Ascent is a loan provider that offers loan options for both undergraduate and graduate students. What makes Ascent a good choice to look into is the fact that they offer student loans both with and without a co-signer. If you don’t have a credit score high enough to secure a loan from other lenders, Ascent will allow you to apply for a loan with a creditworthy cosigner. After all, having a co-signer join the loan means you’ll get far lower interest rates compared to signing for the loan on your own.
Those who don’t have a co-signer can apply for either credit-based or future income-based loans. However, keep in mind that the future income-based loans are only available to students with a 2.9 GPA, which is a great deal. This makes Ascent one of very few loan providers who offer loans without requiring credit, income, or co-signers. Here’s an overview of Ascent loan terms, rates, repayment plans, as well as other features this lender has to offer.
|Loan Types||Undergraduate, graduate, medical, dental, business, law, international|
|Loan Amounts||$2,000 to $200,000|
4.05% to 11.31% variable APR and 5.95% to 13.02% fixed APR for undergraduates.
1.48% to 10.81% variable APR and 3.34% to 13.02% fixed APR for graduates
|Repayment Terms||5 to 20 years|
|Grace Period||9 to 36 months|
|Co-signer Required||You can apply with or without a co-signer.|
Ascent is a pretty flexible lender when it comes to loan requirements. After all, they allow for non co-signed loans and loans based on future income, as long as you qualify for such services. If you’re aiming for the future income-based loan, you need a GPA of at least 2.9. Those who meet this criteria can apply to see how much money they can borrow.
Borrowers who are looking for credit-based loans need a minimum credit score of 600. However, there is an option to bring on a co-signer if your credit score is below 600 (minimum of 540). In this case, the co-signer needs to have a credit score of 740 or more. When it comes to non co-signed credit-based loans, the minimum credit score requirement for the borrower is 680, along with the fact that they need to have at least two years of credit history.
The minimum income for credit-based loans (regardless whether they are co-signed or not) is $24 000. Besides the said financial requirements, the borrowers must be enrolled at a college part-time or full-time and they can be either US citizens, permanent residents, or international students.
Ascent offers several repayment options for in-school borrowers with co-signed loans and post-school repayments of non co-signed loans. For those who are still in school, no payments need to be made until the attendance is over and the grace period ends after leaving school. However, if you are in this situation and you’re financially able to start taking chunks off your student debt, then you can start making payments sooner since there are no prepayment penalties.
Ascent also offers a flat-fee repayment option where the borrower makes a $25 payment every month while still in school and during the grace period. This is an affordable way to shave some money off the total loan amount before starting to make full payments. Another way to save even more on your loan repayment with Ascent is through interest-only in-school repayment. This includes paying the interest rate every month for the entire attendance and the grace period.
When it comes to post-school non co-signed loans, borrowers have a grace period of 9 months after finishing school before they have to start repaying the loan. Ascent offers several flexible options here, including graduated repayment where the loans start small and gradually grow up to the full amount needed to make the repayment in time. Ascent also allows payment reductions for medical and dental residents, as well as military deferment of up to 36 months.
If there is a need to postpone the payments, you can do so with Ascent’s forbearance plan that allows you to push the payments up to four consecutive periods lasting one to three months. Lastly, it’s important to mention that Ascent offers a co-signer release option and full forgiveness in case of the student’s death or permanent disability.
Ascent is a reputable service that has its own in-house customer support team that’s in charge of handling any complaints or inquiries regarding loan procedures and repayments. It usually takes around eight days for the team to approve a loan application.
Who Is This Loan Good For?
Ascent loan options are best suited for students who are looking to apply for a loan with a creditworthy co-signer. These loans are also a good fit for those who are counting on a high future income, since Ascent offers significant future income-based loans. If you’re aiming for low interest rates and flexible repayment options, all you need is a creditworthy cosigner to join in on your Ascent loan and you’ll be good to go.
Pros & Cons
- Plenty of flexible repayment options for faster loan repayment.
- No prepayment penalty.
- There’s no need for a hard check to see if you qualify for a loan.
- Loans are not available to students who are enrolled less than half-time.
- International students cannot apply for a loan with a co-signer release option. The co-signer must be a US citizen and they cannot be released from the loan at any point.
Rates & Fees
Ascent offers a wide range of variable and fixed interest rates for graduate and undergraduate students, as you can see in the table above. You will have to go through a soft credit check to see exactly what rates you qualify for, as we cannot provide you the exact information. Ascent offers loan amounts ranging from as little as $2 000 to the maximum $200 000. However, the amount of the loan cannot be higher than the total cost of attendance for the school in question.
When it comes to loan terms, Ascent allows terms ranging from 5 to 20 years, which is what most private lenders will offer you. Now, the exact terms you can ask for depend on the type of loan you’re taking out and whether you’re signing a fixed or a variable rate. With Ascent, there are no application/origination fees or prepayment penalties. However, there is a fee for making late payments and it equals 5% of the amount that you’ve failed to pay in time. This fee is applied only if you’re 10 days late on the payment. In most cases, this fee ranges between $5 and $25.
Overall, Ascent is a great online lender that offers plenty of options to students with or without a co-signer. Whether you’re looking for a traditional co-signed loan, a credit-based loan without a co-signer, or even a future income-based loan, Ascent has plenty of options to offer. Most importantly, they offer flexible repayment plans and long terms that allow students to finance their years of education without having too big of a burden on their shoulders after finishing school.