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Santander Bank student loan alternatives

Consider these options for community-centered customer service and loan perks.

Santander Bank is known for having a number of personal-finance offerings, but doesn’t provide private student loans. There are plenty of lenders that do — ones known for community support and customer service.

Why doesn’t Santander Bank offer student loans? 

Unfortunately, Santander Bank has never been in the private student loan game. Its stellar customer service and willingness to go the extra mile keeps customers coming back, but student loans are a product it has never offered. It does, however, have a number of checking and savings accounts, along with personal and business loans.

3 alternatives to Santander Bank student loans

To choose alternatives, we looked for student loan providers that embody what Santander Bank is known for — customer service and investing in the communities it works with. From there we compared overall quality, rates and fees.

SoFi Student Loans

Get started
on SoFi's secure site

SoFi is a lender known for its alternative underwriting, but it offers much more than that — including access to the SoFi online community of borrowers. Borrowing from SoFi unlocks opportunities to meet with a dedicated career coach, attend networking events, receive personalized financial advice and more. Its student loan offerings are well defined, too. Parent, undergraduate, graduate and law and MBA loans are available through this lender. And they don’t have fees — no origination, late, prepayment or nonsufficient funds fees.

Pros
  • No fees
  • Cosigner release
  • Low variable rate cap
  • No-risk prequalification
  • Employment not required
  • Membership perks
Cons
  • New product
  • For US citizens only
  • No 20-year term.
Minimum Loan Amount$5,000
Max. Loan AmountFull cost of attendance
APR1.87% to 11.66% with autopay
Interest Rate TypeVariable
Minimum Loan Term5 years
Maximum Loan Term15 years
Requirements650+ credit score, employed or receive income from other sources, enrolled at least half time at an eligible degree-granting program, use funds for qualifying higher education expenses, maintain satisfactory academic progress, US citizen, age of majority in your state — or bring on a cosigner who’s a US citizen to help you meet age, credit and income requirements

Sallie Mae® Smart Option Student Loan for Undergraduates

Sallie Mae has been in the business of student loans for almost 50 years. While it worked with the federal government until the end of 2004, it's well established in the student lending space. As such it has a number of offerings — some at incredibly low rates. It has a number of different student loan types to choose from — 13 in total. Among those choices are the standard undergraduate, graduate, parent, medical school and law school loans. Undergraduate loans come with four different repayment plans and no origination or prepayment fees. And you don't need to be going to school full time to qualify for a loan.

Pros
  • Available for students studying less than half time
  • Six-month grace period
  • Autopay discount available
Cons
  • Not transparent about credit requirements
  • Potentially high late fees
  • Preapproval unavailable
Minimum Loan Amount$1,000
Max. Loan AmountCost of attendance less financial aid
APR1.13% to 11.23%
Interest Rate TypeVariable
Fixed rate3.50% to 12.60%
Minimum Loan Term5 years
Maximum Loan Term15 years
RequirementsUS citizens, US permanent residents and international students residing in the US with an unexpired government-issued ID and creditworthy cosigner who is a US citizen or permanent resident

Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinancing

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on Education Loan Finance's secure site

Education Loan Finance (ELFI) offers student loan and Parent PLUS refinancing, along with undergraduate and graduate loans. Its customer service is consistently praised on Trustpilot, where it has almost 1,100 reviews as of July 2020 and a 4.9 out of 5 star rating. Representatives are often thanked by name, and timeliness is one of the top praises given. Refinancing with ELFI comes with no application, origination or prepayment fees, which can make it easier to save even more. You can also prequalify before you fully apply, so your credit doesn't take a hit before you know what rates and terms you might be eligible for.

Pros
  • Might match competitors’ rates
  • Risk-free rate check
  • ELFI referral program
  • No application or origination fees
  • Refinance federal consolidation loans
  • Forbearance option available
Cons
  • No cosigner release
  • High minimum debt
  • Requires graduation
  • Strict eligibility requirements
Minimum Loan Amount$15,000
Max. Loan AmountNone
APR2.39% to 6.01%
Interest Rate TypeVariable
Fixed rate2.58% to 5.99%
Minimum Loan Term5 years
Maximum Loan Term20 years
RequirementsMust have a bachelor's degree or higher, good credit, annual income of $35,000+, low debt-to-income ratio.

Compare more student loan providers

Select one or more lenders using our table and compare APRs, terms and more to find even more options to fund your studies.

Name Product APR Min. Credit Score Loan amount Loan Term
EDvestinU Private Student Loans
4.092% to 8.609% with autopay
675
$1,000 – $200,000
7 to 20 years
Straightforward student loans for undergraduate and graduate students.
CommonBond Private Student Loans
3.74% to 10.74%
700
$5,000 – $500,000
5 to 15 years
Finance your college education through this lender with a strong social mission and terms that fit your budget.
Edvisors Private Student Loan Marketplace
Varies by lender
Varies by lender
Varies by lender
Varies by lender
Quickly compare private lenders for your school and apply for the right student loan.
Credible Labs Inc. (Student Loan Platform)
Starting at 1.24% with autopay
Good to excellent credit
Starting at $1,000
5 to 20 years
Get prequalified rates from private lenders offering student loans with no origination or prepayment fees.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

While you can't get a student loan with Santander Bank, there are still many options out there — including those with stellar customer service. Get more information and compare even more lenders with our guide to student loans.

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