LendKey Private Student Loans: 2023 Review

Author
Sparrow Team
Sparrow Team
author

This is the official Sparrow account.

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Edited by
Daniel Kahn
Daniel Kahn
editor
Daniel is the co-founder and COO at Sparrow. Daniel is responsible for the day-to-day operations of a company, working closely with other members of the executive team to develop and implement strategies to support the growth and success of the company.
Daniel was a 2023 Forbes 30 Under 30 lister in the Education category.  Daniel was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina and graduated from Duke University in 2020.
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Reviewed by
Camden Ford
Camden Ford
reviewer

Camden leads Sparrow’s business operations – everything from product management to business analytics. After graduating Cum Laude from Duke University where he studied Civil Engineering, Camden worked as a Consultant for A.T. Kearney where he worked in their Strategic Operations practice. With a strong background in analytics, Camden strives to deliver data-driven conclusions and insights.

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Updated
December 13, 2023
On a similar note

Best Private Student Loans of 2023

November 14 · 20 min read

LendKey Private Student Loan Snapshot

Established in 2009, LendKey serves as a bridge connecting borrowers with private student loans and refinancing options from credit unions and community banks. With competitive interest rates and borrower-friendly features, LendKey strives to alleviate the financial strain of college and pave a flexible path toward academic success. In this review, we’ll dissect LendKey’s in-school private student loan product, shedding light on its features and how it aligns with the diverse needs of borrowers.

Pros
  • pros Work with a credit union or community bank, rather than a traditional lender
  • prosAccess to competitive interest rates
  • prosGood grades could lower your rate
  • prosOffers up to 18 months of forbearance
  • prosFree borrower benefits like Career Assistance, Credit Health Analysis, and Federal Student Loan Assistance
Cons
  • consEligibility criteria excludes part-time students, parents, and non-U.S. citizens/permanent residents
  • consVarying cosigner release policies
  • consBiweekly payment via autopay is not available
  • consLimited repayment options
  • consYou may have to become a member of a credit union

Best Features of LendKey Student Loans

Work with credit unions and community banks

LendKey allows you to access loan offers from a network of non-traditional lenders that you otherwise might have overlooked. On its platform, LendKey connects you with hundreds of community banks and credit unions simultaneously. While the credit unions and community banks don’t have the name recognition that some of the traditional banks and online lenders have, they typically offer lower rates and personalized customer service. In addition, the credit unions and community banks are often non-profits, so you’ll be working with a lender that has your best interest in mind.

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Good grades could lower your rate

LendKey has developed the Academic Credit Score, a proprietary scoring model that assesses your creditworthiness by looking at standard metrics (you and your cosigner’s credit score) as well as non-traditional metrics such as your GPA and major. This allows LendKey to get a holistic understanding of who you are as a borrower and as a student. It also rewards you for your hard work in the classroom through lower rates on your student loan, and a lower rate could mean substantial savings over the lifetime of your loan.

Offers up to 18 months of forbearance due to economic hardship or natural disaster

If you experience economic hardship or a natural disaster, LendKey offers generous forbearance options (a pause on your repayment due to financial hardship, unemployment, or a disability).

LendKey offers up to 18 months of forbearance, in six-month increments. While LendKey handles forbearance on a case-by-case basis, it can be a helpful safety net if you were to fall into financial hardship.

Free borrower benefits like Career Assistance, Credit Health Analysis, and Federal Student Loan Assistance

When you borrow through LendKey’s platform, you’ll get free access to special borrower benefits that help you achieve your financial and personal goals. These benefits include:

LendKey partners with NextJob to offer free tools and online resources to help you succeed, including:

  • Online mock interviews
  • A resume builder
  • Hidden job opportunities waiting to be uncovered
  • A personality test to help you find the right career path

To help you reach your financial goals, LendKey has partnered with Curu, a platform that provides comprehensive credit analysis designed to help you improve your credit health.

