The 9 Best Private Student Loans

After you have finished filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or the FAFSA, borrowed the highest amount possible in federal student loans, and have good credit and/or a co-signer who does, private student loans might be something to consider. 

One important note to remember–borrow only what you need. 

Here is a list of some of the best private student loans:

1. Rhode Island Student Loan Authority

This nonprofit lends to students across the nation and offers loans that come with fixed interest rates. One loan lets you defer payment until you are six months out of school, and the other loan offered requires immediate payment. They also offer an income-based repayment plan that caps payments on the loan to 15% of one’s income for 25 years. 

2. Ascent

They offer loans that require a co-signer and loans that don’t give one more funding option. Borrowers can also choose a repayment plan post-graduation that lets them pay less per month when they first graduate and increases as time passes. Borrowers can also put a pause on paying back their loans if they are going through financial hardships. This pause can last 1-3 months and one can put a pause on repayments for a total of 24 months. With this being said, interest rates will still accumulate over the months you don’t pay. 

3. College Ave

Borrowers can pick an eight-year, ten-year, or fifteen-year term and have the ability to take an extended grace period for six months after graduating. 

4. A.M. Money

Borrowers will qualify based on their GPA and educational background. A.M. Money also doesn’t allow co-signers and lets borrowers choose an income-based repayment plan for up to 36 months. However, one must pay a monthly minimum of $50, and loans that are unpaid will default sooner than others. 

5. SoFi

They are best known as student loan refinance lenders, but they also offer loans to students. There are perks such as job search help, an interest rate discount of 0.125%, and no late fees. 

6. Citizens Bank

They give an additional 0.25% loyalty discount if the borrower or co-signer has an account within the bank, but the co-signer is tied to the loan longer than many other lenders. They also make loans to international students. 

7. Funding U

They don’t make loans based on credit history and don’t require a cosigner, but their rates are higher than others. Students qualify based on their academic history and post-graduation prospects. 

8. PNC Bank

They offer a year loan modification for borrowers who are going through a tough time financially and offer a 0.50% interest rate discount for making automatic payments. This loan modification helps to lower interest rates and the payments required each month. 

9. Discover

They provide an interest rate discount if borrowers pay while in school and they don’t charge late fees. Discover also provides hardship, forbearance, and deferment payment options. Additionally, only a fifteen-year loan term is offered and co-signers can’t be released from the loan.

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