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Smart student loan decisions start here

Our Nerds ran the numbers on repayment options, flexibility, lender transparency, and more to find the best student loans of 2023. While some winners may be partners, this didn't influence our decisions.

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Check out the winners

Best Private Student Loan Overall

Ascent Credit-based Student Loan
Check Rate

on Ascent's website

Fixed APR

4.62-14.99%

Variable APR

5.86-14.14%

Min. credit score

Varies

Best for students with a creditworthy co-signer.

Pros

  • Among the best for payment flexibility.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
  • Stands out for features that enable faster loan repayment.

Cons

  • Students enrolled less than half-time are not eligible.
  • Co-signer release not available to international students.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers: Did not disclose.
  • Minimum income: $0 for primary borrower. $24,000 for current and previous year for co-signer.
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $200,000 per year with an aggregate loan limit of $200,000.

Available Term Lengths

  • 5, 7, 10, 12 or 15 years

Disclaimer: Ascent's undergraduate and graduate student loans are funded by Bank of Lake Mills, Member FDIC. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. For Ascent Terms and Conditions please visit: www.AscentFunding.com/Ts&Cs. Rates are effective as of 3/1/2023 and reflect an automatic payment discount of either 0.25% (for credit-based loans) OR 1.00% (for undergraduate outcomes-based loans). Automatic Payment Discount is available if the borrower is enrolled in automatic payments from their personal checking account and the amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month. For Ascent rates and repayment examples please visit: Affordable Rates & Repayment Examples (APR) | Ascent Funding . 1% Cash Back Graduation Reward subject to terms and conditions. Cosigned Credit-Based Loan student must meet certain minimum credit criteria. The minimum score required is subject to change and may depend on the credit score of your cosigner. Lowest APRs require interest-only payments, the shortest loan term, and a cosigner, and are only available to our most creditworthy applicants and cosigners with the highest average credit scores.

Fixed APR

4.62-14.99%

Variable APR

5.86-14.14%

Min. credit score

Varies

Best for students with a creditworthy co-signer.

Pros

  • Among the best for payment flexibility.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
  • Stands out for features that enable faster loan repayment.

Cons

  • Students enrolled less than half-time are not eligible.
  • Co-signer release not available to international students.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers: Did not disclose.
  • Minimum income: $0 for primary borrower. $24,000 for current and previous year for co-signer.
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $200,000 per year with an aggregate loan limit of $200,000.

Available Term Lengths

  • 5, 7, 10, 12 or 15 years

Disclaimer: Ascent's undergraduate and graduate student loans are funded by Bank of Lake Mills, Member FDIC. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. For Ascent Terms and Conditions please visit: www.AscentFunding.com/Ts&Cs. Rates are effective as of 3/1/2023 and reflect an automatic payment discount of either 0.25% (for credit-based loans) OR 1.00% (for undergraduate outcomes-based loans). Automatic Payment Discount is available if the borrower is enrolled in automatic payments from their personal checking account and the amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month. For Ascent rates and repayment examples please visit: Affordable Rates & Repayment Examples (APR) | Ascent Funding . 1% Cash Back Graduation Reward subject to terms and conditions. Cosigned Credit-Based Loan student must meet certain minimum credit criteria. The minimum score required is subject to change and may depend on the credit score of your cosigner. Lowest APRs require interest-only payments, the shortest loan term, and a cosigner, and are only available to our most creditworthy applicants and cosigners with the highest average credit scores.

Why our Nerds love it

Ascent Co-signed Student Loan scores top marks among private student loan lenders for fast repayment, payment flexibility and variety of customers served.

Read our methodology

Best Student Loan Refinancing Overall

College Ave Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on College Ave's website

Fixed APR

5.99-11.99%

Variable APR

5.99-11.99%

Min. credit score

Mid-600s

Best for borrowers who want a nonstandard loan term — six or nine years, for instance.

Pros

  • You can choose any loan term between 5 and 15 years.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Cons

  • No co-signer release available.
  • Students cannot refinance a parent PLUS loan in their name.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Mid-700s.
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $300,000, depending on the highest degree earned.
  • Must have a degree: Yes, an associate degree or higher.

