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Discover Student Loans: 2022 Review

Updated on 1-1-2022
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At a glance

4.6
Rating: 4.6 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
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Repayment Options
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
4.0
Affordability
Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
4.8
Customer Experience
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
5.0

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In addition to its well-known credit card products, Discover offers a range of competitive private student loan options. Low rates and no fees make Discover’s student loans worth consideration.

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Loan amount $1,000 to total cost of attendance
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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 features

Discover is an online lender that offers private student loans and loan consolidation to borrowers throughout the nation. It covers up to 100 percent of school-certified college and graduate school costs minus other financial aid (aggregate loan limits apply).

One standout feature of this lender is that it offers a cash reward for borrowers who get a 3.0 GPA (or equivalent) in any academic period covered by their loan. That’s a bonus for any student looking to get rewarded for performing well in school.*

Discover offers undergraduate, graduate, MBA, health professions, residency, law, bar exam, consolidation and parent loans.

*Get a cash reward on each new Discover undergraduate and graduate student loan when you earn at least a 3.0 GPA (or equivalent) in any academic period covered by the loan. Limitations Apply. Visit DiscoverStudentLoans.com/Reward for terms and conditions.

Discover: in the details

Loan Amount
Private: $1,000 to 100% of the total cost of attendance | Refinancing: $5,000 to full amount of education loans
APR from
See rates at DiscoverStudentLoans.com/Rates
Term lengths
Private loans: 15 or 20 years | Consolidation loans: 10 or 20 years

Pros and cons of Discover student loans

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.

1Get a cash reward on each new Discover undergraduate and graduate student loan when you earn at least a 3.0 GPA (or equivalent) in any academic period covered by the loan. Undergraduate freshman students may also qualify for an additional cash reward with their first Discover student loan if they earned a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher. Limitations Apply. Visit DiscoverStudentLoans.com/Reward for terms and conditions.

Discover student loans are a solid option 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.

PROS

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    No fees: Discover doesn’t charge application, origination or late fees.

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    Rewards: You could qualify for a one-time cash reward1 of 1 percent on each new loan you take out if you get 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.

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    Multiyear option: With Discover, you can get prequalified for future academic periods, meaning you can apply for future student loans without impacting your credit.

CONS

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    No prequalification: 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.

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    No co-signer release: Unlike many other student loan lenders, Discover doesn’t offer co-signer release. This means that your co-signer must remain partly responsible for the loan for its duration.

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    Limited loan terms: Each loan type except consolidation loans has only one repayment period to choose from. Undergraduates must repay their loan in 15 years, while graduates must repay their loan in 20 years.

Interest rates and terms

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.

Fees and penalties

One major upside to getting a loan through Discover is that it charges no fees. There’s no loan application fee, origination fee or late fee.

Customer service

Discover gets an “A+” rating from the Better Business Bureau, the highest rating possible. The rating takes into account complaint history and whether the business has appropriately responded to complaints, made a good faith effort to resolve them and resolved them in a timely manner.

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.

How to apply for a loan with Discover

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

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, financial information and address.

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

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.

How Bankrate rates Discover

Overall Score 4.6
Repayment Options 4.0 While it does have 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 4.8 Borrowers don’t have to worry about any fees, and those with good credit can score low APRs on both private and refinance loans. However, the grace period for some of Discover’s loans is relatively short.
Customer Experience 5.0 Discover’s customer service department is available 24/7, and the company offers a mobile app.