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Understanding private student loans

Private student loans (sometimes called "alternative loans") are used expressly for paying for college costs such as tuition, room & board, and other expenses.

  • Private student loans should supplement federal or government student loans. Remember to always maximize your federal financial aid before seeking private loans.
  • Private student loans are taken out from banks, lending companies or other private entities, in the student's name, usually with a co-signer.

What to look for in a private loan

Use the comparison tools here to consider all of the costs of a private student loan, including fees and rates.

Examine all of the attributes of each loan, such as:

  • the annual percentage rate (APR)
  • the total cost of the loan
  • the monthly payment
  • the loan's borrower rewards
  • student loan deferment options

How to use the loan comparison tool

Save time and money by comparing multiple loan options from a variety of leading lenders. SimpleTuition's student loan comparison helps students and families understand the financial aid and borrowing process, including when to use private student loans. Simply enter the amount you need to borrow and a little bit about yourself, and click the button to "Find loans" to see a customized list of private loan options.