Many or all companies we feature compensate us. Compensation and editorial research influence how products appear on a page. Student Loans Discover Student Loans Review: All You Need to Know Updated Dec 08, 2023   |   28-min read Reviewed by Kristen Barrett Reviewed by Kristen Barrett Expertise: Writing, content design, proofreading, grammar, vocabulary Kristen Barrett is a managing editor at LendEDU. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has edited and written personal finance content since 2015. Learn more about Kristen Barrett View Rates Discover’s graduate and undergraduate loans offer the best reward for good grades. Zero fees: no application, origination, or late fees.Loan deferment option while you’re still in school.Offers customer service 24/7, helpful for resolving issues promptly. Discover Financial Services, aka Discover, was founded in 1985 as a credit card issuer. Over the years, it has broadened its financial products portfolio to include personal loans, home equity loans, banking products, and student loans. Discover’s mission is to help people achieve a brighter financial future, and its offerings in the student loan sector are geared toward making higher education more accessible and manageable for students and their families. Discover provides private student loans for undergraduates, graduates, parents, and professional degree seekers, along with student loan refinancing options. Discover assesses applicants based on their creditworthiness, so students with limited credit history may need a creditworthy cosigner to get approved. In this review: Our Discover private student loan reviewOur Discover refinance student loan reviewMore about Discover How does Discover work? Discover streamlines the process of acquiring a student loan. You submit an application online, which involves providing academic, financial, and personal information. Your educational costs and credit history determine the amount you can borrow, but you can request the desired amount when applying. Discover disburses funds to your school for most loans. Most students take out one Discover loan per academic year. Discover aims to make refinancing student loans convenient. It accepts federal and private student loans for refinancing. After applying, if you’re approved, Discover pays off your old loans and consolidates them into a new single loan—ideally with more favorable terms. Follow the links below to find out more about the specific type of loan you’re interested in: Discover undergraduate and graduate loansDiscover parent loansDiscover refinance loans Discover’s undergraduate and graduate student loans Why Discover’s undergraduate and graduate loans are the best for good grade rewards Discover sets itself apart by rewarding academic achievement. It’s the only lender we’ve found that offers a reward for maintaining good grades. When you excel in your studies, Discover believes you should reap financial benefits too. Undergraduate freshmen who attain at least a 3.0 GPA (or equivalent) in high school qualify for a one-time 1% cash reward on their school-certified loan amount. This doesn’t just apply to undergraduates—graduate students can also earn a one-time 1% cash reward on their disbursed loan balance. This unique feature gives students an additional incentive to maintain strong academic performance and offers a monetary reprieve. Here’s what you could earn based on how much you borrow: Amount borrowedReward$5,000$50$10,000$100$15,000$150$20,000$200$50,000$500 Overview of rates, terms, and fees Discover offers competitive rates, terms, and fees for its student loans compared to industry peers. It offers discounts for autopay and interest-only payments while in school with no additional fees. Discover’s unique rewards for academic performance further sweeten the deal. FeatureDetailsRate discounts0.25% autopay0.35% discount for making interest-only payments while in schoolLoan amounts$1,000 – 100% of school-certified college costs (except bar study and medical residency loans)In-school repayment plansInterest-only$25 fixedDeferred (no payments)Repayment assistanceBorrower may qualify for deferment (if in school at least half-time, on active military duty, serving a public service organization, or in a medical residency)Other options may be available (Must contact Discover’s Repayment Assistance Department at 1-800-STUDENT)Cosigner releaseNot availableFeesNoneUnique featuresCash rewards for good grades What are the eligibility requirements? Eligibility for Discover’s student loans includes U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and international students with a cosigner who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Discover recommends cosigners for those with insufficient credit history. It doesn’t specify how many of its borrowers have a cosigner, but it’s a common strategy for meeting credit requirements in the student loan industry. RequirementDetailsCitizenshipMust be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or international student (International students