How to Help Your Child Qualify for a Discover Student Loan

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Rates starting at 1.04%

1.04% to 11.98% 1

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1.13% to 11.23% 2

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3.80% to 9.36% 3

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  • Variable APR

With the increasing costs of college, it’s no wonder that many families have to turn to student loans to pay for school. Although federal loans should be the first place you and your child look for aid, sometimes those loans don’t cover the full cost of attendance. In that situation, you might need to turn to private student loans.

One private option to consider for parents is Discover student loans. If you’re willing to help your child with their education, you can boost their chances of getting approved for a loan and qualify for a lower interest rate to make school more affordable.

Here are some topics we’ll cover on how to help your child get a Discover student loan:

Discover student loans features

As a parent, you want to make sure your child only deals with established, reputable lenders. Although it’s well-known for credit cards, personal loans and banking options, Discover also offers a robust student loan program.

Whether your child is an incoming freshman or a law student preparing for the bar exam, there are Discover student loan options that might work for them. Fortunately, Discover doesn’t charge any application, origination or prepayment fees, which is one of the reasons why they’re worth a look.

Another nice feature is Discover’s rewards program for good grades. Specifically, borrowers can get a one-time Cash Reward for Good Grades on each new Discover undergraduate and graduate student loan if the they get a 3.0 or better GPA (or equivalent) in any academic term covered by the loan.*

*Get a cash reward on each new Discover undergraduate and graduate student loan when you earn at least a 3.0 GPA (or equivalent) in any academic period covered by the loan. Limitations Apply. Visit for terms and conditions. 

How to help your child qualify for lower interest rates

Although students can apply for Discover student loans on their own, they may struggle to get approved. Even if they can qualify for a loan by themselves, they might not be eligible for a low interest rate.

You can improve your child’s chances of receiving a loan and qualifying for a competitive interest rate by acting as a cosigner.

A cosigner is someone with a strong credit history and income that guarantees the loan, meaning that if your child falls behind on payments, you’ll be responsible for them instead. Because a cosigner lowers the bank’s risk, the lender is more likely to offer a low-interest loan to your child.

Unlike some other lenders, Discover doesn’t offer cosigner release, meaning there is no way to remove yourself from the loan later on. You’ll be responsible for the loan — and it will show up on your credit report — until it’s paid in full.

Acting as a cosigner is a big decision, so make sure you understand the ways it can affect you before putting your name on the application.

Apply to help with a loan through the Discover online platform

If you plan on acting as a cosigner on your child’s loan, they can complete the application on their own first, or you can start a cosigner application. If the student fills it out first, Discover will send them a cosigner key code, which you will use to start a cosigner application .

To complete the application, you will need your Social Security number, employer information, financial information — including rent or mortgage payments — and your permanent address handy. The site will prompt you to enter your information, and you can receive a credit result in as little as 15 minutes.

Eligibility requirements for Discover student loans

There are set qualifications students must meet to receive a Discover loan, which you can learn about in this Discover student loans review.

If you’re a parent who wants to cosign a loan to help your child, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Although Discover doesn’t list the minimum credit score or income it requires for cosigners on its website, cosigners will likely need good to excellent credit and enough income to afford the monthly payments if needed.

Check out Discover’s parent portal as well

Discover often allows students to borrow enough money to cover 100% of their tuition and housing expenses, although some aggregate loan limits do apply. But this doesn’t mean your child should rely solely on private student loans to cover college costs. There might be cheaper options available to them.

To help educate families about all of their financing options, including federal student loans, Discover also has a parent-specific portal with advice on how to navigate paying for school. You don’t need to create an account to access the parent site. It’s a free resource you can access any time.

At the same time, you can get further details on federal student loan options at the U.S. government’s website.

Be sure to compare other private lenders

Discover student loans have some appealing perks, such as the GPA reward and graduation cashback bonus, but you and your child shouldn’t base your decision on those factors alone. The lack of a cosigner release can affect you later on, and it’s wise to compare offers from multiple student loan lenders to ensure your child gets their best offer.

Christina Majaski contributed to this report.

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