Compare Student Loans

From maximum loan limit and repayment options to rewards & discounts and loan related fees, we research everything you need to compare student loans and make a decision. Learn how our editors compare the different factors of student loans below.
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How we Compare Student Loans

Maximum Loan Limit - 15%
Repayment Options - 15%
Student Loan Rates - 20%
Loan Terms - 15%
Qualifying - 15%
Rewards & Discounts - 10%
Loan Related Fees - 10%

Maximum Loan Limit

Maximum loan limits for student loans may vary from lender to lender. While the amount required by each student loan also varies, having higher loan ceiling makes it possible for the company to cater to more borrowers. Some lenders offer up to 100% funding for school-certified expenses while some have a clear loan limit of $150,000 up to $200,000.

Student Loans with the Best Maximum Loan Limit:

LendingTreeSimpleTuitionCredibleLend Key Private Student LoansDiscoverCitizens BankSallie MaeSunTrustiHELPWells FargoCitibank
Minimum Loan AmountVariesDepends on Selected LenderVaries$1,000$1,000Varies$1,001 for Custom Choice Loan$1,000VariesVaries
Maximum Loan AmountVariesDepends on Selected LenderVariesNo limit$170,000Up to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance$150,000Undergraduate: $100,000, Graduate: $150,000$120,000Varies

Repayment Options

Another thing you could consider is the lender’s repayment options. It should provide students a variety of repayment options that can meet individual budget and payment scheduling needs. Things to consider includes repayment terms with auto-payment or auto-payment incentive features. These are sometimes coupled discount options especially for automatic payments. Also check for grace periods when looking for student loans.

  • Maximum and Minimum Loan Term
  • Auto-Payment or Auto-Payment
  • Incentive Grace Period

Student Loans with the Best Repayment Options:

Student Loan Rates

Student loan borrowers should always check for rates especially when a few percentage points could translate to thousands of dollars in additional payments down the road. Search for student loans with the lowest interest rates but also consider other factors such as benefits and loan related fees to get a more complete picture of how much a student loan is going to cost you.

Student Loans with the Best Student Loan Rates:

LendingTreeSimpleTuitionCredibleLend Key Private Student LoansDiscoverCitizens BankSallie MaeSunTrustiHELPWells FargoCitibank
Fixed Rate
Variable Rate
Interest RatesVariesDepends on Selected LenderVariesVariable rates: 3.37% APR - 9.49%, Fixed rates: 6.15% APR - 11.99% Variable Rate: 2.94% to 9.19% APR, Fixed Rate: 5.75% to 11.25% (For 10 Years) Variable interest rates from 2.50% APR to 9.59% APR, Fixed interest rates from 5.74% APR to 11.85% APRVariable rate: 3.739% APR to 9.153% APR, Fixed rate: 4.599% APR to 10.329% APRVariable rate: 3.18% APR to 7.82% APRVaries on the state, school, and field of studyVaries

Loan Terms

Making payments on your student loans can be very difficult especially if you’ve just started on your first job. Longer loan repayment terms makes this easier by enabling you to make smaller payments. Additional features to look out for include unemployment protection and career support. This options protect you in cases you have to default in making payments due to a layoff.

Student Loans with the Best Loan Terms:

LendingTreeSimpleTuitionCredibleLend Key Private Student LoansDiscoverCitizens BankSallie MaeSunTrustiHELPWells FargoCitibank
Loan Term PeriodVariesDepends on Selected LenderVariesVaries on loan type5 to 15 years4 years in school + 6 month grace period7 to 15 yearsUp to 20 yearsSix months after a student graduates or leaves schoolVaries

Qualifying

Each lender may require a different set of documentation for its student borrowers. Most cases require students need to have a qualified co-signer for loan approval. Some student loan providers don’t require a good credit for students but they must be accompanied by a co-signer that passes all of the qualifications needed. Standard requirements for student loan applications include:

  • Must be of legal age in their state of residence
  • Must be a U.S. citizen of permanent resident
  • Must be attending at least half-time at an eligible school

Student Loans with the Best Qualifying:

Rewards and Discounts

Things that can certainly attract student loan borrowers include its rewards and discount options. Consumers should pick a lender that provide a variety of rate reduction options and rewards that can make their loans more affordable.

  • Cash Reward for a Minimum Requirement of GPA
  • Interest Rate ReductionOrigination Fee

Student Loans with the Best Rewards and Discounts:

Loan Related Fees

There are other loan related fees that may be charged to borrowers by the lenders. Aside from loan payments, loan related fees should be considered.

  • Origination Fee
  • Late Fee
  • Loan Application Fee

Student Loans with the Best Loan Related Fees:

LendingTreeSimpleTuitionCredibleLend Key Private Student LoansDiscoverCitizens BankSallie MaeSunTrustiHELPWells FargoCitibank
Origination Fee
Loan Application Fee
Late Fee

Full Student Loans Comparison

Maximum Loan LimitRepayment OptionsStudent Loan RatesLoan TermsQualifyingRewards and DiscountsLoan Related Fees
LendingTree Student Loans10.010.010.010.010.010.010.0
SimpleTuition Student Loans10.010.010.010.010.010.010.0
Credible Student Loans8.010.010.08.59.09.510.0
Lend Key Private Student Loans9.09.59.59.09.09.010.0
Discover Student Loans10.08.08.08.09.010.010.0
Citizens Bank Student Loans10.09.08.09.07.010.09.0
Sallie Mae Student Loans10.08.09.08.09.08.09.0
SunTrust Student Loans8.09.09.09.07.010.010.0
iHELP Student Loans8.09.08.09.08.010.010.0
Wells Fargo Student Loans8.08.08.08.08.09.09.0
Citibank Student Loans8.08.08.08.08.07.07.0
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Latest Reviews

P
Patty F
Marblehead, Massachusetts
1/5/2017
This is a great site, they actually compare loans with numbers/ actual rates instead of just marketing text. I got three loans through this company, one for my senior year then paid for law school as well. Great variety of lenders.

Jen H
Portland, Oregon
12/15/2016
I have some unexpected bills come up

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