PRIVATE STUDENT LOANS

Welcome Boston University students!

Compare student loan variable interest rates from 0.94% - 11.98% and fixed interest rates from 2.94-13.09% APR¹ without affecting your credit score. It only takes 3 minutes.

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No prepayment penalties

Multiple repayment types

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Easily add the student to your application

Many lenders allow cosigner release

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Credible is an independent platform that is not affiliated with the school or partner. No particular lenders or loans are endorsed.

We encourage students and families to pursue Federal financial aid before considering private educational loans, however, there are student/family situations where a private educational loan may be viewed as a preferred alternative. More information on federal vs private loans can be found here: Federal vs. Private Student Loans.

Some of our partner lenders:

OUR PROCESS

How Credible works

1

Fill out a simple form

Answer a few quick questions. We’ll crunch the numbers to check for personalized rates from multiple lenders.

Will I need a cosigner?

Many students will need a cosigner if they don’t have a credit history. Students who add a cosigner are 3x more likely to qualify for a loan.

2

Select the loan that works best for you

We’ll help you pick the loan that fits your needs. Choose from multiple rates and repayment plans. Start paying during school, or wait until you graduate.

Finalize your loan

Finish with your chosen lender. Upload documents, sign your loan agreement, and your funds will disburse to your school.

3

Illustrative purposes, actual results may vary.

Prequalified rates are not a firm offer of credit.¹

Checking rates won’t affect your credit score

Best Rate Guarantee

If we can’t find you the best private student loan rate, we’ll give you $200 (terms apply). Learn more

OUR PARTNER LENDERS

Compare private student loan rates

Degrees

Undergrad & Grad

Variable APR

1.46%-11.31%

Fixed APR

3.36%-13.16%

Degrees

Undergrad & Grad

Variable APR

n/a

Fixed APR

3.23%-11.70%

Degrees

Undergrad & Grad

Variable APR

1.03%-9.67%

Fixed APR

3.20%-10.77%

Degrees

Undergrad & Grad

Variable APR

0.94%-11.98%

Fixed APR

2.99%-12.99%

Degrees

Undergrad & Grad

Variable APR

2.37%-6.73%

Fixed APR

3.02%-8.22%

Degrees

Undergrad & Grad

Variable APR

1.69%-5.65%

Fixed APR

3.33%-7.69%

Degrees

Undergrad & Grad

Variable APR

n/a

Fixed APR

3.75%-5.75%

Degrees

Undergrad & Grad

Variable APR

3.50%-12.60%

Fixed APR

3.50%-12.60%

Checking rates won’t affect your credit score

Check for personalized rates. It only takes 3 minutes!

NO FEES. EVER.

How Credible works

Free to use

Credible is 100% free to use and our customer support is always here to help.

No origination fees

We make sure our partners do not charge origination fees on their loans.

No prepayment penalties

There's no prepayment penalty if you'd like to pay off your loans faster.

Checking rates won’t affect your credit score

FOR ALL YOUR GOALS

Loans for every student

Our lenders support private student loans for many different college and university degrees.

Parent Student Loans

Private parent student loans can help you pay for your child’s college tuition and fees, as well as housing, books, food, and other living expenses.

Graduate Student Loans

Graduate school is a great way to set yourself up for success. Private graduate student loans can cover tuition, books and more.

Medical School Loans

Private medical school loans can help keep your career on track. Some private student loan lenders even offer medical residency loans.

Law School Loans

Private student loans can help cover law school costs and some lenders also offer bar study loans.

MBA Loans

Comparing private student loan lenders can help you find the student loan that works for you and your MBA program.

Undergraduate Loans

To find the best private student loan for your particular needs, compare interest rate, loan terms, repayment plans and borrower benefits available.

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Checking rates won’t affect your credit score

WHAT CUSTOMERS SAY

We’re Credible. It’s in our name, literally.

Checking rates won’t affect your credit score

Check for personalized rates. It only takes 3 minutes!

COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS

There's no such thing as too many questions

By Jamie Young & Taylor Medine | Updated May 28, 2021

Can you take out student loans during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes, you can still take out both federal and private student loans during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you need to borrow money to pay for school, it’s generally a good idea to start with federal student loans before turning to private student loans to help fill any gaps.


To apply for federal student loans: You’ll need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Also keep in mind that families whose income has been affected by the pandemic might be eligible for additional federal, state, or school-based financial aid. Contact your school’s financial aid office to see what resources are available to you.


If you decide to apply for private student loans, be sure to consider as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for you.

What are private student loans?

Private student loans are provided by private lenders — banks, credit unions, and online lenders. You can use private loans to pay for education costs and living expenses, which might not be covered by your federal education loans. Interest rates and terms on private student loans can vary, depending on your financial situation, credit history, and the lender you choose.

