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Best Private Student Loans March 2024

Private student loans are unsecured loans, that can be used to cover some or all of your college education. These loans have varying terms and conditions than federal student loans. Many private lenders offer student loans to undergraduate, graduate, technical college, or professional-level students.

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Key Facts

  • Min credit score: 650
  • Must be a U.S. permanent resident or have a cosigner who is
  • Applicants must have a minimum gross annual income of $35,000
  • Applicants must be enrolled in a degree-granting program at an eligible institution

Pros

pros iconFlexible repayment options

pros iconQuick application review process

pros iconGood range of loan types

pros iconCompetitive rates

Cons

cons iconNeed to hit satisfactory academic progress

cons iconLate payment fee in place

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or MY Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply. $5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy, or veterinary doctorate degrees and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees.
The information advertised is valid as of 01/27/2021. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as the borrower or co-signer, if applicable, enrolls in auto-pay and authorizes our loan servicer to automatically deduct your monthly payments from a valid bank account via Automated Clearing House (“ACH”).
The rate reduction applies for as long as the monthly payment amount is successfully deducted from the designated bank account and is suspended during periods of forbearance and certain deferments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
College Ave payment example: This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61.
Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. We have two trigger terms present, “Loan Amount” and “terms 5-20 years,” which our legal team requires disclosures. $5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy, or veterinary doctorate degrees and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees.
The information advertised is valid as of 03/25/2021. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. Loan Example: A $10,000 loan with a 5-year term at 13% Annual Percentage Rate (APR) would be repayable in 60 monthly installments of $228 each. The actual payment amount and year-end balance will vary based on the APR, loan amount, and term selected. In this case the total amount expected to pay by the borrower will be $13,680

  • $1K-$300K Loan Amount
  • 650 Min Credit
  • Min 411% APR Fixed
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Key Facts

  • Minimum credit score: 650/680
  • Minimum of $5,000 loan balance
  • Must be a US citizen or hold a 10-year Permanent Resident Card
  • Student loan debt must be from Title IV-accredited schools
  • Must be employed, have a written job offer that will begin in 6 months, or possess consistent income
  • Must not have any previous bankruptcies on credit report

Pros

pros iconLow interest rates

pros iconYou can customize your loan payment

pros iconYou can skip 1 payment every 12 months (after at least 5 months of on-time interest payments)

pros iconNo origination or prepayment fees

Cons

cons iconYou can’t apply with a cosigner

cons iconCredit score minimum of 650

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  • $1K-$500K Loan Amount
  • 650 Min Credit
  • 4.45-14.9% APR Fixed
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Key Facts

  • Minimum credit score of 660 to 700
  • Debt-to-income ratios vary by lender
  • Annual income requirements vary by lender
  • Minimum annual income: $24,000

Pros

pros iconCan refinance Parent PLUS loans

pros iconQuickly compare multiple lending partners on a single platform

pros iconGet your rate and find out if you qualify with a soft credit pull

pros iconSome lending partners will refinance student loans without a degree

Cons

cons iconSame interest rate as going directly through lender

cons iconThose with high debt-to-income ratios may find it challenging to find a lender

Personal Loans Rate and Terms Disclosure: Rates for personal loans provided by lenders on the Credible platform range between 4.60% – 35.99% APR with terms from 12 to 84 months. Rates presented include lender discounts for enrolling in autopay and loyalty programs, where applicable. Actual rates may be different from the rates advertised and/or shown and will be based on the lender’s eligibility criteria, which include factors such as credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history, and vary based on loan purpose. The lowest rates available typically require excellent credit, and for some lenders, may be reserved for specific loan purposes and/or shorter loan terms. The origination fee charged by the lenders on our platform ranges from 0% to 8%. Each lender has their own qualification criteria with respect to their autopay and loyalty discounts (e.g., some lenders require the borrower to elect autopay prior to loan funding in order to qualify for the autopay discount). All rates are determined by the lender and must be agreed upon between the borrower and the borrower’s chosen lender. For a loan of $10,000 with a three year repayment period, an interest rate of 7.99%, a $350 origination fee and an APR of 11.51%, the borrower will receive $9,650 at the time of loan funding and will make 36 monthly payments of $313.32. Assuming all on-time payments, and full performance of all terms and conditions of the loan contract and any discount programs enrolled in included in the APR/interest rate throughout the life of the loan, the borrower will pay a total of $11,279.43. As of March 3, 2022, none of the lenders on our platform require a down payment nor do they charge any prepayment penalties..

