US Bank Student Loans: 3 Alternatives and Ways to Pay

 July 1, 2021
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Private Student Loan rates starting at 2.49% APR

2.49% to 13.85% 1
VARIABLE APR

Visit Lender

2.55% to 11.44% 2
VARIABLE APR

Visit Lender

3.25% to 13.59% 3
VARIABLE APR

Visit Lender

  • Variable APR

Whether you’re a longtime US Bank customer or a newcomer, you may be considering US Bank as you search for private student loans with competitive rates. However, US Bank student loans are no longer available to customers.

US Bank was in the private student loan business for over 40 years, but that changed in 2012 when it announced it was closing its student loan segment due to declining profits. But although US Bank student loans aren’t an option anymore, there are other private lenders that offer loans with competitive interest rates and other benefits.

Let’s look at the following topics:

Alternatives to a US Bank student loan

Previously, US Bank was a popular option for college students. It offered private student loans with variable or fixed interest rates, along with autopay discounts and deferred payment options. In addition, it also allowed borrowers to apply with a cosigner.

But since US Bank student loans are no longer available, consider these three alternative financing options:

1. Apply for gift aid

Before taking out federal or private student loans, make sure you apply for gift aid from a variety of sources. Unlike loans, scholarships and grants don’t have to be repaid, and you can apply for multiple awards and combine them to reduce your costs.

You can qualify for grants and scholarships from your college, local nonprofit organizations and private companies. You can also find potential opportunities by searching for awards on CareerOneStop, a site sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, or similar scholarship search tools.

2. Maximize federal loans

If you do need to borrow money to pay for college, federal student loans should be your starting point. They typically have lower rates than private loans, and also have more repayment options and safety nets for borrowers experiencing financial difficulties.

Federal loans for undergraduate students don’t require credit checks, so you can qualify for a loan even if you don’t have an established credit history. However, there are annual and lifetime limits on how much you can borrow in federal student loans.

As an undergraduate student, the following loan options may be available:

  • Direct subsidized: Subsidized loans are only for undergraduate students with substantial financial need. The federal government will pay the interest that accrues on the loan while you’re in school, during your loan grace period and any periods of deferment.
  • Direct unsubsidized: Unlike subsidized loans, unsubsidized loans can be used by both undergraduate and graduate students, no matter their income level. However, the borrower must pay all of the interest that accrues.
  • Parent PLUS: Parent PLUS loans are for parents that want to borrow to pay for their child’s undergraduate education.
Direct Subsidized Direct Unsubsidized Parent PLUS
Borrower Type Undergraduate Undergraduate or graduate Parents of undergraduates
Interest Rate (loans disbursed between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023) 4.99% 4.99% for undergraduate
6.54% for graduate
7.54%
Disbursement Fee 1.057% 1.057% 4.228%
Annual Maximum $5,500 to $12,500 per year (based on year in school and dependency status) $5,500 to $12,500 per year for undergraduates (based on year in school and dependency status)
Up to $20,500 per year for graduate students
Up to total cost of attendance
Lifetime Maximum $23,000 $31,000 to $57,500 for undergraduates (based on dependency status)
$138,500 for graduate or professional students
None

3. Shop for a private student loan

Private student loans can cover the difference between your current financial aid package and the total cost of attendance.

Unlike federal loans, which come from the federal government, private student loans are provided by credit unions, banks and other financial institutions. Terms and rates vary by lender, and lenders determine whether to approve your application based on your income and credit history.

As a college student, you’ll likely need a cosigner to qualify for private student loans since you might not have an established credit history or sufficient income.

Private student loan lenders offering US Bank-like benefits

There are other lenders that offer student loans with low interest rates, discounts, extra benefits and even other banking services. Some leading lenders include:

Earnest

  • Earnest offers student loans with variable or fixed interest rates, with annual percentage rates (APRs) ranging from 2.55% to 12.78%.
  • Borrowers can take advantage of a 0.25% interest rate deduction.
  • Loans are available to undergraduate, graduate, medical school and law school students.
  • You can check your eligibility and view loan options in as little as two minutes without affecting your credit score.
  • Borrowers can have a grace period as long as nine months.
  • The maximum loan amount is 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance.
  • Earnest also offers student loan refinancing, personal loans and credit cards.

