College Ave Student Loans Review

Offers a wider range of repayment terms than most others

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College Ave

 College Ave

Our Take

College Ave offers a variety of loans for all types of students and situations. Students seeking medical, dental, and law degrees will especially like the extended grace periods and 20-year term option.

  • Key Takeaways
  • Pros and Cons
  • Company Overview
Key Takeaways
  • College Ave offers undergraduate, graduate, career, and parent student loans.
  • Students enrolled less than half-time can still be eligible.
  • Students must maintain the Satisfactory Academic Progress determined by their school to remain eligible. 
  • Offers four in-school repayment options and five loan terms.
  • Medical, dental, and law school students can get terms up to 20 years with grace periods of nine to 36 months.
  • Parent loan borrowers can receive up to $2,500 of their loan directly.
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Prequalification available

  • Can be enrolled less than half time

  • $150 reward for finishing your degree

  • Flexible repayment terms

Cons
  • Must meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP)

  • Charges late payment fee

Company Overview
  • Year Founded 2014
  • Official Website www.collegeavestudentloans.com
  • Loans Offered Undergraduate, Graduate, Refinance
  • Customer Service Online 24/7 or by phone: 844-422-7502 M-F, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. ET
Top Rated For

College Ave is an online lender offering both private student loans and refinancing. It specializes in undergraduate, graduate, career, and parent loans and has a wide range of repayment terms to fit your budget.

College Ave was built to make getting a private student loan less complicated. Its three-minute application process gives you your rates quickly, and you don’t need a cosigner to be approved, though 97% of undergraduate borrowers do have one.

The credit score you need to qualify is proprietary, but College Ave looks at more than just your credit score to approve you. It also takes into consideration your and your cosigner’s credit history, income, and debt-to-income ratio. Based on their creditworthiness, borrowers can take out loans as small as $1,000 or up to the total cost to attend.

Pros Explained

  • Prequalification available – College Ave offers a free prequalification tool to you and possible cosigners to determine your eligibility and rates for student loans without impacting your credit score.
  • Can be enrolled less than half time – Unlike other private student loan lenders, College Ave doesn’t require borrowers to be enrolled full time or half time. You just need to be enrolled in a degree program and attending classes at an eligible school.
  • $150 reward for finishing your degree – Once you’ve finished your degree, you can upload a copy of your transcript, and College Ave will give you a $150 statement credit on your loan.
  • Flexible repayment terms – College Ave offers terms from five to 20 years and 11 different repayment terms for parent loans.

Cons Explained

  • Must meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP) – SAP is the standard students must maintain to be eligible for federal financial aid. Satisfactory academic progress is defined by each individual school and may involve maintaining a minimum grade-point average, taking a certain number of credits, or other factors. Many private student loan lenders don’t verify these standards, but College Ave does.
  • Charges late payment fee – College Ave charges a steep $25 fee for every late payment.

College Ave Student Loans Available

Undergraduate Student Loans

College Ave undergraduate loans can cover up to 100% of tuition, fees, books, housing, and other costs for a semester, quarter, or up to a full academic year. You can choose to make payments while in school or defer interest and principal payments until up to six months after graduating. Rates and terms are as follows:

Variable Rates 1.24% to 11.98%
Fixed Rates 3.49% to 12.99%
Loan Amounts $1,000 up to the total cost of attendance
Loan Terms Five, eight, 10, or 15 years

Graduate Student Loans

For students pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees, College Ave graduate loans offer four in-school repayment options and terms of up to 15 years. There are no application fees, origination fees, or prepayment penalties. Rates and terms are as follows:

Variable Rates 1.39% to 10.97%
Fixed Rates 4.14% to 11.98%
Loan Amounts $1,000 up to the total cost of attendance
Loan Terms Five, eight, 10, or 15 years

Select MBA Loans

Students in a master of business administration (MBA) degree program at an eligible school can qualify for a College Ave Select MBA loan. Rates and terms are as follows:

Variable Rates 1.39% to 7.98%
Fixed Rates 4.29% to 8.74%
Loan Amounts $1,000 to $150,000
Loan Terms Five, eight, 10, 15 or 20 years

Medical School Loans

Students enrolled in a doctor of medicine (MD), osteopathic medicine (DO), veterinary medicine (DVM, VMD), or podiatric medicine (PM) degree program at an eligible school can be eligible for a College Ave medical school loan. You’ll get your choice of loan terms up to 20 years, a 36-month grace period, and a residency deferment. Rates and terms are as follows:

Variable Rates 1.39% to 8.99%
Fixed Rates 4.79% to 9.95%
Loan Amounts $1,000 to $150,000
Loan Terms Five, eight, 10, 15, or 20 years

Dental School Loans

Students enrolled in a doctor of dental surgery (DDS) or a medicine in dentistry or dental medicine (DMD) degree program at an eligible school can qualify for College Ave dental loans. This loan offers repayment terms of up to 20 years, a 12-month grace period, and residency deferment. Rates and terms are as follows:

Variable Rates 1.39% to 8.99%
Fixed Rates 4.69% to 9.95%
Loan Amounts $1,000 to $150,000
Loan Terms Five, eight, 10, 15, or 20 years

Law School Loans

Students enrolled in a juris doctor (JD) degree program at an eligible school can qualify for a College Ave law school loan. These loans offer terms of up to 20 years, a nine-month grace period, and the option to defer during clerkship. College Ave is also a preferred lender at Harvard Law School. Rates and terms are as follows:

Variable Rates 1.39% to 8.99%
Fixed Rates 4.49% to 9.95%
Loan Amounts $1,000 to $150,000
Loan Terms Five, eight, 10, 15 or 20 years

Loan Eligibility

College Ave loans are available to students in all 50 states, but you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be enrolled in a degree program and attend classes at an eligible school
  • Have satisfactory academic progress standards for your school
  • Have a Social Security number and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a cosigner who is a U.S. citizen, if you're an international student 

Is Loan Prequalification Available?

