Discover may be a household name when it comes to credit cards and personal loans, but they also offer student loans. You’ll find great rates, flexible loan terms, and some pretty awesome perks. Big names sometimes offer big things. Find out more details below.


Student Loan Application Requirements

Discover student loan borrowers are expected to meet the following criteria to qualify:

  • At least 16 years old
  • Seeking a degree
  • Enrolled at least half-time
  • Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements
  • Pass credit check
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident

Additionally, you’ll need to provide the following information as part of your loan application.

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Name of college or university
  • Expected graduation date
  • Expected loan amount
  • Household income
  • Address
  • Social security number
  • If a cosigner is needed, then:
    • Cosigner’s social security number
    • Employment information
    • Address
    • Financial information

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress?

To receive funds from Discover you must complete all of your coursework and be actively pursuing a degree. Discover hasn’t disclosed what its exact SAP standards are, but most people don’t need to worry about it. SAP was put in place to discourage people from using student loans for anything other than going to school and pursuing a college degree.

Using a Cosigner for Your Discover Student Loan

Depending on your credit situation, you’ll likely have to get a cosigner if you’re just coming out of high school or have yet to develop a strong credit score. A cosigner can be anyone over 18 who is a U.S. citizen with good credit.

Cosigners are usually a borrower’s parent, but it’s not unusual for a cosigner to also be a relative, friend, or spouse. Borrowers can only have one cosigner, so it’s best to choose the cosigner with the best credit so you get the best rate possible.

What does a cosigner do?

A co-signer agrees to take equal financial responsibility for the student loan. In the event that the main borrower is unable to make a payment, the cosigner is expected to step in and make it. On the flip side, if a payment isn’t made, both the borrower and the cosigner’s credit scores are hurt.

It’s possible to release the cosigner from any obligation if the borrower is able to make 24 on-time payments. After that, the borrower can apply to have the cosigner released. Many borrowers choose to do this so that their cosigner’s credit will never be negatively impacted by the student loan.

Types of Student Loans

Discover offers eight types of student loans to help you achieve your education goals.

Undergraduate Student Loans

Discover’s undergraduate student loans will cover up to 100% of your college costs, but can also be used to complement other forms of financial aid you receive. The loan term lasts 15 years after in-school deferment.

APRs depend on the type of loan rate you choose.

Fixed Rates: 5.99% to 12.99%
Variable Rates: 3.99% to 11.99%

Graduate Student Loans

Going for your graduate or doctoral degree? Discover charges zero fees, offers great APRs, and has a generous loan term to help you hit the ground running once you graduate. You’ll get a full 20 years to repay the loan.

Rates are comparable to the undergraduate loan but can be a little more expensive on the higher end.

Fixed Rates: 5.99% to 13.99%
Variable Rates: 3.99% to 12.99%

MBA Student Loans

Business school can be expensive and can also be difficult to finance regardless of whether you go straight after college or after you’ve joined the workforce. Luckily, Discover will cover up to 100% of the financing. Plus, the repayment period lasts 20 years.

Rates are competitive to keep your monthly payments low after your graduate.

Fixed Rates: 5.99% to 12.99%
Variable Rates: 3.99% to 12.49%

Health Professions Loans

Discover offers private student loans for students looking to study in one of the following health professions:

  • Allopathy
  • Dentistry
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Optometry
  • Osteopathy
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Physician Assistant
  • Podiatry
  • Veterinary Medicine

The loan term lasts 20 years, while rates are some of the most competitive Discover has to offer.

Fixed Rates: 5.99% to 11.24%
Variable Rates: 3.99% to 9.99%

Law Student Loans

Discover cover 100% of your law school costs without sneaking in any extra fees. Plus, you can take 20 years to repay your loans. Rates are also competitive, particularly if you opt for a variable rate.

Fixed Rates: 5.99% to 11.34%
Variable Rates: 3.99% to 9.99%

Residency Student Loans

If you are working through your residency program in medical school, Discover can help you cover the costs of your residency, relocation, internship, and board exam review. Don’t worry about how you’re going to pay for it all, just worry about what you need to graduate. Take 20 years to repay your loan term with these competitive rates.

Fixed Rates: 6.49% to 9.99%
Variable Rates: 5.12% to 8.87%

Bar Exam Student Loans

This niche loan helps you prepare to take your bar exam after law school. Get ready any way you need to while your Discover loan covers the cost of your prep classes and living expenses. The repayment term lasts 20 years, while rates are just slightly higher than the law student loans.

Fixed Rates: 6.99% to 12.99%
Variable Rates: 5.12% to 12.12%

Consolidating Student Loans

Lump all of your federal and private student loans together into one loan with a single payment each month. If you do, you may be able to lower your interest rate and monthly payment, as well as eliminate the need for a cosigner. Based on your creditworthiness, your loan term can be either 10 or 20 years.

Fixed Rates:

  • 10 year loan term— 5.24% to 8.24%
  • 20 year loan term— 5.49% to 8.24%

Variable Rates: 4.87% to 8.12%

Discover’s Repayment Options

With a Discover student loan, you’ll have three in-school repayment options before you graduate.

  1. Deferred: With deferred repayment, you’re not required to make any payments until six months after you graduate or your enrollment drops below half-time.
  2. In-School Interest Only: Pay only interest while you’re in school. This keeps your loan principal from growing and gives you a 0.35% rate discount.
  3. In-School Fixed: Pay only $25 a month while you’re in school and during your grace period. This lowers your total loan cost.

Of course, you’re also allowed to make full interest and principal payments while still in school. Doing this could put you in a great position to pay off your loans early.


$0 Late Fees: Though it is highly unusual for a student loan lender not to charge late fees when a borrower is delinquent, Discover doesn’t add any fees to your account when you miss a payment.

$0 Application Fees: Discover won’t charge you any fees for running credit checks when you submit your loan application.

$0 Loan Origination Fees: Lastly, Discover won’t charge you any fees for first putting your loan in place. They view interest rates as the cost of doing business.

$0 Prepayment Fees: Want to pay off your loan early? Discover won’t charge you extra.

Discover Student Loan Application Process

The application takes as little as 15 minutes to complete and can be done entirely online. If you have all of your supporting documents before you begin, you’ll be prompted to upload during the application. If you don’t, you can always go back and upload later without losing any of your progress. Discover will provide you with a unique access code so you can jump in right where you left off.

After all of the appropriate information has been received, Discover processes your application. To check on your application’s status, you can always log in. Just provide your access code, last name, date of birth, and the last four digits of your social security number.

Special Features

Auto Debit Reward: Reduce your interest rate by 0.25% if you enroll in auto pay. The payments must be made from a U.S. bank account.

1% Cash Reward: If you maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher, Discover will reward with 1% in cash of the total amount you borrowed. You must redeem this reward within six months of the academic term covered by the loan has ended.

Cover 100% of College Costs: There’s no cap to how much Discover will lend you for your education, just a minimum loan amount of $1,000.

U.S. Based Loan Specialists: Discover allows you to speak with someone in and from the United States about your loan process.

Bottom Line

Discover offers a plethora of loans for both prospective and current students, each with competitive interest rates and generous loan terms. Its perks are top notch, too, especially the cash reward for academic excellence.