Discover Bank has been operating for more than 100 years, and since 2010, it has offered private student loans to students attending more than 2,400 colleges and universities. Loans of up to 100% of education costs with fixed or variable rates are available. This Discover student loans review highlights the main features, application process and more to help borrowers decide if it’s a good fit.
- Loans as small as $1,000 are available. This can help families bridge the gap between financial aid and out-of-pocket college expenses.
- Co-signers are accepted. Many times, parents or grandparents choose to co-sign a loan for their student, which may help them qualify for a lower interest rate.
- Discover has no origination, application or late fees.
- Discover doesn’t disclose qualifying criteria, and prequalification is not available. That means if you wish to apply, Discover will pull your credit history, and it will be a hard inquiry on your credit reports.
- It only offers a single loan term of 15 years for undergraduates, 20 years for graduate students and 10 or 20 years for student loan consolidation.
Find the Best Student Loans for You
Student loan options from Discover are:
- Law school
- Medical school
- Bar exam prep classes and living expenses
- Student loan refinancing for students and parents
Discover offers fixed- and variable-rate student loans. You can apply for a loan from $1,000 up to your total cost of attendance, minus other financial aid.
There is no application, origination or late fee.
Discover does not disclose minimum FICO credit score, minimum credit history or maximum debt-to-income ratio requirements for loan approval, and preapprovals are not available. You’ll need to apply before you can find out about approval and loan terms.
Co-signers are accepted. Discover will evaluate individual student borrowers first and will then recommend the co-signer option if needed.
To qualify for a student loan, you must fill out an application and submit to a hard credit check to receive your offer. Discover doesn’t disclose its minimum required credit score. If you don’t have enough credit history, you may need to apply with a co-signer who has appropriate credit for the loan. You may borrow from $1,000 up to the amount your school certifies for that school year for most student loans. Discover offers an option to prequalify for loans for future school years to simplify the application process.
Discover doesn’t publish the minimum credit score for student loans. You’ll likely need good credit to qualify, and if you don’t have it, you’ll need a co-signer to get a loan. The company also evaluates applications based on field of study, additional sources of financing, grades and other information from the application.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Discover Student Loan?
While your application can be completed in as little as 15 minutes, school certification time frames vary by school but typically take three to five weeks to process. Once your school certifies your loan, the school will schedule the disbursement.
Discover student loan borrowers can decide whether to make payments while in school. Repayment options include:
- Interest-only payments while in school
- Flat $25 monthly payments while in school
- Deferred payment, with no in-school payments required
Discover does not disclose specific requirements or policies regarding its forbearance or deferment due to financial hardship options. However, the lender offers options for borrowers experiencing financial difficulty.
If the primary borrower dies or is permanently disabled, the loan is forgiven for both borrowers and co-signers. However, Discover won’t release a co-signer if, for example, the primary borrower makes a certain number of on-time payments or builds his or her own credit.
Undergraduate and graduate students can earn a one-time award equal to 1% of each new Discover student loan when they earn at least a 3.0 GPA or equivalent.
Customers can also lower their student loan interest rate by 0.25 percentage point while enrolled in automatic payments. An additional interest rate discount of 0.35 is available for borrowers who select the interest-only repayment option and make interest-only payments during the in-school and grace periods.
Discover student loans received an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 by U.S. News, better than the median score of 4.4 among all rated lenders. In customer service, Discover rated a 5.
Discover has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a BBB-accredited business.
In 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received 66 student loan complaints about Discover Bank. The most common issues were related to:
- Dealing with the lender or servicer
- Struggling to repay the loan
Discover provided a timely response to the CFPB for all issues, closing 55 with explanation and 11 with nonmonetary relief.
Discover’s U.S.-based representatives are available to assist 24/7.
- Students who want to be rewarded for good grades
- Students who want multiple loan options
- Students who don’t want to pay loan fees