9 Things You Need To Know About Ascent Student Loans

Two students on campus discussing student loan interest rates

Flickr user John Alzapiedi

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

The Ascent Student Loan offers eligible students the option to apply with or without a cosigner. Each have different terms and eligibility criteria, but both loan programs are designed to cater to borrowers’ unique circumstances.

Ascent Cosigned Option

The Ascent cosigned option 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.

This loan sets first-time borrowers up for financial success through a well-developed financial literacy program.

Ascent Non-Cosigned Option

You could apply for an Ascent Student Loan as a solo applicant without a cosigner if you have a strong credit history and also meet the income requirements. If you are a junior, senior or graduate student without a cosigner and lack sufficient credit history to qualify for a loan on your own, you may still be eligible for an Ascent student loan without a cosigner. To be eligible for this option, students must:

  • Be a college junior, senior or graduate student enrolled full-time (or with an expected graduation date within 9-months of the date the loan application is submitted) in a degree program at an eligible institution.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or have U.S. permanent resident status.
  • Have satisfactory academic performance of 2.5 GPA or greater.

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 this non-cosigned option is based on several factors which may include: other financial aid, creditworthiness, school, program, graduation date, major, cost of attendance, and others. Successful applicants get generous forbearance options.

Eligibility Requirements

The eligibility requirements for an Ascent student loan vary depending on which loan option you wish to apply to.

Requirements for Ascent Cosigned Option

For students applying with a cosigner:

  • Ascent considers several factors which may include: creditworthiness, school, program, cost of attendance, and other factors.
  • Ascent loans are for college students (both undergraduate and graduate) that are at least half-time enrolled in a degree program at an eligible institution.
  • Students applying without a cosigner must be U.S. citizens or have U.S. permanent resident status. Students that are not a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident may apply with a credit worthy cosigner that is a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident.

Requirements for Ascent Non-Cosigned Option

For students with sufficient credit applying individually without a cosigner:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or have U.S .permanent resident status if you wish to apply as a solo applicant without a cosigner.
  • You must NOT have delinquencies of 60 or more days during the previous 24 months.
  • You must also be individually creditworthy (FICO 680 or above) and meet certain income requirements, including a minimum gross annual income of $24,000 and a meet a monthly debt-to-income (DTI) ratio.
  • You will need to submit satisfactory proof-of-income.

Student borrowers with no credit history or limited history with no adverse credit items, as well as student borrowers that pass the minimum credit requirements but fail income or repayment capacity requirements for the loan product may qualify on the basis of several alternative factors to obtain a loan in their own name without a cosigner. Such borrowers must:

  • Be a college junior, senior or graduate student enrolled full-time (or with an expected graduation date within 9-months of the date the loan application is submitted) in a degree program at an eligible institution.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or have U.S. permanent resident status.
  • Have satisfactory academic performance of 2.5 GPA or greater.

Maximum & Minimum Borrowing Amount

The maximum loan amount you can borrow through Ascent 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 per academic year is $200,000 for credit tested loans, and $20,000 for non-credit tested loans.

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.

Because the non-cosigned loan is available to students without any reliance on cosigners, processing times may be longer and loan amounts may be lower than the loan amount requested

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.

Cosigner Release

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 

Ascent offers no-essay scholarships. To enter for a chance to win an award, all you have to do is take a short survey. The scholarship is open to students that are 18+ years old, that are enrolled in a degree program at least half-time, U.S. citizens or have U.S .permanent resident status. To learn more visit: www.AscentStudentLoans.com/Scholarship

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!

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