College Ave Review

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Reviews 59

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BestMoney Staff
Bestmoney Staff
Jun. 18, 20214 min read

College Ave summary

College Ave Student Loans is a fintech company that provides private student loans and refinancing for undergraduate and graduate tuition fees. Its sleek online platform makes it easy to apply for and get approved for a student loan quickly and with minimum hassle. The website provides plenty of information about the various loan products, with full transparency on rates and fees.

Pros

  • Competitive, transparent rates and fees
  • Parent loan options
  • Scholarships, discounts, and rewards

Cons

  • No federal loans
College Aveat a glance
4.8

Editorial score

Online experience

Has learning resources, access to rates, mobile app

5.0

Customer services and support

Multiple ways of reaching lender, wide range of hours

4.0

Repayment flexibility

Offers flexible repayment plans & the option for special repayment programs

5.0

Eligibility

Loans available to all credit types, income levels, and students

5.0

Variety of Loan Types

Offers all loan types

5.0

Overview

College Ave is an online lender established in 2014 that specializes in private student loans. It offers undergrad loans, graduate loans, parent loans, and refinancing. All its loans are underwritten by 1 of 2 partnering FDIC compliant banks: Firstrust Bank and M.Y. Safra Bank. As seen in the average APRs listed above, College Ave’s rates are highly competitive. College Ave offers 4 flexible repayment options, accepts cosigners, and doesn’t charge any origination or application fees.

Suitable For?

College Ave is excellent for anyone who has a solid credit score or a reliable cosigner. It's also a good option for parents looking for a loan to help put their kids through school. College Ave offers a range of flexible options, allowing borrowers 4 different repayment terms and 4 repayment options, such as principal and interest payments, interest only, flat payments or differed payments. There are a range of loans available too, including career loans with $150 cash back upon graduation for selected associate, bachelors and graduate degrees. Even better: it offers scholarship drawings where each month one customers wins $1,000 towards school expenses. It takes only 3 minutes to apply.

Loan Features

College Ave offers a range of private student loans as well as some great tools and resources to help you make your decision.

  • Undergraduate student loans: These cover up to 100% of attendance, including tuition, fees, books, housing, and other college costs.

  • Graduate student loans: Covers the cost of a postgraduate, masters, doctoral, or professional degree.

  • Parent loans: Parents of students can take out customized loans for their child’s education, including an option of having up to $2,500 sent directly to them so they can keep some control over spending.

  • Career loans: this product is offered to students in selected associate, bachelors, and graduate programs, and includes $150 cash back when you complete your studies.

  • Refinancing: Includes refinancing options for recipients of private and federal student loans.

  • Scholarships: All borrowers are given the opportunity to go into the draw for a scholarship, with one customer awarded $1,000 toward their studies each month.

  • Tools and resources: This service includes a stack of free tools and resources to help calculate the cost of your student loan.

The Application Process

It takes just 3 minutes to apply for a loan and get a decision. To pre-qualify, all you or your cosigner (if you have one) need do is fill out your name, address, date of birth, and email address. By filling out these details, College Ave will run a soft credit check and determine if you’re eligible for one of its loans. 

Full applications require you (and cosigner) to enter the following information:

  • Applicant’s info, including name, contact details, and home address

  • Personal info, including citizenship, Social Security number, date of birth, and total annual income

  • School and loan info, including school, state, year of studies, enrollment status, estimated graduation date, estimated cost of attendance, estimated financial assistance, and requested loan amount.

  • Once you’ve completed the form, simply read the disclosure agreement, review the terms, and press confirm to get a decision in seconds.

Eligibility Requirements

Like most private student loans, College Ave’s allows you to apply in your own name or bring in a cosigner. Credit score is only part of the picture. College Ave assesses applicants based on their overall financial history. Students must be enrolled in an eligible university or graduate school to qualify for a loan.

Loan Rates

College Ave’s interest rates and fees are highly competitive compared to the other major online lenders in the private student loans industry. All rates include a 0.25% auto-pay discount.

Repayment Terms

All undergrad, graduate, and parent loans come with 4 repayment options: 5, 8, 10, or 15 years. Refinancing can be spread over 5-20 years. 

Borrowers may choose from these 4 repayment options:

  • Full principal and interest payment from the start

  • Interest-only payment while you’re in school

  • Flat payments of $25 each month during school to reduce accrued interest

  • Deferred payments, so you only have to start paying once you graduate school

How Safe Is It?

College Ave’s website has all the proper security and encryption protocols in place, ensuring your private information is protected. All loans are underwritten by 1 of 2 partnering FDIC-compliant banks: Firstrust Bank and M. Y. Safra Bank. College Ave has the appropriate licenses in the roughly 30 states where such licenses are required.

Customer Service

College Ave Student Loans has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and an 8.9/10 rating from Trustpilot reviews. Customer support staff are on hand to help with applying for a student loan during extended US business hours.

