Advantage Education Loan Reviews: Student Loan Refinancing and Private Student Loans

The nonprofit Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corp. offers fixed-rate Advantage Education Loans.
Cecilia Clark
By
Last updated on April 23, 2024
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed
Karen Gaudette Brewer
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed

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Student loan ratings

Advantage Education Loan Student Loan Refinance
Advantage Education Loan Student Loan Refinance
Advantage Education Private Student Loan

5.0

NerdWallet rating
The Nerdy headline:

Advantage Education Loans are fixed-rate loans with borrower-friendly features, such as no late fees and a generous amount of forbearance. These loans are from the nonprofit Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corp. and are available to borrowers in most U.S. states.

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Advantage Education Loan Student Loan Refinance review

Advantage Education Loan Student Loan Refinance
Advantage Education Loan Student Loan Refinance

5.0
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score
670
Fixed APR
5.95-9.99%

Pros

  • You can refinance without a degree.

  • Forbearance of 24 months is twice as long as most lenders.

  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Cons

  • Loans aren’t available in Alaska, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Nevada, New Jersey, Maine, Maryland, Rhode Island, Washington, Washington D.C.

  • You cannot postpone repayment if you re-enroll in school.

Best for borrowers who didn’t graduate.

Full Review

Advantage Refinance Loans are a product of the nonprofit Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corp. These loans feature fixed interest rates and borrower-friendly features, including no late fees, rehabilitation for defaulted loans and up to 24 months of hardship forbearance. You can qualify for an Advantage Refinance Loan even if you didn’t earn a degree.

Advantage Refinance Loans at a glance

  • You can refinance without a degree.

  • Generous forbearance policy for struggling borrowers.

  • Maximum loan amounts depend on your credit and debt-to-income ratio.

How Advantage Refinance Loans could improve

Advantage Refinance Loans, like other five-star loans, aren't perfect. They could improve by offering deferment for borrowers who re-enroll to school.

How much can refinancing save?

Advantage Refinance Loan details

    • Soft credit check to qualify: Yes.

    • Soft credit check to see what rate you’ll get: No.

    • Loan terms: 10, 15 or 20 years.

    • Loan amounts: Minimum $7,500. Maximum depends on creditworthiness and debt-to-income ratio.

    • Can transfer a parent loan to a child: Yes.

    • Application or origination fee: No.

    • Prepayment penalty: No.

    • Late fees: No.

    Compare Advantage Refinance Loan's range of interest rates with other student loan refinance lenders. Your actual rate will depend on factors including your — or your co-signer’s — credit history and financial situation. To see what rate Advantage Refinance Loans will offer you, apply on its website.

  • Financial

    • Minimum credit score: 670.

    • Minimum income: $2,000 per month.

    • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Does not disclose.

    • Typical income of approved borrowers: Does not disclose.

    • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Does not disclose.

    • Can qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy: Yes, after seven years.

    Other

    • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

    • Location: Loans not available to borrowers in: Alaska, Delaware, Iowa, Nevada, New Jersey, Maine, Maryland, Rhode Island, Washington, Washington D.C.

    • Must have graduated: No.

    • Must have attended a school authorized to receive federal aid: Yes.

    • Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: 39%.

    • Academic deferment: Not if borrowers are already in repayment.

    • Military deferment: Yes.

    • Hardship forbearance: Yes, borrowers are eligible for up to 24 consecutive months.

    • Natural disaster forbearance: Yes.

    • Graduated repayment: Yes, borrowers receive a reduced payment for the first two years. Payment increases by about 10% every two years.

    • Temporary lower payments: Yes, borrowers make interest-only payments for up to 12 months.

    • Co-signer release: Yes, after 12 months.

    • Death or disability discharge: Yes.

    • Loan discharge if co-signer dies or becomes disabled: No.

    Repayment Preferences

    • Allows greater-than-minimum payments via autopay: Yes.

    • Allows biweekly payments via autopay: Yes.

    • Loan servicer: ARC Servicing.

    • In-house customer service team: Yes.

    • Process for escalating concerns: Yes.

    • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: No.

    • Average time from approval to payoff: 30 days.

Before refinancing with Advantage Refinance Loan

Before deciding on a student loan refinance lender, compare student loan refinance options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, compare lenders’ repayment options and the flexibility they offer for borrowers who are struggling to make payments.

If you aren’t eligible to refinance with Advantage

If Advantage Refinance Loan denies your refinance application, the lender will let you know why. Depending on the reason, you may want to consider other lenders or need a co-signer.

NerdWallet recommends prequalifying with multiple refinance lenders before you apply. This will let you know which lenders you may be eligible with, without affecting your credit.

STUDENT LOAN REFINANCE RATINGS METHODOLOGY

Our survey of more than 29 banks, credit unions and online lenders offering student loans and student loan refinancing includes the top 10 lenders by market share and the top 10 lenders by online search volume, as well as lenders that serve specialty or nontraditional markets.

We consider 41 features and data points for each financial institution. Depending on the category, these include the availability of biweekly payments through autopay, minimum credit score and income requirement disclosures, availability to borrowers in all states, extended grace periods and in-house customer service.

