College Ave Student Loans

An In-depth Review

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Finding a student loan that is a right fit for you can be quite daunting, especially because there are very many private lending companies today.

So, here’s the thing, when looking for a re-financing option, you must ensure to look for a company that offers you the lowest interest rates. Of course, you cannot compare Federal Student loan rates to those offered by private companies, but there are some good options out there for you to consider.

College Ave is one of those options. This is a private loan lender that was started in 2014. They offer both refinancing, and private student loans. Their undergraduate loans are perfect if you are not planning on pausing the repayment in the future because their forbearance option is virtually non-existent and they only evaluate you for this on a case-to-case basis.

Good for: Loan refinancing for undergraduates, graduates, and parents

If you are in any of the above categories, you shall qualify for a College Ave student loan. Their loans start from $2,000 and they are able to cover up to 100% of your college fees.

They offer refinancing options to students who have already graduated and these start from a minimum amount of $5,000.

College Ave student loans are a good fit if

  • You are at least 16 years or older.
  • You are a US citizen, or you have a permanent residence.
  • You are enrolled for at least half the time in an eligible and accredited school.
  • Your income is less than $35,000 per year. You may require a cosigner in order to qualify for the loan.
  • You have a high credit score. If your score is low, then again, a cosigner will be required.

It’s not good for: People that will require forbearance or deferment

This company doesn’t have any forbearance options. If you feel that in the future you will require some time off from loan repayment, then this is not the right option for you. They do not have this program and when you default on your loan, it will reflect poorly on your credit report.

You may, however, qualify for a deferment if you have a very good enough reason that can satisfy their requirements. They will evaluate any such requests on a case-by-case basis.

Credit score

The minimum credit score for College Ave loan is 650. You must meet this requirement for you to qualify for one of their loans.

If you have had financial problems in the past, then this may not necessarily be the right loan company for you. Once you realize that you have bad credit, you will need to improve on it before you can qualify for a loan.

Please read my article on credit score here, to understand more on credit score and how you can improve your credit report if things are not so good.

Another point you must consider is that you may still not be able to refinance your loans with college Ave if the loans you have currently are not in good standing.

Main features of the College Ave Student loan

College Ave student loan at a glance

Reviewed loan Student loan refinancing
Interest rates Fixed: 3.24% – 7.99%
Variable: 2.49% – 7.24%
Loan terms This is between 5-20 years
Loan amounts $5,000 to $150,000, or $250,000 if you are taking a dental, medical or veterinary degree.
Co-signer release available No
Can transfer a parent loan to the child No

Rates and fees

One of the benefits you will appreciate with a college Ave student loan is the fact that they do not have any origination fees. If you also pay your loan early, you shall not be charged anything for this. Some companies will charge you for early repayment.

Variable Rate 3.96% – 11.98%
Fixed Rates 4.72% – 12.94%
Application Fee Χ
Origination Fee Χ
Disbursement Fee Χ
Pre-Payment Fee Χ
AutoPay Discount (0.25%)

There are two main types of loans, an undergraduate loan, and a graduate loan. You can receive up to 100% refinancing on the cost of attendance with College Ave loans. You must, however, meet the requirements that I have outlined above.

So, this will include books, tuition fees, meals, housing, and all other college-related expenses.

Now, when choosing the loan, you want, you shall choose between the variable and the fixed interest rates. A variable interest rate is one that changes each month, which means that you do not pay the same amount of interest with each loan installment, while a fixed interest rate means that you shall be paying the same amount of interest rate with each installment.

Again, if you are going to apply with a cosigner, for one reason or the other, e.g. if you do not have a good credit score, then your interest rate will depend on your cosigner’s credit score.

You will also be entitled to a 0.25% discount when you sign up for the auto payments. This is something I encourage people to do. It may seem like 0.25% is a small interest rate, but if you consider how long you shall be paying the loan, this is a great incentive.

Flexibility

This is one of the biggest advantages of College Ave loans. They are extremely flexible, and the approval process only requires very few qualifications. You can qualify for one of their loans even with a non-existent credit history.

If you do not have good credit, College Ave can easily approve your loan for refinancing by simply looking at a few other factors that concern you, such as stable employment, the ability to repay the loan at hand and also your saving culture.

However, if your credit history is extremely bad, then you may not qualify for one of their loans unless you have a cosigner with a good credit history.

Whenever you apply for a College Ave loan, you must link your banking history to the application.

Repayment period

College Ave has flexible repayment terms, which you can easily customize before getting approval for your loan. They give you plenty of control to pick your repayment period and the rate that you want if you qualify.

