1. Rhode Island Student Loan Authority
Founded in 1981, Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA) is a nonprofit quasi-state authority. The company offers state-based private education loans, student loan refinancing, and financial aid assistance. 

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The Good

  • Customer Service
  • Helpful Resources and Tools
  • Loan Programs
  • Transparent
  • Low Rates

Customer Service

Rhode Island Student Loan Authority does not work through automated phone lines. Instead, the company offers one-on-one customer service. Additionally, borrowers can schedule college planning appointments to talk through questions they may have about going to college.

Helpful Resources And Tools

RISLA provides convenient, helpful resources to students, including free college planning advice, online loan calculators, and financial literacy tutorials.

Loan Programs

RISLA is unique in that it offers many loan reward programs. The organization's website explains these programs in detail. In addition to loan reward programs, RISLA also offers loan forgiveness programs and ways to reduce interest rates.


RISLA is transparent about its offerings and displays them in plain view on its website. This is convenient for borrowers because they will have an understanding of what the organization has available without having to dig or fill out an application.

Low Fixed Rates

RISLA's fixed rates, which range from 3.49 to 7.64 percent, are low for the industry. Additionally, the organization does not charge any origination fees.

The Bad

  • No Variable Rates
  • Higher Minimum Income Requirement
  • No 20-Year Term

No Variable Rates

Unfortunately, Rhode Island Student Loan Authority does not offer variable interest rates; its refinancing program only works with fixed interest rates. Most companies in the industry offer both fixed and variable interest rates.

Higher Minimum Income Requirement

RISLA requires that borrowers have an annual gross income of at least $40,000 in order to be eligible. This could be difficult requirement for individuals just coming out of college to meet.

No 20-Year Term

Most companies in the industry offer a 20-year fixed term. However, RISLA's longest term is only 15 years.

The Bottom Line

Rhode Island Student Loan Authority is a transparent organization that offers affordable fixed interest rates. The organization also provides great resources and helpful customer service representatives. People in all 50 states have the ability to use RISLA's refinancing program. However, the organization does not offer variable interest rates and its longest term length is only 15 years. Additionally, borrowers must make at least $40,000 per year in order to be eligible to use RISLA's services.

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September 14th, 2017 Chicago, IL

Company was pretty easy to work with, got approved with a day, emailed in all the paperwork they needed and they were quick to pay off the other loans. Would definitely recommend them. Saving me thousands over dollars over the life of my loan.

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