Advantage Education Loan private student loan review | finder.com

Advantage Education Loan private student loans review

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No-fee student loans for all 50 states and extra-low rates if you live in Kentucky.

Kentucky residents get the best deal on these private student loans, though most American students can qualify. That’s because they’re funded by the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation (KHESLC), a semi-private nonprofit that was designed to make it easier for Kentucky residents to access higher education.

We break down how these private student loans work to help you decide if they’re the right option for you.

Product NameAdvantage Education Loan private student loan
Min Loan Amount$1,000
APR5.29%–6.99%
Interest Rate TypeFixed
Maximum Loan Term10 years
RequirementsMake at least $2,000 a month, have a credit score of 670 or higher and a debt-to-income ratio of 38% or lower.
  • Go to an eligible school
  • Be a US citizen or permanent resident
  • Be the age of majority in your state (18 in most)
  • Have a credit score of 670 or higher
  • Make at least $2,000 a month
  • Have a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of 38% or lower
  • Have no bankruptcies or student loan defaults in the last seven years

First, am I eligible?

To qualify for an Advantage Education Loan student loan, you must:

  • Go to an eligible school
  • Be a US citizen or permanent resident
  • Be the age of majority in your state (18 in most)
  • Have a credit score of 670 or higher
  • Make at least $2,000 a month
  • Have a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of 38% or lower
  • Have no bankruptcies or student loan defaults in the last seven years

You can apply with a cosigner if you can’t meet the credit score and income requirements on your own.

While there are eligible schools in all states and all states are eligible, some have limits to where you can attend school. For example, if you live in New Jersey, you can go to school in Kentucky or Texas, however, you can’t go to a school in New Jersey.

You can find out if you have the right state and school combination on the first page of the application, which checks your other eligibility requirements.

How do Advantage Education Loan student loans work?

Advantage Education Loan private student loans are designed to help pay your educational costs after you’ve received federal aid. It’s a part of the the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation (KHESLC), which aims to help Kentucky residents access higher education, though you might be eligible if you live outside of Kentucky.

Students can borrow anywhere from $1,000 up to your school-certified cost of attendance, which includes transportation, textbooks, housing and other school-related expenses. You can complete the entire application online in about 10 or 20 minutes, though you don’t have the option to save and come back to the application later.

Advantage Education Loan parent loans

Instead of signing on as a cosigner, your parent or stepparent has the option of taking out a parent loan in their name instead. The same rates, terms and eligibility requirements apply as with its student loans, you just won’t be on the hook for repayments. And unlike other parent loans, they also have the option of making interest-only or deferred repayments until six months after you leave school.

Maybe your parents don’t have the best credit or a high enough salary? They have the option to take on a cosigner who does to help them qualify for more competitive rates.

How much does it cost?

Advantage Education Loan offers no-fee student loans, meaning that you won’t have to pay anything to apply. The main cost to consider is the interest rate. Advantage Education Loan only has fixed interest rates, which stay the same while you pay back your loan.

For most students, these rates range from 5.29%–6.99%, depending on factors like your or your cosigner’s creditworthiness, DTI and income. Kentucky residents, however, can qualify for rates starting at 4.26%.

Does Advantage Education Loan offer any discounts?

It does. Aside from the discounted interest rates for Kentucky residents, any borrower can get 0.25% knocked off their interest by signing up for autopay.

What are my repayment options?

Advantage Education Loan offers three different repayment options for while you’re in school.

  • Postponed repayment. Hold off on making any repayments until six months after you’ve dropped below half time or graduated.
  • Immediate repayment with interest only. Only make payments on interest each month while you’re in school and start making full repayments six months after you graduate.
  • Immediate repayment with principle plus interest. Start making full repayments right away. This is your only option if you’re enrolled less than half time and are a student, but it’s also the least expensive option.

Postponing your loans until after you graduate might seem like a no-brainer, but it’ll actually make your loan more expensive. That’s because Advantage Education Loan capitalizes your interest before you start making full repayments. What does this mean? It adds all of those interest charges from when you were in school to your loan balance, meaning you’re repaying a larger amount of money. Since interest is calculated based on your loan balance, you’ll also make higher interest payments.

After you graduate, your options are much more limited. Advantage Education Loan only offers one loan term of 10 years, meaning you can’t lengthen or shorten it to adjust your monthly repayments. It also has a minimum monthly payment of $50. There are forbearance options in extreme situations, though you’ll have to contact your loan servicer Student Loan Corporation to get full details on how much you’re eligible for.