Prequalified rates are based on the information you provide and a soft credit inquiry. Receiving prequalified rates does not guarantee that the Lender will extend you an offer of credit. You are not yet approved for a loan or a specific rate. All credit decisions, including loan approval, if any, are determined by Lenders, in their sole discretion. Lenders will conduct a hard credit pull when you submit your application. Hard credit pulls will have an impact on your credit score. Lowest rate advertised is not available for all loan sizes, types, or purposes, and assumes a very well qualified borrower with an excellent credit profile. Loan Example: A $10,000 loan with a 5-year term at 13% Annual Percentage Rate (APR) would be repayable in 60 monthly installments of $228 each. The actual payment amount and year-end balance will vary based on the APR, loan amount, and term selected. In this case the total amount expected to pay by the borrower will be $13,680.

Bonus disclosure:
“All bonus payments are by gift card.”

*Not all available financial products and offers from all financial institutions have been reviewed by this website

  • $5K-$500K Loan Amount
  • 660 Min Credit
  • 4.11-15.49% APR Fixed
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Pros

pros iconHELOC loan, so funds can be used for a student loan or refinancing

pros iconQuicker application process than a traditional student loan

pros iconCompetitive rates of interest available

Cons

cons iconNot available in all US states

cons iconNo co-signer option

cons iconOnly certain housing types are eligible

Figure Disclaimer: Figure Lending LLC dba Figure. 15720 Brixham Hill Avenue, Suite 300, Charlotte, NC 28277. (888) 819-6388. NMLS ID 1717824.

For licensing information, go to www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org. Equal Opportunity Lender. Equal Housing Opportunity. This site is not authorized by the New York State Department of Financial Services. No mortgage solicitation activity or loan applications for properties located in the State of New York can be facilitated through this site.

As a representative example, an eligible borrower obtained a loan amount of $15,000 with a 5% origination fee at an interest rate of 9.65% for 36 months. That would include an origination fee of $750.00 for an APR of 13.204%. They would receive $14,250.00 and make 36 monthly payments of $481.55. Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $50,000; loan term lengths are 36 months or 60 months.

California loans are made and arranged according to a Finance Lenders Law License. Licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Finance Lenders Law (License 60DBO81967). To check the rates and terms you qualify for, we will conduct a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. Yet, if you continue and submit an application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

Figure’s Personal Loan APRs range from 5.75% to 31.44%, inclusive of a 0.25% discount for enrolling in autopay. The lowest APRs are for the most qualified applicants based on factors such as credit score, debt-to-income ratio, credit utilization, and credit inquiries; rates will be higher for other applicants. The advertised APR is only available for applicants who are eligible for and select 3-year loan terms; longer terms have higher rates. Rates frequently change, so your exact rate will depend on the date you apply.

You will be responsible for an origination fee of up to 5.00% of your loan amount, depending on your credit profile and the state where you reside. Loan terms and prices are also subject to change. Figure’s Personal Loan amounts range from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $50,000. You may not be eligible for our maximum amount, as the minimum and maximum loan amounts vary depending on the state in which you reside and your credit profile.

Figure’s Personal Loan Referral Program is unavailable for borrowers or applicants in Kentucky, Ohio, or Rhode Island and does not apply to any of Figure’s other loan products. For either party to be eligible to receive the $150 gift card, they must fund the referred loan. Once complete, it may take up to 5 business days to fulfill the gift card orders, which will be delivered electronically to the email addresses associated with each account.

Next Day Funding requires the application to be approved and documents signed before 4 p.m. PST or 7 p.m. EST. Please check with your institution to ensure funds availability before attempting to access the funds. Limit one $100 bonus per customer. The bonus will be deposited in the Figure Pay account within 30 days of the second consecutive deposit, satisfying the requirements for the bonus.

HELOC:* Approval may be granted in five minutes but is ultimately subject to verification of income and employment, as well as verification that your property is in at least average condition with a property condition report. Five business day funding timeline assumes closing the loan with our remote online notary. Funding timelines may be longer for loans secured by properties located in counties that do not permit recording of e-signatures or that otherwise require an in-person closing.
*Available APRs range from 8.1% – 16.30%*.(the advertised APR includes a combined 0.45% discount for opting into a credit union membership (0.2%) and enrolling in autopay (0.25%) as well as payment of higher origination fee in exchange for a reduced rate, which is not available to all applicants or in all states). The lowest APRs are only available to the most qualified applicants, depending on credit profile and the state where the property is located, and those who also select five year loan terms; APRs will be higher for other applicants and those who select longer loan terms. As representative example, for a borrower with a 60% CLTV and a 740 credit score who is eligible for and chooses to pay a 4.99% origination fee in exchange for a reduced APR on a five-year Figure Home Equity Line with an initial draw amount of $50,000 would have a fixed annual percentage rate (APR) of 9.95%. The total loan amount would be $54,975. Alternatively, a borrower with the same credit profile who pays a 3.99% origination fee would have an APR of 10.24% and a total loan amount of $55,120. Your actual rate will depend on many factors such as your credit, combined loan-to-value ratio, loan term, occupancy status, and whether you are eligible for and choose to pay a higher origination fee in exchange for a lower rate. Rates change frequently so your exact APR will depend on the date you apply. APRs for home equity lines of credit do not include costs other than interest. Property insurance is required as a condition of the loan and flood insurance may be required if your property is located in a flood zone.

