Best Private Student Loan

Private Student Loan

The Best 10 Private Student Loan Options Sites

Our recommended companies provide the best student loan options. Apply now and finance your educational expenses.

Last Updated:Sept 2023
Advertisement Disclosure is a free online resource that strives to offer helpful content and comparison features to our visitors. We accept advertising compensation from companies that appear on the site, which impacts the location and order in which brands (and/or their products) are presented, and also impacts the score that is assigned to it. Company listings on this page DO NOT imply endorsement. The information, including pricing, which appears on this site is subject to change at any time. Without further notice.

Credible Personal Loans Review
See prequalified rates in just 3 minutes
Checking your rates does not impact your credit
Receive $200 if you don’t find your best private student loan rate
Credible doesn’t sell your information to various lenders
Best Choice
College Ave Student Loans
You choose your repayment term
Rapid application and approval process.
Career loan programs with a completion incentive available.
College Ave loans have no application or origination fees.
Sallie Mae Student Loans
Cosigners can be released after 12 on-time payments are made
Multi-Year Advantage offers improved odds for future loans
Students attending school less than half-time are eligible
Covers up to the total cost of attendance
Both co-signed and independent loans available
Loans without cosigners or credit histories available
1% Cash Back Graduation Reward
Interest rate estimate available without undergoing a hard credit check
Sofi Personal Loans
Access to SoFi member benefits, including career coaching
Check your rate without impacting your credit
No late fees
Covers up to the total cost of attendance

Private Student Loans

Imagine standing at the crossroads of your academic journey, with the choice between federal and private student loans looming before you. It’s not an easy decision for many. But don’t worry. You’ll understand of how they differ from their federal counterparts. Borrowers must learn about the major loan providers. They include Credible, College Ave Student Loans, and Sallie Mae and their advantages and nuances. You must understand the co-signer role in securing private loans and know the various repayment strategies to help manage your debt effectively.

Understanding the Difference between Private and Federal Loans

Borrowers must understand that not all student loans are equal, particularly when distinguishing between private and federal loans. As an individual of a community striving towards higher education, knowing your financial tools is a key step in the journey.

Federal loans have fixed interest rates and offer flexible repayment plans. They are safe and provide various protections, including as income-driven repayment plans and loan forgiveness programs.

On the other hand, private student loans come from non-government lenders like banks or credit unions. Sallie Mae and College Ave Student Loans are two notable examples of credible institutions offering such loans for education expenses.

But why choose private student loans? They fill the gap when federal aid doesn’t cover all your college costs. Private student loans go directly to you instead of being disbursed through your school, giving you full control over how to use the funds.

The best private student loan lenders provide competitive interest rates, flexible repayment options, and customer-friendly services.

Private student loans seem attractive due to their autonomy or lower interest rates, but they lack a few borrower protections offered by federal counterparts. Do thorough research before making any decisions regarding your educational finances.

The Main Student Loan Providers

As someone looking for a student loan, you must familiarize yourself with major players like Credible, College Ave, and Sallie Mae. The lenders are known for their wide range of private student loan products that help you achieve your academic dreams.

  • Credible is a digital marketplace that connects students with multiple lenders to secure competitive private education loans. It’s an excellent choice if you’re looking for options since they provide personalized rates without affecting your credit score.
  • College Ave Student Loans tailors its loans specifically for college tuition costs. They offer both undergraduate and graduate student loans with flexible repayment options. They include deferred or interest-only payments while in school. Such options are beneficial for people whose income fluctuates during their studies.
  • On the other hand, Sallie Mae is one of the industry’s most seasoned private student loan providers. They offer a variety of loan types, from undergraduate to career training ones, with perks such as free access to online tutoring and study resources – going beyond just lending to support your educational journey.

Securing a private student loan needs careful analysis. Besides interest rates, you must evaluate lender reputations, customer service quality, and added benefits. It is not about merely picking a financial product. It involves selecting a partner on the path towards higher learning. So, take time researching such providers.



