Written by Jonathan O'Donnell. Last updated November 2018.
You probably want to leave no stone unturned when it comes to getting the best deal possible on a student loan.
However, your good intentions may go by the wayside when you come up against the cold, hard reality of the student loan marketplace. While many of the big lenders are shouting at you with virtual megaphones, you might miss out on a great deal from a smaller lender that just doesn’t have the resources to cut through the online clutter.
That’s why a site like LendKey can be a big asset to the student loan shopper.
What is LendKey? And why should you check it out during your student loan search? Let us fill you in.
LendKey is one of the most exciting new players in the student loan space. It connects borrowers with smaller, local banks and credit unions around the country, giving you access to potentially great deals that might not otherwise be on your radar screen.
But that’s not all. Loans offered through LendKey are also serviced through LendKey. That means you can apply online on LendKey’s site, select your repayment options through their online portal, and then make payments through LendKey. That allows you, as the borrower, to enjoy a sophisticated level of service and convenience that you might not otherwise get through a smaller lender.
|Rates (APR)||4.92% - 10.01%1|
|Loan Types||Variable & Fixed|
|Terms||5 - 15 years|
|Degrees||Undergrad & Graduate|
LendKey offers an unusual and extremely attractive benefit to save you money. After you’ve paid off 10% of your loan, you may qualify for a 1% reduction in your interest rate.
Plus, because LendKey works with financial institutions like credit unions, it can offer loans at some of the lowest interest rates around. Keep in mind that credit unions are non-profit lenders, whose purpose is to serve members rather than stockholders.
If you’re someone who believes in supporting small businesses, LendKey serves that mission. In addition to offering great deals to consumers, LendKey helps smaller financial institutions get in front of new customers through its online portal. Working with LendKey allows banks to keep operating costs low, so they can offer more competitive rates to consumers.
LendKey offers undergraduate and graduate student loans.
When you apply, LendKey will match you with credit unions or other lenders based on certain characteristics, such as location or affiliation with certain groups.
Loans are considered with a household income of $15,000 or more.
Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S., and students must be enrolled in school at least half-time in order to qualify.
Applicants must have good credit or apply with a qualified cosigner. As with all loans, borrowers with excellent credit are generally entitled to lower interest rates.
Most students apply for college loans with a cosigner. Cosigners may be released after 24 consecutive on-time payments.2
As we mentioned above, LendKey offers some of the most competitive interest rates around, with variable interest rates from 4.92% to 10.01% APR, and fixed rates from 5.36% - 9.69% APR (as of November 2018) for qualified individuals.
You may need to join a credit union in order to qualify for a loan through LendKey. Often, that involves making a nominal charitable donation (around $20) to meet the membership requirements for a particular credit union.
LendKey offers payment terms from 5-15 years. Borrowers will have the repayment option of Full payments (Principal and Interest).
There is no application or origination fee to apply for a student loan with LendKey.
There is no penalty for early payment.
LendKey offers a 0.25% reduction in interest rates if you sign up for autopay.3
Plus, as we already mentioned, after you’ve paid off 10% of your loan, LendKey may reduce your interest rate by 1%.3
To apply, you or your cosigner will need contact info, a recent pay stub, and basic school information (such as anticipated graduation date).
It takes just a few minutes to apply, with results in as little as 2 minutes.
If you’re looking a private student loan, LendKey is definitely worth a look. With attractive terms and a streamlined application and repayment process, there’s not much more you could want from a student loan.
Learn more about private student loans from LendKey.
1 - Terms and Conditions Apply:
Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
2 - Cosigner Release:
Some lenders participating on LendKey.com may offer the benefit of cosigner release. Cosigner release is subject to lender approval. In order to qualify, the borrower, alone, must meet the following requirements: (1) Make the required number of consecutive, on-time full principal and interest payments as indicated in the borrower’s credit agreement during the repayment period (excluding interest-only payments) immediately prior to the request. Any period of forbearance will reset the repayment clock; (2) The account cannot be in delinquent status; (3) The borrower must provide proof of income indicating that he/she meets the income requirements and pass a credit review demonstrating that he/she has a satisfactory credit history and the ability to assume full responsibility of loan repayment; (4) No bankruptcies or foreclosures in the last sixty months; and (5) No loan defaults.
3 - Autopay Rate Reduction:
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments.
Nitro College is not a lender and makes no representations or warranties about your eligibility for a particular loan or financial aid. The rates and terms listed for each lender are estimates and will change depending on your credit profile and other information you provide to lenders. Lenders are solely responsible for any and all credit decisions, loan approval and rates, terms and other costs of the loan offered and may vary based upon the lender you select. Nitro College receives compensation from lenders that appear on this site.