Ascent Student Loans Review

Last updated October 2022.

What are the benefits of an Ascent Student Loan?

If you're in the market for a student loan, Ascent has three unique benefits that you should pay attention to:

1. 1% Cash back graduation reward**

Ascent offers a 1% cash back** 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.

2. Non-cosigned loan options for juniors and seniors

In keeping with its philosophy of expanding possibilities, Ascent offers more opportunities to qualify for a loan in your own name based on future earning potential.

Non-cosigned loans are available for juniors and seniors (we'll talk more about this below). If you do need a cosigner, Ascent gives you the option of releasing them after you’ve made the first twelve (12) consecutive full principal and interest payments on-time or an equivalent prepayment amount and meeting other criteria.

3. More affordable repayment options

Ascent’s graduated repayment option is new for 2020-2021 academic year. This allows you to make lower payments in the beginning of your repayment period when you're getting established in your career. As your repayment period goes on, your payments will gradually increase.

You may also choose from other repayment plans ranging from 5 to 15 years. While in school, select from deferred payments, interest-only payments, or flat payments $25 per month.

4. Some of the lowest interest rates available AND generous discounts

Student loans from Ascent feature some of the lowest starting APRs in the student loan space. Even better: You can knock your interest rate down 0.25% using autopay for cosigned loans. Non-cosigned loans holders may be eligible for a whopping 2% interest rate reduction for using autopay.

5. Hard-to-find repayment relief options

Few private student loans come with options for deferment or forbearance. However, as an Ascent loan holder, you may be granted a temporary period of repayment relief if you are experiencing financial hardship. (Note that forbearance and deferment are granted at the discretion of the lender.)

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Why Get a Student Loan from Ascent?

Ascent Student Loans seeks to put the money in the hands of the people who need it the most: the students. They are committed to providing students with more opportunities to fund their education with loans in their own name.

Ascent wants to ensure that borrowers are set up for success. The company encourages transparency and financial wellness by incorporating financial literacy into the loan application process. As an Ascent customer, you’ll learn basics about your student loan from the application through repayment. This program also gives tips and tools to help you plan for your financial future.

As a data-driven company, Ascent was “engineered” by Goal Structured Solutions, Inc. (GS2), an administrator and developer of student loan programs for more than a decade. Currently, loans are funded by Richland State Bank.

Earn $1,000 with the Ascent scholarship — no essay required

In addition to private loans, Ascent is currently running a $1,000 Scholarship Giveaway.
And the best part: There’s no essay required. To enter for a chance to win $1,000, all you have to do is complete a simple task on social media. The scholarship is open to students that are 18+ years old. Click here to learn more.

Get $525 for each friend you refer to Ascent

Ascent is also helping students pay for college with their Refer A Friend Program. You can earn up to $525 for each friend you refer. There’s no limit to what you can earn! Get a custom referral link from Ascent to share with your friends – you don’t even need to have an Ascent loan to refer friends.

Here’s how it works:

  • You earn $25 when someone you refer to Ascent Student Loans completes an application and is conditionally approved for a loan.
  • You earn an additional $500 when their loan is approved and disbursed.
  • Your friend earns $100 when their loan is approved and disbursed.

For more details, visit 

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Rates (APR) 3.04%-14.75%*
Loan Types Variable & Fixed
Terms 5-15 years
Degrees Undergrad & Graduate
Loans Student & Parent
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What types of student loans does Ascent offer?

Ascent offers loan products to help undergraduate and graduate students pay for higher education. If you have little to no credit history and need a creditworthy cosigner to help you qualify for a private loan, the Ascent Cosigned Credit-Based Loan is best suited for you.

Ascent's Non-Cosigned Outcomes-Based Loan Option 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. The loans for juniors, seniors, and graduate students who don’t have a cosigner and want to qualify for the loan in their own name.

Loan options from Ascent:

Undergraduate students have the option to apply for a Cosigned Credit-Based Loan, Non-Cosigned Credit-Based Loan or Non-Cosigned Outcomes-Based Loan (for eligible juniors and seniors – see eligibility requirements.)