You can actually customize your repayment according to your financial status. Students normally have the options of paying back the loans either at 5, 8, 10, 15, or 20 years.

The best advice I can give you with student loans is to always choose a longer repayment period because this ensures that you pay the least amount of installment per month, and seeing as you are still a student with a limited amount of income, you do not need a big burden on your hands.

Later, when you leave college and have stable employment, you can always reduce the period and pay more in terms of the monthly installment.

Here are some more repayment tips

  • When you receive your loan, start repaying it immediately while still in school, because this will help in lessening your financial burden as early as possible.
  • You can make a fixed repayment of even $25 per week in the beginning while in school.
  • Make repayments of the interest-only while in school.

Their loans are serviced in-house

They offer one on one management of the loan applications and rarely do they pass you off to a third party to handle your loan request, as is the case with federal loans. This, therefore, eliminates the errors associated with federal loans as a result of third-party management.

Their on-hand loan officers will call you and talk to you about the loan you have applied, which makes it easy for you to negotiate for your loans.

Non-traditional underwriting techniques

This is a technique that helps borrowers who have trouble getting the approval of their loans from other lenders.

In addition to credit score evaluation, they go a step further and look at other issues such as the borrowers’ education level, their financial aspects, and work history.

In addition to all this; College Ave loans

  • Do not charge extra fees for early or late repayments of the loans.
  • You can repay the loans weekly, which enables you to save money on interest.
  • Have a mobile app for tracking and managing your repayment.
  • Give a 0.25% discount if you are enrolled in their autopay system.
  • Gives you the ability to switch from variable and fixed rates every six months.

The website

Their website has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for beginners to navigate and receive answers to their most pressing questions. There is also plenty of information that shall help you make a decision about financial aid, and what you need to do in order to qualify.

How do you apply for a College Ave student loan?

1.      Check whether you pre-qualify

The first thing you need to do if you have decided to apply for a College Ave Student Loan is to check whether or not you qualify for the loan.

This is a simple process. Log in here to check.

That is the page you shall be redirected to, where you need to click on the link below – “See if you pre-qualify”.

2.      out the application form

Once you have checked whether you qualify or not, you will then be directed to the personal information page, where you shall be required to fill in your personal details. This will require your educational information as well. Review the disclosures before submitting this information.

Of course, that is just a snippet of the information required, but I just wanted to show you how it looks like and what you should expect.

3.     Sign the terms and agreement

After application, many applicants normally receive an immediate response concerning the credit decision, and you will be required to read the terms and agree to the loan terms before the loan can be issued to you.

Here’s how College Ave compares with other companies

Lender Fixed Interest rate  Variable interest rate

4.72% – 12.94%

3.96% – 11.98%
 
3.29-6.69% 2.80-6.01%
3.36-8.07% 2.43-6.59%
3.48-7.82% 2.43-7.21%a
3.49-8.07% 2.43-6.59%
3.64-7.50% 2.44-6.87%
3.87-7.03%a6 3.02-7.76%

In fact, if you look at the list above, of all the available refinancing options in the market today, you may be surprised to find that the College Ave student loan has the highest interest rates. It may be suitable for some people, but if you are looking for the lowest interest rates, kindly have a look at the other options and their requirements.

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Our thoughts on College Ave Student Loans


Student Ave loans figures

Rating

Review:
Fixed APR

4.72% – 12.94%

Not Good This is very high if you compare it with the other companies, and therefore it is not a good option for some students.
Loan amount:

 

$5,000 – $250,000

fair This is just fair, because some companies such as Earnest, will give you up to $500,000.
Loan repayment terms:

 

5-20 years

Good This is the average for most lenders.
Loan Percentage

100%

Very good They will give 100% refinancing on the cost of your college attendance. This will include books, tuition fees, meals, housing, and all other college-related expenses.
Origination fees:

 

None

Very good Most other lenders charge this, and therefore it is a big plus for College Ave loans.

Conclusion

Choosing to refinance your loans is a great idea, especially if you find yourself stuck in a rut, where you are spending too much money paying off loans. Refinancing helps you save some money in the process, and consolidate the loans into one.

College Ave loans come with plenty of limitations, such as – They do not offer forbearance to students, which is a big advantage with most other loan options, and helps you a lot when you need to take some time off from paying the loan due to one problem or the other.

Their interest rates are also quite high compared to the other lenders, which is definitely not good at all.

The only advantage with this lender is that they will not charge you origination fee and also, they will give you 100% of your entire college cost, which if you think about it, isn’t too much of an offer.

I would advise you check other student loan lenders for better loan rates, because at the end of the day, what you are looking for is a way for you to pay less interest on your existing loans.

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