Consider these features when researching private student loans.
Interest Rates and Loan Fees
Private student loan interest rates are fixed or variable and may be based on your credit history and other factors. Variable interest rates can change over time, so it is important to find a loan with a low interest rate, as well as an interest rate cap to control the cost over the life of the loan. It is important to remember that lowest advertised rates tend to be available for only the most creditworthy applicants.
Some private student loans require you to make monthly payments while in school and some allow you to defer payments until after graduation. Longer repayment periods require lower monthly payments, but you end up paying more in total over time. Be sure to choose a loan that provides flexibility so your monthly payments are manageable and the total cost of your loan is reasonable.
Borrower Benefits and Loan Discounts
Most loans come with money-saving benefits such as interest rate reductions for automatic debit payments. Carefully read the terms and conditions to ensure that you will qualify for the advertised benefits and retain them throughout the life of the loan.
Choose a lender with experienced and well-trained customer service representatives that will have answers to your questions no matter where you are in the student loan process. Lenders offer a variety of ways to contact them and different hours of operation during which you can talk to a live person, so look for a lender you can reach conveniently.