Discover Student Loans Review 2019

Discover student loans are an excellent complement to federal student loans. They can help cover college expenses if your federal loan options are maxed out.

There are loan options for undergraduate students, graduate students, and postgraduate loans.

Discover Student Loan Options

discover student loans reviewDiscover offers private student loans for many different types of students. They have options for all students, no matter what their educational focus:

Undergraduate Student Loans

Undergraduate students looking for extra funding for school can do that through Discover. They offer competitive rates.

Current rates for Discover Undergraduate Student loans:

  • Variable Rates: 3.12% – 11.62% APR (includes Auto Debit Reward)
  • Fixed Rates: 4.74% – 12.49% APR (includes Auto Debit Reward)

Students can borrow up to 100% of school costs, which include tuition, housing, books and supplies, and fees (minus other student aid). Aggregate loan limits apply. The minimum loan amount through Discover is $1,000 per loan.

Beyond general requirements for Discover student loans, to qualify for a Discover undergraduate loan, borrowers must be:

  • Enrolled at least half-time in a Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree program at an eligible school
  • Seeking a degree
  • Making satisfactory academic progress (defined by your school)

Graduate Student Loans

Graduate students can take advantage of great rates with graduate student loans through Discover.

Current rates for Discover Graduate Student loans:

  • Variable Rates: 3.74% – 11.62% APR (includes Auto Debit Reward)
  • Fixed Rates:  4.99% – 12.49% APR (includes Auto Debit Reward)

Students can borrow up to 100% of school costs, which include tuition, housing, books and supplies, and fees (minus other student aid). Aggregate loan limits apply. The minimum loan amount through Discover is $1,000 per loan.

Beyond general requirements for Discover student loans, to qualify for a Discover graduate loan, borrowers must be:

  • Enrolled at least half-time in a graduate program at an eligible school.
  • Seeking a degree
  • Making satisfactory academic progress (defined by your school)

Postgraduate Student Loans

For students with loan needs beyond undergrad and graduate school, Discover offers postgraduate loans for a variety of educational and career paths.

Residency Loans

For students moving on to residency programs, Discover offers residency loans

These loans cover the cost of your residency or internship, relocation costs, and your board exam review.

Currents rates for Residency Student loans:

  • Variable Rates: 5.62% – 8.62% APR (includes Auto Debit Reward)
  • Fixed Rates:  6.99% – 9.99% APR (includes Auto Debit Reward)

The amount that resident candidates can borrow depends on their specific field of study:

  • $18,000: Allopathy, Dentistry, Optometry, Osteopathy, Pharmacy, Podiatry and Veterinary Medicine.
  • $5,000: Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Physician Assistant.

The minimum loan amount is $1,000 per loan. Aggregate loan limits apply to Discover residency loans.

Beyond general requirements for Discover student loans, to qualify for a Discover Residency student loan, borrowers must have:

  • Have graduated from medical school within the past 12 months, or be enrolled in your final year of study in a graduate health professions program.
  • Be a US citizen, permanent resident or international student (International students require a cosigner who is a US Citizen or permanent resident).
  • Be 16 years or older at the time you apply.
  • Pass a credit check.

Bar Exam Loans

Law students can get their bar exam prep classes and living expenses paid for with bar exam loans through Discover.

The minimum loan amount is $1,000. The maximum that can be borrowed is $16,000. Aggregate loan limits apply.

Current rates for Bar Exam loans:

  • Variable Rates: 6.02% – 11.62% APR (includes Auto Debit Reward)
  • Fixed Rates: 7.39% – 12.99% APR (includes Auto Debit Reward)

Beyond general requirements for Discover student loans, to qualify for a Discover bar exam loan, borrowers must have:

  • Graduated from law school within the past 6 months, OR
  • Be enrolled in your final year of study in a graduate law degree program

MBA Loans

Graduates pursuing their MBA can get an MBA loan through Discover. They offer competitive rates with their MBA loans.

