You’ve been told again and again that it’s wise to shop around and compare offers before taking out a private student loan. But manually getting quotes from individual lenders can be time-consuming and frustrating. Credible, an online financial marketplace, aims to streamline the process.
By filling out one simple form, you can get quotes from leading lenders and find the best loan for you. For some borrowers, it can be a convenient way to shop for a loan.
Credible Student Loans Overview
Credible was launched in 2014 as the first student loan refinancing marketplace. It connected borrowers to refinance lenders, helping borrowers search for lower interest rates and find the best available loans. Since its inception, Credible has broadened its platform to include in-school private student loans, personal loans and mortgages.
Through Credible, you can fill out one easy form and get connected to multiple lenders without affecting your credit score. Credible’s partners are all leading student loan companies. None of the partners charge origination fees or prepayment penalties, and you can find options for undergraduate programs, graduate school and even parent lending.
Although Credible partners with several major companies, it doesn’t include all leading lenders. For example, well-known lenders like Discover, Laurel Road and SoFi are missing from Credible’s list of lenders, so you may have to do some comparison shopping on your own to check rates and find the best loan offers.
Unlike some marketplace platforms that offer additional discounts for using their site, Credible doesn’t offer any extra benefits. And because Credible is a marketplace, repayment terms and policies vary by lender; not all of Credible’s partners offer cosigner releases, financial hardship forbearance or loan forgiveness in the cases of borrower disability.
Credible isn’t a lender; instead, it’s a marketplace platform that connects borrowers to its partner lenders. Through the platform, borrowers can get rate quotes with just a soft credit check and compare loan offers.
What they offer: Private student loans
Credible’s platform can be used to find in-school student loans. Whether you’re an undergraduate student, a parent borrowing on behalf of a child or a graduate student planning to attend medical school, there are loan options available for you.
As of Aug. 3, 2023, Credible’s partner lenders are:
- Citizens Bank
- College Ave
- Custom Choice
- Sallie Mae
Eligibility requirements, loan terms and maximum loan amounts vary by lender. With most lenders, you can borrow up to the total cost of attendance, and the repayment plans span five to 20 years. Although most of the partner lenders offer both variable interest rates and fixed interest rates, some have only fixed-rate options.
Credible’s partners also allow you to add a cosigner online; by adding a creditworthy cosigner, you can improve your odds of qualifying for a loan and potentially get a lower rate.
What they don’t offer
Credible is a reputable online marketplace, but it does have some drawbacks:
- Not all lenders offer cosigner releases: Adding a cosigner is a good way to improve your chances of getting approved for a loan, but there may be times when a cosigner would like to be removed from the loan. Although some lenders offer cosigner releases — removing the cosigner if you meet certain requirements — not all of Credible’s partners do. Without a cosigner release option, you have to pay off the loan in full or refinance into a new loan to eliminate the cosigner’s obligation.
- Not all lenders offer forbearance or loan forgiveness: Forbearance and loan forgiveness policies can vary between lenders. While some allow you to postpone payments if you have financial difficulties, not all lenders offer that option. And not all lenders provide student loan forgiveness if you become totally and permanently disabled. Before accepting a loan and signing a loan agreement, carefully do your homework on the individual lender’s policies.
- Federal student loans: You can only borrow federal student loans through the U.S. Education Department. Credible’s partner lenders are all private loan companies.
Despite being a relatively young company, Credible is well-regarded. According to the company, it helped over 55,000 people save money on their loans in 2021.
In 2019, the Fox Corporation — a Fortune 500 company — acquired 67% of the equity in Credible for approximately $260 million in cash. As a result of the deal, Credible was able to expand its offerings.
Licenses and Registrations
Credible is not a lender or bank; it provides a platform that connects borrowers to lenders. It’s not a licensed lender. Instead, its partner lenders are licensed within certain states to issue student loans.
Credible loans are available in all 50 states. However, not all lenders are available in all states.
For example, INvestEd only lends to Indiana residents and non-Indiana residents attending a university in Indiana.
Awards and Certifications
Credible is regularly recognized as a leading financial company. In 2022, U.S. News selected Credible as the best company for loan comparisons.
As a student loan marketplace, Credible is not rated by credit rating agencies.
While some of Credible’s partner lenders have experienced regulatory issues or litigation, Credible has not had those issues. Before submitting an application with a particular lender, make sure you do some homework on the lender and their reliability.
Some consumers have submitted complaints about Credible to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). In the past three years, consumers submitted 19 complaints to the CFPB.
When you’re shopping for a student loan, you want to know that the company you choose is available to answer any questions you may have. Although Credible isn’t a lender, it does have customer service options to help you navigate the application process.
Credible does not offer in-person assistance; you can only apply for loans online at Credible.com.
You can reach customer support by phone, email or online chat:
Customer support hours are Monday through Thursday, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Standard Time; Friday, from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST; and Saturday and Sunday, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST.
Credible provides an easy-to-use platform. You can get quotes — without affecting your credit score — in minutes by providing some basic information about yourself, such as your income, employer and education. The site is simple to navigate, and Credible has educational resources in the form of articles and loan calculators.
Credible doesn’t handle loan servicing. Its partner lenders handle all loans, so after you take out the loan, you’ll have to work with the lender issuing it or a third-party loan servicer for any questions about your accounts, monthly payments or repayment options.
Credible’s Customer Satisfaction
With private student loans, customer satisfaction can vary a great deal depending on the lender or platform. In general, Credible has a good reputation for customer service, with customers praising the simplicity and ease of the platform.
On TrustPilot, Credible has a score of 4.7 out of five based on over 6,000 reviews, putting it in the “excellent” category. In Credible student loan reviews, customers say they were able to get quotes quickly and that customer support rapidly responded to any questions.
Credible is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with an A+ rating. However, its customer rating is just 1.27 out of five based on a very small number of 15 reviews. In complaints, customers said they were unable to qualify for loans and had issues getting explanations for denials.
Credible is not rated by third-party organizations for customer satisfaction because they’re a loan marketplace.
How We Evaluated Credible Student Loans
In our evaluation of Credible, we looked at the company’s available loan options, fees, repayment terms and the reliability of its partner lenders. We focused on Credible’s in-school private loans for undergraduate and graduate students — the most common borrower categories.