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Federal undergraduate student loans carry much lower loan limits than private loans, but they come with slightly lower interest rates. Private student loans are used to fill the gap between what you were awarded in college financial aid and the total amount you need to cover all of your college expenses. They are credit based loans so please know they're not free money for college and must be repaid.



A general rule of thumb is: if you have taken out a loan that will require more than 15% of your monthly budget to pay back, you have probably overextended yourself.

 Alternative Student Loans for College Financial Aid


Undergraduate Loans

2015 Private Student Loan Programs:

LendKey  LendKey private student loan and cuGrad student loan consolidation.


SallieMae Smart Option Student Loan


Wells Fargo - Private education loan


SimpleTuition : Private loan marketplace with lender comparison tools


SunTrust Custom Choice Loan for higher education.


Citizens Bank - TRUFIT student loan for college


SLFC - Student Loan Finance Corp iHELP private education loan and private consolidation refinance.


Discover : private loans for college

If you have graduated once or are you will within 6 months, consider federal loan consolidation to lower payments, visit: LoanConsolidation.Ed.Gov


Why do students borrow private student loans?
Many students turn to alternative student loans to fill the gap between what they have been awarded in their Federal Financial Aid Award Letter and what they really need. Alternative loans supplement the student and parent education loan programs available from federal and state government approved lenders.

Compare the terms with those of other loan lenders when applying. Alternative loans are awarded on financial qualifications, such as your credit rating. Students looking for college funds often ask the following questions:

What are the requirements for a private loan?
Applicant must be a student enrolled at least half time in an eligible institution. Most freshmen must include a creditworthy co-applicant. Either the student or the co-applicant must be a citizen of the United States or an eligible permanent resident.

How much may I borrow?
Up to $40,000 per year if you apply with one of the student lenders listed on this site. Most private student loans have $40K annual limits, however there some lenders which offer higher amounts for certain students.

What is the current interest rate?
Interest rates vary by company, though they are all competitively low. Read the loan repayment terms carefully.

Financial food for thought: Avoid borrowing too much.

First, how much money do you expect to be making when you graduate and get a job? Remember, you will need to get some kind of job, because those loan repayment bills will start showing up in the mail six months after you are out of school. If you are fairly confident that you will be able to find a job in your field of study soon after graduating, look at what entry level income is for this field. After you find this out, you can then calculate how much your monthly loan repayment will be. Actually, most student loan programs do this for you. Then you simply determine if your expected budget will be able to handle those monthly loan payments. If it looks close, you probably shouldnt take out the loan, because there are always unexpected expenses that are not factored into a budget.

Copyright 2015 You'll find only reputable local and national student loan companies and in our loans by state category. Also see your local banks and credit unions as an option for college funding.