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Home Private Student Loans Lender Reviews Private Student Loan Review: Discover

Private Student Loan Review : Discover

Discover is a partner lender from which we receive compensation. Edvisors® evaluates each lender we partner with and only recommend loan programs which we believe are a best fit for our audience.

What is Discover Student Loans

Discover Student Loans is the second largest lender in education financing. They are publicly traded under their parent company, Discover Bank (a.k.a. Discover Financial Services), using the symbol DFS.

They offer a number of private student loans to help fill the gap when federal financial aid or personal savings are not enough.

Student loan products offered by Discover include:

  • Undergraduate student loans
  • Parent student loans
  • Graduate student loans
  • Loans for professional students (medical school, law school, business school)
  • Refinance loans

Discover Loans for Students

Discover Student Loans for Undergraduate Students

If you are pursuing an Associate or Bachelor’s degree at an eligible college or university, you may qualify for the Discover undergraduate loan, with a choice between a fixed or variable interest rate. The total amount you may be able to receive is the full cost of attendance minus other financial aid (as certified by your school’s financial aid office).

Apply for a Discover Private Student Loan

  • Interest Rates
    • Fixed: 4.24% APR - 12.99% APR3
    • Variable: 1.12% APR - 12.37% APR3

Discover Graduate Student Loans

Graduate student loans from Discover are a good choice if you’re enrolled in grad school and looking to complete your Masters or Doctorate. In some cases, it may be wise to compare the federal Grad PLUS Loan option to a private student loan, as it could mean lower fees and a lower interest rate.

Discover also has specific loans for health professions students, along with options for bar study and medical residency.

Student Loan Options for Parents

Discover Parent Student Loans

Discover’s Parent Student Loan is designed to help cover a student’s undergraduate or graduate education. This can be seen as an alternative to the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan where interest rates and fees may be higher than those in the private market.

Discover’s Parent Student Loan is designed to help cover a student’s undergraduate or graduate education. This can be seen as an alternative to the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan where interest rates and fees may be higher than those in the private market. Something to keep in mind is that this loan is not limited to parents only. Any creditworthy individual who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident that can pass a credit check and demonstrate income may be eligible. The loan is designed to cover up to the full cost of attendance at a degree-granting institution, less any other financial aid received.

How to Apply for Discover Student Loans

The first rule in applying for any private student loan, including Discover, is to identify who the applicant or borrower will be. Is this a loan in the student’s name or parent’s (sponsor’s) name? From there, we’ve made the process easy. Simply enter your school to see if it matches the Discover school list on our website, then click on “Apply Now” to be taken to the first page of the application.

If you are an undergraduate student or an individual without a strong credit history, you may be prompted to add a cosigner to increase the odds of approval. Once approved, Discover will send information to your school to confirm your eligibility (a process called school certification) and then your disbursement date will be scheduled to get the funds over to your college or university.

Discover Student Loans Cosigner Release

Discover Student Loans does not offer a cosigner release option for any loans made after February 1, 2012. And, as you may have heard, most undergraduate students (roughly 90%) will need a cosigner to qualify for a private student loan. This means you will need to be very clear and up front with your parent, aunt, grandparent, family friend or whomever is cosigning that they will be jointly responsible for this debt until it is paid in full.

A lot of families look for loan products where a cosigner release may be an option after completing a certain number of on-time monthly payments. If the absence of a cosigner release option is a deal breaker, you’ll want to shop around and compare lenders.

Something else to consider, however, is the option to leverage student loan refinancing as a means of releasing the cosigner from the underlying loans. This can also be helpful in simplifying loan payments after graduation.

Pros and Cons of Discover Student Loan

Choosing a lender—like Discover—largely boils down to personal preference. And a lot of that depends on what is important to you. Here are some things you may want to consider when it comes to evaluating the pros and cons:

Discover Student Loans pros and cons
Pros Cons
Competitive interest rates and fees Lowest advertised rates may not be what you qualify for; your rate could be higher based on credit history. Cosigners are often needed.
One-time cash reward for 3.0 GPA or higher; applies to undergrads and graduate students  
They offer a Multi-Year Option which allows some individuals to be pre-qualified for future loans Only applies to future borrowing at the same school and with the same borrower and cosigner, if applicable
A variety of loans for undergraduate and graduate/professional students, as well as parents No federal subsidy (meaning there is no government assistance in paying for the loan)
Multiple repayment options, including interest-only while in school Ineligible for income-driven repayment plans
They offer more than just student loans  
  No cosigner release option

Discover Student Loans Refinance

Looking to refinance your student loans with Discover? Whether you have loans with Discover or another lender, you can apply for a refinanced loan with Discover. Like most lenders, they give you the option to include both your federal and private loans together, or you can choose to only include select loans from one program or the other, or even refinance a single loan.

If you want to compare available interest rates, repayment terms, borrower benefits and other loan features, you can check out our other website to find the best student loan refinance companies. You may also want to calculate the effects of refinancing by using our Student Loan Refinance Calculator.

How Discover Gives Back

Discover gives back in a number of ways that are worth noting. Each year, the company provides financial support to underserved communities and also provides financial education. They have been a partner with Junior Achievement for more than 20 years and continue to help students in middle school and high school through their Pathway to Financial Success program.

Discover Student Loans also awards monthly $5,000 scholarships throughout the year with an opportunity for a new student, or parent, to win each month.

Discover Customer Service

Discover Student Loans has a call center that operates around the clock…24/7. They have U.S.-based Student Loan Specialists available to help you navigate the private student loan process. In 2019, Discover was recognized as the Digital Edge 50 Winner for Customer Service Strategy for the second win in a row.

Moreover, Discover has received recognition as one of the Top 50 Employers 2020 in the Reader’s Choice Awards by Equal Opportunity Magazine, and a Top Company for Women Technologists in 2019 by AnitaB.org. These achievements, and many others, further emphasize their ongoing commitment to their customers and employees.

Discover Financial Services Headquarters

Discover is a digital consumer bank with corporate offices in Riverwoods, Illinois. They also operate offices outside the United States. In total, Discover employs approximately 17,000 worldwide.

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