Anyone looking into Credible for their student loan needs must understand their requirements and the application process. Credible requires a strong credit score or a cosigner with good credit to bolster your application. Applying online is easyand user-friendly, making it easier to compare rates from various lenders in a few clicks. It does not wasteyour time and saves thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.

What You Should Know About Credible
Variable Rates (APR)5.36% to 16.99%
Fixed Rates (APR)4.43% to 16.99%
Loan AmountsStarting from $600
Repayment TermsVaries by lender

Loan Types

Undergraduate, Graduate, Refinance, Parent, MBA, Medical School, Law School.

View Full Review

Repayment details

The lender or its servicer of choice will handle your repayment responsibilities. Credible doesn’t collect or facilitate payments.

Advantages and disadvantages

  • You can compare products and get prequalified without hurting your credit score.
  • Credible doesn’t sell your information to various lenders.
  • See prequalified rates in just 3 minutes
  • Receive $200 if you don’t find your best private student loan rate
  • Credible only shows offers from its partners


Securing a private student loan sometimes feels like climbing the highest mountain because it requires an excellent credit score and a consistent income. Understanding the requirements helps turn such a daunting task into a manageable one.

  • Lenders normally look for borrowers with high credit scores, usually 670 or above, demonstrating the ability to repay the loan.
  • They evaluate your debt-to-income ratio, which must be below 43%.
  • Other lenders demand that you have proof of enrollment in an eligible school and even require you to pursue a specific level of education.

Each lender has their own eligibility criteria. Therefore, you must research thoroughly before starting your application process.

Application Process

You must kickstart your journey by researching potential lenders who offer private student loans that go directly to you. Look for competitive interest rates, flexible repayment options, and generous grace periods.

  1. Begin the application process after narrowing down your choices. Providing personal information is necessary. It includes your Social Security number and income details. Most lenders require a credit check or co-signer if you need to meet certain creditworthiness criteria.
  2. Stay vigilant throughout the process. Comparing the loan terms and understanding what they mean for your financial future.
Credible Personal Loans Review
APR Starting At 4.43%

College Ave Student Loans

Individuals looking to apply for a student loan through College Ave must understand its requirements and application process. It offers both undergraduate and graduate loans with flexible repayment options. However, you need good credit or a co-signer with good credit to qualify, and the online application process is straightforward and quick, allowing you to see your rate within just three minutes.

What You Should Know About College Ave
Variable Rates (APR)5.49% – 16.99%
Fixed Rates (APR)4.41% – 16.99%
Loan AmountsStarting from $1,000
Repayment Terms5, 8, 10, or 15 years

Loan Types

Undergraduate, Graduate, Refinance, Parent, MBA, Medical School, Dental School, Law School, Health Professions, Career Loan.

View Full Review

Repayment details

College Ave offers borrowers a variety of repayment options while in school. Depending on the type of loan you apply for, you have the following options:

  • Pay interest only
  • Fixed payment of $25 per month
  • Delayed payment
  • Full interest and principal payment

With most loans, you can choose a five-, eight-, 10-, or 15-year loan term. If you attend medical school, the loan term could be as long as 20 years.

This online lender charges no application fees, origination fees, or prepayment penalties. Late payment fee is 5% or $25.

Advantages and disadvantages

  • You choose your repayment term
  • Offers all four in-school repayment options
  • Covers up to the total cost of attendance
  • Relatively high APR


  • To gather the necessary documents for your student loan, you must provide proof of income, academic transcripts, and a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Proof of income includes recent pay stubs or tax returns to verify your financial situation.
  • Academic transcripts are key to demonstrating your educational background and academic performance.
  • You must submit a completed FAFSA form, as it determines your eligibility for federal student aid, including grants, work-study, and loans.
  • Most lenders require other documentation, such as proof of enrollment, a valid identification card, or a cosigner’s information.

Carefully review the requirements of your chosen lender to confirm you have all the necessary documents for a smooth application process.

Application Process

Securing financial assistance for your education has always been challenging with the straightforward application process offered by College Ave.

