Best Private Student Loans of 2024

By John V

January 12, 2024   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

best private student loans

Many people have gone into the realm of pursuing higher education and know just how much the prices have escalated. Although many people consider education to be a priority, its cost makes it unavailable for many.

Reaching out for a student loan if you don’t have the financial ability to pay yourself is an excellent way to go. Although there are federal student loans, private student loans have been increasing in popularity.

And, the only thing you need to qualify for these is to have a solid credit score, that’s all. Not only that, but they borrow higher amounts of money than with federal student loans.

If you’re someone that wants to explore this financial aid from private student loans, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll take a look at the best personal student loans of 2024.

Overview: Best Private Student Interest Rates

LenderAPR RangeMinimum Credit ScoreMinimum Loan AmountMaximum Loan Amount
College Ave0.94% – 11.98%600$1,000100% total cost of attendance
Discover2.99% - 5.49%700$1,000$16,000
CommonBond3.78% – 9.34%660$2,000$500,000
Sallie Mae1.13% – 11.64%600$1,000100% total cost of attendance
EarnestStarts at 0.99%650$1,000100% total cost of attendance
SoFi0.99% – 11.33%680$5,000100% total cost of attendance
Ascent1.51% - 10.83%540$2,000$200,000
PNC3.44% - 6.24%650$1,000$35,000
LendKey1.49% - 7.73%660$5,000$35,000

Private Student Loan Lenders: Detailed Insight

College Ave: Lendee’s Top Choice

APRMinimum Credit ScoreLoan AmountMore Details
Starts at 0.94%600$1,000 - total cost of attendance
Click Here

College Ave is the best private student loan that offers services to undergraduate students, graduates, and parent and career students.

Whether you’re a student that is part of some U.S. university or college and makes a solid academic performance, College Ave offers you versatile financial aid.

College Ave also offers financial aid to international students. By just providing a social security number, you’ll get access to low-interest rates and flexible repayment terms.

↳ Best Feature?

College Ave is one of the best student loan lenders that offers incredible repayment methods, flexible terms when it comes to repayment, and variable rates.

College Ave also allows you to have a co-signer. Not many lenders will enable you to have a co-signer. However, College Ave knows how struggling it can be if you don’t have the proper credit score or a steady income.

But that isn’t all. College Ave also provides its borrowers with resources, tools, and even scholarships. This means that the majority of the borrowers once they start college can access these options.

And, if you’re left with any gaps from previous federal student loans, you can use these to fill them and even have low-interest payments.

↳ Who is it Best For?

This private student loan is ideal for student loan borrowers that are searching for a comprehensive online experience with low-interest rates and an extended loan term for repayment.

Click Here to Know More About College Ave Private Student Loans.


Discover: Best For Consolidation Loans

APRMinimum Credit ScoreLoan AmountMore Details
2.99% - 5.49%700$1,000 - $16,000
Click Here

Discover is yet another incredible online lender that offers loan consolidation and private student loans to everyone that is a U.S. resident.

In its lending program, it offers to cover all of the graduate school costs and even other college-certified costs.

For people that show an academic performance of 3.0 GPA, it offers a bonus reward. This reward is available for anyone that has and keeps a good performance. It offers several types of loans, including graduate, undergraduate, health professions, bar exam, parent, law, and consolidation loans.

↳ Best Feature?

The best thing about Discover is that it comes with no fees. This means that you don’t have to pay interest payments, origination fees, late fees, or application fees.

Not only that, but it allows you to prequalify for future academic loans, and this won’t have an impact on your credit at all. It has variable rates that defer payments.

↳ Who is it Best For?

Discover is ideal for people that have maximized their scholarships, grants, and other monetary aid. If you want a lender that offers you a wide range of loan consolidation options and loan types, Discover is the right thing your you.

Click Here to Know More About Discover Private Student Loans.


CommonBond: Best for Medical Degrees

APRMinimum Credit ScoreLoan AmountMore Details
Starts at 3.78%600$2,000 - $500,000
Click Here

Common Bond is the best private student loan citizens bank for dental and medical degrees.

Common Bond offers fixed interest rates and variable interest rates depending on your credit score. They most often range from  3.74 percent to 10.74 percent APR.