Available Term Lengths

  • 5 to 15 years

Disclaimer: College Ave Student Loans products are made available through Firstrust Bank, member FDIC, First Citizens Community Bank, member FDIC, or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC.. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply. As certified by your school and less any other financial aid you might receive. Minimum $1,000. Rates shown are for the College Ave Undergraduate Loan product and include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation. This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Flat Repayment Option with an 8-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 7.78% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 54 monthly payments of $25 while in school, followed by 96 monthly payments of $176.21 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $18,266.38. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. Information advertised valid as of 3/1/2023. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Approved interest rate will depend on the creditworthiness of the applicant(s), lowest advertised rates only available to the most creditworthy applicants and require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.

Fixed APR

5.99-11.99%

Variable APR

5.99-11.99%

Min. credit score

Mid-600s

Best for borrowers who want a nonstandard loan term — six or nine years, for instance.

Pros

  • You can choose any loan term between 5 and 15 years.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Cons

  • No co-signer release available.
  • Students cannot refinance a parent PLUS loan in their name.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Mid-700s.
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $300,000, depending on the highest degree earned.
  • Must have a degree: Yes, an associate degree or higher.

Available Term Lengths

  • 5 to 15 years

Disclaimer: College Ave Student Loans products are made available through Firstrust Bank, member FDIC, First Citizens Community Bank, member FDIC, or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC.. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply. As certified by your school and less any other financial aid you might receive. Minimum $1,000. Rates shown are for the College Ave Undergraduate Loan product and include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation. This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Flat Repayment Option with an 8-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 7.78% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 54 monthly payments of $25 while in school, followed by 96 monthly payments of $176.21 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $18,266.38. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. Information advertised valid as of 3/1/2023. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Approved interest rate will depend on the creditworthiness of the applicant(s), lowest advertised rates only available to the most creditworthy applicants and require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.

Why our Nerds love it

College Ave and RISLA Student Loan Refinance earn top marks among student loan refinance lenders due to payment flexibility and transparency.

Read our methodology

Best Student Loan Refinancing for Parents

Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on Laurel Road's website

Fixed APR

4.49-8.70%

Variable APR

4.74-8.60%

Min. credit score

660

Best for borrowers who want to refinance during their medical or dental residency.

Pros

  • You can refinance parent PLUS loans in your name.
  • Refinancing available for medical and dental residents.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Cons

  • Payment postponement isn’t available if borrowers return to school.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose.
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 up to your total outstanding loan balance.
  • Must have a bachelor's degree. For parent PLUS loans, the child does not need to have graduated to refinance.

Available Term Lengths

  • 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years

Disclaimer: Full Laurel Road Disclaimers. Rates as of 3/21/23, rates subject to change. Terms and Conditions Apply. All products subject to credit approval. Notice for Federal Loan Holders: The Department of Education recently announced forgiveness of $10,000 for qualifying Federal student loan borrowers and $20,000 for qualifying Pell Grant recipients. Read more here (https://studentaid.gov/debt-relief- announcement). If you refinance a federal student loan with Laurel Road, you will no longer qualify for forgiveness or federal student loan repayment options, including but not limited to Income Based Repayment (IBR), Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), Pay As You Earn (PAYE) or Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE), and relief offered by the federal government related to the COVID-19 pandemic (such as 0% interest rate, suspension of payments, and forgiveness). Additionally, federal student loans offer deferment, forbearance, and loan forgiveness options that are not available with Laurel Road. Please carefully consider these loss of federal benefits and consult www.studentaid.gov for the most current information. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association. All products offered by KeyBank N.A. ©2022 STUDENT LOANS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED OR GUARANTEED. KeyCorp® All Rights Reserved. Laurel Road is a federally registered service mark of KeyCorp. 3 Corporate Drive, 4th fl, Shelton, CT 06484.

Fixed APR

4.49-8.70%

Variable APR

4.74-8.60%

Min. credit score

660

Best for borrowers who want to refinance during their medical or dental residency.

Pros

  • You can refinance parent PLUS loans in your name.
  • Refinancing available for medical and dental residents.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Cons

  • Payment postponement isn’t available if borrowers return to school.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose.
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 up to your total outstanding loan balance.
  • Must have a bachelor's degree. For parent PLUS loans, the child does not need to have graduated to refinance.