  1. To apply for a College Ave student loan, visit their website and create an account.
  2. Start the application process by filling out the required information, such as your details, school information, and loan amount once you have created an account. Provide documents like your Social Security number, proof of income, and other relevant financial information.
  3. College Ave reviews the submitted application and determines your eligibility.
  4. Approved individuals receive a loan offer, which they review and accept. Applying for College Ave student loan is simple, making it easier for students to get the financial support they need for their education.
College Ave Student Loans
APR Starting At 4.41%

Sallie Mae

Individuals contemplating Sallie Mae for their student loan needs must know what they need to apply before deciding. With stringent credit and income criteria, Sallie Mae requires a solid financial profile, but don’t worry – their online application process is efficient, offering a quick turnaround on approval decisions.

What You Should Know About Sallie Mae
Variable Rates (APR)5.87% – 16.45%
Fixed Rates (APR)4.50% – 14.83%
Loan AmountsStarting from $1,000
Repayment Terms10 – 15 years

Loan Types

Undergraduate, Graduate, MBA, Medical School, Dental School, Health Professions, Law School, Bar Study, Career Training, Residency and Relocation Loan.

View Full Review

Repayment details

Borrowers can choose from the following payment methods:

  • Only pay interest
  • Fixed monthly payments during school
  • Delayed payment

Qualifying borrowers can also take advantage of Sallie Mae’s graduated repayment terms. It allows borrowers to pay only one year’s worth of interest after a six-month grace period ends.

Sallie Mae loan terms range from 10 to 20 years, depending on the loan type. Sallie Mae charges a late fee of 5% of the overdue payment amount (up to a maximum of $25).

Advantages and disadvantages

  • Cosigners can be released after 12 on-time payments are made
  • Multi-Year Advantage offers improved odds for future loans
  • Students attending school less than half-time are eligible
  • Covers up to the total cost of attendance
  • Can’t prequalify with a soft credit check
  • Discontinued parent student program


You must meet the lender’s eligibility criteria to qualify for a Sallie Mae loan.

  • First, you must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident.
  • Secondly, be enrolled in an eligible degree-granting program at an accredited institution.
  • You must have a good credit history or a creditworthy cosigner who meets Sallie Mae’s credit criteria.
  • You must be at least the age of majority in your state of residence, 18 years old.
  • Provide your personal information, such as your name, address, and Social Security number.
  • Lenders require proof of income, such as pay stubs or tax returns, to demonstrate your ability to repay the loan.
  • Sallie Mae needs you to submit information about the school you plan to attend, including the cost of tuition and any financial aid you have already received.

Application Process

Applying for a Sallie Mae loan is straightforward once you have all the necessary documents.

  1. Begin by visiting the Sallie Mae website and clicking on the Apply button.
  2. The site directs you to create an account and provide your personal information, such as your name, address, and social security number.
  3. Provide details about your school, program of study, and anticipated graduation date.
  4. The next step is to specify the loan amount and repayment options.
  5. Once you have completed all the required fields, please review your application for accuracy and submit it.
  6. Sallie Mae reviews your application and notifies you of their decision.
Sallie Mae Student Loans
APR Starting At 4.50%

Choosing the Right Lender for Your Needs

Choosing the right lender for your private student loans isn’t a decision to take lightly. It significantly impacts your financial future. You’re not just choosing a loan. You’re choosing a financial partner who walks with you through a key phase of your life. Understanding each lender’s offerings, interest rates, and terms is necessary.

  • First, evaluate the interest rates offered by different lenders. Federal student loans have set interest rates. Private loan rates vary wildly from one lender to another. A few offer fixed-rate loans where the interest remains constant over time, while others offer variable-rate loans which fluctuate based on market conditions. Your choice here depends on how much risk you’re willing to bear.
  • Next is repayment flexibility. A few lenders allow borrowers to defer payments while in school or during economic hardship. Others offer graduated repayment plans that start low and increase as your earning potential grows.
  • Lastly, look at customer service quality and user experience. Student loan repayments span decades, so pick a lender with reliable customer support and an easy-to-use platform or app for managing your loan account.

Carefully read all documentation before accepting any offer. Take your time making decisions. Finding the right fit means securing your path toward greater academic pursuits without compromising much of your future earnings because of high interest rates or unfavorable terms.

