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Credible Review

Wednesday, June 29th

2022 Student Loan Provider Reviews

Credible Review 4 Star Rating

Credible

4 Star Rating
  • "A+' rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Compare prequalified student loan rates from 8 lenders
  • Competitive rates for both fixed-rate and variable-rate loans
  • $200 Best Rate Guarantee

Credible offers comparison shopping for several financial products, ranging from student loans and refinancing to home and personal loans and beyond. Since 2012, more than 1.4 million users have taken advantage of this service.

Prequalify with up to 8 lenders

This is the only platform we evaluated that lets you check out your prequalified rates on loans from more than one institution at a time, though you'll still need to fill out a full application with the lender you choose to get a firm student loan offer. There are eight lenders in Credible's network: Ascent, Citizens Bank, College Ave, Custom Choice, EDvestinU, INvested, MEFA, and Sallie Mae. You'll find several of those discussed in detail in our other evaluations, or you can use Credible's ratings and reviews to learn more.

Easy to use

It's pretty much a no-brainer to use this service to check out your student loan options. Go to the Student Loans tab and choose "Find My Rate" , then indicate if you're a student or a cosigner. You'll be asked for your name, phone number, citizenship, school name, degree type, graduation year, monthly housing payment, and several other details about your financial situation. Finally, it'll tell you if you've prequalified for any loan within their partner network.

Set your preferences, change as needed later

From there, you'll answer questions about your desired repayment terms (e.g. making no payments, $50 monthly payments, or full payments while you're in school). Those just set the loan filters and aren't a commitment to any specific repayment structure. Same goes for choosing a shorter-term or longer-term loan, or variable vs. fixed rates. Once you've set those preferences, you'll see the student loans that match; feel free to tweak any of the settings using the dropdowns at the top of the list.

Best Student Loan Providers

Clicking continue = filling out the actual application

The next step is where things start to depend on the lender. For example, when we clicked to continue with a College Ave loan, it asked for our Social Security number - and it didn't indicate if that would be a soft or hard credit inquiry. (We suspect the latter, especially since we didn't prequalify when applying for a loan directly from College Ave. See that review for more details.) In contrast, when we selected one of the EDvestinU student loans, the next screen asked about our housing status, employer name, and other details - culminating in asking for our SSN as well. That makes sense - because from that point onward, Credible is helping you apply for a loan with that lender, not just showing you what you prequalified for.

$200 Best Rate Guarantee

Credible is so confident that they can connect you with the best private student loan rate, they're willing to offer you $200 if you find a lower interest rate with any lender that's not in their network. You'll want to read their terms and conditions before you get too excited, but it's definitely worth the time to prequalify with Credible first before you search somewhere else.

Terrific reputation

Reputation-wise, Credible is solid. They've gotten an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, with very few complaints lodged there. We also found over 4200 independently-verified five-star ratings for this provider, though keep in mind that those cover all of Credible's financial products, not just student loans. Most people say that using this service helped them find a great loan with attractive rates and terms.

Worthwhile resource for comparing lenders

In general, Credible is a trustworthy way to see if you prequalify for a student loan from several well-known lenders - without having to enter your information multiple times on different providers' sites. (And it may even help you with tricky ones like College Ave!) As with any referral service, remember that the actual servicing of your loan will depend on the lender you choose: we encourage you to get to know the provider you're considering before signing on the dotted line.

Where Can You Find the Best Student Loans?

With 45% of high school graduates finding it necessary to take on student debt to finance their higher learning, that's an important question to answer. While most student loan debt comes from federal loans, some people discover that their government loans just aren't enough to cover the full costs of tuition, room and board, expensive textbooks, and everything else necessary for their college education.

If you find yourself in that situation - for your studies or your children's - you might get overwhelmed trying to figure out where the money will come from. And even once you've selected a lender, you still need to decide what repayment terms are best. Fixed- or variable-rate? Interest-only or small fixed repayments while still in school or fully deferred for 6-9 months after graduation? Repaying over five years or twenty? There are a lot of factors to consider that are unique to you.

