Written by Jonathan O'Donnell. Last updated November 2018.
If you're in the market for a student loan, Ascent has three unique benefits that you should pay attention to:
Ascent offers a 1% cash back9 graduation reward if you meet certain qualifying criteria. This is a very unusual benefit among student loan lenders. Depending how much you borrow, your reward could be enough to cover your first monthly payment ... or to buy a new outfit to wear on job interviews.
In keeping with its philosophy of expanding possibilities, Ascent offers student borrowers more opportunities to qualify for a loan in their own name.
Yes, you read that right. Ascent offers non-cosigned loans for juniors, seniors, and graduate students. (We'll talk more about this in a minute.) And if you do need a cosigner, Ascent gives you the option of releasing them after making the first 24 consecutive and on-time, full principal and interest payments.10
Ascent offers multiple forbearance and deferment plans. Ascent has several to choose from that cover the top reasons you might need to hold off on repayments. Usually, this type of benefit is only found in federal loans.
Additionally, student loans from Ascent feature some of the lowest starting APRs in the student loan space, with rates as low as 4.04%1 (as of November 1, 2018).
Plus, Ascent offers multiple options for repayment ranging from five to 15-years. There are also three in-school repayment options for Ascent Tuition including full-principal plus interest payments, interest-only payments, and flat payments of amounts as low as $25 per month.3
You can also opt for the deferred repayment option, which allows you to start payments six months after leaving school.
Ascent was engineered by Goal Structured Solutions, Inc. (GS2) — an administrator and developer of student loan programs for more than a decade — and loans are currently funded by Richland State Bank.
They are committed to providing students with more opportunities to fund their education with loans in their own name.
Ascent Student Loans seeks to put the money in the hands of the people who need it the most: the students.
In addition to private loans, Ascent offers a $5,000 scholarship. And the best part: there is no essay is required. All you have to do is take a short survey (which takes about 10 minutes) to enter for a chance to win.
Ascent encourages transparency and financial wellness by incorporating financial literacy into the application process. This program covers the basics about your student loan from the application through repayment. It also gives tips and tools to help you plan for your financial future.
Loan amounts range from $2,000 to $200,000, which is the aggregate maximum that can be borrowed. You can use the funds to cover up to 100% of your tuition and eligible living expenses.
If you have little to no credit history and need a creditworthy cosigner to help you qualify for a private loan, the Ascent Tuition student loan is best suited for you.
Ascent Independent is one of the few private student loans available that bases eligibility on your future earning potential, satisfactory academic progress, credit history, and other factors. Ascent Independent is for juniors, seniors, and graduate students who don’t have a cosigner and want to qualify for the loan in their own name.
Ascent considers several factors for eligibility, such as creditworthiness, school, and cost of attendance. Both loan types require you to be at least 18 years or older.
To qualify for the Ascent Tuition loan, you must:
Additionally, the cosigner must meet specific creditworthy requirements, including a minimum gross income of $24,000.
To be eligible for the Ascent Independent loan, you must:
You can select from variable or fixed interest rates. As of November 1, 2018, variable interest rates on the Ascent Tuition loan range from 4.04% - 13.04% and fixed interest rates are 5.70% - 14.87%.1
The Ascent Independent student loan does not require a cosigner so it has a higher interest rate than the Ascent Tuition loan. Variable interest rates range from 5.70% – 13.00% and fixed interest rates are 7.32% - 14.00%.1
Note: All rates stated in this article include the 0.25% auto-pay discount.
There are no early repayment, application, origination, or disbursement fees.
The Ascent Tuition loan offers multiple repayment terms including a five-year, 10-year, and 15-year repayment plan.
It also comes with three repayment options including:
The Ascent Independent loan comes with a 10-year or 15-year repayment term. But unlike the Ascent Tuition loan, the Independent is only offered with a deferred repayment option during the in-school period.
If you choose a fixed-interest rate for either loan, the 15-year repayment plan is not an option.
Ascent also offers multiple forbearance and deferment plans including active duty military deferment, in-school deferment, residency/internship deferment, temporary hardship forbearance, and administrative forbearance.
Yes, Ascent offers a 0.25% reduction in your interest rate if payments are made by automatic debit.
You can check your eligibility status online in less than a minute. If your school is on their approved list, you will be invited to apply. Click here to check your eligibility.
To apply, you will need:
A hard credit check is also required.
During the application process, you will complete a financial literacy module. This is designed to help you and your cosigner make informed borrowing choices. Once the module is complete, you can decide on a fixed or variable-rate loan and customize the term length and repayment plan.
Ascent offers some pretty impressive perks, such as competitive interest rates and flexible repayment options. But it's their no-cosigner loan, essay-free $5,000 scholarship, and 1% cash back9 after graduation reward that proves just how much Ascent is shaking up the student loan market. Terms and conditions do apply.
Before taking out private student loans, you should explore and compare all financial aid alternatives, including grants, scholarships, and federal student loans and consider your future monthly payments and income. Applying with a cosigner may improve your chance of getting approved and could help you qualify for a lower interest rate. Ascent Student Loans may be funded by Richland State Bank (RSB). Ascent Student Loan products are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application, verification of application information and certification of loan amount by a participating school. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions, and certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. Ascent is a federally registered trademark of Turnstile Capital Management (TCM) and may be used by RSB under limited license. Richland State Bank is a federally registered service mark of Richland State Bank.
Nitro College is not a lender and makes no representations or warranties about your eligibility for a particular loan or financial aid. The rates and terms listed for each lender are estimates and will change depending on your credit profile and other information you provide to lenders. Lenders are solely responsible for any and all credit decisions, loan approval and rates, terms and other costs of the loan offered and may vary based upon the lender you select. Nitro College receives compensation from lenders that appear on this site.