Top Student Loan Providers
Many people have desires to go to their dream school and work their entire life for that opportunity. Then once that opportunity is achieved and you receive that acceptance letter, the joy begins to diminish as you remember the cost of the school. Many times, a student will receive grants or scholarships, but with most situations, a loan is needed. That is why we created a list of the Top Student Loan Providers, which are in no particular order.
- LendKey: offers both graduate and undergraduate student loans. They are a marketplace that connects borrowers with credit unions and community banks. They also offer a long forbearance, 18 months for undergraduate student loans.
- CommonBond: offers both graduate and undergraduate student loans. They specialize in MBA student loans and have an MBA internship program, summer career development series, and a social promise trip to Ghana. Eligible MBA programs (a lot of top schools) do not require cosigners, they have a 12-month forbearance and no prepayment penalties. For every loan they give, they cover the cost of a child’s education in a developing country through a partnership with Pencils of Promise. Founded by 3 Wharton MBA grads.
- College Ave: offers both graduate and undergraduate student loans. College Ave’s undergraduate private student loans are best for those who likely won’t need to pause payments in the future. The company doesn’t have a specific forbearance policy and evaluates requests on a case-by-case basis.
- iHELP: offers both graduate and undergraduate student loans. They offer student loans from community banks but may be a better search tool than anything else. They have fantastic resources and their blog is great as it isn’t limited to financing, but the whole process.
- Ascent: offers both graduate and undergraduate student loans. There is no cosigner required for juniors, seniors, or graduate students. If you have a co-signer, Ascent Tuition offers lower interest rates. They also offer financial literacy education to help their students make more well-informed decisions.
- IEFA: is a resource for financial aid, college scholarship and grant information for US and international students wishing to study abroad. They offer a comprehensive college scholarship search tool and grant listings, plus international student loan programs and other information to promote study abroad.
- International Student Loan: they provide a comparison tool for international students to find the right student loan. They also offer financial aid resources and their blog is a good resource for students that want to study abroad.
Options for students without a cosigner
- MPower: they offer fixed-rate loans, no restrictions on majors or programs, no cross-border payment transaction fees. They issue visa support letters for all of our approved borrowers upon request. They offer free resume review, networking opportunities, exposure to paid internships and full-time job openings, Loans can range from $2,001 to $50,000 (over 2 academic terms), Interest-only payment period during school, and 6-months post-graduation. No co-signer or collateral required and no credit history needed. A negative for this is they only provide for two years so it only really works for grad students or students transferring their junior year.
- Prodigy Finance: this is only available for Graduate students. Students start repaying 6 months after the class ends. No cosigner or collateral required. Interest rates are determined by a borrower’s future earnings potential as well as credit history. 20% of borrowers qualify for the lowest advertised interest rate. Borrowers receive, on average, $40,000 in loans. They have a partnership with CommonBond.
Options for students with a cosigner
- Discover: there are no fees with Discover, even for late payments. Discover offers several options for students struggling to make payments: up to 12 months of forbearance; up to 12 months of temporary interest rate reduction; and up to six months of temporary payment reduction. Discover also offers a cash reward equal to 1% of each new student loan for borrowers who earn at least a 3.0 GPA.
- Ascent: there are no application fees, origination fees or prepayment penalties with Ascent. The lender also offers residency or internship deferment for up to 24 months. Students receive up to 24 months of forbearance if they have trouble making payments, which is more generous than most lenders.
- Sallie Mae: borrowers can defer payments in 12-month increments for up to 60 months for internships, residencies or fellowships. Sallie Mae also offers a 12-month, interest-only repayment option for postgrad borrowers. Struggling borrowers are eligible for up to 12 months of forbearance. Borrowers can also get free quarterly FICO credit scores and online tutoring.