Chicago Student Loans by A.M. Money Review: Private Student Loans

Chicago Student Loans by A.M. Money offers private student loans to students at just over 20 schools nationwide.
Anna HelhoskiJul 13, 2021

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Our Take

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: Chicago Student Loans by A.M. Money is best for students who don’t have a co-signer, have a strong GPA and attend one of the schools A.M. Money works with. It is only available to students attending a small list of schools.

A.M. Money Private Student Loan

A.M. Money Private Student Loan

Fixed APR

7.08 - 8.85%

Min. Credit Score

None

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • GPA is used to determine eligibility instead of credit or a co-signer.
  • Offers a hard-to-find, temporary income-based repayment option for up to 36 months.
  • All borrowers get the same fixed rate, benchmarked to the federal PLUS loan rates.

Cons

  • Works with a limited list of schools.
  • Charges an origination fee.
  • Does not allow for bi-weekly payments via autopay.

Compare to Other Lenders

CommonBond Private Student Loan
Ascent Private Student Loan
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Check Rate
Fixed APR

3.99 - 10.99%

Fixed APR

3.34 - 14.51%

Variable APR

4.13 - 9.64%

Variable APR

2.46 - 12.98%

Min. Credit Score

660

Min. Credit Score

680

Full Review

Chicago Student Loans by A.M. Money offers a unique selling point with its private student loan product: Approval is based on academic performance, rather than credit history. Students also don’t need a co-signer to qualify.

Everyone who is approved gets the same fixed interest rate, which is benchmarked each year to federal parent PLUS loans. For 2020-21 the rate is 5.30%. When borrowers graduate and begin paying back their loans, A.M. Money also offers an income-based repayment option for up to 36 months.

To be eligible, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who attends one of 22 schools that A.M. Money works with, which are located in Illinois and around the country. You must also have at least a 2.8 GPA.

Before taking out an A.M. Money student loan or any other private student loan, exhaust your federal student loan options. Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, to apply.

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Compare your to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, look at lenders’ repayment alternatives and the flexibility they offer to borrowers who struggle to make payments.

If A.M. Money denies your student loan application, you may want to consider other lenders. If you don't have a credit history, you'll need to apply with a co-signer.

If you don’t have access to a co-signer — or still aren’t eligible with one — consider or specialize in .

NerdWallet believes the best student loan is one you can repay at the lowest interest rate you can get. That’s why NerdWallet’s student loan ratings reward lenders that offer a variety of loan terms, limit their fees and penalties, and extend borrowers multiple options to avoid default. Points are also awarded for soft credit checks, underwriting transparency and other consumer-friendly features. Use these ratings as a guide, but we encourage you to shop around for the lowest interest rate you can qualify for. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for its reviews.

Frequently asked questions