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In 2018, LendEDU revamped our ratings and reviews process to analyze lenders in a more in-depth and detailed way. Along with this new process, we will be announcing the highest rated lenders each quarter in multiple categories.
For reference, LendEDU’s editorial team does not receive direction from any of the lenders nor do we publish favorable or unfavorable reviews based on compensation we may receive from these lenders. The editorial team is tasked with providing accurate and fact-based analysis of each lender and is not rewarded for favorable or unfavorable reviews.
Private Student Loan Lender Rating Methodology
These rankings are based on the following criteria: ease of application process, competitiveness of interest rates, term length offerings, eligibility requirements, flexibility of repayment plans, forbearance options, incentives for responsible borrowing and tools for educated repayment, and availability of customer support.
See the top five private student loan lenders for Q3 2018 below:
#1 – Sallie Mae
Sallie Mae was founded to help families save money when paying for college. The lender truly believes in the power of education, so it offers private student loans for both undergraduate and graduate school. Sallie Mae takes the #1 spot largely because of its competitive interest rates, multitude of repayment terms, and great customer service.
#2 – Discover
Discover is a leader in the private student loan market. The lender has extensive repayment options that allow borrowers to start repayment when it makes the most sense for them. Discover backs up its competitive product with one of the best customer service teams in the industry. Finally, Discover offers borrowers a one-time reward of 1% of their total loan amount for earning a 3.0 GPA or higher.
#3 – PNC
PNC is one of the largest banks in the United States but its customer service team makes the consumer the priority. The PNC Solution Loan helps bridge the gap between federal aid and the total cost of attendance. With its GradReady Program, PNC gives borrowers access to resources to help them plan for their future and help them become financially responsible.
#4 – College Ave
College Ave, based out of Wilmington, Delaware, has helped thousands of borrowers across the country find money to pay for college. College Ave offers the simplest application process of the lenders analyzed and its live chat feature allows questions to be answered quickly and easily without the hassle of a phone call.
#5 – SunTrust
SunTrust makes the student loan borrowing process easy with its quick and straighforward application process. In addition, once graduated, borrowers may receive a one-time 2% principal reduction to help reduce the total cost of their loans.
Author: Tom Flynn (Community Manager)
Tom Flynn is responsible for Consumer Advocacy at LendEDU. In his role, Tom sits on the editorial team working to create authentic and actionable reviews of consumer financial products.