Discover Student Loan Review

Discover Financial Services, which operates Discover Bank, is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and has been in business since 1985. Discover offers private student loans for undergraduates, MBA students, those in residency and parents of students. With its student loans, Discover helps students meet their financial needs.

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure
Last Updated: 7/28/2022
Edited By     |  

Discover offers various student loans, and the APR and repayment term varies depending on what you choose. A Discover student loan can cover up to 100% of your education expenses. Plus, you won’t have to worry about origination or late fees because Discover doesn’t apply these. MoneyGeek’s Discover student loan review explores its features, benefits and drawbacks.

At a Glance: Discover Student Loans


  • Discover

    • 3.99%–11.59%Fixed APR Range
    • 1.79%–11.09%Variable APR Range
    • $1,000 up to 100% of college expensesLoan Amounts
    • Six monthsGrace Period
    • OptionalCo-signer

MoneyGeek Breakdown: Discover Student Loan Details and Requirements

Discover Details

  • Fixed APR

    A 3.99% to 11.59% APR for undergraduate student loans. The APR range may vary by loan type.

  • Variable APR

    A 1.79% to 11.09% APR for undergraduate student loans. The APR range may change with a different type of student loan.

  • Loan Types

    Undergraduate, MBA, Health Professions, Law, Residency, Bar Exam, Parent and Consolidation Loans

  • Loan Amounts

    $1,000 to up to 100% of school-certified expenses

  • Repayment Terms

    • 10 or 20 years for private consolidation loans
    • 15 years for undergraduate and parent loans
    • 20 years for graduate and postgraduate loans
  • Grace Period

    • No grace period for parent and consolidation loans
    • Six months for undergraduate loans
    • Nine months for graduate loans
    • Nine months after graduation for postgraduate loans
  • Co-signer Required

    Only for international students

  • Time to Receive Funds

    3 to 5 weeks after school certifies the loan

  • Late Fees

    None

  • Prepayment Penalty Fees

    None

  • Perks

    • 0.25% discount with automatic payments
    • One-time cash reward of 1% of the loan amount with a GPA of at least 3.0
    • Additional one-time cash reward of 1% of the loan amount on the first Discover undergraduate loan
  • Mobile Application

    None (Discover’s mobile app is only for credit cards)

Discover Student Loan Application Requirements

1

Be 16 years old or above.

2

Pass a credit check.

3

A Discover student loan is available to U.S. citizens, permanent residents and international students. If you are an international student and do not have a Social Security number, you must have a co-signer for your loan.

4

Working towards an Associate or Bachelor’s degree at an eligible school and enrolled at least half-time.

5

Your academic progress must meet a satisfactory level as defined by your school.

Is Discover Right for You?

Every student loan lender is different and offers various features, not all of which may suit your situation. MoneyGeek’s Discover student loan review can help you decide if it is the best choice for your financial needs as you pursue a degree.

Type of Student Discover Is Perfect For

International students should consider Discover because they are eligible for a student loan if someone can co-sign their loan. The only requirement for the co-signer is being a U.S. citizen.

A Discover student loan is also ideal for students who focus on maintaining a high GPA. You can qualify for a one-time cash back reward if your GPA is 3.0 or higher. It amounts to 1% of your loan amount. So, borrowing $20,000 means you receive $200. It might sound small, but it can go a long way in college.

Discover is also an excellent option for financing school expenses if you don’t want to worry about fees and penalties since it does not charge late payment fees, origination fees or a penalty for early payoff.

Who Should Not Choose Discover

Someone who prefers to compare interest rates between multiple lenders before applying for a student loan may want to avoid Discover. There’s no way to check your interest rate with Discover except to apply.

People with less-than-satisfactory credit scores can improve their chances of approval by having a co-signer. However, they need to be comfortable being accountable for the loan until the end of its term. If they are not, it’s better to find a lender that offers a co-signer release option because Discover does not.

Some borrowers may also prefer to have multiple repayment terms available because it gives them more control over the monthly payment amount. With Discover, you only have one repayment term option with an undergraduate student loan — 15 years.

How to Apply for a Discover Student Loan

Discover boasts an efficient private student loan application process. MoneyGeek’s Discover student loan review walks you through the steps you must take to complete your loan application.

1

Prequalify

You can only prequalify for a Discover student loan if you have a previously approved loan. Prequalification is not an option if it’s your first application.

2

Fill Out Application Form

You can complete Discover’s student loan application form online in minutes. Have the following information ready:

  • Social Security number (unless you’re an international student)
  • Information about your school, including your course of study and the academic period of enrollment
  • How much you intend to borrow
  • Your income and expenses (if you pay rent, for example)
  • Your address (permanent and in-school)

You can also add a co-signer to your application to increase your chances of getting approved or receiving a lower interest rate. Then you choose whether you want a fixed or variable APR for your loan. Lastly, you declare which payment option you want to use.

3

Wait for Approval

You may get a decision in as little as 15 minutes. If you’re approved, you receive a loan agreement.

4

Review Loan Agreement

Review the loan documents Discover sends. They contain your interest rate. Be sure to read them thoroughly to understand your financial obligations.

5

Sign Loan Agreement

If you’re comfortable with the terms and conditions of your student loan agreement, sign the documents electronically.

6

Receive or Direct Funds

Discover submits your loan to your school for certification. The school confirms eligibility and the loan amount to ensure it doesn’t exceed the cost of attendance.

Once your school certifies your loan, it schedules your funds for disbursement. It typically takes between three to five weeks.

7

Make Payments

There are three ways to pay for your Discover student loan.

  • In-school interest only: You make monthly payments towards your interest charge while in school and during your grace period. It lowers how much you pay in total for your loan and qualifies you for a 0.35% discount.
  • In-school fixed: You make monthly payments of $25 while in school and during your grace period.
  • Deferred: You don’t start your monthly payments until six/nine months after you graduate. You may also be required to start paying your loan if your enrollment falls below half-time.

What to Do if You Are Rejected From Discover

There are several reasons why a lender denies a student loan application. For Discover, it could be because of your credit score or not having enough credit history. If it happens, there are two things you should do.

First, contact Discover directly. It’s best to understand the primary cause of its decision. If it’s about your credit score, ask if it’s possible to modify your application to make it more acceptable. For example, perhaps adding a co-signer might make a difference.

Next, speak to your school’s financial aid office. You can ask for additional information and resources. They may also be able to provide you with other options to finance your education.

Remember, you can always apply for a loan with another lender, but it’s better to know what you need to work on to avoid a similar outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions About Student Loans

A private student loan can be a great help but includes a lot of financial responsibility. MoneyGeek gathered the most commonly asked questions about Discover student loans for our review to provide more information. They can help you determine whether it’s the best lender for you.

sources
*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity.
Advertiser Disclosure: MoneyGeek has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. MoneyGeek and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. To ensure thorough comparisons and reviews, MoneyGeek features products from both paid partners and unaffiliated card issuers that are not paid partners.