Private Student Loans

Popular private student loan options

If you have exhausted all of your federal options but still need help funding your education, you can always take out a private student loan. We can help you find and compare some of the best private student loan options in the market, whether you are an undergraduate, graduate, or professional student. 

All Private Student Loans

VARIABLE APR

0.94% – 11.44%

FIXED APR

2.94% – 12.78%

TERMS (YEARS)

5 to 15

Earnest – Private Student Loan

Earnest offers private student loans for eligible undergraduate, graduate school, and professional school (law, medical, etc.) students. With competitively low rates, flexible payment and loan terms, and convenient co-signer options, Earnest is a great option where you can fund your education.

Pros

  • Quick co-signer invite; shareable online application
  • Zero fees; flexible loan terms and repayment options
  • Allows 9-month grace period after you graduate
  • Skip one payment a year
  • Rate discount with auto-pay

Cons

  • Must be enrolled full-time at an eligible institution
  • Loans are not available in Nevada

VARIABLE APR

2.49% – 13.85%1

FIXED APR

3.22% – 13.95%1

TERMS (YEARS)

5 to 152

College Ave – Private Student Loan

College Ave offers undergraduate, graduate school, professional school (law, medical, etc.), and parent loans for individuals or co-signers looking for private student loans. With its fast and seamless application process, College Ave can get you an instant credit decision and help you pay for your education.

Pros
  • No application, origination, or disbursement fees
  • Simple application; get an instant credit decision
  • Customized repayment options; option to add co-signer
  • Cover up to 100% of your cost of attendance including tuition, fees, books, housing, and other costs3
  • Rate discount with auto-pay

Cons

  • Co-signer cannot request release until half of the original repayment term has elapsed

VARIABLE APR

1.75% – 12.30%

FIXED APR

3.22% – 14.75%

TERMS (YEARS)

Multiple

Ascent – Private Student Loan

Ascent offers multiple credit and outcomes-based private student loans to undergraduate and graduate students (including business, dental, law, and medical students). With multiple deferment and forbearance options, as well as unique graduation benefits, Ascent is a great place to start for most students.

Pros

  • Loans available to international students and DACA students
  • 1% Cash Back Graduation Reward available to eligible borrowers
  • Multiple deferment and forbearance options, with longer grace periods than most lenders (varies by loan and education type)
  • Co-signer can request release after 24 consecutive months of on-time full principal and interest repayment
  • Rate discount with auto-pay (0.25% for credit-based loans and 1.00% for undergraduate outcomes-based loans)

Cons

  • Co-signer release not available to international students

VARIABLE APR

1.26% – 10.09%

FIXED APR

3.34% – 11.66%

TERMS (YEARS)

Multiple

Nelnet Bank – Private Student Loan

Nelnet Bank offers private student loan options for undergraduate, graduate school, and professional school (law, medical, etc.) students. With convenient co-signer and deferment options, Nelnet Bank can help you get the funding you need.

Pros

  • No application or prepayment fees
  • Hardship forbearance available for up to 12 months
  • Co-signer can request release after 24 consecutive months of on-time full principal and interest repayment
  • Rate discount with auto-pay

Cons

  • Charges fees for late or returned payments
  • No customer support available on weekends

VARIABLE APR

2.39% – 12.13%

FIXED APR

3.75% – 13.35%

TERMS (YEARS)

Multiple

SoFi – Private Student Loan

SoFi offers private student loan options for undergraduate, graduate, law & MBA, and parent loans. With zero fees, multiple repayment plans, and a customer service team that is available 7 days a week, SoFi can help you pre-qualify for a private student loan in minutes. 

Pros

  • No application, origination, prepayment, late, or insufficient fund fees 
  • Available to eligible non-permanent residents and DACA students
  • Cover up to 100% of your cost of attendance including tuition, fees, books, housing, and other costs
  • Co-signer can request release after 24 consecutive months of on-time full principal and interest repayment
  • Rate discount with auto-pay 

Cons

  • Higher minimum loan amount than other lenders
  • International students are not currently eligible to apply

VARIABLE APR

2.69-% – 11.79%

FIXED APR

3.21% – 11.99%

TERMS (YEARS)

5 to 15

ELFI – Private Student Loan

Education Loan Finance (ELFI) offers private student loans for undergraduate and graduate school students, in addition to parent loans. If you are looking for white-glove service in the private student loan space, ELFI is the best place to start your search for a private student loan.

Pros

  • No application, origination, or prepayment fees
  • Low rates and transparent application process
  • Cover up to 100% of your cost of attendance including tuition, fees, books, housing, and other costs
  • Comprehensive FAQ page and great focus on customer service
  • Dedicated student loan advisors ready to help with your application

Cons

  • Charges fees for late or returned payments
  • No auto-pay discount

Popular law school loan options

Need more money to get through law school? We know how difficult it can be, especially when federal loans, financial aid, and scholarships are not enough. Thankfully, there are many lenders that offer specialized education loans designed for law school students like yourself. Here’s where you can start:

Law School Loans

VARIABLE APR

1.73% – 12.30%

FIXED APR

3.15% – 14.75%

TERMS (YEARS)

7 to 15

Ascent – Law School Loan

Ascent offers multiple credit-based graduate loans to eligible law school students. With flexible repayment plans, an extended in-school period, and an option to postpone payments, Ascent is a great place to start for law school students.