  • $20K-$400K Loan Amount
  • 640 Min Credit
  • 6.10-14.74% APR Fixed
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Key Facts

  • Minimum credit score of 660
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio of 50%
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency
  • Minimum of an associate’s degree from a federal financial aid-eligible school
  • Must not live in Nevada, Rhode Island, Maine, North Dakota, or West Virginia

Pros

pros iconNo origination fee

pros iconForbearance available

pros iconLow minimum annual income of $24,000; $12,000 with a cosigner

pros iconBorrowers can refer new borrowers to LendKey for a $200 bonus

Cons

cons iconNo option for bi-weekly autopay payments

cons iconNot available without a degree

We are not a lender or broker. We do not take applications, make loans, or make credit decisions in connection with your loans. We are not registered or licensed by any state or federal governmental entity for our services. You may contact us using the information in the Notice and Contacting Us section below. We work to arrange for the extension of credit through one of our Lenders. We use the information you provide us to allow our Lenders to offer loans that may be of interest to you.

We collect information from you to register you as a user of our website and to determine if you meet a Lender’s eligibility criteria. After we analyze the information you provide, we will work with Lenders to arrange a loan offered by a Lender.

If you are eligible to apply for loans offered by Lenders, then we may display choices that may interest you. You will then have the opportunity to select one of the choices. If you do not meet the eligibility criteria for the Lenders, then we may not provide you with any choices.

You will have to complete an application with a Lender before it offers you a loan. Lenders offer these terms directly to you. We may transfer your information to Lenders at your request and with your authorization to allow the Lender to prepare your application with it for you to submit. This is the point that you start an application process for a loan from the Lender that you have selected. The application process takes place with the Lender; we do not offer you the loan.

  • $5K-$300K Loan Amount
  • 660 Min Credit
  • 4.89-10.39% APR Fixed
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Key Facts

  • Minimum credit score of 650
  • Minimum loan amount of $5,000
  • US citizen, permanent resident or visa holder
  • Employed with sufficient income or have an offer of employment beginning in the next 3 months
  • Graduated with an associate’s degree or higher from a Title IV school
  • Looking to refinance education debt only

Pros

pros iconStudent loans have competitive rates and no hidden fees

pros iconQualified education loans are eligible for refinancing

pros iconMembership benefits and discounts

pros iconFlexible repayment plans and deferment available

Cons

cons iconHigher eligibility requirements than other student loan lenders (ex. 650 minimum credit score)

cons iconNot all student loans come with a cosigner release option (though you may be able to remove the cosigner by refinancing)

“SoFi” is a registered trademark of Social Finance, Inc. SoFi is not affiliated with colleges and universities listed on SoFi.com. Colleges and universities listed on SoFi.com do not endorse, promote or recommend SoFi loan products.

Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or other eligible status and and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, evaluation of your creditworthiness, years of professional experience, income, and a variety of other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers, or may become available, such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate, NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

Loan Example: A $10,000 loan with a 5-year term at 13% Annual Percentage Rate (APR) would be repayable in 60 monthly installments of $228 each. The actual payment amount and year-end balance will vary based on the APR, loan amount, and term selected. In this case the total amount expected to pay by the borrower will be $13,680

✝︎ To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

©2022 Social Finance, Inc. All rights reserved.”

Fixed rates from 3.99% APR to 9.99% APR reflect the 0.25% autopay interest rate discount and a 0.25% direct deposit interest rate discount. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 01/16/24 and are subject to change without notice. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, and a variety of other factors.Loan amounts range from $5,000– $100,000. The APR is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and reflects both your interest rate and an origination fee of 0%-6%, which will be deducted from any loan proceeds you receive.Autopay: The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.Direct Deposit Discount: To be eligible to potentially receive an additional (0.25%) interest rate reduction for setting up direct deposit with a SoFi Checking and Savings account offered by SoFi Bank, N.A. or eligible cash management account offered by SoFi Securities, LLC (“Direct Deposit Account”), you must have an open Direct Deposit Account within 30 days of the funding of your Loan. Once eligible, you will receive this discount during periods in which you have enabled payroll direct deposits of at least $1,000/month to a Direct Deposit Account in accordance with SoFi’s reasonable procedures and requirements to be determined at SoFi’s sole discretion. This discount will be lost during periods in which SoFi determines you have turned off direct deposits to your Direct Deposit Account. You are not required to enroll in direct deposits to receive a Loan.

