College Ave Student Loans Review

College Ave offers competitive rates for private student loans

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College Ave

College Ave

Investopedia’s Rating
4.4

Our Take

College Ave offers student loans and refinancing options for students and parents of students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees. The lender offers competitive rates, flexible repayment terms, and a quick application process, but it does require a degree for refinance loans.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Pre-qualification does not impact credit score

  • Flexible repayment terms

  • Relatively lower minimum and higher maximum loan amounts

  • Co-signers can be released

Cons
  • Late fees and penalties

  • No refinancing without a degree

  • Co-signer release only available halfway through loan repayment

Key Takeaways
  • College Ave offers competitive rates on undergraduate, graduate, parent, and refinanced student loans.
  • College Ave offers a nine-month grace period on graduate loans.
  • Student loans are available starting at $1,000, going up to $150,000, with $300,000 loans available on refinanced loans.
  • International students must have a Social Security number and co-signer to be approved.
Company Overview

College Ave is a student loan company that offers private student loans and refinancing for current and former students (and co-signers). College Ave was founded in 2014 and is based in Delaware. Loans are available for undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as parent loans for qualifying students. Co-signers are available on loans, and loans can be refinanced for students that have graduated.

  • Year Founded 2014
  • Official Website www.collegeavestudentloans.com
  • Loans Offered Undergraduate, Graduate, Refinance, Parent
  • Customer Service Email. Live Chat. Phone (1-844-422-7502)

College Ave Student Loans: Quick Look

Loan Type Variable APR  Fixed APR 
Undergraduate loan 4.49%–15.32% 4.49%–15.32%
Graduate loan  4.49%–13.99%  4.49%–13.99% 
Parent loan  4.49%–15.32%  4.49%–15.32% 
Refinance  5.24%–9.99%  5.24%–9.99% 

College Ave has good rates and is worth considering, but there are many student loan lenders out there; see our selections for the best student loans to help fund your education.

Pros Explained

  • Pre-qualification does not impact credit score: Pre-qualification for loans is available online, and does not impact your credit score. College Ave only does a soft pull on your credit.
  • Flexible repayment terms: College Ave offers flexible repayment terms, including 5-year, 8-year, 10-year, and 15-year term lengths. Graduate loans offer up to 20-year repayment terms.
  • Relatively lower minimum and higher maximum loan amounts: College Ave loans are available as low as $1,000, and as high as $150,000 (or more) based on creditworthiness and chosen degree.
  • Co-signers can be released: Co-signers can be released from loans upon review and approval without the need to refinance.

Cons Explained

  • Late fees and penalties: College Ave charges a late fee for payments that are 15 days late. There are also fees for returned payments.
  • No refinancing without a degree: Refinancing loans are not available unless the student has graduated.
  • Co-signer release only available after halfway through loan repayment: The ability to release a co-signer from your loan is great, but College Ave requires the loan to be halfway paid off before considering co-signer release.

Student Loans Offered by College Ave

Undergraduate Student Loans

College Ave offers undergraduate student loans to enrolled students who are going to school at least half-time. Students can borrow as little as $1,000, with a $150,000 aggregate limit for a four-year degree. Students can apply with or without a co-signer, but international students must use a co-signer.

Terms for Undergraduate Loans
Variable APR 4.49%–15.32%
Fixed APR  4.49%–15.32% 
Loan amounts  $1,000–$150,000 
Loan terms  5-, 8-, 10-, and 15-year 

Graduate Student Loans

College Ave offers graduate student loans to half-time or full-time enrolled students, with a minimum borrowed amount of $1,000 and uncapped maximum that is based on creditworthiness and degree selected. Graduate loans are available for medical school, law school, and MBA programs, among others. Loan terms are available from 5 to 15 years in length, with medical, dental, and law school offering up to 20-year repayment terms. Graduate loans come with a generous nine-month grace period.

Terms for Graduate Loans
Variable APR 4.49%–13.99% 
Fixed APR  4.49%–13.99% 
Loan amounts  $1,000 up to cost of attendance 
Loan terms  5-, 8-, 10-, 15-, and 20-year

Parent Student Loans

Private parent student loans are available to parents, guardians, or other family members of qualifying students who are enrolled at least half-time in an undergraduate or graduate-level program. Parent loans differ from co-signed loans, making the applicant responsible for repayment of the loan, not the student. Parent loans offer competitive rates and terms, but do not qualify for deferment, so borrowers must pay at least interest-only payments while the child is in school.

Terms for Parent Loans
Variable APR 4.49%–15.32%
Fixed APR  4.49%–15.32% 
Loan amounts  $1,000–$150,000 
Loan terms  5-, 8-, 10-, and 15-year

Loan Eligibility and Approval

To qualify for a student loan with College Ave, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Be enrolled in an eligible school in the U.S. (listed on application)
  • Have a Social Security number
  • Meet the satisfactory academic progress (SAP) guidelines defined by your school

There are also personal financial requirements considered as part of the application process, though the exact income and credit requirements are proprietary to College Ave and are not disclosed publicly.

For student loan refinancing, borrowers must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Be named on the loans to be refinanced
  • Have graduated from an eligible school and program
  • Meet College Ave's underwriting requirements

International students must have a valid Social Security number and a qualified co-signer to be eligible. DACA recipients are not eligible for College Ave student loans.

Are Co-Signers Required?

Co-signers are required for students who don’t meet the qualifying criteria for a student loan. Co-signers are also required for international students, who also need a valid Social Security number.

Is Loan Pre-Qualification Available?

Yes. College Ave offers a quick pre-qualification application that can be done entirely online within a few minutes. Some of the information you will need to submit includes:

  • Contact information
  • Social Security number
  • Estimated annual income
  • School name
  • Expected graduation date
  • Amount you'd like to borrow

Upon submitting the application, College Ave will run a soft pull of your credit profile to show your approved amounts and interest rates. This will give you estimated rates for both variable and fixed loans, and then you can complete your application.