There are also forbearance and deferment options, which allow you to pause your monthly payments if you happen to have financial difficulty.

↳ Best Feature?

Both national and international students are allowed to ask for a hardship that can last up to 24 months within the life of the loan. You can also pause your monthly payments if you experience some sort of a natural disaster.

You can take a minimum student loan of $2,000 that can help many graduate students pay off their loans.

↳ Who is it Best For?

Discover is ideal for people that want to have a flexible repayment plan and longer repayment terms.

Click Here to Know More About CommonBond Private Student Loans.


Sallie Mae: Best for Having the Most Loan Options

APRMinimum Credit ScoreLoan AmountMore Details
Starts at 1.13%600$1,000 - total cost of attendance
Click Here

Sallie Mae is one of the best private student loans that offer flexible student loan interest rates.

It doesn’t offer any student loan refinancing, but it offers incredible borrowing experience for graduate loans and other personal loans.

It offers scholarships, educational articles, competitive interest rates, and other financial aid to its customers. It has a top-notch service like no other.

Best Feature?

Sallie Mae has a wide range of features for new private student loans designed for both national and international students. Not only that, but it also offers incredible career training services that many other private lenders lack.

It has low fixed interest rates and low variable interest rates.

↳ Who is it Best For?

Sallie Mae is ideal for people that want to borrow money from well-established lenders that offer automatic payments, extended loan terms, high loan balance, low-interest monthly payment, and loan repayment options.

Click Here to Know More About Sallie Mae Private Student Loans.


Earnest: Best for Subsidized Loans

APRMinimum Credit ScoreLoan AmountMore Details
Starts at 0.99%650$1,000 - total cost of attendance
Click Here

Earnest is another online lender citizens bank that offers subsidized loans to undergraduate and graduate students.

It offers private student loans and student loan refinancing. It allows students to qualify on their own or get a co-signer if they don’t have the ability to fulfill their monthly payments for the student loans.

You can skip a monthly payment every 12 months with low-interest rates. This means that once you start skipping your monthly payments, you will prolong the repayment loan term.

↳ Best Feature?

The best thing about Earnest is that it offers a whole variety of repayment options. There are four types of repayment plans which you can choose from.

Not only that but there are even more options available while you’re on one repayment plan. There are also no origination fees, late loan term fees, and all loans have a low-interest rate.

↳ Who is it Best For?

Earnest is a lender that allows students with good credit scores and credit history and can afford themselves to have monthly payments and want to have good repayment options.

Click Here to Know More About Earnest Private Student Loans.


SoFi: Best for Quality Options

APRMinimum Credit ScoreLoan AmountMore Details
Starts at 0.99%680$5,000 - total cost of attendance
Click Here

SoFi is one of the best private student loans that offer a range of services to its most qualified borrowers.

SoFi not only offers fixed interest rates but has also expanded its business to direct subsidized loans. It also offers mortgages, personal loans, banking products, parent loans, and even insurance.

It is the perfect choice if you’re looking for personalized service and help with a rich library of online resources.

↳ Best Feature?

The best thing about SoFi is that it offers unemployment protection and even helps people search for jobs even while they have applied for student loans. Not only that, but it also provides a $400 discount and helps them with the preparation of SATs and ACTs. It also offers them prep courses and even career training.

↳ Who is it Best For?

SoFi is ideal for people that are interested in borrowing a high loan balance yet have an extended loan term if you’re someone that wants to enjoy all kinds of benefits.

Click Here to Know More About SoFi Private Student Loans.


Ascent: Better than Federal Student Loans

APRMinimum Credit ScoreLoan AmountMore Details
Starts at 1.51%540$2,000 - $200,000
Click Here

Ascent is an online money citizens bank that offers several loan options to its borrowers.

It is the best when it comes to overpowering federal student loans, providing student loan refinancing options, and eliminating student loan debt.

What’s impressive about Ascent is that you can check whether you qualify for a student loan without a hard credit check. It allows incredible features that will enable you to repay the loan faster and much more straightforward.

↳ Best Feature?

