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Last update: January 19, 2024

5 minutes read

College Finance: Private Student Loan Review

Considering College Finance for your private student loan? Read our review to uncover their competitive rates, flexible repayment options, eligibility criteria, and extra benefits.

By Yerain Abreu, M.S.

College Finance Review Snapshot

College Finance logo

BEST FOR:

Students with community support

Check rate

VARIABLE APR

5.84% - 16.90%*

FIXED APR

4.36% - 15.69%*

If you're in the market for a private student loan, College Finance may be as a potential option. Our in-depth review delves into its competitive interest rates, flexible repayment terms, and unique features that set it apart. Get a clear understanding of their loan offerings, eligibility criteria, and the distinctive advantages College Finance provides. This guide is tailored for both students and parents. Let’s dive in.

Our final verdict

College Finance distinguishes itself with its unique feature that allows friends and family to contribute to loan repayment. This, along with the cosigner release options, makes it an excellent choice for borrowers backed by a strong support network. College Finance also enhances its appeal with additional benefits like financial incentives and diverse repayment options, underpinned by its valuable partnership with Candidly and College Ave.

    About College Funding

    Founded in 2020, College Finance is a website designed to assist students and families with informed decision-making about college financing. Offering a rich array of educational resources, the platform focuses on minimizing the cost of borrowing. Their holistic approach underscores the company's dedication to providing valuable guidance and resources for managing educational expenses effectively.

    In 2022, College Finance underwent a significant transformation with its acquisition by Candidly, an AI-driven platform specializing in student loan management and repayment. This transition expanded the company's services, introducing a branded student loan product in partnership with the highly-regarded lender College Ave.

    A standout feature of College Finance is the inclusion of a complimentary membership to Candidly. This membership offers users personalized repayment and savings strategies, focusing on accelerating loan payoff while optimizing savings. This strategic alignment with Candidly enhanced College Finance's commitment to supporting students and families not just in acquiring education funding, but also in managing and repaying these funds efficiently.

    TuitionHero tip

    Remember to borrow wisely and always explore federal loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study options before taking out a private student loan. Our user-friendly platform lets you explore and compare college financing options personalized to your unique situation.

    Undergraduate loan details

    College Finance provides loans that range from $1,000 up to Up to 100% of attendance costs (aggregate) for undergraduate students. They offer fixed rates from 4.36% to 15.69% or variable rates from 5.84% to 16.90% (including the autopay discount!).

    Borrowers can rest easy knowing that there are:

    • No application fees

    • No origination fees

    • No prepayment penalties

    Adding a cosigner to your loan, such as a friend or relative with strong credit, may also be an attractive option because you may likely get a lower rate and a higher chance of approval.

    Repayment options

    College Finance offers various hardship and other repayment options that provide borrowers with relief during times of financial stress. Some choices include deferring payments until after graduation, making interest-only payments while in school, or temporarily making partial payments.

    • Grace period: 6 months for undergraduate loans and 9 months for most graduate loans.

    College Finance

    Best for: Students with community support

    College Finance

    Check My Rate
    VARIABLE APR

    5.84% - 16.90%*

    FIXED APR

    4.36% - 15.69%*

    LOAN AMOUNT

    $1,000 - 100% of attendance costs

    TERMS LENGTH

    5 to 15-year

    MIN CREDIT SCORE

    High-600s

    VARIABLE APR

    5.84% - 16.90%*

    FIXED APR

    4.36% - 15.69%*

    LOAN AMOUNT

    $1,000 - 100% of attendance costs


    TERMS LENGTH

    5 to 15-year

    MIN CREDIT SCORE

    High-600s

    WHAT WE LIKE

    • Candidly Membership: Access to an AI-driven loan management platform for optimized repayment strategies.

    • Financial Rewards: Get $200 credit for linking a College Finance loan to Candidly.

    • Flexible Repayment: Options include full, interest-only, flat $25, or deferred payments while in school.

    • Wide Accessibility: Loans available for undergraduates, graduates, and professionals.

    • Cosigner Release: Cosigner release is available under specific conditions.

    • Rate Discounts: 0.25% discount for enrolling in automatic payments.

    • Flexible Loan Amounts: Loans range from $1,000 to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance.

    • Grace Period: 6-month grace period before repayment starts.

    • Community Support: Ability to invite friends and family to contribute to loan repayment.

    WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

    • Credit Score Impact: Potential decrease in credit score due to initial credit check.

    • No Forgiveness Options: Absence of loan forgiveness and income-based repayment plans.

    • Late Payment Fees: Additional costs incurred for late payments.

    • Autopay discount: 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction

    • Added benefit: Receive $200 statement credit when you open a Candidly account and link this loan¹

    • Added benefit: Earn cash back rewards from merchants that are applied directly to the student loan

    Eligibility

    Who can benefit from College Finance's loan options? Here are the core eligibility requirements for their private student loans:

    1. Age: You must be at least 16 years old

    2. Class load: You must be enrolled at least part-time at an accredited college or university

    3. Location: All U.S. states are eligible if you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and international students can apply if they have a U.S. co-signer and Social Security number

    4. School attended: The school must be an accredited college or university

    TuitionHero tip

    If you're not eligible, try applying with a cosigner! Adding a cosigner to your loan application may help you get a lower interest rate and increase your chances of being approved.

    Compare College Finance to other lenders

    Unsure if College Finance is the right lender for you? Take a moment to check out some of their biggest competitors to see which lender works best for you.

