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3 alternatives to Chase Bank student loans
Why this bank closed down its student loan program and other options to consider.
Why doesn’t Chase offer student loans anymore?
The reason Chase stopped offering student loans has to do with how federal loans work today. It used to be that the government would use a middleman company like Sallie Mae to issue government student loans. But in 2010, Congress allowed the government to directly issue student loans and quickly took over the student loan market.
This was good news to students: They now have access to a student loan that almost anyone could qualify for with rates and benefits that wouldn’t profit a private company. But it also meant that it was more difficult for lenders like Chase to compete.
Three years later, Chase shut down its student loan division after its student loan profits dropped from $6.9 billion before the change to $200 million. All existing Chase student loans have been sold to Navient, a loan servicer.
Chase student loan alternatives
Chase might have left the student loan game, but you still have other options. If you haven’t already filled out the FAFSA, you might want to do that before you look at any private lenders. There’s a chance you’ll qualify for a federal grant or work-study, which you don’t need to pay back. Beyond that, most private student loans are designed for students who already have federal loans and lenders recommend that you apply for those first.
Already have all the federal funds you’re going to get? Can’t qualify? Want to refinance? You might want to check out these providers as an alternative to Chase student loans.
CommonBond: Best for a one-stop shop
If you need a student loan, chances are CommonBond has you covered. You can borrow to pay for an undergraduate or graduate degree, get a loan specifically designed for an MBA or refinance your student debt. CommonBond even offers Parent PLUS refinancing, which lets parents refinance loans into the student’s name or just get a better deal on a Parent PLUS loan.
You might also like that your interest is going toward a good cause. Some of the profits from CommonBond student loans go to educational programs in the developing world. On top of that, CommonBond borrowers have access to helpful resources like unemployment protection and several in-school repayment options.
- How much you can borrow: $5,000 to $500,000
- APR: 3.31% to 9.74%
- Fees: No fees to apply
- Loan terms: 5 years to 15 years
- Cosigner: Yes
LendingTree: Best for a quick comparison
Need a student loan fast and don’t have time to prequalify for each. individual. lender? LendingTree is a connection service that can help you find a student loan that fits your needs from its network of lenders. All you have to do is fill out a quick online form and get to comparing. LendingTree has options with high limits, meaning that students who need a lot of funds might have better luck than on their own.
- How much you can borrow:
- APR: Starting at 3%
- Fees: No fees to apply
- Loan terms: Varies by lender
- Cosigner: Yes
SoFi: Best for refinancing as a young professional
SoFi student loans are ideal for borrowers who have set out on a career path and want to get a better deal on their student loans. You’ll need good to excellent credit and a high income to qualify for SoFi’s lowest rates. But if you do qualify, you’ll get access to wealth advisors, career support and unemployment protection.
SoFi can be expensive if you don’t have strong credit and you need to have some income to qualify. As with other private lenders, you’ll lose federal benefits if you decide to refinance a federal loan.
- How much you can borrow: $5,000 to Full balance of your qualified education loans
- APR: Variable rates from 2.06% to 5.98%; fixed rates from 2.99% to 6.88%
- Fees: No fees to apply
- Loan terms: 5 years to 20 years
- Cosigner: Yes, but no cosigner release
Does Chase offer any similar loans?
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to find many student loan alternatives at Chase. It doesn’t offer personal loans or student credit cards. The only student-specific offerings Chase has is a college checking account, which offers students guidance on how to handle their finances. You could even earn $50 for signing up — but that won’t go far toward covering your college expenses.
One thing your family can do to help pay for college is take out a Chase home equity line of credit (HELOC) if they own a home. These lines of credit are backed by and based on the amount of equity your family owns in its home. Since it’s a secured loan, rates are similar to what you would’ve found with a Chase student loan, and you might be able to get as much funds as you need to pay for school.
Compare more student loan options
Chase offered some of the most competitive student loans out there for a brief few years. If you haven’t already applied for federal financing, you might want to do that before you look at private student loans. Otherwise, these are some alternatives to Chase student loans if you’re looking to refinance, compare offers quickly or for a one-stop shop for all of your student loan needs.
Want to learn more about the process of applying for student loans? Have questions about refinancing your existing student debt? Visit our guide to student loans and our page on student loan refinancing to get all of the information you need to make the best decision for you.
Frequently asked questions
Image: Shutterstock, Chase.com
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