Top reasons to consider Advantage Education Loan

  • Competitive rates, especially if you live in Kentucky. Kentucky’s APRs start only slightly higher than what you’d get with federal loans and have the potential to even be lower if you sign up for autopay.
  • No fees. Advantage Education Loan doesn’t charge any fees to apply or prepay your loan.
  • Less than half time OK. Federal funds won’t cover the cost of one or two courses, but Advantage Education Loan will.
  • Can cover last semester’s costs. You can use an Advantage Education Loan student loan to cover unpaid costs from last semester as long as it ended less than 60 days ago and you’re enrolled for another term.

Why you might want to look elsewhere

  • Limited by state. Your school and state might be eligible separately, but you still might not qualify for a loan depending on your specific combination of school and state of residence.
  • Only one loan term. Advantage Education Loan only offers a 10-year loan term — unaffordably short for large student loans.
  • No cosigner release. If you apply with a cosigner, you’ll have to refinance your loan to take them off the hook for your debt. You won’t be able to simply release a cosigner on an Advantage Education Loan.

Compare private student loans

Rates last updated October 15th, 2018
Name Product Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR Product Description
Credible Private Student Loans
Good to excellent credit
Varies by lender
3.69% (As low as ) (variable)
Get prequalified rates from private lenders offering student loans with no origination or prepayment fees.
EDvestinU Private Student Loans
675
$200,000
4.016%–10.010% (with Autopay) (fixed)
Straightforward student loans for undergraduate and graduate students.
CommonBond Private Student Loans
700
$500,000
3.20-7.25% (fixed)
Finance your college education through this lender with a strong social mission and terms that fit your budget.
LendingTree Student Loans
Good to excellent credit
Varies by lender
3% (As low as) (fixed)
Compare multiple student loans and student loan refinancing options in one place.

Compare up to 4 providers

What do customers say about Advantage Education Loan?

You won’t find much online about Advantage Education Loan from past customers — it has no Better Business Bureau (BBB) or Trustpilot pages and we couldn’t find any mention of it on forums. KHESLC, however, does have a small online presence — though no Trustpilot page.

KHESLC isn’t accredited by the BBB, but it gets an A+ rating based on factors like transparency and advertising practices. As of July 2018, six customers have filed complaints against it, with most citing issues with payments. One borrower said their repayments were mistakenly being reported as late. A couple others had difficulty getting out of default. And another said they were being harassed at work after they were late on a repayment.

The only other mention we could find on KHESLC also involved late repayments and may have been a repeat of one of the BBB customers.

What to expect when signing up

The only way to be absolutely sure you qualify is by starting the application — it begins with an eligibility check. Advantage Education Loan requires borrowers to apply on a laptop or desktop computer using either Chrome, Safari or Firefox. If you’re applying with a cosigner, make sure you have financial information like their income and credit score ready before you start the application.

Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Go to the Advantage Education Loan website, scroll down and click Apply as Student.
  2. Fill out the eligibility form with information about your school, state of residency and whether you’ve declared bankruptcy or have defaulted on student loans in the last seven years. Then hit Check Eligibility.
  3. Create an an account by entering your name, email and creating a password before hitting Register Account.
  4. Log in and fill out the required fields. Double check your answers to make sure there are no mistakes — once you submit it you can’t go back and change it.
  5. Wait to hear back from Advantage Education Loan for your conditional approval. If you get the green light, it’ll also give you your potential rates and ask for documentation.
  6. Select a repayment plan and submit your documentation.
  7. Review and sign your loan documents.

Advantage Education Loan verifies the loan costs with your school and picks a date to disburse the funds. Once your tuition and fees are covered, your school’s financial aid office will give you whatever’s left over.

Bottom line

Advantage Education Loan could be an affordable alternative to federal loans for most American students, but it’s the best deal for Kentucky residents. It only offers a 10-year loan term, however, so you could end up with unaffordable high repayments if you only rely on these loans to pay for school.

Not totally sold or still have questions? Check out our student loans guide to compare other lenders or learn more about how student loans work in general.

Frequently asked questions

Anna Serio

Anna Serio is a staff writer untangling everything you need to know about personal loans, including student, car and business loans. She spent five years living in Beirut, where she was a news editor for The Daily Star and hung out with a lot of cats. She loves to eat, travel and save money.

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