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Ascent Student Loans: 2024 Review

Ascent offers three types of private student loans with no origination fees and rewards like a 1% cashback graduation bonus.

Author
By Christy Bieber

Written by

Christy Bieber

Writer

Christy Bieber has been working full-time as a freelance writer since 2008. She has written blogs, news articles, textbooks, and online courses on the topics of law, finance, and history. She lives with her husband, two children, and beagle.

Edited by Alicia Hahn

Written by

Alicia Hahn

Senior Editor

Alicia Hahn is a student loans editor with more than a decade of editorial experience. She has worked with major finance and lifestyle brands including Mastercard, Forbes, Care.com, The Balance, and others. When she’s not working, Alicia enjoys cooking, traveling, watching true crime documentaries, and doing crosswords.

Updated April 10, 2024

Editorial disclosure: Our goal is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we receive compensation from our partner lenders, whom we will always identify, all opinions are our own. Credible Operations, Inc. NMLS # 1681276, is referred to here as “Credible.”

Featured

No-Cosigner Loans

Ascent

4.8

Credible Rating

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Fixed APR

4.29 - 15.96%

Variable APR

6.23 - 16.34%

Loan Amount

$2,001* to $400,000

Term

5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20

Pros and cons

More details

Pros
Cons
Multiple options for loans with no cosigner, including an outcomes-based loan that isn’t based on your credit
Higher interest rates than some competitors
1% cashback upon graduation for eligible borrowers
Higher minimum loan amount than some competitors
Shorter cosigner release options than some competitors
Parent loans unavailable
Longer grace periods than standard six months
No refinance loans are available

Ascent’s Cosigned Credit-Based Loan

Ascent offers multiple student loans, including options for people with and without cosigners. Here’s what you can expect if you apply for a loan with a cosigner.

Ascent
Fixed APR
4.09% - 15.66%[10]
Variable APR
6.22% - 16.08%[10]
Loan Amounts
$2,001* to $400,000
Term lengths
5, 7, 10, 12, or 15 years
Fees
No origination or application fees, but late fees and returned payment fees may apply
Best for
Students with a creditworthy cosigner

Eligibility

Cosigned credit-based loans are available to students with a creditworthy cosigner. To qualify, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Be enrolled at least half time at an eligible school
  • Be a U.S. citizen or international student with DACA status
  • Have an eligible cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a cosigner who meets credit and income requirements

Repayment

Borrowers can repay their loan over five, seven, 10, 12, or 15 years. While you’re attending school, you can choose to make interest-only payments, $25 minimum monthly payments, or defer payments entirely until after graduation.

After you leave school, you’ll receive a nine-month grace period — that’s longer than most lenders’ six-month option. You may even qualify for a progressive repayment plan, which is rare in private student lending. With this option, your monthly payments start lower and slowly increase over time, so you can repay your debt within the original loan term.

Notable features

  • Rewards: Ascent offers a 1% cashback reward upon graduation. You may be eligible as long as your loan was not refinanced, you graduated from the degree program your loan funded, and you enroll in automatic payments. If you borrowed $15,000, you could get $150 just for graduating.
  • Discounts: Get a discount of 0.25 percentage points when you enroll in autopay. While that may not sound like much, it can add up over time.
  • Cosigner release: You can remove your cosigner from the loan after making as few as 12 on-time payments, though you must be able to meet Ascent’s credit and income requirements to be eligible.

Compare student loan rates from top lenders

Compare Now

Ascent’s Non-Cosigned Credit-Based Loan

Non-cosigned, credit-based loans are also available for undergraduates who can qualify based on their own credit history. Here are the terms you can expect with these types of loans.

Ascent
Fixed APR
8.85% - 14.76%[10]
Variable APR
9.25% - 15.18%[10]
Loan Amounts
$2,001* to $400,000
Term lengths
5, 7, 10, 12, or 15 years
Fees
No origination or application fees, but late fees and returned payment fees may apply
Best for
Students who have at least a two-year credit history and can meet credit and income requirements

Eligibility

Ascent reviews each applicant’s credit score, income, and other factors. Credit-based student loans are available to students who meet certain eligibility requirements, including:

  • Be enrolled at least half time at an eligible school
  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or DACA recipient
  • Have at least two years of credit history
  • Meet both income and credit requirements

Repayment

Borrowers have a choice of repaying their loan over five, seven, 10, 12, or 15 years. You can choose to defer payments until after graduation, or make interest-only payments or $25 minimum payments while in school.

