FAQ

Additional Information

Do you have additional questions?

You can contact our Advantage Loan advisors toll free at 800‐988‐6333, Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (ET), or email advantageloans@kheslc.com if you have additional questions.

Do you currently have an Advantage Education Loan, Advantage Parent Loan or Advantage Refinance Loan and have servicing questions?

Your Advantage Loan is serviced by Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation (KHESLC). You can contact a KHESLC Servicing Specialist at 800-693-8220 or 888-599-7768, Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (ET) and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (ET) or email Servicing@kheslc.com if you have additional questions.

I forgot my User ID/Password. How do I access my application?

You can either click the link to reset your password or call our Technical Support at 877-214-6119.
Still can't find your question? View all questions and answers.

Private Refinance Loan Basics

Private Loans

What is a private education loan?
A private education loan is a consumer-based loan that is borrowed through a bank or private lender. Private loans are subject to credit approval.

Private education loans are also known as alternative loans. The loans must be repaid based on the terms and conditions of the loan note you sign when you take out the loan.

What is the main difference between private and federal education loans?
Private education loans are issued by a bank or financial institution, as opposed to federal education loans, which are offered by the government.
What are my responsibilities as a private refinance/consolidation loan borrower?
The credit agreement (sometimes called a promissory note) explains all borrower and cosigner obligations.

Among them are the following:

  • Private refinance loan borrowers and their cosigners, if applicable, are responsible for paying back the loan.
  • Private refinance loan borrowers and their cosigners must notify the lender or servicer if:
    • There is a change in name, address, phone number or Social Security number.
    • Scheduled loan payments cannot be made as scheduled.
    • Loan repayment needs to be delayed or put on hold.
    • The borrower or cosigner becomes an active service member within the military.
  • Borrowers and cosigners should open and read all mail related to the loan.
What types of private loans do you offer?
The Advantage Education Loan program includes:

Advantage Refinance Loans

Is the Advantage Refinance Loan a secured loan?
No. This is an unsecured loan available to qualified applicants — a non-collateral loan.
What is the difference between refinance and consolidation?
With the Advantage Refinance Loan, you can refinance a single student loan or consolidate multiple student loans into a single payment. Both refinancing and consolidation can ease the burden of making multiple payments to multiple lenders, as well as lower your interest rate and monthly payment, and help you better manage your student loan debt.
Who is eligible for an Advantage Refinance Loan?
An eligible borrower must:
  • Be a U.S. citizen or noncitizen with proof of residency card.
  • Have an acceptable income and credit history or an approved cosigner.
  • Have entered grace or repayment on the loans he or she wants to refinance.
Who should refinance? When is the best time?
Refinancing with an Advantage Refinance Loan is a great way to decrease your monthly payment, lock in a lower interest rate, and change from variable-rate loans to FIXED-rate loans.

So if you have high monthly payments, high interest rates and/or variable interest rates on your loans, now is the best time to get an Advantage Refinance Loan! The earlier you refinance to get that lower FIXED rate, the more money you can save over the life of the loan.

What is the minimum loan amount that may be refinanced or consolidated?
The minimum loan amount is $7,500. The minimum monthly payment is $50.
Can I refinance my federal and private student loans together?
Yes! With the Advantage Refinance Loan, you can combine certain federal and private school-certified student loans into one convenient loan and lower your monthly payments. However, there are a few benefits associated with federal loans which will not apply after the refinance/consolidation transaction occurs. Visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/federal-vs-private to learn about the available options.
Which loan types can be combined in my refinance/consolidation?
Federal loans:
  • Direct
  • Stafford
  • Parent PLUS
  • Graduate PLUS
  • Perkins loans

Private or alternative loans:

  • Advantage Education Loan
  • Advantage Parent Loan
  • Any other private, school-certified student loan

With the Advantage Refinance Loan, you can combine these loans into one convenient loan and lower your monthly payments. However, there are a few benefits associated with federal loans which will not apply after the refinance/consolidation transaction occurs. Visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/federal-vs-private to learn about the available options.

Student borrowers may refinance/consolidate their own education loans and any parent loans for which they are the benefitting student. Parents may refinance/consolidate their own student loans and any parent loans they have taken out for their children.

