Study: How US College Costs Stack Up With the Rest of the World

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No one can deny the social and personal benefits of a higher education. College introduces you to new perspectives, challenges you with thought-provoking ideas, and opens the door to high-paying jobs.

But for many students in the U.S., a college education comes with sky-high tuition costs.

According to the College Board, tuition and fees at private universities have risen to an average of $34,740 per year. J.P. Morgan predicts four years at a private college could cost as much as $487,004 in 2035.

Curious how much the rest of the world charges for college, Student Loan Hero took a look at 10 other countries, all of which are home to leading universities. Most had lower tuition fees than the United States, but surprisingly, the U.S. didn’t top the list for most expensive colleges.

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Below you’ll find the full ranking, starting with countries with the least-expensive college tuition and counting down to those with the highest.

11. Germany: $0

10. France: $217

9. Switzerland: $1,168

8. Netherlands: $2,420

7. China: $3,300 – $9,900

6. South Korea: $4,578

5. Australia: $4,763

4. Canada: $4,939

3. Japan: $5,228

2. United States: $8,202

1. United Kingdom: $12,414

11. Germany


  • Top-ranked university: Technical University of Munich, ranked No. 60 worldwide
  • Average annual tuition fee at a public college: $0 (some colleges charge a semester contribution fee of about $300 or less)
  • Percentage of population with a bachelor’s: 15%
  • Employment rate for bachelor’s degree holders: 88.1%
  • Student population: 2.98 million
  • Total population: 81.71 million
  • Cost of living index: 73.18, ranked No. 26 worldwide

Germany is one of the few countries in the world that offers free higher education for both German and international students alike. Although some universities charge a small semester fee of about €150 to €250 ($176 to $294) for student services, students essentially get a world-class education at no tuition cost.

However, this policy of free higher education isn’t without its detractors. According to Quartz, a survey by the Ifo Center for the Economics of Education found that 44 percent of Germans want to bring back tuition fees.

And the state of Baden-Württemberg recently decided to reintroduce fees of €1,500 per semester for international students, citing a €48 million higher education funding gap, reported The Independent. Even if other regions follow suit, this fee remains lower than tuition fees in a lot of other countries.

That’s why so many international students have flocked to Germany. The Institute of International Education (IIE) estimates the number of foreign students studying in Germany for the 2017 school year is 251,542 — an increase of more than 15,000 students over the previous year.

German nationals appreciate the low fees, too. As of 2016, only 18 percent of German students graduated with loans, according to Inside Higher Ed. Of those with debt, 50 percent owe less than €4,000. Plus, many German students get financial support from their parents. In fact, German parents are legally obligated to support their children through university.

10. France


  • Top-ranked university: École normale supérieure, Paris, ranked No. 33 worldwide
  • Average annual tuition fee at a public college: $217
  • Percentage of population with a bachelor’s: 9.5%
  • Employment rate for bachelor’s degree holders: 83.3%
  • Student population: 2.39 million
  • Total population: 64.46 million
  • Cost of living index: 81.16, ranked No. 18 worldwide

Similar to colleges in the U.K., many degree-granting programs in France span three years. Unlike their neighbor to the north, though, France charges low tuition fees to its students. Public universities charged only €184 ($217) to students in the 2016-2017 year, according to Campus France.

Fees for international students were the same, which might be why 310,000 foreign students chose France in the 2015-2016 school year, reported the IIE. That being said, fees at private universities are a lot higher, with Campus France showing an average annual cost between €3,000 and €10,000.

Government financial aid is available, as well as subsidies to cover living costs. Plus, a number of organizations offer grants and scholarships to national and foreign students alike.

Health insurance is covered for EU students, and non-EU students can get coverage for an annual fee of €200. Although the majority of programs are taught in French, universities are offering an increasing number of courses in English.

For any international students interested in taking advantage of France’s low tuition, you can get help with the application and Visa process from Campus France.

9. Switzerland


  • Top-ranked university: ETH Zurich, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ranked No. 8 worldwide
  • Average annual tuition fee at a public college: $1,168
  • Percentage of population with a bachelor’s: 20.1%
  • Employment rate for bachelor’s degree holders: 88.5%
  • Student population: 294,450
  • Total population: 8.32 million
  • Cost of living index: 138.16, ranked No. 2 worldwide

The majority of universities in Switzerland are public institutions, and they charge low or no fees to incoming students. That doesn’t necessarily mean going to college is cheap, though. Switzerland has one of the highest costs of living in the world, second only to Bermuda.

