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College Ave private student loans and refinancing review

Low starting rates for residents of all 50 states. Refinancing available to graduates.’s rating: 4.2 / 5.0


  • Best for a range of loan terms and flexible in-school repayment options.
  • Pick something else if you don’t have the best credit — you might find better rates elsewhere.

0.99% to 11.98%


Cost of attendance

Max. Loan Amount

Not stated

Min. Credit Score


Product NameCollege Ave undergraduate student loans
Minimum Loan Amount$1,000
Max. Loan AmountCost of attendance
APR0.99% to 11.98%
Interest Rate TypeVariable
Fixed rate2.94% to 12.99%
Minimum Loan Term5 years
Maximum Loan Term15 years
RequirementsUS citizen or permanent resident, enrolled in a degree program at eligible school, maintain satisfactory academic progress, meet additional eligibility and credit requirements — or have a cosigner who does

Review by

Aliyyah Camp is a writer and personal finance blogger who helps readers compare personal, student, car and business loans. Aliyyah earned a BA in communication from the University of Pennsylvania and is based in New York, where she enjoys movies and running outdoors.

Expert review

College Ave is ideal for borrowers looking for a range of loan terms — you have your choice of paying off your loan over five, eight, 10 or 15 years. It also offers multiple in-school repayment options, including interest-only and flat repayments to decrease the total cost of your loan.

While its rates start low, they max out at nearly 12% — higher than other lenders out there. It also doesn’t offer any formal deferment or forbearance options. And you’re stuck with full principal and interest repayments once you leave school.

Not sold on College Ave? Compare your other student loan options below.

How much do College Ave student loans cost?

College Ave doesn’t charge any application, origination or early payment fees, so your loan cost comes down to the interest rate you’re offered.

Undergraduate student loans

Its undergraduate student loans come with variable rates from 0.99% to 11.98% and fixed rates from 4.39% to 12.99%. You can borrow from to 100% of your school-certified cost of attendance with terms from 5 to 15 years.

Student loan refinancing

Its student loan refinancing loans come with variable rates from 2.94% to 4.84% and fixed rates from 2.99% to 4.94% APR. You can refinance between $5,000 and either $150,000 or $150,000 — depending on your degree program — with terms from 5 to 20 years. If you have debt from a medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degree, you can refinance up to $300,000.

Use our calculator to find out how much your loan would cost — if you don’t sign up for deferment or forbearance.

How it works

Keep in mind that your monthly repayments might differ if your loans go into deferment or forbearance. College Ave adds any interest that adds up during that period to your loan balance, making your loan more expensive. And since variable rate change over time, you might end up paying more or less than this calculator shows.

Generally, the most competitive rates and terms go borrowers a credit score of 760 or higher. But you’ll generally need a credit score of 670 or higher just to qualify — or a cosigner with a score in that range.

Does College Ave offer discounts?

Yes, you can qualify for a 0.25% interest rate discount by signing up for autopay. All rates are quoted with that discount included.

It also offers cash back discount if you sign up for refinancing and refer a friend. Once you have your College Ave Refi loan, you can refer your friends or family members to get $250. As an added bonus, the person you refer gets a bonus of $100 too.

What do I need to qualify?

To qualify for a Collage Ave undergraduate student loan, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • US citizen or permanent resident — or apply with a cosigner who is
  • Enrolled in a degree program at an eligible school
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress, as reported by your school
  • Meet additional eligibility and credit requirements — or have a cosigner who does

How to qualify for refinancing

Here’s what you’ll need to meet when it comes to refinancing with College Ave:

  • Graduate of an approved Title IV undergraduate or graduate program
  • At least 18 years old
  • US citizen or a permanent resident of the US
  • Not a resident of Maine

What states is College Ave available in?

College Ave undergraduate student loans are available in all 50 states— as long as you attend an eligible school. Student loan refinancing is not available in Maine.

Pros and cons

From its high borrowing amounts to its flexible repayment options, College Ave can be a great option for some — but consider the drawbacks before you apply.

Private student loans

  • Borrow up to 100% of school-certified costs
  • Multiple in-school repayment options, including deferment
  • No fees to apply
  • High maximum rate of 12.99%
  • Only offers forbearance on case-by-case basis
  • Only offers in-school deferment


  • Cosigner release after 24 consecutive on-time repayments
  • Nonresidents can refinance with a cosigner
  • Refinance up to $300,000 for medical degrees
  • $250 referral bonus
  • Degree required
  • No deferment, limited forbearance
  • Not all undergraduate programs qualify

Compare other private student loan options

Name Product APR Min. Credit Score Loan amount Loan Term
Stride Funding Income Share Agreement
As low as 2%
Up to $25,000
2 to 10 years
A student loan alternative for graduate students based on your future salary.
EDvestinU Private Student Loans
4.092% to 8.609% with autopay
$1,000 - $200,000
7 to 20 years
Straightforward student loans for undergraduate and graduate students.
CommonBond Private Student Loans
3.74% to 10.74%
$5,000 - $500,000
5 to 15 years
Finance your college education through this lender with a strong social mission and terms that fit your budget.
Edvisors Private Student Loan Marketplace
Varies by lender
Varies by lender
Varies by lender
Varies by lender
Quickly compare private lenders for your school and apply for the right student loan.
Credible Labs Inc. (Student Loan Platform)
Starting at 0.99% with autopay
Good to excellent credit
Starting at $1,000
5 to 20 years
Get prequalified rates from private lenders offering student loans with no origination or prepayment fees.

Compare up to 4 providers

Is College Ave legit?

