If you are looking for a private student loan to supplement your federal student loans and other financial aid, you have probably looked into a number of different lenders. College Ave is a popular one, and may be on your list.
But who is College Ave? What kinds of student loans do they offer? How do you apply for a College Ave student loan?
Here, we answer these and other common questions about College Ave student loans so that you can be confident that you are making the best financial decision for you.
Who is College Ave?
College Ave was launched in 2014 by a number of professionals with years of experience working in the student loan industry. Their stated goal was to create private student loans that allowed college students to pay for school cheaply and easily, and they’ve built the company to be simple, clear, and personal to each borrower.
In addition to originating their own private student loans, College Ave offers student loan refinancing services. The company is based in Wilmington, Delaware.
Types of Student Loans Offered by College Ave
College Ave offers a number of different types of student loans. These include:
- Undergraduate Student Loans: Loans for college students seeking an undergraduate degree.
- Graduate Student Loans: Loans for college students seeking a graduate degree.
- Parent Loans: Loans for parents seeking to help their child pay for college.
- Career Loans: Loans for students enrolled in specific, career-focused programs at select colleges. May include certain associates, bachelors, and graduate degree programs.
Additionally, borrowers who already have student loans, whether federal or private, can refinance their loans through College Ave.
College Ave Interest Rates
College Ave is a private company. As such, they are free to determine the interest rates that they wish to charge borrowers. This is very different from federal student loans, which carry interest rates set by Congress.
Private student loans, including those offered by College Ave, carry interest rates depending on the underlying credit market, as well as factors such as:
- Your credit score: Your credit score was designed to show lenders how risky it would be to lend you money. The higher your credit score, the less risky you are, and the lower your interest rate is likely to be.
- Your income: Whether or not you have an income source, and how high your income, can both impact your interest rates.
- Whether or not you are applying with a cosigner: Because applying for a student loan with a cosigner makes you less risky as a borrower, it can also help you qualify for lower interest rates.
It is not uncommon for private student loan lenders, including College Ave, to advertise incredibly low interest rates. While it’s possible to qualify for these rates, it’s also important to remember that the lowest rates most typically go to borrowers with excellent credit scores. The lowest of rates also tend to be for variable rate loans, which carry an interest rate that can fluctuate over time.
How to Apply for a Student Loan Through College Ave
To apply for a College Ave student loan, simply navigate to their website and click on “Apply.” You will then be prompted to select the type of loan that you are applying for. To complete the application for pre-approval, you will need:
- Your Social Security Number
- Your estimated annual income (if applicable)
- The name of the school you will be attending
- The amount that you’d like to borrow
After answering a few basic questions, you will be shown the likely interest rates that you would qualify for. Moving forward with a formal application will result in a hard credit pull, which will allow College Ave to make you a final offer.
If you are applying with a cosigner, they will also need to complete this information.
College Ave Pros and Cons
Pros of Borrowing a Student Loan from College Ave
- 0.25% interest rate reduction: By signing up for auto pay, you can reduce your interest rate by a quarter percent
- No fees: College Ave does not charge origination, application, or prepayment fees.
- Variety of terms available: Unlike many other lenders, College Ave offers a range of terms. Borrowers can select from 5-, 8-, 10-, or 15-year terms. By selecting a shorter term, you will make higher monthly payments but pay less in interest over the life of the loan; by selecting a longer term, you monthly payments will be lower but you will pay more in interest over the life of the loan.
- Career loans may apply to community college: While the loans are only available for certain programs offered by certain colleges, College Ave’s career loans may in some instances be used to pay for community college, which is not common.
- Parent loans available: Not all private lenders are willing to lend to parents, but COllege Ave is an exception.
Cons of Borrowing a Student Loan from College Ave
- No guaranteed acceptance: Whereas federal unsubsidized student loans must be made available to all borrowers regardless of financial situation or credit score, private lenders can set their own eligibility requirements. This means there is no guarantee that you will qualify.
- Limited deferment options: Federal student loans carry a number of different deferment and forbearance options. Private student loans, including those offered by College Ave, typically carry much shorter deferment options (if they are offered at all).
- Interest rates not set by law: As a private lender, College Ave can charge as much as they want for interest rates. These are likely to be higher than the interest rates charged by federal student loans, except in rare cases that the borrower has excellent credit.
- Not eligible for forgiveness: While federal student loans are eligible to be forgiven under certain circumstances, College Ave does not offer student loan forgiveness.
How to Contact College Ave
Need to get in touch with College Ave? You can do so through any of the methods listed below:
College Ave Phone
Applications: Monday through Friday, 9am to 10pm Eastern Standard Time; Saturday 9am to 3pm.
Payments: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 8am to 6pm Eastern Standard Time; Tuesdays 8am to 7pm.
College Ave Email
While they do not list an email address, you can send College Ave an email by visiting their website here.
College Ave Payment Address
College Ave Student Loans
c/o University Accounting Services
P.O. BOX 5863, Carol Stream, IL 60197-5863
Alternatives to College Ave
Because private student loans typically carry higher interest rates and fewer borrower protections compared to federal student loans, we typically recommend that borrowers turn to private loans only as a last resort.
Federal student loans, state-based student loans, and institutional student loans all offer competitive interest rates and other powerful benefits that are typically not available from private lenders.
Still think that you will need a private student loan? Make sure you do your homework and shop around to find the absolute lowest interest rate possible. Turning to a student loan marketplace that allows you to compare offers from multiple lenders side by side can be an excellent way to do just this.