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raise^

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Founded in 1991, raise^ is a trademark of Cognition Lending Corporation, which is a Boston-based subsidiary of Cognition Financial. The company provides loans and related services including loan origination, default prevention, default processing, and other administrative functions. 

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The Good

  • Flexible Repayment Options
  • Rate Reduction
  • Quick Application

Flexible Repayment Options

raise^ offers two repayment options, so borrowers can choose the one that best fits their situation. With the Immediate Repayment option, students start making monthly principal and interest payments within 30 to 60 days following the final disbursement of their funds to their school. With the Interest Only option, students make monthly interest payments but not principal payments while still in school. Once the student graduates or drops below half-time status, there is a six-month grace period, after which the student will have to start making both principal and interest payments.

Rate Reduction

For students who sign up for automatic payments, raise^ offers a 0.25 percent interest rate reduction. This can save borrowers a few bucks, depending on the loan amount and length.

Quick Application

Filling out an electronic loan application with raise^ takes as little as 10 minutes. Once the application has been completed, students can look around at the various loan options that raise^ has to offer and see how different terms and repayment options may affect their monthly payments and overall cost.

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The Bad

  • High Interest Rates
  • Loan Terms
  • Limited Availability

High Interest Rates

The interest rates available from raise^ are higher than industry average. The company currently offers APRs ranging from 4.95 to 15.6 percent. Annual Percentage Rate will ultimately depend on the borrower and their cosigner's credit histories, the chosen repayment option and loan term, the amount of money requested, and any other information provided in the application.

Loan Terms

raise^ does not allow students to borrow more than $65,000, which is a relatively small amount when compared to maximum loan amounts offered by other top student loan companies. Furthermore, the company's maximum loan length is 10 years, which is one of the shortest in the industry and pressures borrowers to repay their loan quickly.

Limited Availability

Unfortunately, raise^ does not offer its student loans nationwide. The company's student loan services are only available to residents of the following 23 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.

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The Bottom Line

raise^ offers some attractive student loan features, including flexible repayment options, a rate reduction for auto payments, and a simple application process. However, the company's interest rates are higher than those of many of its competitors and its loan terms are somewhat limiting. Additionally, raise^ does not offer student loans in 27 states.

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