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Ascent

Ascent

Additional information

Fixed APR

3.97% To 11.89%.

Variable APR

1.47% To 9.05%.

Loan Amounts

$2,001 – $200,000

Term Duration

5, 7, 10, 12, or 15 years

Minimum Credit Score

680

Financeive’s rating

5/5

Ascent

Ascent is best for:

  • Students seeking to use a co-signer and pay off debts quickly are co-signed loans.
  • Or you have at least 2 years of credit history and can fulfill income requirements, the non-co-signed credit-based is the ideal option.
  • For upperclassmen without credit, income, or a co-signer, the non-co-signed future-income alternative is ideal.

You can read our full Ascent review to inform your decision-making process

The Pros of Ascent Student Loans

1. Get a Student Loan Either without a Cosigner or with Bad Credit

To qualify for a private student loan, most lenders demand a good credit history or a cosigner.

However, Ascent allows juniors, seniors, and graduate students whose credit histories aren’t good enough to obtain loans on their own instead, they require a cosigner.

Being young I don’t have a strong credit history. Ascent made it possible for me to have my own loan without the help of others – I’m thankful I found them.
NIKARA M., WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

A no-consigner loan can be obtained by Freshmen and Sophomores with good credit histories.

2. You Can Get Up to 2 years of Hardship Forbearance

Ascent allows you to enter into forbearance if you’re in financial distress, such as a job loss or a medical crisis.

You can put off payments from 3 months at a time, and up to 24 months.

It’s a big benefit that allows you to postpone payments for 2 full years, which is longer than most lenders offer.

3. A Graduation Reward In the Form of Cashback

If you complete your program within 5 years of receiving your loan, you may be eligible for Ascent’s 1% cash back graduation reward.

You’ll get 1% of your original principal balance in the form of a direct deposit or a check.

For instance: If your loan principle was $20,000, you’d receive a $200 bonus.

The Cons of Ascent Student Loans

1. Ascent Rates May be Higher Than Other Alternatives

The interest rates on Ascent’s loans are potentially higher than those of other alternatives.

Because the lender assumes a greater risk, loans without a cosigner may be more expensive.

Tip: The interest rates on federal loans are typically the lowest, and they should be used first before going to private student loans.

2. Freshmen and Sophomores are not Eligible for Outcome-Based Loans with no Cosigners

Only juniors, seniors, and graduate students are eligible for Ascent loans.

Freshmen and sophomores looking for a loan without a cosigner must have good credit to qualify for a credit-based option.

Ascent Student Loan Requirements

A borrower’s future earnings are considered by Ascent when it comes to the non-co-signed income-based option, rather than focusing on current income or credit in the underwriting process.

Borrowers must meet credit and income standards to qualify for co-signing and non-co-signing credit-based alternatives:

1. Minimum Credit Score

The student’s credit score must be at least 540 to qualify for a co-signing loan, with a co-signer who has a credit score of 740 or higher. Otherwise, the student must have at least 600.

The student must have a credit score of 680 or higher and at least 2 years of credit history for the non-co-signed credit-based loan.

A credit score is not required for the non-cosigned future income-based loan.

2. Minimum income

For the credit-based option, the required income is $24,000 for the co-signed and non-co-signed options.

The non-co-signed future income-based alternative does not take into account earnings.

3. The typical credit score of borrowers who have been accepted for a loan or co-signers: Did not disclose.

4. The Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Did not disclose.

Essential Requirements

  • Citizenship: Borrowers can be citizens of the United States, permanent residents, international students, or DACA students. International students must have a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident co-signer to qualify. The same requirements apply to co-signers.
  • Must be enrolled half-time or more: Non-co-signed future income-based borrowers must meet academic performance requirements of a 2.9 GPA or higher to qualify.
  • Loans can be used to pay for previous education: Yes.
  • Types of schools served: An eligible educational institution is a conventional 2-year or a 4-year degree-granting institution.

Hint: If Ascent rejects your student loan application, the lender will provide you with a rationale. If the reason is something you can easily fix, good!

But you might wish to look for additional lenders or, if applicable, apply with a co-signer.

Ascent Interest Rates, Fees, and Terms

To qualify for a loan, Ascent does a light credit check and displays the rate you’ll receive.

Loan terms: Student loans with or without co-signature: five, 10, or 15 years with a variable rate. While you’ll receive either 5 to 10 years of fixed-rate loans.

For non-co-signed future income option: 10 or 15 years variable-rate. For fixed-rate loans: 10 years.

Loan amounts: $2,001 to $200,000 over a borrower’s lifetime for co-signing and non-co-signing options.

You cannot borrow more than the cost of education for each academic year. Non-co-signed future income-based choice: $2,001 to $20,000 per month.

Ascent Loan Fees

There are no application or origination fees with Ascent. There is also no prepayment penalty if you repay your loan early.

There may be a late charge if you miss a payment, but the amount is not specified on the website.

The amount of the past-due payment is deducted 5% after 10 days if the payment has not been made.

The minimum late charge is $5, although it may be as high as $25 in certain circumstances.

Apply for an Ascent Student Loan

Make sure you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and exhaust your federal financial aid possibilities before applying for a loan from Ascent or any private student lender.

If you still need assistance paying for school, you can apply for private loans.

The following information is required to complete your application:

  • Social Security Number
  • Selected school information
  • Desired loan amount
  • Expected financial aid
  • Current rent or mortgage payments
  • Income and employer information (if applicable)
  • Permanent address

Ascent Repayment Options

With Ascent student loans, you may choose from 3 repayment options:

  1. Deferred Repayment: You don’t begin making payments until you’ve been out of school for 9 months.
  2. Fixed Repayment: You make monthly payments of $25 while you’re in school at least half-time.
  3. Interest-Only Repayment: You make payments only toward the interest while you’re enrolled for at least half-time in school.

Is an Ascent Student Loan Worth It?

While federal student loans have lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options than private loans, they come with notably tighter borrowing limitations.

You may need more money than you can borrow in federal student loans due to the high cost of education.

If this is the case, you may be able to borrow money from a lender like Ascent to help you pay for school.

In many cases, a cosigner is required by private lenders. If you don’t have a relative or friend with excellent credit, it might be tough to get a loan.

But with Ascent, you can get approved without the assistance of a cosigner. That is a significant advantage for Ascent over other lenders.

Ascent stands out for its range of payment reduction and postponement options, rare among private lenders. Borrowers can choose a graduated repayment plan, which provides a lower monthly payment to start that increase over time.
BRIANNA MCGURRAN FROM FORBES ADVISOR