  • $5K-$500K Loan Amount
  • 650 Min Credit
  • 4.99-9.99% APR Fixed
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Key Facts

  • Credit score of 640 or higher (varies by lender)
  • Lenders require at least an associate degree
  • Some lenders require a bachelor’s degree from a Title IV accredited school
  • Degree requirements vary according to the lender
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident of the United States

Pros

pros iconEasy pre-qualification with no hard credit pull

pros iconGet to search rates from multiple banks and credit unions at once

pros iconGreat customer service reputation

pros iconReasonable interest rates available

Cons

cons iconNot available to people with bad credit rating

cons iconTerms and requirements vary by lender partner

cons iconYou may need to join a credit union if you want a loan from that establishment

Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are subject to change at any point before application submission. Your pre-qualified rate is based on the information you provided. All final offers require verified credit information which could impact your qualified rate. The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether Splash’s lending partners can make you a loan offer.

Some lending partners may require less info if you apply directly on their website. If a lending partner has an available loan for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. Please be advised that a lending partner with an available loan offer for you may conduct another soft credit pull as part of its application review process.

To qualify, a borrower must be a US citizen or other eligible status and meet lender underwriting requirements. The borrower must meet applicable underwriting requirements based on specific lender criteria. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate as advertised. Also, the lowest rates are reserved for the highest-qualified borrowers.

Splash does not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates. It will depend on various factors, including the term of the loan, a responsible financial history, income, and other factors. Variable rates are subject to change.

For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $343.33.

  • $5K-$500K Loan Amount
  • 650 Min Credit
  • 4.49-9.99% APR Fixed
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Key Facts

  • Min credit score: 620
  • US citizens or permanent residents only
  • Terms and rates vary by lender

Pros

pros iconConveniently compare different refiance offers from several lenders in one place

pros iconInitial application doesn’t hurt your credit score

pros iconEasy to navigate website and fast application process

pros iconCompletely free service with no obligation to choose a loan

Cons

cons iconNot a direct lender, so terms and rates may vary

cons iconFiona may share personal data with its partners or affiliates

cons iconHard credit check may be required when applying through a direct lender

Even Financial, Inc./ Fiona (“Fiona”, “Even”, “Even Financial”, “we”, “us”, “our”) provides our Services (described below) to you through our website located at www.hifiona.com (the “Site”) and through our online content, tools and services related to the marketplace, whether accessed on the Site or through third-party websites, mobile sites and/or applications (collectively, such services, including any new features and applications, and the Site, the “Services”), subject to the following Terms of Service (as amended from time to time, these “Terms of Service”). We reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to change or modify portions of these Terms of Service at any time without further notice. You should periodically visit this page to review the current Terms of Service so you are aware of any revisions to which you are bound. If we make any revisions, we will post them on this page and will indicate at the top of this page the date these Terms of Service were last revised. We will also notify you of any material changes through a pop-up notice, email or other reasonable means. Your continued use of the Services after any such changes constitutes your acceptance of the new Terms of Service. If you do not agree to abide by these or any future Terms of Service, do not use or access (or continue to use or access) the Services. In addition, when using certain services, you will be subject to any additional terms applicable to such services that may be posted on or in connection with the Services from time to time, including, without limitation, the Privacy Policy located at https://hifiona.com/privacy. All such terms are hereby incorporated by reference into these Terms of Service. If there is any conflict between such additional terms and these Terms of Service, the additional terms will supplement or amend these Terms of Service, but only with respect to the matters governed by the additional terms. Loan Example: A $10,000 loan with a 5-year term at 13% Annual Percentage Rate (APR) would be repayable in 60 monthly installments of $228 each. The actual payment amount and year-end balance will vary based on the APR, loan amount, and term selected. In this case the total amount expected to pay by the borrower will be $13,680

  • $1K-$500K Loan Amount
  • 620 Min Credit
  • 2.83-8.77% APR Fixed
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Key Facts

  • 660 minimum credit score
  • US citizens or permanent residents only
  • Income must be enough to support your debts

Pros

pros iconNo fees of any kind, including origination, prepayment, and late fees

pros icon0.25% autopay discount available

pros iconGreat options available should you be struggling with repayments

pros iconCashback rewards available for high-performing students

Cons

cons iconNo soft credit pull is available

cons iconNo indication of qualifying criteria for a student loan, such as credit score

cons iconVery few repayment durations are available

cons iconAverage APRs available

Loan approval is subject to confirmation that your income, debt-to-income ratio, credit history, and application information meet all requirements. Loans are unsecured. Loans are fully amortizing personal loans as long as you pay on time.

You must have a minimum household income of $25,000 to be considered for a Discover personal loan. It cannot be used to pay for post-secondary education, pay off a secured loan, or pay off a Discover credit card directly.

Your APR will be between 6.99% and 24.99% based on creditworthiness at the time of application for loan terms of 36-84 months. For example, if you get approved for a $15,000 loan at 10.99% APR for 72 months, you’ll pay just $285 per month. Our lowest rates are available to consumers with the best credit. Many factors are used to determine your rates, such as your credit history, application information, and the term you select. We may charge a fee if your payment is late.

