- Private Student Loan Consolidation
- Home Equity Loans
- Education Lenders
- Featured Consolidation Providers
- Consolidation Providers
- The Top 10 Student Loan Tips for Recent Graduates – The Institute for College Access & Success
- 1. Know Your Loans:
- 2. Know Your Grace Period:
- 3. Stay in Touch with Your Lender:
- 4. Pick the Right Repayment Option:
- 5. Don’t Panic:
- 6. Stay Trouble!
- 7. Prepay If You Can:
- 8. Pay Off the Most Expensive Loans First:
- 9. To Consolidate or Not to Consolidate:
- 10. Loan Forgiveness:
- How to Apply | College Ave
- What To Do Before Taking Out Private Student Loans
- How Long It Takes to Get a Private Student Loan
- Step 1: Research Your Student Loan Options
- Step 2: Apply for a Private Student Loan
- Step 3: Get Approved
- Step 4: Accept and Sign Your Loan Terms
- Step 5: Wait for School Certification
- Step 6: Understand Disbursement of Funds
- FINAL STEP: Repay Your Student Loan
- 16 Best Private Student Loans of March 2021
- What are the drawbacks to private student loans?
- What are the drawbacks to federal student loans?
- How do I choose a private student loan online?
- How do I qualify for a private student loan?
- Can I get a private student loan with bad credit?
- Will I need a co-signer for a private student loan?
- How do I apply for a private student loan?
- How we rate student loans
- NerdWallet study: 45% of federal borrowers unsure they can handle resumed payments
Private Student Loan Consolidation
Private student loans cannot, in general, be consolidated with federal student loans. The low interest rates on federal consolidation loans are not available to private education loans. Nevertheless, there are several options for refinancing private education loans.
Since most private education loans do not compete on price, a private consolidation loan is merely replacing one or more private education loans with another.
So the main benefit of such a consolidation is obtaining a single monthly payment.
Also, since the consolidation resets the term of the loan, this may reduce the monthly payment (at a cost, of course, of increasing the total interest paid over the lifetime of the loan).
However, since the interest rates on private student loans are your credit score, you may be able to get a lower interest rate through a private consolidation loan if your credit score has improved significantly since you first obtained the loan.
For example, if you’ve graduated and now have a good job and have been building a good credit history, your credit score may have improved. If your credit score has increased by 50-100 points or more, you may be able to get a lower interest rate by consolidating your debt with another lender.
You can also try talking to the current holder of your loans, to see if they’ll reduce the interest rate on your loans rather than lose your loans to another lender.
Home Equity Loans
Private education loans tend to have interest rates that are in the same ballpark as home equity loans. If your private education loan has a variable interest rate, you might consider using a fixed rate home equity loan to pay off the private education loan, effectively locking in the interest rate.
The following education lenders will consolidate private education loans. These are private consolidation programs, so the interest rates are dictated by the lender, not the government. There may be additional fees charged for originating these loans.
You should not consolidate your federal student loans together with your private education loans. They should be consolidated separately, as the federal consolidation loans offer superior benefits and lower interest rates for consolidating federal student loans.
When evaluating a private consolidation loan, ask whether the interest rate is fixed or variable, whether there are any fees, and whether there are prepayment penalties.
Featured Consolidation Providers
Credible makes it quick and easy for borrowers to save on their student loans. Credible offers a multi-lender marketplace that enables borrowers to receive competitive refinancing offers from its vetted lenders.
Users complete a single form, then receive and compare personalized offers from numerous lenders and choose which best serves their individual financial needs.
Credible is fiercely independent, committed to delivering fair and unbiased solutions in student lending.
Refinance your student loans and you could keep more of what you earn each month. In under 2 minutes, you can find out your personalized rate and savings. Rates as low as 1.99% APR.
* Customers have saved an average of $2,892 per year*. Parents can also refinance loans they took on behalf of their children and lower their rate by up to 2.
33%* by refinancing their Federal PLUS loans.
Refinance your student loans and you could keep more of what you earn each month. In under 2 minutes, you can find out your personalized rate and savings. Rates as low as 1.99% APR.
** Customers have saved an average of $2,892 per year*. Parents can also refinance loans they took on behalf of their children and lower their rate by up to 2.
31%5 by refinancing their Federal PLUS loans.
Earnest believes it’s time to change the way people borrow and pay off college loans. With flexible repayment options – save interest by making small in-school payments, or opt for an extended 9-month grace period* to start repayment after graduation.
