Loans for Rhode Island Students

Start the Application Process with Valuable Knowledge

The Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA) is perhaps the most comprehensive state agency for financial aid available to students today. Instead of confusing the loan process by involving numerous lenders along the life of the loan, RISLA neatly packages the entire college loan process, making life easier for both parents and students - before, during and after college.


The Rhode Island Student Loan Authority  (RISLA), a non-profit State authority, has been providing affordable higher education loans since 1981. RISLA also offers students and parents free educational admissions and financial aid assistance through the College Planning Center of Rhode Island and financial literacy guidance at high schools and colleges throughout the State of Rhode Island. 

Special reward programs and repayment plans are also available for students pursuing careers in law, teaching or healthcare, designed to reward their career choice.

Federal Loansloans in Rhode Island

When students finance their federal loans through RISLA ,  they are taking advantage of monies freed up by the state that are tax-exempt. Money that is not subject to federal taxation automatically saves state residents a significant amount of money on their federal loans. This is how RISLA is able to keep interest rates low and bear the burden of origination fees.

When it’s time for repayment, paying on-time and setting up automatic repayment deductions from bank accounts can qualify borrowers for deeper rate cuts.

RISLA Alternative Loans

Frequently, college students find federal student loans are simply not enough. Staffords max out after a few thousand dollars, which falls shockingly short of most college tuitions. Parents have often taken out home equity loans and even second mortgages to finance college. In response, lenders of all kinds have established alternative student loans specifically created to fill the money hole left behind after federal funds have been disbursed.

  • The Rhode Island Family Education Loan is an aptly named alternative loan offered to RI students. Borrowers are encouraged to seek a co-borrower with good credit, but are also advised to have good credit themselves. In most cases the better your credit or that of the co-borrower the better the interest rate on the loan. The Family Education Loan may provide up to an extra $35,000 each year for students. Perks include a fixed rate of interest and an opt-out for the co-borrower once consecutive on time payments have been made. Also, students are exempt from payments until after graduation.
  • The College Bound Loan is a competitive alternative loan that is offered to “preferred borrowers.”

    Again, the better your credit the better your loan.

  • The Bar Review Loan is offered to Rhode Island residents attending an eligible in-state or out-of-state law school and non-Rhode Island residents who attend an eligible Rhode Island law school. This loan is for students in their final year of law school and have expenses associated with studying for and taking the bar exam. It goes without saying that besides medical students law students can rack up some serious debt and this loan offers them as many low-cost, low-interest bells and whistles as it can muster.

Career-Specific Loans

Nursing, medical, dentistry and teaching students may all access specially formulated reward programs. Those who already work part-time in RI may be eligible for attractive student loans designed to offer monetary incentive, as well as keep these much needed professionals working in Rhode Island. The Nursing Reward Program, Dentistry Reward Program and Primary Care Provider Reward Program all offer a percentage off the balance of the loan for those who stay working in the state.

Repayment and Consolidation Loans

It’s pretty common these days that graduates are encumbered with absurd debt load after college. In fact, most loans come due six months after graduation, which is barely enough time to get a job and a place to live. In order to help new grads succeed, both now and in the future, consolidation loans are available that can take the sting out of those heady monthly payments. Federal Consolidation Loans allow borrowers to refinance multiple federal student loans, repackage them into one lower monthly payment, and extend the payment period. Yes, you pay more for your loans in the end, but you eliminate your chances of defaulting and ruining your credit.

RISLA also offers a Financial Literacy 101course. In addition to receiving zero origination fees on your qualifying 2012/13 deferred repayment Rhode Island Family Education Loan, you can also learn about: Budgeting, Financing Higher Education, Identity Theft and Understanding Credit.