Best Reviews TopConsumerReviews.com Best Student Loans Best Reviews
Best Reviews
      July 13, 2020

Home  >  Student Loans  >  College Ave vs iHelp

Best

Student Loans

  1. College Ave
  2. Credible
  3. iHelp
  4. LendingTree
  5. Discover
  6. Sallie Mae
  7. Wells Fargo

Your Information Is Secure
Personal Loan Tips Newsletter

Compare Products

  • Select any 2 companies in our reviews to compare them head-to-head!

Latest Reviews

Bicycle Parts

Calendars

Credit Counseling

Feather Pillows

GMAT Test Prep

GRE Test Prep

Hemorrhoid Relief

Homeschool Supplies

LSAT Test Prep

MCAT Test Prep

Senior Care

Thyroid Health

 

Individual Reviews

SunTrust

College Ave

Credible

iHelp

LendingTree

Discover Student Loans

Sallie Mae

Wells Fargo

 

Our professional reviewers evaluate products and services independently, but Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on the links on our pages. Learn more.

Better Business Bureau Reliability Seal

College Ave vs iHelp

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

To see ALL of our reviews for the Best Student Loans, please Click Here

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.

Continue reading below reviews

Best Reviews

2020

Student Loan Reviews

4.5 stars
College Ave

COLLEGE AVE

Visit Site

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.

Best Student Loans

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.

Visit Site
4 stars
iHelp

I HELP

Visit Site

Features:

  • No application or origination fees
  • No prepayment penalties
  • No payments required until 6 months after leaving school
  • Interest rate discount available after 24 on-time payments (highest rate only)
  • Cosigner release option after two years of on-time payments
  • ONLY offers variable interest rates, from 3.18% to 8.71% APR
  • Loan repayment term: 20 years
  • Deferment and forbearance options available
  • Customer service: 800-645-7404

If you like the thought of having your student loan financed by a community bank rather than a big-name financial institution, you'll want to check out what iHelp has to offer. Since 2010, they've managed more than $600 million in private student loans as a subsidiary of the Student Loan Finance Corp. (which maintained an A+ rating as an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau at the time of our review).

Eligibitlity requirements

It's important to note that iHelp has a single student loan product: a variable-rate Private Student Loan with a 20-year repayment term, so if you feel more comfortable with fixed-rate products and/or shorter terms, you will want to choose another lender. On the other hand, if current market interest rates leave you feeling like a variable-rate loan is a good thing (as it often is), here's what iHelp requires for eligibility:

  • You're a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or applying with a cosigner who meets one of those two requirements
  • You're enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school (see site for list of eligible institutions)
  • You and your cosigner are of legal age in your state(s) of permanent residence
  • You and your cosigner have at least 3 years of positive credit history
  • You or your cosigner has an annual income of at least $18,000 for the past 2 years

Your loan must be a minimum of $1,000 ($3,000 in Georgia) and can be a maximum of $100,000 for undergraduate studies and $150,000 for graduate programs.

Best Student Loans

Student loan interest rates

Your interest rate will be based in the LIBOR, the interest rate London banks charge each other for loans, which is a common benchmark used for bank rates around the world. At the time we looked at iHelp, their interest rates were as follows:

  • LIBOR + 2.50% (3.18% APR)
  • LIBOR + 4.50% (5.08% APR)
  • LIBOR + 5.75% (6.23% APR)
  • LIBOR + 8.50% (8.71% APR)

Interest rate reduction

Unlike the majority of the lenders we considered, iHelp does not offer a rate discount for making automatic payments to the account. On the other hand, for borrowers who qualify only for the highest interest rate, you may be eligible for a reduction of 0.30% after you have made your first 24 payments on time. We also like that cosigners can be released after those same 24 on-time payments, regardless of the interest rate on the loan.

Loan repayment options

iHelp also has a great range of possibilities for loan repayments. If you're attending school at least half-time, you can opt to make interest-only payments, no payments at all until you graduate or attend less than half-time; or making principal and interest payments as normal. Or, after your loan enters the repayment period; you can also choose principal and interest; interest-only for 24 months, or graduated repayment, which starts with interest-only repayments and moves up gradually until you're making the full principal plus interest payment amount.

Generous deferment options

iHelp also has one of the most generous deferment and forbearance options we've found. Like most lenders, you can defer repayments as long as you're enrolled half-time or more at an eligible school. But, what happens if you have a temporary financial difficulty, military service, or a natural disaster? iHelp will work with you to forbear your payments for up to 24 months, or to make partial payments, if you can demonstrate the need.

Overall, if you're comfortable with the relative uncertainty of a variable-rate loan and like the idea of borrowing from a community bank, iHelp is an excellent option for your student loan.

Visit Site

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!

Cancel Student Loans: Petition Reaches 1.2 Million Signatures

A new petition to cancel student loan debt has reached 1.2 million signatures. Here's what you need to know - and how it may affect you. Student Debt Crisis, a leading, "people-powered' non-profit ...

Published:  Sun, 12 Jul 2020 13:32:00 GMT



Second Stimulus Check: Pay Down Your Student Loans

If more stimulus checks are sent out, student borrowers might consider putting them towards their student loans.

Published:  Fri, 10 Jul 2020 08:10:00 GMT



The Students Are Victims of Fraud, but the Government Won't Help

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is denying huge batches of relief requests from students whose schools defrauded them. Even those who aren't denied are getting very little - or sometimes nothing.

Published:  Sat, 11 Jul 2020 08:53:00 GMT



Automatic federal student loan forbearance was supposed to provide relief, but for some home buyers it's become an unexpected obstacle

Student loan borrowers in forbearance with high balances or in IDR could be rejected for mortgages because of an incorrect assumption by banks.

Published:  Sat, 11 Jul 2020 05:27:00 GMT



Student loan debt and CARES

From the Military Consumer Blog Under the CARES Act, if you have eligible federal student loans, the Department of Education has automatically placed your loans into "administrative forbearance." That ...

Published:  Fri, 10 Jul 2020 11:50:00 GMT



8 Essential Steps to Take Before Choosing a Private Student Loan

That's why relatively few students can afford to go to college without financial aid - and why even after grants and federal student loans are used, some still have large gaps to fill. Each year, more ...

Published:  Thu, 09 Jul 2020 12:49:29 GMT



Yes, Your $5,000 CRA Emergency Payment Can Help You Pay Your Student Loan

The CRA is offering students a chance to earn $5,000 through volunteer work. Students can invest this money in high-growth stocks to repay their student loan when they graduate. The post Yes, Your $5, ...

Published:  Fri, 10 Jul 2020 05:34:00 GMT



When Is a 1% Variable-Rate Student Loan Worth the Risk?

Variable rates change, and that risk isn't for everyone - even for a rate near 1%. Here's how to tell if it's right for you.

Published:  Fri, 10 Jul 2020 07:52:00 GMT



Share Us!   

Home      About Us      Terms & Conditions      Privacy Policy      Contact Us      Disclosure