Features & Benefits
Need more money to pay for college? You're in the right place. Use our tool to quickly find which of our lending partners are offering loans for your school. The best private student loans are just a few clicks away. Enter the name of your school and explore your options.
Apply for financial aid for college or graduate school with the government's online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
A cosigner can drastically improve your chance of being approved, so you may want to ask a parent or guardian to act as your cosigner.
Use our search tool to see which loan options are available for your school.
Make sure you or your cosigner have the proper financial information ready before you start the application process. This could include: social security numbers, gross annual incomes, a copy of your latest tax returns, or a recent pay stub.
Be prepared to provide information about your graduation date, loan period, and the amount you’ll need to borrow.
A cosigner (usually a parent or guardian) is somebody who signs on to a private loan with a borrower (the student in need), guaranteeing that if the borrower cannot pay back the loan, the co-signer will be legally responsible for the loan repayment.
When applying for a private loan (as opposed to a public loan), a cosigner is required since most students have little to no credit history and very little income, both of which are necessary for the bank to evaluate your ability to pay back a loan. Lenders are not likely to approve a loan for somebody with no proven track record of being able to pay back debt and little income to do it with.
Private loans come from a bank, credit union, state agency, or a school. Federal loans come from the federal government.
Private loan interest rates can be fixed or variable. Federal loan interest rates are fixed.
Private loans require the borrower to have a credit history or a cosigner. Federal loans do not require a credit history or a cosigner.
Private loans do not allow you to file for deferment or find an income-based repayment plan after graduation. Federal loans offer deferment and income-based repayment plans after graduation.
Generally, private loans tend to be less flexible when it comes to interest rates, repayment, and qualification, which can be an issue if you have trouble finding work after graduation.
If you take out federal loans, you have a “grace period” or a period of 6 months after graduation, which students usually need to secure employment and have enough income to make monthly payments. After the 6 month grace period, you must start repaying your loans and accrued loan interest in monthly installments.
Contact your lender to learn more about the different repayment plans. Staff is available to help you choose a repayment plan that fits your needs.
Private loan payments are most likely due while you are still in school.
Interest is defined as “money paid regularly at a particular rate for the use of money lent, or for delaying the repayment of a debt”. In layman’s terms, interest is the money you have to pay in addition to the original amount as an added fee for borrowing the money. Student loans have varying interest rates, that is, the percentage of your outstanding loan payment that you must pay in addition to the original amount.
Still have questions? Check out our full student loan guide.
Niche may be compensated by the third party lenders and others who place ads on the website. Niche is not a lender and does not endorse the products of these advertisers. Fees that Niche receives for ads do not affect the terms you may be offered by the lender you choose. There are many additional borrowing options available.
We encourage students and families to start with savings, grants, scholarships, and federal student loans to pay for college. Students and families should evaluate all anticipated monthly loan payments, and how much the student expects to earn in the future, before considering a private student loan.
Loans for Undergraduate & Career Training Students are not intended for graduate students and are subject to credit approval, identity verification, signed loan documents, and school certification. Student must attend a participating school. Student or cosigner must meet the age of majority in their state of residence. Students who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents must reside in the U.S., attend school in the U.S., apply with a creditworthy cosigner (who must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident), and provide an unexpired government-issued photo ID. Requested loan amount must be at least $1,000.
Information advertised valid as of 12/26/2023.
SALLIE MAE RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS, SERVICES, AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. CHECK SALLIEMAE.COM FOR THE MOST UP-TO-DATE PRODUCT INFORMATION.
Smart Option Student Loans® are made by Sallie Mae Bank. Sallie Mae, the Sallie Mae logo, and other Sallie Mae names and logos are service marks or registered service marks of Sallie Mae Bank. All other names and logos used are the trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.
Niche is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Sallie Mae loan customers.
©️ 2024 Sallie Mae Bank. All rights reserved. SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries, including Sallie Mae Bank are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
Ascent Funding, LLC products are made available through Bank of Lake Mills or DR Bank, each Member FDIC.
* UNDERGRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.44% to 13.80% annual percentage rate ("APR") (with autopay), variable rates from 5.99% to 14.30% APR (with autopay). GRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.99% to 13.60% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 5.99% to 14.10% APR (with autopay). PARENT LOANS: Fixed rates from 6.50% to 14.83% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 6.32% to 14.83% APR (with autopay). For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR index increases. Interest rates for variable rate loans are capped at 13.95%, unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law. Lowest rates are reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. If approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, the repayment option you select, the term and amount of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. Information current as of 11/15/2023.
Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or other eligible status and meet SoFi's underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, evaluation of your creditworthiness, years of professional experience, income, and a variety of other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers, or may become available, such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through Firstrust Bank, member FDIC, First Citizens Community Bank, member FDIC, or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC.. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
Information advertised valid as of 05/01/2023. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Approved interest rate will depend on the creditworthiness of the applicant(s), lowest advertised rates only available to the most creditworthy applicants and require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.
Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. If you choose to complete an application, we will conduct a hard credit pull, which may affect your credit score. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.15% effective Jan 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation
Fixed interest rates range from 3.34% APR (with auto debit discount) to 11.24% APR (without auto debit discount). Your interest rate will depend on your (and if applicable, your cosigner’s)
Variable interest rates range from 1.24% APR (with auto debit discount) to 9.92% APR (without auto debit discount). Your interest rate will depend on your (and if applicable, your cosigner’s) credit qualifications. Variable rates may increase after consummation. Variable rates for Nelnet Bank Student Loans are calculated as the One-Month SOFR plus the applicable Margin percentage. Variable rates will be based on the highest One-Month SOFR as published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on the twenty-fifth day (or the next business day) of the immediately preceding calendar month. The variable rate may change on the first day of each month if the SOFR index changes. This may result in higher monthly payments. The current One-Month SOFR index is 0.05% as of March 1, 2022.
The lowest interest rate for each loan type requires automatically withdrawn (“auto debit”) payments. The lowest rate is available only to the most creditworthy applicants. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rate., The interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) may be higher depending upon (1) the credit history of the borrower and, if applicable, the cosigner, (2) the repayment option and loan term selected, and (3) the loan type selected. If approved, applicants will be notified of the rate qualified for within the stated range.
Auto debit discount applies when full payments (including both principal and interest) are automatically drafted from a bank account. The auto debit discount will continue to apply during periods of approved forbearance or deferment if the auto debit discount was in effect at the time of receiving the forbearance or deferment. Auto debit discount will remain on the account unless (1) the automatic deduction of payments is canceled or (2) there are three consecutive automatic deductions returned for insufficient funds at any time during the term of the loan.
A request for the cosigner to be released can be made by either the borrower or cosigner when each of the following conditions has been met:
If all of these conditions have been met, then an application for cosigner release may be submitted. The primary borrower is required to demonstrate they have the ability to assume sole responsibility for the loan(s) by providing proof of income, meeting debt-to-income requirements, and having a satisfactory credit history. (A credit report will be obtained during the review process).
If you have questions on cosigner release, or would like to apply, contact us via email or phone at Loans@NelnetBank.com or 800.446.4190.