Ascent Student Loans Reviews

This article gives you a brief overview of Ascent Student Loans. It provides thorough information on Ascent Cosigned and Non-Cosigned loans, as well as their interest rates, loan terms, and amount.

Updated by Sagar.C on 3rd January 2020

Ascent is a private lender offering student loans that can be approved without a co-signer and it also gives financial advice regarding education, to help students and their families. Ascent loans are made by Richland State Bank.

The loan structure is prepared in such a way that students should are not limited when it comes to pursuing higher education. Loans are provided on the basis of credit, school, cost of attendance, majors and other factors. Loans are serviced by Launch Servicing, LLC.


How to get a student loan with Ascent

Ascent firmly believes that applying and managing a student loan is not complicated and is committed to helping the borrowers every step of the way from your first application to your final payment. Here are the 4 easy steps:

  1. Complete your application

  2. Select your loan offer

  3. Upload your documents

  4. Get approved and certified, then proceed to get your money

The application is done online and the amount of time it takes for each application varies as your loan is sent to your school for certification/validation. Ascent student loans recommend reaching out to your school to find out how long their certification process takes as each school's certification process may vary.

Features of Ascent

The following are the features of Ascent which help the borrowers 

  • Flexible payment options - You can choose between an affordable fixed or variable rate, customize your repayment terms, and pay off your loan early without any penalty. Ascent’s Graduated Repayment option makes payments more affordable – choose to make lower payments at the beginning that gradually increase over time. Upon graduation, borrowers may be eligible for the Graduated Repayment option. The Graduated Repayment option requires monthly payment amounts that start with an amount that is less than a fully-amortized payment amount that step-up over time such that the loan would be fully paid within the original loan term.

  • Non-Co-signed Loan option – You have an option to be eligible for a loan without any credit history and if you do choose to take a loan with a co-signer you can apply for a co-signer release after 24 consecutive on-time payments. (Learn more)

  • Benefits that put you first – Ascent will take the initiative to cover up to 100% of your costs of attendance. Plus, you can get 1% Cash Back Reward upon graduation, and a 0.25% discount if you set up automatic payments.

  • Refer A Friend Program - Earn up to $525 for each friend you refer. (Learn more)

  • Over $50,000 in Scholarships - Ascent is giving away over $50,000 in scholarships this year, NO essay required. Click here to learn more and see official rules.

Ascent Co-signed Loan

If you have a co-signer then this is the best loan offered to students. Why do students need a co-signer? The answer is simply because their credit history is not up to the mark or they don’t have a good credit history at all.

Ascent co-signers have a responsibility to make payments on behalf of the borrower if given the situation where the borrower could default. If you have made 24 consecutive and scheduled repayments on the full principal and interest amounts then you have the option to release your co-signer given you meet the other eligibility requirements to continue the loan with a co-signer.

The loan provided will cover tuition and eligible living expenses, the application is free of cost, there are no fees taken by Ascent for co-signed loans. Learn more about Ascent loan options.

Factors Figures
Fixed APR 4.26% -13.22%
Variable APR 3.28%-12.59%
Repayment terms 5,10,15 year terms
Loan amounts $2,000 to $200,000.

It is important to note that the interest charge will vary and may increase or decrease based on the LIBOR monthly charges. Variable-rate loans are based on a margin between 1.90% and 12.50% plus the 1-Month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) rounded to the nearest 1/100th of a percent. The current LIBOR is 1.823% which may adjust monthly. Thus we get a variable APR which ranges from 4.02 - 12.93%

These rates are effective as of 12/01/2019.

Discounts available

There are two discounts available:

  • 1% Cash Back Reward which is a graduation reward based upon the satisfaction of certain terms and conditions

  • 0.25% interest rate reduction – you can avail this reduction if you enroll for automatic payments

Ascent Non-Cosigned Loan

If you lack a sufficient credit history to qualify for a loan on your own you can still apply for an Ascent Student Loan without a co-signer this option is available for grad, junior and senior students.

