State-based nonprofit lender Advantage Education Loans (AEL) offers three products to borrowers:
- The Advantage Education Loan
- The Advantage Parent Loan
- The Advantage Refinance Loan
In this review, we'll focus specifically on how the Advantage Refinance Loan works and the pros and cons of refinancing your student loans with Advantage.
Read on to learn more.
Like all Advantage products, the Advantage Refinance Loan is owned, serviced, and collected by the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation (KHELSC); and originated and disbursed by the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA). Both are nonprofit agencies.
The Advantage Refinance Loan is available to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, regardless of graduation status, who are either residents or permanent citizens of the United States. This product does not require a three or four-year degree for qualification; certification-driven education options from nontraditional education avenues are also eligible. However, the school you attended must be authorized to receive federal aid.
Currently, no minimum credit score or income requirements have been disclosed for borrowers or cosigners, nor has the typical income of maximum debt-to-income ratio for a borrower.
The loan has a fixed APR and comes in 10, 15, or 20-year terms. Unlike many other lenders, AEL's refinance option comes free of most commonly-associated fees. This includes, but is not limited to, application and origination fees, prepayment penalties, and late fees.
The minimum amount anyone can borrow is $7,500, no matter what program a borrower is coming from. Loan amounts up to $500,000 are available, but your maximum limit is determined by your individual creditworthiness and debt-to-income ratio. (Amounts higher than $200,000 also require special approval.)
This debt can be transferred from a parent loan to a child, and, on average, more than one-third of all loan applicants have a co-signer, though it is not always required.
Concerning repayments, Advantage allow borrowers to repay amounts above their minimum required payments through autopay, but they do not currently allow biweekly payments through autopay.
In the event that the original borrower becomes disabled or dies, all remaining debt can be forgiven, even if the loan has a cosigner. However, if the cosigner becomes disabled or dies, the debt still stands. Additionally, after thirty-six months of on-time payments, the co-signer is eligible for release.
Our trusted partner, Credible, allows you to compare prequalified rates from multiple lenders — including Advantage Education Loans. Click here to see your student loan refi rates.
Consolidate private and federal loans
The Advantage Refinance Loan allows you to roll your private and federal student loans into one new loan, unlocking savings on interest and greater convenience.
You can refinance without a degree
Refinancing with Advantage is a great option for students who haven't graduated yet, didn’t graduate and don't plan to, or who want to refinance their loans from non-degree seeking programs.
AEL’s forbearance period is much longer than most lenders
At twenty-four months, Advantage's forbearance period is twice as long as most other lenders. This allows borrowers much more time to make their repayments.
No hard credit check needed to determine your check eligbility and rates
Advantage only uses a soft credit check to determine your eligibility and rates. This can save potential borrowers from unnecessary credit checks that may negatively impact their credit score.
See personalized rates from multiple lenders — including Advantage Education Loans — without affecting your credit score. Check your student loan refi rates in 2 minutes here.
Limited to Kentucky residents
The Advantage Refinance Loan is currently only available to Kentucky residents. If you live outside of the Bluegrass State, you're out of luck.
No payment postponing if you re-enroll in school
Unlike federally-funded loan options or other refinancing options, Advantage does not postpone payments if a student re-enrolls in school. Payments are still expected to be made on time, regardless of a borrower’s current academic standing.
Customer service only available by phone
As a state-based nonprofit lender, Advantage isn't as tech-forward as the larger financial institutions it competes with. This means missing out on the convenience of online customer service. That said, this should hardly serve as a deterrent if AEL is the best refinancing option for you otherwise.
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Jack is the Head of Content Marketing at LeverageRx, the personal finance company that simplifies how healthcare professionals shop for financial products and services. A Creighton University graduate and former advertising creative, he has written extensively about topics in personal finance, work-life, employee benefits, and technology. His work has been featured in MSN, Benzinga, TMCNet, StartupNation, Council for Disability Awareness, and more.