Advantage Education Loan is a company offering student and parent loans, as well as refinance loans. When someone decides to refinance a loan, the idea is that they’re getting a better interest rate than what they originally received when they applied for the loan. When a borrower initially takes out a private student loan, they typically have little to no credit history, and they’re seen as a high-risk borrower. That can lead to getting higher interest rates.
Once a borrower graduates and they get a job, they have often improved their credit score, and they also have income. That means they might qualify for refinancing with a lower rate.
The Advantage Refinance Loan is one option available to certain students. With the Advantage Refinance Loan, borrowers can consolidate all their student loans into one, saving on interest and theoretically allowing them to pay them off more quickly.
How to Refinance Your Student Loans With Advantage Education Loan
To refinance student loans with Advantage, borrowers have to be a U.S. citizen, or they need a proof of residency card. They need an income and a strong credit history, or a cosigner.
Student borrowers have the option to consolidate and refinance their education loans. Advantage also extends eligibility to parents with parent loans. Cosigners are required if a borrower doesn’t meet the minimum requirements, such as having a good credit history and being employed.
Any school-certified education loan is eligible. The application process can begin online.
The Costs of Advantage Education Loan Refinancing
Interest rates for an Advantage Refinance Loan start at 3.74% if someone is enrolled in autopay. There are no fees, and the interest rates on refinances are always fixed. There is a 0.25% interest rate discount for using auto pay.
The terms of refinancing are flexible and can include 10, 15, or 20 years. The minimum loan amount is $7,500, and the minimum monthly payment is $50. There aren’t prepayment penalties, and as long as the education loans are school-certified, there is no upper limit on refinancing. Borrowers can also choose which loans they’ll include in their refinancing.
There are no application, origination, guarantee, or late fees when a borrower refinances with Advantage Education Loan.
Advantage Education Loan Perks
There are benefits to Advantage Education refinance loans. There is the ability to consolidate all types of loans, as well as the fact that the interest rates are always fixed. Monthly payments are determined by the terms the borrower chooses.
After 36 months if a borrower has made on-time payments, they can request a release of their cosigner if they have one.
Advantage offers some forbearance options where borrowers can temporarily stop payments if they have an economic hardship. The maximum amount of forbearance is 36 months over the life of the loan.
There are also both standard repayment and graduated repayment options. With the graduated repayment from Advantage, borrowers start with a reduced payment at first, and then their payments are increased by 10 percent every two years for the duration of their loan term.
The loans are also owned, managed and serviced by the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation (KHESLC). This means loans are not handled by a third party; they also won’t be sold or subcontracted.
If a person dies before they pay off their student loan, their cosigner is released as well.
Things to Consider
For some borrowers, the fixed interest rates offered by Advantage can be lower than with other private institutions or federal student loans. However, that’s not always true. Interest rates can be as high as 6.99% for some borrowers, based on their creditworthiness and the repayment terms they choose, which is higher than the current fixed rates for subsidized and unsubsidized federal loans.
Also, if you refinance your federal student loans with any private lender, like Advantage, you will lose the protections and perks that federal student loans offer – such as income-based repayment plans or forgiveness options.
Making a Decision
While there are always considerations and certain factors to weigh, Advantage Education Loan might be a good option for refinancing if you can lower your overall cost or monthly payments. They offer things that some other lenders don’t, such as graduated payments, fixed interest rates, cosigner release, and a lengthy forbearance period.
However, if you want to keep your federal loan benefits, or if your loans already offer better rates than you can get approved for through Advantage, this might not be your best choice.
You can see some of the best student loan companies here if you'd like to compare Advantage Education.