Discover Student Loans Review

Although Discover is most known for its reward credit cards, it has made a name for itself in student loans.

Min. Loan
$1,000
Fixed APR
4.24%–12.99%1
Eligible Degrees
Undergraduate
SimpleScore
4.6 / 5.0
close
SimpleScore Discover Undergraduate Loan 4.6
Max Fixed APR 3
Perks 5
Transparency 5
Loan Amount 5
Fees 5
  • Competitive rates
  • Autopay rate discount
  • No cosigner release
Discover Undergraduate Loan Disclosure

Lowest APRs shown for Discover Student Loans are available for the most creditworthy applicants for undergraduate loans and include an interest-only repayment discount and a 0.25% interest rate reduction while enrolled in automatic payments. The interest rate ranges represent the lowest and highest interest rates offered on the Discover Undergraduate Loan. The fixed interest rate is set at the time of application and does not change during the life of the loan. The variable interest rate is calculated based on the 3-Month LIBOR index plus the applicable margin percentage. For variable interest rate loans, the 3-Month LIBOR is 0.250% as of April 1, 2021. Discover Student Loans may adjust the rate quarterly on each January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 (the “interest rate change date”), based on the 3-Month LIBOR Index, published in the Money Rates section of the Wall Street Journal 15 days prior to the interest rate change date, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of one percent (0.125% or 0.00125). This may cause the monthly payments to increase, the number of payments to increase or both. Your APR will be determined after you apply. Learn more about Discover Student Loans interest rates at DiscoverStudentLoans.com/Rates.

Lowest APRs shown for Discover Student Loans are available for the most creditworthy applicants for undergraduate loans, and include an interest-only repayment discount and a 0.25% interest rate reduction while enrolled in automatic payments.

Discover Undergraduate Loan’s process is fast, easy and convenient with competitive rates and high limits. Further, Discover finances up to 100% of school-certified costs (aggregate loan limits apply), so borrowers don’t have to seek loans from multiple lenders. The only hang-up is getting approved may be difficult if your credit isn’t established or in good shape. However, applying with a cosigner is an option to boost your chances of getting approved for a Discover student loan. If you’re looking for an easy and dependable way to cover the cost of tuition and school-related expenses, Discover student loans are worth a look.

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In this article

    Discover Student Loans at a glance

    LenderMin. LoanAPRKey Benefit
    Discover$1,000Variable rates between
    1.24%–11.99%1 APR, fixed rates between 4.24%–12.99%1 APR.
    No origination fees
    Lowest APRs shown for Discover Student Loans are available for the most creditworthy applicants for undergraduate loans, and include an interest-only repayment discount and a 0.25% interest rate reduction while enrolled in automatic payments.

    What we like about it

    A student loan from Discover offers a whole host of benefits for students through undergraduate and graduate studies. First, depending on your creditworthiness, Discover may pay up to 100% of school-certified costs (aggregate loan limits apply) which is great for students who want to avoid the hassle of dealing with multiple lenders. Discover borrowers also benefit from not having to pay origination, application or late payment fees, which is nearly unheard of among competitors. A unique program that Discover offers is awards for good grades throughout college. If you earn at least a 3.0 GPA, then Discover will send a cash reward2 equal to 1% of the loan covering that academic period.

    Additionally, the application process is fast, easy and done completely online. Should you require the assistance of a representative, Discover is well-known for its exceptional customer service from U.S.-based representatives. There are great options like extensions, forbearance and reduced payments for borrowers who fall on financially tough times and have difficulty making payments.

    Lastly, Discover offers students different repayment options so borrowers can choose a plan that best fits their needs throughout college and after graduation.

    2Get a cash reward on each new Discover undergraduate and graduate student loan when you earn at least a 3.0 GPA (or equivalent) in any academic period covered by the loan. Limitations Apply. Visit DiscoverStudentLoans.com/Reward for terms and conditions.

    Things to consider

    Qualifying for a Discover Student Loans may be difficult for borrowers who have low or limited credit, low or no income or no cosigner available. However, Discover will only make lending decisions based on a hard credit pull.

    Another thing to consider is that Discover offers limited loan terms. Also, if you use a cosigner for your loan, there isn’t an option to release your cosigner once your credit is built up — you have to keep the cosigner for the duration of your loan or until you refinance with another lender if you choose to do so.

    What you need to know

    As the cost of higher education continues to increase, more and more students are looking to private student loans, like Discover to help cover the cost of schooling. Discover offers many competitive options, including the option to choose between fixed and variable APR loans. Additionally, both cosigned and non-cosigned loans are available, allowing for more options if you don’t have great credit on your own yet.

    Applying is easy and done completely online with basic information from you and your cosigner – if you have one. Once you’re on Discover’s website, you can get the process started by selecting your school from the pre-populated list. After that, all you need to do is enter your personal information along with your cosigner’s information and hit submit. In some cases, Discover may require additional documentation. In this case, you can easily upload them online through the website.

    Fees and penalties

    When it comes to fees and penalties, Discover rates highly as one of the most generous student loan lenders out there. Borrowers who choose Discover Student Loans will not pay for origination fees, application fees or late fees. Avoiding these fees can save borrowers thousands of dollars on their loan, making it a very savvy choice.

    Check Your Student Loan Rates

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

    Collateral and criteria

    You’ll have the opportunity to see if your school is eligible during the application process. Student loans through Discover are unsecured loans so do not require collateral.

    1Lowest APRs shown for Discover Student Loans are available for the most creditworthy applicants for undergraduate loans and include an interest-only repayment discount and a 0.25% interest rate reduction while enrolled in automatic payments. The interest rate ranges represent the lowest and highest interest rates offered on the Discover Undergraduate Loan. The fixed interest rate is set at the time of application and does not change during the life of the loan. The variable interest rate is calculated based on the 3-Month LIBOR index plus the applicable margin percentage. For variable interest rate loans, the 3-Month LIBOR is 0.250% as of April 1, 2021. Discover Student Loans may adjust the rate quarterly on each January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 (the “interest rate change date”), based on the 3-Month LIBOR Index, published in the Money Rates section of the Wall Street Journal 15 days prior to the interest rate change date, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of one percent (0.125% or 0.00125). This may cause the monthly payments to increase, the number of payments to increase or both. Your APR will be determined after you apply. Learn more about Discover Student Loans interest rates at DiscoverStudentLoans.com/Rates.

    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. 

    Jessica Walrack

    Contributing Writer

    Jessica Walrack is a personal finance writer at SuperMoney, Interest.com, The Simple Dollar, and PersonalLoans.org. She specializes in taking personal finance topics like loans, credit cards, and budgeting, and making them accessible and somewhat fun.