According to Numbeo, the cost of living in Geneva is 32 percent higher than it is in New York City. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment goes for about $2,000, and an inexpensive meal at a restaurant still costs around $25.

Because so many students receive help from their families, however, only about 15 percent graduate with a loan, according to SWI. Many receive education grants, plus three-quarters of students work during university to cover living costs.

Students can study in a mix of languages, as most schools offer programs in German, French, or Italian. Some programs are also taught in English, which might be why 2,032 Americans studied in Switzerland in the 2015-2016 school year, according to the IIE.

8. Netherlands


  • Top-ranked university: University of Amsterdam, ranked No. 57 worldwide
  • Average annual tuition fee at a public college: $2,420
  • Percentage of population with a bachelor’s: 20.8%
  • Employment rate for bachelor’s degree holders: 87.5%
  • Student population: 842,601
  • Total population: 16.94 million
  • Cost of living index: 79.61, ranked No. 20 worldwide

Despite lower tuition fees — $2,420 at public colleges — students in the Netherlands are experiencing some of the same debt challenges as those in the U.S. According to Dutch student organization ISO, student loan debt rises by 55 euro cents (67 cents) per second.

Today, students collectively owe €17.6 billion, up from €12 billion five years ago. The average graduate owes €14,000 upon graduation.

This burden makes it difficult to afford other expenses after graduation, such as buying a house. The ISO says the country needs to do a better job of educating students about the real costs of a higher education.

It also started a campaign to reduce tuition costs across the board. If these efforts are successful, tuition costs will go down rather than keep rising, as they’ve been doing for the past few years.

That said, students who are earning less than the full-time minimum wage are not required to make student loan payments. Plus, your monthly bills are typically capped at 4 percent of your gross earnings above minimum wage.

Because of these safeguards, along with lengthy 15- and 35-year repayment terms, student loan default is not a major problem in the Netherlands. However, students are still more burdened than they used to be as a result of 2015 legislation that replaced grants with loans.

7. China


  • Top-ranked university: Tsinghua University, ranked No. 24 worldwide
  • Average annual tuition fee at a public college: $3,300 to $9,900
  • Percentage of population with a bachelor’s: 3.5%
  • Student population: 43.37 million
  • Total population: 1.38 billion
  • Cost of living index: 45.78, ranked No. 74 worldwide

Public colleges in China have an average tuition cost between $3,300 and $9,900 per year. Unlike in the U.S., where the highest-ranked colleges are private, China’s most prestigious universities are public.

To get in, high schoolers in China must pass the National Higher Education Entrance Examination, or Gaokao. They can only take this intensive, three-day exam once per year, and their acceptance into college is contingent on their performance.

Unfortunately, not all students get the preparation they need to master this exam. Project Partner reported that 95 percent of students from rural areas drop out before the Gaokao rolls around.

China has more than 2,000 universities with a total student population of 43.37 million, according to UNESCO. It’s also the leading place of origin for international students studying in the U.S.

The IIE revealed that 350,755 Chinese students studied at U.S. colleges in the 2016-2017 school year, making up 32.5 percent of the total population of foreign students. Comparatively, just 11,668 Americans studied in China in the 2015-2016 school year.

6. South Korea


  • Top-ranked university: Seoul National University, ranked No. 35 worldwide
  • Average annual tuition fee at a public college: $4,578
  • Average annual tuition fee at a private university: $8,205
  • Percentage of population with a bachelor’s: 33.7%
  • Employment rate for bachelor’s degree holders: 77.5%
  • Student population: 565,350
  • Total population: 50.59 million
  • Cost of living index: 81.07, ranked No. 19 worldwide

South Koreans face high tuition fees, with an average fee of $4,578 at public colleges and $8,205 at private ones. To manage these fees, Korean students can get government-backed grants, loans, or work-study from the Korea Student Aid Foundation (KOSAF).

Financial aid from KOSAF is either need-based or merit-based. Student loans are specialized by type, and they include income-contingent loans, loans for rural students, and living expense loans.

The most widely accessible loan types are Direct Loans, and they can be used at the undergraduate or graduate level and have a fixed interest rate of 2.70%. In fact, the interest rate for most KOSAF-backed student loans don’t exceed 2.70%, and some even come with no interest at all.

