Best Private Student Loan

How we picked the student loans to evaluate:

NerdWallet reviewed 28 banks, credit unions and online lenders offering student loans and student loan refinancing. We included the top 10 lenders by market share, the top 10 lenders by online search volume and those that serve specialty or nontraditional markets. Some lenders are NerdWallet partners; some are not.

How we chose the winner:

NerdWallet scored lenders that offer a private in-school student loan product for the presence of 34 features across multiple categories. Categories were scored and weighted as follows:
  • 15% - Features that enable faster repayment.
  • 20% - Disclosure of rates, fees and underwriting requirements.
  • Availability to wide range of borrowers.
  • 25% - Flexible payment options.
  • 20% - Customer support.
After those calculations, the financial institution with the most points would be selected as the winner.

How we verified our data:

NerdWallet writers and editors sent detailed questionnaires to all reviewed lenders. NerdWallet writers and editors confirmed fees, rates, policies and other key features on each financial institution’s website. If an institution’s website was missing information, we contacted a representative directly for confirmation.