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Student Loans

Chase Student Loan Alternatives

Updated Feb 01, 2024   |   7-min read

Chase Bank, the retail arm of JPMorgan Chase, is a global financial services institution best known for its credit cards, personal and business deposit accounts, and mortgages.

Chase also used to offer a student loan program, servicing federal loans and offering new private loans to Chase customers. In 2017, the company exited the student lending space altogether.

Here’s what you need to know about Chase student loans if you were a previous customer, as well as some alternative lenders to consider if you’re thinking about borrowing money for school.

In this article:

What happened to Chase student loans?

Chase Bank stopped offering new private student loans to borrowers in 2013, only a year after they were first introduced, but still serviced both private and federal loans for a few more years. The bank said the decision was based on a combination of increased competition from other financial services companies, tougher regulatory scrutiny, and a lack of growth in the market.

In 2017, Chase Bank sold its $6.9 billion student loan portfolio to Navient, the largest student loan servicer in the nation. Of that portfolio, $3.7 billion loans were federal while $3.2 billion were private. At the time, Navient was deemed better equipped and more willing to manage borrowers’ needs.

In the years since, Chase Bank seems to have redirected its attention to other consumer products, such as credit cards. In addition to ending its private student loan business, Chase also pulled out of the personal lending arena to focus its efforts elsewhere.

What if I already have a Chase Bank student loan?

Borrowers who had Chase student loans when they were transferred to Navient are still responsible for paying back their debt.

Borrowers should have received notice detailing the transfer, including information about Navient, contact numbers, and how to make payments on the loan from that point forward. If you had a Chase student loan, your interest rates, repayment term, monthly payment, and everything else should have remained the same.

Federal loan borrowers who were serviced by Navient had their debt balances transferred once again in January 2022. Navient canceled its federal servicing contract in December 2021 and sold its remaining federal loan portfolio to Maximus, an existing government loan servicing company. The loans retained their terms (including interest rate, repayment period, etc.) through the transfer.

More about Navient

Navient is one of the most prominent student loan servicers in the country, offering payment and loan management services to student loan borrowers. The company was formed in 2014, when Sallie Mae split into two separate entities: Sallie Mae Bank, which offers new student loans, and Navient, which services existing loans.

While Navient once serviced federal student loans, it canceled its federal loan servicing contract in December 2021 and now only manages private student loan debt.

Navient has also recently come under scrutiny as the result of a nationwide lawsuit, which it settled in January 2022. After five years of litigation with 39 states, Navient agreed to cancel $1.7 billion in private student loan debt for about 66,000 borrowers, and send checks (for approximately $260 each) to another 350,000 federal loan borrowers.

The company offers online loan servicing as well as assistance over the phone and online. Chase student loan borrowers who had their loans transferred to Navient can now complete all of their service requests, payments, repayment plan selections, and deferment or forbearance requests directly through Navient.

Refinancing your loans

Refinancing can be a great way to adjust your existing student loans. With a refinance loan, also called a refi, you can:

  • Consolidate multiple student loans into one account, with one monthly payment and due date
  • Change loan servicers
  • Lock in a lower interest rate on your loan(s) to save money
  • Adjust your monthly payment and/or loan terms

If you would like to change your servicer from Navient to another servicer, or would like to see if you could pay less on your original Chase student loan, look into your options for student loan refinancing. Once you are approved to refinance your student loans (including those from Chase), you will receive a new loan—ideally with a lower interest rate and new repayment terms.

Like new private student lenders, refinance lenders will consider your credit history and income when deciding your eligibility and rate terms. While the requirements can vary from one lender to the next, refi loans typically require borrowers to have good credit and a strong history of income.

If you’re ready to compare lenders, check out our picks for the best student loan refinance companies.

Alternatives to Chase student loans

For new student borrowers who are currently in search of loans to help fund their educational expenses, there are several alternatives to Chase Bank. It’s always wise to first check your eligibility for federal loans since they offer a slew of government-backed benefits in addition to fixed, competitive rates.

If you’ve already exhausted your federal loan options (or don’t qualify), turning to private funding is the next step. Since Chase was a private loan lender, here are a few of our top recommendations if you’re looking for private student loans with competitive rates and terms.

College Ave

Editorial Selection: Best Overall

  • Student loans for undergraduates, graduates, parents, and career training
  • You choose your repayment plan and term
  • Your application can be completed in as little as 3 minutes

College Ave is our top-rated lender. They offer student loans for undergraduates, graduates, and even parents—making them a great alternative to Chase student loans.

College Ave student loans have either variable or fixed interest rates with a variety of payment options while you’re still in school. It also offers student loan refinancing, if you want to consolidate your loans down the line or snag a lower interest rate.

Here are some details about College Ave’s undergraduate loan:

  • Variables rates: 1.19% – 11.98% APR
  • Fixed rates: 3.49% – 12.99% APR
  • Loan amount: $1,000 – 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance
  • Repayment terms: 5, 8, 10, or 15 years
  • Rate reduction: 0.25% automatic payment discount (included in the rates shown above)
  • Fees: Late payment fee of 5% of the unpaid amount or $25, whichever is less
  • Cosigner release: After more than half of the scheduled repayment period has elapsed and other conditions are met
  • In-school repayment: Full principal & interest, interest-only, flat $25 monthly payment, or deferred payment
  • Grace period: 6 months, but can apply for up to 6 additional months

Sallie Mae

Editorial Selection: Best for Cosigners

  • Student loans for undergraduates, graduates, and career training
  • Cosigners can be released after 12 consecutive on-time monthly payments

As one of the biggest names in student loan funding, Sallie Mae offers a wide range of trusted loan products. Loans are available to undergraduates, graduate students, and even professional students while they’re studying for the bar exam or in a medical residency program.

Cosigners are required for most student borrowers, but they can be released after just 12 consecutive on-time payments. Loan repayment options include in-school repayment, flat monthly payment, or full deferment. Sallie Mae offers an autopay discount on your interest rate.

Here are some details about Sallie Mae’s undergraduate student loan:

  • Variables rates: 1.87% – 11.97% APR
  • Fixed rates: 3.75% – 12.85% APR
  • Loan amount: $1,000 – 100% of school-certified cost of attendance
  • Repayment terms: 5 – 15 years
  • Rate reduction: 0.25% discount when you sign up for autopay (included in the rates shown above)
  • Fees: None
  • Cosigner release: After 12 on-time payments
  • In-school repayment: Interest-only, $25 flat monthly, or deferred payment
  • Grace period: 6 months

Ascent

Editorial Selection: Best for Eligibility

  • Student loans for undergraduates, graduates, and career training
  • Receive 1% cash back upon proof of graduation
  • Check your rate without impacting your credit

Ascent offers cosigned and non-cosigned student loans, and is a great option for undergraduates and graduates to consider. If you don’t have a good credit score, your own income, or a cosigner, Ascent also offers outcomes-based loans for upperclassmen.

You can check your prequalified rates without affecting your credit score, and can even earn a 1% cash back reward on your loans upon graduation.

Here are some details about Ascent’s undergraduate cosigned student loan:

  • Variable rates: 1.64%9.23% APR
  • Fixed rates: 4.78%12.76% APR
  • Loan amount: $2,001 – $200,000
  • Repayment terms: 5, 7, 10, 12, or 15 years
  • Rate reduction: 0.25% automatic payment discount (included in the rates shown above)
  • Fees: Late payment fee
  • Cosigner release: After 12 on-time payments
  • In-school repayment: Interest-only, $25 flat, or deferred payment
  • Grace period: 9 months

>> Read More: List of student loan companies