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Ascent Student Loans: 2024 Review

Updated on Jan. 1, 2024

At a glance

Bankrate 2024 Awards Winner: Best student loan for bootcamps and vocational programs

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
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Repayment Options
Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
Customer Experience
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

About Bankrate Score

Ascent is an online lender offering private student loans to undergraduate and graduate students with or without co-signers. Competitive interest rates, generous hardship options and several incentive programs make it a strong contender in the student loan space.

Lender Details


Loan amount

$2,001 to $400,000


APR from

6.24% Variable, 4.29% Fixed

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Term lengths

5 to 20 years (depending on loan type)

Ascent features

If you need to take out a private loan to pay for school, it can be difficult to qualify without a co-signer. But you may qualify with one of Ascent’s three student loans:

  • Co-signed credit-based student loan: If you have a creditworthy co-signer, then you may qualify for this type of loan. Ascent will pull your credit and your co-signer’s credit during the application process.
  • Non-co-signed credit-based loan: Even without a co-signer, you may qualify for a loan if you have at least two years’ worth of credit history.
  • Non-co-signed outcomes-based loan: Juniors and seniors may qualify for a loan based on factors other than credit. Ascent will consider your school, degree program and potential salary after graduation.

Students seeking undergraduate, graduate, medical, business, law and dental degrees can apply for loans, but the maximum you can borrow depends on your credit. Undergraduates with sufficient credit can borrow up to $200,000 total, or $400,000 for graduates. However, borrowers who take out an outcomes-based loan may borrow only up to $20,000 per year.

Ascent’s variable and fixed annual percentage rates (APRs) start low, though rates on its upper bound are a bit higher than what other lenders offer. Loan terms range from five to 20 years, depending on the type of loan, and you can choose from three flexible repayment plans.

Ascent also offers incentive programs. 

  • Cash-back graduation reward: Borrowers who earn their degree within five years and authorize automatic payments are eligible for a one-time payment equal to 1 percent of the original loan balance.
  • Referral bonuses: Earn up to $525 for each friend you refer to an Ascent loan.

And if you experience financial hardship while repaying the loan, you may be able to suspend payments for up to 24 months total.

Ascent: In the details

Pros and cons of Ascent student loans

Before applying for an Ascent student loan, it’s best to be aware of both the benefits and drawbacks of this lender.


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    Flexible co-signer options. Unlike with many other lenders, undergraduate students may qualify for a loan without a co-signer and with no credit history. Depending on the loan, eligibility may be based on credit or future income. If you take out a loan with a co-signer, you can remove them from the loan after you make payments for 12 consecutive months.

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    Low loan amounts available. Ascent sets its minimum loan amount at $2,001. This is good if you only need a small amount of money to fill in the gaps of your education costs.

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    Generous deferment and forbearance. You may be able to pause payments if you’re enrolled in school, you’re accepted into a residency program or you’re called up for military service. Temporary forbearance options are available, too. You may be able to suspend payments for up to 24 months total throughout the life of the loan.


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    Fewer repayment terms. Ascent offers fewer repayment terms than similar lenders.

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    Limited outcomes-based eligibility. Juniors and seniors may qualify for a non-co-signed loan based on their future income. But freshmen, sophomores and international students won’t qualify for this type of loan.

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    No refinance option. Unlike some other lenders, Ascent doesn’t offer refinance student loans.

Ascent student loan requirements

To qualify for an Ascent student loan, you must be the age of majority in your state and a U.S. citizen. If you’re not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, then you may qualify if you have a creditworthy co-signer who meets those requirements. Ascent’s other loan requirements depend on whether you have a co-signer.

If you’re applying with a co-signer, Ascent will pull both your credit and the co-signer’s credit during the application process. Your co-signer will need to show proof that they earn at least $24,000 per year. You’ll need to be enrolled in school at least half time.

Independent borrowers applying for the non-co-signer credit-based loan will need at least two years’ worth of credit history and a gross annual income of at least $24,000 to qualify for the best rates and terms. You’ll also need to be enrolled at least half time. But borrowers applying for loans based on their future income must be enrolled full time or graduating within the next six months.

Interest rates

Borrowers with credit-based loans can get a 0.25 percent interest rate discount after setting up automatic payments. That discount rises to 1 percent if you take out a loan based on your future income and set up autopay. Below are Ascent’s interest rates by loan type. All rates include an automatic payment discount.