require a cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident)State of residenceAll U.S. territories and states, including the District of ColumbiaMinimum age16Enrolled schoolWebsite states student must be enrolled in an “eligible school,” but schools are not listed. (Input your school’s name when you apply to see whether your school is on the list.)Enrollment statusMust be enrolled at least half-time in a bachelor’s or associate degree program at an eligible schoolMinimum credit scoreNot specified (but must pass a credit check)Minimum incomeNot specifiedOtherMust be making satisfactory academic progress as defined by your school The information above applies to Discover’s undergraduate and graduate student loans. Follow the links below to find out more about each type of loan: Undergraduate loansGeneral graduate loansSpecialty graduate loans (MBA, law school, health professions, medical residency, and bar exam loan) Discover’s undergraduate student loan rates and terms The general terms and rates above apply to undergraduate and graduate student loans, but this section zeroes in on the specifics of Discover’s undergraduate loans. Compared to others in the industry, Discover’s rates range from competitive to high, depending on the borrower’s creditworthiness. FeatureDetailsFixed rates (APR)4.49% – 14.99%Variable rates (APR)6.37% – 16.62%Repayment terms15 yearsGrace period6 monthsUnique featuresMultiyear approval: Prequalify for loans for future academic periods without affecting your credit when you apply for future loans Discover’s graduate student loan rates and terms Discover’s graduate student loan offerings align with the industry, but they tend to be on the higher end. Discover offers specialty graduate loans tailored to certain programs with specific benefits and terms. FeatureDetailsFixed rates (APR)5.24 – 14.59%Variable rates (APR)6.37% – 16.37%Repayment terms20 yearsGrace period9 monthsUnique featuresSpecialty graduate loans are available for certain programsCash rewards for good grades Discover’s other graduate student loans Discover offers degree-specific graduate student loans to cater to the unique needs of different graduate programs. These loans may have terms and benefits that vary from the standard graduate student loan because they’re designed to accommodate the specific demands and expectations of the respective fields. Other graduate loansFixed rates (APR)Variable rates (APR)RequirementsMBA5.24% – 12.24%6.37% – 14.37%Enrolled at least half-time in a graduate program at an eligible business schoolLaw school5.24% – 14.59%6.37% – 16.37%Enrolled at least half-time in a graduate program at an eligible law schoolHealth professions4.99% – 9.99%6.37% – 12.12%Enrolled at least half-time in one of the following graduate programs at an eligible school: allopathy, dentistry, nursing, occupational therapy, optometry, osteopathy, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant, podiatry, or veterinary medicineMedical residency loan*6.24% – 8.49%7.62% – 10.62%Graduated from medical school within the past 12 months or be enrolled in the final year of a graduate health professions programBar exam loan**6.99% – 14.49%8.12% – 16.37%Graduated from law school within the past 6 months or be enrolled in the final year of a graduate law degree program *Borrow $1,000 – $18,000 for allopathy, dentistry, optometry, osteopathy, pharmacy, podiatry, and veterinary medicine. Borrow $1,000 – $5,000 for nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and physician assistant. Discover disburses funds for this loan to the borrower, not the school. **Borrow $1,000 – $16,000. Discover disburses funds for this loan to the borrower, not the school. How does repayment work? Discover’s student loan repayment options have a clear structure and comprehensive assistance programs. With only one set term for undergraduate (15 years) and graduate loans (20 years), Discover’s offerings are straightforward but offer less customization than lenders that allow borrowers to choose from several repayment terms. The longer term for undergraduate and graduate loans may increase the overall cost of borrowing due to accrued interest. For instance, a $20,000 loan at a 7% fixed APR would yield different total repayments and monthly costs depending on the term of the loan: Repayment term (years)Monthly paymentTotal repayment cost5$396$23,75710$232$27,87815 (Discover’s term for undergraduate loans)$179$32,24520 (Discover’s term for graduate loans)$155$37,200 As you can see, while longer terms yield lower monthly payments, they also increase the overall cost of the loan due to accrued interest. For in-school repayment, Discover provides three options for undergraduate and graduate student loans: Interest-only (Earn a 0.35% rate discount if you choose this option)Fixed $25 monthly paymentsFull deferment until after graduation Here’s what interest-only payments might look like on a loan at a fixed 7% APR depending on the loan amount: Loan amountMonthly interest-only payment$5,000$29.17$10,000$58.33$25,000$145.83$50,000$291.67 