Custom Choice Review

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Ashlyn Jackson
Ashlyn Jackson
May. 03, 20214 min read

Custom Choice summary

Attending college comes with a tremendous amount of financial responsibility. Custom Choice makes getting a student loan an all-in-one process with a prequalification in minutes, a simple online application and featuring customizable loan options to meet your college needs.

Pros

  • No application fees
  • No late Fees
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Prequalify without impacting your credit score

Cons

  • Minimum loan amount $1,000
  • Maximum loan amount of $99,999
  • Recommended to have a cosigner for the lowest interest rates
Custom Choiceat a glance
3.8

Editorial score

Online experience

Online application but no learning resources

3.0

Customer services and support

Multiple ways of reaching lender but limited hours

3.0

Repayment flexibility

Offers flexible repayment plans & the option for special repayment programs

5.0

Eligibility

Doesn't cover bad credit, low income borrowers

4.0

Variety of Loan Types

Offers most loan types

4.0

Overview

Custom Choice is a lender that offers the total package when it comes to financing your future education. Whether you're needing assistance with funding your undergraduate or your professional schooling, Custom Choice features a number of options to assist students with paying for their education. Complete with no fees, flexible loan options and competitive interest rates, students in need of fast and pain-free financial aid can look to Custom Choice as a viable option. 

Suitable For?

This student loan option, offered by Custom Choice is perfect for students needing funding fast and wanting a flexible way to pay for their schooling. Custom Choice doesn’t lock you into a long loan term, students can choose between 7-, 10- or 15-year loans. In addition, students also have the option to defer loan payments while in school, pay a flat rate or just pay the interest -  whichever suits your financial situation. 

Loan Features

Custom Choice student loans feature a total package student loan option with no fees and a pre-qualification that doesn’t affect your credit score. This allows students to compare rates before signing a loan contract. Also Custom Choice boasts its competitive loan rates with rates as low as 1.17%. Not only will Custom Choice allow you to customize your loan, but students have the added bonus of covering 100% of their college costs. This includes tuition, lab fees, computers, and room & board for the duration of your education. 

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The Application Process

  • What do you need to apply? 

    Students need their social security number, school information, loan amount and proof of income (if applicable). 

  • How does your credit score play into this?

    Your loan amount and interest rate depend on a number of factors including your credit score. Financial professionals suggest you have a 600+ if you're applying alone. If your credit falls below 600, then a co-signer is highly recommended to improve your chances of qualifying. 

  • Is it all online? Do you need to go to an actual storefront? 

    Everything from prequalification to accepting your loan is 100% online. No need to take the time going to a storefront to apply, complete your application from your smart device or computer at any time and receive an answer within minutes. 

  • If you have co-signers, what do they need to do?

    Having a cosigner can benefit your loan application greatly. If you’re looking to have a lower interest rate or better loan terms, then a co-signer is definitely the way to go. If you have a co-signer willing to assist you in the loan process they will need their social security number, proof of income, and a government issued I.d. 

  • Can you get pre-approved? 

    Absolutely, and the perk of pre-approval is that Custom Choice’s pre-approval will not affect your credit score in the process. 

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible Custom Choice requires that you be enrolled at least part-time in an undergraduate or graduate program. Programs are subject to review and you can be denied if they don’t meet Custom Choice requirements. Like all lenders there is also a pre-qualification and application process. During this phase, Custom Choice will review your application including your credit score, credit history, loan amount and cosigner information (if applicable). 

Loan Rates

Having a low interest rate can make a difference of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan. Custom Choice combats this with competitive loan rate options from as low as 1.17%. However, keep in mind that credit score, credit history, and having a cosigner all weigh in when your final interest rate is calculated. It’s suggested that you choose a cosigner with good credit and have over a 600 credit score yourself when attempting to obtain the lowest possible interest rate on student loans. 