Benefits of Private Student Loans

After carefully investigating potential lenders and comparing their offerings, you’d have a solid grasp on which private student loan provider best fulfills your financial needs. But why opt for private student loans in the first place?

Private student loans usually offer more flexibility than their federal counterparts. They meet individual demands and fill gaps left by federal aid. Here are a few notable advantages.

  • Competitive interest rates:Private lenders offer lower interest rates than federal loans, especially if you have a strong credit history or choose a variable-rate loan. It saves you thousands over the life of your loan.
  • Higher borrowing limits:Federal loans have annual borrowing caps, which do not cover all your education expenses. Private loans help bridge the gap, allowing full coverage of your education costs.
  • Flexible repayment options:Most private lenders provide various repayment plans that cater to different financial situations. You can choose between immediate repayment, interest-only payments while in school, or full deferment until graduation.

Borrowers must understand that such benefits have responsibilities. The most significant is repaying your debt on time each month—maintaining good standing is necessary for future lending opportunities and maintaining a healthy credit score.

Choosing to obtain private student loans signifies investing in yourself. It affirms belief in your potential and commitment to achieving higher education goals despite financial challenges. Both financially savvy and empowering, the choice offers valuable benefits while enhancing personal growth through responsibility handling—a true testament to one’s desire for self-improvement and success.

Drawbacks and Risks to Consider

Despite the benefits being enticing, you must understand a few drawbacks and risks associated with such financial aid. As you evaluate private student loans, know they’re not a one-size-fits-all solution. Your circumstances and long-term financial goals guide your decision-making process.

  • First, interest rates for private student loans are higher than federal student loans. While a fraction of a percentage does not seem like much now, it adds up to thousands of dollars in more debt over time. Such rates are usually variable, meaning they increase over time.
  • Secondly, repayment flexibility is less generous than with federal loans. Private lenders don’t offer income-driven repayment plans or loan forgiveness programs. You potentially struggle to keep up with repayments if you face financial hardship after graduation, such as unemployment or underemployment.
  • Lastly, private student loans usually require a credit check and potentially even a co-signer if your credit history isn’t robust enough. It puts you family members at risk if you default on the loan.

Co-signers and Their Role in Private Student Loans

Co-signers play a huge role In the world of private student loans. Securing a private student loan seems impossible if you’re a young adult with limited credit history or less-than-stellar credit scores. That’s where co-signers come in handy.

A co-signer is someone who agrees to share the responsibility for your loan. They have their own established credit history and scores that lenders find appealing. They lend their financial credibility to you, making your application more attractive to lenders.

A co-signer increases your chances of getting approved for a private student loan or lowers interest rates. Still, it presents certain risks and responsibilities for both parties involved. Your co-signer is legally responsible for repaying the debt if you default on your payments. It potentially strains personal relationships if things go awry.

Any late or missed payments affect your credit score and your cosigner’s. Hence, transparency and communication between both parties are paramount before entering such an agreement.

Repayment Plans and Strategies

Navigating your way through repaying borrowed funds is quite a challenge, but it’s entirely manageable with a solid plan and strategy.

  • Setting a Budget:You need to establish your monthly budget. It includes all your income sources and expenses.
  • Income Sources:It entails your salary from a full-time job or part-time gigs, freelance work, or any form of passive income.
  • Expenses:You must account for everything from rent/mortgage payments, groceries, and utilities to discretionary spending such as dining out or entertainment. Secondly, understand the terms of your loan agreement. What are the interest rates? How long is the repayment period?
  • Interest Rate & Repayment Period:
  • Interest Rate:The lower the figure is, the less you’ll pay on top of the principal amount borrowed. Evaluate options like refinancing if a high-interest rate makes repayments difficult.
  • Repayment Period:Longer-term loans seem attractive with smaller monthly payments, but understand you pay more interest over time than short-term loans.

Interest Rates and Repayment Options

Understanding your interest rates and exploring various repayment options is key to shaping a manageable repayment plan.