Borrowers who have a limited history with no adverse credit items or they pass the minimum credit requirements but do not have an income or repayment requirements are still eligible for this loan.

Students who obtain a loan in their own name must : (as per the Ascent official website)

  • Be a college junior, senior or graduate student enrolled full-time (or with an expected graduation date within 9-months of the date the loan application is submitted) in a degree program at an eligible institution

  • Be a U.S. citizen or have U.S. permanent resident status

  • Have satisfactory academic performance of 2.5 GPA or greater and meeting their school’s SAP requirements

  • Be at least 18 years of age or at the age of majority in the respective state of residence

It should be noted that your eligibility can also depend on the school, program, graduation date, major, cost of attendance, and other factors. Learn More About Ascent Loan Options.

Factors Figures
Fixed APR 4.26-13.22%
Variable APR 3.28-12.58%
Repayment terms 5 and 10-year terms
Loan amounts $2,000 to $200,000, with a maximum of $200,000 for credit tested loans and a maximum of $20,000 for non-credit tested loans.

Discounts available

A 0.25% interest rate reduction is available for the payments that are made via automatic debit.

Confused about tuition? Learn about student loans to get info on financing college 

Deferment and Forbearance with Ascent

Request for deferment can be done either in writing or by completing and signing a deferment form along with providing the appropriate documentation requested on the form. Deferments after the school period are provided solely by the lender’s discretion.

It should be noted that the interest will continue to accrue during the periods of deferment and the unpaid interest will get capitalized.

Under Ascent student loans the following are the deferment and forbearance options:

  • Active Duty Military Deferment

  • In-School Deferment

  • Residency / Internship Deferment

  • Temporary Hardship Forbearance

  • Administrative Forbearance 

Active Duty Military deferment

To be eligible for this program the borrower must submit an application and the eligible documentation to the repayment servicer indicating that the borrower is currently serving on active duty during a war or a military operation or national emergency or performing qualifying National Guard duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency.

It should be noted that this deferment is available for up to a cumulative limit of 36-months and this deferment will extend the repayment term.

In-school deferment

If the borrower has attained an In-School status either by separating from a school and subsequently entering a repayment status prior to re-establishing at least half-time enrollment at an eligible institution or by using the maximum allowable months of In-School Status, may be eligible for an In-School Deferment.

Eligibility is based upon verification of at least half-time enrollment at an eligible institution.

Residency/Internship Deferment

The borrower can be eligible if he/she has been accepted into a Residency / Internship program which must be a supervised program and hold at least a bachelor’s degree before acceptance into the program.

The program the borrower has been enrolled into must lead to a degree or certificate from an institution of higher education, a hospital, or a health facility that offers postgraduate training or Be required before the student may be certified for professional practice or service, which must be verified by the relevant state licensing agency.

Under this program, it should be noted that the borrowers are limited to a combined total of forty-eight (48) months of eligibility for In-School & Residency / Internship Deferment described above.

Temporary hardship forbearance

If the borrower is experiencing financial difficulty then he/she may be granted forbearance. The duration of the period for forbearance ranges from a minimum of one month to a maximum of 3 months.

A borrower may apply for up to four (4) consecutive periods of Temporary Hardship Forbearance. A maximum of twenty-four (24) total months of Temporary Hardship Forbearance may be granted during the life of the loan.

Unpaid interest is capitalized and forbearance does extend the repayment term.

Administrative forbearance

This program is used for temporary suspension of collection activity while researching borrower disputes, awaiting bankruptcy and death documents, or for other circumstances, as approved by the lender.

Interest will continue to accrue on the loans during the period of forbearance and the unpaid interest is capitalized when the forbearance period ends.

Repayment options with Ascent

Based on your eligibility you will be provided with repayment options, here are all the repayment options available to you:

  • Interest-only

  • $25 minimum payment

  • Deferred repayment

If you apply with a co-signer or without a co-signer and the student borrower has more than 2 years credit history minimum FICO 680  and have a minimum gross annual income of $24,000 then you have the following options available to you:

1. Interest-only - Here the borrower (when enrolled for at least half time at an eligible institution) will make at least the interest payments that accrue on the loan each month. Upon graduation, he/she will have to make the full principal and interest payments for the remaining term of the loan.

