College Avenue student loans reviews

A quick review of the College Avenue Student Loan Servicer, all about their application process, refinancing and complaints and reviews from borrowers.

Updated by Sharan Kumar on 11th June 2019

College Ave Student Loans Review

College Avenue student loans offer both the options of refinancing private and federal student loans. The lender has a wide variety of options for student loans and has a lot on offer in terms of the rates and their benefits.

Since the last few decades, the cost of education has substantially increased to the extent that it can be considered exponential at times and will most likely continue to do so in the upcoming times. Although most students were able to work and pay for their tuition and other expenses.

These days college expenses have become extensive and this has pushed students to rely on student loans to pay for it, this is over the fact that there exist scholarships grants and their savings too. To prove this, most of the students amounting to about 70 percent of those that graduate college end up in debt with tens of thousands being owed in terms of student loan debt.

The most typical of first choices in terms of student loans are federal student loans as for the benefits of low-interest rates and the variety of benefits that they tend to offer, but many private lenders are there for the purpose of helping those that are unable to satisfy their funding needs even after exhausting all their federal student loan options.

College Ave is a pretty new lender in the private companies list that is offering to help new student with both making new private student loans and also helping them refinancing the student loans they borrowed from elsewhere.

Table of Contents

The history of College Ave

The co-founders of College Ave Joe DePaulo and Tim Stanley, who are ex-employees and worked as executives in the top firm Sallie Mae, were annoyed by the fact that even after decades the student loan industry had failed to evolve. Due to the huge number of offerings and also the way the borrowers seemed to be confused over the same they decided to take action to rid this from the industry.

Then two DePaulo and Stanley then moved together to launch College Ave in the year 2014 with the end goal is to make it easier for student loan lender and make the student loans more personalized to the borrower and have them not fret over getting a loan and not be confused by the vast number of options that usually happens due to the way the industry had grown.

Two years after the establishment started off, Comcast Ventures proceeded to fund the company with a backing of a whopping $20 million dollar investment the future days of College Ave looked brighter.

Although College Ave might still be relatively new to the market, it does not say anything that they cannot compete with other lenders with regard to financial reliability. As all the loans that they offer are through their partner banks Firstrust Bank or The Middlefield Banking Company, who are both currently active members of the FDIC.

Note - In case you are an avid fan of watching ESPN, then you might be familiar with the College Ave name. Since the company recently went ahead in the year 2017 and sponsored a quiz that was shown on the ESPN network called "Bracket Genius".

College Avenue Student loans

  • Fixed Rates 5.29% – 12.78%

  • Variable Rates 4.07% – 11.32%

  • Loan Terms 5, 8, 10, 15 years

  • Loan Amounts $1,000 – Cost of attendance

All of College Ave student loans are Routed through either one of Firsttrust Bank or The Middlefield Banking company both of whom are members of FDIC. In the place where most private student loan lenders tend to have a few offerings, College Ave has a variety of student loans for undergraduates to help them get the loan according to their needs.

College Ave Loan term lengthsCollege Ave has on offered undergraduate loans with term lengths starting from 5, 8, 10 and 15 years. The Longer your loan term, the less you will be required to pay per month, but the more you will pay in terms of interest over the period of the loan.

Interest rates

College Ave has their loan interest rates based on your credit scores and if you have a cosigner, then based on their creditworthiness too. Variable Interest rates usually range anywhere between 4.07% up to 11.32% APR and for fixed interest rates it is generally from 5.29% up to 12.78% APR.

While these are the rates that are somewhat the lowest that you'd see on the market, keep in mind that they also include the 0.25% interest reduction for signing up for automatic payments.

Eligibility Requirements 

  • You must be a student at a U.S. College or university.

  • You must also be either a U.S. Citizen or an international student with a valid U.S. Social Security number. 

  • The minimum Loan amount that is available is $1,000 and they allow you to borrow up to the school's cost of attendance with exceptions to any other financial aid you have received.

But not like federal student loans, most of which need you to prove financial need, College Ave takes your creditworthiness into account instead. They do understand that due to the nature of the borrowers mostly being young students who would barely have any sort of credit history or established rating.

They would be struggling to get a good student loan, so most of the undergrads would need a cosigner who qualifies. If your cosigner has a good credit history you are in luck because now you are able to walk away with a loan that has the best repayment terms and even with the cheapest rates.

Application process 

For you to apply for any College Ave student loan, you should apply online and fill out a prequalification form that should take you only 3 minutes to do so and get a credit decision. Cosigners can also be added online on the application form.

College Ave Graduate Student Loans

Here the student loans for Graduate students loans to be able to fund their education with a good student loan servicer who offers flexible repayment plans even for those degrees that tend to be on the costlier side, they even allow you to defer your monthly payments for the time period that you are attending school, a sort of thing that is usually not seen with most of the private student loan lenders.

