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Professional Group

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Jonathan Reed
Jonathan Reed

Student Bank Loans

APRs shown are for undergraduate loans. APR ranges will vary by loan type and may be higher than what is shown here. Lowest APRs are available to the most creditworthy applicants, and include an interest-only repayment discount and Auto Debit Reward.2

student bank loans

Students who get at least a 3.0 GPA (or equivalent) may qualify for a one-time cash reward of 1% of the loan amount on each new Discover undergraduate and graduate student loan. Reward redemption period is limited. Visit for reward and redemption terms and conditions.

You may borrow up to the maximum qualified loan amount or the total cost of education, whichever is lower. Our student loan does have lifetime aggregate limits (including both federal and private loan debt) of:

*Citizens Scholarship: No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. The Citizens Scholarship Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 United States, D.C., and U.S. Territories, who are 16 years of age or older, are students or prospective students, or parents/guardians of students intending to enroll or enrolled at least half-time in an accredited undergraduate/graduate post-secondary institution. To be eligible for a chance to win the Citizens Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Scholarship, entrants must also be an: American Indian or Alaskan Native, African American or Black, Hispanic or Latino/a, Asian, Native Hawaiian, or other Pacific Islander, women, member of the LGBTQ+ community, individual with disabilities, and/or a Veteran. Sweepstakes begins at 12:00 AM ET on 7/1/22 and ends at 11:59 PM ET on 6/30/23. Sponsored by Citizens. See Official Rules for details.

1Multi-Year Approval: Funds available for future use are subject to a soft credit inquiry at time of your next request to verify continued eligibility. After we make the initial Loan to you, we may refuse to allow you to take out additional loans under the Multi-Year Approval feature, terms and conditions will be outlined in your promissory note.

Application: When applying, you will be transferred to the website of our service provider. A list of information required to complete your application will be provided during the application process. Solution Loan Limits: Annual maximum: $50,000. Maximum aggregate educational debt (including federal and private student loans): $225,000. Education Refinance Loan maximum: up to $200,000 based on level of degree attained.

Certain Federal Benefits Will Be Lost or Not Available: If you refinance your federal loans through this PNC Education Refinance Loan, you will lose or not be able to select other payment plans available to federal student loan borrowers, such as income-contingent repayment or income-based repayment. In addition, federal student loans offer deferment, forbearance and loan forgiveness options that may not be available under a PNC Education Refinance Loan. Please compare your current benefits with this program to ensure any loss of existing benefits is fully understood.

Before you consider private student loans, make the most of federal and free financial aid, including private scholarships. You may be eligible for federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans, but there are limits on how much you can borrow each academic year and overall. Annual borrowing limits range from $5,500 to $20,500.

"Your first step in financing your education is to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly called a FAFSA," says Jay S. Fleischman, a lawyer who advises student loan borrowers on effective repayment strategies.

Even if you don't think you'll need financial assistance or think you won't qualify, submit a FAFSA, which is the key to most financial aid. It's a requirement for the student financial assistance programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act, including federal loans, grants and work-study programs. These do not have income or GPA cutoffs, which are common myths.

Unlike federal student loans, private student loans do not offer standard repayment plans and interest rates. Your credit, and that of a co-signer if you have one, will affect the types of loans you qualify for and the student loan interest rate you'll receive.

The loan term is the length of the loan's repayment period, which could range from five to 20 years for private student loans. Typically, shorter loans have higher monthly payments than longer loans but lower interest rates and lower total costs.

Loan minimums: Most lenders have minimum amounts you can borrow, which may vary based on your state. Because the minimum could be as low as $1,000, a private student loan may not be the best option if you only need a few hundred dollars for textbooks or another small expense.

Lenders offer student loans with either fixed or adjustable interest rates. Carefully consider your options because you may not be able to switch your interest rate type after taking out a loan, without refinancing.

