Ascent is an online student loan lender that offers alternative student loans to pay for school. They offer both a traditional student loan that requires a cosigner, but they also offer a loan for students who qualify that does not require a cosigner.
Given that 90% of private student loans require a cosigner, seeing a company offer an option to not have a cosigner is great.
Let's dive into Ascent Student Loans and see how they compare. Remember to check out our full comparison of the best private student loan lenders here.
- Private student loans both with and without a cosigner
- Deferred repayment options while in school
- Interest rate discounts and cash back rewards for meeting certain criteria
Ascent Student Loans Details
Ascent Cosigned Credit-Based Student Loan
Min Loan Amount
Max Loan Amount
As low as 3.17% APR
Variable and Fixed
5, 10, 15 Years
Who Is Ascent Student Loans?
Ascent’s mission statement is, “Student loans should expand your possibilities, not limit them.” Their loans are based on creditworthiness, school, major, cost of attendance, and other factors. The parent company, Goal Solutions, Inc. has been in the student loan business for over a decade
Ascent Funding, LLC. was launched in 2016 and is located in San Diego, CA. Student loans are funded through Richland State Bank (RSB), Member FDIC. Loans are serviced by Launch Servicing.
How Does It Work?
Ascent is a private student loan lender. They have three types of loans. One is oriented toward a cosigner, and the others are not.
Ascent Cosigned Credit-Based Loan is best for students who have a cosigner. These students may not yet have a credit history or do not meet the creditworthiness requirements. The cosigner must remain for 24 months. Students also must be enrolled in an eligible institution at least half-time.
For this loan, the cosigner must have a FICO score of 620 or over. Learn more here >>
Ascent Non-Cosigned Credit-Based Loan is best for students who have a strong credit history - likely professional students who are returning to school.
For this loan, you must have at least two years of credit history, and a FICO score of 680 or higher. Learn more here >>
Ascent Non-Cosigned Future Income-Based Loan doesn’t require a cosigner. This loan is for students who are nearing graduation or are in a graduate program. Approval is based on the following:
- Earning potential
- Academic progress
- Graduation date
- Cost of attendance
- Other factors and other qualifications
Undergraduate juniors and seniors students with no credit history, limited history with no adverse credit items, but do not have the income or repayment capacity requirements, are eligible. Learn more here >>
Ascent Graduate Loans are for graduate students who are pursuing a graduate degree in:
- Business: MBA
- Medicine: MD, DO, DVM, VMD, DPM
- Dental: DDS, DMD
- Law: JD, LLM
- Other Graduate Degrees: MA, MS, PhD, Allied Health, Nursing, Pharamcy
These loans offer flexible repayment terms depending on degree type, as well as flexible repayment options. Learn more here >>
Ascent takes the above data and runs it through their algorithms, which then customizes the loan terms for each student. Ken Ruggiero, CEO of Goal Solutions, spoke with Forbes and described the process: “Ascent Cosigned Loan requires a creditworthy cosigner, while the Ascent Non-Cosigned Loan product is a non-cosigned loan open to junior, senior and graduate-level students only. Both loans require participation in a financial education module during the application process as we strongly believe in supporting financial wellness alongside our applicants’ collegiate dreams.”
Ruggiero continued, “For students applying for the Ascent Non-Cosigned Loan, data from a student’s school, program, degree, and income potential are used to determine a loan amount. Using public and proprietary data to produce estimates per school and degree, the Ascent Non-Cosigned loan allows students to eliminate the borrowing burden from their parents or ‘cosigner exhaustion.’”
How Are Interest Rates Calculated?
Interest rates for the Ascent loans are determined based on if the loan is cosigned or non-cosigned, the loan terms, whether the interest rate is fixed or variable, and the type of payment arrangement. Variable rate, interest-only payment, five-year loans start at 3.17% APR. For the same loan under the 15-year plan, the rate is 13.92% APR.
For the fixed rate, interest-only payment, five-year loan, the interest rate is 3.98% APR. The highest rate is the 10-year fixed, interest-only repayment with a 14.92% APR.
The variable interest rate can change, of course. This is dependent on the 1-Month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) index. The variable interest rates are based on a margin plus the 1-month LIBOR. The Ascent rates effective 05/14/2020 are based on the LIBOR rate of 0.667%
Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $200,000 with Ascent Cosigned Credit-Based Loan terms of 5, 10, and 15 years. Ascent Non-Cosigned Loans has terms of 5 and 10 years.
Is Deferment an Option?
Yes, as long as the student is enrolled at least half-time. This option is called “Deferred Repayment” and allows postponement of up to 60 months on payments. Interest will continue to accrue during deferment. This type of deferment is called “In-School.”
After school ends, there is a 9 month grace period before repayment begins.
For students who need a deferment after In-School, approval is solely up to the lender. These types of deferments may be granted for according to the Ascent website:
- “Active Duty Military Deferment”
- “In-School Deferment”
- “Residency / Internship Deferment”
- “Temporary Hardship Forbearance”
- “Administrative Forbearance”
Is It a Good Deal?
Ascent Student Loans APRs are competitive and reasonable. Applicants with the best creditworthiness should see loan interest rates in the mid-single digits. Interest rates can be further reduced by signing up for debit automatic payments.
Graduating with a load of debt isn’t the best way to start your career. As new grads are getting their first few checks from a new job, student loan payments arrive just in time to snag any money that might be left over at the end of the month. Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, a financial advisor, said the following to CNBC: “You should never take out more student loan debt then [sic] you believe will be your first year's salary.”
As the cost of tuition continues to climb, students are turning to alternative, affordable methods for financing their education. Ascent Student Loans is one such method. With two different loans options, reasonable APRs, and a 0.25% to 2.00% automatic payment discount, they provide a compelling source of funding for college education.
What Benefits Does Ascent Offer?
Ascent is invested in your journey to academic achievements and financial wellness by offering benefits that go beyond a student loan. Ascent offers additional resources to help you thrive throughout college and beyond:
- Over $50,000 in Scholarships - Ascent is giving away over $50,000 in scholarships this year. Ascent offers a new scholarship every month – no essay required. Enter for a chance to win the Ascent monthly scholarship.
- Earn $525 for Each Friend You Refer - Ascent’s Refer A Friend Program helps you earn money to help cover the cost of college and other expenses. You can earn up to $525 for each friend you refer, and your friends get paid too!
- Ascent Rewards Program - Ascent Rewards is an easy cash back program designed to help you earn cash from making purchases at over 50,000+ of your favorite stores. You can accumulate cash rewards and make payments with Ascent Rewards.
- 1% Cash Back at Graduation - If you choose to fund your education with an Ascent Student loan, you can apply to get 1% Cash Back on the principle loan amount at graduation.
When shopping for private student loans, it's essential that you compare your options. You can apply for a loan at Ascent Student Loans here >>
Ascent Student Loans Review
- Rates and Fees - 60
- Application Process - 80
- Customer Service - 80
- Products and Services - 70
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.