If you’re looking for extra money to pay for college because your financial aid package came up short, Ascent offers two private student loans worth considering. Find out more about the company’s loans, interest rates, perks, and eligibility requirements for Ascent student loans.
In this post:
- Ascent student loan review
- Ascent private student loan offerings
- Repayment plans
- How to apply for an Ascent student loan
- Ascent student loan perks
Ascent student loan review
Ascent offers loans to undergraduate and graduate students with fixed or variable rates, with features like:
- Flexibility for students who don’t have a cosigner
- Perks like 1% cash back graduation reward and 0.25% autopay discount
- No application, origination, or disbursement fees
|Rates from (APR)||Fixed: 4.81%+
|Loan amounts||$2.000 minimum, up to school's cost of attendance within $200,000 cap|
|Loan terms||Ascent Tuition loan: 5, 10, or 15 years
Ascent Independent loan: 10 or 15 years
|Repayment||Ascent Tuition loan: Choose monthly in-school payments (interest only, or $25 monthly minimum), or defer payments until 6 months after leaving school.
Ascent Independent loan: Deferred payments with 6-month grace period after leaving school.
|Fees||No application, origination, or disbursement fees. No prepayment penalty.|
|Discounts||0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction for enrolling in autopay|
|Minimum credit score||Ascent Tuition loan: Minimum FICO score of 680 required for cosigner. If student has a credit score, it can't be less than 550.
Ascent Independent loan: No minimum FICO for students with less than two years of credit history. Minimum FICO of 680 for students who have two years of credit history.
|Minimum income||Ascent Tuition loan: Applicant or cosigner must have minimum gross annual income of $24,000.
Ascent Independent loan: No minimum income requirement.
|Enrollment||Ascent Tuition loan: Must be enrolled at least half-time or accepted for half-time enrollment at an eligible school.
Ascent Independent loan: Must be enrolled at least full-time or accepted for full-time enrollment at an eligible school.
|Citizenship/Residency||Ascent Tuition loan: Students who are not a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident may apply with a cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident.
Ascent Independent loan: Must be U.S. citizens or have U.S. permanent resident status.
|Cosigner info||Borrowers can apply to release cosigners after making 24 on-time principal and interest payments. Must meet certain credit requirements and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.|
|Other perks||• 1% cash back graduation reward
• Borrowers facing financial hardship may be granted deference or forbearance
|Loan servicer||University Account Service (UAS)|
Ascent private student loan offerings
Ascent offers two private student loans:
- Ascent Tuition: This loan is primarily aimed at undergraduate and graduate students who have a creditworthy cosigner. Depending on your cosigner’s FICO score, rates on Ascent Tuition loans can be very competitive.
- Ascent Independent: This loan is tailored for students who don’t have a cosigner. Unless you have a very good credit history and earnings, you can expect to pay higher rates if you take out a private student loan without a cosigner.
Ascent Tuition loan
The Ascent Tuition loan is aimed at borrowers who have a cosigner. More than 90% of private student loans are cosigned. So even if you can get approved without one, having a cosigner can help you get a better rate.
You could qualify for this loan if you meet the following criteria:
- You apply with a creditworthy cosigner with a FICO score of at least 680
- Your cosigner has enough income that they could comfortably make your loan payments if you’re not able to
- You’re going to school at least half-time
You can apply for the Ascent Tuition loan without a cosigner, but you’ll need to meet the same minimum credit score and debt-to-income requirements Ascent has set for cosigners.
If you’re applying with a cosigner, it’s OK if you have less than two years of credit history or no credit score. But if you do have a FICO score, it can’t be below 550 or you’ll be disqualified — even if your cosigner meets Ascent’s standards.
Another plus is that you don’t have to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to qualify for the Ascent Tuition loan, as long as your cosigner is.
Ascent Independent loan
The Ascent Independent loan is designed for borrowers who don’t have a cosigner and offers more flexible eligibility.
