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Last updated 4/8/2016

Exhaust all federal grant and loans available to you before considering a private (alternative) loan.  You may qualify for loans or other assistance under title IV of the HEA (Pell Grants, Stafford, Perkins, FSEOG grants and PLUS loans) and the terms and conditions of title IV, HEA program loans may be more favorable than the provisions of private education loans.  Student Lending Analytics has developed a list of private loan options for undergraduates to serve schools and their students who need a focused and neutral resource for help in finding a private student loan.  

If you live OR attend college in the following states, be sure to review this information about your state's private loan program (click on the links to get specific information about your state's alternative loan program):  Alaska, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota (SELF Loan and ND DEAL Program) Montana (through ND DEAL Program), New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota (through ND DEAL Program), South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin (through ND DEAL Program) and Wyoming (through ND DEAL Program).   Before making a final decision about your private loan, please review the SLA Private Loan Guide.



SLA is an independent research and advisory firm that has NO affiliations with any student lenders. SLA HAS RECEIVED NO CONSIDERATION FROM ANY LENDERS FOR PLACEMENT ON THIS LIST.  Placement on this list DOES NOT in any way constitute an endorsement from SLA NOR should it be construed as a preferred lender list.  You are free to borrow from any lender of your choice. While SLA has made every effort to confirm each of the lender loan terms described below through website research and multiple calls to lender customer service representatives, it cannot guarantee its accuracy.  Furthermore, not all the lenders listed below lend to all students at all schools.  The borrower should confirm any and all loan terms with the lender PRIOR to accepting the loan.  Each lender’s position on the list is randomly determined and will change each time this page is refreshed.  SLA will update this page as necessary and will provide a date of last update at the top of the page.  The information provided below is subject to change without notice. 



Lender Starting Interest Rate Between
Fees Repayment Benefits Co-signer
Payments Required While In-School
Sallie Mae
Smart Option Student Loan
(800) 695-3317
M-Th 8am-10pm; F 8am-7pm CT

2.50% to 9.59%


None Auto payments: 0.25% IRR 12 months on-time payments following successful completion of education No
First Tech Credit Union
Private Education Loan
(800) 236-7991
24 hours, 7 days a week

6%to 7.5%

None Auto payments: 0.25% IRR

48 payments

Citizens Bank Student Loan
(800) 708-6684
M-F 8:30am-5pm ET

2.94% to 9.19%


Up to 0.50% interest rate discounts available


Available after 36 consecutive, on time payments.  Subject to terms and conditions No
Discover Student Loans
(877) 728-3030
M-Su 8am-12am ET

3.37% to 9.49%


Auto payments: 0.25% IRR


1% cash reward for GPA of 3.0


NASA Federal Credit Union
Private Education Loan
(800) 322-8816
24 hours, 7 days a week

Floor Rate of 6%

None Auto payments: 0.25% IRR

48 payments

Wells Fargo
Collegiate Loan
(800) 378-5526
M-F 8am-10pm CT

3.16% to 9.03%


- 0.25% interest rate reduction for previous Wells Fargo student loan or other qualifying account

- 0.25% interest rate reduction for enrolling in automatic payments

24 payments


Custom Choice Loan 

3.74% to 9.15% 


Auto payments: Up to 0.50% IRR                      Graduation:  1% principal reduction     


Available No


Table Glossary:
  • Interest Rates
  • Fees: The fees charged are typically added to the principal amount owed at the time they are assessed.
    • Origination Fees are assessed upon receiving the loan.
    • Repayment Fees are assessed upon entering repayment.
    • Late payment fees are also typically charged by the lender, but those fees are excluded from the table above.
  • Auto payments: Automatic debit payments made via a bank account. Many lenders offer a benefit in the form of an interest rate reduction for signing up for these automatic payments.
  • IRR - Interest rate reduction. Benefits awarded to the borrower that lead to the interest rate being reduced can include signing up for auto payments, making a certain number of consecutive on-time payments and simply by graduating.
  • Co-Signer Release - Student has had loan co-signed (typically a parent or close relative). A number indicates the number of consecutive, on-time monthly payments required for co-borrower release. In many cases, student must meet some credit-based criteria in addition to making the on-time payments.