The standard repayment plan spans 10 years, but students with income-contingent loans don’t have to make payments until their salary exceeds a certain threshold.

An estimated 565,350 South Korean students enroll in their home universities, reported UNESCO. An additional 58,663 South Korean students come to the U.S. to study.

Education is highly valued in Korea, but some economists suggest the financial pressure on families might cause problems in the future.

5. Australia


  • Top-ranked university: Australian National University, No. 22
  • Average annual tuition fee at a public college: $4,763
  • Average annual tuition fee at a private college: $8,827
  • Percentage of population with a bachelor’s: 24.7%
  • Employment rate for bachelor’s degree holders: 84.4%
  • Student population: 2.87 million
  • Total population: 23.8 million
  • Cost of living index: 85.96, ranked No. 13 worldwide

With tuition fees averaging $4,763 per year at public colleges and $8,827 per year at private ones, students in Australia are facing a steep price tag for their degrees.

According to the New York Times, the average Australian student graduates with $22,000 in student loans. They then enter an automatic repayment plan, which is based on their income.

Graduates don’t pay anything until they’re earning around $40,000 or more per year. Once they reach the earnings threshold, they pay between 4 and 8 percent of their income, a payment the government takes out automatically from their bank accounts.

If their income rises, so do their payments. If their income decreases, payments drop. In the U.S., you need to file paperwork to get on or off an income-driven repayment plan. In Australia, the adjustments happen automatically.

U.S. readers might also be jealous to hear that federal student loans in Australia don’t come with interest. They might rise along with inflation, but they don’t accrue interest before or during repayment.

Whatever your opinion of this system, it makes it almost impossible to default on a student loan. That’s a far cry from the U.S., where nearly 5 million Americans are in default on their student loans, according to the Wall Street Journal.

4. Canada


  • Top-ranked university: McGill University, ranked No. 30 worldwide
  • Average annual tuition fee at a public college: $4,939
  • Percentage of population with a bachelor’s: 20.6%
  • Employment rate for bachelor’s degree holders: 82.8%
  • Student population: 1.01 million
  • Total population: 35.95 million
  • Cost of living index: 72.82, ranked No. 28 worldwide

Canada has over 1 million full-time students and 290,000 part-time students studying across its universities. Although colleges are more affordable than they tend to be in the U.S. — about $4,939 per year at public schools — Canadian students are not immune to student loan debt.

The average student graduates with loans in the amount of 26,819 Canadian dollars ($21,042). However, they don’t necessarily need to start paying back their debt immediately after graduation.

Like Australia and the U.K., Canada has a universal income-based repayment system for college graduates. Students don’t have to pay anything until they start making at least CA$25,000 per year.

If you qualify to pause payments, the government will cover interest for up to 10 six-month periods during the decade after you graduate. If you stay on this repayment assistance plan, you’ll continue to receive government help, as well as a loan discharge after 15 years.

Although these rules help protect Canadian citizens, they’re not available to foreign students. That, along with the higher fees for international students — CA$15,942.90 to CA$40,802.70 per year at McGill, for example — might be why only 1,716 American students studied in Canada in the 2015-2016 school year, reported the IIE.

3. Japan


  • Top-ranked university: The University of Tokyo, ranked No. 34 worldwide
  • Average annual tuition fee at a public college: $5,228
  • Average annual tuition fee at a private college: $8,428
  • Percentage of population with a bachelor’s: 29.4%
  • Employment rate for bachelor’s degree holders: 86.8%
  • Student population: 3.56 million
  • Total population: 127.98 million
  • Cost of living index: 89.50, ranked No. 8 worldwide

Japan’s tuition costs are relatively high, averaging $5,228 per year at a public university and $8,428 at a private college.

Although tuition has risen, News on Japan reported that wages have not. As a result, the government-backed Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), which lends 99 percent of the country’s student loans, is seeing a record number of defaults.

Although universities at Japan are not as cheap as in France or Germany, Japan was still a popular study abroad destination for American students. The IIE revealed it was the 10th-most popular destination in the world for study abroad, with 7,415 students going to Japan in the 2015-2016 school year.

