NerdWallet Best-Of Awards 2024

Smart decisions start with our list of top student loans

Our Nerds analyzed repayment options, flexibility, lender transparency and more to bring you the best student loans of 2024. While some winners may be partners, this didn’t influence our decisions.

Check out the winning student loans

BEST PRIVATE STUDENT LOAN OVERALL

College Ave Private Student Loan
Check Rate

on College Ave's website

Fixed APR

4.07-16.49%

Variable APR

5.59-16.85%

Min. credit score

Mid-600s

Why our Nerds love it
why nerds love it icon

College Ave scores top marks among private student loan lenders for its fast repayment and payment flexibility features and wide variety of customers served.

Read our methodology

BEST PRIVATE STUDENT LOAN FOR PARENTS

Fixed APR

3.85-8.40%

Variable APR

5.59-10.71%

Min. credit score

660

Why our Nerds love it
why nerds love it icon

ISL College Family 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

BEST STATE-BASED PRIVATE STUDENT LOAN

RISLA Private Student Loan
Check Rate

on RISLA's website

Fixed APR

4.99-6.94%

Min. credit score

680

Why our Nerds love it
why nerds love it icon

RISLA earns top marks among state-based lenders due to its nationwide availability and payment flexibility features, including an income-driven repayment plan that mirrors the federal government IBR plan.

Read our methodology

BEST STUDENT LOAN FOR INDEPENDENT STUDENTS

Ascent Non-Cosigned Student Loan
Check Rate

on Ascent's website

Fixed APR

13.20-15.13%

Variable APR

13.26-15.22%

Min. credit score

Low-Mid 600s

Why our Nerds love it
why nerds love it icon

Ascent scores highest among the few lenders offering private student loans that don’t require credit history or a co-signer, and it serves the most schools.

Read our methodology

BEST STUDENT LOAN FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

MPOWER Private Student Loan
Check Rate

on MPOWER's website

Fixed APR

13.74-15.01%

Min. credit score

None

Why our Nerds love it
why nerds love it icon

MPOWER scores highest among the few lenders offering private student loans and student loan refinance to borrowers who don’t have Social Security Numbers or co-signers.

Read our methodology

BEST STUDENT LOAN REFINANCING OVERALL

RISLA Student Loan Refinance
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Fixed APR

5.79-8.24%

Min. credit score

680

Why our Nerds love it
why nerds love it icon

RISLA student loan refinance earns top marks among student loan refinance lenders due to its payment flexibility features, including an income-driven repayment plan that mirrors the federal government IBR plan.

Read our methodology

BEST STUDENT LOAN REFINANCING FOR PARENTS

Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on Education Loan Finance's website

Fixed APR

5.48-8.69%

Variable APR

5.28-8.99%

Min. credit score

680

Why our Nerds love it
why nerds love it icon

ELFI is one of few lenders offering parent refinance options. Borrowers can transfer a loan to their child or refinance federal parent PLUS loans.

Read our methodology

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