Here’s what we found: Loan Limits Every student loan, whether federal or private, has a borrowing limit.Federal loan limits depend on whether you are still considered a dependent or if you are an independent student.Before you go to a private bank or lender, though, it’s important that you take advantage of all the resources offered by the federal government.This is because federal loans have lower rates and offer better repayment terms than private student lenders.We spent 40 hours researching student loans, contacting lenders and learning about rates and repayment options. It has flexible loan terms, high limits and good rate reduction bonuses if you have a Citizen’s Bank account. It has a longer forbearance period, but offers more repayment lengths and higher loan limits.Lend Key has the shortest cosigner release period and longer forbearance than other lenders.Also, many student loans have variable rates, which means they can fluctuate based on changes in the market.Private lenders have no obligation to offer forbearance periods or to defer payments due to hardship.
Look for fixed rates, so the advantage of that lower rate isn’t negated by the fluctuations of a variable rate. There are additional conditions that may need to be met to get a cosigner release, but these vary by lender. Chief among them is that the cosigner takes responsibility for all payments the primary borrower doesn’t make.We did research on the top private student lenders and came up with some criteria by which you can judge which private student loan is the best for you.Getting a Cosigner You may want to consider getting a cosigner on a loan.Private Student Loans As a general rule, don’t consider getting a private student loan until you’ve maximized your federal student loan options.Private student loans are similar to credit card loans.