Available Term Lengths

  • 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years

Disclaimer: Full Laurel Road Disclaimers. Rates as of 3/21/23, rates subject to change. Terms and Conditions Apply. All products subject to credit approval. Notice for Federal Loan Holders: The Department of Education recently announced forgiveness of $10,000 for qualifying Federal student loan borrowers and $20,000 for qualifying Pell Grant recipients. Read more here (https://studentaid.gov/debt-relief- announcement). If you refinance a federal student loan with Laurel Road, you will no longer qualify for forgiveness or federal student loan repayment options, including but not limited to Income Based Repayment (IBR), Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), Pay As You Earn (PAYE) or Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE), and relief offered by the federal government related to the COVID-19 pandemic (such as 0% interest rate, suspension of payments, and forgiveness). Additionally, federal student loans offer deferment, forbearance, and loan forgiveness options that are not available with Laurel Road. Please carefully consider these loss of federal benefits and consult www.studentaid.gov for the most current information. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association. All products offered by KeyBank N.A. ©2022 STUDENT LOANS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED OR GUARANTEED. KeyCorp® All Rights Reserved. Laurel Road is a federally registered service mark of KeyCorp. 3 Corporate Drive, 4th fl, Shelton, CT 06484.

Why our Nerds love it

Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance scored highest amongst lenders that allow the child to refinance parent PLUS loans in their name.

Read our methodology

Best Student Loan for Independent Students

Ascent Non-Cosigned Student Loan
Check Rate

on Ascent's website

Fixed APR

12.96-14.24%

Variable APR

12.35-14.31%

Min. credit score

Varies

Best for independent students with strong credit or upperclassmen with good grades.

Pros

  • Among the best for payment flexibility.
  • Grace period of 9 months is longer than most lenders.

Cons

  • International students are not eligible.
  • Freshmen, sophomores and those enrolled less than half-time are not eligible for future-income based loan.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers: Did not disclose.
  • Minimum income: $24,000 per year for credit-based loan. No minimum for future-income based loan.
  • Loan amounts: $2,001 to $200,000 per year with an aggregate loan limit of $200,000 for credit-based loan. $2,001 to $20,000 per year for future-income based loan.

Available Term Lengths

  • 5, 7, 10, 12 or 15 years

Disclaimer: Ascent's undergraduate and graduate student loans are funded by Bank of Lake Mills, Member FDIC. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. For Ascent Terms and Conditions please visit: www.AscentFunding.com/Ts&Cs. Rates are effective as of 3/1/2023 and reflect an automatic payment discount of either 0.25% (for credit-based loans) OR 1.00% (for undergraduate outcomes-based loans). Automatic Payment Discount is available if the borrower is enrolled in automatic payments from their personal checking account and the amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month. For Ascent rates and repayment examples please visit: Affordable Rates & Repayment Examples (APR) | Ascent Funding . 1% Cash Back Graduation Reward subject to terms and conditions. Cosigned Credit-Based Loan student must meet certain minimum credit criteria. The minimum score required is subject to change and may depend on the credit score of your cosigner. Lowest APRs require interest-only payments, the shortest loan term, and a cosigner, and are only available to our most creditworthy applicants and cosigners with the highest average credit scores.

Fixed APR

12.96-14.24%

Variable APR

12.35-14.31%

Min. credit score

Varies

Best for independent students with strong credit or upperclassmen with good grades.

Pros

  • Among the best for payment flexibility.
  • Grace period of 9 months is longer than most lenders.

Cons

  • International students are not eligible.
  • Freshmen, sophomores and those enrolled less than half-time are not eligible for future-income based loan.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers: Did not disclose.
  • Minimum income: $24,000 per year for credit-based loan. No minimum for future-income based loan.
  • Loan amounts: $2,001 to $200,000 per year with an aggregate loan limit of $200,000 for credit-based loan. $2,001 to $20,000 per year for future-income based loan.

Available Term Lengths

  • 5, 7, 10, 12 or 15 years

Disclaimer: Ascent's undergraduate and graduate student loans are funded by Bank of Lake Mills, Member FDIC. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. For Ascent Terms and Conditions please visit: www.AscentFunding.com/Ts&Cs. Rates are effective as of 3/1/2023 and reflect an automatic payment discount of either 0.25% (for credit-based loans) OR 1.00% (for undergraduate outcomes-based loans). Automatic Payment Discount is available if the borrower is enrolled in automatic payments from their personal checking account and the amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month. For Ascent rates and repayment examples please visit: Affordable Rates & Repayment Examples (APR) | Ascent Funding . 1% Cash Back Graduation Reward subject to terms and conditions. Cosigned Credit-Based Loan student must meet certain minimum credit criteria. The minimum score required is subject to change and may depend on the credit score of your cosigner. Lowest APRs require interest-only payments, the shortest loan term, and a cosigner, and are only available to our most creditworthy applicants and cosigners with the highest average credit scores.