    Our top pick

    College Finance

    College Finance

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    5.84% - 16.90%*

    Fixed APR

    4.36% - 15.69%*

    Repayment Options
    • Grace period
    • Immediate repayment
    • Fixed repayment
    • In-school deferment
    Fees
    • No application fees
    • No prepayment penalties
    • No origination fees
    Discounts & Benefits
    Autopay discount: 0.25%
    Added benefit: $200 statement credit
    Added benefit: Cash back rewards
    Loan Details
    Loan amount: $1,000 - 100% of attendance costs
    Term lengths: 5 to 15-year

    College Finance

    College Finance

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    5.84% - 16.90%*

    Fixed APR

    4.36% - 15.69%*

    Repayment Options
    • Grace period
    • Immediate repayment
    • Fixed repayment
    • In-school deferment
    Fees
    • No application fees
    • No prepayment penalties
    • No origination fees
    Discounts & Benefits
    Autopay discount: 0.25%
    Added benefit: $200 statement credit
    Added benefit: Cash back rewards
    Loan Details
    Loan amount: $1,000 - 100% of attendance costs
    Term lengths: 5 to 15-year

    College Finance

    College Finance

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    5.84% - 16.90%*

    Fixed APR

    4.36% - 15.69%*

    Repayment Options
    • Grace period
    • Immediate repayment
    • Fixed repayment
    • In-school deferment
    Fees
    • No application fees
    • No prepayment penalties
    • No origination fees
    Discounts & Benefits
    Autopay discount: 0.25%
    Added benefit: $200 statement credit
    Added benefit: Cash back rewards
    Loan Details
    Loan amount: $1,000 - 100% of attendance costs
    Term lengths: 5 to 15-year

    College Ave

    College Ave

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    5.59% - 16.65%¹

    Fixed APR

    4.11% - 15.44%¹

    College Ave

    College Ave

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    5.59% - 16.65%¹

    Fixed APR

    4.11% - 15.44%¹

    College Ave

    College Ave

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    5.59% - 16.65%¹

    Fixed APR

    4.11% - 15.44%¹

    Sallie Mae

    Sallie Mae

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    6.37% - 16.70%¹

    Fixed APR

    4.50% - 15.49%¹

    Sallie Mae

    Sallie Mae

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    6.37% - 16.70%¹

    Fixed APR

    4.50% - 15.49%¹

    Sallie Mae

    Sallie Mae

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    6.37% - 16.70%¹

    Fixed APR

    4.50% - 15.49%¹

    Ready to get started?

    Compare student loan rates from all the top lenders with zero impact to your credit score.

    Customer service

    Customer support can be a make-or-break factor when evaluating a potential lender. College Finance offers multiple ways to get in touch with them.

    • Website: www.collegeave.com (Loan fulfilled by College Ave)

    • Email: servicing@collegeave.com

    • Phone: 844-803-0736

    • Hours: Mon - Fri: 9 am to 9 pm ET

    Frequently asked questions (FAQ

    Here are some of the most common questions we get asked about College Finance.

    College Finance specializes in private student loans, exclusively. These loans are provided in collaboration with College Ave, a private loan lender. Federal student loans are not part of their offerings.

    Applying for a student loan through College Finance involves a credit check by College Ave, which may result in a slight decrease in your credit score. However, maintaining consistent, on-time payments once the loan is in repayment phase generally ensures that your credit score isn’t negatively impacted over time.

    A cosigner might not be mandatory for every loan, but in certain cases—especially for larger loans or applicants with minimal or no credit history—a cosigner could be necessary or recommended. A cosigner with good credit can enhance your loan approval chances and potentially secure more favorable loan terms.

    Yes, College Finance offers the option for cosigners to be released from the loan responsibility. This is possible after the primary borrower has shown a consistent and positive repayment track record, and once they meet specific credit and income criteria. Additionally, this option becomes available after half of the loan repayment period has elapsed.

    Funds from College Finance loans are designated for covering college-related costs as approved by your educational institution. This covers expenses like tuition, accommodation, textbooks, and other necessary academic expenditures. The funds are directly sent to the school, and cannot be used for expenses outside those officially recognized by the institution.

    The timeline for fund disbursement from College Finance can vary. It depends on several factors including the time of year, your school’s specific requirements, and application volume. The process encompasses application approval, enrollment verification, setting disbursement dates, and the actual issuing of funds by the lender. Initiating the process early and keeping up with follow-ups can help in reducing any potential delays.

    College Finance’s private student loans do not come with forgiveness options like those available with federal student loans. Nor do they offer income-based repayment plans. Borrowers are obligated to fully repay the loan as per the conditions outlined in the promissory note.

    Final thoughts

    College Finance emerges as a reliable option for students seeking private student loans, offering a straightforward and flexible approach to financing higher education. Its partnership with College Ave ensures a range of loan options suitable for diverse financial needs.

    Overall, College Finance's comprehensive approach and innovative features position it as a winner, especially for those who can leverage a strong community backing their educational journey.

    Sources


    Author

    Yerain Abreu avatar

    Yerain Abreu is a Content Strategist with over 7 years of experience. He earned a Master's degree in digital marketing from Zicklin School of Business. He focuses on college finance, a niche carved out of his journey through the complexities of academic finance. These firsthand experiences provide him with a unique perspective, enabling him to create content that's informative and relatable to students and their families grappling with the intricacies of college financing.

    At TuitionHero, we're not just passionate about our work - we take immense pride in it. Our dedicated team of writers diligently follows strict editorial standards, ensuring that every piece of content we publish is accurate, current, and highly valuable. We don't just strive for quality; we aim for excellence.


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