Currents rates for MBA loans:

  • Variable Rates: 3.74% – 11.62% APR (includes Auto Debit Reward)
  • Fixed Rates: 4.99% – 12.24% APR (includes Auto Debit Reward)

Students can borrow up to 100% of school costs, which include tuition, housing, books and supplies, and fees (minus other student aid). Aggregate loan limits apply. The minimum loan amount through Discover is $1000 per loan.

Beyond general requirements for Discover student loans, to qualify for a Discover MBA loan, borrowers must be:

  • Enrolled at least half-time in a grad program at an eligible business school.
  • Seeking a degree
  • Making satisfactory academic progress (defined by your school)

Health Professional Loans

Borrowers pursuing a career as a health professional have student loan options through Discover too.

Loans are available to students pursuing a career in the following fields:

  • Allopathy
  • Dentistry
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Optometry, Osteopathy
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Physician Assistant
  • Podiatry
  • Veterinary Medicine

Health professionals can score competitive interest rates with Discover.

Current rates for Health Professional loans:

  • Variable Rates: 3.74% – 9.62% APR (includes Auto Debit Reward)
  • Fixed Rates: 4.99% – 10.49% APR (includes Auto Debit Reward)

Students can borrow up to 100% of school costs, which include tuition, housing, books and supplies, and fees (minus other student aid). Aggregate loan limits apply. The minimum loan amount through Discover is $1000 per loan.

Beyond general requirements for Discover student loans, to qualify for a Discover health professional loan, borrowers must be:

  • Enrolled at least half-time in a health professions graduate program at an eligible school
  • Seeking a degree.
  • Making satisfactory academic progress (defined by your school)

Law School Loans

Those pursuing law as a profession have a student loan option through Discover. They offer law school loans to eligible borrowers. Discover’s interest rates are competitive with other private lenders.

Current rates for Discover Law School loans:

  • Variable Rates: 3.74% – 9.62% APR (includes Auto Debit Reward)
  • Fixed Rates:  4.99%  – 10.49% APR (includes Auto Debit Reward)

Students can borrow up to 100% of school costs, which include tuition, housing, books and supplies, and fees (minus other student aid). Aggregate loan limits apply. The minimum loan amount through Discover is $1000 per loan.

Beyond general requirements for Discover student loans, to qualify for a Discover health professional loan, borrowers must be:

  • Enrolled at least half-time in a graduate program at an eligible law school
  • Seeking a degree
  • Making satisfactory academic progress (defined by your school)

Consolidation Loans (Refinancing)

For borrowers with student loans already, you may be able to save money by consolidating your student loans. You can do this by refinancing your student loans through Discover.

Refinancing gives borrowers the potential to:

  • Lower interest rates
  • Lower monthly payments
  • Pay off loans faster
  • Simplify your loans by only having one monthly payment
  • Remove a cosigner from your old loan

Discover offers competitive interest rates.

Current rates for Discover Consolidation loans:

  • Variable Rates: 4.24% – 7.49% APR (includes Auto Debit Reward)
  • Fixed Rates: 3.99% – 6.99% APR (includes Auto Debit Reward)

$5,000 is the minimum loan amount you can consolidate through Discover. Borrowers can consolidate up to the aggregate amount of their student loan debt.

When you refinance federal student loans, they become private loans. With that, borrowers lose access to federal programs like loan forgiveness, income-driven repayment plans, and federal loan deferment and forbearance options.

Be sure you do not need access to federal programs before choosing to refinance through a Discover student loan.

Repayment Options for Discover Student Loans

Discover student loans have three repayment options for borrowers:

  • In-School Interest-Only: Borrowers only pay monthly interest payments while in school and during their grace period. Participating in this repayment program will earn students a 0.35% interest rate discount.
  • In-School Fixed: Borrowers pay a $25 monthly payment while in school and during their grace period. Doing so will help lower the overall cost of the loan, but could allow interest to capitalize.
  • Deferred: Borrowers who don’t want a payment during school can choose this option. No Monthly payments are required until six months after graduation or if you drop below half-time as a student. Student loans will ultimately cost the most over the life of the loan under this repayment option.

Discover student loans are limited when it comes to repayment terms. For undergraduate loans, terms are 15 years. Terms are 20 years for graduate, MBA, law, health professional, residency, and bar exam loans.