FDIC deposit insurance is $250,000 per depositor, per deposit ownership category. The FDIC provides separate insurance coverage for funds that depositors may have in different types of legal ownership. The FDIC refers to these different categories as ownership categories.

Discover Home Loans pays all closing costs incurred during the loan process so that you don’t have to bring any cash to your loan closing. If you decide to pay off your loan balance in full within 36 months after your loan closes, you will be required to reimburse Discover for some of the closing costs we are paying on your behalf, not to exceed $500.00. Reimbursable closing costs include all title fees, recording fees, and mortgage/transfer taxes. You are not required to reimburse the closing costs if you reside in Connecticut, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, or Texas.

  • $1K-$100K Loan Amount
  • 5.49-15.99% APR Fixed
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Key Facts

  • Minimum credit score: 680
  • Steady income required
  • US citizen or permanent resident

Pros

pros iconVery competitive interest rates as such a wide range of options to choose from

pros iconPayback rewards of 0.10% APR

pros iconQuick application process

pros iconNo initial fees charged

Cons

cons iconDoesn’t partner with many more prominent established financial institutions

cons iconNot involved at all in the servicing of loans

cons iconEach partner lender will have different terms, conditions, and requirements

Lend-Grow is not a financial institution, insurance provider, or other Service Provider. Instead, the company, through its Services, may help connect you with Lenders that might meet your needs based on your information.

Lend-Grow does not, and will not, make any coverage or credit decision with any lender referred to you. Lend-Grow does not issue mortgages, consumer loans, credit cards, insurance coverage, or other financial products. Similarly, Lend-Grow does not charge you a fee to use our essential Services.

Lend-Grow’s partners may pay the financial marketplace fees if you accept the offers generated by Konduit and agree to proceed to process your loan request by its partners. Lend-Grow is not involved with and is not responsible for any fee arrangement that you may enter into with any of its partners.

You acknowledge and agree to this compensation arrangement. You now release us of any losses, costs, damages, or claims in connection with, arising from or related to your use of its partner products or services, including any fees charged by its partners.

  • $5K-$750K Loan Amount
  • 650 Min Credit
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Key Facts

  • Minimum credit score of 650
  • Loan has to be for a degree-granting institution
  • Full-time and part-time students accepted
  • Must be a US citizen or permanent resident
  • Non US citizens or residents must have a co-signer who is

Pros

pros iconNo origination fee or prepayment penalty

pros iconWide range of loan options

pros iconGood repayment terms

pros iconQuick time to funding

pros iconWell-syllabised lender

Cons

cons iconNo pre-qualification

cons iconLate fees in place

This website is an informative comparison site that aims to offer its users find helpful information regarding the products and offers that will suit their needs. We are able to maintain a free, high-quality service by receiving advertising fees from the brands and service providers we review on this website (though we may also assess brands we are not engaged with).
These advertising fees, combined with our criteria and methodology, such as the conversion rates, our team of reviewers’ findings and subjective experience, and product popularity, impact the placement and position of the brands within the comparison table. In the event that we assign ratings or scoring, they are based on the standing in the comparison table or according to the other formula in the event detailed explicitly by us. See our How we Rate page and Terms of Use for information.
The reviews, ratings, and scoring are provided “as is” without guarantees or warranties regarding the information contained on our website, which shall not be considered as endorsement. We do our best to keep the information up-to-date. However, an offer’s terms might change at any time. We do not compare or include all service providers, brands, and offers available in the market.

  • $2K-$500K Loan Amount
  • 670 Min Credit
  • 5.35-7.95% APR Fixed
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Key Facts

  • Min credit score: 670
  • US citizens or permanent residents only
  • Qualifying after bankruptcy: Yes, after five years

Pros

pros iconJoint refinancing available for married couples

pros iconGood interest rates

pros iconThe lender has a reputable standing

Cons

cons iconBachelor’s degree is a minimum requirement

cons iconSome negative customer support reviews

cons iconNo longer terms available for max loan

This website is an informative comparison site that aims to offer its users find helpful information regarding the products and offers that will suit their needs. We are able to maintain a free, high-quality service by receiving advertising fees from the brands and service providers we review on this website (though we may also assess brands we are not engaged with).

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The reviews, ratings, and scoring are provided “as is” without guarantees or warranties regarding the information contained on our website, which shall not be considered as endorsement. We do our best to keep the information up-to-date. However, an offer’s terms might change at any time. We do not compare or include all service providers, brands, and offers available in the market. Loan Payment Example: A $35,000 personal loan financed at 4.99% APR would amount to 60 monthly payments of approximately $676.49 each.

  • $8K-$500K Loan Amount
  • 670 Min Credit
  • 7.74-9.93% APR Fixed
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Key Facts

  • Min credit score: 680
  • US citizenship: US citizens or permanent residents only
  • Qualifying after bankruptcy: Yes, after five years

Pros

pros iconNo origination fees

pros iconGet up to 25 months of forbearance

pros iconNo prepayment penalties

Cons

cons iconNo disclosure of income requirements

cons iconAvailable to those with a bachelor's degree

All material on this Site is for general informational purposes only, and you agree to use it at your own risk. While we try to ensure that any information we post to this Site is both timely and accurate, errors may appear from time to time for which we will not be liable.