  • Curu analyzes your spending, net worth, and credit utilization to generate personalized tasks that show your path to credit success.
  • Curu displays your real-time financial account information all in one place so you always know where you stand.
  • Curu sends you notifications for upcoming credit card payment due dates so you’ll never miss a payment again.

LendKey partners with Savi to provide an online, concierge service that searches across 150+ federal loan forgiveness and repayment options and recommends a path forward based on a borrower’s unique financial situation and goals. Savi then automates and digitizes the application process to reduce mistakes, simplify the process, and save time.

  • Access a free, instant estimate of monthly savings
  • Detect eligibility & simplify enrollment for national and state repayment and forgiveness programs
  • Receive 1:1 support as needed from a team of student loan experts

Offers up to 18 months of forbearance due to economic hardship or natural disaster

If you experience economic hardship or a natural disaster, LendKey offers generous forbearance options (a pause on your repayment due to financial hardship, unemployment, or a disability).

LendKey offers up to 18 months of forbearance, in six-month increments. While LendKey handles forbearance on a case-by-case basis, it can be a helpful safety net if you were to fall into financial hardship.

>> MORE: Student loan forbearance: what is it & how to get it

Drawbacks of LendKey Student Loans

Strict eligibility criteria

In order to qualify for a private student loan through LendKey, borrowers must meet the following criteria:

  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • At least the age of majority in your state (typically 18 to 21)
  • Enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program
  • 3 years of credit history
  • An annual income of $24,000-plus

LendKey’s eligibility criteria excludes part-time students, parents, non-U.S. citizens/permanent residents, and those who don’t meet the credit or income requirements.

Don’t meet LendKey’s eligibility criteria? Complete Sparrow’s two-minute form to check rates with 15+ different lenders. It’s quick, easy, and does not impact your credit score.

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Varying cosigner release policies 

Most private student lenders require or strongly encourage you to apply with a cosigner. Given that young people generally have no/limited credit history, a cosigner can help you qualify for better loan terms.

If you earn less than $24,000 per year or have fewer than 36 months of credit history, a cosigner is required in order to borrow from LendKey.

Unfortunately, it’s not clear how quickly you can release your cosigner from your LendKey loan. Since LendKey partners with credit unions and community banks (each of which have their own internal policies), you will want to check with your specific lender to confirm their cosigner release policy.

>> MORE: What is a cosigner release policy? How can it protect you?

No biweekly payment via autopay

When you repay your student loan, your payments are due monthly by default. Instead, some borrowers choose to make biweekly payments via autopay — where you automatically pay half your monthly amount once every two weeks. Many borrowers use biweekly autopay in an effort to pay off their student debt faster and pay less in interest over the lifetime of the loan.

Unfortunately, when you borrow through LendKey, you don’t have the option to make biweekly payments via autopay.

You do, however, have the option to make greater-than-minimum payments via autopay. This means you have the option to pay more than your monthly balance in order to reduce the interest that accrues over time. With LendKey, you can set this up automatically so that the desired monthly payment is drawn from your bank account at the end of each month.

>> MORE: How to save thousands on student loans with autopay

Limited repayment options

LendKey only offers two repayment options on its private student loans, both of which require you to make in-school payments. Compared to other online lenders that offer up to four repayment options, LendKey’s repayment options may seem limited. With that said, if you’re able to make in-school payments, it’s the best way to reduce interest and minimize the amount of debt you owe.

Check out the table below to understand the difference between LendKey’s student loan repayment options: 1.) Flat-fee repayment and 2.) Interest-only repayment.

>> MORE: How to compare student loan repayment options

Repayment Option

Terms

Pros

Cons

Flat Fee Repayment

Pay a flat fee of $25 a month while you’re in school for up to 60 months. Full payments are due after that point.

You can keep your loan balance in check, and reduce the total amount repaid.

You’ll still owe more than you borrowed when you graduate, but your loan balance won’t grow as quickly.

