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Ascent Review
Ascent Funding offers the option of ditching your co-signer and applying on the basis of future income-earning potential.
Ascent Review
Ascent Funding offers the option of ditching your co-signer and applying on the basis of future income-earning potential.
May 07, 2021 / Nadav Shemer
Ascent Review
Ascent Funding offers the option of ditching your co-signer and applying on the basis of future income-earning potential.
May 07, 2021 / Nadav Shemer
Repay in 5, 10, or 15 Years
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In a Nutshell

Ascent Funding, or Ascent for short, has a goal of empowering students of all economic backgrounds and disciplines to access student loans. To further this goal, it offers two non-cosigner loan options for students: one assesses the borrower on their own credit score, and the other assesses the borrower on their future income-earning potential.

Pros

  • Up to 1% cash back on loan after graduation
  • Two non-cosigned loan options
  • Coding bootcamp loans

Cons

  • Max. $20,000 funding for non-cosigned future income loans
  • 1-2 days to credit decision (most lenders decide instantly)

Ascent at a Glance

Loan types: Undergraduate, graduate, coding bootcamp

APRs: 2.14% - 12.94% variable, 3.61% - 14.50% fixed

Repayment terms: 5-15 years

Loan amount: Up to $200,000 per year for most loans; up to 20,000 year for non-cosigned future-income loan

Origination fees: No

Loan Rates and Fees

The best APRs are reserved for borrowers with co-signers or borrowers who can show they are creditworthy without bringing a co-signer. The non-cosigned future-income based loan offers borrowers without a co-signer the opportunity to get a student loan. However, this loan comes with high APRs (starting from 8.94% variable) and a low maximum loan amount of only $20,000 per academic year. All rates include a 0.25% interest rate reduction (for credit-based loans) or 2.00% interest rate reduction (for future income-based loans) for using autopay to make monthly payments.

Loan type Variable APRs Fixed APRs
Undergraduate - cosigned 2.14% - 10.36% 3.61% - 12.00%
Undergraduate - non-cosigned credit based 3.86% - 10.36% 5.45% - 12.00%
Undergraduate - non-cosigned future-income based 8.94% - 12.94% 10.27% - 14.50%
Graduate – cosigned 2.17% - 11.87% 3.68% - 13.50%
MBA – cosigned 2.17% - 11.87% 3.68% - 13.50%
Medical – cosigned 2.11% - 11.86% 3.52% - 13.50%
Dental – cosigned 2.15% - 11.86% 3.62% - 13.50%
Law - cosigned 2.17% - 11.87% 3.68% - 13.50%

Repayment Options

Ascent offers a choice of six repayment terms: 5, 7, 10, 12, 15, or 20 years. As far we can tell, no lender offers more repayment term options than Ascent.

Repayments with full principal and interest begin immediately by default. You may be eligible for other repayment options while in school if you apply with a co-signer or you apply without a co-signer but meet other requirements (minimum two years history score, minimum credit score, and minimum gross annual income of $24,000 for the current and previous year). The other repayment options are:

  • Interest-only repayment. During school, the borrower only pays the interest that accrues on the loan each month.
  • Fixed repayment. During school, the borrower pays $25 each month, with unpaid interest added to the loan once full payments begin.
  • Deferred repayment. This option allows the borrower to postpone principal and interest payments on the loan while enrolled at least half-time at an eligible institution. Interest accrues during this in-school period.

The grace period for in-school options is an industry-leading 9 months for undergraduates, 36 months for medical school, 12 months for dental school, and 9 months for all other graduates.

A borrower may request deferment in writing or by completing and signing a deferment form and providing the appropriate documentation requested on the form. All deferments after the in-school period are provided solely at the lender’s discretion. Ascent’s college loans include the following deferment and forbearance options:

  • Active duty military deferment
  • Residency / internship deferment
  • Temporary hardship forbearance
  • Administrative forbearance
  • Natural disaster / declared emergency forbearance

Discounts and Rewards

Ascent borrowers are eligible for the following discounts and rewards:

  • 1% cash back graduation reward. The borrower must graduate from the degree program that the loan was used to fund.
  • Refer-a-friend bonus. Earn up to $525 for each friend you refer, with no limit on what you can earn.
  • Scholarship giveaways on social media. Ascent gives away a $1,000 student scholarship every month. Follow, like, or subscribe to Ascent on at least one social media channel (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, or Twitter) and use the online entry form on the Ascent website to enter.

Application Process

The application process is quick and straightforward. Simply fill out an application to see your pre-qualified rates. Next, customize your loan on your terms and upload supporting documents. Ascent will inform you of a credit decision within 2 days. If approved, Ascent will speak to your school for final confirmation of your loan.

Eligibility requirements vary for Ascent’s different loan types. At a minimum, you must be enrolled full-time or at least half-time at an eligible institution to qualify. Ascent accepts US citizens and permanent residents and also accepts non-US citizens with a cosigner. A student who is not a US citizen or permanent resident or has Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status may apply for a loan with a creditworthy signer who is a US citizen or permanent resident.

Co-Signer Options

Ascent reserves its best rates for students borrowing with a creditworthy co-signer or students who can prove their own creditworthiness. US citizens or permanent residents may release the co-signer after making the first 24 consecutive, regularly scheduled full principal and interest payments on-time.

The best thing about Ascent is its future income-based student loan without a co-signer. This offers students the chance to borrow without a co-signer by demonstrating their ability to pay their loan off from future income. Such borrowers must:

  • Be a college junior or senior enrolled full-time (or with an expected graduation date within 9-months of the date the loan application is submitted) in a degree program at an eligible institution;
  • Be a US citizen or have US permanent resident status;
  • Have satisfactory academic performance of 2.9 GPA or greater; and
  • Be at least 18 years of age or at the age of majority in the respective state of residence.

Customer Service

Ascent’s US-based customer service team works Mondays to Fridays, 7am – 5pm PST. They can be reached by phone at 877-216-0876 or email at help@ascentprogram.com.

About Ascent

Ascent Funding launched in 2016 with the aim of bringing innovative solutions to the student loans marketplace. Ascent’s loans for college are made available by Bank of Lake Mills, Member FDIC. Ascent’s loans for bootcamps are made available through Richland State Bank, Member FDIC.

Summary

Ascent’s non-cosigner loan program is a welcome inclusion to the student loans market, making a college education possible for countless students who don’t have access to a creditworthy co-signer. Overall, this is an innovative tech-powered lender with repayment options, loan programs, and rewards you won’t find elsewhere.

Get started now, visit Ascent
By Nadav Shemer
Nadav Shemer specializes in business, tech, and energy, with a background in financial journalism, hi-tech and startups. Nadav writes for beststudentloancompanies.com. He enjoys writing about the latest innovations in financial services and products.