This Site may not be updated daily, and specific information may not be the most current information available. Though we may post follow-up information and reports and continue to provide access to the original information and reports, as in an archive of news stories, for example, we may not go back and change the original report to reflect new developments.

  • $5K-$500K Loan Amount
  • 680 Min Credit
  • 2.59-6.74% APR Fixed
View Details arrow

Key Facts

  • Minimum credit score of 680 or co-signer
  • Must be a US citizen or permanent resident
  • 36+ months of credit history
  • $35,000 minimum yearly income

Pros

pros iconBorrowers connect with an experienced student loan advisor who can help them understand the impact of student loans on their finances and credit

pros iconPrivate loans available in high amounts (up to the amount approved by the school for the academic semester or year)

pros iconDeferment and forbearance available to student borrowers enrolled in a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral program at least half-time

pros iconOption to refinance parent PLUS loans under the student’s name

Cons

cons iconNo co-signer release option unless the primary borrower refinances their loan

cons iconHigher loan minimums than is standard

cons iconGood credit (680+) or co-signer, 36+ months of credit history, and a $35,000 minimum yearly income needed to qualify

*Education Loan Finance is a nationwide student loan debt consolidation and refinance program offered by Tennessee based SouthEast Bank. ELFI is designed to assist borrowers through consolidating and refinancing loans into one single loan that effectively lowers your cost of education debt and/or makes repayment very simple. Subject to credit approval. See Terms & Conditions. Interest rates current as of 10-01-2022. The interest rate and monthly payment for a variable rate loan may increase after closing, but will never exceed 9.95% APR. Interest rates may be different from the rates shown above and will be based on the term of your loan, your financial history, and other factors, including your cosigner’s (if any) financial history. See Eligibility Requirements for more information. For example, a 10-year loan with a fixed rate of 6% would have 120 payments of $11.10 per $1,000 borrowed. Rates are subject to change.

†Notice for Federal Student Loan Borrowers: On 8/24, the White House announced up to $10,000 in forgiveness on federal student loans for qualified borrowers and up to $20,000 qualifying for Pell Grant recipients and suspended federal student loan payments with 0% interest until 12/31/22. Before refinancing federal student loans, keep in mind that doing so will cause you to lose access to future benefits applied to federally-held loans. Learn more.

  • Min $1K Loan Amount
  • 680 Min Credit
  • 6.99-12.44% APR Fixed

Top Private Student Loan Providers

College Ave

Quick Application Review Process

650

Min Credit Score

Min 411%

APR. Fixed Rate

5.59-16.65%

APR. Variable Rate

$1K-$300K

Loan Amount

5-20 years

Repayment terms

Yes

Soft Credit Pull

Direct

Lender Type

Yes

Other Fees

None

Origination Fee

None

Prepayment Fee

7 days

Funding Time

Student Loan Refinance

5.99-11.99%

APR. Fixed Rate

5.99-11.99%

APR. Variable Rate

$5K-$300K

Loan Amount

Pros & Cons

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  • con-icon Flexible repayment options
  • con-icon Quick application review process
  • con-icon Good range of loan types
  • con-icon Competitive rates
  • con-icon Need to hit satisfactory academic progress
  • con-icon Late payment fee in place

Student Loan Type

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  • Private student loans
  • Student loan refinance
earnest-logo
Earnest

5-Star Rating on Trustpilot

650

Min Credit Score

4.45-14.9%

APR. Fixed Rate

5.15-16.20%

APR. Variable Rate

$1K-$500K

Loan Amount

5-15 years

Repayment terms

Yes

Soft Credit Pull

Direct

Lender Type

None

Other Fees

None

Origination Fee

None

Prepayment Fee

12 days

Funding Time

Student Loan Refinance

4.96-8.99%

APR. Fixed Rate

5.15-8.94%

APR. Variable Rate

$5K-$500K

Loan Amount

Pros & Cons

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  • con-icon Low interest rates
  • con-icon You can customize your loan payment
  • con-icon You can skip 1 payment every 12 months (after at least 5 months of on-time interest payments)
  • con-icon No origination or prepayment fees
  • con-icon You can’t apply with a cosigner
  • con-icon Credit score minimum of 650

Student Loan Type

drop-down-btn
  • Private student loans
  • Student loan refinance
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Figure

Competitive and Affordable Rates For Loans

640

Min Credit Score

6.10-14.74%

APR. Fixed Rate

Min 6.10%

APR. Variable Rate

$20K-$400K

Loan Amount

5, 10, 15, or 30 years

Repayment terms

Yes

Soft Credit Pull

Direct

Lender Type

None

Other Fees

Up to 4.99%, rolled into the amount of the loan

Origination Fee

None

Prepayment Fee

5 days

Funding Time

Pros & Cons

drop-down-btn
  • con-icon HELOC loan, so funds can be used for a student loan or refinancing
  • con-icon Quicker application process than a traditional student loan
  • con-icon Competitive rates of interest available
  • con-icon Not available in all US states
  • con-icon No co-signer option
  • con-icon Only certain housing types are eligible

Student Loan Type

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  • Private student loans
  • Student loan refinance

What is a Private Student Loan?

