Ascent Student Loans Review

Last updated September 2020.

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** 
  2. Non-Cosigned loan options for juniors, seniors and graduate students
  3. Graduated Repayment option to make monthly payments more affordable + and deferment and forbearance plans, which can be hard to come by with private lenders

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.

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 full principal and interest payments on time.

Ascent’s Graduated Repayment option is new for 2020-2021 academic year. Upon graduation, you may be eligible for the Graduated Repayment option. Before you go into repayment (when your first loan payment is due), you can choose to make lower payments in the beginning that gradually increase with the term of your loan. The Graduated Repayment option requires monthly payment amounts that start with an amount that is less than a fully-amortizing payment amount then increases over time such that the loan would be fully paid within the original loan term. 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 2.71%1 (as of September 1, 2020).

Plus, Ascent offers multiple options for repayment ranging from 5 to 15-years. There are also three in-school repayment options for the Ascent Cosigned option including full-principal plus interest payments, interest-only payments and flat payments of amounts as low as $25 per month.

You can also opt for the deferred repayment option, which allows you to start payments six months after leaving school. 

Why Get a Student Loan from Ascent?

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 is currently running a $1,000 Scholarship Giveaway. And the best part: 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.”

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 

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.

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Rates (APR) 2.71%-14.50%*
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 three student loans for undergraduate and graduate students: Ascent Cosigned Credit-Based Loan option, Ascent Non-Cosigned Credit-Based Loan option and Ascent Non-Cosigned Future-Income Based Loan option.

Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $200,000, which is the aggregate maximum that can be borrowed. The Non-Cosigned Future IIncome-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.

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 Future Income-Based 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.

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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 Ascent Non-Cosigned Future Income-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
$1,000 Min
$200,000 Max

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

You can select from variable or fixed interest rates. As of September 1, 2020, variable interest rates on the Ascent Cosigned Credit-Based Loan and Non-Cosigned Loans range from 2.71% - 12.99% and fixed interest rates are 3.53% - 14.50%.*

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, 10-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 a 10-year or 15-year repayment term. 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.

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.

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) 2.71% - 12.99*
Fixed Rates (APR) 3.53% - 14.50%*
Application Fee $0
Origination Fee $0
Disbursement Fee $0
Pre-Payment Fee $0
Auto Payment Discount (0.25% - 2.00%)
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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, $50,000 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.

Apply Now

Ascent Terms & Conditions

Ascent Student Loans are funded by Richland State Bank (RSB), 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 09/01/2020 and reflect an automatic payment discount of either 0.25% (for credit-based loans) OR 2.00% (for undergraduate future income-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. Click here for details. Cosigned Credit-Based Loan student borrowers must have a minimum credit score. The minimum score required is subject to change and may depend on the credit score of your cosigner.

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.