The best thing about Ascent is that there are several forbearance options with interest-only payments. Not only that, but you can also qualify if you’re a borrower that doesn’t have a co-signer or a credit history.

↳ Who is it Best For?

Ascent is ideal for people that want to have a Forbearance of 24 months. It is much longer than at other federal student loan lenders.

Click Here to Know More About Ascent Private Student Loans.


PNC: Best for Current Students

APRMinimum Credit ScoreLoan AmountMore Details
Starts at 3.44%650$1,000 - $35,000
Click Here

PNC is another provider that offers student loans for existing and current students.

Although it is a traditional bank, it offers various unsubsidized loans to undergraduates and graduates. Not only that, but it also provides parents loans and unsubsidized loans with long loan terms for repayment.

Even for people who are no longer in school, it has repayment loan terms for anyone who can immediately start with the repayment.

↳ Best Feature?

PNC offers several features to its customers. The best one is undoubtedly the ability to repay the student loans even while they’re still in school.

If you sign up for automatic payments, PNC allows you to have a 0.50% reduction on the interest rates. This option is not available for other lenders that provide student loans.

↳ Who is it Best For?

PNC is ideal for people that want to pay low origination fees, low fees on their interest rates, and have long repayment terms.

Click Here to Know More About PNC Private Student Loans.


LendKey: For a Novel Way of Lending

APRMinimum Credit ScoreLoan AmountMore Details
Starts at 1.49%660$5,000 - $35,000
Click Here

LendKey is considered a completely unique citizens bank that provides student loans with low-interest rates to its borrowers.

LendKey’s service allows Forbearance of 18 months if you’ve chosen 15 and 20-year loan terms. This makes LendKey one of the best lenders that would enable the most extended terms.

Not only that, but you also can see whether you qualify or not without a hard credit check. The average borrower earns $65,000 annually. It services all kinds of parent loans and student loans with low-interest rates. If you opt for longer loan terms, you can get an extended forbearance.

↳ Best Feature?

LendKey offers numerous benefits to borrowers that typically don’t have a vise or hold a degree.

The autopay options allow borrowers to pay back the student loan much easier. This option allows you to pay every two weeks without even realizing it. This means that you will make 26 payments in one year, rather than 12.

But it’s important to know that every two weeks, you pay half of the scheduled student loan monthly payment.

↳ Who is it Best For?

LendKey is ideal for people that are more comfortable using a credit union or a community bank and want lower interest rates and can perform on-time payments.

Click Here to Know More About LendKey Private Student Loans.



What is a private student loan?

A private student loan is a type of loan you use to cover expenses related to education. Many banks offer students to take student loans.

But banks aren’t the only financial institutions that offer these services. Many online lenders, as well as credit unions and state agencies, and colleges themselves.

What makes private student loans so incredible is that you can use them after you’ve maxed out your federal loans.

For these types of loans, you won’t need to have a high credit history, credit score, or a co-signer to take the loan in the first place. These types of loans also have a much higher interest rate than federal loans. Not only that, but you also get other incredible benefits such as forgiveness opportunities and income-driven repayment options.

How does private student loan works?

What makes private student loans differ from federal loans is how they work. Federal loans ask for their students to be attending school, even part-time. Private student loans don’t work on that method.

No matter how many credit hours you have, you can apply for a student loan. Not only that, but you’re not required to complete FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

But you do have to meet other criteria if you want to be approved for a student loan.

You’ll need to have a driver’s license, provide a social security number, information about income and employment, housing expense information, co-signer information, be some form of a U.S. citizen.

The thing about student loan borrowers is that they must have a co-signer. Otherwise, they won’t get accepted. This means that anyone that has a good credit report can be your co-signer.

Once you’ve had your application approved, you can use this private loan to pay for any expense that is related to education. Unlike federal student loans, you can use them to pay for traveling abroad, supplies and books, and occasional trips.

Who qualifies for private student loans?

If you want to apply for a student loan, there are several requirements you need to fulfill first. However, the conditions are much less strict than for general personal student loans.

First, you have to meet the eligibility criteria of the lender. You either have to have a good credit score or have a co-signer who has one.

You also need to have some type of a steady income or have someone have and be your co-signer.

