The bottom line:
Ascent provides coding bootcamp loans to students attending approved programs. It’s best for students who have a strong credit history or a qualified co-signer.
Ascent Bootcamp Loan
Min. credit score
Pros & Cons
Provides loans for living expenses.
You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
Loans with the deferred repayment option have a higher interest rate.
All loans have a 5% origination fee.
Ascent is an online lender that offers education loans. In 2019, it acquired Skills Fund, an online lender that offered loans to students who attend coding bootcamps. Skills Fund rebranded under Ascent in 2021.
Ascent's bootcamp loan is different from its student loans.
Coding bootcamp loans can help you cover the cost of your bootcamp education and may cover living expenses in the way that student loans do for traditional college. But coding bootcamp loans and student loans aren’t the same.
Coding bootcamp loans are essentially personal loans designed for bootcamps and are not considered student loans. They also don’t have all of the benefits of federal student loans, though they may be more easily discharged in bankruptcy.
Traditional student loans — federal and private — aren't available for coding bootcamps.
Ascent provides co-signed bootcamp loans and bootcamp loans that do not require a co-signer. These loans are credit-based, so you or your co-signer will need to meet minimum credit requirements.
Most Ascent bootcamp loans come with a three-month grace period and offer three repayment options: interest-only, immediate repayment and deferred repayment. Ascent also has a special loan option for students at Thinkful, Kenzie Academy and Springboard bootcamps. With these programs, students get a six-month job-finding forbearance with the option to extend for up to six more months if necessary. For Springboard, interest doesn't start to accrue until after the grace period. Ascent may partner with other schools for special loan options in the future.
Ascent determines which schools it will lend to based on its quality assurance process. It says this ensures it's lending to schools that deliver promising outcomes for students.
Ascent bootcamp loans at a glance
Generous grace period options compared with other bootcamp loans.
Multiple repayment options.
Borrowers must have strong credit or a creditworthy co-signer to qualify.
How Ascent could improve
Offer loans with no origination feee.
Standardize the interest-rate range for all schools.
Ascent bootcamp loan details
Before applying for a Ascent bootcamp loan
Consider a bootcamp’s job placement results, costs and length to determine if the coding bootcamp is worth it for you. Coding bootcamps are ineligible for federal financial aid, but there are other ways to reduce the amount you'll have to borrow. Exhaust these aid sources before applying for a loan:
Check with the bootcamp for scholarship opportunities.
Contact your state’s workforce development center and inquire about grants available for coding bootcamps.
If you have a job, consult your company’s human resources program for tuition assistance opportunities.
Military veterans should check their eligibility for the GI Bill or VET TEC program as these programs can cover the full cost of coding bootcamp.
After getting all the free aid you’re eligible for, consider a bootcamp loan to fill the gaps. Always use a bootcamp loan before turning to higher-cost financing options, like credit cards and high-interest personal loans.
Before you accept a Ascent bootcamp loan
If you're conditionally approved for an Ascent loan, review your offer and compare it with any income share agreement opportunity through your school to determine where you’ll get the better deal.
If you aren’t eligible for a Ascent bootcamp loan
If Ascent denies your 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
A coding bootcamp loan is not a student loan, as student loans are not available for bootcamps. Coding bootcamp students may have access to options other than loans for their bootcamp education. NerdWallet believes the best education lending product is one that costs you the least. That’s why NerdWallet’s ratings reward lenders that offer favorable loan terms, limit 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 best deal you can qualify for. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for its reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.