Our Picks For The Best Student Loans

Our Picks For The Best Student Loans

  • Origination Fees (you want none)
  • Repayment Plan Options
  • No Prepayment Penalties
  • Cosigner Release (since it’s almost impossible to get a student loan without a cosigner)

Comparing The Best Student Loan Rates

The best private student loan rates range from 2.99% APR to over % APR, depending on various factors – including your credit score, household income, cosigner, and more.

We recommend using a service like Credible to compare the best student loan rates. With Credible, you can compare multiple lenders in about 2 minutes. It’s quick and easy, and will give you a snapshot of what you might see for student loan rates.

Credible doesn’t have every lender available, and it’s important to shop around. When shopping for a student loan, remember that most banks and credit unions will do a “soft pull” of your credit on the initial application. That’s okay. If you do all your loan shopping within a 2 week period of time, it shouldn’t hurt your score overall.

When you do a formal application, the lender will do a hard pull. You should only move to this part once you’re ready to go.

Finally, remember it can take about 30 days to complete the application from start to finish. If you’re looking to start college in August, you should probably have your loans all ready to go no later than July. Start shopping now! You can find the best private loans here.

If you’re ready to shop around, here are our picks for the best private student loans. We recommend comparing all of them – it honestly only takes a few minutes. You can take a look at our full list of the best private student loan lenders.

Considering everything else you’ve done to apply for college at this point in time, spending an hour to compare the best student loans is a no brainer!

Note: The student loan offers that appear on this site are from companies from which The College Investor receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The College Investor does not include all student loan companies or all student loan offers available in the marketplace. As always, shop and compare!

1. Credible

Credible is our #1 pick for the best private student loans because they are a comparison tool that shops all the major private loan providers to give you the best rates and terms possible. Instead of manually doing the work, Credible shops:

These are pretty much all the major private student loan lenders available. The cool thing with Credible is that it takes about 2 minutes, and you can get a good sense of your loan options. Read our full Credible review.

2. Earnest

Earnest is another lender that offers strong student loan options – with good rates and loan terms. They also don’t charge any fees for origination, disbursement, prepayment, or late payment.

In repayment, they also allow you to have a 9 month grace period after graduation (most lenders are 6 months), and they allow you to skip a payment once a year.

3. Ascent

Ascent Student Loans offers competitive in-school loans and has two products – cosigner student loans and non-cosigner student loans. Ascent is one of the few companies that makes their criteria on getting a private student loan without a cosigner very clear.

Ascent doesn’t charge any application fees, and they have solid repayment options – including deferment while in school. They also offer very competitive interest rates on their loans.

4. LendKey

LendKey is another of our favorite places to shop for a student loan because they take care of comparing “all the rest” of your options. Instead of major banks and lenders, LendKey is a comparison tool that focuses on community banks and credit unions. However, don’t think that you’re dealing with some random bank in the middle of nowhere. LendKey actually manages everything for your loan, the money simply comes from one of these community banks.

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