Interest-Only Repayment 

Pay only interest while you’re in school. With this option, there is a maximum of 60 months of payments (5 years).

Your monthly payments will be more manageable, and your loan balance won’t grow while you’re in school.

You won’t make any progress paying down your loan balance while you’re a student. But at least you won’t owe more than you borrowed when it’s time to start making full payments.

You may have to become a member of a credit union

One of the major advantages of borrowing through LendKey is that the platform allows you to access loan offers from a network of non-traditional lenders (credit unions and community banks) that you otherwise might have overlooked.

Unfortunately, that also means you may have to become a member of the institution you borrow from, which typically costs around $5. Although the process of becoming a member of a credit union is relatively simple, it adds another step to the borrowing process that traditional banks and online lenders don’t require.

The latest rates from Sparrow’s partners

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LendKey Eligibility Criteria, Repayment Options & More

Fees and Terms

Loan Terms

5, 10 or 15 years.

Loan Amounts

$1,000 up to the total cost of attendance, minus other aid received.

Application or Origination Fee

No.

Prepayment Penalty

No.

Late Fees

Yes (If payment is not made within 15 days of the due date, the late fee is $5 to $10, depending on the lender).

Eligibility Requirements (Financial)

Minimum Credit Score

660.

Minimum Income

24,000 per year.

Typical Credit Score of Approved Borrowers or Cosigners

689.

Typical Income of Approved Borrower

$32,000.

Typical Income of Approved Cosigner

$85,000.

Maximum Debt-to-Income Ratio

33%, not including housing costs.

Ability to qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy

Yes, after five years.

Eligibility Requirements (Personal)

Citizenship

Borrowers must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Location

Available to borrowers in all 50 states, except Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, or West Virginia.

Must be enrolled half-time or more

Yes.

School requirements

Any school authorized to receive federal aid.

Percentage of borrowers who have a cosigner

90%+.

Repayment Options

Repayment Options

Flat-fee repayment: Pay a flat fee of $25 per month while you’re in school for up to 60 months.

Interest-only repayment: Only pay interest while you’re in school for up to 60 months.

Grace Period

6 months.

In-school Deferment

No.

Military Deferment

No.

Disability Deferment

Did not disclose.

Forbearance

Yes, hardship and natural disaster forbearance for up to 18 months, in six month increments.

Cosigner Release

Yes (requires 24 months of timely repayments).

Death or Disability Discharge

Did not disclose.

Loan discharge if cosigner dies or becomes disabled

No.

Customer Service

Loan Servicer

LendKey.

In-house Customer Service Team

Yes.

Process for Escalating Concerns

No.

Borrowers get assigned a personal customer service representative

No.

Average time from application to approval

Immediate.

LendKey FAQs

How does LendKey compare to other student lenders?

LendKey’s loans are best for borrowers who want competitive rates and prefer working with credit unions and community banks, rather than a big bank. LendKey’s private student loan offering boasts notable advantages, including an extended 18-month forbearance period for 15- and 20-year loan terms, surpassing the durations offered by many other lenders. LendKey’s loans are not accessible in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, or West Virginia. Furthermore, the absence of payment postponement options for borrowers returning to school or engaging in military service may be a drawback. Check out the table below to see how LendKey student loans compare to top competitors.

Student loan rates from our partners
lender Ascent logo
Ascent
Minimum credit score
Varies
Fixed APR
Fixed APR

Ascent’s undergraduate and graduate student loans are funded by Bank of Lake Mills, or DR Bank, each Member FDIC. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. For Ascent Terms and Conditions please visit: www.AscentFunding.com/Ts&Cs. Rates are effective as of 3/1/2024 and reflect an automatic payment discount of either 0.25% (for credit-based loans) OR 1.00% (for undergraduate outcomes-based loans). Automatic Payment Discount is available if the borrower is enrolled in automatic payments from their personal checking account and the amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month. For Ascent rates and repayment examples please visit: AscentFunding.com/Rates. 1% Cash Back Graduation Reward subject to terms and conditions. Cosigned Credit-Based Loan student must meet certain minimum credit criteria. The minimum score required is subject to change and may depend on the credit score of your cosigner. Lowest rates require interest-only payments, the shortest loan term, a cosigner, and are only available for our most creditworthy applicants and cosigners with the highest average credit scores. Actual APR offered may be higher or lower than the repayment examples above, based on the amount of time you spend in school and any grace period you have before repayment begins.