You can fill out the application on a mobile phone, and upload all of your documents. And, if you need a cosigner, Earnest will help you invite one. Most borrowers finish the application in just 15 minutes and receive a decision in less than 72 hours.
Save tons of time and even more money by using LendKey to instantly compare student loan refinancing rates from 275+ community lenders across the US.
Pick the rate and monthly payment that fits your budget and enjoy unmatched benefits early cosigner release options, up to 18 months of unemployment protection, and more.
LendKey is your loan servicer so neither you or your information will ever be handed off to a third party.
No fees of any kind and no obligation to accept – apply with confidence.
Fixed Rates: 2.95% – 8.77% APR
Variable Rates: 1.99% – 8.56% APR
Compare multiple lenders instantly with Private Student Loans. Find the best interest rates and benefits. Student loans available for students, parents, and professional degree seekers. Competitive terms and benefits available-including cosigner release. Expert tips on borrowing you won’t find anywhere else.
Variable Rates: 2.64% – 12.59% APR (with auto-pay discount)1
Fixed Rates: 4.26% – 13.22% APR (with auto-pay discount)1
Additional Lenders (listed alphabetically). Check the individual lender websites for programs and rates.
The Top 10 Student Loan Tips for Recent Graduates – The Institute for College Access & Success
Whether you just graduated, are taking a break from school, or have already started repaying your student loans, these tips will help you keep your student loan debt under control.
That means avoiding fees and extra interest costs, keeping your payments affordable, and protecting your credit rating.
If you’re having trouble finding a job or keeping up with your payments, there’s important information here for you, too.
1. Know Your Loans:
It’s important to keep track of the lender, balance, and repayment status for each of your student loans. These details determine your options for loan repayment and forgiveness. If you’re not sure, ask your lender or visit StudentLoans.gov.
You can log in and see the loan amounts, lender(s), and repayment status for all of your federal loans. If some of your loans aren’t listed, they’re probably private (non-federal) loans. For those, try to find a recent billing statement and/or the original paperwork that you signed.
Contact your school if you can’t locate any records.
2. Know Your Grace Period:
Different loans have different grace periods. A grace period is how long you can wait after leaving school before you have to make your first payment.
It’s six months for federal Stafford loans (sometimes called Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans), but nine months for federal Perkins loans. For federal PLUS loans, you probably have access to a six-month deferment (see details here and here).
The grace periods for private student loans vary, so consult your paperwork or contact your lender to find out. Don’t miss your first payment!
3. Stay in Touch with Your Lender:
Whenever you move or change your phone number or email address, tell your lender right away. If your lender needs to contact you and your information isn’t current, it can end up costing you a bundle. Open and read every piece of mail – paper or electronic – that you receive about your student loans.
If you’re getting unwanted calls from your lender or a collection agency, don’t stick your head in the sand – talk to your lender! Lenders are supposed to work with borrowers to resolve problems, and collection agencies have to follow certain rules.
Ignoring bills or serious problems can lead to default, which has severe, long-term consequences (see tip 6 for more about default.)
4. Pick the Right Repayment Option:
When your federal loans come due, your loan payments will automatically be a standard 10-year repayment plan if you haven’t chosen another plan. If the standard payment is going to be hard for you to cover, there are other options, and you can change plans down the line if you want or need to.
Extending your repayment period beyond 10 years can lower your monthly payments, but you’ll end up paying more interest – often a lot more – over the life of the loan.
Some important options for student loan borrowers are income-driven repayment plans (IDR) such as Income-Based Repayment and Revised Pay As You Earn which cap your monthly payments at a reasonable percentage of your income each year, and forgive any debt remaining after no more than 25 years (depending on the plan) of affordable payments.
Forgiveness may be available after just 10 years of these payments for borrowers in the public and nonprofit sectors (see tip 10 below). To find out more about income-driven repayment plans and how they might work for you, visit IBRinfo.org.
Private loans are not eligible for IDR or the other federal loan payment plans, deferments, forbearances, or forgiveness programs.
However, the lender may offer some type of forbearance, typically for a fee, or you may be able to make interest-only payments for some period of time.
Read your original private loan paperwork carefully and then talk to the lender about what repayment options you may have.
5. Don’t Panic:
If you’re having trouble making payments because of unemployment, health problems, or other unexpected financial challenges, remember that you have options for managing your federal student loans. There are legitimate ways to temporarily postpone your federal loan payments, such as deferments and forbearance.