These choices cater to different financial situations but could also influence the final loan cost. If you defer payments, you’ll pay more by the time you repay the loan due to interest accruing while in school. Discover offers assistance programs that include deferment for borrowers returning to school at least half-time, on active military duty, engaged in public service work, or in medical residency. Discover’s parent student loan Rates, terms, and fees Discover’s parent student loan offers a unique solution for parents who wish to take full responsibility for their child’s education costs. This financing option offers comprehensive coverage, matching up to 100% of the school-certified college costs, but the rates tend to be higher than Discover’s standard undergraduate and graduate student loans. In conjunction with the requirement for principal and interest payments right after the loan’s final disbursement, this could be a significant financial undertaking for parents. Below are the specifics for Discover’s parent student loan: FeatureDetailsFixed rates (APR)9.99% – 14.99%Variable rates (APR)11.37% – 16.62%Rate discounts0.25% autopayLoan amounts$1,000 – 100% of school-certified college costsIn-school repayment plansPrincipal and interest payments are required after the loan’s final disbursementRepayment terms15 yearsGrace periodNoneRepayment assistanceBorrower may qualify for deferment (if in school at least half-time, on active military duty, serving a public service organization, or in a medical residency)Other options may be available (Must contact Discover’s Repayment Assistance Department at 1-800-STUDENT)Cosigner releaseNot available Despite the higher rates, Discover’s parent student loan maintains helpful features, including autopay discounts and various potential repayment assistance options. Parents should consider these terms and the unavailability of cosigner release when deciding whether this is the best solution for financing their child’s education. What are the eligibility requirements? Eligibility for a parent student loan from Discover revolves around the borrower’s citizenship, the student’s enrollment status, and the applicant’s creditworthiness. However, Discover does not specify a minimum credit score or income requirement. Instead, approval is based on a credit check, which means the lender may consider the borrower’s overall financial situation—including credit history, current income, and debt. Below are the specific eligibility requirements for Discover’s parent student loan: RequirementDetailsCitizenshipMust be a U.S. citizen or permanent residentState of residenceAll U.S. territories and states, including the District of ColumbiaMinimum age18Enrolled schoolWebsite states student must be enrolled in an “eligible school,” but schools are not listed. (Input the school name when you apply to see whether the school is on the list.)Enrollment statusStudent must be enrolled at least half time in a bachelor’s, associate, or graduate degree program at an eligible school.Minimum credit scoreNot stated but must pass a credit checkMinimum incomeNot disclosedOtherStudent must be making satisfactory academic progress as defined by their school As with all types of loans, borrowers should review these requirements to ensure they understand the terms before moving forward with the application process. How does repayment work? Discover’s approach to repayment options for parent student loans is straightforward but less flexible than many other lenders. Unlike student loans with multiple repayment plans, Discover offers one standard 15-year repayment plan for its parent student loans. Once the loan is disbursed, borrowers must start making principal and interest payments. This could be a drawback for borrowers seeking flexibility or those who would benefit from an initial period of lower payments or a deferred payment option while the student is still in school. However, borrowers start reducing their debt immediately, which can lead to less interest paid over the life of the loan. Discover also offers certain forms of repayment assistance. Borrowers may qualify for deferment in certain situations, including: Returning to school at least half-timeBeing on active military dutyServing a public service organizationIn a medical residency This feature can benefit borrowers experiencing temporary financial hardship. However, interest may continue to accrue during deferment periods, increasing the loan’s overall cost. The loan’s 15-year repayment term can make monthly payments more manageable by spreading them out over a longer period, but it also increases the total amount of interest paid over the life of the loan. The less flexible repayment options and longer repayment terms may increase the total cost of the loan. You can see in the examples below featuring three loan amounts at a 12% APR that the borrower would repay more than double the amount they borrowed: Loan amountMonthly payment (15-year term)Total repayment$5,000$60$10,800$10,000$120$21,600$15,000$180$32,400 