Major Lenders

Your Primary Lender Should Be The Government

If you are in a program that qualifies for Federal student aid, this should be your first stop. There is simply no doubt about it. Federal loans are the most economical and borrower-friendly on the market. By filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) you apply for the two Federal Loan programs, the Stafford and Perkins Loans, as well as Federal government grants, such as the Pell Grant.

You should also see if your state offers loans you are eligible for. State loans also offer favorable interest rates, transparent terms and flexible repayment options.

Introduction to Private Student Loan Organizations

Once you have exhausted loan, grant and scholarship options with the Federal and state governments and your college, you should start shopping for a private loan. When you look for a private student loan, you want a reliable lender that agrees to lend you the money you need for college at the most attractive terms and the lowest interest rates. Many students do not spend enough time investigating all of their loan options. As a result, many students end up spending more money in the long run than if they had taken their time and understood their choices.

What Are Student Loan Companies?

Student loan companies are private lending institutions making student loans, and can vary greatly one from another.

Private lenders making student loans can be banks, credit unions, savings and loans or companies that specialize in student loans, such as Sallie Mae or Nelnet.  The economic downturn has drastically reduced the number of private lenders with robust student loan programs, The following is a partial list of prominent banks offering student loans:


How to Choose a Lender

You should compare several lenders before you make a decision. Aspects of the loan to investigate are:

  • Interest rates
  • Repayment plans
  • The terms of the loan, including fees and discounts
  • Quality of customers service
  • The ability to pay online

If any area is unsatisfactory to you, keep looking. There is a lender out there that meets your needs.