If you get good grades in school, Discover Student Loans is a great option. You’ll get rewards for your educational achievements, competitive interest rates and no fees. Discover’s student loans cover a wide range of education types, including undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, MBAs and medical residencies.
Discover Student Loans Perks
Private student loans can be a great supplement to any grants, scholarships and government loans you’re getting. But there’s no shortage of options when it comes to private student loans. Discover stands out for its fee-free business model and the discounts available to students.
Here are some of the top perks Discover Student Loans offers:
- Students with a GPA of 3.0 or greater can earn a one-time cash reward on each loan they take through Discover. This includes incoming freshmen who had a high school GPA of at least 3.0.
- When you graduate, you’ll be eligible for an additional one-time cash reward.
- Coverage for up to 100 percent of your school-certified college costs.
- No application, loan origination or late fees.
- Set up autopay and earn a reduction in your interest rate of 0.25 percent.
- Access to a student loan specialist who can answer any questions you have.
- Discount on your interest rate of 0.35 percent if you choose the interest-only option and pay interest while you’re in school and during your grace period.
Read More: What Happens if You Refuse to Repay Student Loans?
Discover Student Loans Terms
Discover student loans interest rates are competitive, but you still should compare their terms with other options. Here are the rates and credit score requirements for Discover Student Loans.
- Your interest rate will depend on the strength of your credit score, with the highest scores getting the lowest rates. Discover Student Loans offers variable rates of 1.12 percent-10.87 percent APR and fixed interest rates of 4.24 percent-12.39 percent APR.
- You’ll likely need a credit score in the high “fair” range or above to qualify for a Discover Student Loan. You can easily add a co-signer if you’re still developing a credit history, though.
- Terms of up to 20 years are available. You can use Discover’s online calculator to find the repayment term that will work for you.
Discover Student Loans Options
Discover offers student loans for a wide range of educational expenses. You can qualify for loans for education-related expenses in the following areas:
- Health profession programs
- Law school
- Medical residencies
- Bar exam preparation
- Parent student loans
- Student loan consolidations
Discover Student Loans Competitors
Once you’ve tapped out other forms of financial aid, shopping around for a private loan can be a great way to offset the costs. Borrowers have access to a wealth of information online, but here’s a list of some of Discover Student Loans’ top competitors to help you get started on your research.
1. SoFi Student Loans
SoFi Student Loans offers flexible repayment options and no-fee loans. You’ll also get a discount of 0.25 percent if you set up automatic payments, as well as a discount on your application fee or a special rate if you’re a SoFi member.
Here are some of the benefits and terms you can expect with SoFi Student Loans.
- Rates vary depending on the loan type and term, but variable rates for private student loans are capped at 13.95 percent. For undergraduate loans, rates range from 4.23 to 11.26 percent for fixed-rate loans and 1.88 to 11.66 percent for variable loans.
- SoFi doesn’t share its minimum credit score requirement, but you can get prequalified. To qualify, you’ll have to be currently employed or have income from other sources. If not, you can use a co-signer that fits that criteria.
- The minimum loan amount is $5,000.
Read More: What Educational Expenses Are Tax-Deductible?
2. Ascent Student Loans
A co-signer is often necessary with student loans. If you’re just starting college, you likely are working to build a credit history, so you may not qualify on your credit score alone. One of the best things about Ascent Student Loans is its co-signer release feature. After 24 consecutive on-time loan payments, you can apply to release your co-signer from the loan.
Here are some of the benefits and terms you can expect with Ascent Student Loans.
- Ascent prides itself on its flexible loan options, which means you’ll see a range of repayment terms, varying from five to 20 years. Interest rate varies, as well. APRs can be anywhere from 2.80 to 14.50 percent, depending on whether you choose a fixed or variable rate and the type of program and education level you’re pursuing.
- You’ll need at least a two-year credit history and a score of 680 or above to qualify for an Ascent Student Loan.
- Ascent Student Loans issues loans in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $200,000.
