We’ve scored 12 lenders making the most loans by volume out of 15 data points across the categories of interest rate, fees, loan terms, hardship options, application process, and eligibility. We picked the top nine to display based on who gets three or more stars.
Here is the weighting assigned to each category:
- Difficulty Options: 30%
- Application process: 16%
- Loan conditions : 14%
- Interest rate: 13%
- Eligibility: 14%
- Costs: 13%
Specific features considered in each category included the number of months of forbearance available, hardship repayment options available beyond traditional forbearance, benefits such as cash back after obtaining graduation, discounts, default periods, disclosure of credit score and income requirements, and other factors.
Lenders who offered interest rates below 10% performed best, as did those who offered more than the standard 12 months forbearance, who made their loans available to non-US citizens, who offered interest rate discounts beyond the standard 0.25% for automatic payments. , which offered multiple loan terms of up to 15 years and charged a nominal fee.
In some cases, lenders received partial points, and a maximum of 3% of the final score was left to editorial discretion based on the quality of user-friendly features offered.
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