Deferment and forbearance may be the right choice for you if you are experiencing a temporary hardship, such as a short-term gap between jobs.
But beware: interest accrues on all types of loans during forbearances, and on some types of loans during deferment, increasing your total debt, so ask your lender about making interest-only payments if you can afford it.
If you expect your income to be lower than you’d hoped for more than a few months, check out income-driven repayment plans (IDR). Your required payment in IDR can be as little as $0 when your income is very low. See tip 4 for more about IDR and other repayment options.
6. Stay Trouble!
Ignoring your student loans has serious consequences that can last a lifetime. Not paying can lead to delinquency and default. For federal loans, default kicks in after at least nine months of non-payment.
When you default, your total loan balance becomes due, your credit score is ruined, the total amount you owe increases dramatically, and the government can garnish your wages and seize your tax refunds if you default on a federal loan. For private loans, default can happen much more quickly and can put anyone who co-signed for your loan at risk as well.
Talk to your lender right away if you’re in danger of default. You can also find helpful information at studentloanborrowerassistance.org.
7. Prepay If You Can:
If you can afford to pay more than your required monthly payment – every time or now and then – you can lower the amount of interest you have to pay over the life of the loan.
To pay down your loan more quickly, make sure to include a written request to your lender specifying that the extra amount be applied to your loan balance, and continue making payments each month.
Otherwise, your prepayment may automatically be credited to a future payment and you may not be billed for the next month.
8. Pay Off the Most Expensive Loans First:
If you’re considering paying off one or more of your loans ahead of schedule, start with the one that has the highest interest rate. If you have private loans in addition to federal loans, start with your private loans, since they almost always have higher interest rates and lack the flexible repayment options and other protections of federal loans.
9. To Consolidate or Not to Consolidate:
A consolidation loan combines multiple loans into one for a single monthly payment and one fixed interest rate. If this is appealing, here are some pros and cons to consider. You can apply to consolidate your federal student loans on StudentLoans.gov.
For private consolidation loans, shop around carefully for a low or fixed interest rate if you can find one, and read all the fine print.
Be very wary of consolidating federal loans into a private student loan, as you’ll lose all the repayment options and borrower benefits – unemployment deferments and loan forgiveness programs – that come with federal loans!
10. Loan Forgiveness:
There are various programs that will forgive all or some of your federal student loans if you work in certain fields or for certain types of employers.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness is a federal program that forgives any student debt remaining after 10 years of qualifying payments for people in government, nonprofit, and other public service jobs. Find out more at IBRinfo.org.
There are other federal loan forgiveness options available for teachers, nurses, AmeriCorps and PeaceCorps volunteers, and other professions, as well as some state, school, and private programs (see some examples).
How to Apply | College Ave
Many students turn to loans to help finance their education. While the college loan process might seem complicated and overwhelming at first, this article will help you understand how to take out a private student loan and how they work, step by step – from research to repayment.
What To Do Before Taking Out Private Student Loans
Before you apply for a private student loan, see if you can reduce the cost of your education through other forms of financial aid, such as grants, scholarships, and federal loans.
Un federal student loans that are issued by the government, private student loans are issued by private lenders, such as banks and financial companies.
In this article, we’ll focus specifically on how private student loans work. For more information on the difference between the two types, see our guide to Federal vs. Private Student Loans.
How Long It Takes to Get a Private Student Loan
How fast you can get a private student loan depends primarily on the lender. Most private student loan applications can be submitted online and take an average of fifteen minutes to complete. Approval times can vary, but most lenders will let you know if you’re approved within a matter of days.
At College Ave, we’ve simplified our application so you can get an instant decision in as little as three minutes.
Step 1: Research Your Student Loan Options
Before applying for a private student loan, it’s important to do your research on the private student loan landscape and learn about your options. This is particularly important when it comes to interest rates and repayment terms, which can affect the amount of money you’ll owe over time.
Tip: For help in understanding what you should look for, check out “10 Things to Know When Shopping for Student Loans.”
Some private student loan lenders offer tools early in the process to help you make your decision. At College Ave, we provide a student loan calculator that allows you to see how different loan repayment options will affect your monthly bills and total cost, and a pre-qualification tool to see what rates you can expect before applying.
Tip: If you’re not familiar with private student loans, start by reading up on topics cosigners, variable interest rates, and in-school payments.
