There are a number of key parts that factor into a loan: eligibility criteria, repayment options, student loan interest rates, and perhaps most importantly—the lender. You’ll come across many lenders in your search for a loan. One you should definitely consider is Ascent. Here are a few things you should know about Ascent so you can make more informed comparisons when looking for student loans.
Types of Student Loans Available at Ascent
Ascent offers two student loan programs: Ascent Tuition (cosigned) and Ascent Independent (non-cosigned). Each have different terms and eligibility criteria, but both loan programs are designed to cater to borrowers’ unique circumstances.
The Ascent Tuition loan is best suited for undergraduate students who have not yet had the opportunity to build their credit history. You will need a cosigner to qualify for this loan if you have little or no credit history.
However, you could apply for the Ascent Tuition loan as a solo applicant without a cosigner if you have a strong credit history and also meet the income requirements.
This loan sets first-time borrowers up for financial success through a well-developed financial literacy program.
Ascent Independent is only available to full-time juniors, seniors, and graduate students. It is one of the very few private student loan programs that lend money to students with no income, credit, or cosigner. Instead, your eligibility for the Ascent Independent loan is based on your choice of major, satisfactory academic progress, and future earning potential. Successful applicants get generous forbearance options.
The eligibility requirements for Ascent student loans vary depending on which loan you wish to apply to.
Requirements for Ascent Tuition
For students applying with a cosigner:
- You must be enrolled at least half-time or accepted for half-time enrollment in a degree program at an eligible school in the US.
- If you are not a US citizen or a US permanent resident, you can apply only if you have a creditworthy cosigner who is either a US citizen or has a US permanent resident status.
For students applying individually without a cosigner:
- You must be a US citizen or have US permanent resident status if you wish to apply as solo applicants without a cosigner. You must also be individually creditworthy and meet certain income requirements, including a minimum gross annual income of $24,000. You will need to be continuously employed for the past two years and will be asked to submit proof of income to determine your eligibility.
Requirements for Ascent Independent
- Enrolled full-time or accepted for full-time enrollment in a degree program at an eligible school in the US.
- You must be a U.S. citizen or have U.S. permanent resident status.
- Have a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA from the school for which the loan is being used.
- While there are no minimum income requirements to qualify for this loan, those who earn a minimum gross annual income of $24,000 and also meet the monthly debt-to-income (DTI) ratio are offered lower interest rates and more favorable terms.
Maximum & Minimum Borrowing Amount
The maximum loan amount you can borrow through Ascent Tuition and Ascent Independent depends primarily on the cost of attendance at your choice of school.
In general, the maximum amount you can be approved for is the total cost of attendance for one full academic year less any financial aid as certified by your college. Depending on the school certification and other underwriting factors, the maximum approved loan may be lower than what you requested.
The maximum aggregate loan amount that you can borrow from either Ascent Tuition or Ascent Independent is $200,000.
The smallest loan amount you can borrow is $2,000.
Student Loan Interest Rates with Ascent
When applying for an Ascent loan, students have the option to choose between fixed interest rates and variable interest rates. Applicants must choose their preferred option before accepting the loan offer.
All borrowers benefit from a 0.25% reduction in the rate of interest if they choose to make payments via automatic debit (aka autopay). This benefit is withdrawn after two non-sufficient funds occurrences. It is reinstated only after the borrower re-qualifies and re-enrolls in automatic payments.
Online Loan Application
The online loan application is straightforward, but you will need to keep certain information on hand so you can complete the application in one sitting.
Keep these details handy before you start your online application:
- ID proof (photo ID)
- Social security number
- School information
- Estimated financial aid
- Employment information
- Proof of income
- Contact details for one reference
In addition, a hard credit check is also necessary.
Loan Approval Process
The loan approval process starts only after you’ve submitted your completed loan application. An Ascent loan approval officer will first review your credit history, after which they may ask you for some additional documentation or information before approving your loan application.
The processing time for Ascent Independent loans is a little longer than that of Ascent Tuition loans.
You can track the progress of your Ascent loan application by logging in to your borrower portal.
Loan Management Tools
As part of the application process, you will be required to complete an interactive financial literacy module.
The Financial Literacy module is designed to support borrowers’ financial wellness. It covers the basic information you should know about your student loan. It will cover topics like the application process, how to manage your loan, and repayment options. The program also offers valuable tips and tools to help you plan a solid financial future.
Completing this financial literacy program will help you (and your cosigner, if applicable) make informed borrowing choices with regards to customizing the loan term, choosing between fixed and variable rate loans, and also choosing the best repayment plan for you.
Not all lenders offer this unique feature. A student can release their cosigner from their responsibilities and fully take on the loan for themselves. This, Ascent stresses, allows the student to start building their own credit and financial independence.
Only student borrowers who are US citizens or have US permanent resident status have the option to apply for an early cosigner release. If you meet this requirement you can apply to release your cosigner after making 24 consecutive payments in full and on time.
Bonus Feature – Ascent Scholarship Sweepstakes
Ascent offers one no-essay, $5,000 scholarship every year to eligible students. To enter for a chance to win this award, all you have to do is take a short survey.
Should you apply for an Ascent student loan?
Competitive interest rates, flexible repayment options, no-cosigner loan option, and 1% cash back after graduation are some of many features that make Ascent student loans an attractive option.
However it’s important to explore all of your options before selecting one. With College Raptor’s free Student Loan Finder you can compare lenders and interest rates side by side!