Discover, often recognized as a leader among credit card and payment service companies, also offers student and personal loans. Here is an in-depth look at Discover Bank student loans and refinancing loans; how they work; how to apply, and the pros and cons.
If you are one of the millions of Americans holding a portion of the 1.3+ trillion dollars of student debt, Discover’s student loan consolidation product may be of interest to you.
Discover Bank student loan offers
Discover enables students to refinance their federal and private student loans into a private consolidation loan. The student applies with Discover and, if approved, can get a new loan to pay off their old loan(s).
Applicants are not required to consolidate all of their loans, but can include whichever ones they choose (that are qualified). The only cost is the interest. Discover does not charge an origination or application fee.
Mark Kantrowitz, Publisher and VP of Strategy at Cappex.com, adds that Discover’s consolidation loans offer competitive interest rates, auto-debit discounts, and death and disability discharges.
However, he says they do not allow for a cosigner release until the loan is paid in full, whereas some other lenders do.
Let’s take a look at who can qualify.
Discover Bank student loan eligibility
To be eligible, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- 18 years of age
- Primary borrower on loans
- Verifiable income
- Credit check pass
- S. citizen or permanent resident
- Have less than $150,000 in aggregate student loan debt (specific fields of study may have higher limits)
The following student loans are not eligible:
- Loans originated outside the U.S.
- Loans for K-12 school
- Post-graduate loans
- Loans that weren’t used for qualifying expenses
- Loans received when the student was enrolled less than half-time
If you qualify, you have 30 days from pre-approval to accept the loan terms, and three days to cancel if you change your mind after signing the paperwork. After this three-day period, the old loans are paid off, and there is no possibility for reversal.
FAQ about Discover student loan refinancing
How long does it take to get a student loan from Discover?
The loan can take from 30 to 45 days to process. During this time, Discover will review your credit, you will sign loan documents, and you will provide Discover with payoff statements from your previous lenders.
You should continue to make payments on your previous loans until you get notified that the consolidation is complete. Your first payment to Discover will be due 30 to 45 days after the loan disbursement.
What is the repayment period?
The repayment period, or the time you have to repay the consolidation loan, can range from 10 to 20 years, depending on your credit.
Is there any repayment assistance if I ever need it?
Yes, Discover does offer assistance for those in need. Options include:
- Deferment: available for students in school at least half-time, those on active military duty, those serving in a public service organization, or those in a medical residency
- Early Repayment Assistance Program: a three-month extension of your grace period
- Payment extension: allows three minimum monthly payments within a 90-day period
- Reduced payment: reduces payment to just the interest amount for up to six months
- Forbearance: six months of forbearance given initially
- Hardship: reduces the interest rate for six months
Can you consolidate private student loans?
Yes, you can consolidate both private and federal student loans.
Can you consolidate Discover Student Loans?
Yes, you can consolidate Discover student loans.
What is the interest rate on Discover Student Loans?
Your credit history determines the interest rate you will get. However, you will be able to choose between a fixed or variable rate. You may be able to lower your interest rate by applying with a cosigner.
How to apply for Discover Bank student loans and refinancing
You can apply over the phone or online.
1: To apply online, you will go to the Private Loan Consolidation page of the Discover website. Click “Apply Now.”
2: Next, you will need to provide your information.
3: Answer whether you are trying to refinance your own loans or loans for someone else.
4: Provide information about your degree.
5: Provide information on your loan.
6: Provide your residence information.
7: Provide your employment information.
8: Click continue and submit your application. Then, you will receive your offer.
Pros and cons
Here is a list of the benefits and the drawbacks to consider.
- Competitive interest rates
- Flexible payment assistance options
- No origination or application fees
- Can apply online or over the phone; no need to visit a branch
- Full coverage of student certified costs
- Consolidate private and federal student loans
- Multiple channels for customer support
- Variable and fixed interest rates available
- 0.25% interest rate reduction when enrolled in automatic payments
Is Discover’s student loan consolidation offer right for you? It is an option that you should consider as it offers competitive interest rates, no additional fees, flexible payment options, and a convenient application process.
Will it be the best choice for everyone? Probably not. While the rates are competitive, it is best to shop around to find out if Discover can actually offer you the best deal.
Be sure to weigh interest rates and fees, along with other factors such as eligibility requirements, the ability to release a cosigner, and the forbearance period available.
To find out what rates you qualify for with Discover, click here.