Step 2: Apply for a Private Student Loan
Once you’ve selected a lender, it’s time to fill out an application. The amount of information required varies, but private student loan applications typically request the following:
- Mailing address
- Phone number
- Date of birth
- Social security number
- Household income
- School you’re attending and expected graduation date
- Cost of attendance
- Requested loan amount
Before formally submitting your application, you will receive a general disclosure document (Application and Solicitation Disclosure) with items an interest rate range and sample repayment plans. This is a required form that includes other details federal loan options and general student loan information.
Step 3: Get Approved
After reviewing the disclosure and submitting your application, the private student loan approval process begins.
How long does the student loan application process take?
Some private lenders use a manual review process that could take a few days, while others produce an instant decision online. At College Ave, we provide an instant decision for all of our student loans.
What happens during the student loan approval process?
During the approval process, your lender will evaluate your credit history, among other criteria, to determine if you’re a reliable candidate for a loan. This decision can produce one of three results:
- Eligible with a creditworthy cosigner
If you’re denied, you’ll receive a letter in the mail with the specific reasons why your application was not approved.
If you’re eligible with a creditworthy cosigner, it means you aren’t approved to take the loan out by yourself (which is common for students who often have limited credit history and income), but you can add an approved cosigner who has good credit and sufficient income.
This individual will take equal responsibility for the loan with you. This can increase your chances of being approved and/or help you receive a lower interest rate.
If you are approved (congratulations!), it’s on to the next step.
Step 4: Accept and Sign Your Loan Terms
Once you’re approved, it’s time to review and accept the terms of your loan. Some lenders offer more flexibility than others when it comes to repayment. Your loan terms might also include a choice between a fixed or variable interest rate, a repayment term length, and/or the ability to make in-school payments.
After you’ve finalized the terms of your loan, you’ll receive a second required disclosure. This disclosure will provide specific information regarding rates, fees, and other terms, including how much your loan will ultimately cost.
Most lenders will let you sign your loan documents electronically so you can skip printing and mailing.
Step 5: Wait for School Certification
Once you’ve signed your loan documents, you’ve pretty much completed your responsibilities in the private student loan process. Your lender and school will take care of the rest – that is until your repayment begins.
During the certification stage, your lender will send your loan details to your school to confirm several things, including your enrollment status (half- or full-time), your anticipated graduation date, and your requested loan amount.
Note that your private student loan amount cannot exceed the school’s calculated cost of attendance, once they factor in other loans or aid you’re receiving. Your school can then certify the loan as is, with changes (amount, graduation date, etc.), or not at all.
If your school makes changes to the loan, your lender will often need to generate new disclosures to make sure you have the latest information. You may need to accept the new disclosure, so keep an eye out for communications.
How long does a student loan certification process take?
The timing of certification is determined by your school and typically takes at least seven to 10 days. Sometimes it can take longer – especially if it’s a busy time of year when many students are applying for student loans.
Step 6: Understand Disbursement of Funds
Once your loan is certified by your school, it will be scheduled for disbursement. This means your school can get paid. When it comes to how private student loans work, understanding how student loans are disbursed is a common point of confusion for incoming students.
Private student loans are typically sent straight to your school; they are not sent directly to you (the student).
In terms of how long it takes to get your student loan disbursed, your school sets that date, which is usually around the beginning of the semester.
While this date is not dependent upon when you applied for your loan, it’s best not to wait too long to apply so that you can avoid any unexpected delays.
Your lender will most ly inform you directly when your private student loan has been disbursed to your school. If you applied for a loan to cover more than one term, often times the money is sent in two separate disbursements. For example, if you applied for a loan to cover both fall and spring, half of the loan money will be sent in the fall and the rest will be sent in the spring.
FINAL STEP: Repay Your Student Loan
Once your loan is disbursed and your tuition is paid, the next – and final – step is for you to repay your student loan. When and how this takes place depends on your loan repayment terms.
In some cases, you can choose deferment, which means you are not required to make any payments until you graduate or are no longer enrolled in school. If you select a deferred plan, you’ll typically have a grace period between the time you graduate (or leave school) and the time you enter your official repayment period.
When lenders offer in-school repayment plans (meaning you make monthly payments while you’re still in school), it’s an opportunity to reduce the overall cost of your loan. Sometimes this responsibility is as little as $25 per month but can make a big difference in the long run.
For more information on how you can reduce the cost of your private student loan, check out these tips.
