College Ave Student Loans: 2020 Comprehensive Review

College Ave logo

College Ave is an online lender that offers undergraduate, graduate, parent and career student loans in addition to student loan refinancing. Low rates, flexible repayment options and dedicated borrower resources make it a heavy competitor in the space.

Founded in December 2014, College Ave is one of the few lenders that specializes in student loans. Along with its loan options, borrowers will find tools, resources and scholarship opportunities on its site.

Based out of Wilmington, Delaware, College Ave’s loan process is an entirely online experience. It’s lends in 50 states and the District of Columbia.

College Ave Bank student loan snapshot

Loan types
Undergraduate, graduate, parent, career, refinance
Loan amounts
$1,000 up to the total cost of attendance
Interest rates
Variable: 2.84% to 10.97% APR
Fixed: 4.54% to 11.98% APR
Repayment terms
5-15 years
Deferred: Pay nothing while in school
Interest only: Pay interest only while in school.
Flat: Pay $25 monthly fixed payments while in school.
Full principal and interest: Start repaying principal and interest right away
Grace period
Six months
Co-signer required?
No, but it is available

Get pre-qualified

Answer a few questions to see which personal loans you pre-qualify for. The process is quick and easy, and it will not impact your credit score.

Who can take out a College Ave student loan/who is it good for?

Student loans from College Ave are a good option for borrowers who want a lender that offers low rates, flexible repayment options and focuses solely on student loans. Indeed, it’s one of the few student loan lenders that doesn’t offer a host of other products, like personal loans, credit cards or banking.

College Ave also offers handy student loan tools. For example, its “See Your Loan in Action” tool allows you to view your future loan before committing, with individualized options and rates.

And borrowers have the chance to win additional aid for college expenses through the lender’s scholarships, sweepstakes and contests.

But College Ave doesn’t have a defined forbearance policy, making it a less-than-optimal choice for those who may need to postpone payments at some point due to financial difficulties.

In addition, repayment terms with College Ave top out at 15 years. If you need a longer term, you may want to shop at other lenders.

Here are the general eligibility requirements in order to apply for a loan from College Ave:

  • 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
  • Borrow at least $1,000

Interest rates and terms

College Ave offers competitive fixed and variable rate loan options. Its fixed-rate student loans range from 4.72 percent to 12.94 percent. Variable rates range from 3.96 percent to 11.98 percent. Quoted rates include an autopay discount of 0.25 percent.

Here are the rate ranges for each loan product at College Ave:

Loan product Variable rate Fixed rate
Undergraduate student loans 2.84% – 10.97% APR 4.54% – 11.98% APR
Graduate student loans 4.45% – 10.97% APR 5.20% – 11.68% APR
Dental school loans 4.46% – 8.69% APR 4.85% – 9.75% APR
Law school loans 4.56% – 8.69% APR 4.97% – 9.75% APR
Medical school loans 4.31% – 8.69% APR 4.67% – 9.75% APR
MBA loans 4.45% – 10.97% APR 5.20% – 11.68% APR
Parent loans 4.63% – 9.53% APR 6.50% – 11.56% APR
Career loans 4.54% – 11.98% APR 4.54% – 11.98% APR
Student loan refinancing 2.37% – 5.87% APR 3.54% – 6.24% APR

Fees and penalties

College Ave does not charge an origination or prepayment fee. It doesn’t specify a fee for late payment.

Repayment terms and grace period

Repayment periods of five, eight, 10 and 15 years are available from this lender.

Repayment options include:

  • Deferred: Make no principal or interest payments while in school
  • Interest-only: Pay 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

Customer service

College Ave. gets an “A+” score from the Better Business Bureau. The score considers complaint history and the institution’s response to those complaints.

The customer service department is available by phone or email.

For general inquiries and help with student loan applications, email or call 844-422-7502 Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET.

Those who need help applying for refinancing may email or call 844-422-7502.

Application process

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

In order to apply, you’ll need to gather information, including your Social Security number, estimated annual income, 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. College Ave sends the loan application and information to your school for certification.
  4. College Ave schedules funds to be sent according to the school’s requested timeline.

Get pre-qualified

Answer a few questions to see which personal loans you pre-qualify for. The process is quick and easy, and it will not impact your credit score.

What to do if application is turned down

If you’re denied for a loan from College Ave, you’ll get a letter in the mail with information on why your loan was rejected. It’s possible you may need to add an approved cosigner with good credit and sufficient income to be approved.

If you can’t get approved by adding a cosigner, pay attention to why you were rejected and take steps to fix those errors. Low credit scores, low income and unstable job history could all contribute to being denied for a loan.

It’s also wise to shop around at other lenders for a loan and a great rate. Some lenders are more lenient with their eligibility criteria than others. SoFi, Discover, and Sallie Mae, for example, all have varying eligibility criteria and offer low rates, low fees and generous repayment options to borrowers.

How Bankrate Rates College Ave

Overall Score 4.6
Repayment Options 5.0
Affordability 4.8
Customer Experience 4.0

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.