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If you’ve already borrowed the maximum amount allowed for federal student loans, taking out a private student loan can be a great option. But if you’re overwhelmed by all of your choices, don’t panic.

We’ve researched all the rates, terms, and features of loans offered by more than two dozen student loan companies to help you find the best private student loan company for your situation.

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The companies in the table below are Credible’s approved partner lenders. Whether you’re the borrower or cosigner, Credible makes it easy to compare rates from multiple private student loan providers without affecting your credit score.

LenderFixed Rates From (APR)
Variable Rates From (APR)Get Rates Through Credible
citizens5.25%+¹4.45%+¹Get Rates
Citizens Bank review
collegeave5.29%+2
4.20%+2Get Rates
College Ave review
discover 6.34% - 13.99%6
4.84% - 13.49%6Get Rates
Discover review
edvestinu4.50%+
4.49%+
Get Rates
EDvestinU review
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ihelpN/A4.63%+Get Rates
iHelp review
invested5.58%+3.73%+Get Rates
INvested review
raiseN/A6.212%+Get Rates
raise^ review
5.49% - 11.85%9
4.25% - 11.35%9
Get Rates
Sallie Mae review
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All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | 1Citizens Bank Disclosures| 2,3College Ave Disclosures |raise^ Repayment Examples | 9Sallie Mae Disclosures | 6Discover Disclosures


Citizens Bank Student Loan Rate Disclosure

Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate ("LIBOR") published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of March 1, 2019, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.48%. Variable interest rates range from 4.45%-12.42% (4.45%-12.32% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Fixed interest rates range from 5.25%-12.19% (5.25% - 12.09% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Lowest rates shown requires application with a co-signer, are for eligible applicants, require a 5-year repayment term, borrower making scheduled payments while in school and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of the loan.

Credible’s private student loan partners

No student loan lender is exactly the same. Each offers unique rates, terms, limits, and more. But don’t worry. Credible did all of the research, so you don’t have to. We want to make sure you have everything you need to make an informed choice.

Here are Credible’s top student loan lenders:

Citizens Bank

  • Loan products: Undergraduate, graduate, and parent loans; fixed and variable interest rates
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $295,000
  • Eligibility: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program at an eligible institution; international students can apply with a creditworthy U.S. citizen or permanent resident cosigner

College Ave

  • Loan products: Undergraduate and graduate loans; fixed and variable interest rates
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 up to 100% of your school-certified cost of attendance
  • Eligibility: Available to all U.S. residents that attended an eligible undergraduate or graduate school; students with little or no credit history will benefit from having a creditworthy cosigner

Discover

  • Loan products: Undergraduate and graduate loans; fixed and variable interest rates
  • Loan amounts: Up to 100% of your school-certified tuition, housing, books, and more (up to aggregate loan limits)
  • Eligibility: Must be a US citizen, permanent resident or international student (International students require a cosigner who is a US Citizen or permanent resident); must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program at an eligible institution; must be making satisfactory academic progress as defined by your school

EDvestinU

  • Loan products: Undergraduate and graduate loans; fixed and variable interest rates
  • Loan amounts: Minimum loan amount of $1,000 and maximum aggregate of $200,000
  • Eligibility: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; student must be admitted to or enrolled at least half-time at an eligible institution when applying; borrower must have an annual income of at least $30,000 or use a cosigner

iHelp

  • Loan products: Undergraduate and graduate loans; variable interest rates only
  • Loan amounts: Undergraduates can take out $1,000 ($3,000 for Georgia residents) up to $100,000; graduates can take out $1,000 ($3,000 for Georgia residents) up to $150,000
  • Eligibility: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; borrower or cosigner must have at least 3 years of positive credit history and annual income of $18,000 or greater; must be enrolled at least half time in an iHELP eligible school

INvestEd

  • Loan products: Undergraduate and graduate loans; fixed and variable interest rates
  • Loan amounts: $1,001 up to 100% of your school-certified cost of attendance
  • Eligibility: Only available to Indiana residents or U.S. residents attending an eligible Indiana school

Raise

  • Loan products: Undergraduate and graduate loans; variable interest rates only
  • Loan amounts: Depends on your situation
  • Eligibility: Only available to students with a permanent residence in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, or West Virginia and cosigners in any state except Wisconsin; must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; must be earning income (or apply with a cosigner who is); available to students enrolled at least half-time at an eligible institution

Sallie Mae

  • Loan products: Undergraduate and graduate loans; fixed and variable interest rates
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 up to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance
  • Eligibility: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; non-U.S. citizen students, including DACA students attending a school located in the U.S., are eligible to apply with a creditworthy cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident with required U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) documentation; available to students enrolled full-time, half-time, and less than half-time
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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do private student loans differ from federal student loans?
  2. How can I tell which private student loan is best for me?
  3. How much will I qualify for with a private student loan?
  4. Will I need a cosigner?
  5. How do I apply for a private student loan?

How do private student loans differ from federal student loans?

The major difference between private student loans and federal student loans is that federal loans are provided by the government, whereas, private loans are provided by financial institutions like banks, credit unions, and other private lenders.

