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While federal loans, scholarships, and grants should be prioritized first, sometimes these aren’t enough, and some students end up relying on private loans to cover tuition costs.

LendEdu provides a financial aid guide that breaks down general private student loan options for undergraduate and graduate programs. It discusses several lenders in the space and the basics behind the application process, eligibility requirements, how cosigning works, and much more.

They have recently redesigned this page to include only the best companies based on their Editorial Ratings. In short, the editorial review team has reviewed and rated over 20 companies based on over 30 criteria to find the best options for students.

LendEDU has released its third annual Student Debt by School by State Report for 2018. In terms of average student debt figures, this recently released data is the most up-to-date and reflects the college Class of 2017.

This report includes the average student debt figure at nearly every college and university within the state of Texas and 1,080 schools throughout the country.

Also included are various ranked tables, including the overall average student debt figure for each state, two tables featuring the 250 schools with the highest and lowest figures, and four tables featuring the 200 private and public schools with the highest and lowest figures.

To find figures within Texas specifically, simply click on that state on the interactive map and a drop-down table with all colleges in that state will appear below the map.

Student Loan Calculators

LendEdu's resource consists of  9 calculators that are meant to help students learn about various aspects of student loan debt.

Each covers a different student loan topic and shows students how the decisions they make will affect the cost and repayment of their loans.

For reference, all calculators on this page are free to use.

Headed into the summer, students and families are starting to think about how to pay for college. The Editorial Team from LendEDU just published a new Best Private Student Loans guide to help families explore additional financing options for college.
The Editorial Team used over 30 data points for 23 different student loan companies to find which were truly the "best." These recommendations and ratings are not influenced by compensation in any way and they only present the lenders who were rated the highest on this page.
Though private student loans aren’t the ideal way to pay for college, about 10% of families end up needing them given the rising cost of higher education. After all scholarships, grants, and federal options have been exhausted, private student loans are often necessary to help cover the cost of attendance.
Hopefully, this link is helpful as you will be able to see the best options all in one place.

Best Private Student Loans of 2019 - US News and World Report 

Offers a break down of private student loans - how they work, drawbacks, choosing the best private loan, how to get a private loan, and a list of the best private student loans in 2019

The Best Student Loan Consolidation Lenders of 2019 - US News and World Report

How they work, advantages, disadvantages, how to consolidate loans, choosing the best refinance company, and 2019 best consolidation companies

LendEdu has just launched a tool that shows students which private student loan companies they are eligible for based on the college they are attending.

About 10 percent of students end up needing private loans after all other financial aid is exhausted. Students and their families may find this tool helpful as it allows them to compare all of their options in one place.  LendEdu has extensive information about how private student loans work as well.


Information from Fastweb 2017-2018 Quick Reference:
Always borrow federal first.  Federal Student Loans are cheaper, more available, and have better repayment terms than private/student loans.

Federal Perkins Loans
Undergrad loan amounts up to $5500
Grad and Professional loan amounts up to $8000
College is the lender.  

Direct Subsidized Loans
For undergrad and grad students enrolled at least half time
Loan amount up to $5500, depending on grade level and dependency
No interest charged while at school
Department of Education is the lender

Direct Unsubsidized Loans
For undergrad and grad students enrolled at least half time
Loan amount up to $20,500, less subsidized amount, depending on grade level and dependency
Department of Education is the lender

Direct PLUS Loans for Parents
For parents of dependent students enrolled at least half time
Loan amount is maximum cost of attendance, less any other financial aid
Parent is responsible for interest
Department of Education is the lender

Private/Alternative Loan
Eligibility, interest rate, and fees based on credit scores

Student Loans vs Private Loans 

This is taken from an article in "Link for Counselors Newsletter"

Private student loans are given out by banks, credit unions, and other lenders. They are similar to federal student loans in certain ways. For example, most also have a grace period of six months after you graduate before your have to start repayment and many offer things like the ability to defer your loan in certain situations although there are often fewer qualifying circumstances with private loans. You can also deduct the interest you pay on them on your taxes, just like with federal loans.

But private student loans are different in some very important ways. For example, they are mostly given out based on credit-worthiness and ability to repay. Since most high school students don’t have a credit history or credit score and don’t have a high enough income to qualify about 90% of private student loans require parents, family friends, or grandparents to co-sign for the loan. While there are some lenders who are starting to use alternative underwriting criteria like good grades, or work experience to lend to college students without a co-signer – they are often smaller online lenders and don’t make up the majority of the market.

Private student loans are also different from federal student loan in that they have widely different interest rates. Each lender has different interest rate ranges and you can generally choose between variable and fixed rate loans. How much you pay is set based on the borrower’s or co-signer’s credit score and income.

Private student loans also have very different repayment options. When you take out a loan, you can choose the term length. Different companies offer different term length options which can vary widely from 5 to 15 years. Private student loans don’t have options like the income-based repayment programs that are offered by federal student loans.

Private student loans also don’t have the same types of borrower protections in the event of disability or death as federal loans have. Not all private student loans would be discharged or forgiven in such cases. Also, private student loans have different rules around things like deferment and forbearance and these vary from lender to lender so it’s critical that borrowers read the fine print on their loans.

Nate Matherson is the co-founder and CEO of LendEDU. In 2014, Matherson started LendEDU in his University of Delaware dorm to help students and families learn about the consequences of student debt; Nate, 23, is still working to repay over $55,000 in student loan debt.



Even if you do not yet have student loans, many young adults enter college with little knowledge about financial aid and their options for student loan repayment after graduation.

Learning as much about these topics as possible before entering college can help students be more financially responsible with their money while in college and give them the best chance at successful repayment. Too many students go through college with little idea of how their loans and repayment work, often leading to defaults after graduation.

This guide highlights how the programs work, the risks and benefits, how parent or guardian cosigners are affected, and much more.



Mission Statement
"We send our students into the world prepared to excel at their goals, be it the workforce or higher education, with great pride in where they received their knowledge."


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