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Custom Choice Student Loans: 2023 Review

Updated on Jan. 1, 2023
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At a glance

Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
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Repayment Options
Rating: 3.8 stars out of 5
Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
Customer Experience
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

About Bankrate Score

Custom Choice is best for borrowers who don’t need to borrow much for school but want flexible options when it comes to paying them off.

Loan amount $1,000 to $180,000
APR from 1.29%
Clock Wait
Term lengths 7 to 15 years
This lender is best for borrowers who don’t need to borrow much for school but want flexible options when it comes to paying them off.
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Custom Choice features

Custom Choice offers student loans for both undergraduate and graduate students, and borrowers can apply with or without a co-signer. Custom Choice says that borrowers are four times more likely to be approved if they add a co-signer, but co-signers may also be released from the loan in as little as 36 months.

An addition to its core loan offerings, Custom Choice goes beyond simply lending by opening opportunities for scholarships and graduation rewards. It also provides a free guide to navigating private student loans, available to download on its website.

Custom Choice: in the details

Pros and cons of Custom Choice student loans

Custom Choice student loans can help you fund higher education, and you’ll even get some benefits for graduating. However, it’s important to consider both the benefits and the drawbacks before applying.


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    Flexible co-signer options: Co-signers are not required, not even for undergraduates, although having one can help you get approved or receive better rates and terms. Unlike some lenders, Custom Choice also offers co-signer release after 36 consecutive on-time payments.

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    Graduation reward: Borrowers can receive a 2 percent principal reduction for their loan when they show proof of graduation, which can make starting repayment easier.

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    Zero fees: Some lenders charge an origination fee for student loans, and many more impose fees for late payments. While it’s never good to miss a loan payment, Custom Choice waives all fees, including late fees.


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    Short forbearance program: Custom Choice limits its forbearance period to no more than two months at a time and no more than 12 months total. This may not be enough if you’re experiencing a long period of unemployment.

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    Loans aren’t available nationwide: You can’t use Custom Choice for funding if you’re a permanent resident of Arizona, Iowa or Wisconsin.

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    Limited loan amounts: While Custom Choice loans should be sufficient for most borrowers, it’s worth noting that they do have limits of $99,999 per year and $180,000 aggregate.

Custom Choice student loan requirements

In order to qualify for Custom Choice student loans, undergraduate and graduate students must be enrolled at least half time in a degree-granting program at a school approved by the lender. Borrowers must also be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident. Custom Choice also offers loans to DACA students, although you must apply with a qualified co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Borrowers must also be the age of majority at the time of application or have a co-signer who is.

Custom Choice does not share other requirements for loan approval, such as a minimum credit score or minimum income requirement.

Who is this loan good for?

Student loans from Custom Choice are a solid option for borrowers who don’t need to borrow much for school but want flexible options when it comes to paying them off — while the maximum repayment term is 15 years, borrowers have four options for making payments while in school. Because of Custom Choice’s low interest rates, it’s also ideal for borrowers with excellent credit.

Interest rates and terms

Custom Choice offers a 0.25 percent rate discount for borrowers who agree to use autopay. The rates below reflect the autopay discount.

Loan product

Variable rate

Fixed rate

Undergraduate student loans

4.75% to 13.39% APR

3.65% to 12.47% APR

Graduate student loans

4.43%-12.89% APR

3.90%-12.46% APR

Fees and penalties

Custom Choice student loans come with no origination fee and no late fees. Keep in mind that even if you’re not charged for missing a payment, a late payment will still negatively affect your credit score.

Repayment terms and grace period

Custom Choice student loans can be repaid over seven, 10 or 15 years, and students can begin repaying their loans during school or defer them until graduation. A six-month grace period also applies.

Payments can be made in the following ways:

  • Deferred payments until six months after you graduate.
  • Flat payments of $25 during school that can help you reduce interest accrual.
  • Interest-only payments until you graduate.
  • Immediate full payments that include principal and interest.

Customer service

Custom Choice has several avenues for customer service, including an online chat feature. If you’d like to speak with a representative, you can also call 888-513-8445 or email You may also send correspondence via mail to Cognition Financial, 200 Clarendon Street, 3rd Floor, Boston, Massachusetts, 02116.

Customer service is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

How to apply for a loan with Custom Choice

Applying for a student loan with Custom Choice is easy, and the company even lets you check your rate online and without any impact to your credit score. The company says that you’ll need the following information to start your application:

  • Social Security number or documentation regarding current immigration status.
  • School information.
  • Loan amount.
  • Proof of income (if applicable).
  • Monthly housing cost.
  • Anticipated graduation date.

If you’re applying with a co-signer, they will need:

  • Social Security number.
  • Proof of income.
  • Government-issued ID.

Once you’re ready to apply, you’ll fill out the loan application online. If your loan is approved, you’ll accept the terms virtually and e-sign your loan documents. After that, Custom Choice will send your loan information to your school for verification, and then your loan funds will be sent directly to the institution you plan to attend.

How Bankrate rates Custom Choice

Overall Score 4.1
Repayment Options 3.8 Custom Choice doesn’t have many repayment term options and has loan caps, though its minimum loan amount is low.
Affordability 4.4 Custom Choice offers borrowers low minimum and maximum APRs and no fees, even if its grace period is relatively short.
Customer Experience 4.0 While Custom Choice makes online access and payments easy, it does not specify customer service hours and has no mobile app.

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.