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Tuesday, June 28th
There are so many advantages to getting a student loan through Discover. It's one of the only lenders that offers funding for associate's degree programs, and no matter which type of loan you need, you only have to be enrolled a minimum of half-time. The minimum loan amount is $1,000, which makes it easier to borrow only what you need; some rival lenders have $5,000 minimums for comparison. And, Discover can prequalify you for subsequent academic years, to help the process go quickly and smoothly - and no further impact on your credit report. Also, this is one of the only lenders we've seen that lets students as young as 16 apply for a loan; given how many students are graduating high school early and moving on to college, that's needed more than ever.
Cash rewards for good grades
But, there's more! You know Discover Card as one of the original ways to get cash back when using a credit card, and they add those kinds of rewards to their student loans as well. For example, their undergraduate loans offer a one-time cash reward of 1% on each new loan if you have at least a 3.0 GPA. Undergraduate freshmen are also eligible for an additional 1% reward on their first loan: Discover wants to encourage you to consider them for all of your educational financing, right from the start of your studies. Finally, like most lenders, you'll get a rate discount of 0.25% if you set your account up for automatic debits of your payments.
3 repayment options
Discover student loans have three repayment options: in-school interest only (which comes with a 0.35% interest rate discount), in-school fixed payments of $25, or deferred until six months after graduation or when your enrollment goes below half-time. Of course, you're welcome to make extra payments at any time you like even if you're not in your repayment period.
15-year term on all loans
Every Discover student loan has a 15-year repayment term. Interest rates are very competitive on both variable-rate loans and fixed-rate loans. Their posted rates tend to be higher than other student loan lenders, but the reality is that very few students qualify for those super-low rates advertised elsewhere - so you'll likely wind up with a very competitive rate here.
We're also very pleased to see how much improvement has been made with Discover's reputation as a student loan provider. In previous evaluations, we noted that the company had serious servicing issues back in 2015, and we're glad to report that those problems genuinely seem to be a thing of the past. Not only does Discover Card have a perfect "A+" and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, but their unfiltered student loan reviews describe an easy application process, fantastic customer service (including 24/7 phone help), and being able to get funding here when other lenders said no. Many comments come from students (and parents) who have used Discover student loans for every academic year and who wouldn't go anywhere else. That's the kind of feedback we love to hear!
No preapprovals, no cosigner release
We only found two slight downsides to these student loans. One is that there's no way to determine in advance if you're likely to qualify for a loan here: you jump right into the loan application, which results in a hard pull on your credit report, and Discover offers no ballpark of which credit scores are likely to be approved (neither for you nor for any cosigner you might have). Speaking of cosigners, that's the other disappointing aspect of these loans: there's zero option for cosigner release, even after the fairly standard 24 months of consecutive, on-time payments required by other lenders. If you cosign for a Discover loan, you are responsible for it for the full 15-year life of that loan. Ouch.
Great choice for most students
You might not have thought that a credit card company would be an option for your student loans, but we hope you'll think again! Discover has made a huge leap in our rankings, and for good reason: why not get some money back for those terrific grades you're getting? For many students who wouldn't be eligible for a loan somewhere else, Discover provides a reliable avenue to paying for an education.
With 45% of high school graduates finding it necessary to take on student debt to finance their higher learning, that's an important question to answer. While most student loan debt comes from federal loans, some people discover that their government loans just aren't enough to cover the full costs of tuition, room and board, expensive textbooks, and everything else necessary for their college education.
If you find yourself in that situation - for your studies or your children's - you might get overwhelmed trying to figure out where the money will come from. And even once you've selected a lender, you still need to decide what repayment terms are best. Fixed- or variable-rate? Interest-only or small fixed repayments while still in school or fully deferred for 6-9 months after graduation? Repaying over five years or twenty? There are a lot of factors to consider that are unique to you.
Fortunately, there are quite a few providers of student loans that can help you not only figure out those answers but also connect you with the money you need to pay for school. Many of them can even prequalify you for a loan with just your name, address and birthdate, with no impact on your credit report. Rest assured that millions of students (and many of their parents) have successfully navigated this process - and you can too.
Here are several aspects of student loan providers to keep in mind as you decide which ones merit further consideration:
To help you get the funds you need for your education, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best options for student loans today. We're confident that this information will make it possible to find the right way to cover the costs of your tuition, books and more!
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