First, you have to understand how interest works on your loan. It is not simply about understanding percentages but how frequently that percentage is applied, daily, monthly, and quarterly. A 5% annual interest rate does not mean you are charged 5% of your outstanding balance once a year. A small portion of that 5% is applied daily or monthly.

Understand if your loan has fixed or variable rates. A fixed rate stays constant throughout the life of the loan, while variable rates fluctuate based on market conditions. Generally, variable rates are beneficial if you anticipate paying off your loans quickly.

Private loan providers are less flexible than federal loans, which offer income-based repayments and forgiveness programs. They offer standard repayment plans, equal payments over ten years, but others allow graduated or extended repayments.

Resources for Managing and Paying off Private Student Loans

You’re not alone in the journey. There are countless resources to help you manage and pay off hefty educational debts. Private student loans seem daunting, but fear not, as myriad tools exist specifically designed to assist you in navigating such a financial maze.

First, online repayment calculators like Credible or Student Loan Hero are valuable tools. The platforms allow you to input your loan details and provide a detailed repayment schedule, including interest accumulation over time. They help you understand the true cost of your loan and plan your payments accordingly.

Secondly, pay attention to the importance of sound financial advice. Various companies, such as SoFi, offer free one-on-one counseling with certified financial planners who guide you toward effective debt management strategies tailored to your circumstances.

A few lenders have unique programs to ease the burden of private student loans. For example, CommonBond has a ‘Money Mentor’ program that pairs borrowers with personal finance experts for faster guidance on reducing their debt.

Community is key in reducing feelings of isolation during debt repayment. Online forums provide an opportunity for open dialogue about managing private student loans, and sharing experiences and tips could prove invaluable.

Resources abound. It’s merely a matter of taking that first step towards actively seeking them out. Every dollar paid back brings you closer to financial freedom, and each resource used equips you better for the journey ahead.

Bottom line

You must master the world of private student loans before applying. Whether choosing Credible, College Ave Student Loans, or Sallie Mae, know your co-signer’s role and assess repayment strategies carefully. For example, imagine Sarah, who paid off her Sallie Mae loan early by prioritizing higher interest rates first. Such a savvy strategy makes a huge difference. Stay informed on financial products and terms to manage your loans efficiently.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to consolidate or refinance private student loans

You must apply through a private lender to consolidate or refinance your private student loans. They’ll review factors such as your credit score, income, and employment status. They’ll pay off your existing loans and issue you a new one with potentially lower interest rates or more manageable monthly payments. Refinancing isn’t for everyone, so weigh the pros and cons based on your financial circumstances.

What happens to my private student loan if I drop out of school?

If you drop out of school, your private student loan’s grace period kicks in. Six months long, it starts immediately after you leave school or drop below half-time enrollment.

You’ll need to start repaying your loan once the grace period ends. It’s necessary that during such a time, you develop a repayment plan, as defaulting has serious consequences on your credit score and future borrowing capabilities. Remember, unlike federal loans, private ones may not offer flexible repayment options.

Can private student loans be forgiven or discharged under any circumstances?

Yes, private student loans are forgiven or discharged under certain circumstances. It’s more challenging compared to federal loans. You potentially qualify for loan discharge if facing extreme financial hardship or a permanent disability. A few lenders offer death discharge if the borrower passes away. Yet, each lender has specific policies and requirements. Thoroughly research your options and understand the fine print before proceeding.

How does my credit score affect the terms of a private student loan?

Your credit score, a snapshot of your financial trustworthiness, can significantly impact your private student loan terms. A high score may unlock lower interest rates and better repayment options, while a low one could mean higher costs and stricter terms. It’s a stark contrast: the same loan but different outcomes based on your credit history. So, nurturing good credit isn’t just savvy—managing your educational investment wisely and feeling secure in your financial future is essential.


Copyright © 2023 All Rights Reserved.


About Site


The Best10Sites website is designed to help users make confident online decisions and contains information on a variety of products and services. Certain details, including but not limited to prices and special offers, are provided to us directly by our partners and are dynamic and subject to change without notice.

Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited

Best 10 Sites