Thu. Jun 8th, 2023


Student loans are a great option for you if you need help to cover your school’s total cost of attendance. There are two main types of such loans you can opt in for; the federal student loans which are issued by the U.S. Department of Education, and private student loans offered by individual lenders. Both of these types differ in interest rates, eligibility requirements, loan modification options and forgiveness programs.

Although federal student loans are the most quick and easy way of getting a student loan, they may not be able to cater for your total college cost, and you will need to look out for private student loans to help out with. Most of these private student loans offer grants and work-study programs, but you need to make sure that you’re not over borrowing. This guide will help you find the best student loan offer necessary for your educational success.

1. Ascent Credit-based Student Loan 

Ascent Funding is an online lender offering undergraduate and graduate student loans for those with or without a cosigner at more than 2,200 eligible schools nationwide. Students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents or those with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status – aka “Dreamers” – may apply for an Ascent loan. Ascent Funding was founded in 2015 and is based in San Diego. It offers a 1% cash-back graduation reward upon satisfaction of certain terms and conditions, and a 5, 7, 10, 12 or 15-year repayment terms.

Loan amount can be between $2,001 to $200,000 with no prepayment penalty and application or origination fee, but a $10 or 5% fee is charged on the amount in case of late payments.

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2. Sallie Mae Private Student Loan 

Sallie Mae is a publicly traded consumer bank that offers private student loans to pay for undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees, among other educational needs. Congress started Sallie Mae in 1972 as a government-sponsored entity that serviced student loans. The lender went private in 2004 and today provides a range of student loan products.

Additionally, Sallie Mae Bank offers savings products and other tools to help families plan and pay for college, including a credit card that earns bonus cash back to help you pay off any student loan. It offers an amount of $1,000 and loan terms from 5 to 20 years. Additionally, there’s no application fee attached and neither a prepayment penalty fee. Although a late fee of 5% is required.

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3. College Ave Private Student Loan

College Ave’s undergraduate private student loans are best for those who want to make payments while in school; borrowers can opt for immediate, interest-only and fixed $25 payment plans. You can also defer payments until after graduation.

More than 95% of College Ave undergraduate loans have a cosigner. You must be at least halfway through your repayment term to release the co-signer from the loan, as well as meet additional criteria. For a standard 10-year repayment term, that would mean making at least 5 years of payments, which is longer than other lenders require to release a co-signer.

Additionally, it offers personalized rate estimates via a soft credit check, international students are also eligible if they apply with a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and a six-month grace period extension is available.

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4. Discover Undergraduate and Graduate Student Loans 

Discover’s private student loans are a good option for borrowers who want flexible repayment options in case they need wiggle room in the future. It offers a wider range of repayment assistance programs compared with other student loan lenders, including the option to temporarily reduce payments. It offers a generous repayment flexibility for struggling borrowers, international students can qualify with a co-signer and has only one repayment term option. Minimum loan amount offered by Discover is $1,000 as well as a $0 application or origination fee, prepayment penalty fee and late fees.

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5. Earnest Private Student Loan 

This student loan refinance company began offering some of the best private student loan options in 2019, and it’s a competitive lender for undergraduate and postgraduate students alike. Unlike most lenders, Earnest considers additional criteria when determining your interest rate, including your savings history and career trajectory. On the downside, if you need to apply with a cosigner to be eligible or to lower your rate, Earnest has stricter cosigner requirements than some other lenders.

Additionally, it is available to students that are enrolled full-time part-time if the student is a senior. Also students must be U.S. citizens or residents, or international students who have a valid SSN and a creditworthy cosigner. It has no applicable origination, disbursement or prepayment fees but a 0.25% interest rate reduction if you set up monthly payments via automatic debit.

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6. SoFi Private Student Loan 

SoFi is an online lender founded by Stanford business school students in 2011. It was originally focused on student loan refinancing, though now it processes private student loans.

You can choose from undergraduate, graduate, law or MBA, health profession, or parent loans with no fees, including origination fees, application fees, late fees and insufficient funds fees. It offers co-signer release options and borrowers hit by financial hardship can access further programs and benefits.

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7. Custom Choice Loan, Powered by Cognition 

Custom Choice Loans are best for students at four-year universities who are confident they can take advantage of the Grad Reward. Borrowers receive a 2% principal reduction with proof of graduation. It may also be a good fit for borrowers with strong credit, low income and low debt. It has no minimum income requirement, though you must demonstrate positive income.

Additionally, you get to enjoy a 2% principal reduction with proof of graduation and your new application will already be pre-filled and income verification waived under certain circumstances if you’re a returning borrower.

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8. Education Loan Finance Private Student Loan 

This is a good student loan refinancing option if you value customer support. ELFI pairs customers with a dedicated, highly trained student loan advisor. You can call, text or email your advisor to ask questions throughout the refinancing process. It offers personalized rate estimates via a soft credit check. and allows borrowers to refinance their parents’ PLUS loans.

Loan term ranges from 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years and an amount of $15,000 up to your total outstanding loan balance. Additionally, it makes it possible to transfer a parent loan to the child.

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9. Funding U Private Student Loan 

For any student that doesn’t have access to — or simply doesn’t want — a cosigner, Funding U may be a good option. Unlike some lenders, Funding U even offers loans to undocumented students (such as Deferred Acton for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients). Keep in mind that this lender only gives loans out to students — not parents — and is more limited than some other lenders in how much it’s willing to offer.

This student loan option is available to U.S. citizens, permanent residents or DACA recipients and it’s accessible to students who are age 18 or older, must be enrolled full time at one of about 1,450 eligible four-year, nonprofit schools and must meet minimum grade point average. Additionally, it allows students to prequalify without a credit score or income and it’s recipients are eligible to apply for private loans.

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10. LendKey Private Student Loan 

This is a digital loan marketplace that partners with over 13,000 small banks and credit unions. Unlike other marketplaces, LendKey services loans and offers in-house customer service, meaning it will not underwrite or disburse your loan but will manage all administrative and customer-related aspects of it.

Private student loans obtained through LendKey begin at $2,000 and can finance certified education-related expenses, including room and board, tuition, fees, transportation, laptop and textbooks.

Applications are credit-based, and cosigners are allowed if the borrower doesn’t meet eligibility criteria. Cosigner release will depend on the lender’s approval and requirements. It offers undergraduate, graduate, and student refinance loans.

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