Bank of America Student Loan Alternatives


The financial market has gone through ups and downs in recent years, and your student loans could be caught in the middle. For example, Bank of America once offered student loans — you might have even had one — but they have been discontinued.

When student loans are sold to another servicer, borrowers can be left with questions about how to handle their loans. Here’s everything you need to know if you had Bank of America student loans or if were looking to get a new loan from the banking giant.

Bank of America student loans

Bank of America is one of the “Big Four” consumer banks in the United States based on assets. It once serviced both private student loans and federal student loans, including Stafford Loans, PLUS Loans, and those issued under the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

After 2009, however, Bank of America stopped issuing school loans and divested itself of its student loan portfolio. If you had Bank of America student loans, you should have received information on your new lender or servicer.

If you’re not sure who’s servicing your former Bank of America student loans, find out by logging in to the National Student Loan Data System, the U.S. Department of Education’s central database for Title IV loans and grants. Or if you had private loans, order a credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com for information on all your debt.

Alternatives to Bank of America student loans

If you’re looking to take out a new loan for your education, you might not be able to borrow student loans from Bank of America anymore, but you do have a few other options:

1. Borrow federal student loans

Before turning to any private loans, you should probably max out your eligibility for federal student loans. Federal loans tend to have very competitive interest rates, especially for undergraduate students, and they don’t require a cosigner.

Federal student loans also come with borrower protections, such as lenient forbearance and deferment options, as well as income-driven repayment plans. Students with financial need might also qualify for subsidized loans, which don’t accrue interest until your grace period ends.

To access federal student loans (as well as grants, work study and other aid), you need to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once you get accepted to college, your financial aid award letter will detail how much you can borrow in federal student loans.

Since these loans come with borrowing limits, you might still have a gap in funding. If you need additional money for college or graduate school, it could make sense to explore private lenders.

2. Compare your options for private student loans

Unlike federal student loans, private loans have varying rates and terms. Each lender sets its own policies, so your private student loan offer from one bank might be different from your offer from another.

That’s why it’s crucial to shop around for a private student loan to find the best rates and terms. Here are some alternatives to Bank of America student loans.

College Ave Student Loans

  • Provides variable rates at 3.96% – 11.98% and fixed rates at 4.72% – 12.94%
  • Offers loans that cover up to 100% of your cost of attendance
  • Lets you choose repayment terms of 5, 8, 10 or 15 years
  • Offers the option to defer payments while you’re in school and for six months after you graduate, or to make interest-only, flat or full payments while in school
  • Doesn’t charge an origination fee

Learn more about College Ave student loans in this review.

CommonBond

  • Provides variable rates at 3.66% – 9.64% and fixed rates at 5.45% – 9.74%
  • Offers loans from $2,000 and up to 100% of your cost of attendance
  • Has repayment terms of 5, 10, or 15 years
  • Offers four repayment options: no payments while in school or during your grace period, in-school monthly payments of $25, in-school interest-only payments, or in-school full payments
  • Has no origination fee

Check out our CommonBond review here.

Citizens Bank

  • Offers variable rates at 3.96% – 11.61% and fixed rates at 4.90% – 12.04%
  • Provides interest rate deductions for Citizens Bank customers
  • Has loans from $1,000 to $150,000 for undergraduates
  • Allows repayment terms of 5, 10 or 15 years
  • Doesn’t charge an origination fee
  • Offers multi-year approval so it’s easy to borrow in future semesters

Read our Citizens Bank review for more information.

LendKey

  • Provides a student loan marketplace that allows you to compare multiple offers from credit unions and community banks
  • Has variable rates at 4.40% – 9.37% and fixed rates at 5.36% – 9.07%

Check out our LendKey review for more details.

Along with exploring your student loan options from national lenders, you might also look to another local bank or credit union to see what it has to offer.

Several of these lenders offer instant rate quotes online, so you can see if you prequalify in a matter of minutes. Remember that once you choose a loan, you might get to select a fixed or variable interest rate, as well as loan terms between five and 15 years.

You can use our student loan calculator to estimate your future monthly payments so you understand exactly what you’re getting into before finalizing your loan application.

Refinancing Bank of America student loans

If you took out Bank of America student loans before 2009, you can still refinance them with a new lender. Through refinancing, you could potentially snag a lower interest and save money on your debt.

Plus, you can combine multiple loans into one, thereby simplifying repayment. And if you want to choose a longer or shorter term to adjust your payments, you can usually do that, too.

Some solid options for student loan refinancing providers include:

  • SoFi
    • Offers variable rates at 2.41% – 8.20% and fixed rates at 3.49% – 8.47%
  • CommonBond
    • Offers variable rates at 2.39% – 6.55% and fixed rates at 3.36%– 8.07%
  • Citizens Bank
    • Offers variable rates at 2.60% – 9.60% and fixed rates at 3.59% – 9.85%
  • Earnest
    • Offers variable rates at 2.41% – 6.99% and fixed rates at 3.36% – 7.82%

For the full list, head to our student loan refinancing marketplace. If you have the credit and income to qualify, refinancing could help you strategically manage your student loans from Bank of America or wherever else.

But if you’re relying on federal programs, be careful — refinancing with a private lender means you lose access to income-driven plans, certain forgiveness programs and other federal perks. Because of this, you should only pursue this path if you’re comfortable turning your debt private.

Whether you’re looking to borrow a new private student loan or refinance an existing one, make sure to shop around to find the best offer. After all, borrowing or refinancing debt is a big decision.

Need a student loan?

Here are our top student loan lenders of 2019!

Lender Variable APR Eligibility  
* 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 = Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.

2 .

3 .
4 .
5 .
6 .

4.23% – 11.35%*,1 Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit SallieMae

3.99% – 11.44%2 Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit Earnest

3.96% – 11.98%3 Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents

Visit College Ave

4.72% – 11.87%4 Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit Discover

4.90% – 11.11%5 Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit PNC

3.66% – 9.64%6 Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit CommonBond


Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

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Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.



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