The total repayment amounts include the principal and the interest paid over the term of the loan. These figures are estimates, and the actual amounts could differ due to rounding and how interest is compounded. How can Discover improve its private student loan? Discover Student Loans offer several opportunities for improvement. First, Discover does not offer the option for a cosigner release. The cosigner, who signs the loan agreement along with the primary borrower, remains responsible for the loan’s entirety. In contrast, other lenders provide this option, lifting pressure off the cosigner after a certain number of on-time payments. These lenders include: Sallie Mae (we determined best for cosigners): Offers cosigner release after 12 months of on-time payments.Ascent: Allows for cosigner release after 12 months.SoFi: Permits cosigner release after 24 months. The second area where Discover could step up is to offer more flexibility in repayment terms. Discover sets a rigid 15-year term for all undergraduate loans and a 20-year term for all graduate loans. This could be restrictive for borrowers who might prefer shorter or variable terms to align with their financial circumstances. Several lenders offer a range of repayment terms: College Ave (we determined best overall student loan): Offers terms of five, eight, 10, or 15 years.Earnest: Provides terms of five, seven, 10, 12, or 15 years.Ascent: Allows for five, seven, 10, 12, or 15 years for undergraduate loans; seven, 10, 12, 15, or 20 years for graduate. With these enhancements, Discover could appeal to a wider range of student borrowers. How have Discover private student loans evolved over the years? Discover Student Loans has made considerable strides since its inception in July 2007 to expand and improve its offerings. Here’s a look at the key milestones in its evolution: 2007: Discover Student Loans enters the market.2012: Launches fixed-rate loans for both undergraduate and graduate students. This move provides financial certainty to borrowers. 2012: The company also begins offering new private student loans tailored to graduate students in health professions, law, and MBA programs.2013: Discover broadens its services by providing loans for residency and bar exams. This support helps relieve the financial pressure on medical and law students undergoing critical career development steps.2014: Discover introduces cash rewards for good grades, a unique initiative that incentivizes academic excellence among its borrowers.2019: The company launches a multiyear feature, which simplifies securing future academic funding through a single application process.2020: Discover adds a parent loan to its portfolio, offering parents an alternative route to finance their child’s education. Discover’s refinance student loan Rates, terms, and fees Student loan refinancing—which Discover refers to as consolidation—is a financial strategy involving a new private student loan that consolidates one or more education loans. This new loan comes with a new interest rate, repayment term, and monthly payment amount. The refinancing process can potentially lead to a lower interest rate or a decrease in your monthly payments, which may make the repayment process more manageable. When you compare Discover’s refinance student loan offering to its competitors, it holds up reasonably. Here’s a quick look at Discover’s refinance student loan terms: FeatureDetailsFixed rates (APR)5.99% – 9.99%Variable rates (APR)7.37% – 11.37%Rate discounts0.25% autopayLoan amounts$5,000 – $150,000 (higher limits may apply for specific fields of study)Repayment terms10 – 20 years (based on creditworthiness)Repayment assistanceIf you go back to school and are enrolled at least half-time, you may be eligible for an in-school deferment. You can also defer payments while on active military duty (up to 3 years), in public service with certain eligible organizations (up to 3 years), or in a health professions residency program (up to 5 years)Cosigner releaseNot availableFeesNone What are the eligibility requirements? If you’re considering refinancing your student loans with Discover, you must understand its eligibility requirements. Discover accepts applications from a broad range of potential borrowers but doesn’t disclose specific criteria such as a minimum credit score or income. However, a credit check is mandatory, and applicants must have verifiable income that is adequate to support their debts and show a positive repayment history. Here’s a breakdown of Discover’s eligibility requirements for refinancing student loans: RequirementDetailsCitizenshipMust be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a U.S.