Updated on 03/24/2021
16 Best Private Student Loans of March 2021
You apply for a federal student loan by submitting a FAFSA. Taking on a federal loan means you’re borrowing from the government. You apply for a private student loan through a bank, credit union or online lender.
Federal student loans also have flat interest rates set by Congress, while the interest rate on a private student loan depends on your or your co-signer’s credit. Federal loans charge origination fees; private loans typically do not.
Federal student loans offer borrowers protections and alternative repayment options that private loans usually don't, such as income-based repayment and forgiveness programs. The current interest-free loan forbearance does not include private student loans; any future forgiveness offer is unly to include them.
» MORE: How to get a student loan
What are the drawbacks to private student loans?
Compared with federal student loans, private student loans have some disadvantages:
Private student loans are harder to get. Almost all private student loans are credit-based. This means you must show a positive credit history and adequate income to qualify or have a co-signer who can assume the risk.
Federal student loans for undergraduates do not require a co-signer.
PLUS loans for parents and graduate students don't require excellent credit but may require a co-signer if the borrower's credit history shows an adverse event, such as bankruptcy, foreclosure or loan charge-offs.
Interest rates for private student loans are higher than interest rates for federal student loans. The current interest rate for federal student loans is 2.75%, fixed. Interest rates on private student loans for most borrowers will be significantly higher.
In addition, students with financial need can qualify for subsidized student loans from the federal government. Interest does not accrue on subsidized loans while the student is in school, during the grace period or when the loan is in deferment.
Interest on private student loans begins to accrue immediately and does not stop.
Private student loans have less wiggle room on repayment. Federal student loans offer a broad range of deferral and forbearance options that can temporarily pause payments and several payment plans that can reduce them.
For example, federal borrowers can apply for economic hardship deferment for up to three years; 12 months is a common limit for private student loans.
Federal student loans offer income-driven repayment options that can result in payments as low as $0; private lenders typically make short-term payment accommodations only.
Private student loans aren't included in the COVID-19 student loan forbearance. Because of financial stress related to the pandemic, federal borrowers have benefitted from a long-term pause on payments with no additional interest accrued. Private lenders have offered only short-term forbearance options that continue to accrue interest.
Private student loans aren't included in most forgiveness programs. Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness and income-driven repayment plans require borrowers to make a set number of payments before forgiving the balance of the loan. Private student loans do not offer these options. Moving forward, any government forgiveness programs are unly to address privately held debt.
Default on private student loans has more immediate consequences. Federal student loans enter default after 270 days of nonpayment.
And even after that point, federal borrowers have options to restore their good standing.
Private student loans are typically in default 30 days after a payment is missed, and lenders may charge off the loan in as little as 120 days, limiting options for borrowers to get default.
What are the drawbacks to federal student loans?
Compared with private student loans, federal student loans have a few disadvantages:
Federal student loans have origination fees. Federal direct student loans have an origination fee of 1.057%; PLUS loans carry a fee of 4.228%. Private student loans typically do not carry these fees.
Federal student loans have borrowing limits. Undergraduates can borrow up to $12,500 annually and $57,500 total in federal student loans. Graduate students can borrow up to $20,500 annually and $138,500 total. PLUS loans and many private loans are limited only by a school's cost of attendance and have no aggregate limits.
Federal student loans may not be the best deal for PLUS borrowers. PLUS loans for parents and graduate students have a stiff origination fee of 4.228% and interest rates of 5.30%. Borrowers with stable finances and a good credit history might find a better rate, with no fees, among private lenders.
Federal debt collectors have many more options. Private student lenders rely on the court system to sue and collect a judgment, and they are limited to your state's statute of limitations in their ability to do so. Federal debt collectors can bypass the courts to directly seize tax refunds or garnish wages, and can do so indefinitely.
How do I choose a private student loan online?
Compare offers from multiple lenders including banks, credit unions, online companies and state-based lenders to find the lowest interest rate.
Depending on the lender, you may be able to choose a fixed or a variable interest rate. A fixed rate stays the same throughout the life of a loan.
A variable rate may start out lower than a fixed rate, but could increase or decrease over time depending on economic conditions.
Consider any borrower protections your private lender offers, including deferment and forbearance, as well as repayment options. You may also have the option to choose your loan term, which means you could pay off your loan faster and with less interest by making higher payments or pay lower amounts with more interest over a longer period of time.
