FALL SAVINGS DISCOUNT

Still Looking For Money For Next Semester? 

A Custom Choice loan is customizable to your own school needs - from tuition, books, computers, room and board, and more. Students and cosigners both benefit from absolutely no fees, including no late or prepayment fees.  Prequalifyand check your rate in minutes, with no impact to your credit, and easily compare your options before you choose.

PREQUALIFY IN MINUTESAPPLY NOW

LIMITED TIME PROMOTION

Fall Savings

Lower your interest rate by 0.50% when you apply by 12/31/20! 

Plus—now you can prequalify1 for your rate with no impact to your credit score.

APPLY NOW

Options That Work For You

Your loan options should be as wide open as your future possibilities. From flexible repayment options to support when you need it most, we’ll help you find the best financial plan to pay for your educational journey.

Flexible Loan Terms

The choice is entirely yours whether to pay your loan over 7, 10 or 15 years.2 You know which repayment timeline works best for your budget. A shorter time period will result in higher monthly payments, but lower interest overall.

For All Your Needs

Your loan will cover up to 100% of the certified cost of attendance3, including books, lab fees, computers, and room and board. This frees your mind to focus on your education, not the costs of it.

Cosigning That's Easy

Adding a parent or another adult with good financial standing makes approval 4X more likely. Plus, you may get a lower rate than you would if you applied on your own. Releasing a cosigner is easy when you no longer need their help.5

Support Programs

Sometimes the going gets rough, but we’ll be there for you. In the event of a job loss4 or natural disaster, you’ll pay no fees for late or missed payments as you might with other loans. Isn’t that reassuring?

PREQUALIFY IN MINUTES

In-School Repayment Options

School is a time many choose to focus on learning, not loan payments. We free you up to defer payments entirely, make small $25 monthly payments, or pay interest only.6 Of course, making immediate repayments will reduce your loan balance more quickly.6

DEFERRED6

Focus on your education and make no payments in school 

• Begin payments 6 months after graduation 

• Highest overall costs

FLAT PAYMENT6

Make a flat $25 payment each month to reduce your interest2

• Lowest payment option in school

• Reduce some of your overall costs

INTEREST ONLY6

Pay the accrued interest each month during school

• Moderate payments during school

• Reduce overall costs significantly

IMMEDIATE6

Make payments on both principal and interest immediately 

• Highest payment

• Lowest overall costs

Check Out Our Competitive Rates

Apply now to get a .50% rate discount for a limited time! Make automatic payments from a bank account receive an additional .25% discount7 for even more savings. Plus, all loans include a 2% principal reduction with proof of graduation.8 See how our competitive fixed and variable rates stack up against the rest.

Variable Rate

Fixed Rate

1.306%–9.746% 

APR7, 9, 10

4.556%–10.856%

APR7, 9, 10

FIXED APR

VARIABLE APR

CUSTOM CHOICE

X.XX%–X.XX%

X.XX%–X.XX%

SALLIE MAE

SOFI

DISCOVER

COLLEGE AVE

EARNEST

1.25% - 11.15%

1.30% - 10.00%

1.24% - 10.99%

1.24% - 11.98%

1.24% - 11.44%

4.25% - 12.35%

4.73% - 11.46%

4.49% - 12.39%

3.99% - 12.99%

4.00% - 12.78%

*Interest-Only Repayment (0.35%) (low end) Auto Pay (0.25%) (low end)
**Customer Discount (0.25%) (low end)
***Auto-Pay (0.25%)

How Custom Choice Rates Compare

PREQUALIFY NOW

All rates shown include 0.25% discount for auto-pay from any bank account. APRs shown include the summer savings rate discount.9,10

Scholarship 
Sweepstakes

With the Paying for College Scholarship Sweepstakes, Custom Choice is sponsoring a $1,500 scholarship every month until January.11 It’s just one more way we’re working to ease the costs of higher education.

ENTER SWEEPS

It's So Easy to Apply and Compare

Get a decision in just minutes with absolutely no impact to your credit.1 Adding a parent or other adult as a cosigner will help!