Pros

  • Maximum in-school period of 36 months
  • Law school grace period allows you to postpone payments up to 9 months after graduation
  • 1% Cash Back Graduation Reward available to eligible borrowers
  • Co-signer can request release after 24 consecutive months of on-time full principal and interest repayment
  • Rate discount with auto-pay 

Cons

  • Co-signer cannot request release until half of the original repayment term has elapsed

VARIABLE APR

2.49% – 10.45%

FIXED APR

3.99% – 11.46%

TERMS (YEARS)

5 to 20

College Ave – Law School Loan

College Ave offers a specialized education loan for students enrolled in a Juris Doctor (JD) degree program at an eligible school. Apply in minutes and get an instant credit decision on a law school loan with College Ave.

Pros

  • Cover up to 100% of the cost of your law degree
  • No application, origination, or disbursement fees 
  • You can start repaying your loans immediately or use the 9-month grace period offered after you complete your degree
  • Defer up to an additional 12 months during your clerkship
  • Rate discount with auto-pay 

Cons

  • Co-signer cannot request release until half of the original repayment term has elapsed

VARIABLE APR

2.69% – 11.79%

FIXED APR

3.21% – 11.99%

TERMS (YEARS)

5 to 15

ELFI – Law School Loan

Education Loan Finance (ELFI) offers private student loans for undergraduate and graduate school students, in addition to parent loans. If you are looking for white-glove service in the private student loan space, ELFI is the best place to start your search for a private student loan.

Pros

  • No application, origination, or prepayment fees
  • Low rates and transparent application process
  • Cover up to 100% of your cost of attendance including tuition, fees, books, housing, and other costs
  • Comprehensive FAQ page and great focus on customer service
  • Dedicated student loan advisors ready to help with your application

Cons

  • Charges fees for late or returned payments
  • No auto-pay discount

VARIABLE APR

2.64% – 12.13%

FIXED APR

4.75% – 12.70%

TERMS (YEARS)

Multiple

SoFi – Law School Loan

SoFi offers private student loan options for undergraduate, graduate, law & MBA, and parent loans. With zero fees, multiple repayment plans, and a customer service team that is available 7 days a week, SoFi can help you pre-qualify for a private student loan in minutes. 

Pros

  • No application, origination, prepayment, late, or insufficient fund fees 
  • Available to eligible non-permanent residents and DACA students
  • Cover up to 100% of your cost of attendance including tuition, fees, books, housing, and other costs
  • Co-signer can request release after 24 consecutive months of on-time full principal and interest repayment
  • Rate discount with auto-pay 

Cons

  • Higher minimum loan amount than other lenders
  • International students are not currently eligible to apply

Frequently Asked Questions

A private student loan is a non-federal loan offered by banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions to help borrowers pay for eligible college or higher education expenses (which may include tuition fees, books, housing, and more). 

 

Borrowers can apply for a private student loan alone or with a co-signer (if permitted by their lender) to get the funding they need to pay for school. Since most credit decisions will factor in the applicant's credit score and income, having a co-signer can boost their application, improve approval odds, and help the applicant qualify for lower rates.

 

Each lender has its own eligibility requirements and should be reviewed before submitting an application. 

Private student loans help students pay for college and other higher education-related expenses. They are also used to provide supplemental financing for students who were not able to get sufficient funding through scholarships, grants, or federal student loans.

Federal student loans are loans disbursed by the U.S. government to help eligible students pay for college and graduate school. Federal loans are usually the first option for students interested in financing their education and offer very attractive rates, repayment plans, and other benefits. To apply for a federal student loan or see if you qualify for a federal grant or scholarship, visit https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa and submit a FAFSA application.

 

Private student loans account for about a tenth of all outstanding student loan debt and are generally used to fill in the gap in situations where additional funding is needed, namely after federal student loans and other options are exhausted. Private student loans are especially helpful for individuals with good credit and income, or individuals who have a co-signer with good credit and income. It is also a great option for students attending graduate school, as federal aid for graduate studies is not as attractive as it is for undergraduate studies.

Generally, if you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident over the age of 18 who is enrolled in an eligible school or graduate program, you should be able to qualify for a private student loan. However, it is important to note that every lender has its own eligibility requirements and it is always a good idea to check with them before moving forward.

 

Private lenders will likely consider your income, overall creditworthiness, and several other factors before approving your application. Individuals with lower income and/or bad credit may still qualify if they decide to bring in a co-signer with a higher credit score or income.

Yes - private lenders will typically factor in your credit score, among other considerations, before approving your loan application. We always recommend reviewing a potential lender's eligibility requirements before submitting an application.

Looking to refinance your existing student loans?

Find refinance options that can help you save money.

Law School Loans

Need additional funding to get through law school? We have flexible private student loan options that are tailor-made for law students. Compare rates and find the best repayment plan today.

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