BB&T Bank is a solid choice for college students who need to store and access their money. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as BB&T student loans, so this lender isn’t an option for students looking to fund their education.
But if you were seeking BB&T student loans, know that there are many other options, both in terms of federal loans, as well as private lenders with competitive interest rates. Here’s a look at some of the possibilities.
Alternatives to BB&T student loans
Borrowing should only be necessary if you still need funding after you’ve already applied for scholarships, state grants and other gift aid that doesn’t need to be repaid. You could also diminish your school’s cost of attendance by crowdfunding, working a summer job and tapping savings.
Once you do turn to loans, you have two types of debt to choose from: You can borrow from the Department of Education or you can seek out a private entity such as a bank, credit union, online company or state agency.
Federal student loans
It’s generally best to favor federal student loans, since they come with protections that private student loans lack. They also don’t require extensive credit checks, with every federal loan borrower receiving the same interest rate.
You main federal loan choices are:
- Direct Subsidized Loans: Undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need can receive this loan type, which is interest-free while you’re in school, during your grace period, and anytime you enter deferment.
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans: Undergraduate and graduate students can borrow this type of loan regardless of financial need. Unlike Subsidized loans, these begin to accrue interest as soon as you get the money.
- Direct PLUS Loans: Graduate and professional students, as well as parents borrowing on behalf of their child, can access PLUS Loans. Unlike the other types above, they can cover up to the entire cost of attendance, but borrowers can’t have an adverse credit history.
Private student loans from BB&T-like lenders
Unlike federal student loans, private student loan interest rates depend on you or your cosigner’s credit history. In some cases, especially with a creditworthy cosigner, you might be able to score a lower interest rate with your local bank than you could via Uncle Sam.
Just remember that private loans generally don’t offer government-exclusive protections, such as income-driven repayment and clear paths to payment postponements and loan forgiveness. With that in mind, you might wait to borrow a private loan until you hit your federal loan borrowing limit.
If you’re seeking a BB&T-like bank for a private student loan, consider what drew you to BB&T in the first place. It’s a one-stop-shop for other financial products, it includes online education tools, and it has 1,700 branches across 15 states and Washington, D.C.
Here are five more lenders with similar features:
BB&T announced plans to merge with student loan lender SunTrust Bank in February 2019. The merger is pending regulatory approval, so it’s currently unclear whether BB&T customers would receive any special perks for borrowing for college via SunTrust.
Still, SunTrust could be appealing in and of itself. It offers student-centric checking and up to 0.50% in interest rate discounts on its student loans.
- Borrow from $1,001 to $65,000 (for undergraduates)
- Repayment term options: 7, 10 and 15 years
- Cosigner release available after three to four years of timely payments
Some big banks have a reputation for excessive fees. But although PNC is a major financial institution, it charges no extra costs to apply for, receive or repay student loans.
- Borrow from $1,000 to $50,000 (for undergraduates)
- Repayment terms options: 5, 10 and 15 years
- Cosigner release available after four years of timely payments
Citizens stands out for its accessible eligibility rules. Even international students with U.S. resident cosigners can borrow. If you’re a parent comparing banks for students, keep in mind that moms and dads are also eligible. The bank also offers multi-year approval to ease the application process for additional years of borrowing.
- Borrow from $1,000 to $150,000 (for undergraduates)
- Repayment terms options: 5, 10 and 15 years
- Cosigner release available after three years of timely payments
4. Wells Fargo
In addition to having all of the same financial products that BB&T and other bigger banks offer, Wells Fargo’s student loans have some special features. For instance, you can borrow to pay for community college or for a career or trade school, including flight training.
- Borrow from $1,000 up to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance, up to an aggregate federal and private loan limit of $120,000
- Repayment terms options: 15 or 20 years
- Cosigner release available after two years of timely payments
If borrowing from a bank that also offers student-oriented credit cards is a priority, consider Discover. The nationally-accessible bank provides separate loans for undergraduate, graduate and professional students.
- Borrow from $1,000 up to 100% of your cost of attendance (for undergraduates)
- Repayment term option: 15 years
- No cosigner release available
Find the best alternative for BB&T loans
Although BB&T student loans don’t exist, plenty of suitable alternatives do.
When borrowing for your education, it’s usually wise to choose a federal loan first. If you hit your borrowing limits or could score a lower interest rate elsewhere (and don’t mind giving up government-exclusive safeguards), then a private loan could be a good choice.
As you shop around, consider more than the interest rate. Ensure the lender’s repayment term options, cosigner release policy and customer service performance all meet your preferences. To start, you could check out the list of our favorite private student loans available.
Need a student loan?Here are our top student loan lenders of 2020!
|1.24% – 11.98%1||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|1.25% – 9.44%*,2||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|1.24% – 12.49%3||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|1.24% – 11.44%4||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|1.90% – 11.66%5||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|2.72% – 13.00%6||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|3.52% – 9.50%7||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.
1 Important Disclosures for College Ave.
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
Information advertised valid as of 7/1/2020. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Lowest advertised rates require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.
2 Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.
3 Important Disclosures for Discover.
Lowest APRs shown for Discover Student Loans are available for the most creditworthy applicants for undergraduate loans, and include an interest-only repayment discount and a 0.25% interest rate reduction while enrolled in automatic payments.
4 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
UNDERGRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.23% to 11.76% annual percentage rate (“APR”) (with autopay), variable rates from 1.90% to 11.66% APR (with autopay). GRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.13% to 11.83% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.80% to 11.73% APR (with autopay). MBA AND LAW SCHOOL LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.11% to 11.81% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.78% to 11.72% APR (with autopay). PARENT LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.23% to 11.26% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.90% to 11.16% APR (with autopay). For variable rate loans, the variable interest rate is derived from the one-month LIBOR rate plus a margin and your APR may increase after origination if the LIBOR increases. Changes in the one-month LIBOR rate may cause your monthly payment to increase or decrease. Interest rates for variable rate loans are capped at 13.95%, unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law. Lowest rates are reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. If approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, the repayment option you select, the term and amount of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. Information current as of 07/10/2020. Enrolling in autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. SoFi Lending Corp., licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. NMLS #1121636 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org).
6 Important Disclosures for Ascent.
Before taking out private student loans, you should explore and compare all financial aid alternatives, including grants, scholarships, and federal student loans and consider your future monthly payments and income. Applying with a cosigner may improve your chance of getting approved and could help you qualify for a lower interest rate. Ascent Student Loans may be funded by Richland State Bank (RSB). Ascent Student Loan products are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application, verification of application information and certification of loan amount by a participating school. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions, and certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. Ascent is a federally registered trademark of Turnstile Capital Management (TCM) and may be used by RSB under limited license. Richland State Bank is a federally registered service mark of Richland State Bank.
* Application times vary depending on the applicant’s ability to supply the necessary information for submission.
7 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change and state law restrictions. Loans are offered through CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS #1175900).