How do I qualify for a private student loan?
Each lender will have its own requirements for taking out a loan. With most loans for students, credit score and income are taken into account. Higher scores and incomes tend to get the best rates or higher borrowing amounts.
However, since undergraduate borrowers are less ly to have established credit or an income, lenders will usually require students to apply with a co-signer.
Some lenders who have loans for borrowers without a co-signer will consider career and income potential.
Lenders will often require you to attend a Title IV school, which means your school processes federal student aid. Some lenders don't offer loans in certain states.
» MORE: Should you get tuition insurance?
Can I get a private student loan with bad credit?
You’ll have a hard time finding a private student loan from a bank, credit union or online lender if you have bad credit.
Federal student loans don’t require borrowers to demonstrate creditworthiness, so they’ll be your best option.
If you’ve already hit your limit on federal loans, you may be able to get a private student loan if you apply with a co-signer who has solid credit — typically scores in the high 600s or better.
» MORE: Student loans for borrowers with bad or no credit
Will I need a co-signer for a private student loan?
If you have no income and either no credit or bad credit, you’ll need a co-signer to get a private student loan.
Without bills in your name, such as a credit card, car loan or utility, you have no way to demonstrate that you can pay bills on time.
Your co-signer will need to have a steady income as well as good to excellent credit scores, typically at least in the high 600s. Signing with a co-signer means they’re on the hook for your loan bill if you can’t pay.
Some lenders offer loans exclusively for student borrowers that don't take credit into consideration. Instead, these lenders look at the school you’re attending as well as your income and career potential to determine the amount you can borrow and at what rate.
» MORE: How to get a student loan without co-signer
How do I apply for a private student loan?
Each lender will have its own application requirements. You’ll usually need to provide documents that prove citizenship, identity and income along with school attendance and cost information or a financial aid award letter from your college.
As part of underwriting, you or your co-signer will need to show you have a credit score in the high 600s or higher, as well as cash flow to make loan payments. They’ll also look at your or your co-signer’s debt-to-income ratio to make sure you have the funds to pay a student loan bill in addition to any other bills in your name.
How we rate student loans
How we pick student loans to evaluate: NerdWallet reviewed 34 banks, credit unions and online lenders offering student loans and student loan refinancing.
We included the top 10 lenders by market share, the top 10 lenders by online search volume and those that serve specialty or nontraditional markets.
Some lenders are NerdWallet partners, but this does not influence our choice of lenders to review.
How we assign a rating: NerdWallet scores lenders that offer a private, in-school student loan product for the presence of 36 features across multiple categories. Categories are scored and weighted as follows:
Features that enable faster repayment, such as availability of extra payments or biweekly payments via autopay – 15%.
Disclosure of rates, fees and underwriting requirements, such as minimum credit scores and income standards – 20%.
Availability to a wide range of borrowers, such as part-time and independent students – 20%.
Flexible payment options, such as grace periods and forbearances available for longer than is standard – 25%.
Customer support, such as a detailed website FAQ and in-house customer service – 20%
How we verify our data: NerdWallet writers and editors sent a comprehensive list of more than 50 questions to all lenders we reviewed.
We cross-checked fees, rates, policies and other key features on each financial institution’s website. If a lender’s website was missing information, we contacted a representative directly for confirmation.
At least three members of our staff verified the scores and ratings we gave to lenders.
NerdWallet study: 45% of federal borrowers unsure they can handle resumed payments
Close to half of Americans with federal student loan debt of their own (45%) aren’t confident they’ll be able to make their loan payments when the automatic forbearance ends, according to a NerdWallet survey that included 273 Americans with federal student loan debt. Those borrowers were also asked how they were using the money that would otherwise go toward their loan payments. They were able to choose more than one response:
33% said they were using the money for necessities
29% said they were paying off debt
25% said they put money into savings
17% said they were investing
15% said they spent on non-necessities
10% said they spent on something else
19% said they were making payments as before
The NerdWallet survey included private student loan borrowers as well; 438 Americans with personal student loan debt also were surveyed about changes in their payment habits since the forbearance was launched in March 2020. They could choose more than one response:
25% said they were paying the same amounts on their loan(s) as before.
25% said they modified loan payments using an income-driven repayment plan.
22% said they had applied for an unemployment deferment on their loan(s)
22% said they had made additional payments on their loan(s) to lower overall debt
11% said they had refinanced private student loans
19% said they had made none of these changes