How do I know if my state is an approved state for an Advantage Refinance Loan?
When completing the application, select the state from the drop-down box. If your state does not appear at all, please contact us at 800-988-6333 or email us at advantageloans@kheaa.com.
Does my school have to certify my refinance loan?
Our refinance program doesn’t require certification by any school you attended.
Can I refinance/consolidate with an Advantage Refinance Loan if I have already refinanced/consolidated with another lender?
Yes. You can refinance or consolidate your student loans with an Advantage Refinance Loan even if you have already completed the process with another lender or through the federal consolidation program.
Do I need to refinance/consolidate all my student loans, or can I choose which loans to include in an Advantage Refinance Loan?
You select which loans you want to include in your Advantage Refinance Loan.
I forgot to include a loan in my Advantage Refinance Loan. Can I add it?
We understand things can be missed. In the event you forget to include loans on the application, you can add those in at any time. If additional loans are added more than 120 days after the original application, a new application will be required.
Can I include a Parent PLUS loan or an Advantage Parent Loan taken out on my behalf?
  • Student borrowers may refinance/consolidate their own education loans and any parent loan for which they are the benefitting student.
  • Parents may refinance/consolidate their own student loans and any parent loans they have taken out for their children.
If I refinance my student loan(s) with a new repayment option and/or term, how will that affect me?
The loan options (rate and term) that you choose for your new Advantage Refinance Loan will apply to all student loan(s) that you refinance.
  • When a longer repayment term is chosen through refinancing, it is likely that more interest will be paid over the life of the loan unless the interest rate is significantly lower.
  • Conversely, when a shorter repayment term is chosen through refinancing, it is likely less interest will be paid over the life of the loan unless the interest rate is significantly higher.
Is my spouse required to cosign my application?
No. We will only evaluate the loan based on your personal circumstances.
Can my spouse and I refinance/consolidate all our student loans in to one new loan?
No. The Advantage Refinance Loan can only include the loans that were previously in one person’s name; however, you and your spouse can apply for separate Advantage Refinance Loans.
Do I qualify for a tax benefit on my newly refinanced loan?
Advantage Refinance Loans are considered education loans for federal and state tax purposes. Please contact a tax advisor to see if your loans are eligible for interest deduction.
Who owns my Advantage Refinance Loan?
Advantage Refinance Loans are owned, managed and serviced by the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation (KHESLC), a not-for-profit entity. We do not sell or subcontract our loans.
How can you offer fixed interest rates that are lower than other lenders?
With Advantage Refinance Loans, our low FIXED rates are due to our not-for-profit status. We reinvest profits back into the Advantage loan program. Monies made on our loans go to help students and families – not into the pockets of executives or shareholders.

Loan Terms/ Interest/ Fees/ Credit Check

What are the loan terms of an Advantage Refinance Loan?
You may choose a 10-, 15- or 20-year repayment term. Your monthly payment amount will be based on the repayment term you choose. The minimum monthly payment is $50.
Are the interest rates fixed or variable?
All interest rates for the Advantage Refinance Loans are FIXED, which, depending on the size of the loan, could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars compared to other lenders. If your current loans have a variable interest rate, your monthly payments can change as the rate changes. If you refinance/consolidate into our FIXED rate loan, you’ll have the certainty of a constant monthly payment.
What is the difference between an interest rate and APR?
The interest rate is the percentage of the loan amount that is charged for borrowing money. The annual percentage rate (APR) includes the interest rate plus any additional fees charged by the lender and represents the total cost of borrowing. Advantage Refinance Loans have NO fees!
How do you determine the interest rate on my loan?
Your specific FIXED interest rate is based on creditworthiness, that is, your credit history, income, type of loans being refinanced, repayment term selected, state of residence and other factors. Take advantage of our autopay service for even lower rates.
Can I find out what my interest rate will be before I begin the application?
Yes, with our payment calculator, you can see your possible interest rate.
How is the accrued interest calculated on my Advantage Refinance Loan?
Interest accrues daily and is calculated as simple daily interest based on the number of days between each payment. Simple daily interest means that each day the outstanding principal balance is multiplied by the interest rate and divided by 365 days to calculate that day's interest amount. For example, if you have a $10,000 loan and the interest rate is 4%, one day's interest will be ($10,000 x 0.04) / 365 = $1.92.
Are there any fees associated with getting an Advantage Refinance Loan?
There are no fees and no prepayment penalties.
What credit score do I need in order to get the lowest interest rate on my loan?
Our credit decision and interest rate is determined by multiple factors, not just your credit score. Your FIXED interest rate is based on creditworthiness, that is, your credit history, income, type of loans being refinanced, repayment term selected, borrower's state of residence and other factors.
What types of credit inquiries does the Advantage Refinance Loan program make?
We perform a hard credit pull to get your actual rate. This check will show up on your credit report and may affect your credit score.
Can you check if I am approved without pulling my credit?
No. Our approval of your loan is based on your credit history and other factors. We need to pull your credit to determine if you are eligible. We perform a hard credit pull to get your actual rate. This check will show up on your credit report and may affect your credit score.

Steps to Your Application

What is the refinance loan application process?
There are six steps to the Advantage Refinance Loan application process. These steps may require specific actions to be completed by you or your cosigner to successfully progress through the application process.
  • Complete the online loan application.
  • Submit the required loan documents.
  • Review and accept your Approval Disclosure.
  • Review your Final Disclosure.
  • The loan funds will be sent to your lenders.
  • Please be attentive to emails and messages from Advantage Refinance Loans, as well as from KHESLC, the owner of the loan.

What information do I need when filling out the application?
The information you should have handy when filling out the application includes:
  • Your permanent U.S. address. If you've lived at your address less than one year, you'll need to provide your previous address too.
  • Your Social Security number.
  • School attended including school name, attendance dates, your major or course of study, degree, and grades.
  • Two personal contacts to use as references, other than your cosigner (if applicable.)