College Ave offers a cursory prequalification tool that performs a soft check of your credit to determine your eligibility. The tool doesn’t take into consideration income, debt-to-income ratio or any of the other factors College Ave uses to determine eligibility.

Important:

College Ave doesn’t disclose its minimum credit score or income requirements for taking out a loan without a cosigner. You’ll have to fill out a full application to see your personal rates and whether you meet eligibility requirements on your own.

Loan Fees

There are no application, origination, or prepayment fees, but College Ave does charge a $25 fee for each late payment.

Loan Discounts

College Ave offers a 0.25% interest rate deduction when you sign up to make automated payments from your checking or savings account. The interest rate deduction is reflected in College Ave’s advertised interest rates.

Repayment Options

All College Ave loans offer four in-school repayment options:

  • Full Principal and Interest – Highest in-school payment but lowest cost overall
  • Interest Only – Pay only interest charges every month while you’re in school
  • Flat – Make $25 payments every month while you’re in school or until your grace period ends
  • Deferred – No in-school payments but highest overall cost

All College Ave student loan borrowers can choose from five-, eight-, 10-, and 15-year repayment terms. Twenty-year terms are also available for law, medical, and dental school loans.

College Ave offers different grace periods based on the private student loan you take out.

  • Undergraduate, Graduate, and MBA Loans – Six months
  • Law School Loans – Nine months, with the option to add up to 12 months of deferment for a judicial clerkship
  • Dental School Loans – 12 months, with the option to add up to 24 months of deferment for residency
  • Medical School Loans – 36 months, with the option to add up to 48 months of deferment for residency

Rewards

College Ave offers a $150 statement credit when you finish your degree, and you can enter a drawing every month for a $1,000 scholarship. It also has drawings throughout the year for prizes, such as a $500 Visa gift card, a $5,000 scholarship, and textbooks for a year.

Are Cosigners Required?

Cosigners aren’t required, but 92% of College Ave loans are cosigned. The only way to see if you qualify for a loan without a cosigner is through the full application process.

A cosigner can be released if the borrower has made his or her most recent 24 consecutive payments on time, has no late payments on any other obligations, and has an income more than double the outstanding balance of the loan.

Private student loan companies rejected over 90% of borrowers who applied for cosigner release after meeting requirements.

Forbearance and Loan Discharge Options

If you become unemployed, medically disabled, or encounter financial hardship, you may qualify for a forbearance of your student loan. College Ave offers up to 12 months of hardship forbearance over the life of the loan, usually in three- or six-month increments, depending on the situation. And should the borrower die or suffer a permanent disability, his or her student loan is forgiven.

Length of Time for Loan Approval and Disbursement

College Ave recommends that you start thinking about how much you’ll need to take out for school and researching interest rates 90 days before school starts. Most applications are processed and paid within 30 days, but they can be done in as little as 10 days.

Is Student Loan Refinancing Available?

College Ave also offers student loan refinancing with fixed or variable interest rates and no application fees or origination fees. Borrowers must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, graduated from an eligible undergraduate or graduate degree program, and able to meet underwriting requirements.

Variable Rates 3.64% to 8.49%
Fixed Rates 3.74% to 8.49%
Loan Amounts $5,000 up to $150,000 for undergraduate and graduate degrees or $300,000 for most doctoral degrees
Loan Terms 16 options from five to 20 years

At this time only graduates can refinance their loans; parent loan refinancing is not available.

Customer Service

College Ave customer service is available through live chat, email, and phone. Email is run by a third party and has a fairly quick turnaround time of about 24 hours.

If you want help applying for a loan by phone, you can call College Ave customer service Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, at 844-422-7502. For help servicing or repaying a loan, you can call Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET (extended to 7 p.m. ET on Tuesdays), at 844-803-0736.

College Ave has 480 five-star reviews on its site, and most negative reviews are several years old. In 2019 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Student Loan Ombudsman reported four complaints made about College Ave out of more than 2,200 consumer complaints regarding private student loan companies.

Applying for a College Ave Student Loan

Before applying through College Ave or any other private student loan lender, make sure you submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and exhaust all your scholarship, grant, and federal financial aid options first. Then use a private lender to help you get the remaining money you need for school.

College Ave doesn’t have the option to apply by phone, but its three-minute online application is quick and easy. In the end, you’ll see what rates you’re approved for and if you need a cosigner.

To complete your application, you’ll need your:

  • Social Security Number
  • Estimated Annual Income
  • School Name
  • Desired Loan Amount

If you have a cosigner, he or she will need to fill out a separate application after you complete yours.

Paying for College

Having many choices for repayment terms means that you can save a lot of money on interest, but you could also end up repaying double or triple your loan amount. Making payments in school and choosing a shorter loan term will help you save money overall. You can always fall back on up to 12 months of forbearance during hard financial seasons.

Final Verdict

College Ave offers a wider range of repayment terms than most other lenders, making it a great choice for borrowers who want to see lots of options. The opportunity for parents to receive up to $2,500 of their parent loan directly is an added benefit. No matter what your budget is, College Ave is likely to have a repayment plan to fit it.

Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of student loan lenders. We collected over 45 data points across more than 15 lenders—including interest rates, fees, loan amounts, and repayment terms—to ensure that our content helps users 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 .
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