College Ave Student Loan Refinancing Review
College Ave, a private student lender, offers student loans for both new borrowers and refinancers. In this review, we’ll dive into College Ave’s refinancing loans, which are available to college graduates who have federal and/or private student loans.
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College Ave Student Loan Refinancing
Rating image, 3.5 out of 5 stars.
3.5 starsWe want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
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Rates & Terms:
Fixed Rates: 3.24 - 7.99%
Variable Rates: 2.49 - 7.24%
Terms: 5-20 years
What I like about College Ave refinancing loans
There’s no such thing as a perfect lender, and if there is, I’m yet to find it. However, there are a lot of things to like about College Ave’s refinancing loans, including:
- Low APRs -- College Ave’s student loan refinancing rates are among the best around depending on the borrower’s credit and other qualifications. On the lower end, for borrowers with excellent credit, these are some of the lowest advertised interest rates in the private student loan industry.
- Extremely flexible terms -- College Ave lets refinancers choose a repayment term between five and 20 years in one-year intervals, so refinancers have more control over the monthly payment amount, repayment length, and overall interest expense. This gives borrowers 16 possible term length choices -- one of the best in the business.
- High maximums -- College Ave will refinance as much as $150,000 in student loans for graduates with undergraduate or graduate degrees, or up to $250,000 for borrowers who have graduated from medical, dental, veterinary, or pharmacy programs.
- Auto pay discount -- College Ave offers a 0.25% interest rate reduction when borrowers enroll in autopay (Note: This is reflected in the interest rates listed in this review). This is a common perk but is still worth mentioning.
- No fees -- College Ave charges no origination or application fees for their loans, nor are there any prepayment fees if you choose to pay your loan back early.
- Can apply with a cosigner -- Even if you don’t have an established credit history, you may still be able to take advantage of a College Ave refinancing loan by having a creditworthy cosigner.
Why you can trust me
I’m a Certified Financial Planner® who has published more than 4,500 articles on various personal finance and investment topics, and my work has been syndicated on news outlets such as MSN Money, USA Today, CNN Money, and more. In addition, I’m a highly experienced student loan borrower myself (14 individual loans throughout undergrad and grad school and one federal direct consolidation loan) who has extensive firsthand experience with the student loan borrowing, repayment, and refinancing processes.
Drawbacks of College Ave refinancing loans
As I mentioned, there’s no such thing as a perfect lender. Here are a couple of situations where, if they’re important to you, it may be a good idea to look elsewhere for your refinancing needs.
- No deferment option built in -- While it’s a more well-known feature of federal student loans, it’s worth pointing out that several private lenders offer provisions where a borrower can defer their student loan payments during times of economic hardship. If you want the peace of mind that comes with knowing you can choose to suspend payment of your loans, you may want to look elsewhere.
- Must have a degree -- College Ave refinancing loans are only available to borrowers who have completed their degrees. In other words, if you borrowed money to pay for school, but left school without graduating, you aren’t eligible to refinance with a College Ave student loan.
What is student loan refinancing?
Refinancing student loans means obtaining an entirely new loan for the purpose of repaying your existing student loan(s). As a simplified example, if you have four separate $5,000 student loans, you could choose to obtain a refinancing loan for $20,000 to combine them into one. A refinancing loan’s APR and terms are based on the borrower’s (or cosigner’s) qualifications and have nothing to do with the APRs and terms of the loan(s) being refinanced.
There are some excellent reasons to refinance your student loans. Most obviously, combining several student loans into one makes your repayment simpler. Refinancing can also allow you to potentially lower your interest rate and/or your monthly payment. Another good reason to refinance is if you have a cosigner on your existing student loans and want to get their name off.
Having said that, there are some good reasons you may not want to refinance as well. For one thing, if you have federal loans and want the ability to maintain an income-driven repayment plan, or if you plan to qualify for loan forgiveness, you shouldn’t refinance your loans through a private lender (or at all in most cases). If the APRs on your existing student loans are better than you’d get by refinancing, it’s likely best to leave your loans as-is.
What to look for when refinancing student loans
There are a few important factors to consider when refinancing your student loans. The interest rate, or APR, is an obvious one -- one of the primary reasons to refinance is to save money on interest.
It’s also important to look at things such as flexible repayment options, term lengths, the ability to defer repayment during tough times, fees charged by the lender, and more. While looking at some of the major factors, here’s a rundown of what I like about College Ave’s student loans, as well as a few things competitors may do better.
When to consider alternatives
If you have federal student loans, it can be a smart idea not to refinance with a private lender. Here’s why:
Federal student loans may qualify for loan forgiveness programs, such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) or teacher loan forgiveness. By refinancing them with a private student lender you’ll lose your ability to earn these types of forgiveness. Furthermore, federal student loan borrowers have the option to apply for income-driven repayment plans, like Pay As You Earn (PAYE), which caps your monthly payment at a certain percentage of discretionary income. Private loans aren’t likely to have a similar option.
Finally, it’s important to mention that even if you know you want to use a private lender to refinance and you think College Ave checks all of your boxes, it’s still important to comparison-shop. What I mean by this is that you should fill out pre-approval forms with several lenders to see the terms and APRs you can get from each before you make your decision. Most private lenders allow you to do this quickly and without affecting your credit score, so there’s no good reason not to, and you could end up saving hundreds or even thousands in interest payments. Our best student loans page can give you several excellent lenders to check.
How to refinance your loans with College Ave
Refinancing your student loans with College Ave is easy. The online application takes just a few minutes to complete, and you’ll get a credit decision right away. If you’re just shopping around, you can fill out the short pre-approval form and check your APR offer without any effect to your credit score.
When to refinance student loans with College Ave
College Ave’s student loan refinancing is a good fit for borrowers who have strong credit histories (or their cosigners do), and who want a quick and easy loan process. College Ave is also a good fit for people who want to be able to select a tailor-fit term length, and with its high borrowing limits, it makes good sense for people with lots of student loans to refinance.