2. United States


  • Top-ranked university: MIT, ranked No. 1 worldwide
  • Average annual tuition fee at a public college: $8,202
  • Average annual tuition fee at a private college: $21,189
  • Percentage of population with a bachelor’s: 22.2%
  • Employment rate for bachelor’s degree holders: 81.6%
  • Student population: 19.53 million
  • Total population: 319.93 million
  • Cost of living index: 77.23, ranked No. 24 worldwide

While the U.S. charges some of the highest tuition fees in the world, it’s also home to the greatest number of top-ranked universities. In Top Universities’ QS World University Rankings, more than half of the top 25 schools are located in the U.S., with the top three spots filled by MIT, Stanford, and Harvard.

Joseph Chamie, an independent international demographic consultant and the former director of the UN Population Division, said these rankings might be part of the reason tuition costs are so high.

“Colleges are able to charge higher tuition fees without any diminishment of the people coming in,” said Chamie. “There are always people in line who say, ‘We’ll pay it.’”

These prestigious colleges have no incentive to lower tuition costs, since there is a steady stream of applicants willing to pay whatever it takes to earn their degree from a top school.

This reality, however, can create a ripple effect of unequal access to higher education and later, to high-paying jobs.

“The gap seems to be widening,” said Chamie. “[There are] increasing disparities between upper-level incomes and lower-level incomes.”

Not only do we see an increasing socioeconomic gap, but student debt-burdened graduates are delaying life milestones. Millennials are waiting longer to get married, buy houses, and have children.

They’re also working more; 44 million Americans have side hustles on top of their regular work, reported Bankrate. Perhaps not coincidentally, the same number of Americans owe student loans.

Our collective $1.48 trillion in student loan debt poses major challenges to individuals and society at large. Although Chamie doesn’t see it as a national economic crisis yet, he suggests we’re “moving in that direction.”

“How we deal with [student debt] is going to affect our entire society,” said Chamie.

As we adapt to new challenges like globalization and advancing technology, access to higher education becomes even more critical. By looking to other countries, we might find solutions to some of the problems we have at home.

1. United Kingdom


  • Top-ranked university: University of Cambridge, ranked No. 4 worldwide
  • Average annual tuition fee at a public college: $12,414
  • Percentage of population with a bachelor’s: 22.9%
  • Employment rate for bachelor’s degree holders: 84.9%
  • Student population: 2.35 million
  • Total population: 65.4 million
  • Cost of living index: 76.02, ranked No. 25 worldwide

Although the U.S. used to hold the record for highest tuition costs, the U.K. now leads the pack, with OECD estimates putting average tuition fees at a public university at $12,414 per year.

According to Student Loans Company, a government-owned nonprofit organization, U.K. students are graduating £32,220 ($43,298) in debt, even though most bachelor’s degree programs span three years instead of four.

The individual debt burden increased in 2012, with the passing of legislation that allowed universities in England to charge up to £9,000 per year.

Between March 2011 and March 2017, the country’s outstanding student loan debt has risen from £40.2 billion to £100.5 billion, reported Student Loans Company. That debt will likely continue to rise, with some universities charging as much as £9,250 per year.

Sarah Elsey, an English literature major who now runs her own blog, graduated from Liverpool Hope University £47,000 in debt.

“University is too expensive,” said Elsey. “There are funds available for those students who come from less well-off families, but they’re hard to come by. Nearly all students have to get jobs because their student loan doesn’t cover rent for the cheapest student accommodation.”

That being said, Elsey’s repayment plan is manageable for her budget. “Repayment is quite small,” she said. “If you’re on a wage of £21,000 per year, the monthly repayment is £24, which is definitely manageable.”

In the U.K., all college graduates go on an income-based student loan repayment plan. Although this income-based system makes student loan repayment more manageable, it could also leave some borrowers in debt for a lifetime, since it sets the monthly payments quite low.

“It would take me 163 years to pay off my loan,” said Elsey. “If I was on a £30,000 wage, I would be paying £90 per month, taking me 43 years to pay my loan off.”

Fortunately, students don’t have to pay back their student loans forever. If they have a remaining balance after 30 years of repayment, the government will forgive the rest.

Although the U.K. struggles with student debt much like the U.S., its income-based repayment system means some grads are facing lower monthly payments after graduation without having to file any extra paperwork.

Students face high tuition fees around the world


Students in the U.S. aren’t the only ones who are seeing an increase in tuition costs. But some countries have managed to keep costs low, while others help new grads with automatic income-based plans for their student loans.

