Ascent is an innovative private loan program for undergraduate and graduate students that provides them with enhanced access to funding for higher education. Built around the guiding principle: “Loans should expand your possibilities, not limit them”, Ascent student loans have successfully provided the necessary headstart to the careers of millions of students all over the globe. The most unique feature of Ascent student loans is that they offer loans with or without a cosigner. This opens accessibility for many more students, coming from struggling backgrounds. They also offer bootcamp loans, which are ideal for those who wish to enhance their career growth at a bootcamp, or an accelerated-learning program.
In order to delve deeper, we must first understand the functioning and process of Ascent student loans. Compiled below is the perfect one-stop guide that you need, to learn everything about these. The meaning, eligibility, process, and repayment are some of the major points discussed.
What are Ascent Student Loans?
Ascent strongly believes that students are more than just their credit score, and hence, they must be given the opportunity to chase the ideal career they want. Students are given the accessibility to gain enough higher education funding. As with other loans, Ascent student loans also require a cosigner. However, based on a student’s existing credit or future earning prospects, Ascent also offers them loans without a cosigner. A relatively newer establishment, Ascent student loans have brought about a remarkable change in the sector of finance and funding for students, in an appreciable amount of time.
To be qualified enough for Ascent student loans, there are certain basic eligibility criteria that the students must meet. They must:
- Live in the United States.
- Be an enrolled student (even half-time is valid).
- Be a resident of the United States, have a qualifying visa, or have DACA status.
- Be enrolled in a bachelor’s or graduate degree.
- Be enrolled in an Ascent-approved institution.
If you’re borrowing without a cosigner, the following criteria are considered:
- Minimum gross yearly income of $ 24,000 for the current and preceding years.
- A monthly debt-to-income ratio of less than 50 per cent.
- Minimum FICO score (this is variable and depends individually).
- Minimum two years of credit history.
Lastly, to qualify for Ascent student loans that are outcome-based, students must be:
- A college junior or senior enrolled full-time in an eligible university or institution.
- A US citizen, or have a US permanent resident card, or DACA (Deferred action for childhood arrival) status.
- Maintaining a GPA of 2.9 or higher.
- Above 18 years of age, or the age of majority in your specific state of residence.
These outcome-based loans also review several alternate factors like school, program, major, GPA, attendance, graduation date, academic punctuality and performance amongst others.
Co-signers are only required for students who are not permanent residents of the United States, or who don’t meet the eligibility for credit-based or outcome-based loans either. Ascent also lets you check your rates of interest, and get pre-approved for your loans without affecting your credit score in the process. The only details one needs to provide are their full name, address, school eligibility, few personal details, credit score, and details of their income and pre-existing debts.
How to apply?
Students can begin the application process as soon as they’ve confirmed their eligibility. They get the option of applying online, or they may be approached by one of the expert education loan advisors. Then, based on your eligibility criteria and current financial background, the advisors will help the students in acquiring an ascent student loan with or without collateral. Once the profile and eligibility information has been filled in, the advisors review it and provide the students with the next few sets of steps.
For international students, a qualifying visa that does not expire within 6 months of the enrollment period is required, or an I-20 form and passport from the country of origin need to be submitted. These students can also give an I-797 form, signed by the school.
For students of DACA status, documentation from the US dept of homeland Security/US citizenship and Immigration Services is necessary. However, it is also essential that the documents indicate that the DACA status does not expire within 6 months of the end of the enrollment period, for which the loan is being requested.
Students who are permanent US residents need to provide a permanent resident card.
Other documents that are necessary for all include the student’s id proof, social security number, school information, estimated financial aid, employment information, proof of income, and contact details for one reference person. They also ensure the financial background by running a hard credit check.
Once the banker receives all the required documentation, we wait for the approval from their end after uploading them online. Ascent also contacts the schools for the certification process. While some schools don’t certify until within a few weeks of the start of classes, most others complete the procedure within a fixed amount of time. Your probability of acquiring 90 per cent of financing along with a lower rate of interest is much higher if you’re an above-average student, with consistent grades and academic performance. Most approvals are received via email, so students are required to provide active emails, and keep an eye on them. Students are highly recommended to start the process early in order to avoid any kind of late payments to the school.