The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

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4.15- 15.49%
Mid-600's
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Advantage Education Private Student Loan review

Advantage Education Private Student Loan
Advantage Education Private Student Loan

4.5
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score
Does not disclose
Fixed APR
5.29-8.04%

Pros

  • Forbearance of 24 months is twice as long as most lenders.

  • Loans are available if you’re enrolled less than half time.

Cons

  • Fewer repayment terms than other lenders offer.

  • Borrowers are not able to defer loans if they return to school after their grace period ends.

Best for nontraditional or part-time students.

Full Review

Undergraduate and graduate students can take out Advantage Education Loans from the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corp.

You can use an Advantage Education Loan if you’re enrolled less than half-time, provided you immediately enter repayment, and for non-degree programs like certification courses. That makes these loans a good option if you’re a nontraditional student or attending school part time.

Advantage Education Loans private student loans at a glance

  • Funding is available if you’re enrolled less than half time.

  • There’s only one repayment term: 10 years.

  • Maximum loan amounts depend on your credit and debt-to-income ratio.

How Advantage Education Loans could improve

Advantage Education Loans could improve by offering additional programs such as:

  • Offering more than one repayment term.

  • Allowing borrowers to defer payments if they return to school after their grace period ends.

Advantage Education Loans private student loan details

    • Soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get: Yes.

    • Loan terms: 10 years.

    • Loan amounts: $1,000 - $250,000 for undergraduates, $1,000 - $350,000 for graduates.

    • Application or origination fee: None.

    • Prepayment penalty: No.

    • Late fees: No.

    Compare the Advantage Education Loan's range of interest rates with other private student loan lenders. Your actual rate will depend on factors including your — or your co-signer's — credit history and financial situation. To see what rate Advantage Education Loan will offer you, apply on its website.

  • Financial

    • Minimum credit score: Does not disclose.

    • Minimum income: $2,000 per month for borrowers without a co-signer. $1,500 per month for borrowers with a co-signer.

    • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 756.

    • Typical income of approved borrowers: $3,000 per month.

    • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Does not disclose.

    • Can qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy: 7 years after bankruptcy.

    Other

    • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

    • DACA borrowers: Not eligible.

    • Location: Available in most states.

    • Must be enrolled half-time or more: No.

    • Loan can be used for past due tuition: Yes.

    • Types of schools served: Borrowers must attend an eligible Title IV or nonprofit school.

    • Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: 77%.

  • In-school repayment options:

    • Immediate repayment: Make full payments as soon as the loan is disbursed, while you’re still in school.

    • Interest-only repayment: Pay interest every month you’re in school and during the grace period.

    • Full in-school deferment: Yes.

    Post-school repayment options

    • Grace period: 6 months for deferred loans.

    • Income-based repayment option: No.

    • Academic deferment: Not if borrowers are already in repayment.

    • Military deferment: Yes.

    • Hardship forbearance: Yes, borrowers are eligible for up to 24 consecutive months.

    • Natural disaster forbearance: Yes.

    • Graduated repayment: Yes, borrowers receive a reduced payment for the first two years. Payment increases by about 10% every two years.

    • Temporary lower payments: Yes, borrowers make interest-only payments six months at a time, for up to 12 months.

    • Co-signer release: Yes, after 12 months.

    • Death or disability discharge: Yes.

    • Loan discharge if co-signer dies or becomes disabled: No.

    Repayment preferences

    • Allows greater-than-minimum payments via autopay: Yes.

    • Allows biweekly payments via autopay: Yes.

    • Loan servicer: ARC Servicing.

    • In-house customer service team: Yes.

    • Process for escalating concerns: Yes.

    • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: No.

    • Average time for approval: Initial approval is immediate.

Before applying for an Advantage Education Loan

Before taking out an Advantage Education Loan or any other private student loan, exhaust your federal student loan options first. Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, to apply.

Compare your private student loan options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, look at lenders’ repayment alternatives and the flexibility they offer to borrowers who struggle to make payments.

If you aren’t eligible for an Advantage Education Loan

If Advantage Education Loan denies your student loan application, the lender will let you know why. Depending on the reason, you may want to consider other lenders or, if you haven’t already, try applying with a co-signer.

If you don’t have access to a co-signer — or still aren’t eligible with one — consider lenders that don’t require co-signers or specialize in bad or no credit student loans.

STUDENT LOAN RATINGS METHODOLOGY

Our survey of more than 29 banks, credit unions and online lenders offering student loans and student loan refinancing includes the top 10 lenders by market share and top 10 lenders by online search volume, as well as lenders that serve specialty or nontraditional markets.

We consider 40 features and data points for each financial institution. Depending on the category, these include the availability of biweekly payments through autopay, minimum credit score and income requirement disclosures, availability to borrowers in all states, extended grace periods and in-house customer service.

The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

Advantage Education Loan Parent Loan review

Advantage Education Loan Parent Loan
Advantage Education Loan Parent Loan

4.5
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score
Does not disclose
Fixed APR
5.29-8.04%

Pros

  • Forbearance of 24 months is twice as long as most lenders.

  • Loans are available for students enrolled less than half time.