To get federal loans, you must first fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To get a private student loan, you must apply and get approved by a private lender.

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How can I tell which private student loan is best for me?

When deciding on a private student loan, you should always consider fees, interest rates, terms, and other repayment options. You should also take into account the number and amount of monthly payments because that will also affect the total cost of your loan.

The type of rate is good to keep in mind, too. Although federal student loan rates are fixed for life (the rate will always stay the same), many private student loan lenders offer both variable- and fixed-rate loans. Initial rates on variable-rate loans are typically lower, but they can increase or decrease over time. So, make sure you understand the pros and cons of variable- and fixed-rate loans before choosing one that’s right for you.

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How much will I qualify for with a private student loan?

The amount you’ll qualify for varies based on the lender you choose and the amount you need for school. Each lender has its own limits on how much you can borrow — a maximum loan amount or an annual maximum you can borrow. Lenders might also take into account other factors like your credit score and history (or your cosigners), the actual cost of tuition, and more.

Although each lender is different, loan amounts can range anywhere between $500 and $200,000. Typically, however, the amount is capped at certified costs of school minus other aid you qualified for (like scholarships and federal aid).

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Will I need a cosigner?

When shopping for private student loans, keep in mind that you’ll often need a cosigner to qualify. This is because you won’t be able to take out a loan on your own if you have little or no credit history. Having a parent, relative, or friend sign on as a cosigner can help you get a better rate.

Many lenders will allow you to apply to have your cosigner released after you’ve established a track record of repaying your loan. Depending on the lender, you might be able to apply for cosigner release after 12 to 48 consecutive (and on-time) monthly payments. But the request will only be approved if the borrower is able to meet the lender’s income and credit standards.

Credible allows you to add and compare cosigners to see which would offer you the best rates, all without affecting your credit score.

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How do I apply for a private student loan?

Unlike federal student loans, which come with set interest rates, there’s no set interest rate on private student loans. That’s why it’s important to shop around for the rates and terms that work for your situation.

Before shopping for a private student loan, make sure you’ve filled out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and taken advantage of all the scholarships and federal, state, and institution-based grants and aid that you qualify for.

If you still need money for college, Credible makes it easy to quickly compare interest rates across top lenders for free — without affecting your credit score. Comparing lenders is a great way to ensure you find the best rates you qualify for.

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Other options for private student loans

The lenders available below aren’t on the Credible platform, but might be good alternatives if you’re considering other student loan options.

Ascent

If you choose an Ascent student loan, you can take out a minimum of $2,000 and a maximum aggregate loan amount of $200,000 and a repayment term of five, 10, or 15 years.

Bank of North Dakota

With a Bank of North Dakota student loan, you’re generally allowed to take out a loan between $500 and $50,000 and most loans come with a 10-year repayment plan.

Commerce Bank

If you decide on a student loan from Commerce Bank, you can borrow from $1,000 all the way up to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance. Commerce’s repayment terms vary.

CommonBond

With CommonBond, you can typically borrow anywhere from $2,000 up to 100% of your school’s cost of attendance with terms of five, 10, or 15 years.

Credit Union Student Choice

Credit Union Student Choice loans vary by credit union, so you’ll need to find a credit union near you before you can know the loan amount and loan terms.

LendKey

If you’re considering a student loan from LendKey, you can usually get loans anywhere from $2,000 to $160,000 over a 10-year term.

Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA)

The minimum loan amount for a MEFA loan is $2,000 for a private school and $1,500 for a public school. The terms range from 10 to 15 years depending on the loan type.

Minnesota Office of Higher Education

A Minnesota Office of Higher Education SELF loan offers 10- to 15-year terms depending on the loan you choose and generally allow you to take out up to $20,000 annually.

PNC Bank

With a PNC student loan, you can take out an annual maximum of $40,000 and the repayment term is up to 15 years.

Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA)

If you’re considering a loan from RISLA, you’re able to borrow $1,500 to $40,000 with flexible repayment terms from 5 to 15 years.

South Carolina Student Loan

South Carolina Student Loan offers loans up to different amounts (depending on your situation) with terms from 10 to 15 years.

Union Federal

Union Federal loans are funded by SunTrust Bank. You can take out anywhere between $1,001 and $65,000 with repayment terms typically ranging from seven to 15 years.

Wells Fargo

If you decide to take out a student loan with Wells Fargo, you can borrow up to 100% of your eligible college costs (minus other aid). The repayment terms vary.

Your Private Student Loan Search Ends Here

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Methodology: Credible evaluated loan and lender data points in 10 categories to identify the "best companies" for private student loans. We looked at interest rates, repayment terms, repayment options, fees, and discounts offered by lenders. We also considered each company's eligibility requirements and options for cosigner release. Lenders could receive additional points for the level of customer service provided, their willingness to participate in a marketplace, and whether consumers could request rates with a soft credit check. Because every lender has its own system for evaluating borrowers, the best loan or lender will depend on an individual's unique circumstance, the loan features that are most important to them, and the interest rate and terms they qualify for.