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If you’re in the market for a private student loan, it’s important to shop around and consider multiple lenders before you settle. Custom Choice student loans offer competitive interest rates and flexible repayment options, so you can get the repayment plan that works best for you.
If you’re considering a Custom Choice student loan, here’s what you need to know about the lender and how to determine if it’s the right private loan option for you.
The Custom Choice Loan is powered by Cognition Financial and funded by Citizens Bank, and has been in the market for over 10 years. Custom Choice is not a company, but a loan program available through the partnership of these two companies.
Prior to July 2020, Cognition Financial offered the loan program in partnership with SunTrust Bank.
Cognition Financial provides the sales, marketing, origination, underwriting, and portfolio management for the loan program, while Citizens Bank is the lender.
Cognition Financial has helped lenders facilitate more than $23 billion in private student loans over the past 30-plus years.
Cognition Financial has been in business for more than 30 years, working with different major lenders to provide private student loans to undergraduate and graduate students. Additionally, Citizens Bank can trace its roots back to 1828 and is one of the largest retail banks in the United States.
There are also very few complaints about Cognition Financial in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau database — only four in over a decade. Citizens Bank also has relatively few complaints about its student loan program, with just 243 complaints since December 2011.
So, if you take out a Custom Choice Loan, you don’t have to worry about getting scammed. It also appears that there aren’t many customer service issues, though you should research Custom Choice student loan reviews online before you apply.
As with any financial product, there are both benefits and drawbacks to consider. Here are some of the pros of the Custom Choice Loan:
While there are some clear benefits that can make a Custom Choice loan worth getting, it’s also important to consider the potential pitfalls that could negatively impact your experience:
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Option to skip a payment once a year
In-school deferment available if you return for another degree
Optional $25 payment plan during school to reduce interest after graduation
1% Cash Back Graduation Reward program
A lot of the features of the Custom Choice Loan are similar to what you can get from popular private student loan companies. However, there are also some benefits that make a Custom Choice Loan stand out from the competition:
Once you graduate from college, your principal balance will be reduced by 2% when you provide proof of graduation. Depending on your total loan balance, this may not be a significant amount of savings, but every reduction counts when you’re talking about student loans.
Similar to many competing private student loan options, Custom Choice Loans offer four repayment options:
Deferred payments are standard for college students, but the interest that accrues while you’re in school and your payments are deferred will be capitalized when you graduate and added to your student loan balance.
In other words, if you can afford one of the other repayment options, it could potentially save you a lot of money in the long run.
College students can apply for a $1,500 scholarship, which is offered once a month through September 30, 2022. Simply provide a few details about yourself and consent to receive information about the Custom Choice loan, and you’ll be entered in the Paying for College Scholarship Sweepstakes.
As you consider whether a Custom Choice Loan is right for you, here are some of the other features to keep in mind during your comparison process:
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As with any financial product or service, it’s crucial that you take the time to shop around and compare multiple options before deciding on one. Generally, it’s best to focus on federal student loans first and turn to private student loans only after you’ve exhausted your federal aid allotment.
A Custom Choice Loan may be worth considering for college students who have excellent credit (or a cosigner with excellent credit) and want flexible repayment options.
That said, if you’re concerned about a lack of forbearance options, make that a priority as you consider all of your options.
Their credit and income requirements are not publicly disclosed, but the following criteria are provided:
If you’re not certain whether you’re eligible, go through the prequalification process to check eligibility and potential rate quotes.
You can obtain a rate quote directly for a Custom Choice Loan by filling out the prequalification form. You’ll need to provide some basic information about yourself, your cosigner (if applicable), your school, your anticipated graduation date, the loan amount you’re seeking, and monthly housing costs.
If you want to compare your Custom Choice Loan rate with other options, you can research other private student loan companies and go through a similar prequalification process to obtain rates from them.
In addition to rates, make sure you also compare repayment options, forbearance and deferment plans, cosigner release and other features that are important to you.
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