Private student loan options for certificate programs

Private student loan for certificate programs

Many private student lenders let people use their loans to pay for certificate programs, not just college costs. That makes student lenders a good place to look if you need help paying for a certificate.

Keep in mind that many private lenders require a good credit score, so you’ll want to make sure you have solid credit before applying. You can also qualify by having a cosigner who has a good credit history.

The following lenders offer private student loans for certificate programs.

College Ave Student Loans

College Ave LogoView Rates

Rates (APR)

1.24% – 13.95%

Loan Amounts

$1,000 – 100% of cost of attendance

Repayment Terms

5, 8, 10, or 15 years

College Ave is LendEDU’s top-rated private student lender. The company’s career loans have reasonable fixed and variable interest rates and you can qualify with or without a cosigner. If you do add a cosigner, you can remove them from the loan after making twenty-four monthly payments.

  • Eligibility requirements: US Citizen or permanent resident
  • Variable rates: 1.24% – 12.99%
  • Fixed rates: 4.39% – 13.95%
  • Repayment terms: 5, 8, 10, or 15 years
  • When repayment begins: Varies based on the repayment plan
  • Discounts offered: 0.25% automatic payment discount
  • Key features:
    • Remove cosigner after 24 payments
    • Multiple payment options

Sallie Mae Student Loans

Sallie Mae LogoView Rates

Rates (APR)

4.25% – 13.83%

Loan Amounts

$1,000 – 100% of school-certified expenses

Repayment Terms

Not disclosed

Sallie Mae is a well-known private student lender. The company offers career training loans for certificate programs, with coverage for all program-related costs and multiple repayment options.

  • Eligibility requirements: US citizen or permanent resident
  • Variable rates: 4.25% – 11.64%
  • Fixed rates: 6.62% – 13.83%
  • Repayment terms: Not disclosed
  • When repayment begins: Immediately
  • Discounts offered: 0.25% automatic payment discount
  • Key features:
    • Choose flat or interest-only payments while in the program
    • Cover all program-related costs, including meals, travel, and technology

Wells Fargo Student Loans

Wells Fargo LogoView Rates

Rates (APR)

5.00% – 12.45%

Loan Amounts

Up to $20,000

Repayment Terms

Not disclosed

Wells Fargo is a bank that offers specialized loans to people attending certificate programs or community colleges. You can save money with an interest rate discount if you have a Wells Fargo checking account.

  • Eligibility requirements: US citizen, national, or permanent resident, temporary resident alien, or DACA recipient
  • Variable rates: 5.00% – 10.43%
  • Fixed rates: 7.24% – 12.45%
  • Repayment terms: Not disclosed
  • When repayment begins: 6 months after you finish the program
  • Discounts offered: Existing customer, automatic payment
  • Key features:
    • Discount for checking account customers

What to consider with private student loans for certificate programs

Loans can be complicated and so there are some things that you should consider when comparing lenders:

  • If you’re applying for a loan for a certificate program, the first thing to look at is whether your program is eligible. Some student lenders won’t offer loans for certificate programs, though the companies we’ve listed above do.
  • Many lenders have other eligibility requirements, such as minimum incomes or credit scores. If you can’t meet those requirements on your own, you’ll need to apply with a cosigner. If you just barely meet them, a cosigner might still be a good idea to help you secure a lower interest rate.
  • Interest rates are incredibly important when comparing loans. Other than the loan amount, the interest rate of a loan is the main determinant of the loan’s total cost. In general, you want to choose the loan with the lowest interest rate to keep the loan’s cost as low as possible.
  • The loan’s repayment term is another factor in the affordability of the loan. Longer loan terms leave you with lower monthly payments but mean that interest has more time to accrue. That increases the total cost of the loan. Short terms mean higher monthly payments, but a lower cost for the loan overall.
  • Finally, think about when you have to start repaying the loan. Some loans force you to start making payments immediately. Others give you a few months after finishing your certificate before you have to start making payments.

Alternatives to private student loans for certificate programs

There are some things to consider before you apply for a loan to earn a certificate.

  • Will the certificate improve your income or career prospects enough to justify the cost?
  • If the lender requires immediate payments, do you have the resources to make those payments while working on the certificate?
  • Are there other ways you can cover the cost of the certificate, such as saving up money or receiving a scholarship?

It’s also worth checking with your employer to see if they will cover the cost of your certificate. If the certification you want to earn is related to your industry, many employers will use funds that they dedicate to employee training.

Don’t forget that federal student loans are an option, even if you’re not attending a traditional college degree program. Fill out the FAFSA and see if you can get any assistance or loans from the government before opting for private loans.

College Ave is our top-rated private lender for career loans.College Ave LogoView Rates

Rates (APR)

1.24% – 13.95%

Loan Amounts

$1,000 – 100% of cost of attendance

Repayment Terms

5, 8, 10, or 15 years

Also read: Private Student Loans for Certificate Programs

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