Overview of the best private student loans
|Sallie Mae||0.25% autopay discount|
|Ascent||Future income-based option|
|Commonbond||Early cosigner release|
|Earnest||Having fair credit|
|Citizens Bank||Multiyear approval|
|College Ave||Instant decisions|
|LendKey||Multiple lender options|
|PNC||0.50% autopay discount|
Best private student loans
College Ave Student Loans
Summary of the best private student loans
|Provider||Variable rates start||Fixed rates start||Minimum loan||Origination fee|
When is a private student loan a good idea?
What is forbearance?
What should I look for in the fine print?
- Loan limits: How much you can borrow is important. Loans start at $1,000, but some lenders require borrowing at least $5,000, which may be more than you need for a few expenses. At the higher end, some loans only go so high, though most should be for up to the cost of attending school for a year. Citizens Bank allows multi-year loan approval.
- Prepayment penalties: Most lenders don’t charge fees for paying off student loans early.
- Repayment options: Most lenders have around four repayment plan options to repay a student loan. These include in-school payments such as full principal and interest, interest-only payments, and a flat $25 each month. It’s common not to pay anything while in school, and to put off payments until six months after graduating.
- Origination fee: None of the lenders we reviewed charge this fee, which is sometimes charged on loans.
- Automatic payments: If you set up autopay from your checking account, you’ll often get a 0.25% interest rate deduction.
Why you should use a private student loan
Why shouldn’t you use a private student loan?
The bottom line
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