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Comparison of The Best Student Loans

Making a comparison of the best student loans? Federal student loans are definitely the ideal option when looking for easy, cost-efficient ways to pay for college tuition. Sadly, while they might offer great loan terms, these don't always cover the necessary expenses.

Federal student loan lenders who don't qualify for the complete loan amounts they were eyeing can get a private student loan or apply for financial aid. For the average student, the former is easier and more appealing.

There are plenty of private student loan companies that cater to applicants all across the country. When browsing through the options, you'll notice that their interest rates, loan rates, repayment terms, application fees, and overall total cost of fees vary on a case-by-case basis.

This freedom might feel liberating, but considering everything else you'll need to think about regarding college applications, the average freshman might not have enough time to go through all the private student loan lenders. Some don't even know how to assess payment terms yet.

Fortunately, AnyCredit is here to help! Our website has multiple in-depth guides on the best student loan options in the country today. We'll go through everything from the initial interest rates offered to available student loan refinancing plans in case things go south. Contact Any Credit today!

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College Ave
Loanable Amount: $1,000 to the total cost of attendance
Term Lengths: 5 - 15 years
Required Credit Score: 650+
Variable APR: 1.09% - 11.98%
Fixed APR: 3.49% - 12.99%
Co-Signer Release: 24+ payments
Forbearance Option: 12 months total; 3- and 6-month increments
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SoFi
Loanable Amount: $5,000 to the total cost of attendance
Term Lengths: 5 - 15 years
Required Credit Score: 680
Variable APR: 1.87% - 11.66%
Fixed APR: 4.23% - 11.26%
Co-Signer Release: 24+ payments
Forbearance Options: 12 months total; 3-month increments
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Earnest
Loanable Amount: $5,000 to the full cost of attendance
Term Lengths: 5 - 20 years
Required Credit Score: 650
Variable APR: 1.99 - 5.64%
Fixed APR: 2.98 - 5.79%
Co-Signer Release: N/A
Forbearance Options: 12 months
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Citizens Bank
Loanable Amount: $1,000 to $150,000
Term Lengths: 5 - 15 years
Required Credit Score: Undisclosed
Variable APR: 1.21% - 10.54%
Fixed APR: 4.25% - 11.04%
Co-Signer Release: 12 months
Forbearance Options: 36+ payments

The Best Private Student Loans to Help Cover College Expenses

There are different types of student loans. Each one has its own pros and cons, so make sure to assess your needs and lifestyle first before even considering submitting a student loan application. Don't blindly trust the options that worked well for other students and parents.

Swift Application Process: College Ave

  • Loanable Amount: $1,000 to the total cost of attendance
  • Term Lengths: 5 - 15 years
  • Required Credit Score: 650+
  • Variable APR: 1.09% - 11.98%
  • Fixed APR: 3.49% - 12.99%
  • Co-Signer Release: 24+ payments
  • Forbearance Option: 12 months total; 3- and 6-month increments

College Ave is a reputable financial institution founded in 2014 and known for solely providing student loans. What sets them apart is their fast loan application process. In fact, applicants can apply and qualify for both their variable and fixed-rate loans in just a matter of minutes from any smartphone, tablet, or PC. Meanwhile, other lenders have a lengthy process that takes weeks.

College Ave offers multiple variable and fixed student loan interest rates. The latter annual percentage rate (APR) ranges from 1.09% to 11.98% while the latter is at 3.49% to 12.99%. If you want to qualify for their variable rate loans, you'll need a co-signer and a shorter term length. We also advise making full monthly payments.

Applicants will also be happy to know that the co-signer release policy will take effect after 24 payments. However, if you do have trouble meeting monthly payments at any time during the repayment period, you can apply for the forbearance option. It may temporarily halt payments for a maximum of 12 months.

Ideal for Grad Students: SoFi

  • Loanable Amount: $5,000 to the total cost of attendance
  • Term Lengths: 5 - 15 years
  • Required Credit Score: 680
  • Variable APR: 1.87% - 11.66%
  • Fixed APR: 4.23% - 11.26%
  • Co-Signer Release: 24+ payments
  • Forbearance Options: 12 months total; 3-month increments

Why is SoFi the best student loan option for those who want to pursue higher education after getting their bachelor's degree? First, they offer private student loans for law, MBA, and various grad school students. There aren't too many comprehensive graduate student loans in the country.

Second, they have a fair forbearance option. In the event that the student or parent—whoever's making the payments—undergoes financial hardships, they have the option of temporarily halting payment collection. This is very useful as most grad students have to pay tuition themselves. The forbearance policy can be extended up to 12 months in three-month increments.

Lastly, they provide great refinancing options. If your existing college student loans are hindering you from pursuing higher education, try refinancing the total amount through SoFi. Negotiate better repayment options and lower rates so you can meet the full principal and interest payments while going to grad school.

Great Option for Those With Good Credit History: Earnest

  • Loanable Amount: $5,000 to the full cost of attendance
  • Term Lengths: 5 - 20 years
  • Required Credit Score: 650
  • Variable APR: 1.99 - 5.64%
  • Fixed APR: 2.98 - 5.79%
  • Co-Signer Release: N/A
  • Forbearance Options: 12 months

If you're looking for student loans with a low, affordable interest rate, check out Earnest. They are known for having the best repayment options as well as the lowest student loan rates in the country.

The only downside is they require you to have a minimum credit score of 650. Plus, you can only apply without a co-signer. Taking these requirements into consideration, it's safe to say that the low rates Earnest offers are only available to those with a good credit history.

Best for International Students: Citizens Bank

  • Loanable Amount: $1,000 to $150,000
  • Term Lengths: 5 - 15 years
  • Required Credit Score: Undisclosed
  • Variable APR: 1.21% - 10.54%
  • Fixed APR: 4.25% - 11.04%
  • Co-Signer Release: 12 months
  • Forbearance Options: 36+ payments

International students looking for private student loans in the U.S. should definitely take a look at Citizens Bank. An applicant who is not a U.S. resident and is only pursuing education on a temporary visa can qualify for student loans at Citizens Bank as long as they have a U.S. citizen co-signer.

The only tradeoff here is that the 36-month co-signer release policy will have to be extended. However, in the event that the student does fail to make payments, they still have the option of temporarily halting collections. Forbearance can last up to 12 months.

Final Thoughts

Overall, we want to emphasize that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to private student loans. What you should do is carefully assess the loan terms to see which ones best suit your needs and lifestyle.

Also, don't borrow more than what you need! Too many students make the mistake of borrowing far in excess of the cost of attendance without considering the long-term student loan rates and fees. Stay within budget.

And don't forget, federal student loans are always the best option. They offer lower interest rates, have a better loan term, and sometimes even provide interest rate discounts. Only go for a private student loan if the loan amount granted by the federal loans you qualify for do not cover all your school expenses. Try applying for financial aid as well.

Additional Resources

Total student loan debt in the country

Student loans are very normal in the country. In fact, there are more than 45 million debtors who have a collective student loan amount exceeding $1.6 trillion.

Still on the fence about where you should apply for a student loan? We have multiple guides and articles on our website loan applicants can use as a reference when deciding between the best private student loan offers on the market. Check out AnyCredit today!

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