Graduate students have the option to apply for a Cosigned Credit-Based Loan or Non-Cosigned Credit-Based Loan. Ascent created customized repayment terms for:

  • Business School (MBA)
  • Dental School (DMD, DDS)
  • Law School (JD, LLM)
  • Medical School (MD, DO, DVM, VMD, DPM)
  • General Graduate School (Health Professionals, Nursing, Pharmacy, MA, MS, PhD, etc.)

Loan amounts range from $2,001 to $400,000 (which is the aggregate maximum that can be borrowed for credit-based loans). The Non-Cosigned Outcomes-Based Loan option has a loan limit of $20,000 per academic year. You can use the funds to cover up to 100% of your tuition and eligible living expenses.

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What are the eligibility requirements for Ascent Student Loans?

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 Cosigned Credit-Based loan, you must:

  • Be enrolled half-time or accepted for half-time enrollment in a degree program at an eligible institution
  • Be a U.S. citizen or apply with a cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or has U.S. permanent resident status

Additionally, the cosigner must meet specific creditworthy requirements, including a minimum gross income of $24,000.

To be eligible for the Non-Cosigned Outcomes-Based Loan, non-credit tested, you 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
  • Be a student in good standing with a cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.90 from the institution for which the loan is being used to finance eligible education expenses
  • Be at least 18 years of age or at the age of majority in the respective state of residence

  Cosigner Release
Loan Limits  
Yes Cosigner minimum
$2,001 Min
$400,000 Max

What are the rates and fees for an Ascent Student Loan?

You can select from variable or fixed interest rates. As of October 1, 2022, variable interest rates on the Ascent Cosigned Credit-Based Loan and Non-Cosigned Loans range from 3.04% - 13.30% and fixed interest rates are 4.12% - 14.75%.*

Note: All rates stated in this article include the 0.25% - 2.00% auto-pay discount.

There are no early repayment, application, origination or disbursement fees.

The Ascent Cosigned Credit-Based Loan offers multiple repayment terms including a 5-year, 7-year, 10-year, 12-year and 15-year repayment plan.

It also comes with three repayment options including:

  1. An interest-only option while in school
  2. A $25 minimum monthly payment while in school
  3. A deferment option that allows you to postpone principal and interest payments for a period up to 60 months while enrolled in school at least half-time 

The Ascent Non-Cosigned Future-Income Based Loan comes with payment terms of 5, 7, 10, 12, or 15 years. But unlike the Ascent Cosigned Credit-Based Loan, the Non-Cosigned Future-Income Loan is only offered with a deferred repayment option during the in-school period.

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.

Does Ascent offer discounts for student loans?

Yes, Ascent offers a 0.25% - 2.00% reduction in your interest rate if payments are made by automatic debit.


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Variable Rate (APR) 3.04% - 13.30%
Fixed Rates (APR) 4.12% - 14.75%
Application Fee $0
Origination Fee $0
Disbursement Fee $0
Pre-Payment Fee $0
Auto Payment Discount (0.25% - 1.00%)
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What is the application process for a student loan from Ascent?

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:

  • Your social security number
  • Proof of identification (photo ID)
  • School information
  • Estimated financial aid
  • Employment information
  • Proof of income
  • Contact info for one reference

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.

Should you apply for a student loan from Ascent?

Ascent offers some pretty impressive perks, such as competitive interest rates and flexible repayment options. But it's their Non-Cosigned Future-Income Based Loan, scholarship giveaway, graduated repayment option, and 1% Cash Back Graduation Reward** that proves just how much Ascent is shaking up the student loan market. Terms and conditions do apply.

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Ascent Terms & Conditions

Ascent Student Loans are funded by Bank of Lake Mills, Member FDIC. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. For Ascent Terms and Conditions please visit:

Rates are effective as of 10/01/2022 and reflect an automatic payment discount of either 0.25% (for credit-based loans) OR 1.00% (for undergraduate outcomes-based loans). Automatic Payment Discount is available if the borrower is enrolled in automatic payments from their personal checking account and the amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month. For Ascent rates and repayment examples please visit:

1% Cash Back Graduation Reward subject to terms and conditions. Cosigned Credit-Based Loan student must meet certain minimum credit criteria. The minimum score required is subject to change and may depend on the credit score of your cosigner. Lowest APRs require interest-only payments, the shortest loan term, and a cosigner, and are only available to our most creditworthy applicants and cosigners with the highest average credit scores.

Advertiser Disclosures:

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.