College education is quite expensive for most parents, and without help, it can destabilize family finances. Fortunately, both the federal government and many private lenders offer parent loans for college. Each of the loan both federal and private, have significant advantages over the other. Federal loans usually have high-interest rates and higher origination fees though they have generous repayment terms. We have sorted out the best parent loans for college, along with tips on making the best borrowing decision for you and your family.
Federal Parent Plus Loan
It is a federal loan that can finance up to the cost of attendance of your less-some aids with flexible repayments. There are multiple repayment plans accessible to parents, such as the income-contingent repayment plan that limits payments to 20% of discretionary income with an option for loan forgiveness of the remaining balance at the end of the 25-year loan term. The extended repayment period means parents can repay the large loan without going deep into their pockets.
Many opt not to have the loans because of the high cost associated with the federal loan. An origination fee of 4.2% is deducted from the final sum of the loan, which may become very expensive with its APR of 6.28%. Parents must be aware that they must request a six-month grace period after the child’s graduation, which is automatic for other loans.
The loan is suited for parents who:
- Work for the government and 501(c)(3) nonprofits who have plans to pursue a career in public service
- Won’t have a steady income for the loan duration
- Do not have a strong credit history to qualify for a lower rate private loan
Rhode Island Student Loan Authority
RISLA has a reputation as the only private lender that guarantees a fixed interest rate lower than a federal loan. It is available to all US students studying full, half, and less than half time. The loan program offers an income-based repayment program that limits payment to 15% of the total income, making it easier to manage. Another reprieve is that a forbearance period of 12 months where the lender may reduce or suspend the loan repayment giving parents time to get back on their feet after a challenging period. The only shortfall is that parents cannot get a post-school grace period on their one-term 10-year loan.
Citizens bank parent loan has low-interest rates with a 0.5% discount for the bank’s customers with qualifying checking accounts. Student loans are available throughout the country. It offers both fixed and variable interest rates for its customers. There are no origination fees, and students can get loan amounts between $1,000 to $350,000 and two loan terms 5 years and ten years. It has a 22-month forbearance and an additional 12-month loan modification that allows for reduced monthly payments within 12 months. The downside is you cannot get an estimate without a soft credit check.
SoFi parent loan for college is engineered with all the standard features of a private loan, such as 12-month forbearance, no origination fee, and multiple repayment terms. It has an Unemployment protection program that provides relief in case you get laid off through no fault of your own. SoFi has a variable APR of 1.19% to 11.22% and a fixed APR of 4.23% to 10.66% for the loan terms 5,10, and 15 years. It can cover $5,000 to the full school-certified cost of attendance.
College Ave Parent Student Loan
College Ave is a flexible loan with 11 repayment methods and a loan period of 5 to 15 years, giving parents a plan that works for them. Parents can receive $2,500 of the loan, so they participate in the students’ spending decisions. You can prequalify for a college Ave loan without a hard credit score though the real credit score is not revealed by College Ave. There is a six month grace period after college before the loan repayment through the loan continues to accrue interest.
Settling for the best parent loans for college requires a lot of hunting and comparing various options while evaluating your financial situation. Whether you settle for a federal or private loan, ensure that it gives you a suitable amount and an ample repayment period.