By keeping a global perspective, we can learn about new — and potentially more effective — systems of tuition, borrowing, and repayment. Plus, we can consider the perspective that public college should be free and accessible for all.

Of course, apart from a few exceptions, we’re a long way off from universal access to higher education. In the meantime, you can prepare yourself for the costs of college by saving money and applying for scholarships.

Before selecting a school, compare tuition costs around the country, not to mention around the world. Wherever you choose to study, you can empower yourself by learning about systems of financial aid and student loan repayment.

Research your options so you have a plan to deal with debt, should you choose to borrow. If you’re already dealing with major debt, search for ways to lighten the load. You might get loan repayment assistance from a government program, or consider refinancing your student debt to lower your interest rate.

Figuring out how to deal with student debt as individuals and as a nation is a complex issue with no simple answers. But when it comes to combating the growing student debt crisis — and improving access to higher education — we must keep sharing our experiences across borders.

Bringing these issues to the forefront of the cultural conversation is an important first step toward enacting reform.

 

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1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.

Splash Financial Disclosures

Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount

The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.

To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of May 1, 2021.


2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.

Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.49% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.34% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of October 26, 2020, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.

Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.

The information provided on this page is updated as of 10/26/2020. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.

© 2020 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.


3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. ‍All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.15% effective Jan 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation.


4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.

LendKey Disclosures

Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it  endorse,  any educational institution.

Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of  5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.

As of 02/17/2021 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.91% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.95% APR – 7.63% Fixed APR with AutoPay.


5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: 1. Fixed rates from 2.99% APR to 6.99% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.25% APR to 6.53% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.25% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 0.12% plus 2.38% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. See eligibility details. 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. The discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the interest savings are applied to the principal loan balance, which may help pay the loan down faster. Enrolling in autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score.Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

6 Important Disclosures for PenFed.

PenFed Disclosures

Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 2.89%-4.78% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.15%-4.42% APR. Both Fixed and Variable Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. For Variable Rate student loans, the rate will never exceed 9.00% for 5 year and 8 year loans and 10.00% for 12 and 15 years loans (the maximum allowable for this loan). Minimum variable rate will be 2.00%. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.


7 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

All credit products are subject to credit approval.

Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.

As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.

  1. Checking your rate with Laurel Road only requires a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
  2. Savings vary based on rate and term of your existing and refinanced loan(s). Refinancing to a longer term may lower your monthly payments, but may also increase the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Refinancing to a shorter term may increase your monthly payments, but may lower the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Review your loan documentation for total cost of your refinanced loan.
  3. After loan disbursement, if a borrower documents a qualifying economic hardship, we may agree in our discretion to allow for full or partial forbearance of payments for one or more 3-month time periods (not to exceed 12 months in the aggregate during the term of your loan), provided that we receive acceptable documentation (including updating documentation) of the nature and expected duration of the borrower’s economic hardship. During any period of forbearance interest will continue to accrue. At the end of the forbearance period, any unpaid accrued interest will be capitalized and be added to the remaining principle amount of the loan.
  4. Automatic Payment (“AutoPay”) Discount: if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically from a bank account, the interest rate will decrease by 0.25% and will increase back if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically from the borrower’s bank account. The 0.25% AutoPay discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the discount is applied to the principal to help pay the loan down faster.

Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.

Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.

Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.

Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.

KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

This information is current as of April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
 


8 Important Disclosures for Nelnet.

Nelnet Disclosures

Credit Score

Checking your rate results in a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. If you continue with your application, Nelnet Bank will request your permission to obtain your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies. This is a hard credit pull and may affect your credit score.

Auto Debit

Interest rate reduction of .25% for automatically withdrawn payments from any designated bank account (“auto debit discount”). Auto debit discount applies when full payments (including both principal and interest) are automatically drafted from a bank account. The auto debit discount will continue to apply during periods of approved forbearance or deferment if the auto debit discount was in effect at the time of receiving the forbearance or deferment. Auto debit discount will remain on the account unless (1) the automatic deduction of payments is canceled or (2) there are three consecutive automatic deductions returned for insufficient funds at any time during the term of the loan.

