CommonBond is our final favorite place to get a private student loan. They are the one of the few direct lenders we have on this list, simply because they aren’t on any of the comparison sites. But there is a reason for this – by avoiding the middleman, you get the savings passed on to you.
CommonBond has some of the lowest private student loan interest rates available on the market right now, but they do require a cosigner for their loans. However, they also have a 2 year cosigner release, which is one of the shortest terms we’ve seen.
CommonBond also is one of the few private lenders that offers a forbearance to borrowers who suffer economic hardship after graduation and during repayment. Read our full CommonBond review.
It can be hard to know if private student loans are right for you. Honestly. there is no right answer. Some people swear off private student loans. Other people have found them to be a helpful way to pay for college while saving money in interest.
It’s important to remember that Federal student loans come with a lot of options, and they usually have a very good interest rate. With Federal student loans, you get access to income-driven repayment plans, student loan forgiveness options, and more. You don’t get many benefits with private student loans.
You might also consider an income-sharing agreement as an alternative to a private loan. Income-sharing agreements are where you get money for school in exchange for paying back a portion of your income after graduation. These plans are typically structured in a way that means you only pay back if you see a positive return on your education. Check out our guide to income-sharing agreements here.
As with everything related to paying for college, we recommend you follow the Proper Order Of Operations To Pay For College. Make sure you’ve exhausted your other aid, Federal student loans, and working before diving into private student loans. If you’re at that point already, then make sure you’re shopping around for the best student loan rates and terms.
Common Student Loan FAQs
Here are some of the most common questions we get when it comes to finding the best student loans and borrowing to pay for college.
You should always borrow the maximum amount of federal student loans before moving to private student loans. Federal student loans offer more benefits, such as loan forgiveness and flexible repayment plans, compared to private student loans.
Federal student loans, specifically subsidized student loans, are the best to pay for college. Then you have unsubsidized loans. Many borrowers will also be offered parent PLUS loans, which we don’t recommend. Then you have private student loan options.
Interest on federal student loans is fixed for all borrowers based on your school year. These rates are typically some of the lowest in the marketplace. If you’re looking at private student loans, you need to shop around and get multiple quotes on your student loan rate.
Student loans have drawbacks just like any other form of debt. You’re going to need to repay the debt, and your ability to repay is going to be based on your income after graduation. However, unlike other loan types, student loans have very few options for discharge – meaning you can’t easily get rid of them in bankruptcy. And the government and private lenders have a lot of collection options available to them.
No matter what path you take in paying for school, it’s essential that you educate yourself on your options. Whether your looking for the best student loans, or other financial aid options, you’re going to have to spend a little time doing homework.