• Fixed APR: 4.49% - 12.39%
  • Variable APR: 1.24% - 10.99%
  • Loan amount: $1,000 up to the total cost of attendance
  • Grace period: 6 months
  • Min. credit score: Not disclosed

Discover Student Loans Reviews, Pros, Cons [Reviewed in 2021]

Fact-checked
  • Fixed APR: 4.49% - 12.39%
  • Variable APR: 1.24% - 10.99%
  • Loan amount: $1,000 up to the total cost of attendance
  • Grace period: 6 months
  • Min. credit score: Not disclosed

Best For

Discover is an online lending company that offers various financial services

STRENGTHS

  • No fees
  • Rewards for good grades
  • Full coverage of costs

WEAKNESSES

  • No pre-qualification
  • No co-signer release

Discover is an online lending company that offers various financial services, including student loans. They offer coverage of up to 100% of your school costs depending on several factors such as your loan type, GPA, etc.

In this article, we will take a look at what Discover student loans reviews are saying so you can compare and choose the best loan for your own or your child’s needs.

Discover Student Loans at a Glance

Discover student loan type Fixed APR Variable APR Loan amount Loan repayment term Grace period Minimum credit score
Undergraduate 4.49% – 12.39% 1.24%-10.99% $1,000 > 15 years 6 months Undisclosed
Graduate 4.99% – 12.39% 1.24% – 10.99% $1,000 > 20 years 9 months Undisclosed
MBA 4.49% – 10.59% 1.99% – 11.37% $1,000 > 20 years 6 to 9 months Undisclosed
Law School 4.49% – 8.99% 1.99% – 8.59% $1,000 > 20 years 6 to 9 months Undisclosed
Med School 4.49% – 7.74% 1.99% – 6.99% $1,000 > 20 years 6 to 9 months Undisclosed
Residency 6.24% – 7.99% 5.24% – 7.34% $5,000 – $18,000 20 years 6 to 9 months Undisclosed
Bar Exam 6.99% – 12.49% 6.24% – 11.74% Up to $18, 000 20 years Up to 6 months after graduation Undisclosed
Parent Loan 5.74% – 14.74% 4.49% – 13.87% $1,000 > 15 years N/A Undisclosed

Types of Discover Student Loans

There’s a number of loans Discover offers to students. We will introduce each of them and highlight their most important features in this section.

Discover Undergraduate Loan:

An undergrad loan is a great option for anyone who needs just a little bit extra on top of their already approved federal loan. If your credit score is good enough, you won’t need a cosigner, and like all other Discover student loans requirements, there are no additional fees. You don’t have to commit to paying it back while you are in school, but you can opt for paying $25 per month while studying.

  • Fixed APR: 4.49% – 12.39%
  • Variable APR: 1.24% – 10.99%
  • Loan amount: $1,000 up to the total cost of attendance
  • Loan term: 15 years
  • Grace period: 6 months
  • Min. credit score: Not disclosed by Discover. All loans are approved or rejected upon application.

Discover Graduate Loan

This loan can cover up to 100% of your schooling costs and is designed mostly for students in law school, professional medical shools, and most types of Ph.D.s. Unlike Undergrad loans, these Discover student loans APR is slightly higher, but it also comes with a 9 months grace period. While there is no need for a cosigner, typically you would need a good credit score to get this loan approved.

  • Fixed APR: 4.99% – 12.39%
  • Variable APR: 1.99% – 11.37%
  • Loan amount: $1,000 up to the total cost of attendance
  • Loan term: 20 years
  • Grace period: 9 months
  • Min. credit score: Not disclosed by Discover. All loans are approved or rejected upon application.

Discover MBA Loan

While we’re not sure if this is one of the best private student loans you can get, it is definitely one of the quickest. Available online, and approved in as little as 15 minutes, this is one of the most convenient student loans out there. Aimed specifically at MBA and business school students, this loan offers great repayment terms with no fees.

  • Fixed APR: 4.49% – 10.59%
  • Variable APR: 2.24% – 9.99%
  • Loan amount: $1,000 up to the total cost of attendance
  • Loan term: 20 years
  • Min. credit score: Like with other Discover student loans, your credit score is assessed upon application.

