PRIVATE STUDENT LOANS

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I’m a StudentI’m a Cosigner

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LenderVariable APRFixed APRDegrees amountView Details

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Loan terms

5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20 years

Graduation Reward

Yes

1% cash back after graduation

Discounts

Yes

0.25% autopay discount

Fees

No application fee

No origination fee

No prepayment penalty

Cosigner release

Yes

Available after a minimum of 24 on-time principal and interest payments

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Disclosures

Loan terms

5, 10, 15 years

Graduation Reward

No

Discounts

Yes

0.25% autopay discount

0.25% loyalty discount

Fees

No application fee

No origination fee

No prepayment penalty

Cosigner release

Yes

Available after a minimum of 36 consecutive on-time payments

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Disclosures

Loan terms

5, 8, 10, and 15 years

Graduation Reward

Yes

$150 cash back for completing course of study

Discounts

Yes

0.25% autopay discount

Fees

No application fee

No origination fee

No prepayment penalty

Cosigner release

Yes

Available after more than half of the scheduled repayment period has elapsed

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%-%

View Details

Disclosures

Loan terms

7, 10, 15 years

Graduation Reward

No

Discounts

Yes

0.5% autopay discount

Fees

No application fee

No origination fee

No prepayment penalty

Cosigner release

Yes

Available after 24 consecutive on-time payments, with borrower meeting minimum credit and income requirements

%-%

%-%

View Details

Disclosures

Loan terms

5, 10, 15 years

Graduation Reward

Yes

2% principal reduction for graduating within 6 years

Discounts

Yes

0.25% autopay discount

Fees

No application fee

No origination fee

No prepayment penalty

Cosigner release

Yes

Available after 48 consecutive on-time payments, with borrower meeting minimum credit and income requirements

n/a

%-%

View Details

Loan terms

10, 15 years

Graduation Reward

No

Discounts

No

Fees

No application fee

No origination fee

No prepayment penalty

Cosigner release

No

%-%

%-%

View Details

Disclosures

Loan terms

5 - 15 years

Graduation Reward

No

Discounts

Yes

0.25% autopay discount

Fees

No application fee

No origination fee

No prepayment penalty

Cosigner release

Yes

Available after 12 consecutive on-time payments

Check for personalized rates. It only takes 3 minutes!

Checking rates won’t affect your credit

Our process

How Credible works

  • Check rates from top lenders

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

  • Select the loan that works for you

    Choose from multiple rates and repayment plans. Start paying now, 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.

Checking rates won’t affect your credit

Best Rate Guarantee

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

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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.

I’m a StudentI’m a Cosigner

Checking rates won’t affect your credit

What customers say

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

The loan process was extremely simple

The loan process was extremely simple. I would highly recommend using Credible for a student loan.

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Quick and easy

Quick and easy. Would recommend for any student looking for private loans. Saves me so much time!

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Helped me find the right student loan

Thanks! You really helped me find the right student loan. After visiting all my local branches and being discouraged you were a big help without the hassle

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Check for personalized rates. It only takes 3 minutes!

Checking rates won’t affect your credit

COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS

There's no such thing as too many questions

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

Here are a few notable differences between federal and private loans.

Typically, you want to exhaust all your more affordable federal loan options before turning to private loans. But keep in mind, private loans have competitive rates when compared to some of the more expensive federal loan options like PLUS loans.

Here are a few notable differences between the two:

  • Lender: Federal student loans are provided directly by the U.S. Department of Education, whereas, private loans are from private lenders.
  • Qualifying: You can qualify for federal student loans by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to get student aid — and they don’t require a credit check; private loans, however, do not require you to fill out the FAFSA, but do require a credit check.
  • Rates: Once taken out, federal student loans have fixed rates for life. Most private student loan lenders offer a choice of both fixed- or variable-rate loans.
  • Extra perks: Federal student loans offer borrowers a number of benefits and protections — such as loan deferment, income driven repayment plans and loan forgiveness — that most private lenders often can’t match. However, more private lenders have begun adding similar programs to better compete with federal loan offerings.

Learn More: Federal vs. Private Student Loans

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 co-signer, your school’s certified cost of attendance, the degree you’re earning, and more.

Learn More: What Are Student Loan Limits?

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, 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 co-signer with one)
  • Have a qualifying income and debt-to-income ratio (DTI) (or a co-signer 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 co-signer)
  • Use the loan for education purposes only

Learn More: How to Qualify for a Student Loan

What credit score do I need to get a student loan?

To get a private student loan, lenders typically look for a credit score of 670 or above. If your score is much worse than that, though, don’t panic. Applying with a creditworthy co-signer can help you get the loan you need.

Learn More: Credit Score Needed to Take Out a Student Loan

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 co-signer 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 co-signer to your loan application.

Learn More: How to Find a Co-signer

Do I need a co-signer for a private student loan?

It depends, but in most cases, yes. You don’t have to add a co-signer 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 co-signer to balance out their risk on the loan.

Plus, more than 90% of private student loans taken out by undergraduate students are co-signed. Even if you’re a graduate student and don’t need one, adding a co-signer 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 co-signers to see which co-signer can help get you the best rate.

Learn More: Getting Student Loans Without a Co-signer

When can I start paying back student loans?

With most lenders, you can usually begin making payments as soon as you want to. You can even pay your loan off completely without penalty. But the good news is, you typically don’t need to make monthly payments while in school. You usually have until 6 months after you graduate — though there are a couple lenders that don’t give you this grace period.

Most private lenders offer flexible repayment options, too, that include interest-only repayment options, deferral options, and more. Just make sure you ask your lender about the different loan repayment plans before you agree to take on the loan.

Most lenders offer an autopay discount. This means that if you sign up to have your monthly payments automatically deducted from your savings or checking account, you can get a discount on your interest rate. This discount typically only applies when you’re actively making payments. So when you’re in periods of deferment or forbearance, your interest rate will be accruing at the higher, non-discounted rate.

Learn More: How to Start Paying Back Your Student Loans

How do I compare private student loan lenders?

Credible makes it easy to compare rates, terms, fees, and benefits on private student loans for undergraduate students, grad students, medical students, and law students. Just fill out one form to request prequalified rates from all of our partner lenders (instead of one form per lender). The best part is it’s completely free and won’t affect your credit.

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

Learn More: The Best Private Student Loans

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I’m a StudentI’m a Cosigner

Checking rates won’t affect your credit