College Ave Student Loan Review

Prequalify for College Ave student loan rates without a hard credit check

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College Ave Student Loans is one of just a few lenders that exclusively provides student loans and no other financial products. This online-only lender based in Delaware touts the fact that 98% of its borrowers make on-time payments and more than half began repaying their loan while still in school. While it does not disclose a minimum credit score requirement, you can prequalify for a loan from College Ave without a hard credit check. This will allow you to see eligibility, rates, and terms. And if you decide to move forward, College Ave claims it takes about three minutes to complete a free online application.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Undergraduate and Career Loans
  • Graduate Loans
  • Parent Student Loans
  • Student Loan Refinancing
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Prequalification available with no hard credit check

  • Apply online in just three minutes

  • Cash-back reward available for Career Loan borrowers

Cons
  • No other financial products offered

  • Doesn't disclose required minimum credit score

  • Some competitors require less time before a co-signer can be released

Undergraduate and Career Loans

Undergraduate

  • Fixed APR range: 3.49% to 12.99% (with autopay)
  • Variable APR range: 1.24% to 11.98% (with autopay)
  • Loan amount: $1,000, up to the school-certified cost of attendance 
  • Loan terms: 5, 8, 10, or 15 years

Career

  • Fixed APR range: 3.59% to 13.95% (with autopay)
  • Variable APR range: 1.24% to 12.99% (with autopay)
  • Loan amount: $1,000 up to the school-certified cost of attendance 
  • Loan terms: 5, 8, 10, or 15 years
Graduate Loans
  • Fixed APR range: 4.14% to 11.98% (with autopay)
  • Variable APR range: 1.39% to 10.97% (with autopay)
  • Loan amount: $1,000, up to the school-certified cost of attendance 
  • Loan terms: 5, 8, 10, or 15 years
Parent Student Loans
  • Fixed APR range: 3.59% to 12.99% (with autopay)
  • Variable APR range: 1.24% to 11.98% (with autopay)
  • Loan amount: $1,000 to $80,000  
  • Loan terms: Between 5 and 15 years
Student Loan Refinancing
  • Fixed APR range: 3.64% to 8.49% (with autopay)
  • Variable APR range: 3.74% to 8.49% (with autopay)
  • Loan amount: $5,000 to $150,000 or $300,000 if you have a medical, dental, pharmacy, or veterinary degree  
  • Loan terms: 16 options between 5 and 20 years

Pros of College Ave Loans Explained

  • Prequalification with no hard credit check: Some lenders, such as Sallie Mae, require a hard credit check to find out loan terms. This affects your credit because too many inquiries can lower your score. College Ave lets you find out loan terms without a hard credit check so you can compare lenders more easily without affecting your score
  • Apply online in just three minutes: You can submit an online application and get a decision in about three minutes. There are no fees to apply, and you can move forward quickly with securing the funds you need for school. 
  • Cash-back reward available for Career Loan borrowers: You’ll be rewarded for finishing your academic program within five years with a $150 reduction in your Career Loan balance, making what you owe a little less.

Cons of College Ave Loans Explained

  • No other financial products offered: Some lenders, such as SoFi, offer multiple financial products like CDs or personal loans, but College Ave doesn't. This means you could be missing out on relationship discounts that may be available when you have multiple accounts with the same financial institution. You’ll also need to find a different lender if you’re in need of a mortgage or personal loan in the future. 
  • Doesn't disclose required minimum credit score: College Ave indicates its credit score requirements are proprietary information. That means you can't find out if you're likely to qualify for a loan without submitting your details to prequalify. 
  • Some competitors require less time before a co-signer can be released: If you have a co-signer, they can’t be released from legal responsibility for loan repayment until half of your scheduled repayment period has elapsed, and then only if the previous 24 payments have been made on time. Other lenders allow co-signer release sooner. For example, Sallie Mae requires just 12 on-time payments before a co-signer can be let off the hook. 

What Does College Ave Offer?

College Ave makes it easy for students and parents to borrow for undergraduate programs, graduate programs, and career training. You also have the option to refinance existing student loans. Some of the loan products College Ave offers include:

  • Undergraduate student loans
  • Graduate student loans 
  • Parent loans
  • Career loans
  • Refinanced student loans 

Undergraduate Loan Rates & Terms

Loan Amount $1,000, up to the school-certified cost of attendance 
Fixed APR 3.49% to 12.99% (with autopay)
Variable APR 1.24% to 11.98% (with autopay)
Terms Available 5, 8, 10, or 15 years
Recommended Credit Score Not disclosed
Grace Period 6 months after graduation or dropping below half-time enrollment
Fees No origination or prepayment fees, but charges a late fee (amount depends on monthly payment amount)

Undergraduate loans are available to help you cover up to 100% of the cost of attendance. You can defer payments for six months after graduation, have a choice of four flexible repayment options, and can score a discount for auto-paying your loans. 

Graduate Loan Rates & Terms

Loan Amount $1,000, up to the school-certified cost of attendance 
Fixed APR 4.14% to 11.98% (with autopay)
Variable APR 1.39% to 10.97% (with autopay)
Terms Available 5, 8, 10, or 15 years
Recommended Credit Score Not disclosed
Grace Period 9 months
Fees No origination or prepayment fees, but charges a late fee (amount depends on monthly payment amount)

Graduate student loans provide money for a postgraduate degree, master’s degree, doctoral degree, or MBA or professional degree. You have a choice of four different repayment options, including flat-fee or interest-only payments while in school, and can pick between fixed and variable rate loans. 