Discover Law School Loan

As the name suggests, these loans are designed for law school students and can help them cover up to 100% of their school costs. What makes them different from others is that you can set your own interest rates and repayment options. No wonderthis feature is often praised in reviews on Discover student loans.

  • Fixed APR: 4.49% – 8.99%
  • Variable APR: 1.99% – 8.59%
  • Loan amount: $1,000 up to the total cost of attendance
  • Loan term: 20 years
  • Grace period: 6-9 months
  • Min. credit score: Not disclosed by Discover. All loans are approved or rejected upon application.

Discover Medical School Loan:

The Med school loan is among the most popular private student loans when it comes to graduate students who are pursuing a degree in medical professions. These loans do not require you to pay a Discover student loan application fee. Origination and late fees are also excluded, and there is no prepayment penalty.

  • Fixed APR: 4.49% – 7.74%
  • Variable APR: 1.99% – 6.99%
  • Loan amount: $1,000 up to the total cost of attendance
  • Loan term: 20 years
  • Grace period: 6-9 months
  • Min. credit score: Not disclosed by Discover. All loans are approved or rejected upon application.

Discover Residency Loan

Residency loans are designed for Med school graduates who are starting their resident programs in a health institution. These loans are there to cover the costs of relocation and the overall living costs during their residency period. The max. loan amount depends on your field of study, and the repayment period is 20 years.

  • Fixed APR: 6.24% – 7.99%
  • Variable APR: 5.24% – 7.34%
  • Loan amount: $5,000 – $18,000
  • Loan term: 20 years
  • Grace period: 6-9 months (possible deferment of payments up to 5 years)
  • Min. credit score: Not disclosed by Discover. All loans are approved or rejected upon application.

Discover Bar Exam Loan

Loan aimed specifically at law school graduates preparing for their bar exams. These loans are designed to cover the costs of living and preparing for the exam. Like with many Discover student loans, a cosigner is not always necessary, but most fresh law school graduates will probably need one after all.

  • Fixed APR: 6.99% – 12.49%
  • Variable APR: 6.24% – 11.74%
  • Loan amount: Up to $18,000
  • Loan term: 20 years
  • Grace period: Up to 6 months after graduation
  • Min. credit score: Not disclosed by Discover. All loans are approved or rejected upon application.

Discover Parent Loan

If you are a parent looking to support your child through university, then this loan is for you. Whether your child is a graduate or undergrad student, the parent loan can cover up to 100% of attendance costs. There are no late or origination fees, and there are discounts for auto-debit payments.

  • Fixed APR: 5.74% – 14.74%
  • Variable APR: 4.49% – 13.87%
  • Loan amount: $1,000 up to the total cost of attendance
  • Loan term: 15 years
  • Grace period: N/A
  • Min. credit score: Not disclosed by Discover. All loans are approved or rejected upon application.

Loan Fees, Discounts, and Rewards

Loans are a bit more than someone simply giving you money and you paying them back in installments. There are a number of terms that can confuse you, and in this section of our Discover student loans reviews, we’ll try to clarify some of them.

  • Fees
    • Origination: Usually worth anywhere between 0.5% and 1% of your total loan amount. This fee is used to cover your loan processing costs.
    • Application: As the name suggests, this is a fee you need to pay in order to apply for a loan.
    • Late fees: They basically represent a kind of a “punishment” for not paying your installment(s) on time.
      It is important to note here that most or all Discover student loans do not include most or any of these fees. Maybe this is what makes them so popular according to student loan debt statistics.
  • Discounts
    • Automatic withdrawals: Also known as autopay discounts. You get a certain discount on your installments if you allow your lender to withdraw money automatically from your debit/credit cards.
    • Interest-only payments: Some lenders will offer this option, which entails only paying the interest on a certain number of your installments, without paying the full amount of the installment.
  • Rewards
    • Good grades: When it comes to Discover student loans, good grades can be greatly beneficial for you, not only academically, but also financially. Some student loans contain a clause that says that you will be rewarded if you maintain a certain GPA during your studies.
    • Graduation: If you graduate under certain conditions, Discover can reward you in various ways, be it writing off some of your debt or helping you through your further studies in a different way. Discover student loans cash rewards are another way in which Discover shows appreciation to their clients.