Why our Nerds love it

Ascent Independent Student Loan scores highest among the few lenders offering private student loans that don’t require a credit history or a co-signer.

Read our methodology

Best Student Loan for International Students

MPOWER Private Student Loan
Check Rate

on MPOWER's website

Fixed APR

13.72-15.01%

Best for international students and students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, status.

Pros

  • Offers a hard-to-find option: non-co-signed student loans for international and DACA students.
  • Borrowers are assigned a dedicated student loan advisor.
  • Borrowers can request forbearance of up to 24 months, which is longer than many lenders offer.

Cons

  • Payment required while in school and during the grace period.
  • Offers only one repayment term: 10 years.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • MPOWER considers future income potential but does not factor in credit scores.
  • Loan amounts: Minimum $2,001. Maximum loan is $100,000, limited to $25,000 per academic period.

Available Term Lengths

  • 10 years

Disclaimer: Note: Our loan does not support Canadian citizens studying in Canada. Canadian Permanent Residents and U.S. citizens are considered “international” when studying in Canada. International students, U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, and DACA recipients in the U.S. or Canada. ‘International’ means you are a non-U.S. citizen or U.S. non-permanent resident studying at a university in the U.S., or you are a non-Canadian citizen or Canadian non-permanent resident studying at a university in Canada. ‘DACA’ means the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals Program initiated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2012. In order to qualify as a DACA Student, you must have applied for, and been granted, DACA status by USCIS. As a graduate student, you can borrow with a fixed interest rate of 12.99% (13.98% APR¹). This is the maximum rate and will not increase. However, MPOWER offers borrowers a way to qualify for a discount; a 0.25% rate discount is possible by making your loan payments through automatic withdrawal from your bank account. If you qualify for this discount, your rate will be 12.74% (13.72% APR²). ¹[International graduate student with regular interest rate] The APR is calculated using the following assumptions: A loan is approved in the amount of US$10,000 with a 5% origination fee of US$500. The student will start making payments 45 days after loan disbursement. Payments will be interest only until graduation, plus an additional 6-month grace period. The remaining months of repayment are calculated using a 120-month amortization schedule. All payments are made on-time, a forbearance is never utilized, and there is no pre-payment of any principal. At an APR of 13.98%, the monthly payment amount is US$113.66 for the first 30 months. For the next 120 months, the monthly payment amount is about $156.71. ²[International graduate student with discounted interest rate] The APRs with discounts are calculated using the following assumptions: A loan is approved in the amount of $10,000 with a 5% origination fee of US$500. The student will start making payments 45 days after loan disbursement. The borrower signs up for automatic debit immediately after the loan is disbursed and remains on it for the life of the loan, which reduces the rate by 0.25%. At an APR of 13.72%, the monthly payment is US$111.47 for the first 30 months. For the last 120 payments, the monthly amount is US$155.17. Undergraduate Students in the U.S. or Canada As an undergraduate student, you can borrow with a fixed interest rate of 13.99% (15.01% APR³). This is the maximum rate and will never increase. However, MPOWER offers borrowers a way to qualify for a discount; a 0.25% rate discount is possible by making your loan payments through automatic withdrawal from your bank account. If you qualify for this discount, your rate will be 13.74% (14.75% APR⁴). ³[International undergraduate student with regular interest rate] The APR is calculated using the following assumptions: A loan is approved in the amount of $10,000 with a 5% origination fee of $500. The student will start making payments 45 days after loan disbursement. Payments will be interest only until graduation plus an additional 6-month grace period. The remaining months of repayment are calculated using a 120-month amortization schedule. All payments are made on-time, a forbearance is never utilized, and there is no pre-payment of any principal. At an APR of 15.01%, the monthly payment amount is $122.41 for the first 30 months. For the next 120 months, the monthly payment amount is $162.97. ⁴[International undergraduate student with discounted interest rate] The APRs with discounts are calculated using the following assumptions: A loan is approved in the amount of US$10,000 with a 5% origination fee of US$500. The student will start making payments 45 days after loan disbursement. The borrower signs up for automatic debit immediately after the loan is disbursed and remains on it for the life of the loan, which reduces the rate by 0.25%. A forbearance is never utilized and there is no prepayment of any principal. At an APR of 14.75%, the monthly payment is US$120.22 for the first 30 payments. For the last 120 payments, the monthly amount is US$161.39.

