When your scholarships, grants, and federal student loans aren’t enough to cover the cost of college, it may be time to turn to a private lender.
While private loans tend to be more expensive and less flexible than federal loans, they can be incredibly beneficial when you need more than your federal aid has to offer.
- College Ave
- Sallie Mae
1. College Ave
Private student loans tend to get a bad rap for their lack of flexibility when it comes to repayment, but College Ave is the exception.
College Ave also stands out for being fee-free, as they don’t charge application fees or loan origination fees. They won’t penalize you for paying off your loan early, either.
The online-only lender offers loans to parents, graduate, and undergraduate students up to the full amount of the cost of attendance, and payments can be deferred until after graduation. You can also choose your term length for repayment and take advantage of interest-rate reduction if you enroll in automated payments.
College Ave’s cosigner release isn’t the quickest among the competition, but its other benefits make the company a worthwhile choice.
2. Sallie Mae
Known for its top-notch cosigner release, Sallie Mae offers a lot of the benefits you’re looking for, with no fees, competitive interest rates, interest-rate reduction, and unexpected perks like free credit monitoring.
Sallie Mae loans can even be applied to private school tuition, non-degree seeking programs, and study fees for bar exams.
Just keep in mind that you may not be able to choose the length of your term for repaying your student loan. All in all, Sallie Mae is a great choice for your student loans, especially for cosigners.
Credible isn’t a student loan provider. You read that sentence correctly. Instead of acting as a lender like most of the companies on the list, Credible is a massive marketplace for student loans.
When you apply on Credible’s website, you’re really applying to all of its partners. That way, rather than going through the application process repeatedly, you can get rates from as many as eight lenders in one spot.
Applying through Credible is quick and convenient, saving you the time and energy required to shop and apply for multiple student loans, putting all of your best options in front of you with just a few clicks.
You probably recognize Discover for its credit card offers but may be surprised to learn that the company is also a leading student loan provider.
The credit card giant offers student loans with competitive fixed and variable interest rates. Discover loans are also fee-free pop over to these guys, even if you make a late payment, which is rare in the student loan industry. They also offer interest-rate discounts if you enroll in autopay.
Unfortunately, Discover’s terms are less flexible, with only 15 and 20-year terms. They also lack a cosigner release policy, meaning your cosigners will be on the hook for the whole life of the loan.
Even with those drawbacks, Discover is a solid choice, especially if you have a high GPA. Borrowers with a 3.0 or higher get a one-time cash award equal to one percent of the loan amount.
SoFi has quickly become one of the largest companies for refinancing student loans. Unlike other companies on our list, Sofi doesn’t have any physical buildings. They are strictly online.
They make the whole process extremely simple. From the time you apply, it usually takes about 3 days until you’ll get funding. That’s much quicker than the industry standard.