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      July 9, 2020

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College Ave vs Credible

To help you find the Best Student Loans, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of College Ave and Credible.

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Apply for Your Student Loan at SunTrust Today As the costs of higher education rise, so does the need for student loans. While some individuals are eligible for federal loans, those loans don't always cover the full cost of getting an education - not just tuition and room/board, but books, laptops, transportation and other expenses. And, people who are ineligible for federal loans don't necessarily have overflowing savings accounts to match their college or university costs.

Private student loans are the way that many students close that gap. On average, students have nearly $40,000 in student loan debt at the time of graduation; without those funds, their aspirations of being a teacher, engineer, or social worker may have been put on hold indefinitely.

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2020

Student Loan Reviews

4.5 stars
College Ave

COLLEGE AVE

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Features:

  • No application or origination fees
  • No prepayment penalties
  • No payments required until 6 months after leaving school
  • Interest rate discounts available with automatic payments
  • Variable interest rates from 2.20% to 9.29% APR
  • Fixed interest rates from 4.99% to 11.24% APR
  • Loan repayment terms of 8, 10, 12, or 15 years
  • Deferment and forbearance options available
  • Cosigner release option after 24 consecutive months of on-time payments
  • Customer service: 844-422-7502

As a partner of University Account Service (UAS), College Ave Student Loans provides funding for students starting at $2,000 up to 100% of educational costs verified by a college or university. At the time of our review, College Ave maintained an "A" rating as an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau, evidence of their commitment to integrity and quality of service in the student loans industry.

Student loan qualification

In order to be eligible for a College Ave student loan, you'll need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be enrolled in a degree program, attending classes at least half-time
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (this also applies to any cosigner on the loan)
  • Have a qualifying credit score. College Ave doesn't specify exactly what credit score a borrower/cosigner will need, but they do have a free credit pre-qualification tool that can help you decide if you want to submit a full application

Customize the terms

One unique feature of College Ave student loans is the ability to customize, or "configure", the terms of the loan to meet your specifications. By clicking on the yellow box that says "Configure It Out", you'll be taken to a page that allows you to enter your basic information, from the approximate amount of money you'd like to borrow to your preferences for making payments while still in school or deferring until after graduation. Your results page will show you an approximation of the loan terms for which you might qualify, and you can use the sliders on that results page to change any of the assumptions that were made while calculating the details of your prospective loan.

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Competitive student loan rates

We found that College Ave has interest rates that are extremely competitive, with a variety of repayment options that make it easy to stick to a budget. Also, if you sign up to have your payments automatically deducted from your bank account, you'll receive a 0.25% discount on your interest rate. Unlike some of their competitors, College Ave does not punish borrowers or cosigners in the event of permanent disability or death of the student: they forgive all loans 100% when the student borrower dies or suffers a permanent disability.

Also, College Ave allows cosigners to be released from the loan after 24 consecutive on-time payments. This is a fairly standard timeframe among providers of student loans, although some lenders require four to five years of on-time payments prior to releasing the cosigner.

Strong choice

The only caveats to consider when looking at getting a student loan with College Ave are their short time in operation - their first loans were funded in December 2014 - and the fact that College Ave was founded by two former executives from Sallie Mae, one of the lowest-ranked student loans providers in our review. As College Ave continues to prove itself as a strong contender in the student loans market, however, we wouldn't be surprised to see their rating increase. They are worth your consideration for a student loan.

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4 stars
Credible

CREDIBLE

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Features:

  • No application or origination fees
  • No prepayment penalties
  • No service fees
  • Customer service available 7 days a week: 866-540-6005
  • 3-way phone support with lenders and borrowers
  • Apply with multiple lenders using a single application

Credible wants to save you time when it comes to applying for student loans. Instead of having to complete one application after another, hoping for great rates and reasonable terms (with no fine print or "gotcha!" moments), you enter your details one time and get matched with reputable lenders. Credible works as a connection service: they vet all of their lenders to ensure that they don't charge application or origination fees, and Credible is free for you to use too.

