Frequently Asked Questions

What is Ascent?

Ascent is an innovative private student loan program that provides access to higher education funding for an expanded population of students, while encouraging the financial wellness of students and their families through financial literacy.

Why should I choose an Ascent loan?

We give you more opportunities to qualify for a loan in your own name.  This allows for more students to gain access to higher education funding – in some cases without a cosigner. Additionally, the Ascent loans are competitively priced and offer three flexible repayment options to help students manage loan repayment. Please see “What to expect after I apply?” for more details.

What is the interest rate?

The interest rate is based on a number of factors and may be lower for borrowers that select an Interest Only plan rather than a Deferred Repayment plan. Additionally, the interest rate may be lower for a cosigned loan compared to a non-cosigned loan.
  • Borrowers are eligible to receive a 0.25% automatic debit payment interest rate reduction for payments made via automatic debit.
  • Borrowers lose this benefit after two (2) Nonsufficient Funds (NSF) payments, until they re-qualify and re-enroll in automatic debit payments.
Click here for current Ascent Health variable rates.

How often does the variable interest rate change?

The variable interest rate changes the first of every month with the 1-Month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) rounded to the nearest 1/100th of a percent.i

What is LIBOR?

LIBOR is a benchmark rate that some of the world’s leading banks charge each other for short term loans and is among the most common interest rate indices used to make adjustments to variable rate consumer loans. LIBOR stands for London Interbank Offered Rate. Ascent loans are variable rate consumer loans that may adjust monthly pursuant to the greater of 0% or the 1-Month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in U.S. dollars) as published on the Wall Street Journal’s website (or any generally recognized successor method or means of publication) on the 20th day of the calendar month immediately preceding any change in rate.i

How does interest accrue?

Interest is calculated on a daily simple interest basis, using the outstanding principal balance each day of the term of the loan. The daily interest rate is equal to the annual interest rate in effect on that day, divided by the actual number of days in the current calendar year.

What is “interest”?

Interest is the price paid for the use of borrowed money. It is typically expressed as a percentage rate over a period of time.

What to expect after I apply?

We do everything we can to process loan applications quickly and efficiently but we will likely need your help to speed the process along.  First, we will review your credit and in many cases can provide an initial credit result when you and your cosigner (if applicable) submit your application.  However, often we will ask you for additional information or documentation before we can approve your loan for funding.  See also “What is the maximum loan amount?” below.

What is the repayment term?

  Ascent Health applicants may choose between a 10-year Interest-Only and Deferred or 12-year for Immediate Repayment/Full P&I repayment term during the application process. Once the loan is funded, the term may not be changed.   Click here for current Ascent Health variable rate repayment examples.

Is there a penalty or fee if I pay off my loan early, before the repayment term?

No. With Ascent loans you will not incur any fees or penalties if you pay off your loan before the repayment term.

What is the maximum loan amount?

The maximum loan amount for all Ascent loans is the total Cost of Attendance, for a period not to exceed one full academic year as certified by your school.  Note:  Your maximum loan amount may be significantly less than the amount requested on your application due to school certification or other underwriting factors. ii  The maximum aggregate loan amount for Ascent Student Loans is $200,000.

Is there a minimum loan amount?

Yes. The minimum loan amount is $1,000.

What is the status of my loan?

If you are looking for information regarding your Ascent Student Loan application in process or pending disbursement(s): If you have questions about an existing loan, such as payment, deferment or forbearance information, please contact the loan servicer, University Accounting Service at 800-999-6227 or at www.uasecho.com.

Do I need to be a full time student to obtain an Ascent loan?

No, but you must be at least half-time enrolled in a degree program at an eligible institution.

Are there any repayment incentives for the Ascent loan?

Borrowers can get a 0.25% interest rate reduction if payments are made by automatic debit. iii

What are my repayment options?

Borrowers may choose from one of these repayment options:
  • Interest Only– The Interest-Only Repayment option requires that while the student is enrolled at least half-time at an eligible institution, the borrower will pay at least the interest that accrues on the loan each month. Upon graduation or if no longer enrolled at least half-time, the borrower will make full Principal and Interest payments for the remaining term of the loan.
  • Deferred Repayment– The Deferred Repayment option allows for the borrower to postpone Principal and Interest payments on the loan while the student is at least half-time enrolled at an eligible institution for a period of up to sixty (60) months. Interest accrues during this In-School period and is capitalized upon entering repayment.
  • Immediate Repayment – Full principal and interest repayment on the loan begins approximately thirty (30) to forty-five (45) days after the first disbursement date.
 Click here for current Ascent Health variable rate repayment examples.

