The bottom line: Custom Choice student loans are best for upperclassmen who are confident they can take advantage of the 2% Grad Reward.
Pros & Cons
You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
No late fees.
Principal reduction of 2% if you graduate.
Stands out for features that enable faster loan repayment.
Loans aren't available in Arizona, Iowa or Wisconsin.
Loans not available to borrowers with student visas.
Compare to Other Lenders
Custom Choice Loans were previously offered through a partnership between SunTrust Bank and Cognition Financial. When SunTrust ended its student loan program, Cognition Financial partnered with Citizens Bank to offer new loans as of July 2020.
Custom Choice Loans are best for upperclassmen who are confident they can take advantage of the Grad Reward. Borrowers receive a 2% principal reduction with proof of graduation.
CUSTOM CHOICE PRIVATE STUDENT LOANS AT A GLANCE
No late payment fees.
Borrowers have the option of making interest-only, fixed $25 or full payments during school or deferring payment until graduation.
Grace period can be extended up to six months.
HOW CUSTOM CHOICE COULD IMPROVE
Allow biweekly payments via autopay.
Lend to students in all 50 U.S. states.
Provide loans to students enrolled less than half-time.
Custom Choice private student loan details
Before applying for a Custom Choice student loan
Before taking out a Custom Choice Loan or any other private student loan, exhaust your federal 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 a Custom Choice student loan
If Custom Choice 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.
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.
on Cognition's website