You’ll receive a nine-month grace period after graduation, and may even qualify for a progressive repayment plan. This means payments begin lower and gradually increase over time to ensure you pay off your loan within the original loan term.

Notable features

  • Rewards: Ascent offers a 1% cashback reward upon graduation, as long as your loan was not refinanced, you graduated from the degree program your loan funded, and you enroll in automatic payments.
  • Discounts: Get an autopay discount of 0.25 percentage points for credit-based loans.

Ascent’s Non-Cosigned Outcomes-Based Loan

Ascent stands apart from other lenders with its outcomes-based loans to students who don’t have a credit history or a cosigner. Rather than judging applicants based on their credit or income, Ascent considers your school, major, grade point average (GPA), and other alternative factors.

Ascent
Fixed APR
12.9% - 14.89%[10]
Variable APR
13.26% - 15.2%[10]
Loan Amounts
$2,001* to $400,000
Term lengths
10 or 15 year term
Fees
No origination or application fees, but late fees and returned payment fees may apply
Best for
Juniors or seniors who meet minimum GPA requirements

Eligibility

Outcomes-based loans differ from credit-based debt because a high credit score or cosigner is not required. You may be eligible for these loans if you meet the following requirements:

  • You’re a college junior or a senior at an eligible school
  • You’re enrolled full time, or enrolled half time and graduating within the next nine months
  • You have a GPA of 2.9 or higher
  • You meet your school’s requirements for satisfactory academic performance (SAP)
  • You’re a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or DACA recipient

Repayment

You have a choice of a 10- or 15-year repayment term with Ascent’s outcomes-based student loans. You can also defer payments on your loans until nine months after graduation.

Once you begin repayment, you may qualify for a progressive repayment plan, which gradually increases loan payments over time while still ensuring your loan is fully repaid within the original term.

Notable features

  • Rewards: Ascent offers a 1% cashback reward upon graduation, as long as your loan wasn’t refinanced, you graduated from the degree program your loan funded, and you enroll in autopay.
  • Discounts: While Ascent’s outcomes-based loans carry higher interest rates than its other offerings, you can get a rate discount of one percentage point for setting up automatic debits.

Ascent’s graduate student loans

Ascent offers specialized loans for graduate students of nearly every type. You can get an Ascent loan for:

  • MBA programs
  • Dental school
  • Medical school and other health profession programs
  • Law degrees
  • Other graduate and professional degrees

Precise eligibility requirements, interest rates, and repayment terms vary by loan, but you can expect repayment terms up to 20 years, maximum loan limits of $400,000, and extended grace periods.

How to apply for an Ascent student loan

You can apply online for Ascent loans with a four-step process.

  1. Submit an application and receive preliminary approval.
  2. If you prequalify, you can accept your offer and select a repayment plan.
  3. Complete the required tasks and upload documentation (this can vary based on the type of loan you’re applying for).
  4. Once your paperwork is finalized, your loan will be sent to your school for certification.

During the process, you may need to complete a financial wellness quiz and provide personal information, including:

  • Your address, date of birth, and Social Security number
  • The school you’re enrolled in
  • Income documentation, such as pay stubs or tax forms
  • Your cosigner’s information, if applicable

Find Your Student Loan

How to contact Ascent

If you’re interested in getting information about Ascent’s college loan program, you can contact the lender using the following methods:

  • By phone: Call (877) 216-0876, Monday through Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m (PST), and Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • By email: [email protected]

Existing Ascent borrowers can call (877) 209-5297 Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7 p.m. (CST), or get help via email at [email protected]. Note that any loan made after June 10th, 2019 is serviced by Launch Servicing, which manages payments and can provide general guidance about your account.

How Ascent compares to competitors

Ascent may have higher interest rates and larger minimum borrowing requirements than some competitors do. However, it also offers more options for borrowers who don’t have a cosigner and gives a larger range of discounts and rewards.