Parent Loan Rates & Terms

Loan Amount $1,000 to $80,000   
Fixed APR 3.59% to 12.99% (with autopay)
Variable APR 1.24% to 11.98% (with autopay)
Terms Available Between 5 and 15 years 
Recommended Credit Score Not disclosed
Grace Period None
Fees No origination or prepayment fees, but charges a late fee (amount depends on monthly payment amount)

College Ave helps parents afford the cost of a college education by providing student loans with flexible repayment options including interest-only payments, interest payments plus whatever your chosen amount is while kids are in school, or full payment of both principal and interest to pay off the loan faster. 

Career Loan Rates & Terms

Loan Amount $1,000 up to the school-certified cost of attendance 
Fixed APR 3.59% to 13.95% (with autopay)
Variable APR 1.24% to 12.99% (with autopay)
Terms Available 5, 8, 10, or 15 years
Recommended Credit Score Not disclosed
Grace Period 6 months after graduation or dropping below half-time enrollment
Fees No origination or prepayment fees, but charges a late fee (amount depends on monthly payment amount)

College Ave Career loans are available for undergraduates enrolled in certain career-focused programs, including some programs at community colleges. You can borrow up to the full cost of attending school and have a choice of four repayment plans including interest-only, flat $25 payments (while in school), full payments, or deferment until six months after graduation. 

If you borrow a Career loan through College Ave and finish your degree within five years from the date of the first loan disbursement to the school, you may qualify for the $150 Success Rewards statement credit. College Ave will apply it to your Career loan balance to help lower the amount you owe.

Refinanced Student Loan Rates & Terms  

Loan Amount $5,000 to $150,000 or $300,000 if you have a medical, dental, pharmacy, or veterinary degree
Fixed APR 3.64% to 8.49% (with autopay)
Variable APR 3.74% to 8.49% (with autopay)
Terms Available 16 options between 5 and 20 years
Recommended Credit Score Not disclosed
Grace Period None
Fees No origination or prepayment fees, but charges a late fee (amount depends on monthly payment amount)

College Ave enables you to refinance both private and federal student loans. Refinanced loans are available only to borrowers 18 or over who have graduated from an eligible program and who meet underwriting requirements. When applying, you'll need to provide your current loan servicer information, including your account number and the amount you want to refinance.

College Ave does not offer student loan refinancing to borrowers residing in Maine. 

How to Apply

To qualify for a student loan from College Ave, you must meet certain requirements including enrolling in a degree-granting program and attending school at least half time unless you're in an eligible school that qualifies you for less than half-time enrollment. 

You can only apply online (no phone applications are allowed) and will get a credit decision within three minutes. Once you're approved and electronically sign your loan documents (which can be done immediately), College Ave will contact the school for certification and then schedule funds for release on the school's timeline. 

Repayment Terms

College Ave provides flexible repayment options, including four different payment plans while in school. You can defer payments on most loans, pay a flat $25 amount, pay interest-only, or make your full principal and interest payments. If you set up automatic payments, you'll also qualify for an interest-rate discount of 0.25% on your loan. You also have flexibility in your repayment timeline if you refinance so you can ensure your monthly payment fits in your budget. 

Final Verdict

College Ave has competitive student loan interest rates and its $150 statement credit for graduates with Career loans provides you with a little bit of a break on loan repayment. While it does not disclose the minimum required credit score for its loans, you can submit your prequalification request and get a quick decision that doesn't affect your credit score. This makes College Ave worthy of a spot on your list of student loan lenders to consider

Methodology

The Balance is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive personal loan reviews. To do this, we look at dozens of factors across more than 15 lenders with multiple loan types—including interest rates, fees, loan amounts, and repayment terms—and analyze how each lender’s offerings stack up. This competitive analysis helps ensure that our content helps users make the right borrowing decision for their education needs.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. College Ave Student Loans. "About Us." Accessed Aug. 1, 2020.

  2. College Ave Student Loans. "Find Your Best Student Loan." Accessed Aug. 1, 2020.

  3. College Ave Student Loans. "Career Loan with Success Rewards Terms & Conditions." Accessed Aug. 1, 2020.

  4. College Ave Student Loans. "Frequently Asked Questions: Can a Cosigner Ever be Released From the Loan?" Accessed Aug. 1, 2020.

  5. Sallie Mae. "Apply to Release Your Cosigner." Accessed Aug. 1, 2020.

  6. College Ave Student Loans. "Undergraduate Student Loans." Accessed Aug. 1, 2020.

  7. College Ave Student Loans. "Graduate Student Loans." Accessed Aug. 1, 2020.

  8. College Ave Student Loans. "Parent Loan Possibilities." Accessed Aug. 1, 2020.

  9. College Ave Student Loans. "Undergraduate & Graduate Career Loans." Accessed Aug. 1, 2020.

  10. College Ave Student Loans. "Refinance Your Student Loans." Accessed Aug. 1, 2020.

  11. College Ave Student Loans. "Frequently Asked Questions: What Is the Auto-Pay Rate Reduction?" Accessed Aug. 1, 2020.