Private Student Loans

Student loans from your local credit unions.

Rates as low as 3.65% APR (with AutoPay)3





Student Loans from Community Lenders

Competitive rates Competitive rates

Low Rates & Good Grades

Get low rates on student loans from our community lenders that prioritize people over profits. Our lenders may even consider your academic credentials, which can get you a better rate!

calculate your savings using our student loan calculator calculate your savings using our student loan calculator

Tax Deductible Interest Payments

The interest paid on your loans may be tax deductible.1

Cosigner Release Available Cosigner Release Available

Cosigner Release

Our private student loan lenders offer cosigner release to creditworthy borrowers who have made consecutive, full on-time principal + interest payments.2

Most of our community lenders don’t charge borrowers origination fees. Most of our community lenders don’t charge borrowers origination fees.

No Fees

Our community lenders don’t charge borrowers any origination fees for their student loans.

0.25% ACH Interest Rate Reduction 0.25% ACH Interest Rate Reduction

Rate Reduction Through Automatic Payments

When you sign up for automatic payments, our community lenders could drop your interest by 0.25%.3

3 Simple Steps to Get a Private Student Loan

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Step Estimate: 1 Minutes
What Do Our Borrowers Think?

Jen from the University of Maryland got a private student loan from LendKey
Private student loan borrower Kelsey from the University of Portland
Gerald from University of Pittsburgh got a private student loan from LendKey

Get Better Rates and Terms with a Cosigner

A creditworthy cosigner can make all the difference when it comes to a loan application’s chances for success and approval. Cosigners play a critical role in helping borrowers to secure private student loans and qualify for a lower rate. If you’re a creditworthy cosigner, you can help a student responsibly borrow funds for their education. And often for a rate well below one they could get on their own.

Being a cosigner helps make a college education possible for the borrower, but the responsibility does come with financial risks. If the student defaults on the loan, the cosigner will be held liable for the remaining loan payments, and his or her credit history may be affected (in addition to the borrower’s). There are also certain requirements the cosigner must meet. The cosigner must have a good credit history and demonstrate certain income requirements.

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The Benefits of Making In-School Payments

Going into debt for college is often necessary for many families to achieve the goal of a higher education. If not done responsibly, managing debt after graduation can become an overwhelming task. Certain loans, such as the subsidized Stafford loan and the Perkins Loan have interest paid for by the government while the student is enrolled in school. However unsubsidized Stafford loans and private student loans do accrue interest while the student is in school. Interest will continue to compound over the duration of enrollment.

In-school payments allow the student to make a standard minimum monthly payment towards the loan. This develops healthy financial habits and can help reduce the amount of total interest expense. More importantly, it helps the student develop a credit history for future loans after graduation.

The ability to make a payment towards loans while in school has been available for both federal and private loans, but generally not promoted by private student loan providers, with most student borrowers electing to defer loan payments until after graduation. In-school payment provides the ability to reduce the debt load students face after graduation.

Low Rate Loans From Community Lenders

All loans on are funded by community lenders like credit unions and community banks. These financial institutions work with LendKey to keep operating costs low, and pass on the savings directly to you.

Unlike many larger banks that may take deposits in one state and lend in others, community banks and credit unions channel most of their loans to the neighborhoods where their depositors live and work, helping to keep local communities vibrant and growing.

About Community Lending

Frequently Asked Questions About Private Student Loans

Private student loans are credit-based loans for college that are used to pay for qualified educational expenses including tuition, room and board, books, and other school related expenses. A private student loan serves as a way for students to fill the funding gap between the cost of attending school and the amount of federal loans, grants, and scholarships available to them.

No. However, we encourage students to complete the FAFSA each year, to ensure that you take full advantage of grants and other federal aid you may be eligible to receive. Again, private student loans are a way for students to fill the funding gap between the cost of attending school and the amount of federal loans, grants, and scholarships available to them.

While you may apply on your own, applying with a creditworthy cosigner can make all the difference when it comes to a loan application’s chances for success and approval—and even result in a lower rate. Find out all the benefits of applying with a cosigner in this blog post.

Yes. You will need to reapply each academic year for private student loans.

Federal student loans are available through the US Department of Education and offer fixed interest rates. Private student loans are credit-based loans, feature fixed and variable interest rates, and are available through credit unions or banks.

Eligibility for federal, state and university funded financial aid is determined by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). All students are strongly encouraged to apply for federal aid by completing the FAFSA, which can be obtained online at

A credit union is a not-for-profit cooperative financial institution that provides financial services for its members. Credit Unions are owned by their members and their main purpose is to serve the financial needs of its membership. Because of this mission, credit unions are on the forefront of providing thrift and high value financial products and customer service to its membership.

More than 90 million Americans belong to a credit union, and it’s estimated that another 40 million qualify for credit union membership according to “field of membership” rules. There are more than 7,000 credit unions across the country.

A credit union's first priority is to serve the needs of its members, rather than to make a profit for stockholders. This fundamental difference ensures that credit union profits are reinvested back to the people they belong to, by way of dividends, lower rates and lower service fees. As member owned and governed institutions, this mission is always a top priority for credit union management.

The Grace Period is a 6-month period of time that begins once a borrower graduates or is no longer enrolled at least half-time in a degree granting program. After the Grace Period, the borrower must begin making regular principal and interest payments. Borrowers are required to make Good Faith or Interest Only Payments during the Grace Period.

A cosigner is a parent, grandparent, guardian or other adult who is creditworthy and willing to assume legal responsibility for the loan liabilities along with you. In a cosigned loan application both the borrower and the cosigner are applying for the loan and are jointly responsible for making all loan payments. In the unlikely event the borrower does not fulfill their obligation, the cosigner is required to make the monthly payments. Failure to do so will cause negative information to be reported on the cosigner's credit report.

1 - Tax Deductible Interest Payments

The deduction is generally the smaller of $2,500 or the interest you paid in the calendar year. Please consult with a tax expert to understand if this option may be available to you.

2 - Cosigner Release

In order to qualify, the borrower, alone, must meet the lender's credit criteria, and the borrower's loan account must be and remain current up until the lender's decision to release the cosigner has been made.

3 - Autopay Rate Reduction

Subject to floor rate. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is cancelled, any increase will take the form of higher payments..