Repayment 

There are three different options available when it comes to your Discover student loan repayment. It is important for you to get familiar with them before choosing a plan.

  • In-school interest only: This plan lets you pay only the interest amounts, instead of your full installments during your grace period and while you are in school. It’s a good option if you want to avoid your interest charges piling up while you’re still studying.
  • In-school fixed: This plan means that you will be obliged to pay fixed $25 installments while you’re in school. Discover student loans come with fixed interest rates – one less thing to worry about regarding your loan.
  • Deferred: In the long run, this plan is probably the least advisable one. It means that you will pay no interest on your installments until 6 months after your graduation. But it can also mean that your interest rate will skyrocket afterward.

 Eligibility

Discover student loans have certain eligibility criteria that you need to meet in order to be granted one.

  • Prequalification: In order to pre-qualify for a student loan with Discover, you need to check certain boxes (for most loan types, at least):
  • Be enrolled in an academic program (BA, MA, or Ph.D.)
  • Be in pursuit of a degree
  • Have a good academic record
  • Be a US citizen, resident, or registered international student
  • Be 16 years old or older
  • Pass a credit check
  • Co-signer: So you read Discover graduate loans reviews and you think you meet all the criteria, right? Well, you will still probably need a co-signer, if like most people applying for student loans you do not have a credit history yet.

Discover Student Loan Application

So far we’ve covered a lot in our reviews on Discover student loans, so now let’s find out how to apply for one. Here’s what you need to apply for a Discover student loan:

  • Required documents
    • Social Security number
    • Selected school information and your field of study
    • Loan amount requested
    • Expected financial aid
    • Financial information (rent or mortgage payments, income, etc.)
    • Permanent address and in-school address (if applicable)
  • Approval time: After submitting your application, Discover may take 3-5 days to approve it, and up to 5 weeks to transfer your loan.

Student Loan Refinancing, Forbearance, and Discharge Options

  • Refinancing: Discover is also one of the best student loan refinancing companies. They have programs offering upwards of $5,000 in refinancing your student loans, with both variable and fixed APR.
  • Forbearance: This is another option available to you with Discover. Depending on the severity of your financial hardship, you may qualify for a forbearance program offering postponement of payments for up to 12 months.
  • Discharge: Just like forbearance, Discover can also offer a reduction of your interest rates to make your payments more manageable.

Discover Student Loans Pros and Cons

Pros
  • No fees
  • Rewards for good grades
  • Full coverage of costs
Cons
  • No pre-qualification
  • No co-signer release

Customer Service

The Discover student loans customer service is among the highest-ranking ones in the US at the moment. As a matter of fact, between 2018 and 2019 only 5% of complaints from users of private student loans were about Discover.

Their customer service is available 24/7, either through a dedicated hotline or via text-messaging service.

Discover Student Loan Alternatives

Discover is, of course, not the only lender offering student loans, so let’s see what other options are there and how they compare to Discover:

Discover vs CommonBond

Offering a relatively lower fixed APR, but a somewhat higher variable APR, CommonBond is available to anyone with a credit score higher than 680.

Discover vs Sallie Mae

The largest student loan provider along with Discover, Sallie Mae offers similar or identical loan terms as Discover does. And while Sallie Mae offers some attractive features such as credit score tracking, it does not offer loans to anyone under 18 (unlike Discover, which allows you to apply at 16).

Conclusion

After checking out all the loan information and various Discover student loans reviews, we can conclude that Discover is a great option for anyone looking to finance their studies.

They offer a wide variety of repayment plans, several discharge and forbearance solutions allowing you to postpone your payments, and fairly attractive interest rates.

However, before you decide to go with Discover, you may want to “shop around” a bit more to find out if there is another lender that suits your specific needs better.

 

FAQ

Can you refinance student loans?

Absolutely, yes. Discover does not only offer loans, but also different refinancing solutions for anyone who needs them. They can cover anything from $5,000 up to 100% of your loan.

Is Discover student loan legit?

Discover is one of the most popular lenders in general, and they have been in the business of student loans for quite some time now. If you don’t believe us, just check some of the hundreds of Discover student loans reviews available out there.

How long does it take to get a student loan?

With Discover, your loan can get approved between 3 and 5 business days, but it may take up to 5 weeks before the funds are made available to you.

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