Best Student Loans in 2024 

If additional funding is needed beyond the Federal Direct Student Loan, private student loans become an option worth exploring. Parent PLUS Loan rates have gone up again for this season...they are now 9.08% for all a 4% origination fee. 

Private Loans may be an interesting alternative. Borrowers with good credit can get rates starting just under 5% with no fees. Check out our Private Student Loan Fact Sheet that provides insights into the best private student loan options, ensuring you can make informed decisions about financing your education effectively.

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CAP's Recommended Loan Strategy

Step 1: Apply through College Ave to get your rate - CLICK HERE  (3 Minutes To Apply)

Step 2: Apply through Sallie Mae to get your rate - CLICK HERE (No Origination Fee, Usually Competitive Rates)

Step 3: Apply through Earnest to get your rate - CLICK HERE (Will Match Any Competitor Rate) 

Step 4: Compare your private rates to the Federal PLUS loan* and to 3 state loan optionsMassachusettsRhode IslandIowa.

Private Student Loan Fact Sheet

college ave logo
Variable Rate APRs: 5.59% - 16.85%
Fixed Rate APRs: 4.29% - 16.39%

College Ave

  • Apply in as little as 3 minutes and get an instant credit decision
  • Multiple repayment options from deferred to immediate principal and interest
  • Choice of how long you take to repay the loan - 5, 8, 10, or 15 years
  • 0.25% interest rate reduction when you make required payments by automatic debit
  • Borrow up to 100% of your cost of attendance (minimum $1,000)
sallie mae logo
Variable Rate APRs: 5.37% - 15.70%
Fixed Rate APRs: 4.25%-15.49%

Sallie Mae

  • Lowest rates shown include 0.25 percentage point interest rate discount with auto debit payments.
  • Applying online is easy - you could receive a credit result in about 10 minutes.
  • Multiple repayment options from in-school payments to deferred. No origination fee or prepayment penalty.
  • Borrow up to 100% of school-certified expenses, whether you're online or on campus.
  • Last year, students were 4x more likely to be approved with a cosigner.
  • Disclosures
earnest logo
Variable Rate APRs: 5.62% - 16.85%
Fixed Rate APRs: 4.39% - 16.49%


  • Check your eligibility in just 2 minutes
  • Fast application and decision-making process
  • Flexible repayment options
  • No fees for origination, disbursement, prepayment, or late payment
  • Skip a payment once per year (once repayment period restarted)**
  • Covers up to 100% of the school's certified cost of attendance
  • 9 month grace period (3 months more than most lenders)

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An Hour With An Expert:
  • Determine what loan options are best for your family.
  • Have an expert do loan apps for you or with you so you can hit submit.
  • Have an expert do the MPN and loan counseling with you.
  • Discuss most efficient way to pay the college bill and strategies to limit borrowing.