Private student loans are education loans that are offered by private lenders such as online lenders, banks, and credit unions. Unlike federal student loans, private student loans are not funded by the government. Private student loans often require a credit check and may require a cosigner, such as a parent or other creditworthy individual, to help secure the loan. They are typically considered more expensive than federal student loans. However, they may offer more flexible repayment options, such as the ability to defer payments or change your repayment plan.

How do Private Student Loans Work?

Private student loans are a type of installment loan you can use to pay for different educational expenses. Since these are installment loans, the primary borrower — typically the student or their parent — needs to make regular monthly payments on the loan until it's paid off. These payments usually include the principal balance and interest.

Some lenders will let the borrower postpone payments until they're out of school or until their enrollment status drops to below part-time. However, interest charges could still accrue.

Unlike with other installment loans — like auto or personal loans —private lenders do not usually disburse the money to the borrower. Instead, they provide it to the college or university for the institution to use as needed.

What Can Private Student Loans Be Used For?

Private student loans can be used for a variety of education-related expenses, such as:

  • Tuition: Private student loans can be used to cover the cost of tuition for your degree program.
  • Books and Supplies: Private student loans can help you pay for textbooks, lab fees, and other supplies required for your classes.
  • Room and Board: Private student loans can be used to cover the cost of room and board if you are living on campus.
  • Transportation: Private student loans can help cover the cost of transportation to and from school, such as gas, car payments, and public transportation.
  • Personal Expenses: Private student loans can also be used to cover personal expenses, such as a computer, a new wardrobe, or other miscellaneous expenses related to your education.

Student Loan Types

Private student loans come in many forms. Here are the most common types:

  • Undergraduate loans: These loans usually have a fixed annual percentage rate (APR) and a repayment term of five to 15 years. Loan amounts vary by lender but may be high enough to cover all academic costs.
    • Graduate or professional loans: These work similarly to undergraduate student loans, but you might need to be enrolled in a specific type of university or degree program to qualify. You may also need to start making payments while in school (unless the program requires a residency).
    • Technical college or community college loans: Some lenders offer loans to individuals attending vocational college, technical training school, or community college. They’re primarily used to cover any gaps in financing.
  • State-specific loans: Depending on your state of residence, you may be eligible for a state-specific loan program. These loans also come with set repayment terms. They may also have either variable or fixed interest rates.
  • Parent loans: If a student doesn’t qualify for a loan on their own, their parent may be able to take one out on their behalf. The parent is then responsible for making payments. It may be possible to refinance the loan later under the student’s name.
  • Bad credit loans: These loans can help students with poor credit or limited credit history fund their college education. They typically come with less favorable terms and rates, though.

Average Private Student Loan Rates

Private student loan rates vary from 4.5% to 17%. The rate you get depends on a few things. Lender terms and conditions play a big role. Your creditworthiness is also important. Lenders look at your credit history and score to determine your reliability. You may get a lower rate if you have a good track record and a high score.

There are two types of interest rates: fixed and variable. A fixed-rate stays the same for the entire loan. This makes it easier to plan your payments. Variable rates can change over time. It may be low at first, but it can also go up. This type of rate is linked to market changes.

It's important to know what type of rate you're getting and what factors affect it. This will help you decide when choosing a private student loan.

*Rates and requirements are subject to change

Private vs. Federal Student Loans

A federal student loan or a private student loan are both options for financing your education. However, there are important differences between the two types of loans

Feature Federal Student Loans Private Student Loans
Lender U.S. Department of Education Banks, credit unions, fintech lenders
Credit check Not required for most loans Typically required, but alternative credit scoring models could be explored
Interest rates Lower and fixed Higher, but potentially fixed or variable with competitive rates for top borrowers
Fees No origination or disbursement fees Some lenders may charge fees, but reduced or waived fees for responsible borrowers could be offered
Repayment options Flexible, including income-driven plans and forgiveness programs Less flexible, but innovative repayment options like graduated or balloon payments could be introduced
Eligibility Based on financial need for some loans Based on creditworthiness and academic standing, but consideration for non-traditional factors like future earning potential could expand access
Loan limits Lower borrowing limits Higher borrowing limits may be available, potentially with tiered limits based on academic merit or career goals
Deferment and forbearance options Easier to qualify for More difficult to qualify for, but improved hardship programs and streamlined processes could be implemented
Purposes Approved education expenses: Tuition, fees, books, room & board, living expenses Broader range of education-related expenses: Tuition, fees, books, living expenses, laptops, study abroad programs, professional development courses
Overall benefits Strong borrower protections and flexibility Potentially higher borrowing amounts, competitive rates for top borrowers, and innovative repayment options

Many prospective students turn to federal financial aid — including federal student loans — before using private options. In fact, the U.S. Department of Education services several types of federal student loans to those pursuing higher education.

