Student Loans Review

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Why Apply for Student Loans Online?

Whether you're just starting out with higher education, a parent of a student, or returning to finish your degree, there are tons of options to finance your education. From FAFSA and Pell Grants to private loans, there are many options and several organizations that can help you get student loans. There are several reasons you might look into student loans, and also several compelling reasons to do it all online:

  • Compare rates and options
  • Easy application
  • Straightforward account management
  • Simple payment

But how do you choose which company and/or student loan is right for you? Probably with the same tool you'll use for most of your research papers: the internet. Luckily, in this "multiple choice test", there are several right answers, and we've got the "cheat sheet" to help you find the best option for your student loans. Take advantage of our articles on student loans and reviews of the best student loans.

At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don't Have To.™

What to Look for in Student Loan Providers

When families are searching for an online student loan company to go with, information is very important. This is especially true if it's the first rodeo for this family and they've never had to deal with financial aid or student aid applications before. There are several things that you should consider and research before choosing one particular student financial aid company.

Features
The features provided by online student loan companies are very important. Many companies offer secure sites, accreditation by the Better Business Bureau, online payment calculators and much more. These tools all work together to make things easier for you. From finding scholarships that you might be eligible for, to locating schools near you – it's important to find an online student loan company that has a wide variety of tools that you can utilize.

Help and Support
The help and support you receive from your online student loan company is very important. You want to know that you're going to be taken seriously and that your questions are going to be answered in a reasonable amount of time. Check the different companies you're considering to determine which kinds of communication they have available. Do they have online chat, allowing you to instantly ask questions and receive answers? Are there frequently asked questions on the site? Can you email or call customer service? All of these questions are important and should be investigated before you finalize a company to work with.

Loan Types
Of course, the types of loans offered is one of the most important factors to be considered. You want to be sure that the company you choose offers a wide variety of loans – from federal loans and assistance to personal loans. If they offer loan consolidation, that's an even bigger plus, because you may end up needing that service down the road.

Payment Options
Should you happen to need a private loan, either to supplement your financial aid or because you don't qualify for financial aid – you need to know that the prices on that type of loan are competitive. While the interest rate largely depends on your own personal credit score, the companies also should provide the lowest possible rates for your unique situation and circumstances. It's important to compare the rates given by different online student loan companies to determine which one provides the best features and the most competitive prices.

Be sure to investigate each of these areas when considering an online student loan company. That way, you can be completely informed and ready to make an educated decision based on the information you've collected about each company. We've evaluated the best providers of student loans, and recommend you check out Nelnet, Citi and NextStudent first. Good luck!

 
 
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Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
Nelnet Student Loan.com (Citibank) NextStudent Chase US Bank Citizens Bank Student Loan Network Wells Fargo Sallie Mae MEFA
Nelnet Student Loan.com (Citibank) NextStudent Chase US Bank Citizens Bank Student Loan Network Wells Fargo Sallie Mae MEFA
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Lowest Price
          
Ratings
9.85
9.73
9.57
9.40
9.38
9.25
9.23
9.10
8.90
8.77
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
10.00
9.38
10.00
10.00
9.38
9.50
10.00
10.00
9.38
9.50
9.38
10.00
9.38
9.50
8.75
10.00
9.25
9.50
9.38
9.38
8.75
9.50
9.38
9.38
8.75
8.75
9.38
10.00
9.38
9.50
7.50
10.00
8.75
8.75
8.75
9.38
9.38
9.50
6.25
10.00
 
Features
Secure Site
Calculator
 
View Account Online
 
 
Tips and Advice
 
  
BBB
 
 
  
Scholarship Search
 
  
School Search
     
 
 
Test Preparation Help
         
Help and Support
Phone Support
Chat Support           
E-mail Support
 
 
FAQs
Loan Types
Undergraduate
Federal Loan Assistance
Loan Consolidation
 
  
 
Loans for Parents
 
 
 
Private Loans
 
Graduate Loan
Payment Options
Online Payment/Auto
 
 
 
Terms 10-30 years 20 years Up to 20 years Up to 25 years Up to 15 years 15 years 20 years
5-15 years 15 years
Fees
 
 
 
Pay by Phone
        
Pay by Web
Starting from 6 months