Loan product Variable rate Fixed rate
Undergraduate non-co-signed credit-based 9.27%-15.20% APR 9.16%-15.11% APR
Undergraduate non-co-signed outcomes-based 13.26%-15.22% APR 13.20%-15.13% APR
Undergraduate and international co-signed 6.24%-15.85% APR 4.29%-15.76% APR
General graduate school 7.03%-15.20% APR 5.17%-15.11% APR
Law school 7.24%-15.20% APR 5.29%-15.11% APR
Dental school 7.24%-15.20% APR 5.29%-15.11% APR
Medical school 7.03%-15.20% APR 5.17%-15.11% APR
MBA 7.24%-15.20% APR 5.29%-15.11% APR

Fees and penalties

Ascent doesn’t charge any origination, application or disbursement fees for its student loans. However, borrowers may be charged fees for late payments and returned payments.

Repayment terms and grace period

Ascent’s repayment terms vary by loan type, but all student loans come with a grace period of at least nine months.

Undergraduate borrowers can choose repayment terms of five, seven, 10, 12 or 15 years, though undergraduate borrowers who choose the outcomes-based loan are limited to a 10- or 15-year repayment period. After graduation, borrowers can defer payments for up to nine months.

Graduate loans offer repayment periods of five, seven, 10, 12, 15 or 20 years, depending on your degree and loan type. MBA, law, health professions and general graduate students have a nine-month deferral period; dental students, 12 months; and medical students, 36 months.

Repayment options include:

  • Deferred: Borrowers don’t have to make principal or interest payments while they’re enrolled at least half time in school and during the grace period. Interest will still accrue during this time.
  • Interest-only: Borrowers can choose to make interest payments while enrolled at least half time in school.
  • $25 minimum repayment: Borrowers can pay at least $25 a month while enrolled at least half time. This helps reduce the balance you have to pay down after graduation.

How to apply for a loan with Ascent

Borrowers can apply for an Ascent student loan entirely online. The application process takes about five minutes if you have all of your information handy. Here’s what the process looks like when applying for a loan through Ascent:

Customer service

Ascent’s student loans are funded by Bank of Lake Mills or DR Bank, and they’re serviced by Launch Servicing. The Better Business Bureau gives Ascent an “A” rating.

You can contact Ascent’s customer service department at 877-216-0876 Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST and Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST. The company’s email address is

For questions about an existing loan, such as payment, deferment or forbearance information, contact Launch Servicing. You can reach the customer service department at 877-209-5297 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST. The company’s email address is

Ascent frequently asked questions

How Bankrate rates Ascent

Overall Score 4.5 Explanation
Repayment Options 4.8 Ascent offers a wide range of loan amounts and many different types of loans to choose from.
Affordability 4.8 The fact that Ascent doesn’t require co-signers for undergrad loans gives it a boost. And its APR range is excellent, though a few rival lenders cap their max APRs lower.
Customer Experience 4.0 While Ascent has a good online experience, its customer service department is limited to weekdays.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.

Student Success Disclosure: *To be eligible for coaching through the Student Success Program, the student borrower must be an undergraduate who has been approved for and completed an Ascent college loan application, and has agreed to the terms of the coaching program. Ascent’s consumer loans for bootcamps and graduate student loans do not qualify for this program. Rate Disclosure: Ascent's undergraduate and graduate student loans are funded by Bank of Lake Mills or DR Bank, each Member FDIC. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. For Ascent Terms and Conditions please visit: Rates are effective as of 12/11/2023 and reflect an automatic payment discount of either 0.25% (for credit-based loans) OR 1.00% (for undergraduate outcomes-based loans). Automatic Payment Discount is available if the borrower is enrolled in automatic payments from their personal checking account and the amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month. For Ascent rates and repayment examples please visit: 1% Cash Back Graduation Reward subject to terms and conditions. Cosigned Credit-Based Loan student must meet certain minimum credit criteria. The minimum score required is subject to change and may depend on the credit score of your cosigner. Lowest APRs require interest-only payments, the shortest loan term, and a cosigner, and are only available to our most creditworthy applicants and cosigners with the highest average credit scores.

*The minimum amount is $2,001 except for the state of Massachusetts. Minimum loan amount for borrowers with a Massachusetts permanent address is $6,001.