College Ave Student Loans Review

Need the path to the right student loan? College Ave could be the solution.

Fixed APR
3.49%–12.99%
Loan Amount
$1K to 100% of costs
Fees
$25 or 5% late fee
SimpleScore
3.8 / 5.0
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SimpleScore College Ave 3.8
Max Fixed APR 2
Perks 4
Transparency 4
Loan Amount 5
Fees 4
  • Pre-qualification available with no credit impact
  • Competitive rates
  • Multiple repayment options
  • Late fee
College Ave Disclosure

*College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply. Rates shown are for the College Ave Undergraduate Loan product and include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation. This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. As certified by your school and less any other financial aid you might receive. Minimum $1,000. Information advertised valid as of 9/1/2020. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Lowest advertised rates require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an undergrad, grad student, or pursuing a professional degree, College Ave student loans can cover the full cost of your education no matter what you pursue. Founded in just 2014, this young online company is solely focused on assisting students with their college expenses through loans or refinancing.

While the aforementioned total student loan coverage isn’t too uncommon amongst lenders, College Ave is willing to work with students on a case-by-case basis when it comes to payment plans and deferment policies. Beyond this, it swings with the best when it comes to 21st-century lenders with clean interfaces and competitive rates. For those looking for a private loan option to help fill some funding gaps, but want a bit of a more personalized experience, then Collage Ave is a good choice.

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In this article

    College Ave at a glance

    LenderMin-Max Loan AmountAPR RangeTermsKey Benefit
    College Ave$1,000 – 100% of school costs1.24%–11.98% variable, 3.54%–12.99% fixed5, 8, 10, 15 yearsFlexible payment plans
    College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply. As certified by your school and less any other financial aid you might receive. Minimum $1,000. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation. Information advertised valid as of 09/24/2020. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Lowest advertised rates require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.

    What we like about it

    Most people want to pay off their student loans as quickly as possible, and College Ave does a good job of assisting with this. It has an abundance of clean, efficient calculators and educational resources spread across its site that can help students plan for the future.

    Even if you aren’t a student anymore, College Ave still has resources such as refinancing and loan consolidation that can assist in getting your credit or finances under control.

    College Ave helps its student loan borrowers get a jumpstart on this kind of financial stability by offering simple payment plans that start before a student graduates. You can make a $25 monthly payment or just pay interest during school. While definitely small, these options can contribute to some serious savings when it comes to total interest owed.

    Like most other lenders out there, College Ave has both fixed and variable rates. These are certainly competitive, but the truly nice part about College Ave’s interest is that you can see what rate you’ll get before you officially committing through prequalification. Ultimately, this lets you know your rate without hurting your credit score.

    Things to consider

    Unlike government loans, College Ave doesn’t have an official forbearance or deferment policy in place. Instead, the lender looks at each student’s situation on a case-by-case basis. While this can add some wiggle room if you ever have to face some unexpected financial hardships, the ambiguity around the policies means there’s no guarantee you’ll be entitled to any kind of forbearance or deferment — no matter the situation.

    The other thing to take note of is how College Ave handles parent loans. Both the government and College Ave allows parents to take out loans on their children’s behalf. However, interest payments must be made while the child is still in school. Not making these interest payments is a good way to hurt your credit score.

    What you need to know about College Ave

    has a minimum loan amount of just $1,000 but is also capable of covering the entire cost of an education. This isn’t a blank check, College Ave will confirm the total cost of your education by contacting your school. The school in term will help College Ave determine which things should be included – such as books and housing.

    Whether you want to cover your entire expenses or just a part of them, College Ave’s variable rates range of 1.24%–11.98%, while its fixed rates are 3.54–12.99%. It also offers loan terms from 5, 8, 10 and 15 years.  You can prequalify to see if College Ave really can provide you best student loan rates you can get.

    If you decide to apply for a loan, the application process is done online and can be completed in minutes. To apply:

    1. Go online to collegeavestudentloans.com.
    2. Determine if you are applying by yourself, or with a cosigner.
    3. Determine roughly how much you’ll need.
    4. Fill out the questionnaire about your school and your financial aid situation.

    College Ave recommends you apply for a loan at least 30 days before school starts to ensure all funding and communication between the school and the lender takes place without a hitch.

    College Ave’s fees and penalties

    College Ave does not tack on an origination fee or application fee. The lender also doesn’t have a prepayment penalty of any kind. The one fee it does have is a late fee totaling 5% of the unpaid amount, or $25, whichever is less. This fee will go into effect if a payment is 15 days late.

    College Ave’s alternatives

    Wells Fargo

    One of the largest banks in the US, Wells Fargo also offers private student loans with no fees, flexible repayment options, a 6 month grace period, and it also has the ability to cover 100% of education costs. New borrowers with Wells Fargo will get a 0.25% interest rate reduction when they sign up for a student loan. If you already have a checking account with the bank as well you will get another 0.25% off. Meeting both criteria will net you 0.50% off out of the gate. Without these discounts, the starting APR for undergrads sits at 5.03% — not the lowest but certainly competitive. When looking at the lender as a whole, the zero fees, repayment options and ability to cover your entire education cost still makes Wells Fargo an excellent choice.

    Check Your Student Loan Rates

    View our top-rated lenders and find the best rates today. It’s quick and easy.

    SunTrust

    With a fixed APR that starts at just 4.299%, SunTrust offers some of the lowest rates for student borrowers. Beyond this, the private lender also provides students opportunities to lower this rate further. Things like auto pay, having a record of consecutive payments and simply graduating can lower the interest further.

    SunTrust loans come in four different types. Each type is meant to be tailored towards the kind of student you are and as such have slightly different loan terms, amounts, and bonuses.  You also won’t be charged any origination, prepayment or application fees no matter which type you choose. All of this combined makes SunTrust one of the best private student lenders around.

    Methodology

    SimpleScore

    The SimpleScore is a proprietary scoring metric we use to objectively compare products and services at The Simple Dollar.

    For every review, our editorial team:

    • Identifies five measurable aspects to compare across each brand
    • Determines the rating criteria for each aspect score
    • Averages the five aspect scores to produce a single SimpleScore™

    Here’s a breakdown of the five aspect scores and their rating criteria for our review of the best student loans of 2020.

    Max Fixed Rate

    Lenders who offered a lower maximum fixed rate were awarded higher scores.

    Perks

    We awarded higher scores for lenders that list more perks including services, discounts and special offers for their borrowers.

    Transparency

    Lenders that laid it all bare by publishing important data about products — APR, offered loan amounts, applicable fees and customer support contact links — scored higher for transparency.

    Loan Amount

    Lenders that offered higher loan amounts compared to others received higher scores. 

    Fees

    We awarded higher scores to lenders that have fewer loan fees for borrowers. 

    Evan Manwell

    Contributing Writer

    Evan Manwell is a personal finance writer based out of Portland Oregon. He has worked closely with both banks and credit unions to write about personal loans, credit cards, student loans, cryptocurrencies and advances in fintech.

    Reviewed by

    • Courtney Mihocik
      Courtney Mihocik

      Courtney Mihocik is an editor at The Simple Dollar who specializes in insurance, personal finance, and loans. Previously, she wrote and edited for Interest.com, PersonalLoans.org, Ballantyne Magazine, Thread Magazine, The Post, ACRN, The New Political, Columbus Alive and the Institute for International Journalism.