Alternatives to Ally Bank Student Loans

 July 18, 2019
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Private Student Loan rates starting at 0.94% APR

0.94% to 11.98% 1

Visit Lender

1.13% to 11.23% 2

Visit Lender

0.94% to 11.44% 3

Visit Lender

  • Variable APR

While it began life as the financing arm of General Motors, Ally has since branched out into everything from home loans to corporate finance. But while you’ll find a full range of banking services, one thing you won’t find are Ally Bank student loans.

So, if there are no such thing as Ally Bank student loans, where can you find student loans that will help you pay for college without breaking the bank? Here are some great alternatives, including both federal and private student loan options:

Maximize your eligibility for federal student loans

Before turning to a bank for a student loan, explore your options for federal student loans. Federal Student Aid offers subsidized and unsubsidized student loans, as well as PLUS loans for graduate students and parents.

Federal loans tend to have low fixed interest rates, and they typically don’t require a cosigner to borrow. Plus, they have built-in protections, including forbearance and deferment, flexible repayment plans, and if you qualify, the potential for loan forgiveness.

To access federal student loans, all you need to do is submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Your financial aid award letter from your college will tell you how much you’re eligible to borrow.

Since federal loans tend to have borrower-friendly terms, you should probably max out your eligibility for these before turning to a private lender. But because federal loans do come with borrowing limits, you might not get enough money to cover the cost of college. In that case, it could make sense to take out a private student loan.

Compare options for private student loans

While you won’t find student loans at Ally Bank, you can borrow a private student loan from another bank, credit union or online lender. Unlike the typical federal loan, you’ll need to pass a credit and income check to qualify. Most undergraduate students can’t qualify on their own, so they apply with a cosigner, such as a parent.

Rates and terms vary by lender, so it’s important to compare loan offers from multiple lenders. Look for a loan with the best interest rate to lower your costs of borrowing. You might also look at other factors before picking a lender, such as borrower protections (e.g., forbearance) and a reputation for strong customer service.

And before signing any paperwork, familiarize yourself with the details of your loan. Find out when your first payment is due and if your loan comes with a grace period. Carefully choose your repayment term — whether the standard 10 years or something else — and use a student loan calculator to estimate your monthly payments.

By reading over the fine print, you’ll understand exactly what you’re getting into and hopefully avoid taking on a burdensome amount of debt.

4 best alternatives to Ally Bank student loans

Since Ally Bank student loans are non-existent, where should you turn? You have a lot of options — here are a few lenders with great rates and terms to consider:

College Ave Student Loans

  • Has variable rates at 0.94% – 11.98% and fixed rates at 2.94% – 12.99%
  • Provides loans to cover up to 100% of the cost of attendance at your school
  • Offers repayment terms of 5, 8, 10 or 15 years
  • Lets you defer payments while you’re in school and for six months after you graduate or make interest-only, flat or full payments while in school
  • Doesn’t charge an origination fee


  • Has variable rates at 3.80% – 9.36% and fixed rates at 3.74% – 10.74%
  • Lets you borrow from $2,000 up to the full cost of attendance of your school
  • Offers repayment terms of 5, 10, or 15 years
  • Has four repayment options: no payments while you’re in school or for six months after you graduate, in-school monthly payments of $25, in-school interest-only payments, or in-school full payments
  • Doesn’t charge an origination fee

Citizens Bank

  • Offers variable rates at 1.03% – 11.01% and fixed rates at 3.23% – 11.70%
  • Provides interest rate deductions for Citizens Bank customers
  • Lets you borrow from $1,000 up to $150,000 as an undergraduate
  • Has repayment terms of 5, 10 or 15 years
  • Doesn’t charge an origination fee
  • Offers multi-year approval


  • Shows you several offers at once from its partner lenders, which include credit unions and community banks
  • These partners offer variable rates at 1.13% – 11.23% and fixed rates at 3.50% – 12.60%

Shop around to find the best deal

Even if Ally Bank did offer student loans, it would still be a good idea to shop around with several lenders before choosing one.

Many online lenders make it easy to check your rates from the comfort of your laptop or phone, after providing a few basic pieces of information. These instant rate quotes don’t impact your credit at all, and they let you compare multiple offers at once. By taking the time to compare offers, you can find a loan that will cost you the least amount of interest over the years.

This same principle of shopping around applies if you decide to refinance for lower rates in the future. Since private lenders all want your business, let them compete for it.

Once graduation rolls around and your first payment is due, you’ll be happy you took the time to find a private student loan with the best interest rate.

Need a student loan?

Check out our top picks below or learn more about other ways to pay for college.
Variable APRDegrees That QualifyMore Info
0.94% – 11.98%1 Undergraduate

Visit College Ave

1.13% – 11.23%2 Undergraduate

Visit SallieMae

0.94% – 11.44%3 Undergraduate

Visit Earnest

1.47% – 11.31%4 Undergraduate

Visit Ascent

0.95% – 11.18%5 Undergraduate

Visit SoFi

1.03% – 11.01%6 Undergraduate