-based addressState of residenceAll U.S. territories and states, including the District of ColumbiaGraduation statusNo graduation requirement disclosedMinimum credit scoreNot disclosed, but borrowers must pass a credit checkMinimum incomeNot disclosed, but must have verifiable income sufficient to support your debts and show a positive repayment historyOtherApplicant must be the primary borrower on all loans they want to consolidate How does repayment work? Unlike lenders that allow borrowers to choose a loan term that suits their budget best, Discover assigns a loan term based on creditworthiness. This can result in lower monthly payments for certain borrowers, but it may not be ideal for those looking for more flexibility or a faster repayment timeline. Discover’s repayment terms range from 10 to 20 years for refinance loans. This offers less flexibility than lenders that provide a wider array of options, but Discover stands out in its repayment assistance programs. Borrowers who meet any of the following criteria have the option to defer payments: Return to school at least half-timeOn active military dutyIn public service with certain eligible organizationsIn a health profession residency program This can provide significant support for those who face financial changes or unexpected life events. The loan term Discover assigns affects the overall cost of the loan. A longer repayment term often means lower monthly payments, but it also increases the amount of interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan. Discover’s approach of assigning loan terms based on creditworthiness can make monthly payments more manageable but might also result in a higher total loan cost. You can see an example of this in the table below, which shows a $25,000 loan refinanced at 7% APR for 10-year, 15-year, and 20-year terms: Loan termMonthly paymentTotal amount paid10 years$290.77$34,892.1815 years$224.26$40,365.4220 years$193.33$46,399.46 We calculated these numbers using the standard student loan amortization formula, which assumes consistent monthly payments over the loan term. For simplicity, we’ve rounded the monthly payment and total paid amounts to the nearest dollar. This data illustrates the trade-off between monthly affordability and total cost. It emphasizes the importance of considering monthly payments and the long-term financial implications of a lender’s loan terms. How can Discover improve its refinance student loans? Regarding student loan refinancing, Discover provides a solid option for many borrowers. However, one area where it could enhance its offerings and align more closely with borrowers’ needs is to have more repayment term options. Discover assigns a repayment term ranging from 10 to 20 years based on the borrower’s creditworthiness. This approach may not be the best fit for all borrowers. Some may prefer a shorter term to pay off the loan faster and save on interest, while others might require a longer term for a more manageable monthly payment—and be willing to pay more interest over the life of the loan for this option. Here are three lenders that offer more repayment term options: Earnest (we determined best overall for refinance): This lender offers loan terms ranging from five to 20 years. This variety allows borrowers to better align their loan term with their financial goals and budget.Education Loan Finance (ELFI): ELFI offers terms of five, seven, 10, 15, or 20 years. This provides borrowers with more options to suit their personal financial circumstances.LendKey: LendKey offers terms from five to 20 years, allowing borrowers to choose the term that fits their repayment strategy. Discover offers a competitive option for student loan refinancing, but more flexible loan terms could make it a stronger contender. How have Discover refinance student loans evolved over the years? Discover has been a notable player in the student loan industry since 2007, but it didn’t start offering student loan refinancing until 2019. As such, the evolution of Discover’s student loan refinance program has been a short journey compared to its history in the student loan business. Since the launch of its refinance program, often referred to as consolidation, Discover has remained consistent, offering fixed and variable rates, flexible loan amounts, and multiple repayment assistance options. As Discover’s refinancing program matures, borrowers can anticipate updates and enhancements to align with changing market demands and customer needs, similar to its private student loans. For now, the company continues to prioritize stable and consistent services, enabling borrowers to consolidate and refinance their student loans under manageable terms. Is Discover a reputable lender? In terms of customer ratings, Discover earns mixed reviews. On the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a nonprofit organization focusing on marketplace trust and integrity, and Trustpilot, a consumer review website where users can rate businesses, its ratings range from poor to fair. Reviews on Google tell a similar story. However, many of the poor reviews on BBB and Trustpilot refer to Discover’s credit card and personal loan services rather than its student loans. SourceCustomer ratingNumber of reviewsBBB1.13 out of 5326Trustpilot1.8 out of 5215Google3.8 out of 5134 Ratings collected on July 18, 2023. The BBB has accredited Discover since 1989 and assigns it an