College Ave is a private lender that offers both private student loans and refinancing options. Most people who opt for College Ave loans sign their contracts with a co-signer, which allows them to qualify for better rates. College Ave allows for co-signer release but only after you’ve gone through half of your repayment term. That’s much longer compared to other online lenders. However, it doesn’t mean College Ave is not worth considering. They make up for that in other features such as their personalized rate estimates through soft credit check and the fact that they allow international students to apply with a US citizen as a co-signer. Here’s a review of College Ave loans and the terms they have to offer.
|Loan Types||Undergraduate, graduate, MBA, parent, career, refinancing|
$1 000 to 100% cost of attendance for private loans
$5 000 to $300 000 for refinancing $5 000 to $300 000 for refinancing
0.94% to 12.99% variable APR and 3.24% to 13.95% fixed APR for private loans
2.94% to 4.79% variable APR and 2.99% to 4.89% fixed APR for refinancing
|Repayment Terms||5 to 20 years|
Pros & Cons
- College Ave offers flexible repayment options and long repayment terms
- You can start paying off your loan while still in school
- You can get a six month grace period extension if necessary
- Strict requirements
- You cannot request a co-signer release if you’ve not gone through half of your repayment term.
Who Is This Loan Good For?
College Ave loans are best for students who want to start cutting down their debt while still in school. If you have an income source or you’re financially able to make payments while in school, College Ave will offer you several options to help you get the best out of your repayment plan. Choose between immediate payments, interest-only payments, and fixed $25 payments to make a dent in your college debt before graduation.
College Ave has a call center that offers customer support during business hours. Although they don’t assign you an advisor or a representative, they still provide pretty decent support in case you come across any issues or concerns tied to their financial services.
Rates & Fees
Just like most private lenders, College Ave requires a soft credit check before they can let you know what rates you qualify for. When it comes to loan terms, this lender is pretty flexible. You can choose between terms of 5, 8, 10, or 15 to 20 years, depending on the type of loan you select. Most importantly, there are no application fees or prepayment penalties, meaning that you can pay off your debt earlier than the agreed term without running into additional expenses.
Keep in mind that some lenders charge a prepayment penalty fee as they don’t want you to get rid of the debt earlier than agreed. With College Ave, that’s not the case. However, College Ave does charge a fee if you’re late on your monthly payment. This fee usually costs 5% of the unpaid amount (not higher than $25) and you only have to pay this fee if you’re 15 or more days late for the payment.
When it comes to financial requirements for College Ave loans, we must say that this lender is far more rigorous than similar lenders such as Earnest or Ascent Loans. College Ave requires you to have a minimum credit score of 650 to be qualified for their loans, although the majority of their borrowers or co-signers have a credit score of around 750. This doesn’t mean you cannot qualify with a score below 700 but you must have a minimum income of $35 000 per year to get a shot at one of these loan options.
While some lenders allow borrowers to apply even though they’ve filed for bankruptcy a couple of years earlier, that’s not the case with College Ave. If you’ve got bankruptcy written anywhere on your financial files, even if it was 5 years ago, you won’t pass the qualification round. Moreover, international students can apply for loans only if they have a US citizen or permanent resident as a co-signer. The loans are available in all 50 states and are available only for borrowers who are enrolled in eligible schools. While you technically can apply for a loan on your own, 95% of borrowers at College Ave have a co-signer.
What’s great about College Ave is that they allow immediate payment, meaning you can start making payments even while you’re still in school. This allows borrowers to cut down their student debt earlier if they are financially able to do so. Besides the option to pay full payments while in school, you can also choose to either pay a fixed rate of $25 every month or pay interest-only payments and then shift to full payments once you finish school. Full in-school deferment is also an option, if that suits you better.
When it comes to post-school repayment options, College Ave offers a 6 month grace period for undergraduates and 9 months for graduates. Income-based repayment is not available so, if you’re looking for future income-based plans, you’ll have to look at other lenders online. College Ave does, however, offer military deferment and forbearance of up to 18 months, along with natural disaster forbearance and death or disability discharge.
To sum it all up, College Ave is a great online lender that offers student loan refinancing and private student loan options. Although they have strict qualification requirements, it’s not impossible to land a loan with a good interest rate, as long as you have a creditworthy co-signer by your side. If you don’t want to waste any time and you want to start making payments while still in school, then College Ave is a great option to consider. Those who are looking for future income-based loans to finance their education will have to look elsewhere.