4.09 - 15.71%
Variable APR
Variable APR

Ascent’s undergraduate and graduate student loans are funded by Bank of Lake Mills, or DR Bank, each Member FDIC. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. For Ascent Terms and Conditions please visit: www.AscentFunding.com/Ts&Cs. Rates are effective as of 3/1/2024 and reflect an automatic payment discount of either 0.25% (for credit-based loans) OR 1.00% (for undergraduate outcomes-based loans). Automatic Payment Discount is available if the borrower is enrolled in automatic payments from their personal checking account and the amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month. For Ascent rates and repayment examples please visit: AscentFunding.com/Rates. 1% Cash Back Graduation Reward subject to terms and conditions. Cosigned Credit-Based Loan student must meet certain minimum credit criteria. The minimum score required is subject to change and may depend on the credit score of your cosigner. Lowest rates require interest-only payments, the shortest loan term, a cosigner, and are only available for our most creditworthy applicants and cosigners with the highest average credit scores. Actual APR offered may be higher or lower than the repayment examples above, based on the amount of time you spend in school and any grace period you have before repayment begins.

6.16 - 16.09%
lender LendKey logo
LendKey
Minimum credit score
660
Fixed APR
Fixed APR

1 – Terms and Conditions Apply

Loan products, terms, and benefits may be modified or discontinued by participating lenders at any time without notice. Rates displayed are reserved for the most creditworthy consumers who enroll to make automatic monthly payments. Your initial rate will be determined after a review of your application and credit profile. Variable rates may increase after consummation. You must be either a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident in an eligible state and from an eligible school, and meet the lender’s credit and income requirements to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account, a minimum share account deposit, and the payment of any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to apply with, and accept a loan offered from, a credit union lender. If you are not a member of the credit union lender, you may apply and become a member during the loan application process if you meet the lender’s eligibility criteria. Applying with a creditworthy cosigner may result in a better chance of loan approval and/or lower interest rate. Loans for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not available via LendKey.com.

2 – Cosigner Release

Some lenders participating on LendKey.com may offer the benefit of cosigner release. Cosigner release is subject to lender approval. In order to qualify, the borrower, alone, must meet the following requirements: (1) Make the required number of consecutive, on-time full principal and interest payments as indicated in the borrower’s credit agreement during the repayment period (excluding interest-only payments) immediately prior to the request. Any period of forbearance will reset the repayment clock; (2) The account cannot be in delinquent status; (3) The borrower must provide proof of income indicating that he/she meets the income requirements and pass a credit review demonstrating that he/she has a satisfactory credit history and the ability to assume full responsibility of loan repayment; (4) No bankruptcies or foreclosures in the last sixty months; and (5) No loan defaults.

3 – Autopay Rate Reduction

Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments.

4 – AutoPay Discount & Lowest Interest Rate

Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised APR is only available for loan terms of 10 years and is reserved for the highest qualified applicants, taking into consideration the applicant’s credit and other factors.

4.39 - 10.39%
Variable APR
Variable APR

1 – Terms and Conditions Apply

Loan products, terms, and benefits may be modified or discontinued by participating lenders at any time without notice. Rates displayed are reserved for the most creditworthy consumers who enroll to make automatic monthly payments. Your initial rate will be determined after a review of your application and credit profile. Variable rates may increase after consummation. You must be either a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident in an eligible state and from an eligible school, and meet the lender’s credit and income requirements to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account, a minimum share account deposit, and the payment of any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to apply with, and accept a loan offered from, a credit union lender. If you are not a member of the credit union lender, you may apply and become a member during the loan application process if you meet the lender’s eligibility criteria. Applying with a creditworthy cosigner may result in a better chance of loan approval and/or lower interest rate. Loans for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not available via LendKey.com.