How can you use private student loans?

You can use private student loans to pay for education-related costs and living expenses, which might not be covered by your federal school loans. Some uses include:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Room and board
  • Housing utilities
  • Meals and groceries
  • Books
  • Supplies
  • A personal computer you’ll use for school
  • Dependant childcare expenses

What types of student loans are there?

There are several types of student loans:

  • Federal student loans are offered by the U.S. Department of Education and have interest rates set by Congress. These loans also provide benefits and protections that private student loans don’t offer, such as access to federal deferment and forbearance options, income-driven repayment programs, and student loan forgiveness programs.
  • Undergraduate student loans include both federal and private student loans that are used to pay for your undergraduate studies.
  • Parent PLUS Loans are available to parents who want to help their child pay for school. Unlike other federal student loans, PLUS loans require a credit check, and you might not qualify if you have an adverse credit history, such as a default, delinquent account, or repossession. Keep in mind that some private lenders offer parent student loans, too — though these don’t come with the federal protections that PLUS Loans offer.
  • Graduate student loans can be used to help you pay for grad school. Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Grad PLUS Loans are two types of federal student loans that can be used for graduate programs. There are also several private lenders that offer graduate student loans.
  • MBA student loans can help you finance a business degree. While you might be able to use a general graduate student loan to pay for these costs, there are also private lenders that offer specialized MBA loans.
  • Law school student loans can be used to pay for a law degree. You can take out general graduate student loans for this, or borrow specialized law school loans from certain private lenders.
  • Medical school student loans can help you cover expenses while attending med school. Some medical school loans also sometimes let you defer payments until after residency.

What is the difference between federal student loans and private student loans?

Federal student loans are funded by the federal government while private student loans are offered by private lenders. Here are several important points to keep in mind as you compare them:

Federal student loans

Private student loans

Fixed rates from (APR):2.94%+

Variable rates from (APR):0.94%+

(Private lenders on Credible)

3.73% - 6.28%*

(depending on loan type)

Interest rates

Offers subsidized loans

Yes

No

Loan forgiveness

Yes

No

Option to change repayment plan or defer payments

Yes

No

Requires FAFSA

Yes

No

Requires cosigner

Typically no

(unless applying for a PLUS loan with adverse credit) 

No

(but might increase chances of qualifying)

Requires credit check

Only for PLUS loans 

Yes

*Federal student loan interest rates apply to loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2021, and before July 1, 2022.

Private college student loans

Private student loans are offered by private companies that decide their own rates and terms. To take out a private student loan, you’ll have to undergo a credit check, which is used by the lender to determine your creditworthiness as well as your rate.

Keep in mind that private student loans generally don’t provide the same protections as federal student loans. However, they do offer some perks of their own, such as:

  • Higher loan amounts: Some lenders allow you to borrow up to your school’s cost of attendance.
  • No application deadlines: You can apply for a private student loan at any time.

Federal student loans

Federal student loans are offered by the federal government and have their rates set by Congress. To apply for these loans, you’ll need to fill out the FAFSA. Unlike private student loans, most federal student loans don’t require a credit check.


If you need to borrow for school, it’s usually a good idea to start with federal student loans. This is mainly because they offer federal benefits and protections, including access to:

  • Income-driven repayment plans: These plans base your payments on your income.
  • Student loan forgiveness programs: Most of these programs require you to work in certain fields, such as medicine or law.

What are current student loan interest rates?

The interest rates on student loans vary depending on what type of student loan you have. Here are the current interest rates you can expect for both federal and private student loans as well as how they’re set:

Federal student loan interest rates

Rates for federal student loans are set by Congress and can change from year to year. Here are the current federal student loan interest rates for the 2021-22 academic year:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans: 3.73%
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans (undergraduate): 3.73%
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans (graduate and professional): 5.28%
  • Direct PLUS Loans: 6.28%

Private student loan interest rates

Rates for private student loans vary between lenders and are based on market factors. Other factors that will influence the interest rate you qualify for include your credit, repayment term, and whether you have a cosigner.


Here are the current fixed and variable private student loan interest rates offered by Credible partner lenders:

  • Fixed rates (APR): As low as 2.94%
  • Variable rates (APR): As low as 0.94%

How does student loan interest work?

An interest rate is a percentage of the loan periodically tacked onto your balance — this is essentially the cost of borrowing money. Your monthly payment often goes toward paying interest first before the rest is allocated toward the principal (the amount you initially borrowed).


Getting a low interest rate could help you save money over the life of the loan and pay off your debt faster.

What is a fixed- vs. variable-rate loan?

Before you borrow, you’ll need to decide whether you want a fixed- or variable-rate student loan. Here’s the difference between the two:

  • A fixed rate will stay the same over the course of your loan term. This also means your payments won’t ever change.
  • A variable rate can fluctuate and possibly even increase over time. Because of this, your payments might rise or fall.

