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Updated: Nov 1, 2022, 4:25pm
Ascent Funding is one of the few lenders that allows you to qualify for a loan without a co-signer, even if you have a limited credit history. It could also be a good choice for international students since it doesn’t require applicants to be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
However, Ascent’s loans may be more expensive than some other options, so do your homework before applying for a loan.
Annual percentage rates (APRs) and account details are accurate of Nov. 1, 2022.
Ascent is a private student loan company that offers undergraduate and graduate loans, as well as loans for coding bootcamps. Ascent was designed to make student loans more accessible to borrowers that may not be eligible for other forms of financial aid. For example, the lender caters to individuals without credit histories and international students.
While Ascent handles loan applications, it isn’t a direct lender; its undergraduate and graduate loans are issued by the Bank of Lake Mills, and its loans are serviced by Launch Servicing.
Ascent issues loans to borrowers in all 50 states. It has both co-signed and non-co-signed options. However, applicants that apply with a co-signer may qualify for lower rates than borrowers without one.
Ascent offers multiple student loan options for undergraduate students. You can choose a loan type based on your existing credit history, income and career prospects.
If you have a friend or family member with stable income and good credit that is willing to co-sign your loan application, the co-signed loan option may be a good option because it has lower rates than the other loan types.
If you have a reliable income and strong credit history, you may qualify for a loan without a co-signer. Ascent’s credit-based loans are available for undergraduate and graduate students.
For borrowers that don’t have established credit or a co-signer, the outcomes-based loan could be a useful solution. With this option, Ascent looks at a range of factors to determine your eligibility for a loan, including your school, degree program, projected graduation date, GPA and the cost of attendance.
The outcomes-based loan is only available to full-time college juniors, seniors and graduate students; first- and second-year undergraduates aren’t eligible. International students are ineligible for this loan, as well; only U.S. citizens, permanent residents and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) students can take advantage of the outcomes-based loan program.
This loan type has higher interest rates than other loan options, and there are stricter limits on how much you can borrow.
To qualify for a loan from Ascent, you must be enrolled with one of its partner schools. If your college or university is not one of the 2,600 schools and coding bootcamps that Ascent works with, you’ll need to work with another lender.
Ascent doesn’t disclose a minimum credit score or its required debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. To qualify for a loan, you or your co-signer must earn at least $24,000 per year and have at least two years of credit history.
Ascent’s loans are available to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, DACA students and international students. However, international students must have a U.S. citizen or permanent resident as a co-signer.
Ascent allows you to add a co-signer when you apply for a loan. Adding a co-signer to your application can improve your odds of qualifying for a loan, and it can help you get a better interest rate than you’d get on your own.
For most loans, co-signer releases are available to borrowers after making 12 qualifying monthly payments. Co-signers can only be removed if the primary borrower meets the lender’s underwriting criteria, and not all borrowers are eligible for co-signer releases. Borrowers that are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents cannot qualify for a co-signer release.
To apply for a loan, follow these four simple steps:
Ascent is available via phone or email.
If you’re an existing customer and have questions about your loans or payments, you should contact Launch Servicing, the company that services the loan. You can contact Launch Servicing by calling 877-354-2629 or by emailing them through the online portal after logging in to your account.
We reviewed Ascent based on its interest rates, fees, loan terms, hardship options, application process and eligibility. We rated Ascent based on the weighting assigned to each category:
Specific characteristics taken into consideration within each category included number of months of forbearance available, economic hardship repayment options available beyond traditional forbearance, perks like cash-back rewards upon graduation, discounts, time to default, disclosure of credit score and income requirements and other factors.
*Ascent Student Loans are funded by Bank of Lake Mills, Member FDIC. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. For Ascent Terms and Conditions please visit: www.AscentFunding.com/
Ascent doesn’t disclose a minimum credit score, and instead uses its own proprietary method for reviewing applications. If you don’t have an established credit history, you can still qualify for a loan by adding a co-signer to your application or by opting for an outcomes-based loan.
Ascent has a prequalification tool that allows you to check your eligibility without affecting your credit score. If you decide to proceed with your application, Ascent will perform a hard credit inquiry, which can impact your credit.
Ascent does allow borrowers to apply for co-signer releases after making 12 qualifying monthly payments. However, borrowers that are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents are not eligible for a co-signer release.
You can pay off your Ascent student loan early without worrying about prepayment penalties.
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.
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