Rates and terms, eligibility criteria, and application process

Graduate loans come with similar terms and other factors as their undergrad counterparts. You are able to choose from a 5, 8, 10 and a 15-year loan term with 4 varieties of in school repayment plans. These options also have a full principal plus interest payments, only interest payments, flat payments of $24 and a deferred plan that allows start repayment after you finish graduating from school.

Interest rate - The interest rates though are a bit different on the graduate loan. Variable rates that being from 4.07% APR to 9.37% APR whereas the fixed rates usually range from 5.29% APR to 10.45% APR. For you to be able to land the best rates you would still need to have good credit and maybe get a co-signer that qualifies and also has a good credit history to complement yours or maybe trump yours.

Although with undergraduate loans you should be able to apply for them within a couple of minutes online.

Anything else that you might need to know

Since they do not have any fees for applying or charge any penalties if you pay off your loan early. The best way to save the most money although through the various options they have is to pay off your loan as soon as possible.

College Ave Parent Loan

This is for those parents that are looking to borrow on behalf of their child, College Ave also has that option for you.

Rates, Terms, Applications process, and the eligibility criteria.

If you do manage to get the Parent loan from College Ave you can have up to $2,500 of it sent directly to you, the parent so as to control the spending on additional expenses such as books, computers and other supplies that the student might require revolving around their dorm rooms.

Rates for the parent Loan are a bit more than the other, and they start at around 5.34% APR and go up to a max of 10.16% APR for variable loans. But fixed loans get an interest rate ranging from 6.62% APR up to about 10.56% APR. And similar to the other loans that College Ave has on offer, these loans do not charge any sort of application fee or any origination fee when the loan is approved.

They have offered 3 different types of payments while you are in school that are made available and go according to the following

  • A full principal plus interest repayment plan

  • A partial principal plus interest repayment plan

  • And an Interest only repayment plan for those who have 

And similar to the undergrad loans you are able to complete the full application process within a couple of minutes online.

Anything else that you need to know

The application process is pretty quick and so is the part where the funding is able to start within a few days after the loan gets approved.

College Ave Student Loan Refinancing

Since they recently started refinancing student loans, College Ave they have grown quite a bit, while they offer to refinance for both federal and student loans so that borrowers are able to save money regardless of the type of loan they currently have or the variety of loans that they might have and want to refinance them together.

Here are some of the details on College Ave's student loan refinancing

  • Fixed Rates 3.25% – 7.99%

  • Variable Rates 3.38% – 8.13%

  • Loan Terms 5 – 20 years

  • Loan Amounts $5,000 – $150,000

College Ave has restarted its refinancing of student loans from the year 2019. For both federal and private student loans.

You can select from a variable or fixed interest rates.

As of April 2019,

  • Undergraduate rates are 4.07%-12.78%

  • Graduate loan rates are 4.07%-10.45%.

  • Parents with strong credit can receive loan rates of 5.34%-11.56%

Note: All rates stated in this article include the auto-pay discount that is offered (0.25%)

  • Students can pay back over 5, 8, 10, or 15 years. Parents may repay their loans in terms between 5 and 12 years.

  • There are no application fees or penalties for early repayment.

Cosigners may be released from the loan after more than half the repayment period has expired with no late payments, as long as the borrower can meet certain requirements such as proof of income and positive credit history.

Interest rates and fees involved in student loan refinancing

College Ave has on offer student loan refinancing with both fixed rates and variable rates. The variable rates range from 3.38% APR up to 8.13% APR whereas the fixed rates are starting at 3.25% APR up to about 7.99% APR in which both of these loan rates include a 0.25% discount for those that sign up for their autopay.

College Ave's refinance for student loans is pretty simple in the sense that they do not have any application fee or origination/prepayment fees unlike most of the other reputed refinance lenders.

The length of the terms of their loans

College Ave has a wide variety of term lengths that range from 5 up to 20 years.

If you want to pay off the student loans quick and save some money while doing so, you have the option to choose a shorter term length. Also if you want to have a low monthly payment so as to not become a financial burden, you also have that option by choosing a much longer repayment term (Although it will end up costing you much more over the lifetime of your student loan).

Requirements for being eligible

College Ave will help you refinance all your loans which include both federal and private student loans that range from $5,000 up to $150,000 for the undergrads and graduate degrees and up to an amount of $250,000 for medical, dental, pharmacy and veterinary degrees.

For you to be eligible for either of those mentioned above to be able to refinance with College Ave, you will require a good credit history and be in good faith with regard to your payments history. Although the company does not display a minimum credit score upon its website, you will most likely need a score that is above 680 to qualify.