Yes, College Ave is a legitimate student loan and refinancing provider. It makes all of its loans through Firstrust Bank or M.Y. Safra Bank — which are both members of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). It posts all state licenses on its website and has an easy-to-ready privacy policy breaking down how it uses and shares your personal information.

College Ave reviews and complaints

BBB accredited Yes
BBB rating A+
BBB customer reviews 1.67 out of 5 stars, based on 6 customer reviews
Trustpilot Score 4.3 out of 5 stars, based on 57 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of 16 October 2020

What other student loans does College Ave offer?

College Ave offers several other student loan products, including:

      • Career student loans. Cover an associate’s degree at select community colleges around the country with College Ave’s career loans.
      • Graduate student loans. Finance a master’s or PhD with terms from 5 to 15 years.
      • Dental Student loans. Pay for all or part of a DDS at some of the lowest rates at College Ave with 5 to 20 years to repay it.
      • MBA student loans. Funding to pay for a graduate-level business management degree with 5- to 15-year terms.
      • Medical student loans. Low-cost financing for med school and terms up to 20 years and the option to defer repayments for as long as 3 years after you graduate.
      • Law school loans. Pay for law school with some of the lowest rates College Ave offers and terms as long as 20 years.
      • Parent loans. Parents can help pay for their child’s degree with College Ave’s parent loans, which come with flexible in-school repayment options.

Thinking about graduate school?

College Ave also offers student loans for graduate students if you’ve used up all of your federal loans. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to 100% of your school-certified costs
  • Variable rates: 1.79% to 10.97%
  • Fixed rates: 4.39% to 11.98%
  • Loan terms: 5 to 15 years

Repayment options include full repayment right away or a choice between interest-only, fixed $25 or deferred repayments while you’re in school.

How do I apply?

The College Ave online application process is simple and quick — follow these steps to get started:

    1. Go to College Ave’s website and click Apply Now.
    2. Click Undergraduate Student Loan, or Refinancing depending on which you want to apply for.
    3. Click Student Borrower or Borrower and then Check my rate in 1 minute.
    4. Gather the necessary information, then click Get Started.
    5. Fill out the application with details about yourself, your school or current student loans and how much you need to borrow.
    6. Read the terms and conditions and submit your application.

What information do I need to apply?

Have the following information on hand to speed up the application process:

      • Mailing address
      • Email
      • Phone number
      • Date of birth
      • Social security number
      • Household income
      • School you’re attending
      • Expected graduation date
      • Cost of attendance
      • Requested loan amount

What information do I need to apply for refinancing?

Generally you’ll need to have the following information ready to apply for refinancing.

      • Social security number
      • Estimated annual income
      • How much you’d like to refinance

You’ll also eventually need to provide information about your current servicer and a payoff amount — how much you’ll need to borrow to pay off the loan when College Ave disburses the loan.

What happens after I apply?

If approved for an undergraduate student loan, College Ave will send you your loan documents outlining your interest rate and loan terms. If you agree, sign you documents and choose a repayment plan. Once you’ve returned your contract, it can take up to 10 days for your funds to be disbursed to your school.

After you accept the terms of a refinancing loan, College Ave disburses the loan directly to your lenders. It typically takes three to four weeks for payments to post to your existing accounts.

What are my repayment options?

While you’re in school, you have a few payment plans to choose from:

  • Full repayments. Start making full principal and interest repayments as soon as your funds are disbursed to save the most in the long run.
  • Interest-only repayments. Pay interest that accumulates each month to reduce your loan balance.
  • Flat repayments. Make $25 payments each month to reduce the amount of interest that accrues.
  • Deferred repayments. Hold off on making any repayments until six months after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment. While this is the cheapest option in the short term, you’ll pay more in interest over the life of your loan.

After your six-month grace period is up, you’ll be placed on a standard repayment plan based on your chosen loan term. This means you’ll be on the hook for interest and principal repayments split up evenly over the life of the loan.

How do repayments work on student loan refinancing?

College Ave student loan refinancing only allows you to make full principle and interest repayments during the term of your loan. But they won’t start as soon as you’re approved.

Keep paying off your current loans until you receive an email from College Ave telling you it’s paid off your current balance. This email should let you know when your first payment is due and how to make your payment. Consider taking advantage of the discount and convenience that comes with autopay.

Don’t forget that you can refer people to College Ave for extra cash. Every approved and funded family member and friend who uses your unique link puts $250 in your pocket — and $100 in theirs.

Does College Ave offer deferment or forbearance?

College Ave doesn’t mention any formal forbearance or deferment options in the event of financial hardship on its website. Reach out to discuss your options with a customer service representative if you’re worried about missing a payment.

What servicer does College Ave use?

College Ave uses University Accounting Services (UAS) to handle your loan repayments. While UAS doesn’t have as many complaints as other servicers out there, a few customers have had issues with billing and collections. To avoid this, check your loan balance regularly to make sure your repayments have gone through and you weren’t incorrectly charged late fees.

You can learn more about what to expect with UAS servicing with our guide.

See how College Ave stacks up to other providers with our guide to student loans. And see how College Ave stacks up to the competition with our guide to student loan refinancing.

Frequently asked questions

i.College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply. ii.As certified by your school and less any other financial aid you might receive. Minimum $1,000. iii.Rates shown are for the College Ave Undergraduate Loan product and include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation. iv.This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. v.Information advertised valid as of 8/12/2020. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Lowest advertised rates require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.

Student loan ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We rate student loan providers on a scale of 1 to 5 stars based on factors like transparency, costs and customer experience. We don’t take into account elements like eligibility criteria, state availability or payment frequency — we save that for our reviews.

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