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Student Loans

State Student Loans

State student loans are educational loans offered by not-for-profit organizations and state-based agencies.

Because they aren’t administered through the Department of Education, they’re considered private student loans and don’t qualify for federal benefits, but they can provide better terms and more relief options than other private lenders.

If you’ve already considered other aid forms, the lenders below can be a solid starting point in your search for affordable financing. 

State student loan lenders

You may be eligible for state student loans depending on where you live or attend school. While some lenders will lend nationally, others only work with residents of the state or students attending a school within the state.

Here’s a list of all state-based lenders that offer in-school loans and student loan refinancing options.

StateLoanRates (APR)Important information
AlaskaAlaska Supplemental Education Loan5.71% – 8.59%Must be an Alaska resident or attend an eligible Alaska school; also offers parent and refinance loans
ArizonaArizona Teacher Student LoanN/AMust be an Arizona resident who plans to teach at an Arizona public school; loan is forgivable, but must be repaid if you don’t meet the work obligation 
ArkansasASLA Student Loan2.95% – 6.42%Must be an Arkansas resident or attend an eligible Arkansas school; also offers parent and refinance loans
ConnecticutMyCHESLA Student Loan6.35%Must be a Connecticut resident or attend an eligible Connecticut state or non-profit school; also offers refinance loans
GeorgiaGSFA Student Access Loan1%Must attend an eligible University System of Georgia, Technical College System of Georgia or private postsecondary institution in Georgia
IndianaINvestEd Student LoanAs low as 4.60% fixed

As low as 7.64% variable
Must be an Indiana resident; also offers parent and refinance loans
IowaPartnership Advance Education Loan3.95% – 8.01% fixed

6.40% – 10.94% variable
Available nationwide; also offers no-cosigner graduate, parent and and refinance loans
KentuckyAdvantage Education Loan4.49%8.04%Available nationwide; also offers parent and refinance loans
MaineMaine Loan5.99% – 7.99%Must be a Maine resident or attend an eligible Maine school; parents can apply
MassachusettsMEFA Student Loan5.35%7.95%Available nationwide; students at for-profit schools are not eligible; also offers refinance loans
Massachusetts No Interest LoanN/AMust be a permanent legal resident of Massachusetts and demonstrate financial need
MinnesotaSELF Loan6.35% fixed

7.90% variable
Must be a Minnesota resident or attend an eligible Minnesota school; Colorado and Maine residents are ineligible
MississippiECSI Services Mississippi Forgivable LoanNot disclosedMust be in a high-demand degree program in the state of Mississippi, such as teaching, nursing and other health professions; loan is forgivable but must be repaid if you don’t meet the service obligation
New HampshireEDvestinU Student Loan6.25%9.935% fixed

8.13%11.029% variable
Available in 19 states; international students are eligible; also offers refinance loans
Granite Edvance Student Loan5.00% – 9.197% fixed

7.38% – 10.39% variable
Must be a New Hampshire resident or a resident from one of 19 states attending a New Hampshire school; New Hampshire residents qualify for an interest rate discount
New MexicoNMEAF New Student Loan4.39% – 5.89%Must attend a New Mexico school
New JerseyNJCLASS Loan5.69% – 7.49%Must be a New Jersey resident or attend an approved New Jersey school; also offers refinance loans
North CarolinaNC Student Assist Loan6.70%Must be a North Carolina resident or attend an eligible North Carolina school; also offers parent loans
North DakotaDEAL Student Loan6.40% fixed

6.48% variable
Must be a resident of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming or Wisconsin or attend an eligible school in one of those states
PennsylvaniaPA Forward Student Loan4.84% – 10.18%Must be a resident of Pennsylvania or a resident of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Virginia or West Virginia attending a Pennsylvania school; also offers parent and refinance loans
Rhode IslandRISLA Student Loan4.40%8.99%Available nationwide; also offers parent and refinance loans; offers an income-based repayment plan
South CarolinaSouth Carolina Student Loan7.5% – 10.5%Must be a South Carolina resident or attend a South Carolina school; also offers parent and refinance loans
TexasBrazos Higher Education Student Loan2.71% – 7.38% fixed

5.33% – 9.9% variable
Must be a Texas resident or attend a Texas school; also offers parent and refinance loans
College Access Loan5.85%Must be a Texas resident and attend an eligible Texas school
VermontVSAC Student Loan4.46%8.16%Must be a Vermont resident or attend a Vermont school; also offers parent loans
WashingtonAerospace LoanEqual to the rate for federal undergraduate loans, up to 8.25% variableMust be accepted into the Washington Aerospace Training and Research Center

Rates are accurate as of December 20, 2023

How do state student loans work?