Application process for refinancing

You are able to apply for refinancing with College ave online within a span of a few minutes and see if you are able to prequalify. In case you do, you are able to move further ahead and get completed with the application process and then see if you are able to qualify and what are the offers that you are given for the same.

Something that College Ave is good withSince College Ave has no fees and their interest rates is some of the finest in the industry, this puts them at the top of the list in the private student loan and refinances sector. It also has a robust customer service, every complaint that was made to the better business bureau was promptly taken care off, with all of them expect one being satisfied with the solution that was offered.

Areas where College Ave could improve upon

Since College Ave is a large company it is near impossible to have a 100% perfect customer review, the complaints that do seem to pop up look like they might be talking about that person that might not have been trained properly in the respective setup and its maintenance.

All the errors though seem to get rectified seamlessly in a short matter of time if and when they come up and are pointed out, and College Ave seems to put its customers on top with regard to getting things spot on.

If they offered a better forbearance policy on their loans that were more than the 12 months and deferment for those that are planning on returning to school.If they offered to refinance to those borrowers who are without a degree, to those who have visas and those that have parent PLUS loans.

Why you might consider looking elsewhere

They try to have you go for the interest-only payments for the first couple of years. Although College Ave tends to advertise their interest-only payments are a good choice, we have a different point of view because if you are paying just the interest for a period of 2 years then your principal amount remains the same for that duration so you will end up paying more over the lifetime of the loan term.

You might be required to have a higher credit score. College Ave mentions that it approves borrowers with credit scores in the higher 600s, but usually, the approved borrowers tend to be those with credit ratings above 700. You might be required to be a high earning individual or an individual with a high income. College Ave usually expects you to prove income that is almost twice your total debt.

This could a wee bit difficult in the instance that you are right out of college. This usually leaves you hanging with two choices - look someplace else or get someone as a cosigner on your loan.


Since beginning writing this review, College Ave seems like a very good option if you look towards funding your own education or that of your child in case you are a parent who might be struggling to pay for the schooling tuition, in case you were looking at refinancing too.

The variety of the different products, terms and their repayment options also mean that you are able to structure and make your loan to best suit your wants and needs, and since they do not charge any fees for their services, it makes it a lot cheaper in terms of comparison with other lenders that do.

But be sure that you sit down, do the research on a couple of lenders, because it is best to do some comparisons before you go out and pick your lender, in any case, be it student loan or refinance so as to find the perfect one that will suit your personal needs, the budget that you are able to afford, and your end financial goals.





  Between Federal and private loans, which is better?

Since they are both financial tools to help you with your education. We always encourage you to complete the FAFSA and look at scholarships, grants, and some federal student loans first. Those would most probably not cover the entire cost of your education but this where College Ave can help you with student loans to cover the rest of the costs with money through private student loans.

  How much of my education can a loan cover?

Those that are creditworthy are eligible to borrow up to 100% of the school mentioned the cost of attendance, which is usually including the tuition and other associated fees, books and supplies, room and boarding and some other expenses. The minimum amount that you can loan from College Ave is $1,000.

  Is it possible to apply for a loan over the phone?

Since applying over the phone makes it hard to present some disclosures that are required during the online application process. Hence it is difficult to take an application over the phone. You can always call them at 844-422-7502 for any more questions or need some more help.

  How much time can I opt to defer my loan for? Can I defer till I finish with school?

Full principal and interest can be deferred for the entire duration that you are attending an accredited school for at least half time for those undergraduate students. For Undergrads, full principal and associated interest payments would start after a period of 6 months after you graduate from school or drop before half time enrollment.

  Is it required to make satisfactory academic progress or SAP for me to be eligible for a loan?

Yes, College Ave asks the schools to verify that the student has a Satisfactory Academic Progress or SAP during school certification. The schools usually have their own separate criteria for SAP. In other sense, you can not define SAP, but the schools can mention whether the student in concern is making SAP according to the school\'s definition.

  Do I require a Cosigner?

Most students are usually very limited in terms of credit history and income so they do not have a good enough credit to get a good loan or a good interest rate on a loan. So they will require a cosigner who has good credit for them to qualify for a private student loan.

  What do international students do for loans?

International students that possess a valid U.S. social security number are able to apply for a student loan with College Ave student loans. In order to be approved for a College Ave student loan, an international student will need to apply along with a qualified cosigner.

  Who is College Ave?

College Ave student loans were launched recently in the year 2014, with a goal to make a private student loan company that helped students pay for their schooling as easily as possible and to also make it as inexpensive as possible.

  To what address do I mail my payments?

College Ave Student Loans
PO Box 5863
Carol Stream, IL 60197-5863

  When do my payments get applied to my account?

All payments that are received before 6 pm ET are effective for that day, any payments received after are made effective the next working day.