How College Ave Compares


College Ave

Credible

APR from
1.04%*1.04% (with autopay)*
Minimum credit score
640Around 660
Loan amounts
$1,000 to full cost of degree$1,000 to full cost of tuition
Accepts cosigners
YesYes
Suitable for
Flexible repayment optionsHigh credit scores

Summary

College Ave is a good option as far as private student loans go. It offers options for all types of borrowers: undergraduates, graduates, and parents. It promises flexibility, with a choice of 4 repayment types and 4 repayment periods. It offers transparency on rates and fees, making your decision easier. And its underwriting system returns a decision in minutes.


Disclosures

*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.

As certified by your school and less any other financial aid you might receive. Minimum $1,000.

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.

This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Flat Repayment Option with an 8-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 7.78% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 54 monthly payments of $25 while in school, followed by 96 monthly payments of $176.21 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $18,266.38. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.

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.

Information advertised valid as of 3/25/2021. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Lowest advertised rates require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.

 

BestMoney Staff
Written byBestmoney Staff

Our editorial staff consists of writers who are knowledgeable about financial services. We specialize in simplifying the process of choosing the right provider for your needs.

College Ave
College Ave
Reviews 59
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Trustpilot reviews

See what some costumers are saying about College Ave
College Ave
AverageReviews 59
on
Excellent
73%
Great
15%
Average
5%
Poor
0%
Bad
7%
  • author
    cmbdiesel
    May 17, 2021
    Misrepresentation of actual interest rates.

    Bait and switch. They advertise great rates, but when a person with a 800+ credit score and exceptional debt to income ratio gets the highest of posted rates, it's a scam. I would recommend Big Tony down at the track before College Ave.

    ...

  • author
    Mm
    Feb 13, 2021
    AVOID

    Their interest rates are CRAZZZYYYYY please save yourself a hardship credit check and go somewhere else.

    ...

  • author
    Kari Lind-Tufte
    Aug 09, 2019
    Don't Trust This Company

    We had a horrible experience with College Ave. We were approved for a student loan at a fixed interest rate when the college determined we didn't need as big of a loan as we first applied for. We were told by College Ave that we needed to cancel and reapply but the original interest rate would still be honored. After reapplying, we were approved for a much higher interest rate. After two weeks of calling and talking to a different representative each time who verified that we could get the original rate we were approved for, we were then told it had been too long since our original loan approval to receive the original rate! I'm convinced the whole thing was a scam, and they were banking on the fact that we would just accept the new, higher rate. Their customer service is awful. They NEVER returned my calls, and I'm truly convinced we were deliberately lied to by their customer service reps. Even when we asked to speak to a supervisor, we got nowhere. Needless to say, we did not get a loan with College Ave. We chose one of their competitors whose representatives returned our calls promptly, were able to actually answer our questions, and ended up giving us a better interest rate than College Ave. I would not recommend getting a loan from this company. I would not trust them!

    ...

  • author
    Zachary W
    Oct 01, 2018
    Horrible Customer Service

    I'm not sure if this review should go to College Ave or Nationwide Bank, the loan servicer. I was able to easily apply to receive funding for my student debt. As I was actively making payments to reduce the balance of my loan, there were several situations where I wanted to make overpayments to try and reduce my balance as quick as possible. I was told these overpayments would go to "future payments" and not to the principal balance. This means that I would still continue to accrue interest as though I made no overpayment. (Be aware to anyone trying to save on interest!) Thankfully, though, I was able to pay off my student loan relatively quickly. But this was just the beginning. It only got worse from here. When I made a large payment to pay off the loan, I inadvertently overpaid my remaining balance bringing my balance into the negative. I was told I would receive a refund in 45 days. That seemed a little ridiculous that it would take so long but I accepted it. 55 days after paying off my loan I called in to check on the status of my refund. Customer Service was unable to help me and said they needed to wait on Accounting to confirm it was sent. I waited another week before hearing my check was sent. It is now a month later, I still haven't received the check they said was mailed to me. I have called Customer Service several times but they keep telling me they are waiting on Accounting. The Customer Service reps have never returned any of my calls as they said they would nor have I heard anything about the status of my refund. I would recommend NOT doing business with this company.

    ...

  • author
    CHRIS
    Aug 07, 2018
    Opinion of CASL

    Good customer service the few times I called, but it was confusing on whether or not I had secured my loan for the fall. My mother and co signer was receiving emails saying that she need to send in a picture of her SSN and I was getting ones that said I was all good for the loan. So I was unsure if I was all set with the loan or not.

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  • author
    LISA
    Jul 24, 2018
    Online process is extremely easy

    Online process is extremely easy and customer service is readily available and amazing if needed.

    ...

