Editorial Review

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.

Ryan LaneJune 16, 2020

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Student loan ratings

Advantage Education Loan
  • Student loan refinancing

  • Private student loan

  • Parent loan

The bottom line: 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 outside Kentucky, but not in every state.

Student loan refinancing review

Advantage Education Loan Student Loan Refinance

Advantage Education Loan Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Fixed APR

3.99 - 7.78%

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

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, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington or Washington, DC.
  • You cannot postpone repayment if you re-enroll in school.

Best for students who didn’t graduate or want to refinance loans from non-degree programs.

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 24 months of deferment if you face a financial hardship, like losing your job.

You can qualify for an Advantage Refinance Loan even if you didn’t earn a degree. There are also no restrictions on education programs. So in addition to typical degree programs, you can refinance student loans used for certificate or diploma programs, for example. That makes this loan a good option if you left school or took a nontraditional education path.

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 additional programs such as:

How much can refinancing save?

Advantage Refinance Loan details

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

  • 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: Does not disclose.

  • Minimum income: Does not disclose.

  • 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: Does not disclose.

Other

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

  • Location: Loans aren’t available in Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington or Washington, D.C.

  • Must have graduated: No.

  • Must have attended a school authorized to receive federal aid: No.

  • Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: 34.8%.

Many lenders are offering relief related to COVID-19. Check this list of private loan relief options to see what this lender offers.

  • Academic deferment: No.

  • Military deferment: Yes.

  • Economic hardship deferment: Yes, borrowers are eligible for up to 24 months of economic hardship deferment.

  • Forbearance: No.

  • Co-signer release available: Yes, after 36 months of on-time payments.

  • Death or disability discharge: Yes, the loan will be forgiven if the borrower dies or becomes permanently disabled, even if the loan has a co-signer.

  • 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: No.

  • Loan servicer: Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corp.

  • 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: 10 to 15 business 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.

How does this loan compare?

Earnest Student Loan Refinance
College Ave Student Loan Refinance
Check RateCheck Rate
Fixed APR

3.19 - 6.43%

Fixed APR

4.89 - 9.24%

Variable APR

1.99 - 6.43%

Variable APR

3.89 - 9.24%

Min. Credit Score

650

Min. Credit Score

Upper 600s

Private student loan review

Advantage Education Private Student Loan

Advantage Education Private Student Loan

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Fixed APR

3.75 - 6.99%

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Pros

  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
  • Forbearance of 24 months is twice as long as most lenders.
  • Loans are available if you’re enrolled less than half time.

Cons

  • Loans may not be available depending on where you live or go to school.
  • Fewer repayment terms than other lenders offer.

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.

Advantage Education Loans aren’t available in Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington and Washington, D.C. However, you can still qualify if you’re from one of these states and attend school in a non-listed state — or vice versa.

For example, say you live in New Jersey (an ineligible state) but will attend college in New York (an eligible state). You could still take out an Advantage Education Loan. Similarly, if you lived in New York but went to school in New Jersey, you’d qualify.

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: Minimum $1,000. Maximum depends on creditworthiness and debt-to-income ratio..

  • 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: Does not disclose.

  • 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: Does not disclose.

Other

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

  • Location: Loans aren't available if you live and go to school in Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington or Washington, D.C.

  • 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: 84%.

Many lenders are offering relief related to COVID-19. Check this list of private loan relief options to see what this lender offers.

In-school repayment options:

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

  • Deferred payments: Don’t make any payments while you’re in school.

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

Post-school repayment options

  • Grace period: 6 months for deferred loans.

  • Academic deferment: Yes, but only if you re-enroll before your grace period ends.

  • Military deferment: Yes.

  • Economic hardship deferment: Yes, borrowers are eligible for 24 months of economic hardship deferment.

  • Forbearance: No.

  • Co-signer release: Yes, after 36 on-time payments.

  • Death or disability discharge: Yes, the loan will be forgiven if the borrower dies or is totally and permanently disabled, even if the loan has a co-signer.

  • 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: No.

  • Loan servicer: Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corp.

  • 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: Less than 30 seconds.

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.

Parent loan review

Advantage Education Loan Parent Loan

Advantage Education Loan Parent Loan

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Fixed APR

3.75 - 6.99%

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Pros

  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
  • Forbearance of 24 months is twice as long as most lenders.
  • Loans are available for students enrolled less than half time.

Cons

  • Loans may not be available depending on where you live or your child goes to school.
  • Fewer repayment terms than other lenders offer.
  • Estate is still responsible for the loan if the parent borrower dies.

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. Undergraduate and graduate loans are discharged if the borrower becomes totally and permanently disabled. Parent loans are discharged only if the child benefitting from the loans becomes totally and permanently disabled.

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 and see what rate you’ll get: Yes.

  • Loan terms: 10 years.

  • Loan amounts: Minimum $1,000. Maximum depends on creditworthiness and debt-to-income ratio.

  • 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: Does not disclose.

  • 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: Does not disclose.

Other

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

  • Location: Loans aren't available if you live and go to school in Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington or Washington, D.C.

  • 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: Does not disclose.

Many lenders are offering relief related to COVID-19. Check this list of private loan relief options to see what this lender offers.

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.

  • Academic deferment: Yes, but only if your child re-enrolls before their grace period ends.

  • Military deferment: Yes.

  • Economic hardship deferment: Yes, borrowers are eligible for 24 months of economic hardship deferment.

  • Forbearance: No.

  • Co-signer release: Yes, after 36 on-time payments.

  • Death or disability discharge: Only if the child benefitting from the loan dies or is totally and permanently disabled. If the parent borrower dies, the estate is held responsible.

  • 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: No.

  • Loan servicer: Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corp.

  • 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: Less than 30 seconds.

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.

Student loans ratings methodology

NerdWallet believes the best student loan is one you can repay at the lowest interest rate you can get. That’s why NerdWallet’s student loan ratings reward lenders that offer a variety of loan terms, limit their fees and penalties, and extend borrowers multiple options to avoid default. Points are also awarded for soft credit checks, underwriting transparency and other consumer-friendly features. Use these ratings as a guide, but we encourage you to shop around for the lowest interest rate you can qualify for. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for its reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

Frequently asked questions