Of the student loan providers we looked at, Ascent has some of the most flexible options for repaying your loan while you’re still attending school. For example, you can make interest-only payments while you’re in school and start paying principal plus interest when you’re no longer in school. Another option is to make a minimum monthly payment of $25 while you’re in school. These options both give you a head start on paying off your loan. Private loans are unsubsidized, so interest accrues while you’re in school. If you can afford making some kind of payment while you take classes, you’ll be that far ahead when the loans come due.
The most common option is to defer making payments while you’re enrolled in college. With Ascent this deferment lasts up to 60 months. You need to be enrolled at least half time.
Ascent’s loans have terms of 5, 10 or 15 years. The term often depends on the type of interest rate. If you have a variable rate on your loan, you can get up to a 15-year term, while fixed-rate loans have a maximum term of 10 years.
Interest rates are based on a variety of factors, including whether you have a co-signer, your creditworthiness, the school you plan on attending and a variety of other factors. Having a co-signer can get you a lower rate, though it does carry some risk for your co-signer. Ascent offers several discounts, including a 1% cash back graduation reward and a 0.25% rate reduction for making automatic payments. Co-signers can be released after making 24 on-time payments.
Ascent doesn’t have any origination, disbursement or application fees. The terms for its loans range from a minimum of $2,000 to a high of $200,000. This was one of the higher minimums we saw.
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