Do I have to make payments while I’m enrolled in school?

Please see “What are my repayment options?

What is capitalization?

Whenever you have gone through an authorized period during which you are not required to make payments, such as during an In-School, grace, deferment or forbearance period, interest will continue to accrue on your loan and be added to the principal balance when you start making payments again. You will learn more about capitalization when you complete our application and the financial literacy course.

What do I do if I am unable to find my school when I try to apply for an Ascent loan?

Your school may not be on our list of eligible schools at this time. You may email us at partner@ascentprogram.com with your school information to confirm eligibility; otherwise, please contact your school and ask if they have a list of preferred lenders.

Are international students or cosigners eligible for an Ascent loan?

Students applying without a cosigner must be U.S. citizens or have U.S. permanent resident status. Students that are not a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident may apply with a credit worthy cosigner that is a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident; however, the opportunity to remove the cosigner is only available to student borrowers that are U.S. citizens or have U.S. permanent resident status.  Please see “Can I eventually remove the cosigner from my loan?” for more details.

Do I need a cosigner?

Not necessarily. Ascent considers several factors, including: creditworthiness, school, program, graduation date, major, cost of attendance, and other factors that could allow for students to obtain a loan in their own name without a cosigner. Nevertheless, applying with a cosigner may result in a lower interest rate. Students that are not a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident may apply with a credit worthy cosigner that is a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident; however, the opportunity to remove the cosigner is only available to student borrowers that are U.S. citizens or have U.S. permanent resident status.  Please see “Can I eventually remove the cosigner from my loan?” for more details.

What does it mean to be a cosigner?

A cosigner agrees to take equal responsibility for the loan. This means that if the student borrower is not able to make the payments, the cosigner is still legally obligated to pay the loan. Either party can make the required monthly payments.

Can I eventually remove the cosigner from my loan?

Yes. You can apply to release your cosigner after making the first 24 consecutive regularly scheduled full principal and interest payments on-time and meeting the other eligibility criteria to qualify for the loan without a cosigner  Note that you must meet the program requirements for a solo student borrower, as well as certain credit and income requirements and elect to make payments via Auto Debit to be eligible for a cosigner release.

What are the qualifying requirements for an Ascent loan?

Ascent considers several factors, including: creditworthiness, school, program, graduation date, major, cost of attendance, and other factors.  Please see “What to expect after I apply?” for more details.

How are funds disbursed?

Loan proceeds are sent directly to the school, either electronically or by check, depending on the preference of the school. The school first applies loan proceeds to your outstanding balance (tuition, fees, etc.) If there are remaining funds after all balances are paid, the school will refund the money to you in accordance with the school’s refund procedures.

Do you offer forgiveness for death and or/disability?

Yes. The loan is forgiven if the student dies or becomes totally and permanently disabled.

Why must I complete a Financial Literacy module in order to receive a loan?

Ascent includes an interactive course on Financial Literacy as a no-cost feature for students and cosigners to complete as part of the application process. It is a required activity within the application process because we believe it to be an important component of supporting the financial wellness of our Ascent Student Loan borrowers.

Who is Goal Structured Solutions?

Goal Structured Solutions, Inc. (“GS2”) is the Originator Processor for Ascent Student Loans.

Who is CampusDoor?

GS2 as Originator Processor utilizes CampusDoor to administer the loan application processing activities for Ascent Student Loans.

Who is the lender?

Loans are made by Richland State Bank (RSB), Member FDIC, or Turnstile Capital Management, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Goal Structured Solutions, Inc. (GS2).

Who is UAS?

University Account Service (UAS) is the loan servicer for Ascent Student Loans. UAS is a leading student loan servicing company, and they are responsible for sending statements, processing payments, and providing general account guidance.

How do I contact UAS?

You may contact University Accounting Service at 800-999-6227 or log into the repayment portal at www.uasecho.com.

What are my deferment / forbearance options?

