Discover Reviews: Student Loan Refinancing and Private Student Loans

Discover stands out for its generous options for borrowers who are struggling to make payments.
Anna HelhoskiAug 4, 2021

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Student loan ratings

Discover
  • Private student loan

  • Student loan refinancing

The bottom line: Discover Bank, known primarily for its credit cards business, launched Discover Student Loans in 2007. Its refinancing loan is best for borrowers who may need wiggle room on payments, or those who didn’t graduate. Its private loan is best for students who may need wiggle room on payments.

Private student loan review

Discover Private Student Loan
Check Rate

on Discover's website

Discover Private Student Loan

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Check Rate

on Discover's website

Fixed APR

3.49 - 12.59%

Variable APR

1.12 - 11.87%

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Pros

  • Among the best for payment flexibility.
  • No late fees.

Cons

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

Best for students who may need wiggle room on payments.

Discover's private student loans are a good option for borrowers who want flexible repayment options in case they need wiggle room in the future. Discover offers a wider range of repayment assistance programs compared with other student loan lenders, including the option to temporarily reduce payments.

Discover could improve its private student loans by:

Before taking out a Discover 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.

» MORE:

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 Discover 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.

» MORE:

If you don’t have access to a co-signer — or still aren’t eligible with one — consider or specialize in .

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

Student loan refinancing review

Discover Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on Discover's website

Discover Student Loan Refinance

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Check Rate

on Discover's website

Fixed APR

3.49 - 6.99%

Variable APR

1.74 - 5.74%

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Pros

  • No late fees.
  • More flexible repayment options for struggling borrowers than other lenders.
  • Can refinance without a degree.

Cons

  • Only 10- and 20-year repayment terms available.
  • No co-signer release available.
  • You can't see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Best for borrowers who may need wiggle room on payments, or those who didn't graduate.

Refinancing student loans through Discover is a good option for financially strong borrowers who may need wiggle room in the future. Discover offers a wider range of repayment assistance programs compared with other student loan refinance lenders, including the option to temporarily reduce payments.

Discover could improve its student loan refinance product by:

Before deciding on a student loan refinance lender, compare multiple 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 borrowers who are struggling to make payments.

If Discover 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 before you apply. This will let you know which lenders you may be eligible with, without affecting your credit.

Frequently asked questions