How much money can I borrow with a private student loan?

With a private student loan, you’re eligible to borrow up to 100% of what your school says it costs to enroll and attend classes (the “cost of attendance”), minus other financial aid and loans you’ve already received.


How much you can actually borrow will vary by lender and can include annual or cumulative borrowing limits. Other private lender criteria that can affect how much you can borrow might include your credit history, the credit quality of your cosigner, your school’s certified cost of attendance, the degree you’re earning, and more.

When should I apply for a private student loan?

You can apply for private student loans at any time since there’s no deadline tied to them (like filling out the FAFSA for federal loans). But it’s still a good idea to apply for private loans as soon as you know you’ll need them to cover education costs.


Although it varies depending on the lender and your school, it can sometimes take 3 to 5 weeks for you to receive the funds. So, if you’re trying to decide when to apply for a private student loan, be sure to give yourself some time and apply sooner rather than later.

How do I qualify for a student loan?

Each lender has different requirements when it comes to qualifying for a private student loan. But typically you must:

  • Have a qualifying credit score (or a cosigner with one)
  • Have a qualifying income and debt-to-income ratio (DTI) (or a cosigner with one)
  • Be enrolled in an eligible education program
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident with a Social Security number
  • Be at least 18 years old and hold a high school diploma or equivalent (or have a cosigner)
  • Use the loan for education purposes only

Keep in mind that some private lenders offer student loans for international students or student loans for DACA recipients — be sure to check with the lender to see what the requirements are.

Can I get a private student loan with bad credit or no credit?

You can get a student loan with bad credit, but not necessarily on your own. While federal loans don’t require a credit check, private student loans do. Many students don’t qualify for private loans on their own because they don’t have a credit history or they have bad credit. If that’s your situation, you may need to add a cosigner to qualify for a private loan.


Private student loans require a credit application that examines income, employment, and a credit report. The lower your credit score, the higher the risk for the lender, which translates into higher interest rates. One way to get approved for a loan with a lower rate can be to add a creditworthy cosigner to your loan application.

Do I need a cosigner for a private student loan?

It depends, but in most cases, yes. You don’t have to add a cosigner unless you’re under the age of majority in your state (usually between 18 and 21). But if you have a limited or poor credit history, a lender may require you to add a creditworthy cosigner to balance out their risk on the loan.


Plus, more than 90% of private student loans taken out by undergraduate students are cosigned. Even if you’re a graduate student and don’t need one, adding a cosigner with good credit can improve your chances of qualifying for a private student loan at a lower rate.


Credible even makes it easy to compare cosigners to see which cosigner can help get you the best rate.

How do I compare private student loan lenders?

When weighing private student loan options, it’s important to consider as many lenders as possible. This way, you can find the right loan for you. Here are several important points to compare as you shop around:

  • Have a qualifying credit score (or a cosigner with one)
  • Have a qualifying income and debt-to-income ratio (DTI) (or a cosigner with one)
  • Be enrolled in an eligible education program
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident with a Social Security number
  • Be at least 18 years old and hold a high school diploma or equivalent (or have a cosigner)
  • Use the loan for education purposes only

If you’re ready to take out a private student loan, Credible can help. After filling out a single form, you can compare your prequalified rates from multiple lenders in just two minutes. The best part is that this is completely free and won’t affect your credit, so prequalifying is risk-free.


You can also check out our lender reviews for more information:

Additional resources to help you get student loans:

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¹ Student Loan Rate and Terms Disclosure: Rates displayed include Automatic Payment and Loyalty Discounts, where applicable. Note that such discounts do not apply while loans are in deferment. The lenders on the Credible.com platform offer fixed rates ranging from 2.99% - 13.16% APR and Variable interest rates from 0.94% - 11.98% APR. Variable rates will fluctuate over the term of the borrower's loan with changes in the Index rate. The Index will be either LIBOR or SOFR. Rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Your actual rate may be different from the rates advertised and/or shown above and will be based on factors such as the term of your loan, your financial history (including your cosigner’s (if any) financial history) and the degree you are in the process of achieving or have achieved. While not always the case, lower rates typically require creditworthy applicants with creditworthy co-signers, graduate degrees, and shorter repayment terms (terms vary by lender and can range from 5-20 years) and include Automatic Payment and Loyalty discounts, where applicable. Loyalty and Automatic Payment discount requirements as well as Lender terms and conditions will vary by lender and therefore, reading each lender’s disclosures is important. Additionally, lenders may have loan minimum and maximum requirements, degree requirements, educational institution requirements, citizenship and residency requirements as well as other lender-specific requirements. Lenders will conduct a hard credit pull when you submit your application. Hard credit pulls will have an impact on your credit score.