Fixed APR

13.72-15.01%

Best for international students and students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, status.

Pros

  • Offers a hard-to-find option: non-co-signed student loans for international and DACA students.
  • Borrowers are assigned a dedicated student loan advisor.
  • Borrowers can request forbearance of up to 24 months, which is longer than many lenders offer.

Cons

  • Payment required while in school and during the grace period.
  • Offers only one repayment term: 10 years.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • MPOWER considers future income potential but does not factor in credit scores.
  • Loan amounts: Minimum $2,001. Maximum loan is $100,000, limited to $25,000 per academic period.

Available Term Lengths

  • 10 years

Disclaimer: Note: Our loan does not support Canadian citizens studying in Canada. Canadian Permanent Residents and U.S. citizens are considered “international” when studying in Canada. International students, U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, and DACA recipients in the U.S. or Canada. ‘International’ means you are a non-U.S. citizen or U.S. non-permanent resident studying at a university in the U.S., or you are a non-Canadian citizen or Canadian non-permanent resident studying at a university in Canada. ‘DACA’ means the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals Program initiated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2012. In order to qualify as a DACA Student, you must have applied for, and been granted, DACA status by USCIS. As a graduate student, you can borrow with a fixed interest rate of 12.99% (13.98% APR¹). This is the maximum rate and will not increase. However, MPOWER offers borrowers a way to qualify for a discount; a 0.25% rate discount is possible by making your loan payments through automatic withdrawal from your bank account. If you qualify for this discount, your rate will be 12.74% (13.72% APR²). ¹[International graduate student with regular interest rate] The APR is calculated using the following assumptions: A loan is approved in the amount of US$10,000 with a 5% origination fee of US$500. The student will start making payments 45 days after loan disbursement. Payments will be interest only until graduation, plus an additional 6-month grace period. The remaining months of repayment are calculated using a 120-month amortization schedule. All payments are made on-time, a forbearance is never utilized, and there is no pre-payment of any principal. At an APR of 13.98%, the monthly payment amount is US$113.66 for the first 30 months. For the next 120 months, the monthly payment amount is about $156.71. ²[International graduate student with discounted interest rate] The APRs with discounts are calculated using the following assumptions: A loan is approved in the amount of $10,000 with a 5% origination fee of US$500. The student will start making payments 45 days after loan disbursement. The borrower signs up for automatic debit immediately after the loan is disbursed and remains on it for the life of the loan, which reduces the rate by 0.25%. At an APR of 13.72%, the monthly payment is US$111.47 for the first 30 months. For the last 120 payments, the monthly amount is US$155.17. Undergraduate Students in the U.S. or Canada As an undergraduate student, you can borrow with a fixed interest rate of 13.99% (15.01% APR³). This is the maximum rate and will never increase. However, MPOWER offers borrowers a way to qualify for a discount; a 0.25% rate discount is possible by making your loan payments through automatic withdrawal from your bank account. If you qualify for this discount, your rate will be 13.74% (14.75% APR⁴). ³[International undergraduate student with regular interest rate] The APR is calculated using the following assumptions: A loan is approved in the amount of $10,000 with a 5% origination fee of $500. The student will start making payments 45 days after loan disbursement. Payments will be interest only until graduation plus an additional 6-month grace period. The remaining months of repayment are calculated using a 120-month amortization schedule. All payments are made on-time, a forbearance is never utilized, and there is no pre-payment of any principal. At an APR of 15.01%, the monthly payment amount is $122.41 for the first 30 months. For the next 120 months, the monthly payment amount is $162.97. ⁴[International undergraduate student with discounted interest rate] The APRs with discounts are calculated using the following assumptions: A loan is approved in the amount of US$10,000 with a 5% origination fee of US$500. The student will start making payments 45 days after loan disbursement. The borrower signs up for automatic debit immediately after the loan is disbursed and remains on it for the life of the loan, which reduces the rate by 0.25%. A forbearance is never utilized and there is no prepayment of any principal. At an APR of 14.75%, the monthly payment is US$120.22 for the first 30 payments. For the last 120 payments, the monthly amount is US$161.39.