You could qualify for this loan if:
- You’re going to school full time and maintaining a 2.50 grade point average
- You’re a junior, senior, or graduate student
- You’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
There’s no minimum income requirement to qualify for the Ascent Independent loan and, if you have less than two years of credit history, there’s no minimum credit score requirement either. Ascent says it can evaluate your loan application based on factors like your school, program major, future earning potential, academic progress, and credit history.
However, if you have two years (or more) of credit history, the minimum FICO score to qualify for the Ascent Independent loan is 680. You may also get better rates and terms if you earn at least $24,000 a year and can make your student loan payments on your current salary without exceeding Ascent’s debt-to-income threshold.
Ascent Tuition loan
Ascent offers three repayment plans for the Ascent Tuition loan, which you select when applying for a loan. You can change to a different repayment plan while you’re still in school. The three plans are:
- Interest only: If you can afford to pay your interest charges while you’re still attending school, that keeps your loan balance from growing.
- $25 minimum monthly payment: If you can’t afford to cover all of your interest charges, you can make a monthly payment of at least $25 while you’re still enrolled in school.
- Deferred repayment: With deferred repayment, you don’t make payments until 6 months after leaving school. The drawback of this approach is that interest charges rack up while you’re in school and are added to your loan principal once you enter repayment.
Ascent Independent loan
If you’re applying for the Ascent Independent loan, deferred repayment is your only option.
But as is always the case for student loans, there are no penalties for prepayment. You’re always free to make any additional principal and interest payments that you can afford — even if you’re still in school.
Loan repayment terms
The loan repayment term is also selected when you apply for a loan. Once you enter repayment, you’ll have 5, 10, or 15 years to pay back an Ascent Tuition loan, and 10 or 15 years to pay back an Ascent Independent loan.
How to apply for an Ascent student loan
Ascent can be a great match for borrowers who don’t have a cosigner. But other lenders may also be willing to offer you better rates, so it’s important to request rates from multiple lenders before accepting an offer.
Credible makes it easy to compare rates from Ascent’s Tuition loans and other student loan lenders with just one form. You can also check your prequalified rates without a hard credit pull, so it won’t affect your credit.
Note: While you can compare rates from Ascent Tuition loans through Credible, Ascent Independent loans are not currently available.
Ascent student loan perks
Ascent stands out among private student lenders for its willingness to provide loans to students without a cosigner, even if you have little or no credit history.
In addition, Ascent offers several perks with both the Ascent Tuition and Independent loans:
- 1% cash back graduation reward: Earn your degree within 5 years of taking out an Ascent loan and authorize automatic payments, and you’re eligible for a one-time payment equal to 1% of your original loan balance. So on a $7,000 loan, you’d get $70 back at graduation.
- 0.25 percentage point interest rate discount: When you authorize automatic payments.
- No fees: No application, origination, or disbursement fees.
- Cosigner release: If you take out a loan with a cosigner, you can apply to have them released from their obligations after you’ve made 24 consecutive on-time payments.
- Deferment and forbearance: If you return to school, are accepted into a residency program, or are called up for military service, you may be eligible for a loan deferment. If you’re facing financial hardship, you may be eligible for temporary hardship forbearance. Interest will continue to accrue on your loan if you’re granted deferment or forbearance.
Compare rates from multiple lenders
Because every lender determines the rate they’ll offer on a case-by-case basis, it’s important to check rates with multiple lenders before taking out a private student loan.
Whether you’re the borrower or cosigner, Credible makes it easy to compare student loans from multiple lenders using a soft credit pull — which won’t affect your credit.
The company above is one of Credible’s approved partner lenders. Because they compete for your business through Credible, you can request rates from them by filling out a single form. Then, you can compare your available options side-by-side. Requesting rates is free, doesn’t affect your credit score, and your personal information is not shared with our partner lenders unless you see an option you like. Credible receives compensation if you close a loan with one of our partner lenders. The rates you receive and the fees you pay (if any) are not impacted by this compensation.