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Santander Bank student loan alternatives

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

Updated

Fact checked

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 logo

Check eligibility

on SoFi Student Loans's secure site

Best for community connection: SoFi Student Loans

680
Min. Credit Score
1.97%
Starting APR
Full cost of attendance
Loan Amount

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.
Min. Loan Amount$5,000
APR1.97% to 11.89% with autopay
Interest Rate TypeVariable
Min. Credit Score680
Minimum Loan Term60 months
Maximum Loan Term180 months

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Best for low interest rates: Sallie Mae® Smart Option Student Loan

Not stated
Min. Credit Score
1.25%
Starting APR
Cost of attendance
Loan Amount

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
Min. Loan Amount$1,000
Interest Rate TypeVariable
Minimum Loan Term60 months
Maximum Loan Term180 months
Turnaround Time10 days on average
Disclaimer
This information is for undergraduate students attending participating degree-granting schools. Borrowers must be U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents if the school is located outside of the United States. Non-U.S. citizen borrowers who reside in the U.S. are eligible with a creditworthy cosigner (who must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident) and are required to provide an unexpired government-issued photo ID to verify identity. Applications are subject to a requested minimum loan amount of $1,000. Current credit and other eligibility criteria apply.

1 Lowest rates shown include the auto debit discount. Information advertised valid as of 11/25/2020. Interest is charged throughout the life of the loan—beginning with disbursement, during school, through any grace/separation period, and ending when the loan is paid in full. With the Fixed and Deferred Repayment Options, the interest rate is higher than with the Interest Repayment Option and Unpaid Interest is added to the loan’s Current Principal at the end of the grace/separation period. Payments may be required during the grace/separation period depending on the repayment option selected. Variable rates may increase over the life of the loan. Advertised variable rates reflect the starting range of rates and may vary outside of that range over the life of the loan. Advertised APRs assume a $10,000 loan to a freshman. Borrower or cosigner must enroll in auto debit through Sallie Mae to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction benefit. This benefit applies only during active repayment for as long as the Current Amount Due or Designated Amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month and may be suspended during periods of forbearance or deferment, if available for the loan.

2 Loan amount cannot exceed the cost of attendance less financial aid received as certified by the school. Sallie Mae reserves the right to approve a lower loan amount than the school-certified amount.

3 This repayment example is based on a typical Smart Option Student Loan made to a freshman borrower who chooses a variable rate and the Fixed Repayment Option for a $10,000 loan, with two disbursements, and a 10.81% variable APR. It works out to 51 payments of $25.00, 119 payments of $191.03 and one payment of $121.54, for a Total Loan Cost of $24,129.11. Variable rates may increase over the life of the loan.

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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.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount
EDvestinU Private Student Loans
675
$200,000
Straightforward student loans for undergraduate and graduate students.
CommonBond Private Student Loans
700
$500,000
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
Quickly compare private lenders for your school and apply for the right student loan.
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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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