College Ave Student Loans vs Earnest

Kalicia Bateman
Kalicia Bateman | Contributor

College Ave and Earnest are both well-known companies offering low-rate student loan refinancing to help borrowers save money and get out of debt faster. 

Here’s what customers are saying about these lenders:

Earnest logo verified_user
#8 Earnest Insufficient Reviews
3.0
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(1)

Overview

College Ave Student Loans

Forbearance Option

No

Features
check Auto Payment
check Cosigner Option
check Calculator
Requirements
Loan Type

Both

Services Offered

Both

Term Lengths

11 Years

Max Undergrad.

$150,000

Time in Business

Undisclosed

Earnest

Yes

check Auto Payment
check Career Support
check Calculator

Both

Both

5–20

$500,000

8 Years

Ratings

College Ave Student Loans

Overall Score
2.9 of 10
Review Score
3.0
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Value for Money
0.0
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Quality of Product or Service
0.0
star_border star_border star_border star_border star_border
Company Trustworthiness
0.0
star_border star_border star_border star_border star_border
Likely to Recommend
0.0 of 10

Earnest

4.2 of 10
3.0
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0.0
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0.0
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0.0
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0.0 of 10

Reviews

College Ave Student Loans

Number of Reviews
2
Review Breakdown
3.0
star star star star_border star_border
5 star
50%
4 star
0%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
50%

Earnest

1
3.0
star star star star_border star_border
5 star
0%
4 star
0%
3 star
100%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%

Reviews for College Ave Student Loans

Helpful Favorable Review

star star star star star

Justin Welch West Chester, PA

There was no hassle with filling out my application

3 years ago

Helpful Critical Review

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Rolandas Matawan, NJ

Worst experience ever. College Ave is total scam. We applied to get only $6000 student loan for 2018/2019 school year. My scores close to 800 and our household annual income more then 6 digit. As soon I submitted application online , in 10-20 second I received message on computer screen " You application been denied ". I called customer service and supervisor told me that according to credit bureau I not have established credit history. Is was total lie. I will never ever trust this company. I will not recommend to anybody.

3 years ago

Reviews for Earnest

Helpful Favorable Review

check_circle

Review Source

star star star star_border star_border

Maria West Valley City, UT

This is a very personable company yet customer service where not so friendly and knowledgeable

1 year ago

Helpful Critical Review

None Available

The Final Word

We recommend Earnest for your student loan refinancing needs. Here’s why:

Rates and Terms

While the point of refinancing is to get more favorable rates and terms on your student loans, Earnest is known for offering lower-than-average rates compared to its competitors, and in this case College Ave. Here’s how these lenders’ rates and terms compare:

College Ave vs. Earnest
  College Ave Earnest
Variable APR range* 3.24%–5.54% 1.99%–5.64%
Fixed APR range* 3.34%–5.69% 2.98%–5.79%
Loan amounts $5,000–$300,000 $5,000–$500,000
Loan terms 5–15 years 5–20 years

*Including 0.25% Auto Pay discount.

Both Earnest’s variable and fixed rates are much lower than those offered by College Ave, but it is also important to note the loan amounts offered by each lender. If you had large amounts of student debt that you were looking to refinance, Earnest would be your best choice, providing up to $200,000 more in its maximum loan offering with longer loan terms which could help you lower and manage your monthly payments.

Merit-Based Loans

Most student loan lenders and refinancers rely on your credit score to determine your eligibility for a loan. And in most cases, student loan refinance companies have higher credit score requirements because they are taking on your existing debt and offering you better rates and terms, so they want to make sure that you are a responsible borrower who is able to make on-time payments.

In line with this common industry practice, College Ave uses credit to determine your eligibility for refinancing. Although a specific minimum credit score requirement isn’t outlined on College Ave’s website, it is likely that you will need a credit score in the mid-to-high 600s to qualify.

If you do not have a strong credit score, Earnest has a merit-based application process that takes other factors into consideration beyond your credit score, such as your education and employment history. The company does have a minimum credit score requirement of 650, but if you have low or bad credit you may still have a chance to qualify since Earnest strives to get an all-around idea of who you are beyond your credit score.

States Serviced

Earnest only provides student loan refinancing in 46 states. If you live in the following states, Earnest’s services and products will not be available to you:

  • Alabama
  • Kentucky
  • Nevada
  • Rhode Island

Earnest variable rates are also unavailable in the following states:

  • Arkansas
  • Illinois
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • Ohio
  • Tennessee
  • Texas

If you would prefer not having to worry about location or state availability, College Ave would be your best option. But, that being said, Earnest does offer more competitive rates and terms that could make it worth a little extra hassle, particularly if you live in one of the aforementioned states affected by specific state regulations.

On the other hand, College Ave student loan refinancing services are available in all 50 states, including D.C.

Forbearance Options

If you find that you are having a difficult time making payments, or you anticipate this in the future, Earnest offers loan forbearance in certain situations. This protection allows for up to 12 months of forbearance, and simple daily interest will continue to accrue during the forbearance period.

Earnest also offers other programs and services if you have difficult making payments, including:

  • Skip-a-payment
  • Loan deferment
  • Military deferment and SCRA benefits
  • Loan forgiveness and discharge (only in the case of death or permanent disability)

College Ave does not offer loan forbearance, but does have the Payce Rewards program in place to help borrowers pay back their loan. This program is a free service that allows you to receive cash back for your loans on purchase made in the Payce Rewards network.

Apply with a Cosigner

Unfortunately, Earnest does not offer the option to apply for student loan refinancing with a cosigner.

On the other hand, College Ave does allow you to apply for refinancing with a cosigner, but they must reside in the same state as you. In addition, College Ave offers a cosigner release option once more than half of repayment has been made on a loan, and consecutive, on-time payments will have had to be made for at least 24 months.

Top Choice

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Earnest

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