Custom Choice Review
Custom Choice has been offering loans to students since July of 2020. Previously the company was a partnership between Cognition Financial and SunTrust Bank. When SunTrust Bank got out of the student loan game, Cognition Financial partnered up with Citizens Bank to create Custom Choice. So even though Custom Choice is a new name, they do have a proven history of providing student loans under other names.
At a Glance
Applying for a loan through Custom Choice is a simple process. Once you head to the website, you’ll be prompted to start the application process. From there, you’ll be asked to answer questions, including:
- Whether you’re studying for an undergraduate or graduate degree
- Whether you are the student or the co-signer
- Whether you are applying with a co-signer at all
- The name of the school that you are applying to
- What school year you are in
- Your enrolment period and expected graduation date
- The amount of loan that you’re requesting
What to Expect
Custom Choice offers both fixed-rate and variable-rate student loans. Variable rates can range from 1.24% to 9.73% APR. If you choose a fixed-rate loan, you’re looking at a range of 4.26% to 10.74% APR. The final rate depends on several factors, including your credit history, your co-signer, the amount of loan you are requesting, and your repayment schedule.
In terms of the loan itself, the minimum loan amount offered by Custom Choice is $1,000. However, you can get a loan up to $99,999. When it comes to terms, you can pay back your loan in 7, 10, or 15 years. You also have the option for a graduate or business school loan, which can be paid back in 7 or 10 years.
They offer several repayment options. Your in-school payment options include:
- Deferred payment
- Immediate repayment
- Interest-only payment
- A flat payment of $25 per month to help reduce your interest costs
Once you have graduated, there are other repayment options to consider, including:
- A six-month grace period with month-to-month extensions up to another 6 months
- In-school deferment if you are planning to continue going to school or graduate school
- A military deferment up to 48 months if you can’t pay while you’re on active duty
- Internship, residency, or fellowship deferment for 12-month increments up to 60 months
- Postgrad interest-only payments
- 12 months of forbearance in two-month increments for those who qualify
- Co-signer release after 36 months of on-time payments
- Death or disability discharge if the student suffers a tragedy, allowing the co-signer to no longer be responsible for payment
You need a minimum credit score of 625 to qualify for a loan, and you’ll need to demonstrate some kind of income, although there’s no specific minimum for how much you need to be earning. You can even potentially qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy, but not if it’s been within the last 10 years.
Pros and Cons
Although Custom Choice does have some outstanding options for student loans, they may not be suited for everyone. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of choosing Custom Choice for your student loans.
- There’s no hard credit check to see if you qualify
- A 2% reduction to the principal if you graduate
- Doesn’t charge any fees
- You aren’t eligible for a loan if you’re on a student visa
- Loans are not available in Arizona, Wisconsin, and Iowa
There are no fees associated with applying for a loan from Custom Choice. That includes loan application fees, origination fees, or even late fees. The company offers an autopay discount, plus a 2% reduction to your remaining balance once you prove that you’ve graduated from your program. As a bonus, the company also has a monthly scholarship sweepstake where you can win up to $1,500.
The Bottom Line
If you’re interested in getting a student loan that comes with added benefits, then Custom Choice is well worth considering. The application process is quick and easy, plus the reduction of the principle upon graduation is a perk that makes the company stand out from the crowd. Custom Choice offers competitive interest rates and flexible loan terms, so you can get the most out of your student loan.