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Education Loan for Parents and Families

Lower-priced option to help students with their college costs.

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* Will not impact your credit score.

College Family Loan

The College Family Loan is a private loan for parents, family members and others looking to help undergraduate or graduate students with college costs. With this loan, you choose the repayment option that works with your budget.

Fixed Annual Percentage Rate

3.70% APR–8.01% APR 1

View APR Examples for All Options (PDF)

Lowest rate includes an auto-debit discount.

Compare Before Applying

As a nonprofit, we're able to offer competitive rates that are often lower than rates offered by other national for-profit lenders and that are lower than the parent PLUS loan rate. And a loan with a lower interest rate can help you pay less in interest over the life of a loan.

Total Interest Paid on a $10,000 Loan

These gauges show the different estimated interest costs based on fixed rates. Shopping around to find the lowest rate you qualify for can help you save on interest costs.2

Compare Our Rate to National Lenders

Compare our College Family Loan fixed APRs to parent loan fixed APRs offered by other lenders. The ranges cover a variety of repayment options and include potential discounts.3 (Note: APRs are listed in ascending order of highest rate.)

Direct PLUS Loan: 8.53% APR, ISL Education Lending: 3.70% to 8.01% APR, Citizens: 9.05% to 9.56% APR, Sofi: 6.50% to 14.88% APR, College Ave: 4.39% to 16.49% APR

Applying Is Simple

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Get your rate in less than a minute without impacting your credit score.

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Enter information about yourself and your student, choose from one of three in-school payment options, and then sign your application.

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Once you're approved and the school has certified your student's eligibility, you'll receive a loan offer to review and accept.

All the details. It's a simple idea. We think you should know our credit requirements so you can determine if you qualify before applying.

You Decide When to Start Repaying

There are both benefits and drawbacks to making payments of some sort while your student is in school or postponing repayment until after your student's college days are behind you.

Pay Now

Immediate Payment Option

Pay both principal and interest while in college and after college.
In College After College
Principal & Interest Principal & Interest
Pay Interest During School

Interest-Only Payment Option

Pay interest while in college and both principal and interest after college.
In College After College
Interest Payments Principal & Interest
Pay Later

Deferred Payment Option

No payments while in college and both principal and interest after college.
In College After College
No Payments Principal & Interest

Common Questions

Choosing to apply for either a private parent loan or the parent PLUS loan is a personal decision. The PLUS loan has some but not all the repayment benefits of federal loans for students. It has one interest rate for all applicants and includes an up-front fee of more than 4%. Rates for private loans, like the College Family Loan, are based on your credit and typically do not have an upfront fee. In addition, lenders offer their own repayment benefits, which may be as generous as what parent PLUS loans allow. It's important to understand the differences before deciding which is best for your circumstances.

Compare the College Family Loan to the PLUS loan now (PDF).

No. Students cannot apply for or cosign an application for the College Family Loan. The student has no obligation to repay this loan, and it is not transferrable to the student after he or she leaves school.

To be eligible for this private student loan program, you must:

  • Not have defaulted on any private or government student loan.
  • Not have an active bankruptcy case.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident residing in the United States. (Maine residents are not eligible currently.) Cosigners must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents residing in the United States. Military addresses are considered U.S. addresses if designated as an APO or FPO.
  • Be of majority age pursuant to applicable law at the time of application.

The student for whom the funds are being requested must:

  • Be accepted, enrolled or attending a nonprofit, Title IV eligible, degree-granting, accredited college or university or nonprofit school of nursing located within the United States on at least a half-time basis, as half-time basis is defined by the school.
    • Nonprofit schools of nursing located in Iowa must be approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing.
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress in an eligible education program.
  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
  • Complete a Student Authorization Form.

The College Family Loan is for borrowers and one or more creditworthy cosigners.

To qualify, you or your cosigners must have:

  • Monthly payments for approved credit (mortgages, rent, car loans, credit cards and other forms of credit, including this loan application) that do not exceed 40% of gross monthly income (if a mortgage or rent is not included, debt-to-income ratio cannot exceed 25%). All student loan debt will be treated as though it is in repayment.
  • Continuous employment over the last two years. (This requirement may be waived for retirees, disabled persons or those receiving a verified income.)
  • A FICO score of at least 660. (The FICO score used is the TransUnion FICO Score 8, which is based on data from TransUnion and may be different from other credit scores. FICO is a registered trademark of the Fair Isaac Corporation.)
  • No more than two accounts reporting 30-day delinquencies and no delinquencies of 60 days or more during the previous two years.
  • No charge-offs, repossessions, collection accounts, judgments, foreclosures, garnishments by credit providers or tax liens.
  • No previous bankruptcies.
  • Not defaulted on any private or government student loan.

Note: For joint cosigned College Family Loans, at least one cosigner must meet all credit underwriting criteria with the exception of the debt-to-income ratio, which the cosigners may combine debt and income to calculate the debt-to-income ratio. For loans with only one cosigner, either the applicant or cosigner must meet all credit underwriting criteria with the exception of the debt-to-income ratio, which the applicant and cosigner may combine debt and income to calculate the debt-to-income ratio.