Prequalify

Complete Application

Once you’ve prequalified, complete your online application in minutes. You won’t pay a single fee to make it happen. Seriously.

Customize Loan Options

After you’re approved, it’s your choice how payments will work. We’ll help you do the math and see how the numbers fit your budget.

PREQUALIFY IN MINUTES

FAQs

Why should I choose Custom Choice?

A Custom Choice Loan offers competitive rates and flexible terms with no fees, an easy all-online application, and unique borrower benefits.


What information do I need to complete my application?

• Social Security number 

• School information 

• Loan amount 

• Proof of income (if applicable) 


Cosigner (if applicable): 

• Social Security number 

• Proof of income 

• Government-issued ID


Is satisfactory academic progress required?

We do not require you to be meeting the Satisfactory Academic Process requirements established by your school.


Does a Custom Choice Loan have any fees?

There are absolutely no fees associated with a Custom Choice Loan, including no late or prepayment fees.


Do I need a cosigner? What are the benefits of a cosigner?

A cosigner is not required; however, it may increase your chances for approval and may provide a lower interest rate.


What is the Grad Reward?

Custom Choice will reward you for graduating!  Receive a 2% principal reduction per loan with proof of graduation.8

PREQUALIFY IN MINUTES

Before applying for a private student loan, Citizens and Cognition Financial recommend comparing all financial aid alternatives including grants, scholarships, and both federal and private student loans.  

The Custom Choice Loan® is made by Citizens (“Lender”).  All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to Lender’s underwriting guidelines.  Program restrictions and other terms and conditions apply.  LENDER AND COGNITION FINANCIAL CORPORATION EACH RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. TERMS, CONDITIONS AND RATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. 

† Offer valid for new Custom Choice Loans for which applications are submitted for a credit decision between 12:00:00am EST on October 1, 2020 and 11:59:59pm EST on December 31, 2020. A 0.50% interest rate reduction will be included in the loan options presented to an applicant during the online application process, upon passing the initial credit review. The interest rate reduction will be applied as of the first disbursement date and will be effective for the life of the loan. 

1. In order to provide you with a range of rates you prequalify for, Citizens will perform a soft credit inquiry, as authorized by you. Soft credit inquiries do not affect your credit score. If you prequalify, the rates and loan options offered to you are estimates only.  Once you choose your loan options and submit your application, Citizens will perform a hard credit inquiry. Loan approval, options, and final rates depend on the verification of information provided on your application, and information obtained from the hard credit inquiry (and any cosigner’s hard credit inquiry). 

2. The 15 year term and Flat Payment Repayment option (paying $25 per month during in-school deferment) are only available for loan amounts of $5,000 or more.  Payment examples (all assume a 45 month deferment period, a six-month grace period before entering repayment, the fall savings rate discount of 0.50% applicable to applications submitted for a credit decision between 12:00:00am EST on October 1, 2020 and 11:59:59pm EST on December 31, 2020, no rate reduction for auto pay and the Flat Payment Repayment option): 7-year term: $10,000 loan disbursed over two transactions with a 7-year repayment term (84 months) and a 6.60% APR would result in a monthly principal and interest payment of $174.17. 10-year term: $10,000 loan disbursed over two transactions with a 10-year repayment term (120 months) and a 6.68% APR would result in a monthly principal and interest payment of $134.21. 15-year term: $10,000 loan disbursed over two transactions with, a 15-year repayment term (180 months) and a 6.82% APR would result in a monthly principal and interest payment of $104.86.

3. The minimum loan amount is $1,000. The maximum annual loan amount to cover in-school expenses for each academic year is determined by the school’s cost of attendance, minus other financial aid, such as federal student loans, scholarships, or grants, up to $99,999 annually.  The loan amount must be certified by the school. The loan amount cannot cause the aggregate maximum student loan debt (which includes federal and private student loans) to exceed $180,000 per applicant (on cosigned applications, separate calculations are performed for the student and cosigner). 

