Which student loan option is best for you? As the old expression goes, "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you."
Seem a bit overly dramatic? Well that is what financial aid officers are being encouraged to say, (well not verbatim, but that is the gist.)
The only people that know the least expensive ways to finance an education cannot tell you. While for years, financial aid professionals were evaluating and presenting the options for a family financing a student's education, those days are over. The "student loan scandal" ousted a handful of financial aid directors for driving volume to student loan providers in exchange for kickbacks. As a consequence now all are regulated and cannot give any recommendation regarding how you should finance their college's costs.
You might be able to get a list of student loan options out of your financial aid office or do your own research, (being careful to only have the most current information as lending terms and players are changing practically daily), but trying to do your own comparison will likely create more questions than it will answer. Nearly every private education loan now has tiered pricing based on its credit criteria, so you will not know the student loan interest rate or fee structure that applies to you, until you apply.
While all the basic criteria for student loan evaluation still apply, borrowing for college has additional criteria that should be examined. Things like deferment options (of principal payments or all payments) during enrollment, cosigner release, (turning a parent loan into a student loan), loan forgiveness, annual and cumulative borrowing limits, even a student's and school's residence all must be examined and weighed in your decision.
If you need help evaluating your private student loan options, send me an email! I am completely unaffiliated and guarantee I am not getting kickbacks, nor will I have to follow through on that old expression if I offer my educated opinion.