A+ rating, the highest possible. Despite the customer ratings, this accreditation signifies that Discover has met the BBB’s standards for responding to customer complaints. Discover has successfully closed 2,499 BBB complaints in the past three years. Meanwhile, on Trustpilot, a, Discover’s rating stands at “poor.” Despite this, one five-star review highlights Discover’s collaboration with international students. Google reviews present a better picture, with Discover rating 3.8 out of 5. Several positive reviews mention Discover’s customer service, but few discuss its student loans. When interpreting these ratings, remember that people are likelier to leave a review when they’ve had a negative experience. This might skew the ratings lower than if everyone who had an experience with Discover left a review. Does Discover have a customer service team? Discover has a U.S.-based customer service team that handles queries and provides assistance for student loans. Discover Student Loans services its own loans, so borrowers communicate with Discover for repayment management and other issues related to their loans. This internal servicing structure helps streamline the communication process and can provide a smoother customer experience. The Discover customer service team is available 24/7 to provide support and answer questions related to the application process, loan management, repayment options, and more. With round-the-clock access, borrowers can reach out at their convenience, providing a significant advantage for those with nontraditional schedules. Here’s how to get in touch with Discover’s customer service: Phone:For general inquiries, call 1-800-STUDENT (1-800-788-3368). If you’re calling from outside Canada or the U.S., dial 801-619-2550.Military servicemembers can call 1-844-DFS-4MIL (1-844-337-4645). If you’re calling from outside Canada or the U.S., dial 801-451-3730.For TDD services, call 1-800-223-5614.Secure message: If you have a Discover account, you can log in and send a secure message.Mail: For different purposes, use the following addresses:For application documents:Discover Student LoansCustomer ServiceP.O. Box 30947Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0947For general correspondence:Discover Student LoansCustomer ServiceP.O. Box 30948Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0948 Discover’s customer service team aims to provide comprehensive support to borrowers, helping them navigate the student loan process more easily. Whether through phone, mail, or online messaging, the team is ready to help when needed. How to apply for a Discover student loan Discover’s application process for student loans is quite streamlined, making it easy for prospective borrowers to navigate. Discover provides an intuitive online application system and offers assistance at every step of the process. Follow these steps to apply for a Discover student loan: Identify your loan needs: Determine the amount you need to borrow. Be sure to account for any financial aid you expect to receive.Prepare your information: Gather the necessary documents and information. For students, this includes your Social Security number (if applicable), your school information (including your field of study and academic period of enrollment), the loan amount requested, any financial aid you expect to receive, your financial information (including income and monthly mortgage or rent payments, if applicable), and your permanent address and in-school address.Find a cosigner (if needed): If you’re considering applying with a cosigner, they’ll need to provide their Social Security number, employment information, financial information (including monthly mortgage or rent payments), and permanent address.Apply online: Visit the Discover website and fill out the application form with the aforementioned information. The online application is user-friendly and provides step-by-step instructions. Source: Discover Source: Discover Wait for credit check: Discover will conduct a credit check as part of the loan approval process.Review terms and accept the loan: If approved, you’ll get a loan offer. Review the loan terms before accepting.School certification: Discover will contact your school to certify your eligibility and the loan amount. This is a standard step in the private student loan process.Receive funds: After Discover approves your loan and completes the school certification, Discover will disburse the loan funds to your school. The processing time for each step may vary, but we advise starting the student loan application process several months before you’ll need the funds to allow sufficient time for each step. What if I’m denied a student loan from Discover? If it denies your application, Discover will provide a letter explaining the reasons for the denial, as required by law. Understanding these reasons can help you determine the next steps. You might consider applying with a cosigner if your denial is due to poor credit history or insufficient income. Tip A cosigner is a parent, relative, or close