2 – Cosigner Release

Some lenders participating on LendKey.com may offer the benefit of cosigner release. Cosigner release is subject to lender approval. In order to qualify, the borrower, alone, must meet the following requirements: (1) Make the required number of consecutive, on-time full principal and interest payments as indicated in the borrower’s credit agreement during the repayment period (excluding interest-only payments) immediately prior to the request. Any period of forbearance will reset the repayment clock; (2) The account cannot be in delinquent status; (3) The borrower must provide proof of income indicating that he/she meets the income requirements and pass a credit review demonstrating that he/she has a satisfactory credit history and the ability to assume full responsibility of loan repayment; (4) No bankruptcies or foreclosures in the last sixty months; and (5) No loan defaults.

3 – Autopay Rate Reduction

Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments.

4 – AutoPay Discount & Lowest Interest Rate

Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised APR is only available for loan terms of 10 years and is reserved for the highest qualified applicants, taking into consideration the applicant’s credit and other factors.

6.09 - 11.33%
lender Earnest logo
Earnest
Minimum credit score
650
Fixed APR
Fixed APR

Auto Pay Discount Disclosure

You can take advantage of the Auto Pay interest rate reduction by setting up and maintaining active and automatic ACH withdrawal of your loan payment. The interest rate reduction for Auto Pay will be available only while your loan is enrolled in Auto Pay. Interest rate incentives for utilizing Auto Pay may not be combined with certain private student loan repayment programs that also offer an interest rate reduction. For multi-party loans, only one party may enroll in Auto Pay.

Student Loan Origination (Private Student Loan) Interest Rate Disclosure

Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 4.36% APR to 16.15% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 5.87% APR to 16.45% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan origination loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Although the rate will vary after you are approved, it will never exceed 36% (the maximum allowable for this loan). Please note, Earnest Private Student Loans are not available in Nevada. Our lowest rates are only available for our most credit qualified borrowers and contain our .25% auto pay discount from a checking or savings account. It is important to note that the 0.25% Auto Pay discount is not available while loan payments are deferred.

Earnest Private Student Loans are made by One American Bank, Member FDIC, or FinWise Bank, Member FDIC. One American Bank, 515 S. Minnesota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104. Finwise Bank, 756 East Winchester, Suite 100, Murray, UT 84107

Earnest loans are serviced by Earnest Operations LLC, 535 Mission St., Suite 1663 San Francisco, CA 94105, NMLS #1204917, with support From Navient Solutions, LLC (NMLS #212430). One American Bank, FinWise Bank, and Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by agencies of the United States of America.

© 2024 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved.

4.11 - 15.90%
Variable APR
Variable APR

Auto Pay Discount Disclosure

You can take advantage of the Auto Pay interest rate reduction by setting up and maintaining active and automatic ACH withdrawal of your loan payment. The interest rate reduction for Auto Pay will be available only while your loan is enrolled in Auto Pay. Interest rate incentives for utilizing Auto Pay may not be combined with certain private student loan repayment programs that also offer an interest rate reduction. For multi-party loans, only one party may enroll in Auto Pay.

Student Loan Origination (Private Student Loan) Interest Rate Disclosure

Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 4.36% APR to 16.15% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 5.87% APR to 16.45% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan origination loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Although the rate will vary after you are approved, it will never exceed 36% (the maximum allowable for this loan). Please note, Earnest Private Student Loans are not available in Nevada. Our lowest rates are only available for our most credit qualified borrowers and contain our .25% auto pay discount from a checking or savings account. It is important to note that the 0.25% Auto Pay discount is not available while loan payments are deferred.