4. Available in increments of no more than two months, for a maximum period of 12 months. To be eligible for forbearance a required number of monthly principal and interest payments must have been made and the loan cannot be more than fifty-nine (59) days delinquent.  During a forbearance period, principal and interest payments are deferred and the interest that accrues during the forbearance period may be capitalized at the expiration of such forbearance period.  To be eligible for more than one incremental period of forbearance, (a) at least twelve (12) monthly principal and interest payments must be satisfied following the prior period of forbearance and (b) the borrower cannot have utilized more than two (2) forbearance periods in the five (5) years prior to the last day of the most recent forbearance period. The repayment term will be extended month-for-month for the number of months of forbearance applied to the loan. 

5. A cosigner may be released from the loan upon request to the Servicer, provided that the student borrower is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien, has met credit criteria, and 36 consecutive monthly principal and interest payments have been received by the Servicer within 10 calendar days after their due date. Late payment(s), or the use of a deferment or forbearance will reset the number of consecutive principal and interest payments to zero. Use of an approved alternative repayment plan will disqualify the loan from being eligible for this benefit. 

6. Any applicant who applies for a loan the month of, the month prior to, or the month after the student’s graduation date, as stated on the application or certified by the school, will only be offered the Immediate Repayment option  The Interest Only option (defer principal payments), Flat Payment Repayment option ($25 monthly payment) and the Full Deferment option (defer principal and interest payments) are only available while the student is enrolled at least half-time at an approved school and during the six month grace period after graduation or dropping below half-time status, but the total initial deferment period, including the grace period, may not exceed 66 months from the first disbursement date.  The Flat Payment Repayment option ($25 monthly payment) is only available on loans of $5,000 or more. With the Immediate Repayment option, the first payment of principal and interest is due approximately 30-60 calendar days after the final disbursement date and the minimum monthly payment will be $50.00.  There are no prepayment penalties. See footnote 2 for payment examples. 

7. Earn a 0.25% interest rate reduction for making automatic payments of principal and interest from a bank account (“auto pay discount”) by completing the direct debit form provided by the Servicer. The auto pay discount is in addition to the fall savings rate discount of 0.50%. The auto pay discount will be applied after the Servicer validates your bank account information and will continue until (1) three automatic deductions are returned for insufficient funds during the life of the loan (after which the discount cannot be reinstated) or (2) automatic deduction of payments is canceled. The auto pay discount is not available when reduced payments are being made or when the loan is in a deferment or forbearance, even if payments are being made. 

8. The principal reduction is based on the total dollar amount of all disbursements made, excluding any amounts that are reduced, cancelled, or returned.  To receive this principal reduction, it must be requested from the Servicer, the student borrower must have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher and proof of such graduation must be provided to the Servicer. This reward is available once during the life of the loan, regardless of whether the student receives more than one degree. 

9. Interest rates and APRs (Annual Percentage Rates) depend upon (1) the student’s and cosigner’s (if applicable) credit histories, (2) the repayment option and repayment term selected, (3) the expected number of years in deferment, (4) the requested loan amount and (5) other information provided on the online loan application. If approved, applicants will be notified of the rate applicable to your loan. Rates and terms are effective for applications received after 11/1/20. The variable interest rate for each calendar month is calculated by adding the One-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”), or a replacement index if the Lender, in their sole discretion, deems LIBOR to be substantially altered or if LIBOR is no longer based on newly reported rates from it reporting banks, plus a fixed margin assigned to each loan. The LIBOR is published in the "Money Rates" section of the Wall Street Journal (Eastern Edition). The LIBOR index is captured on the 25th day of the immediately preceding calendar month (or if the 25th is not a business day. The current LIBOR index is 0.16% on 11/1/20). The variable interest rate will increase or decrease if the LIBOR index changes or if a new index is chosen. The applicable index or margin for variable rate loans may change over time and result in a different APR than shown. The fixed rate assigned to a loan will never change except as required by law or if you request and qualify for the auto pay discount.   

