Ascent Review: Private Student Loans

Ascent offers undergraduate and graduate student loans for those with and without a co-signer.
Sep 29, 2022

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Student loan ratings

Ascent Credit-based Student Loan
  • Private student loan

  • Private student loan

  • Dental school loan

  • Graduate student loan

  • Law school loan

  • MBA loan

  • Medical school loan

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

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

Ascent Credit-based Student Loan

5.0

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score
Varies
Fixed APR
3.89-13.16%
Variable APR
2.52-11.11%
Check rate

on Ascent's website

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.

How does this loan compare?

Ascent Credit-based Student Loan
Earnest Private Student Loan
Sallie Mae Private Student Loan
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score

Varies

Min. credit score

650

Min. credit score

Mid-600's

Fixed APR

3.89-13.16%

Fixed APR

3.22-13.24%

Fixed APR

3.75-13.72%

Variable APR

2.52-11.11%

Variable APR

2.55-11.44%

Variable APR

3.37-13.72%

Private student loan review

Ascent Independent Student Loan

5.0

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score
Varies
Fixed APR
8.69-14.75%
Variable APR
7.09-12.87%
Check rate

on Ascent's website

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

5.0

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score
Mid-500s
Fixed APR
3.91-14.75%
Variable APR
2.52-12.87%
Check rate

on Ascent's website

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

5.0

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score
Mid-500s
Fixed APR
3.97-14.75%
Variable APR
2.55-12.87%
Check rate

on Ascent's website

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

5.0

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score
mid-500's
Fixed APR
3.97-14.75%
Variable APR
2.55-12.87%
Check rate

on Ascent's website

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

5.0

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score
mid-500's
Fixed APR
3.97-14.75%
Variable APR
2.55-12.87%
Check rate

on Ascent's website

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

5.0

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score
mid-500's
Fixed APR
3.79-14.75%
Variable APR
2.47-12.87%
Check rate

on Ascent's website

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.

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.

Frequently asked questions