The list of criteria above may not be exhaustive. ISL Education Lending may require you or your cosigners to meet additional criteria in order to qualify for a loan. ISL Education Lending reserves the right to change the list of criteria in any way from time to time.

You may borrow up to your student's cost of attendance minus other aid each year. Your student's college or university must certify that the amount you are requesting does not exceed this amount.

Use the student loan payment calculator to estimate how much your monthly loan payment will be once you start repayment.

No; interest-only payments cannot be made using our auto-debit system. This is because the interest amount due each month is not a set amount and will change based on when your payment is received and the difference in the number of days in each month.

You may use auto-debit once principal and interest repayment begins, which is typically after your student has left school.

You can earn a 0.25% interest rate reduction by signing up to have principal and interest payments automatically withdrawn. The 0.25% interest rate reduction will apply once payments begin to be automatically deducted. The reduction will remain in effect as long as automatic payments continue without interruption during the repayment period. The 0.25% interest rate reduction will not lower the monthly payment amount but will instead reduce the interest amount that accrues. The interest rate reduction will be suspended during approved assistance or if automatic payments are rejected due to insufficient funds.

Interest that is not paid during deferments or under other circumstances is capitalized (or added to the principal balance of the loan). Interest on the College Family Loan capitalizes at:

  • The end of any qualifying deferment period for all loan options.
  • The start of repayment status for loans that do not require principal and interest or interest-only payments while the student is enrolled and during the separation period.
  • The final disbursement of loans that require monthly principal and interest payments while the student is enrolled in school and that have more than one disbursement.

There are no origination, prepayment, late or other fees associated with this loan.

You may qualify for assistance based on your situation. Please call us as soon as possible if you experience issues, so we can help you avoid delinquency.

In the unfortunate event of a borrower's death or qualifying total and permanent disability, Iowa Student Loan Liquidity Corporation will forgive the loan and not require cosigners or the borrower's estate to satisfy the loan obligation. Iowa Student Loan Liquidity Corporation will also forgive the loan and not require the borrower or cosigners to satisfy the loan obligation if the student, for whom the loan funds were borrowed, dies or suffers a qualifying total and permanent disability.

A tax professional or the IRS can provide additional information about possible tax consequences of loan forgiveness.

No; in the event of a cosigner's death or qualifying total and permanent disability, you will not be required to find a new cosigner for an existing loan. In addition, if a cosigner suffers a qualifying total and permanent disability, Iowa Student Loan Liquidity Corporation will release the cosigner from his or her obligation.

Customer service for all loans offered by ISL Education Lending will be provided by our affiliate, Aspire Servicing Center.

  • 1 The lowest annual percentage rate includes a 0.25% interest rate reduction for enrolling in and maintaining auto-debit from the date of origination. Without enrolling in auto-debit, the rate will range from 3.95%–8.01% APR. If you are approved for a loan, the rate offered will depend on your credit profile and the term you select and will be within the ranges shown above assuming the auto-debit interest rate reduction applies. Back to content
  • 2 These calculations assume the borrower makes no payments while the student is enrolled in school and during a six-month separation period, for a total of 51 months where repayment is deferred. The interest rate is assumed to be the same during the in-school period and separation period and once the borrower enters a 15-year repayment period. No origination fees are included in these examples. Repayment plans that require interest-only monthly payments or principal and interest payments during the in-school period may result in smaller total interest charges. Back to content
  • 3 Many lenders only offer limited information about their actual rates upfront. They do not provide all the rate details within the range of rates depicted on this graph. The specific rate an applicant is offered will be determined by the loan type selected and the applicant's or, if applicable, the cosigner's credit history and credit score. Annual percentage rates (APRs) were retrieved from the lenders' websites on May 7, 2024, for fixed-rate loans for parent or family borrowers while the student for whom the loan is being requested is enrolled at least half time. The ranges contain rates offered to applicants with a wide range of credit scores and for a variety of repayment options and terms. The range for ISL Education Lending includes deferred payment options while the student is enrolled; however, the other lenders do not offer parent borrowers this type of repayment option.

    Because each lender offers different in-school repayment options and different repayment terms, an identical loan comparison between lenders is not possible. However, the APRs in the chart are listed as the highest and lowest rates for each lender and include potential rate reductions that may not apply to every borrower. For example, a 0.25% automatic payment interest rate reduction (repayment benefit) has been included for the lowest rate displayed for all private lenders as well as the highest rate for SoFi and College Ave. For complete details on how APRs were calculated, visit the lenders' websites. The U.S. Department of Education does not provide APR calculations for federal loans. As a guide for comparing costs, however, the expected costs of the Federal Direct PLUS Loan for 2024–2025 are approximately equivalent to an APR of 10.10%, which is based on borrowing $10,000, a 4.228% origination fee and a fixed interest rate of 9.08% during the 120-month principal and interest repayment period.

    Before applying for an education loan from any lender, including the Direct PLUS loan offered by the federal government, you should consider additional characteristics, including: credit requirements, monthly payment amount, origination fees, capitalization frequency, borrower benefits and protections, repayment term, when repayment begins, and the total amount to be repaid over the life of the loan. In addition, for Direct PLUS loans, consider if you may qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness or an Income-Driven Repayment Plan. Back to content