Private Student Loans Guru
Private Student Loans Guru

When federal student aid is not enough, get objective information and expert advice about paying for college with private student loans

Private Student Loans
Look here for a list of lenders offering private student loans. When federal student aid falls short, consider private student loans as an alternative education financing option.
Private Parent Loans
Look here for a list of lenders offering private parent loans. Private parent loans may be less expensive than Federal Parent PLUS loans for parents with excellent credit.
Private Consolidation Loans
Look here for a list of lenders offering private consolidation loans. Learn about options for refinancing federal and/or private student loans into a new private student loan.
Federal Student Loans
Students should borrow federal first, because federal student loans are cheaper, more available and have better repayment terms.
Comparing Federal and
Private Student Loans

Explore differences between federal and private student loans, such as cost, limits, forgiveness, repayment and other tradeoffs.
Do Not Borrow Private Student Loans
Before borrowing private student loans, review the top ten reasons why you should avoid private student loans.
  How to Choose the Best Student Loans
Criteria for choosing a student loan include cost, options for dealing with financial difficulty and who must repay the debt.
What is Affordable Debt?
Total student loan debt at graduation should be less than the borrower's annual income, so that it can be repaid in 10 years or less.
  How to Save Money on Student Loans
Learn the top 12 tips for cutting the cost of student loans, such as going on a debt diet, cutting interest and speeding up repayment.
Cosign Student Loans with Caution
More than 90% of undergraduate students and 75% of graduate students need a cosigner to qualify for a private student loan.
  Student Loan Discounts
Save money on student loans with interest-rate and principal reductions, such as auto-debit discounts and graduation rewards.
Cosigner Release
Apply for cosigner release after making 12, 24, 36 or 48 consecutive on-time payments and satisfying the lender's credit criteria.
  Student Loan Interest Deduction
Deduct up to $2,500 in interest on federal and private student loans on your federal income tax returns even if you don't itemize.
Fixed vs. Variable Interest Rates
The choice between fixed and variable interest rates often depends on whether interest rates are increasing or decreasing.
  Check Your Credit Scores
To get approved and a lower interest rate, check your credit reports and correct errors before applying for a private student loan.
Why Consolidate Student Loans?
Carefully consider arguments in favor and against student loan consolidation. Lower costs may not be the only consideration.
  In-School Payment Options
Explore options for making in-school payments on a student loan: immediate, interest-only, fixed and full deferment.
Beware of Loan Scams
Never pay a fee to consolidate student loans, change repayment plans, lower monthly payments or apply for a private student loan.
  Repaying Private Student Loans
When your grace period is gone, repayment begins. Get started by getting organized and looking into loan consolidation.
When to Pick Private Student Loans
Although federal loans are usually the best choice, there are some cases when students should consider private student loans.
  How to Pay Off Student Loans Faster
Learn how to save money by making extra payments on your student loans, with no prepayment penalty.
PrivateStudentLoans.Guru is written by Mark Kantrowitz, the nation's leading expert on student loans.