Why our Nerds love it

MPOWER Student Loans scored highest amongst lenders that offer student loans to DACA and international students without a co-signer.

Read our methodology

Best Student Loan for Flexible Repayment Options

Ascent Credit-based Student Loan
Check Rate

on Ascent's website

Fixed APR

4.62-14.99%

Variable APR

5.86-14.14%

Min. credit score

Varies

Best for students with a creditworthy co-signer.

Pros

  • Among the best for payment flexibility.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
  • Stands out for features that enable faster loan repayment.

Cons

  • Students enrolled less than half-time are not eligible.
  • Co-signer release not available to international students.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers: Did not disclose.
  • Minimum income: $0 for primary borrower. $24,000 for current and previous year for co-signer.
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $200,000 per year with an aggregate loan limit of $200,000.

Available Term Lengths

  • 5, 7, 10, 12 or 15 years

Disclaimer: Ascent's undergraduate and graduate student loans are funded by Bank of Lake Mills, Member FDIC. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. For Ascent Terms and Conditions please visit: www.AscentFunding.com/Ts&Cs. Rates are effective as of 3/1/2023 and reflect an automatic payment discount of either 0.25% (for credit-based loans) OR 1.00% (for undergraduate outcomes-based loans). Automatic Payment Discount is available if the borrower is enrolled in automatic payments from their personal checking account and the amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month. For Ascent rates and repayment examples please visit: Affordable Rates & Repayment Examples (APR) | Ascent Funding . 1% Cash Back Graduation Reward subject to terms and conditions. Cosigned Credit-Based Loan student must meet certain minimum credit criteria. The minimum score required is subject to change and may depend on the credit score of your cosigner. Lowest APRs require interest-only payments, the shortest loan term, and a cosigner, and are only available to our most creditworthy applicants and cosigners with the highest average credit scores.

Fixed APR

4.62-14.99%

Variable APR

5.86-14.14%

Min. credit score

Varies

Best for students with a creditworthy co-signer.

Pros

  • Among the best for payment flexibility.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
  • Stands out for features that enable faster loan repayment.

Cons

  • Students enrolled less than half-time are not eligible.
  • Co-signer release not available to international students.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers: Did not disclose.
  • Minimum income: $0 for primary borrower. $24,000 for current and previous year for co-signer.
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $200,000 per year with an aggregate loan limit of $200,000.

Available Term Lengths

  • 5, 7, 10, 12 or 15 years

Disclaimer: Ascent's undergraduate and graduate student loans are funded by Bank of Lake Mills, Member FDIC. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. For Ascent Terms and Conditions please visit: www.AscentFunding.com/Ts&Cs. Rates are effective as of 3/1/2023 and reflect an automatic payment discount of either 0.25% (for credit-based loans) OR 1.00% (for undergraduate outcomes-based loans). Automatic Payment Discount is available if the borrower is enrolled in automatic payments from their personal checking account and the amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month. For Ascent rates and repayment examples please visit: Affordable Rates & Repayment Examples (APR) | Ascent Funding . 1% Cash Back Graduation Reward subject to terms and conditions. Cosigned Credit-Based Loan student must meet certain minimum credit criteria. The minimum score required is subject to change and may depend on the credit score of your cosigner. Lowest APRs require interest-only payments, the shortest loan term, and a cosigner, and are only available to our most creditworthy applicants and cosigners with the highest average credit scores.

Why our Nerds love it

Ascent Co-signed Student Loan offers generous forbearance, an extended grace period and multiple repayment options.

Read our methodology

Best Student Loan Refinancing for Fast Payoff

College Ave Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on College Ave's website

Fixed APR

5.99-11.99%

Variable APR

5.99-11.99%

Min. credit score

Mid-600s

Best for borrowers who want a nonstandard loan term — six or nine years, for instance.

Pros

  • You can choose any loan term between 5 and 15 years.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Cons

  • No co-signer release available.
  • Students cannot refinance a parent PLUS loan in their name.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Mid-700s.
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $300,000, depending on the highest degree earned.
  • Must have a degree: Yes, an associate degree or higher.