Cons

  • Fewer repayment terms than other lenders offer.

  • Estate is still responsible for the loan if the parent borrower dies.

  • You can't see what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Best for parents who don’t want to co-sign with their child.

Full Review

Advantage Parent Loans have the same details — including interest rates and repayment options — as the lender’s undergraduate and graduate student loans. But how they handle loan discharges is different:

  • In instances of death. Undergraduate and graduate loans are discharged if the borrower dies. Parent loans are discharged only if the child benefitting from the loan dies; if the parent borrower dies, his or her estate is held responsible for the loan.

  • In instances of total and permanent disability. There is no disability benefit on parent loans. If the child benefitting from the loans becomes totally and permanently disabled, the parent borrower is still required to make payments.

To protect themselves, parents looking at Advantage Education Loans should consider co-signing an undergraduate loan instead of taking out a parent loan. The Advantage Parent Loan is a better option only if the parent doesn’t want the child’s name on the loan.

Advantage parent Loans private student loans at a glance

  • Funding is available if students are enrolled less than half time.

  • There’s only one repayment term: 10 years.

  • Maximum loan amounts depend on your credit and debt-to-income ratio.

How Advantage parent Loans could improve

Advantage Education Loans could improve by offering additional programs such as:

  • Offering more than one repayment term.

  • Discharging the loan if the parent borrower dies or becomes disabled.

Advantage Parent Loans private student loan details

    • Soft credit check to qualify: Yes.

    • Soft credit check to see what rate you’ll get: No.

    • Loan terms: 10 years.

    • Loan amounts: $1,000 - $250,000 for undergraduates, $1,000-$350,000 for graduates.

    • Application or origination fee: None.

    • Prepayment penalty: No.

    • Late fees: No.

    Compare the Advantage Education Loan's range of interest rates with other private student loan lenders. Your actual rate will depend on factors including your — or your co-signer's — credit history and financial situation. To see what rate Advantage Education Loan will offer you, apply on its website.

  • Financial

    • Minimum credit score: Does not disclose.

    • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 756.

    • Minimum income of approved borrowers: $2,000 per month without a co-signer, $1,500 per month with a co-signer.

    • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Does not disclose.

    • Can qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy: 7 years after bankruptcy.

    Other

    • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

    • Location: Available in most states.

    • Must be enrolled half-time or more: No.

    • Types of schools served: Borrowers must attend an eligible Title IV or nonprofit school.

    • Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: 77%.

  • In-school repayment options:

    • Immediate repayment: Make full payments as soon as the loan is disbursed, while your child is still in school.

    • Deferred payments: Don’t make any payments while your child is in school.

    • Interest-only repayment: Pay interest every month while your child is in school and during the grace period.

    Post-school repayment options

    • Grace period: 6 months for deferred loans.

    • Income-based repayment option: No.

    • Academic deferment: Not if borrowers are already in repayment.

    • Military deferment: Yes.

    • Hardship forbearance: Yes, borrowers are eligible for up to 24 consecutive months.

    • Natural disaster forbearance: Yes.

    • Graduated repayment: Yes, borrowers receive a reduced payment for the first two years. Payment increases by about 10% every two years.

    • Temporary lower payments: Yes, borrowers make interest-only payments six months at a time, for up to 12 months.

    • Co-signer release: Yes, after 12 months.

    • Death discharge: Yes.

    • Disability discharge: No.

    • Loan discharge if co-signer dies or becomes disabled: No.

    Repayment preferences

    • Allows greater-than-minimum payments via autopay: Yes.

    • Allows biweekly payments via autopay: Yes.

    • Loan servicer: ARC Servicing.

    • In-house customer service team: Yes.

    • Process for escalating concerns: Yes.

    • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: No.

    • Average time for approval: 2 - 3 business days.

Before applying for an Advantage Parent Loan

Before taking out an Advantage Parent Loan or any other parent student loan, your child should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, and max out their federal loan options. And make sure the loan payments won't stop you from reaching other financial goals, like saving for retirement.

Compare federal and private parent student loans to make sure you’re choosing the right option and getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, look at lenders’ repayment alternatives and the flexibility they offer to borrowers who struggle to make payments.

If you aren’t eligible for an Advantage Education Loan

If Advantage Education Loan denies your student loan application, the lender will let you know why. Depending on the reason, you may want to consider other parent loan options or, if you haven’t already, try applying with a co-signer.

If you don’t have access to a co-signer — or still aren’t eligible with one — consider lenders that don’t require co-signers or specialize in bad or no credit student loans.

Find the Right Student Loan

Private student loansStudent loan refinancingCalculate monthly paymentsGraduate school loansStudent loan interest rates

Frequently asked questions

  • Advantage Education Loan is part of the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corp. It offers student loans to undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as student loan refinancing.

  • You can qualify for an Advantage Education Loan if you live or go to school outside of Kentucky. Private student loans and student loan refinancing are available in most U.S. states.

  • Advantage Education Loan offers private student loans to undergraduate and graduate students and the Advantage Parent Loan to parent borrowers. There is also an Advantage Refinance Loan to refinance existing loans.

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