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College Ave Private Student Loans Review

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Dominique Broadway
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College Ave in a Nutshell

Loan Type
Private Student Loan
Repayment Options?
Yes
Loan Terms
5, 8, 10, or 15 years
Credit Score
660 or higher
Refinance
Yes

Table of contents

    Backed by two FDIC-supervised banks and equipped with an incredibly intuitive application process, College Ave’s relatively new student loan offering is already making waves among students looking for a fresh and trustworthy private student loan partner. 

    Our College Ave student loan review found that the company’s student loan products are really built with students in mind, with favorable rates and ample repayment terms to choose from. Offering loans for undergraduates, graduates, parents, and career-specific loans, College Ave has the loan plan to match your current and future repayment capabilities.

    We also liked the little things about College Ave: its seamless website experience, its regularly updated blog pieces, and the 0.25% discount it applies when you opt for automatic payments. Are College Ave student loans the right choice for you? Read our review to find out.

    College Ave

    Backed by two FDIC-supervised banks and equipped with an incredibly intuitive application process, College Ave’s relatively new student loan offering is already making waves among students looking for a fresh and trustworthy private student loan partner. 

    Our College Ave student loan review found that the company’s student loan products are really built with students in mind, with favorable rates and ample repayment terms to choose from. Offering loans for undergraduates, graduates, parents, and career-specific loans, College Ave has the loan plan to match your current and future repayment capabilities.

    We also liked the little things about College Ave: its seamless website experience, its regularly updated blog pieces, and the 0.25% discount it applies when you opt for automatic payments. Are College Ave student loans the right choice for you? Read our review to find out.

    Why Get a Student Loan from College Ave?

    Even though it’s one of the newer kids on the block, College Ave seems to have hit on a winning formula for timely student loan repayments with minimal stress. College Ave student loans give you a lot of freedom in charting your personal loan track. You have four different payment options to choose from over a period of 5, 8, 10, or 15 years, and you can select either fixed or variable rates. 

    We were also happy to see that College Ave really encourages you to reduce your principal and interest by respectively letting you pay more than your monthly set amount without fees and applying a 0.25% discount when you sign up for automatic bank payments. 

    What Student Loans does College Ave Offer?

    You can select one of four student loan tracks with College Ave for 100% of school-related costs such as tuition and housing. Each track offers specific benefits for different student populations:

    • Undergraduate Student Loans – College Ave’s standard plan offers four repayment options to meet your budgetary constraints. The company takes three minutes to process your application and come to a credit decision, and undergrads can take up to 15 years to repay loans. As undergrads don’t typically have a rich credit history, this track usually requires a cosigner. 
    • Graduate Student Loans – The company’s graduate loan terms are very similar to what it’s offering undergraduates. Here, too, College Ave offers four repayment options over up to 15 years and often requires a cosigner. For both graduate and undergraduate students, College Ave issues a 0.25% discount on borrowing rates when you sign up for the company’s automatic bank payment function.
    • Parent Loans – For parents that aren’t crazy about the idea of cosigning or want more say over how the loan is being spent, College Ave’s flexible terms for parents include the autopay discount and 3 repayment tracks over 5-15 years. 
    • Career Loans – a subset of both undergrad and graduate loans, career loans have nearly identical terms to these two loans but with the added bonus of $150 cashback once you finish your degree.

    College Ave Rates, Fees and Terms for January 2020

    Flexible rates and a lack of hidden fees are a big part of College Ave’s appeal to students and their parents.

    The rates we cited below are after the applied 0.25% discount for automatic payments. If you opt for manual payments, your rates will be slightly higher. Still, it was great to see that College Ave doesn’t sneak in application, origination or prepayment fees.

    UndergraduateGraduateParentsCareer
    Variable Rates2.84% - 10.97% APR4.45% - 10.97% APR2.72% - 10.88% APR2.84% - 10.97% APR
    Fixed rates4.54% - 11.98% APR5.20% - 11.68% APR4.64% - 12.01% APR4.54% - 11.98% APR
    Terms5,8,10, 15 years5,8,10, 15 yearsBetween 5 and 15 years5,8,10, 15 years
    Discount:0.25%0.25%0.25%0.25%
    *Late Fees5% of what you owe5% of what you owe5% of what you owe5% of what you owe
    Grace Period6 months6 months6 months6 months
    Borrow Amounts$1,000  - $80,000$1,000  - $80,000$1,000  - $80,000$1,000  - $80,000
    Cosigner YesYesNoYes
    Repayment OptionYesYesYesYes

    Graduate Loans

    DentalLawMedicalMBA
    Variable Rates4.37% - 8.69% APR4.47% - 8.69% APR4.23% - 8.69% APR4.45% - 10.97% APR
    Fixed rates4.85% - 9.75% APR4.97% - 9.75% APR4.67% - 9.75% APR5.20% - 11.68% APR
    Terms5,8,10,15, 20 years5,8,10,15, 20 years5,8,10,15, 20 years5,8,10, 15 years
    Discount:0.25%0.25%0.25%0.25%
    *Late Fees5% of what you owe5% of what you owe5% of what you owe5% of what you owe
    Grace Period6 months6 months6 months6 months
    Borrow Amounts$1,000  - $80,000$1,000  - $80,000$1,000  - $80,000$1,000  - $80,000
    Cosigner YesYesNoYes
    Repayment OptionYesYesYesYes

    *College Ave knows that times can get tough for students, and its moderate late fee reflects that. If you are late with a payment, you’ll have to pay either 5% of what you owe that month or $25 – whichever is less. 

