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College Ave Student Loans: 2024 Review

Updated on Jan. 1, 2024

At a glance

Bankrate 2024 Awards Winner: Best student loan for graduate students

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Check rate with Credible
Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
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Repayment Options
Rating: 4.6 stars out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Customer Experience
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

About Bankrate Score

Founded in 2014, College Ave is an online lender specializing in private student loans for both graduate and undergraduate degrees. The lender also offers student loan refinancing, and its products are backed by Firstrust Bank, First Citizens Community Bank and M.Y. Safra Bank.

Lender Details


Loan amount

$1,000 to total cost of attendance


APR from

5.59% Variable; 4.07% Fixed (with autopay)

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Term lengths

5 to 15 years

College Ave features

College Ave not only offers student loans for undergraduate and graduate students attending traditional schools, but it also offers career loans. Aside from this, students and their families can borrow up to their school’s certified cost of attendance and choose among four repayment options with generous grace periods.

The lender offers tools and resources to help borrowers understand its loan products, as well as what to expect before signing on the dotted line, including calculators, guides and a robust frequently asked questions section. Students and their parents also get access to year-long scholarship awards and sweepstakes hosted by the lender, which can reduce the cost of borrowing.

College Ave: In the details

Pros and cons of College Ave student loans

College Ave offers a variety of repayment options to choose from, generous loan amounts and plenty of resources for borrowers, but there are also some drawbacks to consider.


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    Co-signer release: Not all lenders will allow you to release your co-signer. College Ave makes the option available after half of the repayment period has elapsed if you meet certain payment and income requirements.

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    Flexible repayment: For most of its loans, College Ave offers four different repayment terms and four different methods of repayment — helping you better fit student loans into your budget.

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    Good online resources: College Ave aims to meet students at all stages of their student loan journey, with student loan calculators, scholarships and plenty of educational content.


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    Limited information on eligibility: College Ave doesn’t disclose specific income or credit requirements, even for its refinancing loans. It only states that co-signers must have a credit score in the mid-600s or better for approval, so you’ll have to prequalify to know if you’re eligible.

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    Short forbearance: College Ave’s forbearance program is limited to three- or six-month increments, up to a total of 12 months.

College Ave student loan requirements

To apply for a private student loan with College Ave, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old.
    Be a student at an eligible U.S. college or university.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or international student with a valid U.S. Social Security number.
  • Make satisfactory academic progress while in school.

To apply for a parent loan with College Ave, you must be the parent, grandparent, legal guardian, sponsor or another family member of an undergraduate or graduate student that meets the above requirements. You’ll also need to pass a credit and income check.

To apply for a refinancing loan, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Have graduated from a selection of Title IV eligible undergraduate or graduate programs.
  • Be named in the loans you want to refinance.
  • Meet College Ave’s underwriting requirements.

Who is this loan good for?

Student loans from College Ave are a good option for graduate students because the lender covers a variety of programs. These include loans specifically tailored for MBAs, law, medical and dental programs and traditional graduate degrees. Starting rates are also competitive, and borrowers can get a grace period of up to 36 months, depending on the program.

If you’re an undergraduate student, however, you may want to consider other options, as College Ave’s rate caps are on the higher side when compared to other lenders.

Interest rates

College Ave offers a 0.25 percent rate discount for setting up autopay. The rates below already reflect this discount.

Loan product Variable rate Fixed rate
Undergraduate student loans 5.59%-16.99% APR 4.49%-16.99% APR
Graduate student loans 5.59%-14.49% APR 4.49%-14.49% APR
Refinancing loans 6.99%-13.99% APR 6.99%-13.99% APR
Dental school loans 5.59%-14.49% APR 4.49%-14.49% APR
Law school loans 5.59%-14.49% APR 4.49%-14.49% APR
Medical school loans 5.59%-14.49% APR 4.49%-14.49% APR
MBA loans 5.59%-14.49% APR 4.49%-14.49% APR
Health professions loans 5.59%-14.49% APR 4.49%-14.49% APR
Parent loans 5.59%-16.99% APR 4.49%-16.99% APR
Career loans 5.59%-16.99% APR 4.49%-16.99% APR

Fees and penalties

College Ave doesn’t charge any origination fees or prepayment penalties on any of its private student loan or refinance products. However, if you miss your due date by 15 or more, you’ll be charged a late payment fee of 5 percent of the unpaid amount due or $25 — whichever is less.

Repayment terms and grace period

Each of College Ave’s products feature different term options. Undergraduate, graduate, MBA and career loans have the option of five, eight, 10 or 15 years. Dental, law and medical school loans have an additional 20-year option. Parents can choose any term between five and 15 years, and people looking to refinance can choose any term between five and 15 years.

College Ave’s grace period is six to 36 months, depending on the type of loan you take out. Repayment options include:

  • Deferred: Make no principal or interest payments while in school.
  • Interest-only: Pay only monthly interest charges while in school.
  • Flat: Pay a set $25 per month while in school.
  • Full principal and interest: Make full principal and interest payments as soon as school starts.

How to apply for a loan with College Ave

College Ave’s application process is completely online. According to the lender, it allows you to apply from any device and find out if your loan is approved in just three minutes. The entire process, from application to College Ave sending money, typically takes 10 business days or longer.

To apply, you’ll need to gather information like your Social Security number, your estimated annual income, your school name and the amount you’d like to borrow. You’ll see your interest rate once you’re approved.

Here’s what the process looks like when applying for a student loan through College Ave:

  1. Start the application process on College Ave’s site and see if you’re approved. You’ll get an instant decision.
  2. Accept the terms and e-sign loan documents, which can be completed on the site.
  3. Wait for College Ave to send the loan application and information to your school for certification. College Ave will schedule funds to be sent according to the school’s requested timeline.

Customer service

College Ave currently holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a 4.5/5 stars with Trustpilot, both of which are consumer review platforms. 

Customer service for student loans can be reached at 844-422-7502 Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET. Representatives are also available via chat or email and by text at 726-227-2275. Existing customers may view, manage and pay down their loans with College Ave’s website and app.

College Ave frequently asked questions

How Bankrate rates College Ave

Overall Score 4.4
Availability 4.8 College Ave has a wide range of repayment options and loan types, as well as competitive minimum and maximum borrowing amounts.
Affordability 4.0 While College Ave offers starting lower APRs than some lenders, its maximum APRs are higher than average. It also charges a late payment fee.
Customer Experience 4.5 College Ave’s customer service isn’t available on the weekends. However, it does have a good online platform and offers a mobile app.


The Bankrate team evaluated over 20 lenders to select our top picks for the best student loans. To do this, Bankrate considers 14 factors, including loan amounts, fees, repayment terms and options, as well as fixed and variable APR ranges. Then, lenders are rated using our vetting system known as the Bankrate Score, which focuses on three main categories.

  • Availability: We looked at minimum and maximum loan amounts, as well as the lender’s eligibility requirements, co-signer option, degrees covered and state availability. Lenders that offered the most flexibility as well as nationwide servicing and that offered financing for a variety of programs ranked higher in this section.
  • Affordability: Fixed and variable interest rates, fees, penalties and discounts were measured in this category. Lenders with the lowest rates, fewer fees and multiple discounts got the higher scores.
  • Customer experience: Our team looked at the ease of the application process, as well as online account management tools, customer support hours, app availability, repayment options and grace periods offered by the lenders. This allowed us to determine the lenders’ ability to satisfactorily serve customers.

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.