There is no doubt that federal loans will give you the most affordable terms and rates, however these loans are oftentimes not enough to cover all of the expenses in college. To make ends meet, it is usually necessary to take on a private student loan. So where can you get private student loans with competitive rates? Below are the top 5 private student loan providers, with descriptions telling you why they’re the best.

1. Sallie Mae – This provider currently holds the market leading rates with as low as 2.25% APR. Plus, it is also possible to get a 0.25 point interest deduction should you choose to make automatic debit deductions thus bringing the rate even lower. Aside from competitive rates, Sallie Mae also offers incentives and rewards everytime a student eats out, shops online, buys gas and so on. Sallie Mae also offers three different payment schemes such as Interest Repayment, Fixed Payment and Deferred Payment, allowing students to choose the type of loan that suits them best.

2. Citi Bank – CitiAssist loan from Citi bank also offers a low interest rate starting at 3.08% APR. One of the perks offered by CitiAssist is their no origination fee policy, helping students save more from their loans since origination fees usually amount to a good 3% of the loan amount. CitiAssist also offers generous repayment terms such as a 6 month grace period and 15 years to pay. There is also no penalty for prepaying or paying early.

3. US Bank - Student loans for US Bank features interest rates that start at 3.39% APR. And instead of giving a 0.25% reduction with auto payment, they can offer as much as 0.50% interest rate deduction. Other perks from US Bank is the 2% Principal Reduction upon graduation plus a 1% Good Grades perk.

4. PNC Bank – PNC Solution Loans are giving out a low interest rate of 3.30%. It also offers a 0.50% reduction with auto payment. Another good thing about PNC Student loans is that it charges no application or origination fees. Payments can be made for as long as 15 years, making it less heavy on the part of the graduate.

5. Discover Bank – Discover Student Loans offer the lowest rates after Citi Bank. It’s minimum interest rate is currently at 3.25%. They also offer a 0.25 reduction for auto payments and just like US Bank, they are giving away a 2% Principal Reduction upon graduation. And if that isn’t enough, Discover Student loans also doesn’t charge a cent on origination fees.

All these lenders provide a fast and easy online application so you will know if you’re qualified. Some of the lenders will encourage you to bring in a co-signer in case your credit doesn’t qualify. Whatever the case may be, these private lenders should be enough to help you get the financial boost you need during college.

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