10 Best Part-Time Student Loans of 2024

In today’s world, pursuing higher education is often accompanied by financial challenges. Many students find themselves juggling between academics and part-time jobs to make ends meet. However, with the rising costs of tuition, textbooks, and living expenses, working part-time might not be enough to cover all expenses. This is where part-time student loans come into play. These loans offer financial assistance to students who are working part-time or attending school less than full-time. In this article, we’ll explore the 10 best part-time student loans of 2024, helping students make informed decisions about their financial future.

10 Best Part-Time Student Loans of 2024

1. Federal Perkins Loan

The Federal Perkins Loan is a need-based loan program that offers low-interest loans to undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial needs. Administered by participating schools, this loan has a fixed interest rate and offers flexible repayment options. Eligibility and loan amounts vary depending on financial need and available funds at the institution.

2. Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

Available to undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need, the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan offers low interest rates and flexible repayment options. The government pays the interest on the loan while the student is in school at least half-time, during the grace period, and during deferment periods, making it an attractive option for part-time students.

3. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Similar to the subsidized loan, the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is available to undergraduate and graduate students, regardless of financial need. While the interest rates are slightly higher than subsidized loans, they still offer competitive rates and flexible repayment plans. Part-time students can benefit from this loan to cover educational expenses not met by other financial aid.

4. Private Student Loans

Private student loans are offered by banks, credit unions, and online lenders and can be used to cover education-related expenses, including tuition, fees, books, and living expenses. These loans are not backed by the government and typically have higher interest rates compared to federal loans. However, they can be a viable option for part-time students who need additional funds beyond federal aid.

5. State-Sponsored Student Loans

Many states offer their own student loan programs to help residents cover the cost of higher education. These loans may have lower interest rates and more favorable terms compared to private loans. Part-time students should explore state-sponsored loan options available in their state of residence and consider them alongside federal and private loan options.

6. Employer Tuition Assistance Programs

Some employers offer tuition assistance programs as part of their employee benefits package. These programs provide financial assistance to employees pursuing further education, including part-time studies. While not technically loans, tuition assistance programs can help part-time students offset the cost of education without taking on additional debt.

7. Income-Share Agreements (ISAs)

Income-share agreements are a relatively new form of financing education that allows students to receive funding in exchange for a percentage of their future income over a set period of time. ISAs are not traditional loans, as there is no interest charged, but rather students agree to pay a portion of their income after graduation. Part-time students may find ISAs appealing as they offer flexibility based on post-graduation income.

8. Peer-to-Peer Lending

Peer-to-peer lending platforms connect borrowers directly with individual investors willing to fund their education. These platforms offer competitive interest rates and flexible repayment terms, making them an attractive option for part-time students in need of additional funds. However, borrowers should exercise caution and thoroughly research peer-to-peer lending platforms before applying for a loan.

9. Credit Union Student Loans

Many credit unions offer student loans with competitive interest rates and borrower-friendly terms. Part-time students may find credit union loans more accessible than traditional bank loans, as credit unions often have membership requirements that may be easier to meet. Additionally, credit unions may offer personalized service and financial education resources to help students manage their loans responsibly.

10. Scholarship and Grant Programs

While not loans, scholarships and grants are valuable sources of financial aid that can help reduce the need for student loans altogether. Part-time students should explore scholarship and grant opportunities available through their school, community organizations, employers, and other sources. By maximizing free financial aid, students can minimize the number of loans needed to fund their education.


What are part-time student loans?

Part-time student loans are financial aid options specifically designed for students who are attending school less than full-time. These loans help cover tuition, fees, books, and living expenses for students who are balancing their education with part-time work or other responsibilities.

How do federal part-time student loans differ from private loans?

Federal part-time student loans are backed by the government and typically offer lower interest rates, flexible repayment options, and borrower protections such as deferment and forbearance. Private student loans are offered by banks and other financial institutions and may have higher interest rates and fewer borrower benefits, but they can still be a viable option for part-time students.

What are the eligibility criteria for part-time student loans?

Eligibility criteria for part-time student loans vary depending on the type of loan. Federal loans often require the student to be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible program at an accredited institution and demonstrate financial need. Private loans may have different eligibility requirements based on the lender’s policies and the creditworthiness of the borrower.

How do I apply for part-time student loans?

To apply for federal part-time student loans, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. The FAFSA determines eligibility for federal grants, loans, and work-study programs. Private student loans typically require a separate application process through the lender’s website or in-person at a branch location.

Are there any alternatives to part-time student loans?

Yes, alternatives to part-time student loans include scholarships, grants, employer tuition assistance programs, income-share agreements (ISAs), peer-to-peer lending, and personal savings. These alternatives can help reduce or eliminate the need for student loans and provide additional financial support for part-time students.

What factors should I consider when choosing a part-time student loan?

When choosing a part-time student loan, consider factors such as interest rates, repayment terms, borrower benefits, loan limits, and eligibility requirements. Compare multiple loan options and carefully review the terms and conditions before making a decision. It’s also important to consider your long-term financial goals and how the loan will impact your overall financial situation after graduation.

Can part-time student loans be deferred or forgiven?

Federal part-time student loans may be eligible for deferment or forbearance under certain circumstances, such as economic hardship or returning to school for further education. Some federal loans may also be eligible for forgiveness programs, such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), for borrowers working in qualifying public service jobs. Private loans may offer deferment or forbearance options, but forgiveness programs are less common and vary by lender.

What happens if I can’t repay my part-time student loans?

If you’re unable to repay your part-time student loans, contact your loan servicer immediately to discuss options such as income-driven repayment plans, deferment, or forbearance. Defaulting on student loans can have serious consequences, including damage to your credit score, wage garnishment, and legal action. It’s important to communicate with your loan servicer and explore all available options to avoid default.

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