What are the types of Private Student Loans?

There are several types of private student loans depending on your needs and the school you’re going to. You can choose one of these student loan types that fit you the most.

There are:

  • Undergraduate loans.
  • Graduate loans.
  • MBA loans.
  • Law school loans.
  • Bar exam loans.
  • Medical school loans.
  • Residency loans.

What can private loans use for?

If you’re a student, you can use these private student loans to pay for several things.

For example, you can use these private loans to pay for books and other college supplies, public and private transportation, tuition, child care, and even fees.

However, it is essential to notice that you can’t use these loans to pay for your vacations, clothes, home purchases, and other big purchases such as car buying and other business expenses.

How to Apply for Private student loans?

There are several things your need to consider before you apply for a private student loan.

First, you have to see what your credit score is. Many of the private student loan lenders will post the requirements for the credit score on their website. However, even if they don’t, you’ll approximately need a credit score that is somewhere in the range of 600.

On the bright side, if you don’t have a good credit score, many of these lenders will allow you to add another co-signer that has a much better credit score than you. This will raise your chances of getting approved much faster.

Once you’ve seen your credit score, you’ll need to send a private loan application. Many of these lenders will ask for personal information.

You’ll need to provide your school information, Social Security number, and overall financial history. The student loan lender will do a hard credit check on you.

Then, all you need to do is wait for the approval. Once the online lender processes the received information, it will establish your cost of participation with your school. And, finally, after you’ve been approved, the lender will deposit the funds to the school you’re attending.

Private Student Loan vs. Federal Student Loans

Both Private and Federal loans are excellent ways for graduate and undergraduate students to pay for their student expenses. Although quite similar, they come with several differences.

A federal student loan is the type of student loan that you can access from the U.S. Department of Education. Federal student loan options give you the ability to have your loan fully discharged if you happen to qualify for a Teacher Loan Forgiveness program or a  Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

Another positive thing is that most federal student loans can reduce your fees to 10-20% if you’re a graduate student who doesn’t have a high-earning income. They are also cheaper than private student loans, which might be a perfect solution for undergraduate loans.

On the other hand, private student loans work quite similar but with few more benefits. They are the types of student loans that private lenders most commonly offer. This means that credit unions and other online companies are suitable for undergraduate and graduate students that have the ability to pay a much higher price.

The undergraduate and graduate students have access to higher loan amounts thanks to their private lenders. This means that they can borrow a lot more money than they can borrow from federal loans.

Another great benefit is that you can get much lower interest rates with these types of loans. Private lenders allow student loan borrowers to have a lower interest rate if they have good credit.

The best thing about private loans is that there are private student loan options and you won’t be charged any fees upfront, and you’ll be able to save a lot of money on monthly payments.

Final Verdict

College Ave is one of the best private student loan borrowers that offer variable rate loans with a no origination fee for its loyal borrowers. It is one of the most appreciated private student lenders that provide school private student loans.

You can borrow $1000 as a minimum student loan amount and still have a low-interest rate on the student loans. Unlike federal financial aid, you can even get a 0.25% discount if you sign up for automatic payment.

You don’t have to pay an origination fee for the student loans, and you’ll still get access to direct unsubsidized loans with variable rates. Not only that but it offers a co-signer for your student loan if you don’t have the right criteria.

Photo: Unsplash


Is Sallie Mae a good private lender?

Sallie Mae is one of the most significant private lenders for people wanting to experience multiple opinions when it comes to leading. It offers variable rate loans, parent loans, student loans, and discounts if you make on-time payments.

How can I get private student loans cheaper?

There are several ways you can lower your private student loans. You can earn more income, opt for a better repayment plan and flexible repayment options for those same student loans. You can also refinance the student loans and even adjust automatic payments.

Can you go to jail for private student loans?

If you happen to fail to pay the private student loan, you won’t go to jail. The only way possible to go to jail is if you don’t comply with a court order. Other than that, private student loans are completely legal.

John V

John is a digital marketing master's student who enjoys writing articles on business, finance, health, and relationships in his free time. His diverse interests and ability to convey complex ideas in a clear, engaging manner make him a valuable contributor to these fields.

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