Ascent Review: Private Student Loans

Ascent offers undergraduate and graduate student loans for those with and without a co-signer.

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Student loan ratings

Ascent
  • Private student loan

  • Private student loan

  • Dental school loan

  • Graduate student loan

  • Law school loan

  • MBA loan

  • Medical school loan

The bottom line: Ascent is an online lender that offers three options for student loan borrowers: a traditional co-signed loan, a non-co-signed credit-based option and a non-co-signed future income-based option. Its co-signed loan is best for students who want to use a co-signer and pay off loans fast. Its non-co-signed credit-based option is best for borrowers with at least two years of credit history who can meet income requirements. Its non-co-signed future-income option is best for upperclassmen with no credit, income or co-signer.

Private student loan review

Best Private Student Loan

Ascent Co-signed Student Loan
Check Rate

on Ascent's website

Ascent Co-signed Student Loan

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Check Rate

on Ascent's website

Fixed APR

3.26 - 11.42%

Variable APR

1.85 - 9.60%

Min. Credit Score

540

Pros

  • Among the best for payment flexibility.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
  • Stands out for features that enable faster loan repayment.

Cons

  • Students enrolled less than half-time are not eligible.
  • Co-signer release not available to international students.

Best for students with a creditworthy co-signer.

Ascent is an online lender that offers options to student loan borrowers with and without a co-signer.

The co-signed loan is a good fit for borrowers who want to pay off loans fast and have a creditworthy co-signer. Your interest rate could also be up to 11% lower by using a co-signer, so consider that option first.

If you don't have access to a qualified co-signer, Ascent offers two non-co-signed options: credit-based and future income-based. In this case, consider the credit-based non-co-signed loan before the future income-based loan for the best interest rate.

The future income-based loan — available only to juniors and seniors with a 2.9 GPA — is one of only a few available to borrowers with no credit, income or co-signer.

For its non-cosigned credit-based loan, student borrowers must have more than two years of credit history with a credit score of 680 or above and meet minimum income requirements.

Ascent borrowers can allocate overpayments to multiple accounts or a single account, and they also can make biweekly payments via autopay. These features help borrowers pay off debt faster.

Ascent could improve by offering:

Before taking out an Ascent student 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.

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 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 Ascent 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 or specialize in .

How does this loan compare?

Ascent Co-signed Student Loan
Discover Private Student Loan
College Ave Private Student Loan
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Check RateCheck RateCheck Rate
Fixed APR

3.26 - 11.42%

Fixed APR

3.49 - 12.59%

Fixed APR

2.99 - 12.99%

Variable APR

1.85 - 9.60%

Variable APR

1.12 - 11.87%

Variable APR

0.99 - 11.98%

Min. Credit Score

540

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Min. Credit Score

Mid-600s

Private student loan review

Best Student Loan for Independent Students

Ascent Independent Student Loan
Check Rate

on Ascent's website

Ascent Independent Student Loan

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Check Rate

on Ascent's website

Fixed APR

5.62 - 12.93%

Variable APR

4.10 - 11.35%

Min. Credit Score

Varies

Pros

  • Among the best for payment flexibility.
  • Grace period of 9 months is longer than most lenders.

Cons

  • International students are not eligible.
  • Freshmen, sophomores and those enrolled less than half-time are not eligible for future-income based loan.

Best for independent students with strong credit or upperclassmen with good grades.

Dental school loan review

Ascent Dental Student Loan
Check Rate

on Ascent's website

Ascent Dental Student Loan

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Check Rate

on Ascent's website

Fixed APR

3.27 - 12.93%

Variable APR

1.85 - 11.10%

Min. Credit Score

Mid-500s

Pros

  • Among the best for payment flexibility.
  • Grace period of 12 months is longer than many lenders offer.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
  • Stands out for features that enable faster loan repayment.

Cons

  • You must be enrolled at least half-time to qualify.

Best for dental students who want flexible payment options.

Graduate student loan review

Ascent Graduate and Health Professions Student Loan
Check Rate

on Ascent's website

Ascent Graduate and Health Professions Student Loan

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Check Rate

on Ascent's website

Fixed APR

3.32 - 12.93%

Variable APR

1.87 - 11.10%

Min. Credit Score

mid-500's

Pros

  • Forbearance of 24 months is longer than many lenders offer.
  • Grace period of 9 months is longer than many lenders offer.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Cons

  • You must be enrolled at least half-time to qualify.

Best for graduate students who want flexible payment options.

Law school loan review

Ascent Law Student Loan
Check Rate

on Ascent's website

Ascent Law Student Loan

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Check Rate

on Ascent's website

Fixed APR

3.32 - 12.93%

Variable APR

1.87 - 11.10%

Min. Credit Score

mid-500's

Pros

  • Among the best for payment flexibility.
  • Grace period of 9 months is longer than many lenders offer.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
  • Stands out for features that enable faster loan repayment.

Cons

  • You must be enrolled at least half-time to qualify.

Best for law students who want flexible payment options.

MBA loan review

Ascent MBA Student Loan
Check Rate

on Ascent's website

Ascent MBA Student Loan

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Check Rate

on Ascent's website

Fixed APR

3.32 - 12.93%

Variable APR

1.87 - 11.10%

Min. Credit Score

mid-500's

Pros

  • Among the best for payment flexibility.
  • Grace period of 9 months is longer than many lenders offer.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
  • Stands out for features that enable faster loan repayment.

Cons

  • You must be enrolled at least half-time to qualify.

Best for MBA students who want flexible payment options.

Medical school loan review

Ascent Medical Student Loan
Check Rate

on Ascent's website

Ascent Medical Student Loan

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Check Rate

on Ascent's website

Fixed APR

3.19 - 12.92%

Variable APR

1.83 - 11.10%

Min. Credit Score

mid-500's

Pros

  • Among the best for payment flexibility.
  • Grace period of 36 months is longer than many lenders offer.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
  • Stands out for features that enable faster loan repayment.

Best for medical students who want flexible payment options.

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 .

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