2. $25 minimum payment – Here, the borrower (when enrolled at least half time at an eligible institution) will have to make a monthly payment of at least $25. Upon graduation, the borrower will have to make full principal and interest payments for the remaining term of the loan.

3. Deferred repayment – This program allows the borrower to postpone the principal and interest payments on the loan while the student is at least half-time enrolled at an eligible institution for a period of up to sixty (60) months. Interest accrues during this In-School period and is capitalized upon entering repayment.

If you apply without a co-signer and do not meet the current income or credit requirements then you go ahead with the following repayment plan:

With this repayment option, the borrower (or the student) can postpone the principal and interest payment while still being at least half-time enrolled at an eligible institution for up to 60 months.

Interest will accrue during the in-school period and will get capitalized upon repayment. The repayment is initiated 6 months after the borrower (or the student) graduates. 

Review of Ascent Student Loans

Ascent distinguishes itself by providing both the traditional co-signer loan and also the loan option for borrowers without a co-signer which is aimed at borrowers who lack a credit history, co-signer or income.

The non-co-signed loan is available only to juniors, seniors and graduate students which is one of only a few available to borrowers with no credit, income or co-signer.

Here are the key features of Ascent

  • Liberal forbearance options ( as discussed earlier)

  • Offers multiple repayment options which the borrower can choose from as per his/her requirement

  • Borrowers who don’t have a credit history can also qualify for loans

Scope for improvement

  • They should work towards a way to offer a fixed interest rate below 10%

  • They should provide personalized  rate estimates 

Available substitutes 

Whenever you're considering getting a student loan you should always consider checking the other options. It will help you to check with different compatible interest rates. You should always consider options for free money such as scholarship options.

Fill and submit your Federal Student Aid Form to check the eligibility for grants. If you exhaust all the possible options then you should opt for a private lender.

Looking for more? Find Top 10 Private student loan lenders

The battle of thought on whether college is worth or not can go forever but for those who have overcome that battle and have decided to go ahead for college education, the next battle  Is to decide on how much to borrow and where to borrow.

It sounds daunting and some would go so far as to describe it as being scary but Ascent has made it clear that it is their mission to help tackle this made up the difficulty of borrowing and managing student loans. Although Ascent is one of the top credit union it has room to improve, be aware of the various options available to you so keep exploring.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1.Who is Ascent funding, LLC?

    Ascent Funding, LLC is the loan processor that collects application information for underwriting and processing.

  • 2.Who is Richland State Bank?

    Loans are made by Richland State Bank, which is a member of FDIC.

  • 3.Who is Launch?

    Launch is a student loan servicing company. All loans got after May 17, 2019 have their servicer as Launch Servicing. 

  • 4.How do I contact Launch?

    You can contact Launch at 877-354-2629 Toll free or log into the repayment portal at 

  • 5.Why can't I find my school on Ascent website?

    Ascent has a limited list of schools to which they can provide loans. If you do not find your school on the Ascent website you should contact your financial aid office for other financing options. 

  • 6.Can a student who is Non-US citizen apply?

    Yes a Non-US citizen can also apply but he/she will have to upload documentation to verify the borrowers residential status, the required documentation is:     U.S. Permanent Resident Aliens: Permanent Resident Card (USCIS form I‐551); or     Non-Permanent Resident Aliens (temporary residents): Valid visa – acceptable forms: F-1; J-1, M-1; E-1; H-1; L-1; G series; TN-1; TN-2; OR I-20 Form (pages 1 & 2 signed) AND Unexpired Passport from country of origin In addition to the documentation mentioned above the borrower must also submit an unexpired foreign passport and a copy of a government-issued document or identification that includes the national identification number on the passport.