Last Updated: June 2017
If savings, scholarships, and grants aren’t enough to fully fund your college education, you might be considering taking out a private student loan. If so, it’s wise to do some research first. While you want to make sure that you’re getting the best deal possible, it’s also important to ensure that you’re working with a reputable lender.
So where can you get the best deal on a private student loan for college?
Which lenders have the best rates and terms?
And which lenders can you trust?
At Nitro, we have relationships with several lenders that we’ve put through an intensive vetting process. We have researched and compared:
With a variety of traditional banks and new lenders on the scene, it’s easier than ever to find a private student loan that fits with your needs. Check out offerings from our preferred lenders and apply today.
**Remember, if you apply with a cosigner, you will increase your chances of getting approved for a loan and may get a lower interest rate.
* This repayment example is based on a typical loan to a borrower who chooses a variable rate and the Fixed Repayment Option for a $10,000 loan, with two disbursements, and a 8.11% variable APR. It works out to 51 payments of $25.00, 119 payments of $151.63 and one payment of $117.89, for a Total Loan Cost of $19,436.86. Variable rates may increase over the life of the loan.
* This repayment example is based on a typical loan to a first-year graduate borrower who chooses a variable rate and the Fixed Repayment Option for a $10,000 loan, with two disbursements, and a 7.12% variable APR. It works out to 27 payments of $25.00, 59 payments of $216.41 and one payment of $200.56, for a Total Loan Cost of $13,643.75. Variable rates may increase over the life of the loan.
+ The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.
SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries, including Sallie Mae Bank, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America
Connext Private Student Loans Powered by ReliaMax has a network of lenders providing your NEXT loan.
For most student loans, you can apply online within a matter of minutes if you have the right documentation on hand. The information you might want to have at the ready includes:
Note: If you’re applying with a cosigner, you’ll need the above info as it pertains to him or her as well.
Q: What else do I need to think about when applying for student loans?
Before applying for private student loans, be sure to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, otherwise known as FAFSA. Doing so will help determine your eligibility for federal grants and loans, as well as some scholarships. Accept all of your grants and scholarship money, followed federal loans, before applying for a private student loan. Then use our Free NitroScore tool to determine how much money you need to borrow before applying for loans.
Q: Does it cost money to apply for a private student loan?
Some banks may charge an application fee. However, all application fees are waived if you apply through Nitro.
Q: How long does it take to get approved for a student loan?
Most lenders will require certain kinds of documentation, including your (and your cosigner’s) social security number, address, and employment or income info.
If you have your paperwork in hand, it should take about 15 minutes to go through the application process. Some banks may approve you within a few minutes. If you have to provide additional documentation, that process may take several days.
Q: What’s the difference between a federal student loan and a private student loan? Is one better than the other?
Federal student loans are issued by the government and often feature lower interest rates than loans offered by private lenders. It’s a good idea to utilize all federal loan money that’s offered to you before applying for private student loans.
Q: Should I opt for a variable or fixed interest rate?
A fixed interest rate will remain the same for the life of the loan. A variable interest may fluctuate based on market conditions. That may affect your monthly payment, as well as your overall loan amount.
Fixed interest rates are generally a safer bet, although finding a good deal on a variable rate might make sense if you’re only taking the loan for a short period of time, or if interest rates are expected to fall.