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As the cost of college continues to rise, sometimes you need more than federal aid to pay for everything.
Private student loans are a great choice for students who need more financial help. If you’re looking at private student loans, College Ave is worth checking out.
Although they are a newer private lender, they offer several loan options that can bridge the financial gap for students.
What is College Ave?
College Ave is an online lender for private student loans and refinancing. They have only been around since 2014, but have quickly made a name for themselves as a great option for private loans.
College Ave is based out of Delaware, but are an online business exclusively. They have private student loan options for undergraduate and graduate studies. There are also parent loans available too.
College Ave Student Loans
College Ave offers various private student loans that will meet the needs of most college students. The minimum loan amount starts at $1,000 and goes up to the complete cost of school.
College costs can include tuition, room and board, fees, books, and other supplies, transportation, and personal expenses.
Below are current interest rates through College Ave. Keep in mind that your credit is the main factor when it comes to getting approved and securing a good interest rate.
The rates below include a 0.25% interest rate discount. You will only receive that discount if you sign up for automated payments.
|Loan Type||Fixed Rates||Variable Rates|
|Undergraduate Loans||4.54% – 11.98%||2.84% – 10.97%|
|Graduate Loans||5.20% – 11.68%||4.45% – 10.97%|
|MBA Loans||5.20% – 11.68%||4.45% – 10.97%|
|Dental School Loans||4.85% – 9.75%||4.37% – 8.69%|
|Medical School Loans||4.67% – 9.75%||4.23% – 8.69%|
|Law School Loans||4.97% – 9.75%||4.47% – 8.69%|
|Parent Loans||4.64% – 12.01%||2.72% – 10.88%|
College Ave Repayment Options
College Ave has multiple repayment options for borrowers. There’s something to fit everyone’s needs. For undergraduate and graduate loans, there are 4 repayment options.
1. Full Principal & Interest Payment
This involves paying your full monthly loan payment. This includes paying on the loan principal and interest.
Because none of the loan payment is deferred, this option will save the most money over the life of the loan. This also means you’ll be paying your loan while in school, which is difficult for many students to manage.
2. Interest Only Payment
If you want to pay part of your loan while in school, but can’t afford full monthly payments, you can choose to pay the interest payment only.
3. Flat Payment
Borrowers can choose to make a flat $25 payment each month. It may not seem like much, but this repayment method will help reduce the amount of accrued interest.
This is the lowest possible in-school payment option.
4. Deferred Payment
If you don’t want to worry about paying off loans while in school, you can choose to defer payment completely. You won’t pay for your loans while in school, but you’ll end up paying more interest over the life of your loan.
Repayment Options for Parent Loans
Parent loans have different repayment options than other College Ave loans. They offer three repayment options:
- Interest Only Payment
- Interest Plus Payment
- Full Principal & Interest Payment
College Ave Loan Terms
All of College Ave’s repayment options have different length terms to choose from. You can choose to pay off your loan over 5, 8, 10 or 15 years.
Your loan terms can affect what type of interest rate you qualify for as well as your monthly payment amount.
Student Loan Refinancing with College Ave
Besides private loans, College Ave is also known for student loan refinancing.
You can refinance through College Ave for loan balances of $5,000 or more. The maximum amount you can refinance is $300k for medical, dental, pharmacy, and veterinary doctorate degrees. All other undergraduate or graduate loans can be refinanced up to $150k.
To qualify, borrowers must be at least 18 years old. They must also be a U.S resident or permanent resident. Only people who graduated from certain Title IV eligible undergrad or grad programs are eligible to refinance through College Ave.
Interest Rates for Refinancing
College Ave offers competitive interest rates for refinancing. Variable rates range from 3.64% to 6.74% APR. Fixed rates range from 4.64% to 6.99%. Rates include a 0.25% automatic payment discount.
Refinancing your student loans is a way to lower your interest rate or monthly payments. Graduates can potentially save thousands of dollars in interest payments by refinancing their student loans.