  • author
    RODNEY
    Jul 16, 2018
    College Ave Student Loans

    College Ave Student Loans was fairly easy to use. No complaints.

    ...

  • author
    PAUL
    Jul 10, 2018
    Quick response to your loan application…

    Quick response to your loan application and very patient with your College

    ...

  • author
    JOSE
    Jul 09, 2018
    Thank you

    Thank you, my experience was great.

    ...

  • author
    Theresa S
    Jul 06, 2018
    SO FAR APPLICATION AND PROCESS WAS…

    SO FAR APPLICATION AND PROCESS WAS EASY, IT'S JUST THE BEGINNING SO HOPEFULLY IT WILL BE JUST AS EASY GOING FORWARD DURING THE COLLEGE YEARS..

    ...

  • author
    CHRIS
    Jul 06, 2018
    Easy process and great to work with.

    Easy process and great to work with.

    ...

  • author
    WAYNE
    Jul 05, 2018
    easy to work with.no problems at…

    easy to work with.no problems at all.they were always on top of things.i will do business again next year.thank you ever so much

    ...

  • author
    Greg
    Jul 05, 2018
    The process was very easy and everyone…

    The process was very easy and everyone was helpful. In the end I was very unhappy with the final interest rates. I now have the feeling our relationship will not be improving.

    ...

  • author
    B.Anne
    Jul 05, 2018
    Process was simple and stress-free.

    Process was simple and stress-free.

    ...

  • author
    jung
    Jul 05, 2018
    Easy step

    It was fast, easy

    ...

  • author
    TAYLOR
    Jul 05, 2018
    This was a super efficient way to get…

    This was a super efficient way to get my loans! It was fast, efficient, easy to use, and was approved in 3 days. I was always informed on what was going on with my loan. Would recommend to anyone

    ...

  • author
    GERALD
    Jul 05, 2018
    Great site to apply for student loans

    Great site to apply for student loans. I was able to apply and get approved for the loan my Son needed in just a few minutes. Very easy to follow

    ...

  • author
    ROBERTO
    Jul 05, 2018
    I am completely satisfied.

    I am completely satisfied.

    ...

  • author
    JOSENELLY
    Jul 02, 2018
    Their process is always very seamless…

    Their process is always very seamless and easy to contact them!

    ...

  • author
    ANDRE
    Jun 29, 2018
    I don't have any bad thing to say!

    I don't have any bad thing to say!

    ...

  • author
    MARINE
    Jun 28, 2018
    My experience with this company

    Definitely, I would recommend this company to my friends.

    ...

  • author
    Richard
    Jun 28, 2018
    Takes less than 10 minutes and you have…

    Takes less than 10 minutes and you have an answer right away.

    ...

  • author
    ANNA
    Jun 27, 2018
    Thank you for your prompt actions on…

    Thank you for your prompt actions on our loans, and for your customer service

    ...

  • author
    SAMANTHA
    Jun 27, 2018
    Very fast and easy to use application…

    Very fast and easy to use application system. Rates are decent. Would recommend.

    ...

  • author
    Caprice
    Jun 27, 2018
    Finished the last course will wait on…

    Finished the last course will wait on my diploma. Without this money I wouldn’t be able to get it thank you.

    ...

  • author
    Amanda Barnes
    Jun 27, 2018
    EASY APPLICATION TO FILL OUT

    EASY APPLICATION TO FILL OUT. QUICK AND TIMELY RESPONSE. GREAT RATES!!

    ...

  • author
    ASHLEA
    Jun 15, 2018
    Everything was so easy from applyiing…

    Everything was so easy from applyiing to payments!

    ...

  • author
    JELISSA
    Jun 13, 2018
    Very Easy Process

    Found the process to be very smooth! As well their customer service has helped me at no cost ! I would recommend!

    ...

  • author
    RONALD
    Jun 12, 2018
    Easy to process

    Easy to process. Borrowing is a difficult thing to do and they made it as painless as possible

    ...

  • author
    JAY
    Jun 12, 2018
    CollegeAve, Simply easy

    CollegeAve. This is the simplest way to apply for a college loan. Other sites require much more work. It's fast and convenient.

    ...

  • author
    JESSICA
    Jun 12, 2018
    This was the easiest loan application I…

    This was the easiest loan application I have ever done. Payment is sent directly to my college, and I haven’t had any worries. The repayment schedules are flexible to work with my budget, too.

    ...

  • author
    JJ. Babu
    Jun 12, 2018
    idk they helped me in a time of need i…

    idk they helped me in a time of need i suppose, so i am truly grateful to receive funding for school this way!

    ...

  • author
    Jimmy Mckelvy
    Jun 12, 2018
    Easy to apply

    I was kept in touch with progress. It was not a long progress

    ...