Sallie Mae

  • Sallie Mae issues loans for undergraduates, graduate students and those enrolled in career training programs.
  • Loans can have variable or fixed interest rates, with APRs of 3.25% to 13.72%.
  • Borrowers can enroll in autopay to qualify for a 0.25 percentage-point discount.
  • Sallie Mae has four repayment options: deferred, interest-only, fixed and immediate principal and interest.
  • Students can borrow up to the total cost of attendance.
  • Sallie Mae also offers high-yield savings accounts, money market accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs).

SoFi

  • SoFi has student loan options for undergraduate students, graduate and professional students and parents.
  • Loans can have fixed or variable interest rates, with APRs running from 1.89% to 11.98%.
  • Borrowers can enroll in autopay to lower their interest rate by 0.25%.
  • SoFi will allow students to borrow up to the total cost of attendance.
  • Borrowers can choose from four repayment options: deferred, interest-only, fixed and immediate.
  • SoFi also offers student loan refinancing, credit cards, personal loans and mortgages, as well as a combination checking and high-yield savings account.

What do I do if I still have US Bank student loans?

Depending on when you went to school, you may have taken out student loans from US Bank. If you have existing US Bank student loans and have questions about your interest rates, payments or repayment plan options, call the lender at 800-242-1200.

Depending on when you borrowed, your US Bank student loans could have high interest rates. For example, in 2011, US Bank’s fixed-rate loan APRs ranged from 7.80% to 8.46% — generally higher than the rates offered by some private lenders today.

If your loan has a high rate, getting rid of that debt can be difficult, as interest charges add to the principal. Should this be the case with your outstanding US Bank loans, consider student loan refinancing as a way to potentially lower your rate.

Although US Bank itself doesn’t offer student loan refinancing, there are several lenders that do. Laurel Road and Splash Financial are two leading companies in the refinancing field.

Laurel Road

  • Laurel Road allows borrowers to refinance both federal and private student loans.
  • Loan terms range from Up to 20, with APRs of 2.50% to 6.40%.
  • Laurel Road offers fixed and variable interest rates.
  • You can qualify for an additional discount, and receive a cash bonus if you open a Laurel Road checking account and set up qualifying direct deposits.
  • You can view your rate options without affecting your credit score.
  • There are no origination or application fees.

Splash Financial

  • Splash partners with banks and credit unions to connect borrowers with lenders.
  • There are no origination or application fees, as well as no prepayment penalties.
  • There are variable and fixed interest rates, with APRs of 2.49% to 11.52%.
  • The minimum loan amount is $5,000, and the maximum is the total outstanding balance.
  • Splash allows borrowers to refinance even if they don’t have a degree.
  • You can check your rate without impacting your credit.
Key student loan refinancing tips
● Given the high expenses involved in paying for college, be sure to shop around and compare rates. Start with our list of leading student loan refinancing companies to find the most competitive rates.
● Although you can refinance both federal and private student loans, think twice before refinancing your federal loans. If you decide to refinance them, you’ll lose benefits like income-driven repayment plans, loan forgiveness and federal deferment or forbearance programs.

Choosing the best alternative to US Bank student loans for your needs

If you’re a US Bank customer or had heard good things about the bank and were planning on applying for a student loan, you may be disappointed to learn that the bank ended its student loan business a decade ago. However, as noted above, there are private student loan and student loan refinancing lenders currently in operation that offer US Bank-like benefits and customer service.

You can shop around and compare offers by reviewing our list of the best private student loans currently available.

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
2.49% – 13.85%1 Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit College Ave

2.55% – 11.44%2 Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit Earnest

3.25% – 13.59%3 Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit SallieMae

0.00% – 23.00%4 Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit Edly

3.25% – 9.69%5 Undergraduate
Graduate

VISIT CITIZENS

N/A 6 Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit FundingU