Are U.S. Bank student loans still available? Short answer: No. Although U.S. Bank previously had a student loan program, it stopped offering student loans in 2012. That doesn’t mean you can’t get a student loan from a traditional bank — you just can’t get one from U.S. Bank.
There are plenty of other ways to finance your education, though. Here’s everything you need to know about what U.S. Bank offers students and how to find the money you need for your education.
U.S. Bank student loan program
Although many traditional banks offer student loans, U.S. Bank neither issues federal student loans nor originates private student loans. If you know someone with U.S. Bank student loans, they probably received them before the bank closed its student loan program.
U.S. Bank does offer a student checking account with no monthly maintenance fees. However, if you get student loans from a traditional bank it could be advantageous to open a checking account at the same institution.
Alternative forms of student aid
If you can’t get student loans from U.S. Bank, there are many alternatives when it comes to finding money for school. Here are some strategies to find the money you need.
Scholarships and grants
Not sure you’ll qualify for any of the scholarships and grants that you are available? Apply anyway. You don’t have to repay the money from scholarships and grants, so the more of your tuition you can cover through this method, the better.
You might be most familiar with need-based and merit-based scholarships and grants, but don’t forget there are group-based and career-based opportunities, too. Search for scholarships through your school, parents’ employer, local community organizations, and online that are related to niche interests or career pursuits you have.
Federal student loans
If you need to borrow money, maxing out your federal loan limits before using a private lender is smart. Federal loans generally have a lower interest rate. They also offer an array of borrower protections and repayment plans that can be a huge help after you’ve graduated. For instance, you could opt to take advantage of programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness or Income-Driven Repayment with federal loans.
Private student loans
If your federal student loans don’t cover the entire cost of your education, consider taking out private student loans. Shop around to compare private student loan rates and terms from online lenders, traditional banks and credit unions, as they each could have their advantages. Remember, not all traditional banks will have student loan programs.
Another way to finance your education is through federal work-study. This is presented as part of your financial aid package and allows you to receive money through part-time employment, that’s on- or off-campus.
U.S. Bank college loan repayment options
Did you receive U.S. Bank student loans before it stopped their program? Here are some methods to help you repay your loan:
Refinancing. Refinancing, sometimes called a loan “consolidation”. With a U.S. Bank student loan consolidation, you take out a new refinance loan to pay off your existing U.S. Bank student loans. Then, you simply focus on repaying the one, new loan instead of having to make multiple payments each month. Ideally, you’ll get a lower interest rate and preferable terms when you refinance a student loan.
Employer student loan benefits. Some employers are now offering help with student loan payments as a workplace benefit. Ask your employer about their policy so you understand how it might help with your student loans.
Federal repayment options. If you currently have federal student loans from U.S. Bank, like a Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), you might be eligible for additional repayment strategies.
For example, you can consolidate U.S. Bank-originated FFELs into a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan. Once your old U.S. Bank student loans are turned into a Direct Consolidation Loan, the debt now qualifies for federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).
Under PSLF, you could have the balance of your loan forgiven after making 120 qualifying payments while working for an eligible employer. You could also be eligible for income-driven repayment plans that calculate your monthly payment based on your income and family size.
State repayment incentives. Some states offer repayment programs to attract talent to underserved communities. For example, Colorado has the Rural Essential Access Provider loan repayment program that assists with student loan repayment for health care providers in communities of high need.
Although U.S. Bank student loans are no longer an active option, there are many other ways to finance your education. Traditional banks are certainly an option, but always max out the federal student loans available to you, first.