The Ascent student loans portal is used to approve, sanction, and then disburse the loan to students, since it is a predominantly online procedure.
While the students are in college, Ascent provides three different repayment options. Fully-deferred, interest-only, fixed payment, residency and military deferment are some options within them. Some graduate student loans that have a variable rate, may have a duration of up to 20 years for repayment. Fixed-rate loans may have a tenure of repayment of 15 years. The minimum loan amount needs to be at least $2,001.
Ascent does not charge any early payment or extra fees on the loans. However,a late payment fee of 5% of the total payment is charged, or $10, depending on whichever is less. They also charge a $15 fee for returned payments.
Discounts and concessions
Ascent offers a 0.25% discount for setting up auto-pay services on co-signed or credit-based loans. There is a 1% auto-pay discount on out-come-based loans.
Following table summarises the terms for different types of Ascent student loans offered.
|Types of loans
|5.86% – 14.14%
|4.62% – 14.99%
|$2,001 – $200,000
|5, 7, 10, 12, 15, and 20 years.
|9.49% – 15.36%
|10.06% – 16.24%
|$2,001 – $200,000
|5, 7, 10, 12, 15, and 20 years.
|12.35% – 14.31%
|12.96% – 14.24%
|$2,001 – $20,000
|5, 7, 10, 12, 15, and 20 years.
Advantages and disadvantages
Ascent student loans require no application or origination fee, and they do not charge any prepayment penalties either. Their most promising feature is that they offer loans on the basis of the potential of your future earnings. Their multiple discount options are another advantage that students can avail of.
Student borrowers who acquire a non-co-signed loan need to bear much higher interest rates, especially for outcome-based loans. Also, only junior or senior students are eligible for these outcome-based loans. They are not available to freshman and sophomore students pursuing an undergraduate degree. Furthermore, there is no co-signer release available for international students who are temporary residents of the United States, yet.
Ascent funding is built around the core values of trust, innovation, integrity, commitment, and collaboration. They are proud to support students on their journey of building strong careers and a bright future. Their mission is to provide access to education for millions of underserved students each year, and empower students of all economic backgrounds and disciplines to maximise their opportunities based on the investment that they provide.
Ascent has been named one of the “Best Places To Work” by the San Diego Business Journal, and American Banker. Ascent student loans for college are made available by Bank of Lake Mills, Member FDIC, whereas the loans for bootcamps are made available through Richland State Bank, Member FDIC.
Launch Servicing is responsible for servicing Ascent loans, including processing payments. Their details are as follows:
Phone (toll-free): 877-209-5297
Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM CST
Q1. Is Ascent a good company?
Ans: Ascent is a legitimate private student loan company. It works with over 2,600 colleges and coding bootcamps to issue student loans, and it’s one of Forbes Advisor’s picks for the best student loan lenders.
Q2. What is the student loan limit for Ascent?
Ans: the student loan limit is $200,000 for undergraduate and graduate credit-based loans, whereas it is $20,000 for undergraduate non-co-signed outcomes-based loans.
Q3. How long does an Ascent loan take?
Ans: Review and final approval take one to two business days on average.
Q4. Can you pay off Ascent student loans early?
Ans: There’s no prepayment penalty if you choose to pay your loan off early. You can start repaying your loan while you’re still in school or wait until 6 months after you leave school.
Q5. How does Ascent funding work?
Ans: Ascent’s college loans consist of private student loans with co-signers or without, for those attending undergraduate and graduate programs. Ascent’s bootcamp loans are consumer loans for the students at a bootcamp or an accelerated-learning program.
Q6. How do I contact Ascent student loans?
Ans: For Ascent’s college loans, contact them at 877-216-0876 or you can send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q7. Does Ascent give loans to international students?
Ans: Ascent provides private student loans for international students attending U.S. universities. You’ll need a co-signer who’s a US citizen or US permanent resident, has a credit score that meets our requirements, and can provide proof of an income of at least $24,000 a year.