offered.
  • Read our full review.

 
 

Highly regarded for customer service

  • Student loans for undergraduate and graduate.
  • No prepayment penalties.
  • Interest-rate reduction of 0.25% if you enroll in Auto Pay.
  • Read our full review.

 
 

Quick & easy process

  • Student loans for undergraduate and graduate.
  • No origination fees or prepayment penalties.
  • Can apply with & without a cosigner; cosigner release offered.
  • Read our full review.

 
 
 

Known for some of the lowest rates

  • Student loans for undergraduate and graduate.
  • No origination fees or prepayment penalties.
  • Can apply with & without a cosigner; cosigner release offered.
  • Read our full review.

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Provides a financial literacy course

  • Student loans for undergraduate and graduate.
  • No origination fees or prepayment penalties.
  • Can apply with & without a cosigner; cosigner release offered.
  • Read our full review.

 
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Multi-Year borrowing option

  • Student loans for undergraduate and graduate.
  • No origination fees or prepayment penalties.
  • Can apply with & without a cosigner; cosigner release offered.
  • Read our full review.

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Broad range of loan products

  • Student loans for undergraduate and graduate.
  • No origination fees or prepayment penalties.
  • Interest-rate reduction of 0.25% if you enroll in Auto Pay.
  • Read our full review.

 

Quick application process

  • Student loans for undergraduate and graduate.
  • No origination fees or prepayment penalties.
  • Can apply with & without a cosigner; cosigner release offered.
  • Read our full review.

 

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