State-based agencies and nonprofits offer private student loans to help make college more accessible. Students or parents might be able to use these loans to finance the cost of higher education or refinance their loans. 

While each lender has its eligibility criteria and terms, here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Student eligibility: In most cases, you either need to be a resident of the state where the lender is based or attend a school in the state—maintaining at least half-time enrollment is the standard. However, some lenders offer loans across multiple states. In some cases, you may need to exhibit financial need to qualify.
  • Loan options: In most cases, loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students. However, some lenders also offer loans for parents and refinance loans for college graduates.
  • Loan amounts: Each lender limits how much you can borrow yearly and overall. Depending on where you live or attend school, you may not get enough to cover all of your expenses.
  • Credit score requirements: You may need to undergo a credit check when you apply and meet certain credit score criteria. If you can’t get approved on your own, though, you can typically add a cosigner.
  • Interest rates: In many cases, state-based lenders can lower interest rates than other private lenders, but you may not get better terms compared to federal loans. 
  • Repayment terms: Depending on the lender, you may be able to choose to start repaying your loans immediately, make interest-only payments while you’re in school, or defer payments until you graduate. Repayment terms and options can vary by lender.

Some state student loan programs require credit checks, while federal programs do not. This allows the states to make better actuarial forecasts based on loan repayment ability, thereby affording higher credit-quality students better rates.

Catherine Valega


Student loans by state

State student loans are available in 23 states. Here’s a quick recap of which states offer educational loan programs and where you can go to get more information.

StateAvailable nationwide?State resource
AlaskaAlaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
ArizonaArizona Board of Regents
ArkansasArkansas Student Loan Authority
ConnecticutConnecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority
GeorgiaGeorgia Student Finance Commission
IowaIowa Student Loan Education Lending
KentuckyAdvantage Education Loan
MaineFinance Authority of Maine
MassachusettsMassachusetts Educational Financing Authority; State of Massachusetts
MinnesotaMinnesota Office of Higher Education
MississippiMississippi Office of Student Financial Aid
New HampshireEDvestinU; Granite Edvance
New JerseyNew Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority
New MexicoNew Mexico Educational Assistance Foundation
North CarolinaCollege Foundation of North Carolina
North DakotaBank of North Dakota
PennsylvaniaPennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency
Rhode IslandRhode Island Student Loan Authority
South CarolinaSouth Carolina Student Loan Corporation
TexasBrazos Higher Education; Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
VermontVermont Student Assistance Corporation
WashingtonWashington Student Achievement Council

If your state isn’t listed above, other local loan programs may be available. Here are some of the options we’ve researched for California and New York.

Ask the expert

Catherine Valega


Before choosing loan programs, students should run the numbers on what their education will cost them and what the loan repayments will mean to their post-student lives. Don’t forget the rule of thumb—only borrow what your first-year income would be (meaning, if you’re a social worker who may make $40,000/year after college, you should have a maximum of $40,000 in student loans. Engineers who may make $80,000 will have more room for debt payments and can take out more in school loans). I would first look at federal loan options, which offer repayment plans. But if that does not fully cover your expenses, then look at state and other private loan options.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine if state student loans are right for you.

Have you applied for free financial aid?

Scholarships and grants are generally the best form of financial aid because you don’t have to repay them. Check with your school’s financial aid office to see whether you qualify for school-based scholarships.

You can also use scholarship databases like and Fastweb to search for private scholarships and grants.

Have you completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?

The FAFSA is your gateway to federal financial aid and may also be required for state student loans. 

Submitting the FAFSA may give you access to federal student aid, including Pell Grants, work-study programs, and different types of federal student loans. You may even qualify for subsidized federal loans, where the government covers your interest charges while you’re in school and during future deferment periods.

Can you meet the eligibility requirements? 

As with other private student loans, state student loans typically have credit and other requirements. If you don’t have good credit, you may need a cosigner. 

Also, remember that many state student loans require you to be a resident of or attend an eligible school in the state that administers the program. Review all the eligibility criteria to gauge your approval odds.

Consider other private loan options

While you’ll likely get better terms from a state-based student lender, it’s still a good idea to shop around and compare other private loan options to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible. 

Check out our picks of the best private student loans and consider getting prequalified to compare interest rates, repayment terms, and other features.