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 20th August 2019

College Avenue Student Loans offer the option of refinancing both private and/or federal student loans. They have a wide variety of options for student loans and have a lot to offer in terms of the rates and their benefits.

Since the last few decades, the cost of education has substantially increased. This increase is exponential at times and will most likely continue. Regardless many students are still able to work and pay for their tuition and other expenses.

This increase has also pushed students to rely on student loans despite the availability of scholarships and grants. Students amounting to about 70 percent of those that graduate college end up in debt with tens of thousands being owed by each student.

The most typical choices of student loans are federal direct loans. They come with the benefits of low-interest rates and several other protection programs for borrowers. Many private lenders are still out there with the goal 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 students with both making new private student loans and also helping them refinancing the student loans they borrowed from elsewhere.

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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, the borrowers seemed to be confused over the same things. So they decided to take action to rid this from the industry.

Then DePaulo and Stanley partnered together to launch College Ave in the year 2014 with the end goal of making it easy for student loan lenders and borrowers, and making the student loans more personalized to the borrower and have them not fret over getting a loan and not.

Two years after the establishment started, 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, that did not stop them from competing with other lenders when it comes to financial reliability. As all the loans that they offer are through their partner banks Firstrust Bank or The Middlefield Banking Company, who are currently active members of the FDIC.

College Avenue student loans

All of College Ave student loans are routed through either one of the Firsttrust Bank or the Middlefield Banking company, both of which 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 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 offers their loan interest rates based on your credit scores and that of your cosigner if you have one. 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 among the lowest that you would see in 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 minus any other financial aid you have received.

But unlike federal student loans, most of which need you to prove financial need, College Avenue 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 co-signer 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. Co-signers can also be added online on the application form.

Graduate Student Loans

The Graduate Student Loans are available to graduates who are looking for loans to fund their education. College Avenue is 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 not usually 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 you to start repayment after you finish school.

Interest rate - The interest rates though are a bit different on the graduate loan. Variable rates start from 5.22% - 10.92% APR whereas the fixed rates range from 5.97% - 11.68% 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 even trump yours.

Additional Information

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 through the various options they offer is to pay off your loan as soon as possible.

Parent Loans

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, Application Process, and Eligibility

If you do manage to get the Parent loan from College Ave you can have up to $2,500 out of the total loan amount sent directly to you. This amount can be used on additional expenses such as books, computers and other supplies that the student might require.

Rates for the parent Loan is a bit more than that of the student loans. They start at around 5.23% - 11.76% APR for variable loans. Fixed loans get an interest rate ranging from 5.96% - 11.91% APR. Similar to the other loans that College Ave offers, these loans do not charge any sort of application fee or any origination fee when the loan is approved.

They offer 3 different types of payment while you are in school - 

  • 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.

Additional Infomation

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.

Looking for alternatives of College Avenue? Look at the Top 10 Private student loan lenders

Student Loan Refinancing

College Ave has restarted its refinancing of student loans from the year 2019. Since they started refinancing student loans, College Ave has grown quite a bit. They provide the service to refinance both federal and private student loans, separately and even together.

Using these, 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.

  • Fixed Rates 3.24% - 7.99% APR

  • Variable Rates 2.49% - 7.24% APR

  • Loan Terms 5 – 20 years

  • Loan Amounts $5,000 – $150,000

You can select from a variable or fixed interest rates.

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 of 5 and 12 years

There are no application fees or penalties for early repayment

Co-signers 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

College Ave has on offer student loan refinancing with both fixed rates and variable rates. The variable rates range from 2.49% - 7.24% APR whereas the fixed rates start from 3.24% - 7.99% APR. Both of these loan rates include a 0.25% discount for those that sign up for their autopay.

College Ave refinancing program is pretty simple. They do not have any application fee, origination fee or prepayment fees unlike most of the other reputed refinance lenders.

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.

If you want to have a low monthly payment to avoid any financial burden, you also have that option to choose a much longer repayment term. This will consequently end up costing you much more over the lifetime of your refinanced loan.

Eligibility Criteria

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 and refinance with College Ave, you will require a good credit history and have a good record with regard to your payment history. Although the company does not display a minimum credit score on its website, you will most likely need a score that is above 680 to qualify.

Application Process

You can apply for refinancing with College Avenue online within a span of a few minutes. You have to enter your details for a prequalification check. In case you are qualified, you can move further ahead and complete the application process to see which offers are available for you.

Since College Ave has no fees and their interest rates are some of the finest in the industry, this puts them at the top of the list in the private student loan and refinancing sector.

It also has robust customer service. Every complaint that was made to the better business bureau was promptly taken care of, with all of them, except one, being satisfied with the solution that was offered.

Worried about college tuition? Find out all about student loans


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. It also works in the 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. Since they do not charge any fees for their services, it makes it a lot cheaper in terms of comparison with other lenders.

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

Areas where College Ave could improve upon - 

  • Better forbearance policy on their loans that were older  than the 12 months

  • Deferment for those that are planning on returning to school

  • Offer to refinance for those borrowers who are without a degree, have visas and have Parent PLUS loans.