8 student loan partners

At the time of our most recent visit to their site, Credible offered student loans through eight partners (some of which you'll find evaluated in more depth in our other reviews):

  • Ascent
  • Citizens Bank
  • College Ave
  • Discover Student Loans
  • EDvestinU
  • INvestEd
  • MEFA
  • Sallie Mae

On loans available through those partners, terms ranged from 5 to 20 years. Fixed interest rates were between 3.95% APR and 12.49% APR, while variable rates ranged from 1.79% APR to 10.37% APR. All of them, with the exception of Sallie Mae, offered student loans for both undergraduate- and graduate-level studies.

Cosigner helps

Get started with Credible by selecting whether you're a student or a cosigner. Helpful hint: Credible says you're three times more likely to qualify if you have a cosigner. We found that to be true; when we started the process just as a student requesting a modest loan, we weren't given any results until we added a cosigner. Either way, the process takes about three minutes to complete. You can apply for up to one year of studies at a time, and you'll enter that information along with your expected graduation year, the name of your school and degree type, and so on. Surprisingly, we weren't asked to provide our Social Security number during the application process. That happens after you select the loan you want and finalize it with the actual lender.

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Lender options

We were only prequalified for loans through Citizens Bank, and we were given 18 options ranging from fully-deferred until after school to interest-only plans while still in school. We didn't meet the criteria for five of Credible's lending partners, and we were told we'd have to apply directly with two others in order to see their rates. So much for only having to fill out a single application!

Best rate guarantee - for personal loans

You might have noticed that Credible offers a Best Rate Guarantee, offering you $200 if you find a better rate with another lender. However, if you look at the fine print in the terms and conditions, this guarantee only applies to personal loans. We're pretty sure that Student Loans are not eligible, so don't get your hopes up too soon.

Excellent reputation

Credible stacks up nicely when considering their reputation. With both an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, plus thousands of 4- and 5-star reviews from student loan recipients, it's easy to see that the service is providing value to users. And, while it's true that it wasn't as simple as a single application for every possible loan, it was still much more convenient to know right away that we wouldn't be eligible for student loans through certain lenders - rather than applying for each one and being rejected. (Who needs that kind of negativity, right?)

Overall, this service gives you an easy way to check out the prospects of getting a student loan from up to eight different lenders with just a few clicks of the keyboard. That's a great time-saver and could help you get the money you need for your studies. The only caveat is that our highest-ranked provider of student loans isn't included as one of their partners, so we'd encourage you to compare the offers you get with Credible against our first-place lender as well.

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Continued from above

Fortunately, there are many lenders who want to make it as affordable and simple as possible to complete undergraduate and graduate-level studies. Some represent well-known, established financial institutions, while others work directly with networks of community banks to get much-needed cash into the hands of eager learners.

Comparing offers from lenders can be as easy as going online; in a matter of minutes and mouse clicks, you can see a variety of interest rates, repayment terms, and other details of each program for which you are eligible. This saves you significant time compared with going hat in hand to your local bank or other lending institution, hoping that they will say yes to your loan application.

When deciding on which lender to use for your student loan, you should consider the following factors:

  • Interest rates. The higher your interest rates, the more you pay over the life of the loan. Does the lender have rates that are competitive? Does the lender offer you the choice between fixed and variable rates?
  • Loan terms. What is the repayment term? Does it give you enough time to get a good job and pay it back? Can you pay it off in advance with no penalty?
  • Discounts. Can you get your interest rates lowered by setting up automatic payments from your checking account? Will you get any perks for having a relationship with the lender in other ways, such as a checking account or credit card?
  • Reputation. Some lenders have a solid history of working with borrowers, while others have a not-so-great track record when it comes to customer service after the loan has been disbursed. How does this lender measure up?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Student Loan providers available today. We hope this information helps you to get the money you need for your studies right away!

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