• 18 Best Private Student Loans

    18 Best Private Student Loans

    Always borrow federal student loans before private loans. Once you've exhausted federal options, compare offers from multiple private lenders to find the lowest interest rate.

    Private student loans are used to pay for college costs, but they originate with a bank, credit union or online lender rather than the federal government.

    Private student loans can be a good option if:

    You have already completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, to see if you’re eligible for federal grants, work-study and federal loans.

    You have already borrowed the maximum in both subsidized and unsubsidized federal student loans.

    You have good credit (a credit score of 690 or above) or a co-signer who does. Most private student loan borrowers have a co-signer.

    You borrow only what you need.

    Below, you can get personalized rates and find NerdWallet's top-ranked private student loans for students, parents, independent students, international students, part-time students and graduate school.

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