  • author
    NOSHIN
    Jun 12, 2018
    They have great customer service and…

    They have great customer service and despite a few minor miscommunications with my university, everything got worked out and now I’m able to get ahead in my degree with my summer classes!

    ...

  • author
    Naresh
    Jun 12, 2018
    Excellent

    I was apply student loan. I really appreciate done this my loan. Thanks

    ...

  • author
    Jycj
    Jun 12, 2018
    Simple and easy!

    Simple and easy!

    ...

  • author
    TODD
    Jun 02, 2018
    Very convenient

    Very convenient, easy to navigate the process. Transparent on rate and total cost of loan.

    ...

  • author
    JEREMY
    May 29, 2018
    The only issues I have had seem to be…

    The only issues I have had seem to be on my schools end. Customer service on College Ave's end has been great so far.

    ...

  • author
    GUADALUPE
    May 29, 2018
    Loan

    Quick,easy hassle free loan process.

    ...

  • author
    JOHN
    May 29, 2018
    Loan reviewEasy to apply

    Easy to apply , timely disbursement , and the statements are fairly simple to understand .

    ...

  • author
    Carissa
    May 29, 2018
    Still haven’t gotten my loan yet

    Still haven’t gotten my loan yet

    ...

  • author
    MARJORIE
    May 29, 2018
    They were prompt and helpful

    They were prompt and helpful. Their loan interest rates are too high and the students ends up paying more than double the amount they borrowed. Their service was good and when we cancelled the loan they were prompt otherwise way to pricey

    ...

  • author
    MARTA
    May 29, 2018
    Very happy

    The whole process has been smooth and quickly. Very user-friendly system.

    ...

  • author
    Carter
    May 23, 2018
    Very easy to work with

    Very easy to work with. Always available to answer questions.

    ...

  • author
    SANDRA
    May 23, 2018
    Quick & easy

    Quick and straight forward process

    ...

  • author
    TERESA
    May 22, 2018
    Fast and amazing.

    Fast, easy, and no hassle. Wish I had known about college Avenue three years ago and five loans ago

    ...

  • author
    PHILLIP
    May 18, 2018
    Quick response

    Quick response! Easy to navigate!

    ...

  • author
    LOGAN
    May 18, 2018
    Enjoy the ease of access

    Enjoy the ease of access

    ...

  • author
    imed jemai
    May 18, 2018
    Excellent experience

    Excellent experience

    ...

  • author
    SILVIO
    May 18, 2018
    process very good and timely.

    process very good and timely.

    ...

  • author
    Mr. O.
    May 18, 2018
    Great Place for a Loan(s)

    When I cosign for my son's loans they ask me to fill out the terms and sign the loan. Then they say my son has to sign the loan. A few days later my son says what terms should I use? I tell him I already set the terms when I signed it. So he enters the same info I already put in. It's kind of confusing. Additionally, I have received an email saying all signatures have been received but they actually weren't. Both my son and I thought the loan went through when it had not. The college kept on posting the balance due for months. I finally called and they said the College Ave loan had not been finalized by my son. I'm appreciative they keep giving us loans but they need some kind of checklist to show the status of the loan. It all might be user error on my part but that was my experience. They also should put the loan terms in the documents online. I make copies when I sign them but it would be easier to click documents than look through my files. Setting up recurring payments and viewing balances online are super easy.

    ...

  • author
    Z. Par
    May 17, 2018
    The customer service is pretty good

    The customer service is pretty good. I was able to speak to an agent regarding my questions immediately. The application process was pretty easy and decisions are made quick.

    ...

  • author
    GINA
    May 12, 2018
    Best Decision Ever made my dreams of…

    Best Decision Ever made my dreams of the future come true.

    ...

  • author
    Lilianna
    Apr 30, 2018
    Easy, Quick, Convenient

    I’ve just taken my second loan. I like the flexibility in the terms. Also that I’m continuously updated throughout the process.

    ...

  • author
    RAYMOND
    Apr 23, 2018
    I happy with this company

    I happy with this company. It is the first time I apply for a private loan and you have given me the opportunity to continue my education to obtain my degree. Yes, I would recommend this company to families, friends and neighbors. Sincerely, Raymond Banuelos

    ...

  • author
    RZ
    Apr 23, 2018
    I would recommend

    I've cosigned several times for my grandchildren, it's quick and easy. They send email reminders and keep you up to date so everything goes smoothly. I only wish the interest rate was lower!

    ...

  • author
    MELISSA
    Apr 11, 2018
    College Ave,

    College Ave, was extremely helpful and quick. The steps were quick and easy to understand. I had to call a few times to inquire some information and all of the customer service representatives were so kind and well informed.

    ...

  • author
    MOJGAN
    Mar 27, 2018
    rates are too high

    rates are too high

    ...

  • author
    Chad
    Mar 21, 2018
    Great Experience

    Great Experience. Exactly what I needed to go to school.

    ...

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