How to Get a Private Student Loan

Here’s the typical application process for private student loans:

    1. Review your income and credit: Private student loans usually have stricter requirements than federal options. So, it’s important to check your credit and income situation before applying to make sure you qualify. The better your credit score, the better your rates and terms tend to be.
    2. Calculate what you need: Use an online calculator to determine how much you need to borrow, and only take out that amount.
    3. Compare private lenders: Check out several lenders to see what they offer — that is, their typical rates, terms, loan amounts, fees, and requirements. Also, see if they offer any special perks, discounts, or repayment options.
    4. Get a co-signer: Some lenders accept co-signers. This can be helpful if you need help qualifying for a loan at the best rates.
    5. Read the loan terms carefully: Review the terms and conditions of the loan before applying. Make sure you know what repayment options are available, too.
    6. Get prequalified: Some private lenders offer prequalification, which lets you check your personalized terms and rates without committing to a loan.
    7. Apply: After choosing a lender, complete their application process. With many private lenders, you can apply online. The lender will likely perform a hard credit check at this time, which can temporarily hurt your credit score.
    8. Wait for the decision: The lender will review your application and make their decision. If approved, they will either send the funds to you or to your school.

Pros and Cons of Private Student Loans

Any form of financing comes with its share of pros and cons. Here are the main ones with private student loans.

Pros  Cons
The loan amount may be enough to cover all of your college expenses Borrowers need good credit for the best rates and terms
Potentially better rates and terms than federal loans Rarely eligible for student loan forgiveness
Can bridge any financial gaps in college funding May incur interest right away
May have more flexible repayment options Some lenders require borrowers to start making payments immediately

Should You Get a Private Student Loan?

There are a number of reasons why you might want to consider private student loans if other forms of aid are not sufficient to cover your education-related expenses.

  • Filling the Funding Gap: Federal student loans, scholarships, and grants may not cover the total cost of your education. Private loans can help fill the gap between the cost of attendance and the financial aid you've received.
  • Flexibility in Loan Amounts: Private lenders often offer loans that can cover the full cost of attendance, minus other aid received. This can include tuition, room and board, books, supplies, transportation, and living expenses.
  • Credit Building: For students with good credit or a creditworthy cosigner, private student loans can offer competitive interest rates. Repaying a private student loan responsibly can also help build your credit history.
  • Different Repayment Options: Some private lenders offer various repayment plans, including the option to make interest-only payments or full payments while in school, which can reduce the total cost of the loan.
  • Lender-Specific Benefits: Some private lenders offer unique benefits, such as rate discounts for automatic payments, no origination or prepayment fees, and flexible repayment terms.
  • Availability: If you're an international student, a part-time student, or attending a non-traditional school that isn't eligible for federal aid, private student loans might be one of the few options available.
  • Quick Disbursement: Private student loans can sometimes be disbursed more quickly than federal loans, which can be crucial if you need funds in a hurry.

Is it Possible to Get a Private Student Loan With Bad Credit?

Yes, getting a private student loan is possible even with bad credit. While your credit score is an important factor for lenders, it's not the end of the story. You can take several positive steps to secure the financial support you need for your education:

  • Cosigner: The most common way to get a private student loan with bad credit is to apply with a good credit cosigner. If you fail to make payments, a cosigner agrees to take responsibility for the loan. Having a cosigner can significantly increase your chances of approval and may help you secure a lower interest rate.
  • Improve Your Credit Score: If possible, improve your credit score before applying for a private student loan. This can include paying down existing debt, making all current payments on time, and correcting any inaccuracies on your credit report.
  • Shop Around: Different lenders have different criteria and tolerance for risk. Some lenders may offer private student loans designed for students with less-than-perfect credit. It's important to shop around and compare offers from multiple lenders.
  • Consider a Credit Union: Credit unions are member-owned financial institutions with more flexible lending criteria than large banks. If you're a member of a credit union, you might find more favorable terms or a greater willingness to work with borrowers who have bad credit.
  • Secured Loans: Some lenders might offer secured loans, where you provide collateral (like a car or a savings account) to secure the loan. These are riskier for the borrower, as the collateral can be seized if you fail to make payments, but they might be an option if unsecured loans are not available.
  • Higher Interest Rates and Fees: Be prepared that if you can secure a loan with bad credit, it may come at higher interest rates and additional fees. This makes it even more crucial to ensure you have a repayment plan.