Founded in 2014 by former executives of Sallie Mae, College Ave has risen quickly in the student loan industry to become one of the leading private lenders.
Whether you need some extra help paying for college or are simply looking to save on your current student loans, College Ave is a reputable lender worth considering.
On this page:
- New Student Loans
- Student Loan Refinancing
- Pros of College Ave
- Cons of College Ave
College Ave Student Loans
What we like:
Short and easy application
|Fixed Rates||5.29% – 12.78%|
|Variable Rates||4.20% – 11.44%|
|Loan Terms||5, 8, 10, 15 years|
|Loan Amounts||$1,000 – Cost of attendance|
College Ave Undergraduate Student Loans
All College Ave student loans go through either Firstrust Bank or The Middlefield Banking Company—both members of the FDIC.
While most private student loan lenders have one or two offerings, College Ave has many types of student loans for undergraduates to help customize the loan package to your needs.
College Ave offers undergraduate loans with 5, 8, 10, and 15-year terms. The longer your loan term, the less you’ll pay monthly, but the more you’ll pay over the life of the loan.
The interest rates are based upon your credit score and, if applicable, your cosigner’s creditworthiness. Variable interest rates range from 4.07% APR to 11.32% APR and fixed rates range from 5.29% APR to 12.78% APR.
While these rates are some of the lowest on the market, keep in mind that they reflect a 0.25% discount for signing up to make automatic payments from your bank account.
To be eligible you need to be a student at a U.S. college or university and must be either a U.S. citizen or an international student with a valid U.S. Social Security Number.
The minimum loan amount available is $1,000 and you can borrow up to 100% of the school’s cost of attendance minus any financial aid you’ve received.
Unlike federal student loans which almost all students can be approved for, eligibility for College Ave’s student loans is based on creditworthiness.
They understand, however, that many students may not have an established credit rating or payment history, and so most undergrads will need a qualified cosigner. If your cosigner has a good credit history, however, you could end up with the cheapest rates and best repayment terms. You can also release your cosigner from your loans after 24 months of full on-time payments.
To apply for any College Ave student loan, you can fill out an online prequalification form that takes only 3 minutes to receive a credit decision. Cosigners can also be added to the application online.
College Ave Graduate Student Loans
College Ave offers loans for graduate school, dental school, medical school, law school, and MBA programs. Like the lender’s undergraduate loans, these come with a variety of repayment options and benefits.
For College Ave’s graduate loans, you can choose a 5, 8, 10, or 15-year repayment term.
In addition, there are four in-school repayment options including full principal plus interest payments, interest-only payments, flat payments of $25, and a deferred plan that lets you wait until after graduation to start repayment.
College Ave’s graduate student loan amounts range from $1,000 to the full school-certified cost of attendance minus any other financial aid received.
Variable rates range from 3.69% APR to 8.89% APR while fixed rates range from 5.29% APR to 8.76% APR. In order to get the best rates, you’ll still need good credit or a qualified cosigner.
As with the undergraduate loan, you can apply for the graduate loan completely online in about 3 minutes.
What Else You Should Know
There are no fees to apply or penalties if you pay the loan off early. While College Ave does offer a wide range of repayment options, putting as much money towards your loan as soon as possible will save you the most money.
College Ave Parent Loans
If you’re looking to borrow on behalf of your child, College Ave has an option for you as well with the Parent Loan.
>> Read More: Best Parent Student Loans for College
Rates, Terms, Eligibility, and Application Process
With the College Ave Parent Loan, up to $2,500 of the loan proceeds can be delivered directly to you as the parent, so you can control spending on additional items like books, computers, and needed supplies for your student’s dorm room.
Rates for the parent loan are slightly higher, starting at 4.96% APR and going up to 9.94% APR for a variable loan. Fixed rates, on the other hand, range from 6.62% APR to 10.57% APR. Like with the other loan options, there are no application or origination fees.
There are three in-school repayment options available including full principal plus interest, partial principal plus interest, and interest-only. As with the undergraduate loan, you can apply for the parent loan completely online in about 3 minutes.
What Else You Should Know
The application process, like with other College Ave loans, is quick and easy to complete. Funding can begin as soon as a few days after approval.
College Ave Student Loan Refinancing
What we like:
|Fixed Rates||3.25% – 7.99%|
|Variable Rates||3.38% – 8.13%|
|Loan Terms||5 – 20 years|
|Loan Amounts||$5,000 – $150,0001|
¹College Ave’s maximum loan amount is $250,000 for medical, dental, pharmacy, and veterinary degrees
College Ave started offering student loan refinancing again in 2019. Both federal and private student loans may be eligible to be refinanced helping borrowers save money.
Interest Rates & Fees
College Ave offers both fixed and variable interest rates. Variable rates range from 3.38% APR to 8.13% APR while fixed rates range from 3.25% APR to 7.99% APR – all including an auto-pay discount of 0.25%.
College Ave’s refinance student loans have no application, origination, or prepayment fees like most other reputable refinance lenders.
One of the great things about College Ave’s refinancing is that borrowers have the option to choose from term lengths ranging from 5 to 20 years.
If you are looking to pay off your student loans fast and save, you can choose a shorter term length. Alternatively, if you would prefer a lower monthly payment, you can choose a longer repayment term (though it will cost you more over the life of your loan).
College Ave will refinance both federal and private loans ranging from $5,000 to $300,000, depending on your degree.
In order to be eligible for refinancing with College Ave, you will need a good credit score and repayment history. Though the company doesn’t display a minimum credit score on its website, you will likely need a score of 680 or higher.
You can apply for refinancing with College Ave completely online and it only takes a few minutes to see if you prequalify. From there, you can move forward with the full application process to see if you are eligible and what your offers are.
What Does College Ave Do Well?
College Ave’s loans have competitive interest rates and no fees, putting the lender in the top tier of private student loan and refinance lenders.
It also seems to care about customer service; all complaints made to the Better Business Bureau were answered, with all but one customer satisfied with the resolution.
What Could College Ave Do Better?
While it’s impossible for a company as large as College Ave to have 100 percent perfect customer reviews, the complaints that do exist seem to point to personnel who may not be properly trained in student loan setup and maintenance. All errors, however, seem to get rectified in a timely manner when spotted, and College Ave seems to care both about their customers and about getting things correct.
All in all, College Ave is a highly viable option for you if you’re looking for extra funding to pay for the costs of college or if you are looking to refinance.
The wide variety of products, terms, and repayment options means that you can structure your loan to best fit your needs, and the lack of fees makes College Ave loans cheaper overall than many other lenders.
Before choosing any lender, however, it’s best to do some comparison shopping across multiple loans and companies to find the right fit for your personal situation, budget, and financial goals.4.92 College Ave Student Loans
*See important College Ave disclosures
Author: Dave Rathmanner
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