    Repayment Options

    We were impressed to see that College Ave offers several types of repayment options across its loans. You can choose from the following options:

    • Full principal and interest payments - this option has you start to pay your loan immediately after it is disbursed, with full monthly repayments made. This way, you can reduce how much you pay once you graduate. 
    • Interest-only - If you can’t afford full payments but would still like to contribute to paying down your debt, you can choose to cover the monthly interest payments to ensure you don’t pay more in principal than you initially signed for. 
    • Flat payment - This option sets a flat monthly amount that you pay to cover some of your principal and interest to help minimize how much is capitalized once your grace period ends. 
    • Deferred payment - If you can’t afford to pay anything currently, you can always defer your payments until after your grace period ends. Keep in mind, though, that your loan still accrues interest, which is capitalized once your grace period ends. Additionally, parents cannot opt for this option. 

    Student Loan Refinancing with College Ave

    Refinancing – with a nod towards the income your chosen first degree should be yielding, College Ave’s career-oriented loans provide more capital with which you can realize your post-graduate career dreams. 

    College Ave’s refinancing is available for students who have finished their studies with at least an associate’s degree. 

    The lender also offers military deferment of refinanced loans and several terrific autopay perks, including biweekly payments and above-minimum payments. That said, there are no deferments for students that opt to pursue a more advanced degree, and there’s no set policy on forbearance.

    The company’s refinancing options start at $5,000 and rise to $150,000 for undergrad and graduate degree loans. College Ave also prioritizes four degrees – veterinary, pharmaceutical, dentistry and medicine – that typically earn higher salaries, giving students in these fields access to up to $300,000 in refinancing.

    College Ave Refinancing Rates, Fees and Terms for February 2020 

    Variable Rates2.62% - 6.12% APR
    Fixed Rates3.54% - 6.24% APR
    Loan TermsBetween 5 and 20 years
    Loan Amounts$5000 to $300.000
    Repayment16 repayment term options. You can choose a loan that fits with your payment timeline 
    Discount Rate0.25% 
    CosignerNot required / No release policy

    Customer Service

    Another area where College Ave stands out is in helping students and parents understand their loans. The lender’s website has a great educational section that explains student loans in-depth, as well as an informative FAQ section. You can manage your own loan and track your status on the company’s website, and if you need assistance, College Ave is available via phone, e-ticket, and their CollegeAveServicing.com portal. 

    College Ave Pros and Cons

    Pros:

    • Prequalification for student loans lets you calculate your loan in full without affecting your credit score. 
    • International students with a US social security number are eligible with a cosigner.
    • No hidden prepayment, application or origination fees to bump up your overall costs.
    • Offers a 0.25% discount on interest rates when you use automatic bank payments.
    • Provides generous refinancing terms for select medical professionals.
    • New $1,000 scholarships available each month to student borrowers.
    • Offers a grace period to defer payment of up to 6 months after an undergrad graduates or reduces her enrollment to under half-time.

    Cons:

    • Although this is fairly common throughout the industry, many loans require a cosigner.
    • Forbearance is decided on a case-by-case basis.
    • Though cosigners can, in theory, be released after 24 consecutive payments, there are strict criteria the borrower has to meet before the release can actually take place.

    How to Apply for a College Ave Student Loan

    In order to apply for a College Ave student loan, you’ll need to have the following information prepared:

    • Mailing and email addresses, as well as your phone number.
    • Birthday, social security no., and your household’s income.
    • School and expected graduation date, how much you’re paying for school.
    • What amount of money you’d like to borrow.

    You’ll also have to comply with the following conditions:

    • Be enrolled at least half-time
    • For refinancing, you cannot be a permanent resident of Maine.

    The application and approval process with College Ave is very quick at just 3 minutes. Keep in mind when timing your loan application that once you’re approved by College Ave you still need the final approval of your college or university for your loan to be disbursed. If your college requests changes to the proposed loan terms, the entire process could be delayed.

    Conclusion

    All in all, College Ave’s student loans are a breath of fresh air when it comes to flexible rates and customized loan plans. In addition to offering loans to select international students, College Ave’s ultra-fast application process and the amount of payment tracks and terms are truly exceptional.

    College Ave’s motto is “You’ve Got This, We’ve Got You,” and the lender’s policies of 0.25% discount on automated payments, no prepayment fees, and a pre-qualification process that doesn’t affect your credit score really empowers you to systematically take charge of your loans without panicking. 

    If you’re looking for a private loan on its own or to supplement a federal loan or scholarship, or if you want access to flexible post-graduate refinancing terms, College Ave student loans are a smart choice.

    Check Rates for College Ave