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Discover Student Loans: 2023 Review

Updated on Jan. 1, 2023
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Please Note: Information about Discover Student Loans has been collected independently by The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

At a glance

Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
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Repayment Options
Rating: 4.6 stars out of 5
Rating: 3.4 stars out of 5
Customer Experience
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

About Bankrate Score

In addition to its well-known credit card products, Discover offers a wide range of competitive private student loan options to fit almost any student, whether they’re pursuing a bachelor’s degree or a medical residency. Low rates, generous discounts, multiple repayment options and no fees make Discover’s student loans worth consideration.

Loan amount $1,000 to total cost of attendance
Clock Wait
Term lengths 10 to 20 years
This lender is best for those who have maximized grants, scholarships and other free financial aid and want a lender that offers a number of loan types and a loan consolidation option.
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Discover pros and cons


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    No fees

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    Offers discounts and rewards

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    Multi-year option available

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    Loans for basically every student


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    No pre-qualification

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    No co-signer release

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    Limited loan terms

Do you qualify?

To qualify for Discover’s student loans, you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen, permanent resident or international student with a U.S. citizen or permanent resident co-signer.
  • At least 16 years old at the time you apply.
  • Enrolled in a degree-seeking program at an eligible school at least half-time.
  • In good academic standing.
  • Pass a credit check or have a creditworthy co-signer.

To qualify for Discover’s refinance loans, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or international student with a U.S. citizen or permanent resident co-signer.
  • Be at least 18 years old at the time you apply.
  • Pass a credit check.
  • Have no more than $150,000 in student loans, although higher limits may apply to certain fields.
  • Be the primary borrower of the loans you want to consolidate.
  • Have a stable source of income.
  • Have good credit and repayment history.

LightStream: in the details

What we like and what we don’t like

Discover’s student loans can be a great option if you need more funding outside of your federal student loans. However, there are downsides as well. Here are some pros and cons you should consider before applying.

What we like

  • No fees: Discover doesn’t charge application, origination or late fees.
  • Offers discounts and rewards: Discover offers a 0.25 percent rate discount for enrolling in automatic payments. You could also qualify for a one-time cash reward of 1 percent on each new loan you take out if you earn at least a 3.0 GPA in college or graduate school. You may also qualify for an additional reward on your first loan if you’re an incoming freshman and your high school GPA is at least 3.0.
  • Multi-year option available: With Discover, you can get prequalified for future academic periods, meaning you can apply for future student loans without impacting your credit.
  • Loans for basically every student: Discover offers undergraduate and graduate loans, as well as more specialized loans, like MBA student loans, law school loans, residency loans and more.

What we don’t like

  • No pre-qualification: Discover doesn’t offer prequalification, so make sure you check the loan requirements before applying; applying for a loan with the company will temporarily ding your credit score.
  • No co-signer release: Unlike many other student loan lenders, Discover doesn’t offer co-signer release. Your co-signer must remain partly responsible for the loan for its duration.
  • Limited loan terms: Each loan type, except refinance loans, has only one repayment period to choose from. Undergraduates must repay their loans in 15 years, while graduates must repay their loans in 20 years.

How to contact Discover

Discover’s customer service department is available via phone, email, fax or mail. Student loan specialists are available by phone 24/7 at 800-788-3368, or you can log in to the website and send a secure message with questions about your account or application.

Loan rates

Discover offers both variable- and fixed-rate options across its student loan products. Rates reflect a 0.25 percent automatic payment discount, with the minimum rates applying to the most creditworthy borrowers.

Loan products include:

  • Undergraduate loans
  • Graduate loans
  • MBA student loans
  • Law school loans
  • Health professions loans
  • Bar exam loans
  • Residency loans
  • Parent student loans
  • Refinance loans
See rates at

Repayment terms and options

Discover’s undergraduate loans have a repayment term of 15 years, while all graduate loans have a 20-year repayment term. Refinance loans can be repaid over 10 or 20 years.

You can choose to make interest-only payments while in school or pay a fixed fee of $25. However, you can also choose to defer repayment until six months after you graduate if you’re an undergraduate student or nine months after graduation if you’re a graduate student.

How to apply for a loan with Discover

Before getting started, students will need their Social Security number, school information (including field of study and period of enrollment), desired loan amount, any expected financial aid (scholarships, grants, etc.), financial information (income, debts and assets, if applicable) and your permanent address.

Co-signers will need to supply their Social Security number, requested loan amount, employment information, financial information and permanent address.

You can start the application process for a Discover student loan online, with a result in as little as 15 minutes.

Here are four main steps to apply for a loan through Discover:

  1. Start the online application process.
  2. Include a co-signer, if desired.
  3. Choose either a fixed or variable interest rate and a repayment option.
  4. If approved, sign and accept loan documents.

Discover frequently asked questions

How Bankrate rates Discover

Overall Score 4.2 Explanation
Repayment Options 4.6 While it has a wide range of loan amounts, Discover offers only two repayment term options for refinance loans and one for its private loans, which doesn’t give borrowers much flexibility.
Affordability 3.4 Borrowers don’t have to worry about any fees. However, Discover’s starting and maximum APRs exceed those offered by most competitors.
Customer Experience 4.5 Discover’s customer service department is available 24/7, and the company offers online loan management.


Bankrate scores student loan providers across 14 data points. State availability, the length of the grace period offered and available loan amounts are all considered when evaluating lenders. Scores are divided into three categories.

  • Availability: Includes loan amounts, loan types, repayment options and state availability.
  • Affordability: Includes grace period length, APR range, cosigner requirements and fees.
  • Customer experience: Includes app availability, repayment options, online availability and customer service hours.

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.