10. APRs assume a $10,000 loan with two disbursements and the fall savings rate discount of 0.50% (applicable to applications submitted for a credit decision between 12:00:00am EST on July 6, 2020 and 11:59:59pm EST on December 31, 2020). The high variable rate APR assumes a 7-year term with the Full Deferment option, a 19 month deferment period, and a six-month grace period before entering repayment. The high fixed rate APR assumes a 15-year term with the Full Deferment option, a 31 month deferment period, and a six-month grace period before entering repayment. The low APRs assume a 7-year term, no deferment and payments beginning 30-60 days after the last disbursement via auto pay from a bank account. See footnote 7 for auto pay details.

11. NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S./D.C., age 18+, who are currently a student or parent of a student enrolled in an undergraduate program at an Eligible Institution. An “Eligible Institution” must be: (i) based in the United States; (ii) Title IV eligible according to data from the U.S. Department of Education; and (iii) categorized as a public or private school that offers bachelor’s degree program or higher according to the U.S. Department of Education, excluding for-profit schools (proprietary schools). Void outside the 50 U.S./D.C. and where prohibited. Sweepstakes starts at 12:00:01 AM ET on 05/28/20; ends at 11:59:59 PM ET on 01/31/21. Total ARV of prize per Entry Period: $1,500; Total ARV of all prizes: $12,000. Odds of winning will depend on the total number of entries received for each Entry Period. For full Official Rules, visit www.smartborrowing.org. Sponsor: Cognition Financial Corporation, 200 Clarendon Street, 3rd Floor, Boston, MA 02116. 

Custom Choice Loan® is a service mark used under license. 

Citizens is a brand name of Citizens Bank, N.A. (NMLS ID# 433960).  Member FDIC. 

© Copyright 2020 Cognition Financial Corporation.  All rights reserved.

Why should I choose Custom Choice?

A Custom Choice Loan offers competitive rates and flexible terms with no fees, an easy all-online application, and unique borrower benefits.


Who is Cognition Financial?

Cognition Financial (formerly The First Marblehead Corporation) was founded in 1991 with the goal of helping students reach their educational goals through access to funding. Cognition Financial has over 25 years of experience facilitating more than $23 billion in private student loans for dozens of lender clients and thousands of schools. We've helped more than 1 million families pay for their education.


Do I need to be a full-time student?

Undergraduate and Graduate students must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree granting program at an approved school.


What information do I need to complete my application?

• Social Security number

• School information 

• Loan amount 

• Proof of income (if applicable)


Cosigner (if applicable): 

• Social Security number

• Proof of income 

• Government-issued ID


What rate discounts do you offer?

You can get a 0.25% interest rate reduction when you sign up to make automated payments from your checking or savings account.7 You can also receive our Graduation Reward, which is a 2% principal reduction upon graduation.8 The Fall Savings Discount is available for a limited time! Between now and December 31st, you will receive a 0.50% discount on your loan.


Is satisfactory academic progress required?

We do not require you to be meeting the Satisfactory Academic Process requirements established by your school.


How fast is the loan process?

You can apply and check rates within minutes. If approved, you would accept your terms and electronically sign your loan documents. Next, we send your loan application to your school of choice for certification. Each school has their own process and timelines which could take several days or a few weeks. After receiving certification, we’ll schedule loan funds according to the school’s timelines.


Does a Custom Choice Loan have any fees?

There are absolutely no fees associated with a Custom Choice Loan, including no late or prepayment fees.


Do I need a cosigner? What are the benefits of a cosigner?

A cosigner is not required; however, it may increase your chances for approval and may provide a lower interest rate


Do you offer a cosigner release?

Yes, a cosigner may be released from a loan after making 36 on time payments.5


Is there a limit to the amount I can borrow?

The minimum loan amount is $1,000 and you may borrow up to $99,999 annually (cumulative loan amount cannot exceed of $180,000).3


What is the Grad Reward?

Custom Choice will reward you for graduating! Receive a 2% principal reduction per loan with proof of graduation.8

PREQUALIFY IN MINUTES

SUMMER SAVINGS DISCOUNT: LOWER YOUR INTEREST RATE BY 0.50% WHEN YOU APPLY BY 9/30/20!

