Our process

How Credible works

  • 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.

  • 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.

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
Learn more

Our partner lenders

Compare private student loan rates

LenderVariable APRFixed APRDegrees amountView Details

1.48%-11.33%

2.91%-12.95%

View Details

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

1.03%-11.01%

3.23%-11.70%

View Details

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

1.08%-9.36%

3.75%-10.56%

View Details

Disclosures

Loan terms

7, 10, 15 years

Graduation Reward

Yes

2% principal reduction with proof of 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 36 consecutive on-time payments

0.99%-11.99%

2.94%-12.98%

View Details

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

2.17%-6.77%

3.00%-8.50%

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

1.69%-5.65%

3.83%-7.69%

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

3.75%-5.75%

View Details

Loan terms

10, 15 years

Graduation Reward

No

Discounts

No

Fees

No application fee

No origination fee

No prepayment penalty

Cosigner release

Available after 48 on-time payments

1.13%-11.23%

3.50%-12.60%

View Details

Disclosures

Loan terms

10 - 15 years

Graduation Reward

No

Discounts

Yes

0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction with autopay

Fees

No application fee

No origination fee

No prepayment penalty

Cosigner release

Yes

Borrowers can apply after graduation, 12 consecutive on-time principal and interest payments, and meeting certain credit requirements.

Check for personalized rates. It only takes 3 minutes!

Checking rates won’t affect your credit score

NO FEES. EVER.

Shop loans for school. 100% free.

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.

I’m a StudentI’m a Cosigner

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.

Ready to get started?

I’m a StudentI’m a Cosigner

Checking rates won’t affect your credit score

WHAT CUSTOMERS SAY

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

review-star-1review-star-2review-star-3review-star-4review-star-5

The loan process was extremely simple

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

See Melissa's review
review-star-1review-star-2review-star-3review-star-4review-star-5

Quick and easy

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

See Rachael's review
review-star-1review-star-2review-star-3review-star-4review-star-5

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.

See Melissa's review

Individual experiences may vary.

Excellent
4,857 reviews on
Trustpilot

Check for personalized rates. It only takes 3 minutes!

I’m a StudentI’m a Cosigner

Checking rates won’t affect your credit

COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS

There's no such thing as too many questions

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.

Learn More: Private Student Loans & COVID-19: What You Need to Know

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

Learn More: How Do Federal and Private Student Loans Work?

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.

Learn More: Guide to Every Type of Student Loan Offered

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 loansPrivate student loans
Interest rates3.73% - 6.28%*
(depending on loan type)
Fixed rates from (APR):+
Variable rates from (APR):+
(Private lenders on Credible)
Offers subsidized loansYesNo
Loan forgivenessYesNo
Option to change repayment plan or defer paymentsYesNo
Requires FAFSAYesNo
Requires cosignerTypically no
(unless applying for a PLUS loan with adverse credit)
No
(but might increase chances of qualifying)
Requires credit checkOnly for PLUS loansYes

*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.

Learn More: Federal vs. Private Student Loans: 5 Differences

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
  • Variable rates (APR): As low as

Learn More: Current Private Student Loan Interest Rates

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.

Find Out: 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, 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.

Learn: How to Qualify for 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 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.

Learn: How to Find a Cosigner

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.

Learn More: Getting Student Loans Without a Cosigner

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:

  • Interest rates: The lower the interest rate, the more you can save on interest charges over the life of the loan. Your credit as well as the repayment term you choose will impact the rates you qualify for.
  • Repayment terms: Available terms vary between lenders — for example, many Credible partners offer terms ranging from five to 20 years. It’s usually a good idea to choose the shortest term you can afford to save as much as you can on interest charges. Opting for a shorter term might also get you a lower interest rate.
  • Loan amounts: While some lenders will let you borrow up to your school’s cost of attendance, others have smaller loan maximums. Be sure to choose a lender that offers the loan amount you need.
  • Fees: Some lenders charge fees — such as origination fees or prepayment penalties — which can add to your overall loan cost. Keep in mind that if you take out a loan with one of Credible’s partner lenders, you won’t have to worry about application, origination, or disbursement fees.
  • Discounts: You might be able to qualify for rate discounts from some lenders. For example, many lenders offer a discount if you sign up for automatic payments, while others offer discounts if you have a previous account with them.

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:

Keep Reading: The Best Private Student Loans

Additional resources to help you get student loans:

QUESTIONS?

Our Client Success Team is always here to help

Want to talk to a real person? We’re available by phone, live chat and email.

Monday - Thursday 

6am - 6pm PT

Friday 

6am - 4pm PT

Sat - Sun 

7am - 4pm PT

Ready to pay for school?

I’m a StudentI’m a Cosigner

Checking rates won’t affect your credit score