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Best private student loans for parents 2023

There are multiple student loans parents can utilize to help pay for their child's college education. Getty Images

The fall semester is quickly approaching (or, depending on the school, may have already started). So if your child is heading back to college, the time is now to get that tuition money in order. 

For some, that may mean applying for aid — scholarships, grants, and, as a last line of defense, student loans. The latter come in both federal and private forms. While federal loans are usually the first step, as they often come with better rates and more flexible repayment plans, private student loans can fill in the gap when necessary.

There are even private student loans for parents. Are you looking to help your child cover the costs of going back to college this fall? Then it helps to know the best student loans for parents in 2023. Start exploring your options here now.

Best private student loans for parents 2023

Here are the best private student loans for parents broken down into five major categories.

Best for payment flexibility: College Ave

If you're looking for private student loans with a variety of payment options, College Ave is a good option to consider. With College Ave's parent loans, you can choose what type of payment you have and how much you'll pay while your child's still in school. 

There are:

  • Interest-only payments: For each month until your child graduates, you'll only pay interest on what you've borrowed. After graduation, you'll make full interest and principal payments.
  • Interest-plus payments: On this plan, you'll cover interest on what you've borrowed, plus an additional amount toward your principal. You can choose how much that additional principal payment is (any increment of $20). 
  • Full interest and principal: This one lets you start repaying your balance — plus interest costs — right away. It's the best option if you want to minimize long-term interest costs.

College Ave also offers some of the lowest interest rates we looked at, and there is a 0.25% rate discount for setting up autopay. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and legal guardians can apply. Learn more here now.

Best for no fees: SoFi

Want to apply for your parent student loan all online and with no fees to boot? SoFi's your choice. The lender offers a quick, all-online application process, and there are origination fees, no application fees, no late fees and no prepayment penalties either. 

SoFI also offers a reward-earning program called SoFi Points. As you earn these — by logging into the SoFI app and completing other tasks — you can use them toward paying down your balance. 

Learn more about your parent private student loan options with SoFi here now.

Best for low rates: Earnest

If getting the lowest possible interest rates is your goal, then Earnest should be on your radar. Not only does it offer some of the lowest advertised rates around, but the lender also has a rate match guarantee, which means they'll match any competitor's interest rate — and give you a $100 Amazon gift card in the process.

Earnest also has a 0.25% autopay discount to reduce your rate even further, and its loans come with several handy hardship options. You can skip a payment once per year (without penalty) and get nine payment-free months after graduation. 

Explore your Earnest options here now.

Best for co-signers: Sallie Mae

If you want your student to share in the responsibility of the loan with you, then Sallie Mae's parent loans — which are in the student's name but co-signed by a parent — may be an option. These can be used by students enrolled full-time, half-time and even less than that and come with 10 to 15-year terms. Like College Ave, they also offer 0.25% autopay discounts. 

Review your Sallie Mae private student loan options here now.

Best for long-term aid: Citizens Bank

Will your child need help covering the costs of tuition and other college costs for several years? If so, Citizens Bank could be an option to explore. The well-known bank and lender offers multi-year approval, which allows you to apply once — but secure funding for every future year of college your child has planned. The lender also offers both fixed- and variable-rate loans, and, as with others on this list, there's a 0.25% discount for setting up autopayments.

Start applying now

If your student needs private student loans for college, you'll want to start applying soon, so get your credit score in order, gather your financial documents and compare lenders now. Make sure to check repayment plans, rates, loan terms, hardship options, and any potential discounts you may qualify for, too. This will ensure you get the best possible loan for your family's needs.

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