College Ave Student Loans: 2020 Review

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Founded in 2014, College Ave is an online lender specializing in private student loans and student loan refinancing. Along with its loan options, borrowers will find tools, resources and scholarship opportunities on its site, which makes it a great choice for borrowers new to student loans or those entering college for the first time.

College Ave features

College Ave offers undergraduate, graduate, dental, law, medical, MBA, 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.

One of the highlights of College Ave is the fact that international students are eligible for loans — they just need to have a valid U.S. Social Security number and a qualified co-signer. Most other lenders restrict their loans to U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

College Ave also sets the borrowing threshold low compared to other lenders. For its private student loans, you can borrow as little as $1,000, and you can refinance as little as $5,000, making the lender a great choice if you need to fill in the gaps left by federal student loans or your college savings.

College Ave student loan snapshot

Loan types
Undergraduate, graduate, dental, law, medical, MBA, parent, career, refinancing
Loan amounts
Private loans: $1,000 to 100% of the total cost of attendance
Refinancing loans: $5,000 to $300,000
Interest rates
Private loans: 1.24% to 12.99% variable APR, 3.49% to 13.95% fixed APR (with autopay)
Refinancing loans: 3.64% to 8.49% variable APR, 3.74% to 8.49% fixed APR (with autopay)
Repayment terms
Private loans: 5 to 20 years
Refinancing loans: 5 to 20 years
Grace period
6 months
Co-signer required?
No

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.

Pros and cons of College Ave student loans

College Ave student loans are versatile and can help you fund your college education. Before you apply, it’s important to be aware of the pros and the cons.

Pros

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Cons

  • Limited information on eligibility: College Ave doesn’t disclose it’s income or credit requirements, even for its refinancing loans, meaning you’ll have to get a quote in order to determine if you’re eligible.
  • 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

In order to apply for a private student loan with College Ave, you must:

  • 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.

In order 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.
  • Meet College Ave’s underwriting requirements.

Who is this loan good for?

Student loans from College Ave are a good option for borrowers who are looking for a variety of repayment options and those who prefer a comprehensive online experience. Borrowers have the chance to win additional aid for college expenses through the lender’s scholarships, sweepstakes and contests.

Interest rates and terms

College Ave has one discount: You can save 0.25 percent by setting up autopay. The rates below include this discount.

Loan product Variable rate Fixed rate
Undergraduate student loans 1.24% to 11.98% APR 3.49% to 12.99% APR
Graduate student loans 1.39% to 10.97% APR 4.14% to 11.98% APR
Dental school loans 1.39% to 8.99% APR 4.69% to 9.95% APR
Law school loans 1.39% to 8.99% APR 4.49% to 9.95% APR
Medical school loans 1.39% to 8.99% APR 4.79% to 9.95% APR
MBA loans 1.39% to 10.97% APR 4.14% to 11.98% APR
Parent loans 1.24% to 11.93% APR 3.49% to 12.97% APR
Career loans 1.24% to 12.99% APR 3.49% to 13.95% APR
Student loan refinancing 3.64% to 8.49% APR 3.74% to 8.49% APR

Fees and penalties

College Ave does not charge an origination or prepayment fee. It may charge you a late fee, but it doesn’t specify the amount.

What are repayment terms and grace period for College Ave?

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 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 20 years.

College Ave’s grace period is six months. 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.

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.

Customer service for new student loans can be reached at 844-422-7502 Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Representatives are also available via chat, text or email.

How to apply for a loan with College Ave

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 like 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. 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.

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 your application gets turned down

If you’re denied for a loan from College Ave, you can contact the lender for more information on why your loan was rejected. It’s possible you may need to add an approved co-signer with good credit and sufficient income to be approved.

If you can’t get approved by adding a co-signer, 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 4.4
Repayment Options 4.8
Affordability 4.5
Customer Experience 4.0

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com 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.