Credible rating

Min. Credit ScoreDoes not disclose
Fixed APR4.29 - 15.96%
Loan Amount$2,001* to $400,000
Term5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20

Credible rating

Min. Credit Score720
Fixed APR4.39 - 15.45%
Loan Amount$1,000 to $350,000 (depending on degree)
Term5, 10, 15
Read Our Review

Credible rating

Min. Credit ScoreDoes not disclose
Fixed APR4.17 - 16.69%
Loan Amount$1,000 up to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance
Term5, 8, 10, 15 (20 for health professionals)
Read Our Review

Ascent FAQs

What credit score do you need for Ascent?

Ascent doesn’t disclose a minimum credit score, but most lenders generally look for a FICO score in the mid- to high-600s. Ascent also offers outcomes-based loans for students with no credit.

How long do Ascent student loans take to process?

Ascent sends your application directly to your school as soon as you have completed the required tasks. Your school will certify your enrollment and costs before setting your loan’s disbursement date. Ascent will send the loan money to your school, which will apply the funds to your tuition and fees.

Learn More: How Long Does It Take to Get a Student Loan?

What GPA do you need for an Ascent loan?

There are no GPA requirements for most Ascent loans, but its outcomes-based loans to juniors and seniors require a GPA of at least 2.9.

Does Ascent ask for proof of income?

Ascent requires proof of income from you and/or from your cosigner if you apply for credit-based loans. Accepted documentation typically includes recent pay stubs or tax forms.

Methodology

Credible evaluated private student loan lenders in 10 different categories to determine the best lenders for undergraduate student loans. This included interest rates, repayment options, terms, fees, discounts, customer service availability, as well as eligibility requirements and cosigner release options.

The companies in the table below are Credible’s approved partner lenders. 

Advertiser Disclosure
4.94.9

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

4.17% - 16.69%

Loan Amounts

$1,000 up to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

View Details

4.84.8

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

4.29% - 15.96%

Loan Amounts

$2,001* to $400,000

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

View Details

4.84.8

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

4.39% - 15.45%

Loan Amounts

$1,000 to $350,000 (depending on degree)

Min. Credit Score

720

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

View Details

4.44.4

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

4.43% - 14.04%

Loan Amounts

$1,000 to $99,999 annually ($180,000 aggregate limit)

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

View Details

4.84.8

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

4.50% - 14.22%

Loan Amounts

$1,000 up to cost of attendance

Min. Credit Score

680

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

View Details

4.34.3

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

4.50% - 15.49%

Loan Amounts

$1,000 up to 100% of school-certified cost of attendance

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

View Details

4.64.6

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

4.56% - 8.34%

Loan Amounts

$1,001 up to 100% of school certified cost of attendance

Min. Credit Score

670

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

View Details

4.84.8

Credible rating

Fixed (APR)

5.75% - 8.95%

Loan Amounts

$1,500 up to school’s certified cost of attendance less aid

Min. Credit Score

670

Check Rates

on Credible’s website

View Details

All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | LightStream disclosure | SoFi Disclosures | Read more about Rates and Terms

[Requesting prequalified rates on Credible is free and doesn’t affect your credit score. However, applying for or closing a loan will involve a hard credit pull that impacts your credit score and closing a loan will result in costs to you.]

[Prequalified rates are based on the information you provide and a soft credit inquiry. Receiving prequalified rates does not guarantee that the Lender will extend you an offer of credit. You are not yet approved for a loan or a specific rate. All credit decisions, including loan approval, if any, are determined by Lenders, in their sole discretion. Rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Rates from Lenders may differ from prequalified rates due to factors which may include, but are not limited to: (i) changes in your personal credit circumstances; (ii) additional information in your hard credit pull and/or additional information you provide (or are unable to provide) to the Lender during the underwriting process; and/or (iii) changes in APRs (e.g., an increase in the rate index between the time of prequalification and the time of application or loan closing. (Or, if the loan option is a variable rate loan, then the interest rate index used to set the APR is subject to increases or decreases at any time). Lenders reserve the right to change or withdraw the prequalified rates at any time.]

Meet the expert:
Christy Bieber

Christy Bieber has been working full-time as a freelance writer since 2008. She has written blogs, news articles, textbooks, and online courses on the topics of law, finance, and history. She lives with her husband, two children, and beagle.