PROS / LendKey offers cost calculators to help you plan your college expenses.
CONS / This lender does not offer unemployment protection.
VERDICT / LendKey helps you find a local credit union that can provide you a student loan.
LendKey is a private student loan lender that matches students and parents with college loans through credit unions. Typically, private student loans are harder to qualify for than federal student loans, and credit unions add another layer of complication to this. Credit unions have more restrictions for membership than banks and other lending institutions do. This means you have to meet certain criteria in order to be eligible to borrow funds from a credit union.
This hurdle makes it a little more difficult to qualify for a private student loan at a credit union. For example, to qualify for a loan without needing a cosigner, you need to meet certain credit and income thresholds. When you apply at LendKey, the lender tries to match you to credit unions in its network where you qualify for membership to take advantage of the benefits that credit unions offer.
At present, the network of lenders LendKey works with does not offer fixed-rate college student loans. All of the loans it offers through its network of credit unions are variable-rate loans. While its rates for variable-rate loans are competitive with other private student loan lenders, having fixed-rate loans would give you the security of knowing what your interest rate will be over the life of your loan.
This lender offers loan consolidation and refinancing services. This common feature helps you consolidate both federal student loans and private student loans. This lets you have a single payment and, if you extend the length of your contract, lowers your overall monthly payment.
The loan term length is one of the shortest any private student loan company we reviewed offers, though some other lenders have shorter minimum terms. The grace period with this lender is six months after you graduate or are no longer enrolled in school full time.
LendKey offers client support through a solid FAQs section on its website. For more in-depth questions, LendKey offers both email and phone support.
LendKey is a great resource if you are looking to house your private student loans in a credit union. Though, it doesn't offer fixed-rate loans. Overall, LendKey is competitive in the variable-rate loan market.