8 best private student loans of August 2022

Shopping around with different private lenders is one of the smartest ways to get the best rates and terms for your credit profile

Our goal here at Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, referred to as "Credible" below, is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we do promote products from our partner lenders who compensate us for our services, all opinions are our own.

Private student loans are a great way to pay for college after you’ve exhausted other options. Find out the best private lenders of August 2022. (Shutterstock)

Private student loans can be a great way to fund your education costs after you’ve exhausted all other options, like federal loans, grants and scholarships. Since private lenders have their own requirements, terms, and rates, it’s best to shop around to find the best private student loan for your situation. 

Here are the best private student loans of August 2022.

Credible lets you compare private student loan rates from multiple lenders, all in one place.

8 best private student loans of August 2022

The following eight Credible partner lenders offer private student loans:

Ascent: Best for discounts

Ascent offers two types of private student loans, both with autopay discounts and a 1% cash back graduation reward. 

  • Minimum credit score: 540
  • Maximum loan amount: $400,000

Citizens: Best for borrowers earning graduate or professional degrees

Citizens offer loans for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as loans for parents. Loans specifically tailored toward those studying for certain graduate or professional degrees are also available.

  • Minimum credit score: 720
  • Maximum loan amount: $350,000

College Ave: Best for flexible repayment options

College Ave offers a variety of loan terms, depending on your loan type. 

  • Minimum credit score: Does not disclose
  • Maximum loan amount: Up to cost of attendance

Custom Choice: Best for past-due education balances

You can use the funds from a Custom Choice loan to pay past-due balances, and the lender offers a potential 2% principal reduction if you graduated with at least a bachelor's degree.

  • Minimum credit score: Does not disclose
  • Maximum loan amount: $99,000 annually, $180,000 aggregate

EDvestinU: Best for borrowers with good credit

EDvestinU offers competitive rates, and you could get a further rate reduction if you sign up for automatic payments.

  • Minimum credit score: 750
  • Maximum loan amount: $200,000

INvestEd: Best for Indiana residents

If you graduate within six years, you could get a 2% principal reduction on your loan with this lender. 

  • Minimum credit score: 670
  • Maximum loan amount: Up to cost of attendance

MEFA: Best for borrowers who prefer fixed-rate loans

You need to be attending a public or not-for-profit school to qualify for a loan from the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority. The advantage is that you can qualify for fairly competitive rates. 

  • Minimum credit score: 670
  • Maximum loan amount: Up to cost of attendance, minus aid

Sallie Mae: Best for cosigner release

One of the best features of Sallie Mae is that you can qualify for cosigner release after just 12 months of consecutive, on-time payments.

  • Minimum credit score: Does not disclose
  • Maximum loan amount: Up to cost of attendance

Other lenders to consider

The following two lenders aren’t Credible partners, so you won’t be able to easily compare your rates with them on the Credible platform. But they may also be worth considering if you’re looking for a private student loan. 

Earnest: Best for longer grace periods

With Earnest, you have a nine-month grace period after graduation, which is three months longer than the traditional six from the federal government.

  • Minimum credit score: 650 with cosigner
  • Maximum loan amount: Up to cost of attendance

Discover: Best for no fees

You’ll find zero fees with Discover — no application, origination, or late fees.

  • Minimum credit score: Does not disclose
  • Maximum loan amount: Up to cost of attendance

How Credible picked the best student loan companies

Credible evaluated private student loan lenders in 10 different categories to determine the best student loan lenders. This included interest rates, repayment options, terms, fees, discounts, customer service availability, as well as eligibility requirements and cosigner release options.

If you need to take out private student loans, visit Credible to compare private student loan rates from various lenders in minutes.

Can you get a student loan with a 600 credit score?

In most cases, if you have bad credit, your options may be more limited if you want to qualify for a private student loan on your own — many lenders typically require good credit and a steady source of income to qualify. 

Some lenders may offer student loans for borrowers with bad credit, but these loans may come with higher interest rates compared to loans for borrowers with good credit. You can consider taking out a loan with a cosigner who has good credit so that you can increase your chances of qualifying for a loan or of getting a better rate. 

It’s important to find a cosigner you trust and to look for a loan that offers a cosigner release if you want that option. When doing your research, see if the lender offers a cosigner release option and what the requirements are. For example, some lenders may require you to make a certain number of consecutive, on-time payments before you can apply for a cosigner release.

If you prefer to apply for a student loan on your own, federal student loans are a good option. Most federal student loans don’t require you to go through a credit check, which is helpful if you have a lower credit score. 

With Credible, you can compare private student loan rates without affecting your credit.