private student loans

Current student loan rates grow higher and higher. It gets really complicated to pay for studying. Students try to fill the gap between scholarships and savings with the help of private student loans. Some companies claim that they are able to relieve your student debt. But some of them appear to be scams. Let’s discuss how to pay for college, where to get student loans, how to improve your credit history, compare the best student loan companies and select the best one.

How to Pay for College?

  • Use free money first. Try scholarships, grants or other options you won’t have to pay for.
  • Try federal loans next: Uncle Sam has proposed loans with low interest and fixed rates. Subsidized loans are worth trying.
  • Use private loans last: many experts warn that private student loans have high interest rates. Yet, if one chooses wisely and compares all the student loan options, it is possible to get a student loan that won’t harm you.

Where to Get Student Loans

To answer your question “Where to get student loans?”, we will compare three main personal student loans lenders: Credible, Lendkey, and Sofi. Let’s begin.


Brief information:

LendKey gives loans for college students in order to refinance their previous loans. LendKey partners with community banks and credit unions. But the community lenders do not have the same name recognition as large banks. LendKey partners with them as well. This lender helps look at all the refinancing options at once and select the best terms.

Apply Here

To qualify, you should:

  • be a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident;
  • refinance the loan worth between $5,000 and $250,000;
  • have a decent credit score and salary.

The list of criteria is not big, an average American can student can easily meet it. Get Started with Lendkey today if you like the company.

This company is perfect for you if:

  • you want to consolidate a loan with a lower interest rate;
  • have high credit and stable income;
  • you are ready to give up potential advantages of federal student loans;
  • you want to repay a debt in a timely manner, reduce interest rates and save money;
  • you are amicably employed and have a secure job;
  • you can find a cosigner.

Lendkey has a really good rating about companies providing private student loans and refinancing options. But you need to make sure this company is a great fit specifically for your situation.

Loan peculiarities

  • Lendkey proposes both private student loans and student loans refinancing.
  • Student loans refinancing has a 2.56% variable APR and 3.15% fixed APR.
  • One can refinance loans from $5,000 to $250,000.
  • Private student loans have a 4.33% variable APR and 5.36% fixed APR.
  • There is no application fee.

LendKey: college loans for students with competitive rates and the fast process of application.

Pros and cons:


+ when making automatic payments, your interest rate can get 0,25% lower. Automatic payments may become the right goal for you to improve your finance.

+ neither origination nor application fees charged. This saves some money.

+ no prepayment penalties charged. Awesome in term of having a chance to get rid of your student loan earlier.

– some customers complain that technical errors occur in LendKey page. But we make sure that Lendkey’s team always tries to improve their services


Brief information:

Credible does not lend money itself. It is a comparison platform that helps borrowers look for two main types of student loans: private student loans and student loan refinancing. It aims at comparing rates and terms of private student loans.

To qualify, you should:

  • credible does not have minimum qualifications;
  • you should be 18 or older;
  • in order to refinance your student debt, it should be at least $5,000;
  • minimum credit score required by most lenders is mid-600s.

Credible: helps you compare the lenders and choose the one who gives low-interest student loans. Please note that Credible is not entitled to make loan decisions or define rates and fees.

This company is perfect for you if:

  1. you want to simplify the borrowing process;
  2. you try to find the best place for student loans.

Loan peculiarities

We cannot describe any terms or conditions, while they all depend on every particular lender. Currently, Credible compares the rates of the following lenders: CitizensBank, College Ave, Connect, Discover, iHelp, InvestEd, Raise, Sallie Mae.

Pros and cons:


+ this service is free. Continue saving with Credible.

+ it saves your time. Time is everything when it comes to important decisions.

+ filling out the form does not affect credit check. There aren’t many services that can say the same.

co-signer can help get a loan – a very important feature.

you do not know the terms and fees beforehand. Though they claim to save time, this feature can hardly help.


Brief information:

SoFi (Social Finance) is one of the best student loan companies. It was the first company that refinanced private and federal student loans together in 2011.

To qualify, you should:

  • be a US resident, permanent resident or hold a visa;
  • be graduated from one of Title IV accredited university or graduate programs;
  • to be employed;
  • to have enough income from other sources;
  • to have a job offer that will start within 90 days;
  • to have a good credit history;
  • to have a strong monthly cash flow.

SoFi: best place to get the best private student loans for people with an excellent credit score. They can enjoy low rates and professional career coach help.

This company is perfect for you if:

  1. you need a hard credit pull;
  2. there is no cosigner release option;
  3. don’t want to pay any origination fees or prepayment penalties.

Loan peculiarities

  • fixed rate ranges from 3.250% APR to 7.125%;
  • variable rates start from 2.650% to 7.140%;
  • no origination or application fees charged;
  • the absence of prepayment penalties;
  • there is 5% late fee if you made a repayment 15 days later.

Pros and cons:


you can get a SoFi career coach to accelerate your career. This is an amazing feature in terms of highly competitive employment market.

+ if you become a member, you will get a 0.125% discount on the next loans from SoFi. Though you may not think of this right now, it can be handy in the future.

+ it proposes a student loan calculator. This way you can understand your finances better.

+ one should have an excellent credit score to qualify (the credit score of an average borrower is above 700);

How to Get the Best Student Loans?

  1. Shop around. To take out the best student loans, borrowers have to compare all the lenders. Credible can help do it without wasting time.
  2. Don’t focus exclusively on interest rates. Check the fees, the grace period, the flexibility of repayment plans, and rewards for borrowers.
  3. Improve your credit (or ask a co-signer to help). A low credit score can result in high interest rates. In case your credit score is not that good, ask a co-signer with a high credit help you.

How to Take out the Best Student Loan with Bad Credit?

It can be difficult to get a college loan if you have no credit. To build your credit history, try to:

  • Become an authorized user on a card of your parent. Use it in your name. Be responsible when using it. Do not make spontaneous expensive purchases not to get your parents into trouble.
  • Think about a secure credit card. Such cards are created to improve low credit scores. They also help to improve credit history. When opening a secured card, you pay a one-time deposit. In case of default, it will protect you and a card issuer. The majority of such cards have low credit limits. So use it responsibly.


We made a review of the lenders, who give or compare the best college loans. As far as you can notice, LendKey has the lowest interest rates, both fixed and variable. SoFi has a good reputation, but your credit score has to be perfect to apply for its student loans. Credible is a web page that helps you compare student loan options from well-known lenders. Neither Lendkey, nor Credible, nor SoFi takes origination and application fees. Choose the loan that is the most suitable for your financial situation and enjoy its perks!