Ascent Student Loans include the following deferment and forbearance options:
  • Active Duty Military Deferment
  • In-School Deferment
  • Residency / Internship Deferment
  • Temporary Hardship Forbearance iv

When do payments begin?

Under the Deferred Repayment plan, repayment begins six (6) months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time at an eligible institution (either by graduation or otherwise). The first payment due is typically 30 to 45 days thereafter. Under the Interest Only or $25 Minimum Payment plans, the first payment due is typically 30 to 45 days after the first disbursement on the loan.

What can I use the money for?

Proceeds from Ascent loans are intended for education related expenses at an eligible school. Education related expenses include tuition & fees, room & board, books, etc.

What will be my monthly payment?

Monthly payments are based on the loan amount, repayment term, interest rate and repayment plan selected. Click here for current Ascent Health variable rate repayment examples.
i If the 20th of the month indicated above is not a business day where the banks of both New York and London are open for the transaction of business, then the previous business day will be used to determine the current index. If the annual capitalization date is a non-business day for the Lender or Servicer, then the following interest will capitalize on the next business day. ii Maximum loan amount is based on Cost of Attendance as certified by the school, less any financial aid already received, and may not exceed the amount requested on the application. Richland State Bank (RSB) may also approve the loan for a lesser amount than requested on the application or certified by the school. Note:  Because the Ascent Independent loan is available to students without any reliance on cosigners and looks beyond your credit and current income, processing times may be longer and approved loan amounts may be significantly lower than the loan amount requested.  Please see “What to expect after I apply?” for more details. iii 0.25% Auto Debit interest rate reduction applies only when the borrower or cosigner signs up for automatic payments and the regularly scheduled, current amount due is successfully deducted from the designated bank account each month. Borrowers lose this benefit after two (2) Nonsufficient Funds (NSF) payments, until they requalify and re-enroll in automatic debit payments.  Interest rate reduction(s) will not apply during periods when no payment is due, including periods of In-School, Deferment, Grace or Forbearance.   iv A borrower may request deferment in writing, or by completing and signing a deferment form and providing the appropriate documentation requested on the form.  All deferments after the In-School period are provided solely at the lender’s discretion. Interest shall continue to accrue on loans during periods of authorized deferment. Unpaid interest is capitalized when the deferment period ends. Ascent Student Loans include the following deferment options:
  • Active Duty Military Deferment A borrower is eligible for an Active Duty Military Deferment upon submitting an application for such and eligible documentation to the repayment Servicer showing that he or she is serving on active duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency or performing qualifying National Guard duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency. – Active Duty Military Deferment is available up to a cumulative limit of 36-months. – This deferment DOES extend the repayment term.
  • In-School Deferment Student borrowers that have exited an In-School Status, either by separating from school (or dropping to less than half-time enrollment) and subsequently entering a repayment status prior to re-establishing at least half-time enrollment at an eligible institution, or by using the maximum allowable months of In-School Status, may be eligible for an In-School Deferment. Student borrowers must apply for an In-School deferment, and eligibility is based on verification of at least half-time enrollment at an eligible institution. - The maximum deferment period under the In-School deferment is 24-months. -This deferment DOES extend the repayment term.
  • Residency / Internship DefermentStudent borrowers may be eligible for a Residency / Internship Deferment if the student: – Has been accepted into a Residency / Internship program which must: o Be a supervised program; and o Require that the student hold at least a Bachelor’s Degree before acceptance into the program; and o Must either: - Lead to a degree or certificate from an institution of higher education, a hospital, or a health facility that offers postgraduate training, or - Be required before the student may be certified for professional practice or service, which must be verified by the relevant state licensing agency. Residency/Internship Deferment is subject to the following, additional limitations: – The maximum deferment period under any the Residency / Internship Deferment is 24-months. – This deferment DOES extend the repayment term.
Temporary Hardship Forbearance Borrowers experiencing periods of financial difficulty may be granted forbearance. The forbearance period duration may be from a minimum of one month to a maximum of three months. A borrower may apply for up to four (4) consecutive periods of Temporary Hardship Forbearance. A maximum of twenty four (24) total months of Temporary Hardship Forbearance may be granted during the life of the loan. Interest shall continue to accrue on loans during periods of authorized forbearance. Unpaid interest is capitalized when the forbearance period ends. This forbearance DOES NOT extend the repayment term.

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