Earnest Private Student Loans are made by One American Bank, Member FDIC, or FinWise Bank, Member FDIC. One American Bank, 515 S. Minnesota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104. Finwise Bank, 756 East Winchester, Suite 100, Murray, UT 84107

Earnest loans are serviced by Earnest Operations LLC, 535 Mission St., Suite 1663 San Francisco, CA 94105, NMLS #1204917, with support From Navient Solutions, LLC (NMLS #212430). One American Bank, FinWise Bank, and Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by agencies of the United States of America.

© 2024 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved.

5.62 - 16.20%
lender College Ave logo
College Ave
Minimum credit score
Mid-600s
Fixed APR
Fixed APR

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through Firstrust Bank, member FDIC, First Citizens Community Bank, member FDIC, or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.

*The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as the borrower or cosigner, if applicable, enrolls in auto-pay and authorizes our loan servicer to automatically deduct your monthly payments from a valid bank account via Automated Clearing House (“ACH”). The rate reduction applies for as long as the monthly payment amount is successfully deducted from the designated bank account and is suspended during periods of forbearance and certain deferments. Variable rates may increase after consummation. $5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees. Information advertised valid as of 08/25/2022. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.

This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.

This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.

Information advertised valid as of 2/15/2024. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Approved interest rate will depend on creditworthiness of the applicant(s), lowest advertised rates only available to the most creditworthy applicants and require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.

4.11 - 15.44%
Variable APR
Variable APR

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through Firstrust Bank, member FDIC, First Citizens Community Bank, member FDIC, or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.

*The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as the borrower or cosigner, if applicable, enrolls in auto-pay and authorizes our loan servicer to automatically deduct your monthly payments from a valid bank account via Automated Clearing House (“ACH”). The rate reduction applies for as long as the monthly payment amount is successfully deducted from the designated bank account and is suspended during periods of forbearance and certain deferments. Variable rates may increase after consummation. $5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees. Information advertised valid as of 08/25/2022. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.

This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.

This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.

Information advertised valid as of 2/15/2024. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Approved interest rate will depend on creditworthiness of the applicant(s), lowest advertised rates only available to the most creditworthy applicants and require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.

5.59 - 16.65%

Is LendKey a legitimate lender?

Yes, LendKey is legitimate. The platform connects borrowers with credit unions and community banks offering private student loans to undergraduates, graduate students, and parents, as well as student loan refinancing. Since its founding in 2009, LendKey has helped fund $3.1 billion in loans for 99,000-plus borrowers — it also services more than $2 billion worth of student loans.

Is LendKey available in all 50 states?

LendKey is available to borrowers in all 50 states, except Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.

How long does it take to get a LendKey student loan?

Submitting an application through LendKey takes a few minutes. Once you’ve submitted your loan application, LendKey will instantaneously return a decision about your eligibility. If you qualify, you will receive the rate and terms of your loan.

It may take some time to actually receive your loan. Your school must approve the loan which may take between four to six weeks.

What happens if I don’t qualify for a LendKey student loan?

If you don’t qualify for a LendKey student loan, the company will inform you why. Depending on the reason, you may consider applying with a qualified cosigner or trying with a different lender. To check your rates across multiple lenders at once, try using Sparrow’s free search engine. In just two minutes, you can receive real, personalized rates from over 15 different lenders ready to help you. And best of all, it won’t impact your credit score.

Are LendKey student loans federal or private?

LendKey’s student loans are private. Before you take out a private student loan, we recommend that you exhaust your federal funding options, including grants and scholarships.

Does applying for a loan through LendKey hurt my credit score?

In order to estimate what rate you qualify for, LendKey conducts a “soft credit check” — this does not affect your credit score. If you choose to accept the LendKey loan, the company will conduct a hard credit check to verify your information. A hard credit check may temporarily impact your credit score.

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