Alternatives to Barclays Student Loans

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the financial institution.


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2.84% to 10.97% APR1

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3.12% to 10.54% APR2

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2.95% to 11.62% APR3

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  • Variable APR

If you’re not a British resident or attending a British school, then you’re out of luck when it comes to Barclays student loans. To be eligible for a student loan at Barclays Bank, you must be attending school and must be a permanent citizen residing in the United Kingdom.

Thankfully, there are other possibilities that might be just as useful as Barclays student loans. Here are some options:

Alternatives to Barclays student loans

The ideal alternative to taking out a student loan from Barclays is to avoid taking out any loans, if you can swing it. Private scholarships, public grants, part-time jobs and family contributions are all ways to cover your cost of attendance without going into debt.

Assuming you’ve already exhausted every avenue toward gift aid, it’s generally best to turn to federal student loans first.

On the plus side, federal loans include best-in-class repayment safeguards, such as access to on-demand income-driven repayment plans, as well as pathways to exclusive loan forgiveness programs. There’s also subsidized interest on loans provided to students in need.

However, federal loans are typically awarded based on criteria not related to your (or your cosigner’s) credit history. You’re also limited in how much you could borrow per year. A dependent student embarking upon their freshman year, for example, would be restricted to a maximum of $5,500 in Direct Loans, although mom or dad could fill any remaining funding gap via a Parent PLUS Loan.

Private student loans

Although they feature fewer repayment protections, private student loans generally allow you to take out as much money as the certified cost of attendance at your school. You could also borrow at potentially lower interest rates, depending on the strength of your credit file and debt-to-income ratio (or that of your cosigner).

If you initially sought out a student loan at Barclays in place of a federal loan — or, more likely, to supplement it — note that some other private lenders provide similar customer experiences.

You might know Barclays for its online-only accounts, low fees and international service, for example. The following four private student loan companies resemble these offerings — and unlike Barclays, they do provide loans for higher education in the U.S.

1. College Ave Student Loans

  • Free to apply
  • Loans available for undergraduates, graduate and professional students and parents — as well as international students with a Social Security number and a cosigner
  • Three in-school repayment options for undergrads, and a deferred payment option
  • Repayment terms of 5, 8, 10 and 15 years available
  • Fixed and variable interest rates
  • Prequalify in three minutes with no effect on your credit score

2. Sallie Mae

  • No origination, application or prepayment fees
  • Loans available for undergraduate, graduate and professional students and parents
  • Two in-school repayment options for undergrads, and an option for full deferment
  • Repayment terms of 5 to 15 years available
  • Fixed and variable interest rates

3. CommonBond

  • No origination, application or prepayment fees
  • Loans available for undergraduate, graduate and professional students
  • Three in-school repayment options for undergrads, and option for full deferment
  • Repayment terms of 5, 10 and 15 years available
  • Fixed and variable interest rates
  • Applying with a cosigner is required for undergraduates
  • Postpone payments with a forbearance if you experience economic hardship

4. MPower Financing

  • No prepayment fees
  • Loans available for international and DACA students studying in the U.S. (or Canada)
  • Make interest-only payments while enrolled
  • Repayment term of 10 years
  • Fixed interest rates
  • 30-minute online loan application
  • No cosigner or credit history necessary

No student loan at Barclays? No problem

If you’re disappointed to learn you can’t get a Barclays student loan, don’t fear: There are plenty of other ways to finance your way to campus.

For a seamless online borrowing experience, you might pick a loan from Sallie Mae or CommonBond. They don’t nickel and dime you for applying, receiving or repaying your loan, as long as you don’t miss a payment.

If you’re an international student, on the other hand, other lenders might be better fits. At College Ave, you’d need a Social Security number and creditworthy cosigner. Without them, you might opt for MPower Financing or a similar competitor that provides loans to students who are willing to make in-school interest-only payments.

As you shop around, don’t limit yourself to a single bank, credit union or online lender. Compare multiple offers to find the best overall loan for your education. A low interest rate goes a long way, but ensure other aspects of the loan — including the rules of repayment — will also suit your needs once you’re off campus and in the real world.

To cast a wide net, you might start by considering our list of top-rated private student loan companies.

The information in this article is accurate as of the date of publishing. 

 

Need a student loan?

Check out our top picks below or learn more about other ways to pay for college.
Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

Variable APRDegrees That QualifyMore Info
2.84% – 10.97%1 Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit College Ave

3.12% – 10.54%2 Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit SallieMae

2.95% – 11.62%3 Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit Discover

3.52% – 9.50%4 Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit CommonBond

2.80% – 11.06%5 Undergraduate
Graduate

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