College Ave Private Student Loans and Refinancing: 2022 Review

Full Review

College Ave parent loans are best if your child needs extra money for college. Parents can take out loans up to the school’s cost of attendance, plus an additional $2,500. That extra money is sent to the parent — not the school — to help with school-related expenses, like books or dorm supplies.

You cannot defer a College Ave parent loan while your child is in school, but flexible payment options are available. You can pay just the monthly interest, monthly interest plus a fixed amount (in increments of $20) or full payments. You can also choose any payment term between 5 and 15 years.

In instances of total and permanent disability, undergraduate and graduate loans are discharged if the borrower becomes totally and permanently disabled. Parent loans are discharged only if the child benefitting from the loans becomes totally and permanently disabled.

To protect themselves, parents looking at College Ave loans should consider co-signing an undergraduate loan instead of taking out a parent loan. The College Ave loan is a better option only if the parent doesn’t want the child’s name on the loan.

College Ave parent student loans at a glance

  • Offers personalized rate estimates via a soft credit check.

  • Payments are due immediately.

  • You can receive $2,500 directly, provided you borrow at least $1,000 that is disbursed to the school.

How College Ave could improve

College Ave could improve by offering additional programs such as:

  • Discharging student loans if the parent borrower dies or becomes disabled.

  • Allowing co-signers on parent loans.

  • Allowing borrowers who have previously filed for bankruptcy to qualify.

College Ave parent student loan details

Interest rates, fees and terms

  • Soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get: Yes.

  • Loan terms: 5 to 15 years, or any year in between.

  • Loan amounts: $1,000 up to cost of attendance, plus an additional $2,500 that can be sent directly to the parent.

  • Application or origination fee: No.

  • Late fees: Yes; 5% of the unpaid amount of the monthly payment or $25, whichever is less, if payment isn’t made within 15 days of the due date.

Compare College Ave’s range of interest rates with other private student loan lenders. Your actual rate will depend on factors including your — or your co-signer’s — credit history and financial situation. To see what rate College Ave will offer you, apply on its website.


  • Minimum credit score: Mid-600s.

  • Minimum income: $70,000 per year.

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Mid-700s.

  • Typical income of approved borrowers: Greater than $150,000 per year.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Depends on credit characteristics; up to 90% in some instances.

  • Can qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy: No.


  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

  • Location: Available in all 50 states.

  • Student must be enrolled half-time or more: No.

  • Types of schools served: Students must be enrolled in a degree-granting program at an eligible school.

  • Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: College Ave parent loans cannot have cosigners.

In-school repayment options:

  • Immediate: Make full payments as soon as the loan is disbursed.

  • Interest-only: Pay interest every month your child is in school.

  • Flat: Pay interest plus a fixed amount of your choosing (in increments of $20) while your child is enrolled in school.

Post-school repayment options

  • Grace period: There is no grace period.

  • Forbearance: Up to 18 months of forbearance is available.

  • Natural disaster forbearance: Borrowers can postpone payments if they’re involved in a natural disaster, as determined by FEMA.

  • Death or disability discharge: Yes, if the child benefitting from the loan dies or suffers a permanent disability. The estate is held responsible if the parent borrower dies.

  • Loan discharge if co-signer dies or becomes disabled: No co-signer option for the loan.

Repayment preferences

  • Allows greater-than-minimum payments via autopay: Yes.

  • Allows biweekly payments via autopay: Yes.

  • Loan servicer: College Ave.

  • In-house customer service team: Yes; call center staffed by third-party company.

  • Process for escalating concerns: Yes.

  • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: No.

  • Average time from application to approval: Credit decision in three minutes.

  • College Ave offers various promotions throughout the year for college students. These have included sweepstakes to win college textbooks for a year and a $1,000 monthly scholarship giveaway. Visit the College Ave website for a list of current opportunities.

Before applying for a College Ave parent loan

Before taking out a College Ave parent loan or any other parent student loan, your child should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, and max out their federal loan options. And make sure the loan payments won’t stop you from reaching other financial goals, like saving for retirement.

Compare your private student loan options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, look at lenders’ repayment alternatives and the flexibility they offer to borrowers who struggle to make payments.

If you aren’t eligible for a College Ave parent loan

If College Ave denies your student loan application, the lender will let you know why. Depending on the reason, you may want to consider other parent loan options or, if you haven’t already, try applying with a co-signer.

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