- 1 percent cash back and discount for autopay.
3. Wells Fargo Private Student Loans
A six-month grace period sets Wells Fargo’s student loan feature apart from others. That means you’ll have six full months after graduation to start paying back the amount you borrowed. You can use your loan to pay for the cost of tuition, books, computers and housing, and there are no fees associated with the loan or application.
Here are the benefits and terms you need to know about Wells Fargo Private Student Loans:
- Wells Fargo covers the cost of attendance, in addition to other educational expenses, with an interest rate of 2.68 to 9.46 percent APR (variable).
- Loans are available in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $120,000.
- Discounts for having prior Wells Fargo loans or qualifying Wells Fargo accounts. Autopay discount of 0.25 percent.
4. Sallie Mae Student Loans
Sallie Mae Student Loans boasts a 90 percent approval rate for those with co-signers. You’ll also have access to your FICO score for free, letting you monitor how your financial habits are affecting your score.
Here are Sallie Mae’s terms:
- Sallie Mae’s undergraduate loans range from 1.25 to 11.10 percent APR for variable rates and 4.25 to 12.35 percent for fixed.
- You can also take a Sallie Mae loan for career training costs.
- Autopay discount of 0.25 percent.
Read More: Can I Deduct a Training Class From My Taxes?
|**APR**||Terms||Discounts Offered||**Loan Types**|
Discover Student Loans
1.12 - 10.87 percent (Variable); 4.24 - 12.39 percent (Fixed)
5 to 20 years
Good student discount, discount for autopay
Undergraduate, Graduate, MBA, Residency, Law, Parent
4.23 to 11.26 percent for fixed-rate loans and 1.88 and 11.66 percent for variable loans
5 to 15 years
Member discount, discount for autopay
Undergraduate, Graduate, MBA, Law, Parent
Ascent Student Loans
For undergraduates: 2.69 to 12.98 percent variable and 3.77 to 14.50 percent fixed
5 to 20 years
Discount for autopay
Undergraduate, Graduate, MBA, Law
Wells Fargo Private Student Loans
For undergraduates: 2.68 to 9.46 percent variable
5 to 20 years
Member discounts, discount for autopsy
Undergraduate, graduate, parent
For undergraduates: 1.25 to 11.10 percent APR for variable rates and 4.25 to 12.35 percent for fixed.
5 to 20 years
Discount for autopay
Undergraduate, graduate, career development
Discover Student Loans has a higher interest rate range than competitors, but you can make up for that by taking advantage of the discount for good grades. You’ll also get a discount when you graduate. It’s important to shop around and compare the cost savings you’ll get with rewards to the cost savings you’ll enjoy by opting for a loan with a lower interest rate.
- Discover: Student Loans With Great Rates
- Discover: Rewards for Good Grades
- Discover: Interest-Only Repayment Option Rate Discount Terms and Conditions
- NerdWallet: Discover Reviews: Student Loan Refinancing and Private Student Loans
- Discover: Monthly Payment Calculator
- SoFi: Can You Love a Student Loan? Absolutely.
- SoFi: Private Student Loan Undergrad Rates & Terms
- SoFi: Eligibility Criteria
- Ascent Student Loans: Ascent Rates & Repayment Examples
- NerdWallet: Ascent Review: Private Student Loans
- Ascent Student Loans: Have Questions About Private Student Loans?
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- Commonbond. "Refinance Rates & Terms." Accessed Oct. 26, 2020.
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- Internal Revenue Service. "Topic No. 456 Student Loan Interest Deduction." Accessed Oct. 26, 2020.
Stephanie Faris has written about finance for entrepreneurs and marketing firms since 2013. She spent nearly a year as a ghostwriter for a credit card processing service and has ghostwritten about finance for numerous marketing firms and entrepreneurs. Her work has appeared on The Motley Fool, MoneyGeek, Ecommerce Insiders, GoBankingRates, and ThriveBy30.