If you have federal loans, make sure you don’t need access to federal programs before refinancing. This includes loan forgiveness, deferment and forbearance options, and income-driven repayment plans. When you refinance federal loans, they become private loans so you’ll lose access to federal protections.
If refinancing makes sense for you, check out what kind of rate you can get through College Ave.
Loan Requirements for College Ave
To qualify for a private loan through College Ave, you’ll need to meet certain criteria. College Ave doesn’t publish specific credit requirements for borrowers. With most private lenders, you need excellent credit to get approved for a private loan. This can be an issue for college students who haven’t established credit yet.
Does College Ave Require a Cosigner?
If your credit isn’t good enough to secure a loan or a good interest rate, borrowers can get help in the form of a cosigner. A cosigner is generally someone close to the borrower that has established, excellent credit, like a family member, mentor or friend. They are financially responsible for the repayment of a loan if the borrower can’t pay it.
To be eligible for a private student loan through College Ave, students must be enrolled in school half-time or more.
International students are eligible to apply for private loans through College Ave. The catch is that they are required to have a cosigner that’s a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
College Ave’s Application Process
College Ave offers a simple process when applying for a private student loan. Filling out the application only takes a few minutes. It’s good to have pertinent information on hand to make the process go smoother. Information you’ll need on hand includes:
- Personal info like mailing address, email address, and phone number
- Date of birth
- Social security number
- Household income
- School you’re attending
- Expected graduation date
- Cost of attendance for your school
- Requested amount
Once you’ve filled out and submitted an application, applicants will receive a decision almost immediately. Other lenders use a manual process that can take several days. College Ave offers a quick process. Applicants will receive one of three decisions: approved, denied or eligible with a creditworthy cosigner.
College Ave Pre Qualification Tool
College Ave also has a prequalification tool available that many students find helpful. You’ll be able to use your credit score to see if you qualify for a loan and what kind of interest rate you can expect if you apply. Cosigners can also use the prequalification tool to check what interest rate they might expect. Using the prequalification tool performs a soft credit check, which doesn’t affect your credit score. Prequalification rates aren’t guaranteed, but they give borrowers an idea of where they stand before actually applying.
Pros & Cons of College Ave
There’s a lot to like about College Ave private student loans. So, what are the best features?
- Multiple Flexible Repayment Options
- International Students are Eligible
- Calculators & Other Tools
- Cosigner Release
Repayment options: College Ave offers multiple flexible repayment options with its private loans. The 4 repayment options are more than available with other private lenders.
International students: With the use of a cosigner that’s a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, international students are eligible for private student loans through College Ave.
Prequalification process: Applicants can see if they qualify for a loan and the rate they will receive without a hard credit check. Only during the application process will a hard credit check be performed.
Calculators: College Ave’s website offers tools for borrowers, including several calculators. This can aid in planning out student loan repayment and more.
Cosigner release: College Ave offers a cosigner release after meeting certain requirements. Borrowers can request a cosigner release after more than half their repayment period has passed. Also, the following conditions must be met:
- The most recent 24 consecutive student loan payments were made on time
- Those 24 payments weren’t part of a forbearance or hardship repayment
- The borrower demonstrates income for the past two years that is more than twice their outstanding balance of loans through College Ave
- No late payments for the past 24 months
This is a robust cosigner release policy compared to other lenders, but at least there is a cosigner release option. This is not always the case with private lenders.
- No Forbearance Policy
- No Repayment Term Longer Than 15 Years
One issue with College Ave private student loans is the absence of any type of forbearance policy. Borrowers facing a hardship that makes repayment too difficult can reach out to College Ave and have their situation evaluated. However, College Avenue doesn’t promise to do anything to help borrowers. This is all done on a case-by-case basis.
Another downside to College Ave loans is no repayment term longer than 15 years. Borrowers taking out large student loans don’t have an option for longer terms, unfortunately.
Final Thoughts on College Ave Student Loans
College Ave offers private student loans with multiple repayment options. Students looking for flexibility with their loans can find it with College Ave.
Use their prequalification tool to see what kind of interest rate you may receive. If a private loan is the right choice for you, make sure College Ave is on your list of lenders to check out.