APPLY NOW

Still Looking For Money For Next Semester?

School is a time many choose to focus on learning, not loan payments. We free you up to defer payments entirely, make small $25 monthly payments, or pay interest only.6 Of course, making immediate repayments will reduce your loan balance more quickly.6

Apply now to get a .50% rate discount for a limited time! Make automatic payments from a bank account receive an additional .25% discount7 for even more savings. Plus, all loans include a 2% principal reduction with proof of graduation.8 See how our competitive fixed and variable rates stack up against the rest.

Scholarship
Sweepstakes

Your loan options should be as wide open as your future possibilities. From flexible repayment options to support when you need it most, we’ll help you find the best financial plan to pay for your educational journey.

Who is Cognition Financial?

Cognition Financial (formerly The First Marblehead Corporation) was founded in 1991 with the goal of helping students reach their educational goals through access to funding. Cognition Financial has over 25 years of experience facilitating more than $23 billion in private student loans for dozens of lender clients and thousands of schools. We've helped more than 1 million families pay for their education.


Do I need to be a full-time student?

Undergraduate and Graduate students must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree granting program at an approved school.


What rate discounts do you offer?

You can get a 0.25% interest rate reduction when you sign up to make automated payments from your checking or savings account.7 You can also receive our Graduation Reward, which is a 2% principal reduction upon graduation.8 The Fall Savings Discount is available for a limited time! Between now and December 31st, you will receive a 0.50% discount on your loan.


How fast is the loan process?

You can apply and check rates within minutes. If approved, you would accept your terms and electronically sign your loan documents. Next, we send your loan application to your school of choice for certification. Each school has their own process and timelines which could take several days or a few weeks. After receiving certification, we’ll schedule loan funds according to the school’s timelines.


Do you offer a cosigner release?

Yes, a cosigner may be released from a loan after making 36 on time payments.5


Is there a limit to the amount I can borrow?

The minimum loan amount is $1,000 and you may borrow up to $99,999 annually (cumulative loan amount cannot exceed of $180,000).3

Check Out Our Competitive Rates

Apply now to get a .50% rate discount for a limited time! Make automatic payments from a bank account receive an additional .25% discount7 for even more savings. Plus, all loans include a 2% principal reduction with proof of graduation.8 

Variable Rate

Fixed Rate

1.24%–9.73% 

APR7, 9, 10

4.26%–10.74%

APR7, 9, 10

FIXED APR

VARIABLE APR

CUSTOM CHOICE

X.XX%–X.XX%

X.XX%–X.XX%

SALLIE MAE

SOFI

DISCOVER

COLLEGE AVE

EARNEST

1.25% - 11.15%

1.30% - 10.00%

1.24% - 10.99%

1.24% - 11.98%

1.24% - 11.44%

4.25% - 12.35%

4.73% - 11.46%

4.49% - 12.39%

3.99% - 12.99%

4.00% - 12.78%

*Interest-Only Repayment (0.35%) (low end) Auto Pay (0.25%) (low end)
**Customer Discount (0.25%) (low end)
***Auto-Pay (0.25%)

How Custom Choice Rates Compare

PREQUALIFY NOW

Lowest APRs include a 0.25% discount when auto pay is elected. APRs shown include the fall savings rate discount.9,10

Apply now to get a .50% rate discount for a limited time! Make automatic payments from a bank account receive an additional .25% discount7 for even more savings. Plus, all loans include a 2% principal reduction with proof of graduation.8

FALL SAVINGS DISCOUNT

Lower your interest rate by 0.50% when you apply by 12/31/20!†

FALL SAVINGS DISCOUNT: LOWER YOUR INTEREST RATE BY 0.50% WHEN YOU APPLY BY 12/31/20!†

A Guide to Private Student Loans

Figuring out how to pay for school can feel like an education in and of itself. What should you look for in a private student loan? And what are the qualifications you need to meet before you can borrow? In this guide, we’ll answer these questions and many more.

Download the Guide