Repayment Terms

Custom Choice offers flexible loan options including 7-, 10- or 15-year terms. Students have the option to defer payments up to 6 months after graduation. There is also the option of paying a flat rate of $25 to shave off interest, paying interest only or paying on both interest and principle while still in school. In addition, as a benefit to their customers, Custom Choice can grant more time in deferment if a major disaster or job loss occurs. See here for more about their support programs

Customer Service

Customers that experience any difficulty during the process or that may have additional questions can reach customer support anytime at 866-266-3637. 

Summary

Having flexibility during your undergraduate or postgraduate education can save time, money and stress when sorting out your plans. Benefiting from a student loan lender that gives you control of your options can allow you to focus on the important things, like your education. Custom Choice offers affordability, an easy loan process and competitive rates to complete the total student loan experience. 

Disclaimers

† Before applying for a private student loan, Citizens and Cognition Financial recommend comparing all financial aid alternatives including grants, scholarships, and both federal and private student loans. The Custom Choice Loan® and Union Federal® Private Student Loan isare made by Citizens (“Lender”). All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to Lender’s underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions and other terms and conditions apply. LENDER AND COGNITION FINANCIAL CORPORATION EACH RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. TERMS, CONDITIONS AND RATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. Custom Choice Loan® is a service mark used under license. Union Federal is a registered trademark of Cognition Financial Corporation. Union Federal Private Student Loans are not offered in connection with any lender other than Citizens or the federal government. Citizens is a brand name of Citizens Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. Interest rates and APRs (Annual Percentage Rates) depend upon (1) the student’s and cosigner’s (if applicable) credit histories, (2) the repayment option and repayment term selected, (3) the expected number of years in deferment, (4) the requested loan amount and (5) other information provided on the online loan application. If approved, applicants will be notified of the rate applicable to your loan. Rates and terms are effective as of 6/1/2021. The variable interest rate for each calendar month is calculated by adding the One-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”), or a replacement index if the Lender, in their sole discretion, deems LIBOR to be substantially altered or if LIBOR is no longer based on newly reported rates from its reporting banks, plus a fixed margin assigned to each loan. The LIBOR is published in the "Money Rates" section of The Wall Street Journal (Eastern Edition). The LIBOR index is captured on the 25th day of the immediately preceding calendar month (or if the 25 th is not a business day. The current LIBOR index is 0.09% as of 6/01/2021. The variable interest rate will increase or decrease if the LIBOR index changes or if a new index is chosen. The applicable index or margin for variable rate loans may change over time and result in a different APR than shown. The fixed rate assigned to a loan will never change except as required by law or if you request and qualify for the auto pay discount. 2 APRs assume a $10,000 loan with one disbursement and the summer savings rate discount of 0.50% (applicable to applications submitted between 12:00:00am EST on May 1, 2021 and 11:59:59pm EST on August 31, 2021). The high variable rate APR assumes a 7-year term with the Full Deferment option, a 19 month deferment period, and a six-month grace period before entering repayment. The high fixed rate APR assumes a 15-year term with the Full Deferment option, a 31 month deferment period, and a six-month grace period before entering repayment. The low APRs assume a 7-year term, and the Immediate Repayment option with payments beginning 30-60 days after the disbursement via auto pay. Offer valid for new Custom Choice Loans and Union Federal Private Student Loans for which applications are submitted between 12:00:00am EST on May 1, 2021 and 11:59:59pm EST on August 31, 2021. A 0.50% interest rate reduction will be included in the loan options presented during the online application process. The interest rate reduction will be applied as of the first disbursement date and will be effective for the life of the loan.


Ashlyn Jackson
Written byAshlyn Jackson

Ashlyn is a financial writer and civil engineer. She's on a mission to show others how to save and spend smarter through budgeting and good money habits. She also manages the blog dearyoungprofessional.com that focuses on personal finance. She writes for BestMoney and enjoys helping readers make sense of the options on the market.‎

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