Finding the right private student loan consolidation isn’t easy. If you are looking at student loan consolidation, odds are you are unhappy with something about your current loan and looking to switch companies. The last thing you want is more problems.
That’s why we’ve done much of the heavy listing for you. We have tracked down the best consolidation programs available and then put together a list of the best companies with all the relevant loan information in our review.
When you are trying to decide on the right student loan consolidation, there are many factors that need to be considered…
Interest Rate: This one is an obvious one, but it can get a bit tricky when you are comparing fixed to variable interest rate loans. Fixed rate are best for people who are the most risk averse or who think the economy will get better during the life of the loan. If you plan on paying off your loan quickly, a variable rate loan is probably your best bet because the variable rates often start much lower than the fixed rate loans. Variable rate loans are also best for people who think that our economy is headed nowhere but down. When interest rates drop, the interest rate on your loan drops.
Origination Fees: Fortunately for most borrowers these are becoming a thing of the past. An origination fee is sorting that is paid at the creation of the new loan. Suppose you have $100,000 in student loans to consolidate. If you get a loan with a 2% origination fee it means you actually will be paying $102,000 from day one. That is an extra $2,000 plus interest! Origination fees should obviously be avoided.
Co-signer release: 90% of private student loans have a co-signer. For consolidation, the number isn’t as high, but for many it remains a necessity. A good co-signer release program can help reduce the risk of the co-signer, and it is a good way for the borrower to show a potential co-signer that they have done their research and appreciate the commitment.
Loan Length: The longer the length of the loan, the lower your monthly payments will be. The downside to a long length loan is that you have debt hanging over your head for a long time and you pay more in interest over the life of the loan.
Loan Amount: For many borrowers, loan amount is not an issue, but if you have a massive amount of student loan debt, or very little, it is actually harder to find a student loan consolidation. Our student loan review list shows the range of available loan sizes.
Our reviews for 2014 have what we believe to be the most recent interest rates and loan information. If you find something is not right or you have questions, please let us know.
To view the full version of our list, click here.
|Lender||Rank||Interest Rate Range||Fixed or Variable||Max Repayment Length||Loan Amounts||Origination Fee||New Customer Bonus||Cosigner Release||Full Review||Application|
|SoFi||1||2.615% – 6.740%||Both||20 Years||$10,000 – No Max||0%||$150||Yes; No Wait Period||Apply|
|CommonBond||2||2.61% – 6.99%||Both||20 Years||$5,000 – No Max||0%||$150||36 months||Apply|
|LendKey||3||2.52% – 7.26%||Both||20 Years||$7,500 – $175,000||0%||$150||12 months||Apply|
|Laurel Road/Darien Rowayton Bank||4||3.64% – 7.20%||Both||20 Years||$5,000 – No Max||0%||$150||36 months||Apply|
|Earnest||5||2.80% – 6.99%||Both||20 Years||Unknown||0%||$200*||Yes; No Wait Period||Apply*|
|Purefy (formerly CordiaGrad)||6||3.50% – 7.28%||Fixed||15 Years||$7,500 – $350,000||0%||–||12 months||Apply|
|Citizens/Charter One Bank||7||2.58% – 8.43%||Both||20 Years||$10,000 – $170,000||0%||$200*||36 months||Apply*|
|College Ave||8||3.88% – 7.74%||Both||15 Years||$5,000 – $250,000||0%||$200*||Unknown||Apply*|
|U-fi||9||3.41% – 9.07%||Both||25 Years||$5,000 – $225,000||0%||–||24 months||Apply|
|MEFA||10||3.84% – 7.89%||Both||15 Years||$10,000 – No Max||0%||$200*||Never||Apply*|
|Wells Fargo||11||4.24% – 10.99%||Both||20 Years||$5,000 – $120,000||0%||–||24 months||Apply|
|iHelp||12||3.58% – 9.47%||Both||20 Years||$10,000 – $250,000||0%||$200*||24 months||Apply*|
|Prosper||13||6.73% – 34.12%||Fixed||5 Years||$2,000 – $35,000||1% to 5%||–||NA||Apply|