Who’s your (Loan) Dealer? 6 Best places to go for Student Loans

best student loans

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Scholarships. Grants. Federal Aid.

You think that everything will be alright when you get these; but when you do, you find it’s not that simple. The empty darkness between expectation and reality is overlooked (as usual) and the students realize the value of a proper student loan when it’s too late.

The importance of Private Student Loans is ignored because it is defaced in front of the masses due to long-term liability and moderately high-interest rates. However, the only way to cover up the whole tuition cost for any college is through a private student loan.

Despite the unneeded defamation, 4 out of 5 college students in the USA opt for a private student loan, irrespective of federal aids or scholarships granted to them at the start. This pretty much proves that with government aid not fulfilling their purpose; private student loans are an important factor in the American Education System.

There are some private players that make the best place for student loans in this tough market. We did our research and found out 6 best places for student loans– if you take up a private student loan from any of these, you won’t be disappointed.

1. College Ave Student Loans

Found is 2014, College Ave’s steep uprising is a result of their holistic focus towards student loan (and student loan only). The online lender came out to be the undisputed winner in our countdown because earning the trust of millennial (online!) is not something easy to achieve.

With easy online application and ties with other top lenders, College Ave doesn’t charge any unnecessary fee and a relaxed 15-year loan term.

As for the loan amount, College Ave provides for the school-certified attendance costs (up to $1,000 for undergrads). Let’s ponder over the specifics below:

  • Aggregate loan limit: Up to $1,000/School-certified cost of attendance
  • Repayment terms: 8, 10, 12 or 15 years
  • Variable APR: 3.69% – 10.94%
  • Fixed APR: 5.29% – 12.07%
  • Grace Period: Yes; 6 months

2. Purefy

If federal loans and scholarships aren’t working out for you, then it’s best that you Purefy yourself. Offering easy student loan and refinancing options to budding students and edu-enthusiasts, Purefy seeks your welfare before anything else.

Earning a co-signer discount is as simple as the alphabet and you can get lower interest rates if you set up automatic monthly payments. The loan term goes up to 15 years.

You can get a hefty loan amount up to $300,000 if you have valid grounds for it. Here’s how Purefy adds up:

  • Aggregate loan limit: Up to $300,000
  • Repayment terms: 5, 8, 12 or 15 years
  • Variable APR: 2.91%-7.65%
  • Fixed APR: 3.75%-7.03%
  • Grace Period: N/A

3. Citizens Bank

For financially stable borrowers who didn’t graduate or who aren’t U.S. citizens, Citizens One Bank is the prime choice. However, there’s no generous safety net for struggling borrowers beyond the standard 12 months of forbearance (grace period) many lenders provide.

Brownie-points for existing Citizens Bank account-holders; they get an easy interest rate reduction just for being a part of Citizens Bank. Citizen offers interest rate rejection if one sets up an automatic payment option for the student loan repayment.

With a boom of incoming expats for higher studies, the USA needed something like Citizens One Student Loan to make them feel at home. It’s safe to say that Citizens One is one of the best places for student loans (for non-US Citizens too!) Let’s delve into the specifics:

  • Aggregate loan limit: Loans from $1,000 to $295,000; depends on the degree
  • Repayment terms: 5-10 years
  • Variable APR: 4.04% – 11.91%
  • Fixed APR: 5.25% – 12.09%
  • Grace Period: Yes; 12 months if experiencing economic hardship

4. SunTrust Bank

If you’re sweating on soaring Annual Percentage Rates, then SunTrust might intrigue you. Offering the lowest possible APR on variable and fixed-rate private student loans, SunTrust Bank won’t punch a big hole in your pocket instantly.

SunTrust also offers up to a 0.50 percent interest rate discount if you sign up for automatic payments from a SunTrust account. As for non-SunTrust members, 0.25 percent discount is offered on interest rate if they sign up for automatic payments.

Despite the fact that one has to make at least 36 to 48 payments to release a co-signer, SunTrust Bank is the best place for student loans because it offers money-saving perks. Let’s talk numbers now:

  • Aggregate loan limit: $1,001 minimum; $65,000 annual maximum; Total $150,00
  • Repayment terms: 7, 10, 15 years
  • Variable APR: 3.88% – 12.88%
  • Fixed APR: 5.35% – 14.05%
  • Grace Period: Payments start 6 months after leaving school

5. Sallie Mae

Sallie Mae is a household name when it comes to student loans, but there is a reason why it is not in the top three best places for student loans. Brand recognition alone doesn’t mean it necessarily has the best private loan offerings out there.

It is still a strong option for private student loan borrowers, missing the last spot, but you may find better terms and loan offerings with the top three lenders on our list. You can get free access to 120 minutes of live online tutoring through Chegg Tutors too!

  • Aggregate loan limit: Up to $1,000/ School-certified cost of attendance
  • Repayment terms: 5-15 years
  • Variable APR: 4.12% – 10.98%
  • Fixed APR: 5.74% – 11.85%
  • Grace Period: defer payments at school and during a six-month grace period after graduating.

6. Discover

Discover Student Loans were launched by the credit cards business giants Discover in 2007. Today, it offers private student loans and student loan refinancing, which it calls private consolidation.

A unique benefit with Discover’s student loans is that as long as you have at least a 3.0 GPA during the school terms that your loan covers, you can request a one-time reward of 1 percent of your loan amount.

A potentially major drawback with Discover is the lack of a co-signer release option. You still might be able to release a co-signer by refinancing your loans later, but if interest rates rise, you could get stuck with a more expensive loan.

That’s why it’s on #5, but it is still the best place for the student loan if you need the motivation to get good grades to get that one-time rewards. Let’s study the numbers below:

  • Aggregate loan limit: Up to $1,000/ School-certified cost of attendance
  • Repayment terms: 15 years
  • Variable APR: 3.99%-12.99%
  • Fixed APR: 5.99%-13.99%
  • Grace Period: defer payments at school and during a six-month grace period after graduating.

BONUS: Credible will help you out!

Leave all your worries aside and submit your application on Credible and let them do the hard part. Credible prequalifies you with tonnes of top-notch student loan lenders (that include out top-5, obviously) and it’s the best place for student loan search.

Application Criteria:

  • The student must be enrolled at least half-time in a qualifying US educational program.
  • A co-signer should exist if the student is younger than 18.

Why Credible?

  • Access to multiple lender rates in a single application
  • No hidden fee- be it an application (which is totally free) or origination fee
  • 24×7 Phone and E-mail support to students
  • It’s free! Checking rates do not come with a cost.

If you cannot decide what the best place for student loans is, visit Credible and let it work wonders for you!

Otherwise, just pick one out of the top-6 private student loan lenders according to your whims and fancies.

Remember, Student loan sticks with you for a long time to come, so plan a payoff strategy ASAP, no matter how relaxed are your student loan terms.

You’re about to enter into the next stage of your life. Be the best at what you do and you’d be flying sky-high!

Related Post: Here’s how an 18 Year Old plans to Pay Off her Student Loan Right After College

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