When you're comparing student loans from different lenders, look at the annual percentage rate, or APR, rather than the interest rate. The APR is your total cost of borrowing each year and includes interest and fees.

Several factors determine a private student loan interest rate, including the loan amount and repayment length, as well as the borrower's credit history and debt-to-income ratio. If you have a low credit score or no established credit history, you may be offered a higher interest rate than someone with good credit or require a co-signer. Whether you're pursuing career training or a bachelor's or master's degree and whether you're choosing a fixed- or variable-rate loan also factor into your interest rate.

Interest rate discounts. Many lenders offer an interest rate discount if you sign up for autopay. The discount is often 0.25 or 0.5 percentage point, but it may not take effect until you start making full principal and interest payments. Some lenders provide a discount if you have another product with them, such as a loan or bank account.

Focus on four keys areas when comparing private student lenders, according to the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Department of Education and countless consumer reviews.

Several factors determine a private student loan interest rate, including the loan amount and repayment length, as well as the borrower's credit history and debt-to-income ratio. If you have a low credit score or no established credit history, you may be offered a higher interest rate or require a co-signer. Whether you're pursuing career training, a bachelor's degree or a master's degree and whether it is a fixed- or variable-rate student loan also factor in to your private student loan interest rate.

With subsidized federal loans, the government will pay the interest while you're in school and when the loans are in deferment. But with private student loans and unsubsidized federal loans, you'll accrue interest as soon as you take out the loan. Also, private student loans aren't eligible for federally mandated deferment options, forbearance programs and income-driven repayment plans. Several federal student loan forgiveness and cancellation programs aren't available with private student loans, such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Private student loans can default after one missed payment, although you may be able to repay the late balance and bring the amount current before the lender charges it off. If you default on a private student loan, the entire loan balance becomes due immediately.

To calculate each score, we use data about the lender and its loan offerings, giving greater weight to factors that matter most to borrowers. The scoring factors for private student loan providers are customer service ratings, fixed APR, variable APR, loan product availability, minimum and maximum loan terms, minimum and maximum loan amounts, minimum FICO score, and online features.

Citizens Bank has branches in only 14 states, but it offers private student loans nationwide. The bank offers loans for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as for parents who are hoping to help their child get through school. Loan terms range from five to 15 years for students and five to 10 years for parents.

Discover is an online bank that has only one physical branch. The bank offers a wide variety of private student loans, including undergraduate loans, graduate loans, MBA loans, health professions loans, law loans, residency loans, bar exam loans and parent loans. Loan terms are 15 years for undergraduate loans and 20 years for graduate loans.

Education Loan Finance, or ELFI, is the online student loan division of SouthEast Bank, which is located in Tennessee. The lender offers loans to undergraduate students, graduate students and parents. Repayment terms range from five to 15 years for students and five to 10 years for parents.

PNC Bank, which is based in Pennsylvania, offers private student loans to undergraduate and graduate students. It also offers specialized loans for health and medical professions, health professions residency and bar study.

Graduate loan options are broken down into MBA loans, medical school loans, medical residency loans, dental school loans, dental residency loans, health professions loans, law school loans and bar study loans. Repayment terms range from five to 20 years.

With that said, if you do have some credit history to your name, you can likely find a bank that will accept your loan application without a co-signer. This is particularly true for graduate school loans.

footnote Borrow responsibly We encourage students and families to start with savings, grants, scholarships, and federal student loans to pay for college. Students and families should evaluate all anticipated monthly loan payments, and how much the student expects to earn in the future, before considering a private student loan.

footnote Loans for Undergraduate & Career Training Students are not intended for graduate students and are subject to credit approval, identity verification, signed loan documents, and school certification. Student must attend a participating school. Student or cosigner must meet the age of majority in their state of residence. Students who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents must reside in the U.S., attend school in the U.S., apply with a creditworthy cosigner (who must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident), and provide an unexpired government-issued photo ID. Requested loan amount must be at least $1,000. 041b061a72


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