Cosigner Release

Request for the cosigner to be released can be made by the borrower after 24 consecutive, on-time payments (not later than 15 days after the due date) of principal and interest have been made. Borrowers in deferment or forbearance must make 24 consecutive, on-time payments after re-entering repayment to qualify for the release. The borrower must be current on their payments at the time of the cosigner release request and show the ability to assume full responsibility of the loan(s) by meeting certain credit criteria on their own at the time of the request, including, but not limited to, being a U.S. citizen or having permanent residency in the United States, being the age of majority in their permanent state of residency, providing sufficient proof of income, and having no student loans in default.

Hardship Protection

Hardship forbearance allows you to temporarily suspend payments on your loan(s) while you are experiencing financial hardship. It is offered in increments of two or three months, with a maximum of 12 months available, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. If your loan(s) are in good standing at the time of your request, you will be eligible for forbearance in increments of two monthly payments. If, at the time of your initial request, your loan(s) are considered past-due, you will be eligible for forbearance in increments of three monthly payments. Future increments of forbearance, up to a life-time maximum of 12 months, may be requested upon the completion of making a certain number of principal and interest payments. During the two- or three-month forbearance period, you will not be required to make payments; however, any unpaid interest will continue to accrue and will be capitalized (added) onto your principal balance at the end of the forbearance period. You may continue making payments in any amount without penalty during the forbearance period. Your loan repayment term will be extended by the number of months in the forbearance period.

Loan Eligibility

Refinance Loan Eligibility: You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security number, and be the legal age to enter into binding contracts in your permanent state/territory of residency, or be at least 17 years of age and apply with a cosigner who is at least the age of majority in their state/territory. Non-residents can apply with an eligible cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security number. The student loans you refinance must be in their grace or repayment period, and you can no longer be enrolled in school on a half-time or more basis. You must have at least $5,000 in student loans to refinance. You, or your eligible cosigner, must have an annual income of at least $36,000. Approval subject to credit review. Other credit criteria may apply.

Refinance Loan Limits:

  • Minimum loan amount: $5,000
  • Maximum student loan limits:
    • $125,000 for borrowers with an undergraduate degree.
    • $175,000 for borrowers with a graduate or doctorate degree.
    • $175,000 for borrowers with an MBA or graduate law degree.
    • $500,000 for borrowers with a graduate health professions degree.

Loan Refinancing Risks: Federal student loans include benefits that may not be offered with private student loans. Carefully review any potential benefits that may be lost by refinancing federal and private education loans, such as the loss of any remaining grace periods. To learn more about what to take into consideration when refinancing federal student loans with private education loans, click here

Interest Rates

Selecting ‘Get Started’ results in a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. If you continue with your application, Nelnet Bank will request your permission to obtain your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies. This is a hard credit pull and may affect your credit score.

Refinance Loan

Fixed interest rates range from 2.99% APR (with auto debit discount) to 6.25% APR (without auto debit discount). Your interest rate will depend on your (and if applicable, your cosigner’s) credit qualifications. The fixed interest rate will remain the same for the life of the loan.

Variable interest rates range from 2.00% APR (with auto debit discount) to 5.63% APR (without auto debit discount). Your interest rate will depend on your (and if applicable, your cosigner’s) credit qualifications. Variable rates may increase after consummation. The variable interest rate is equal to the One-Month London Interbank Offered Rate (“One-Month LIBOR”) plus a margin. The One-Month LIBOR in effect for each monthly period (from the first day of the month through and including the last day of the same month) will be the highest One-Month LIBOR published in The Wall Street Journal “Money Rates” table on the twenty-fifth (25th) day (or if such day is not a business day, the next business day thereafter) of the month immediately preceding such calendar month. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for a variable interest rate loan will change monthly on the first day of each month if the One-Month LIBOR index changes. This may result in higher monthly payments. The current One-Month LIBOR index is 0.15% as of 5/4/2021.

The lowest interest rate for each loan type requires automatically withdrawn (“auto debit”) payments, a five-year repayment term, and the borrower making immediate principal and interest payments. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rate. The interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) may be higher depending upon (1) the credit history of the borrower and, if applicable, the cosigner, (2) the repayment option and loan term selected, (3) the loan type selected, and (4) the highest level of education attained. If approved, applicants will be notified of the rate qualified for within the stated range.

*Checking your rate results in a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. If you continue with your application, Nelnet Bank will request your permission to obtain your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies. This is a hard credit pull and may affect your credit score. **Your actual savings may vary based on interest rates, outstanding balances, remaining repayment terms, and other factors.