Available Term Lengths

  • 5 to 15 years

Disclaimer: College Ave Student Loans products are made available through Firstrust Bank, member FDIC, First Citizens Community Bank, member FDIC, or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC.. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply. As certified by your school and less any other financial aid you might receive. Minimum $1,000. Rates shown are for the College Ave Undergraduate Loan product and include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation. This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Flat Repayment Option with an 8-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 7.78% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 54 monthly payments of $25 while in school, followed by 96 monthly payments of $176.21 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $18,266.38. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. Information advertised valid as of 3/1/2023. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Approved interest rate will depend on the creditworthiness of the applicant(s), lowest advertised rates only available to the most creditworthy applicants and require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.

Fixed APR

5.99-11.99%

Variable APR

5.99-11.99%

Min. credit score

Mid-600s

Best for borrowers who want a nonstandard loan term — six or nine years, for instance.

Pros

  • You can choose any loan term between 5 and 15 years.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Cons

  • No co-signer release available.
  • Students cannot refinance a parent PLUS loan in their name.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Mid-700s.
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $300,000, depending on the highest degree earned.
  • Must have a degree: Yes, an associate degree or higher.

Available Term Lengths

  • 5 to 15 years

Disclaimer: College Ave Student Loans products are made available through Firstrust Bank, member FDIC, First Citizens Community Bank, member FDIC, or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC.. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply. As certified by your school and less any other financial aid you might receive. Minimum $1,000. Rates shown are for the College Ave Undergraduate Loan product and include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation. This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Flat Repayment Option with an 8-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 7.78% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 54 monthly payments of $25 while in school, followed by 96 monthly payments of $176.21 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $18,266.38. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. Information advertised valid as of 3/1/2023. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Approved interest rate will depend on the creditworthiness of the applicant(s), lowest advertised rates only available to the most creditworthy applicants and require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.

Why our Nerds love it

College Ave Student Loan Refinance offers short loan terms and accepts biweekly and greater-than-minimum payments via autopay, helping borrowers repay loans faster.

Read our methodology

Best Student Loan Refinancing Overall

RISLA Student Loan Refinance
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Fixed APR

5.29-7.74%

Min. credit score

680

Best for borrowers who want payment flexibility should they run into financial trouble.

Pros

  • Income-based repayment plan available, with forgiveness after 25 years.

Cons

  • No co-signer release available.
  • Students cannot refinance a parent PLUS loan in their name.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers: 748.
  • Loan amounts: $7,500 to $250,000, depending on the highest degree earned.
  • Must have a degree: No.

Available Term Lengths

  • 5, 10 or 15 years
Fixed APR

5.29-7.74%

Min. credit score

680

Best for borrowers who want payment flexibility should they run into financial trouble.

Pros

  • Income-based repayment plan available, with forgiveness after 25 years.

Cons

  • No co-signer release available.
  • Students cannot refinance a parent PLUS loan in their name.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers: 748.
  • Loan amounts: $7,500 to $250,000, depending on the highest degree earned.
  • Must have a degree: No.

Available Term Lengths

  • 5, 10 or 15 years

Why our Nerds love it

College Ave and RISLA Student Loan Refinance earn top marks among student loan refinance lenders due to payment flexibility and transparency.

Read our methodology

Best Private Student Loan for Parents

Fixed APR

3.85-7.91%

Variable APR

4.44-8.89%

Min. credit score

670

Best for low-interest loans with consumer-friendly features, like a generous forbearance policy.

Pros

  • Forbearance of 24 months is longer than many lenders offer.
  • No late fees.

Cons

  • Only offers 2 loan terms.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 670.
  • Minimum income: No minimum income.
  • Loan amounts: $1,001 or $2,001, based on residency and school location, up to cost of attendance minus other aid received.

Available Term Lengths

  • 10 or 15
Fixed APR

3.85-7.91%

Variable APR

4.44-8.89%

Min. credit score

670

Best for low-interest loans with consumer-friendly features, like a generous forbearance policy.

Pros

  • Forbearance of 24 months is longer than many lenders offer.
  • No late fees.

Cons

  • Only offers 2 loan terms.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 670.
  • Minimum income: No minimum income.
  • Loan amounts: $1,001 or $2,001, based on residency and school location, up to cost of attendance minus other aid received.

Available Term Lengths

  • 10 or 15

Why our Nerds love it

ISL Private Student Loan earns top marks for measures that limit costs and stands out by extending death and disability discharges to the parent borrower.

Read our methodology

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