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LendKey is a private student loan marketplace that connects borrowers with community banks and credit unions. Working with smaller lenders, LendKey can offer you competitive interest rates on private student loans. With an automated loan process, you are able to apply for a loan and make repayments through their online portal.
Summary: LendKey’s loans are best for borrowers looking for competitive rates from a smaller bank or credit union.
Loan Terms, Fees & Rates
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|HQ||104 W. 27th St. New York, NY 10001|
|Min. Loan Amount||$1,000|
|Max. Loan Amount||Up to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance|
|Loan Terms||5, 10, or 15 years|
|Interest Rate Type||Fixed or Variable|
|Min. Credit Score||660|
|Auto-Pay Discount||0.25% reduction (for payments made from a checking or savings account)|
|Grace Period||6 months from the time that you graduate|
|International Students||Must be a US citizen or permanent resident|
|State Restrictions||Available in all states|
While each lender has its specific criteria, LendKey’s streamlined digital application process saves you time and effort by taking the hassle out of shopping around. Partnering with smaller lenders, students can check their eligibility for a private student loan through the application process instantly.
To start the process, you can apply online and LendKey will connect you with a lender based on your financial circumstances. The application takes a few minutes and you’ll receive either a conditional approval or application refusal almost instantly. Processing the loan can take an additional 30 days, and may require you to submit further documentation to support your application.
You’ll need the following information to complete your application:
Once connected, you’ll have access to the marketplace with lenders and their rates. If you are matched with a credit union, it may be a requirement to join a credit union membership and make a small donation to be eligible for the loan. If your application is rejected, it’s helpful to ask LendKey for the reasons why your application was turned down. To improve your chances of being accepted, ensure that your credit report information is accurate. Adding a co-signer with a favorable credit history and reliable source of income can also assist you with your application.
The application process is credit-based and students require a minimum credit score of 660. If you do not have a credit score or a stable income, you will likely need a co-signer.
As an applicant, you must be:
LendKey offers private student loans and refinancing options. It is strongly encouraged that you apply for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before taking out a private student loan.
Loans are available for undergraduate students and graduates who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
LendKey offers variable and fixed-rate private student loans with terms lasting from 5 to 15 years. When you sign up for automatic payments, you’ll receive a 0.25% reduction on your interest rate. Your actual rate will depend on your income and credit history and that of your co-signer if applicable.
There are refinancing options for private and federal student loans. There is extended forbearance for longer-term loans and loan terms can range from 5, 7, 10, 15, to 20 years. Undergraduates can refinance up to $125,000, graduates up to $250,000 and medical students up to $300,000.
There are no origination or application fees when you apply for a loan with LendKey and no penalties for early repayment. However, some lenders do charge late fees, so be sure to review your loan contract so you are aware of these costs. You can borrow up to 100% of your school-certified cost of attendance and payments start while in school at a fixed amount of $25 a month or interest-only payments for up to 60 months. Interest accrues on what you borrow and there are no penalties for canceling future disbursements. Also, keep in mind that while LendKey is responsible for providing some of the terms, you’ll need to read these in conjunction with the terms and conditions of the specific lender.
To see your rate, please visit LendKey here.
The repayment options in-school are:
The repayment options for post-school are:
If you require forbearance, LendKey does not have a standardized forbearance or discharge policy. This will need to be reviewed in the policy documentation when you take out the loan with your lender. LendKey advises that if you require forbearance, reach out to the customer care representative for more information about forbearance options available to you.
LendKey services all of its loans that are taken out on its platform. Customer service can be accessed via phone, fax, or email. There is an in-house customer service team, but borrowers do not have a dedicated support representative to contact in case of escalation.
According to Trustpilot, many of the satisfied customers mention how the process is easy to understand and the support staff is helpful. There’s always someone available to answer any questions and very often provide a better rate for their customers.
Many of the complaints come from customers that were not approved for a loan and found the process frustrating. There were also complaints that LendKey does not provide income-driven repayment options.
LendKey protects all the information that is transmitted through its servers. However, in some cases, LendKey may share your information with third-party lenders that can help finance your loan. While LendKey takes necessary steps to ensure the protection of your data, once it is in the hands of a third party, it cannot guarantee its security. Although these institutions that handle your information, have bank-grade level security.
LendKey student loans can be a great option for borrowers looking to match with smaller banks and credit unions for more competitive rates on their loans. Furthermore, their online portal makes the application and repayment process seamless. LendKey also provides you access to a marketplace where you can compare lenders and the rates offered.