Length of Time for Loan Approval and Disbursement

College Ave recommends applying for your loan at least 30 days before school enrollment to allow for approval and loan disbursement. After you submit your application, College Ave will reach out to your listed school for certification. 

Certification time varies by school, and may take a few weeks. Once your school certifies the loan, College Ave will send an email to borrowers with an estimated date for loan disbursement.

Loan Fees and Repayment Options

Loan Fees

College Ave does not charge many loan fees—there are no origination, prepayment, early payment, or extra payment fees. College Ave does, however, charge late fees for payments that are more than 15 days late. The fee is either 5% of the total payment or $25, whichever is less. There is also a returned payment fee of $25 per returned payment.

There are no additional fees for using loan deferment or forbearance services.

Loan Discounts

As with most other private student loan companies, College Ave offers a discount for setting up autopay. There is a 0.25% discount available, and this is reflected in the advertised rates.

Repayment Options

College Ave has multiple repayment options available, allowing students to choose how they prefer to repay their loans.

  • Deferment: No payments on loans until (up to) six months after graduation. Interest will accrue during deferment, making this the most expensive repayment option over the life of the loan
  • Fixed payment: College Ave offers a flat $25/month payment option during school and up to six months after graduation. This helps lower the amount of interest that accrues while in school.
  • Interest-only: Interest-only payments are available while in school and during the six-month grace period, which keeps interest from accruing and lowers the amount that is paid over the life of the loan.
  • Full principal and interest payment: Students can pay the full payment amount during school, which is the most cost-effective option over the life of the loan.

College Ave also offers a nine-month grace period for graduate students, 12 months for dental students, and 36 months for medical students. Interest will accrue during the grace period.

Rewards

College Ave offers scholarships on a regular basis, with a $1,000 scholarship given out monthly, and larger amounts given out on a periodic basis. You can see all of the rewards on the College Ave promotions page.

Loan Forbearance and Discharge Options

College Ave doesn’t share any information about loan relief options. Private lenders typically offer several options for student loan forbearance, deferment, or loan discharge. There are no listed requirements on how to qualify for forbearance, and there are no listed deferment options outside of in-school deferment.

Is Student Loan Refinancing Available?

College Ave offers student loan refinancing to graduates, with 5- to 15-year loan terms and competitive rates. 

Student loan refinancing is not available for students who have not completed their degree.

The loan funds will be disbursed directly to your creditors, and you can consolidate multiple loans into one if necessary. There are no application or origination fees for refinancing with College Ave.

Terms for Refinancing Loans
Variable APR 5.24%–9.99%
Fixed APR  5.24%–9.99% 
Loan amounts  $5,000–$300,000 
Loan terms  5-15 years 

It’s always best to explore your options. Check out our picks for the best student loan refinance companies to see which one is right for you.

Customer Service

College Ave offers simple help documentation on its website (though it doesn’t cover everything), and you can access the customer support team via email, live chat, and phone (844-422-7502); support is available from Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time. 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) did not include College Ave, nor its funding banks (Firstrust Bank, First Citizens Community Bank, and Safra Bank) in its annual consumer report.

Applying for a College Ave Student Loan

Applying for a student loan with College Ave is a quick process that is available entirely online. You will first submit a basic application for pre-approval by sharing your personal and financial information. You will receive an immediate decision and estimated rates, and then complete the application by providing further information and documentation.

Some of the information you will need to provide includes:

  • Contact information
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Household income
  • School of attendance
  • Cost of attendance
  • Expected graduation date
  • Requested loan amount

College Ave approval is based on your creditworthiness and other proprietary review factors, such as your income and debt obligations. Once your application is completed, College Ave will request certification from your school before disbursing the loan.

We recommend submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before applying for a private student loan, as you may qualify for grants or federal loans with more favorable terms.

Alternative Choices

  College Ave MEFA  Education Loan Finance (ELFI) 
Loan Types offered Undergraduate; graduate; parent Undergraduate; graduate; medical; bootcamp Undergraduate; graduate; parent 
Undergraduate fixed APR  4.49%–15.32%  4.89%–6.99%  3.98%–7.29% 
Undergraduate variable APR  4.49%–15.32%  N/A  3.98%–7.98% 
Origination/administrative fee  None  None  None 
Repayment options  Deferment; fixed; interest-only; full payment  Deferment; fixed; interest-only; full payment  Deferment; fixed; interest-only; full payment 
Refinancing available  Yes Yes  Yes 

Final Verdict

College Ave is a solid private student loan company that offers competitive rates, a wide range of loan terms, and multiple repayment options. College Ave doesn’t cater to international students (without a Social Security number) or DACA recipients, though, and there are high late payment and returned payment fees. But applying for loans is a breeze, and you can borrow as little as $1,000 if needed. Overall, if you are searching for private student loans or refinancing, College Ave is worth a look.

Are you an international student without an SSN or a DACA recipient? There are many other lenders out there. Browse our selections for the best student loans for international students or the best overall private student loans to see if one might be a better fit.

Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of student loan lenders. We collected thousands of data points across 30 lenders—including loan types, interest rates, fees, loan amounts, and repayment terms—to ensure that we help readers make the right borrowing decision for their education needs.

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. College Ave. "Undergraduate Student Loans."

  2. College Ave. "Graduate Student Loans." 

  3. College Ave. "Parent Loans."

  4. College Ave. "Student Loan Refinancing." 

  5. College Ave. "Who is eligible to take out a College Ave Student or Parent loan?"

  6. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Report of the CFPB Education Loan Ombudsman."