friend with a good credit history who applies for the loan with you and agrees to assume responsibility if you fail to make the payments. A cosigner can increase your loan approval chances and even lower your interest rate. You can also consider improving your credit or increasing your income before reapplying. This could mean paying bills on time, reducing outstanding debt, or exploring income-increasing opportunities. If you still face difficulties securing a student loan from Discover or a cosigner is not an option, it might be time to consider other lenders. Check out our resources: Best private student loansBest student loan refinance optionsBest student loans without a cosigner These articles can help you compare different lenders and find the one that best fits your individual circumstances and needs. Remember, each lender has its own criteria and requirements, so it’s important to research and consider all your options before making a decision. How we rated Discover student loans We designed LendEDU’s editorial rating system to help consumers identify companies that offer the best financial products. Our experts spend hours researching these companies each year to ensure our ratings are fresh and accurate. In our most recent evaluation, we compared Discover to several lenders across a number of factors, including rates, repayment terms, customer reviews, and benefits. We weighted, scored, and combined each factor to produce a final editorial rating. This rating is expressed on a scale from one to five, with five being the highest possible score. We rounded all ratings to the nearest tenth decimal place. Student loanBest forOur rating (out of 5)Undergraduate student loanBest for good grades reward4.3View ratesGraduate student loanBest for good grades reward4.3View ratesParent student loanNo designation4.0View ratesRefinance student loanNo designationNot ratedView rates Discover FAQ Does Discover offer private or federal student loans? Discover offers private student loans for undergraduate and graduate students, including specialized loans for health professions, law, and MBA students. These are loans provided by Discover Bank, separate from federal student loans. Unlike federal loans, which have terms and conditions set by law and guaranteed by the federal government, Discover private loans come with the lender’s terms and conditions and can differ from federal loans. Does applying with Discover hurt my credit? When you apply for a Discover student loan, the lender will perform a hard credit check to determine your creditworthiness. This can cause a small dip in your credit score. However, this drop is often minimal, and your score should recover with regular, on-time payments. Maintaining a healthy credit score is important if you plan to apply for other types of credit, such as credit cards or a mortgage. Does Discover require a cosigner? Discover does not require a cosigner to apply for a student loan. However, if you don’t have a sufficient credit history or income, a cosigner might increase your chances of approval and help you secure a lower interest rate. A cosigner is often a parent, relative, or close friend with a solid credit history who agrees to take responsibility for the loan if you fail to make payments. Does Discover allow cosigners to be released? As of the time of writing, Discover does not offer a cosigner release option for its student loans. So if you apply with a cosigner, the cosigner will remain responsible for the loan until you pay it off or refinance it. What can Discover student loans be used for? Discover student loans can cover education-related expenses such as tuition, books, supplies, and room and board. The funds must be used for eligible education-related expenses at an eligible school. You may not use them for personal or noneducational expenses. How long does it take to receive funds from Discover? Once the loan is approved and the school verifies the loan amount, Discover typically sends the funds to the school within 15 days. The exact time frame can vary depending on the school’s financial aid office. Is Discover responsible for paying off my current student loans? If you are refinancing your student loans through Discover’s private consolidation loan, Discover will pay off the current student loans you choose to refinance. Once your application is approved and the loan is finalized, Discover will send the funds to your current loan servicers to pay off the loans. You will then make your monthly payments to Discover until you repay (or refinance) the new loan. Can Discover student loans be forgiven? Private student loans, including those from Discover, do not offer forgiveness programs. Federal student loans may qualify for loan forgiveness programs depending on certain criteria, but such options are generally unavailable for private student loans. However, in specific situations, such as death or permanent disability of the borrower, Discover may forgive the remaining balance of the loan. For the specifics of such cases, reach out to Discover.