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Student Loan Provider FAQ

Most students need a loan to fund the full cost of their college education. While the majority of student loans in the United States come through federal programs, there are also private loans available. You usually have to start making repayments on student loans six months after your last semester, though you can start sooner if you wish. Student loans often have repayment terms of at least 10 years.
Yes, very easily. If you're applying for federal student loans, you'll complete the FAFSA online. For private student loans, there are several ways to apply: either directly with a financial institution, like Discover or Wells Fargo, or using a platform that connects you with multiple lenders using a single quote request or application.
Unlike many other types of borrowing, student loans are designed to be affordable - it's rare to be charged an application or origination fee, and you should be able to pay off your loan early with no penalties. Interest rates are also much lower than credit cards and personal loans, and you'll usually have very long repayment terms: starting 6 months after your last semester and often stretching 10 years into the future. Expect interest rates between 1% and 6%, but watch out for fixed vs. variable APRs.
Your student loan will probably be disbursed directly to your school, not deposited to your personal bank account. That's a good thing if you want to ensure that your loan money actually gets used for your education! Because the process requires your school to certify the loan amount, the process can take a few days or more. It's a wise idea to start the loan application process early, to make sure there's plenty of time to meet your school's payment deadlines.
If you have a financial hardship or other eligible circumstance, you can request to defer your student loan repayments. Most lenders allow you to suspend your payments for up to three years if you qualify. Contact the servicer of your student loan to find out what requirements you need to meet to defer your loan.
Forbearance is similar to deferring your student loan payments. If you don't qualify for a deferral but still can't pay your student loan, you might be able to get your payments reduced or suspended temporarily, for up to 12 months. You'll need to get in touch with the servicer of your student loan to see if you're eligible for a forbearance arrangement.
In limited circumstances, yes. It usually depends on the type of student loan you have, the lender, and your situation. Student loans may be forgiven (or, essentially, written off) in the event of the disability or death of the borrower; issues with the school, like closure, error or fraud; income-driven repayment plans or employment-based forgiveness programs.
Yes, most of the time. Tax laws are changing constantly, but in the past students have been able to reduce taxable income by as much as $2,500 based on student loan interest paid, as long as they meet eligibility criteria (like having a qualified student loan that was used exclusively for educational expenses).
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Continued from above...

Fortunately, there are quite a few providers of student loans that can help you not only figure out those answers but also connect you with the money you need to pay for school. Many of them can even prequalify you for a loan with just your name, address and birthdate, with no impact on your credit report. Rest assured that millions of students (and many of their parents) have successfully navigated this process - and you can too.

Here are several aspects of student loan providers to keep in mind as you decide which ones merit further consideration:

  • Referral service or direct lender: Some sites serve as a comparison shopping platform, allowing you to get preliminary information about what loans might be available to you. These referral services may or may not use your information to complete some of the first steps of the application process. Other student loan sites directly connect you with the funding you need.
  • Interest rates. Don't be overly impressed by the super-low interest rates posted by any student loan provider: they almost always come with the caveat that only the "most qualified" candidates qualify for the best rates (and we've yet to find anyone that actually got a loan with rates that low). Just make sure that the rate you're offered is reasonable and competitive with other loans.
  • Repayment options. There are so many different ways to configure a student loan, like repayment terms ranging from 5-20 years, fixed and variable rates, and repayments either while still in school or deferred until after graduation. The more choices available to you, the more likely it is that you'll get loan terms you can afford.
  • Loan servicing. Getting a student loan is just the beginning. Take into account what other students have said about the experience after the application has been approved. Are funds disbursed quickly? Does the customer service team handle issues well? Can you expect any unpleasant surprises (like payments not being recorded accurately or not being able to reach support)?

To help you get the funds you need for your education, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best options for student loans today. We're confident that this information will make it possible to find the right way to cover the costs of your tuition, books and more!

The Best Reviews of Student Loan Providers