Consolidation loans have either 10 or 20-year terms. The majority of private lenders have more repayment options than Discover, including shorter length terms.

Qualifications For Discover Student Loans

Regardless of what Discover student loan you are interested in, there are specific requirements to qualify for a student loan:

  • Must be a US citizen permanent resident
  • International students are eligible, but require a cosigner who is a US Citizen or permanent resident
  • Must be 16 years or older when applying
  • Must pass a credit check

If you are refinancing loans through a Discover consolidation loan, it carriers slightly different requirements:

  • Must be a US citizen or permanent resident with a US-based address
  • Be 18 years or older when applying
  • Must have no more than $150,000 in aggregate student loan debt
  • Must pass a credit check
  • Must be the primary borrower on the loans you want to consolidate

A credit check is the biggest factor in whether someone qualifies for a student loan through Discover. If you don’t have good enough credit, you may need to use a cosigner to qualify.

A cosigner is someone who takes on the financial responsibility of the loan if the borrower can’t pay it back. Cosigners usually have excellent credit, which lowers the risk of the borrower.

Discover has requirements for cosigners too. Cosigners must:

  • Be a US citizen or permanent resident
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Pass a credit check

Discover doesn’t offer a cosigner release, unfortunately. Cosigners will stay attached to the student loan until its completely paid off.

Applying for Discover Student Loans

Applying for a private student loan from Discover is simple. Discover allows you to apply on your computer as well as from your mobile phone or tablet.

You’ll move through a process of answering questions about yourself, your school, and your finances.

A credit check is one of the main factors in being approved for a student loan. The whole process normally takes less than 15 minutes.

applying for a discover student loan

Discover Student Loans Discounts

Discover offers borrowers multiple ways to receive discounts on their student loans.

Check out these three discounts:

  • Rewards for Good Grades: Borrowers with at least a 3.0 GPA can qualify for a one-time cash reward. If qualified, you’ll receive a 1% cash reward of the disbursed principal balance on your student loan. Only certain loans qualify.
  • Auto Debit Reward: Borrowers can earn a 0.25% interest rate reduction by setting up automatic debit payments.
  • Graduation Reward: Qualified borrowers may be eligible for a 2% cash reward for graduating. This can be redeemed for either a credit to the balance of your Discover student loan or a direct deposit into your bank account.

Discover Student Loans FAQs

How long does it take to get a student loan from Discover?

The application process takes less than 15 minutes. It normally takes a few days to find out if you’ve been approved.

Can Discover student loans be forgiven?

Discover student loans can be forgiven in the event of the borrower’s death or permanent disability.

What credit score is needed for Discover student loans?

Unfortunately, Discover doesn’t disclose its credit requirements.

Can I pay off Discover student loans early?

Yes, you can. There is no prepayment penalty with Discover student loans.

Does Discover offer any deferral options for its student loans?

Yes, there are four deferral types available to borrowers. Options include:

  • In-school deferment
  • Active military duty deferment
  • Public service deferment
  • Residency deferment

During deferment, interest still accrues on your student loans.

Pros & Cons of Discover Student Loans

Pros

  • No application, origination or late fees
  • Borrowers can prequalify for future loans by having a Discover Student Loan
  • No prepayment penalties

Cons

  • Repayment terms are limited compared to other private lenders
  • No cosigner release
  • No pre-qualification process

Is Discover Student Loans For You?

Students looking for more help paying for school can turn to Discover. They have student loans to fit the needs of most students.

You should always explore all federal financial aid options first. If you still need more help paying for all college expenses, Discover student loans could be the perfect complement to your federal loans.

They are also a great choice if you plan on refinancing your student loans.

Grant Sabatier

Creator of Millennial Money and Author of Financial Freedom (Penguin Random House). Dubbed "The Millennial Millionaire" by CNBC, Grant went from $2.26 to over $1 million in 5 years, reaching financial independence at age 30. Grant has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC, NPR, Money Magazine and many others. He uses Personal Capital to manage his money in 10 minutes a month.

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