Consider applying with a cosigner. A cosigner may help you qualify and/or receive a lower interest rate; however, a cosigner is not required to apply. If you’re applying with a cosigner, we’ll ask your cosigner to provide some information and documents about their circumstances too.

What additional documents need to be submitted with the application?
Documents to be submitted include:
  • Loan amount you’re requesting and copy of loan statement for each loan you will be including in your refinance/consolidation.
  • Employment and income information for the borrower and/or cosigner (if applicable), including the employer’s company name and your gross income. Submit either a W2 or 1040 tax form along with a current pay stub, or two recent pay stubs in lieu of a W2.
  • Financial information, including your bank accounts, and monthly mortgage or rent payments.

Consider applying with a cosigner. A cosigner may help you qualify and/or receive a lower interest rate; however, a cosigner is not required to apply. If you’re applying with a cosigner, we’ll ask your cosigner to provide some information and documents about their circumstances too.

What is an Application and Solicitation Disclosure (ASD)?
Regulations governing private education loans require three disclosure documents be provided to borrowers during the application process: an Application and Solicitation Disclosure (ASD), Approval Disclosure, and Final Disclosure. About the ASD:
  • This form will be provided during the application process.
  • The ASD displays current interest rate ranges, loan cost examples, federal student loan alternatives, and other general loan information.
  • Completion of an application is not required in order to view an ASD with current interest rates; however, all applicants must acknowledge that they have reviewed this disclosure before continuing the application process.
Can I still apply if I don’t see my state listed on the drop-down list?
If you don’t find your state on the drop-down box within the application, please call 800-988-6333 or email us at advantageloans@kheslc.com.
How do I check the status of my application or my cosigner application?
Please call 800-988-6333 or email advantageloans@kheslc.com to check the loan status. We will also contact you whenever the status changes.

Cosigner

General Information

What is a cosigner?
A cosigner is an additional applicant who takes on the same legal responsibility as the primary borrower. The cosigner usually has a more established credit history and can sign the promissory note for the loan along with the primary borrower.
Why is a cosigner important?
Many borrowers don't have substantial credit histories to qualify for a loan on their own, or may have other concerns about being approved for a private loan. Adding a creditworthy cosigner may help them qualify and/or obtain a lower interest rate.
Do I need a cosigner?
Cosigners are generally needed if a borrower doesn’t meet certain minimum requirements, such as having a good credit history, being employed and meeting the income-to-debt ratio. A cosigner is not required to apply, but applying with a creditworthy cosigner may help you qualify and/or receive a lower FIXED interest rate.
How is a cosigner added?
Applying as a cosigner is quick and easy. When applying with a cosigner, both you and the cosigner will complete the application for credit, sign the loan note and become responsible for repayment of the loan obligation. Either the cosigner or the primary borrower can start the application online.
What makes a good cosigner on a loan?
A good cosigner:
  • Has a substantial credit history
  • Does not have any serious negative items on their credit report
  • Meets their credit obligations on time
  • Is not over burdened with debt
  • Has steady employment and/or income sufficient to meet debt obligations
How many cosigners can be on an Advantage Refinance Loan?
One cosigner can be on the loan. The cosigner is in addition to the primary borrower.
What happens after the primary borrower adds me as a cosigner to his or her application and you check my credit?
We will notify the primary borrower immediately if you pass the credit requirements of the loan. We will notify you if you need to come back to look at the terms and conditions and sign the loan documents. If we are unable to approve your credit, we will send you a letter notifying you of our credit decision.
Can I withdraw my cosigner application after I submit it?
Yes. You can withdraw your cosigner application any time before the primary borrower selects you as a cosigner. The primary borrower has 120 days to accept your cosigner application information. Once the primary borrower selects you as a cosigner, you can no longer withdraw your information online.
What happens to my application if the primary borrower does not select me as a cosigner?
The primary borrower has 120 days to accept you as a cosigner. If they don't select you as a cosigner within 120 days, your information will expire.
If I cosign a loan, am I responsible to pay it back if the primary borrower doesn’t make payments?
Yes. A cosigner is considered a co-borrower and is equally responsible for repayment of the loan.
How do I check the status of my application or my cosigner application?
Please call 800-988-6333 or email advantageloans@kheslc.com to check the loan status. We will also contact you whenever the status changes.
Can a cosigner view the borrower’s loan account online?
Yes. Cosigners can view and manage the primary borrower’s account for which they are cosigned via KHESLC.com.
As a cosigner, can I receive statements?
We only provide statements (paper and online) to the primary borrower. However, for any loan you have cosigned, you can view the loan’s balance, monthly payment amount and payment due date by logging in to the borrower’s account via KHESLC.com.
What if I have a cosigner on my existing education loan(s) that I’d like to include in my refinance?
Unless the cosigner on the loan(s) being refinanced is on the new loan, that cosigner will be relieved from the debt obligation, which typically improves the cosigner's debt-to-income ratio.

Cosigner Release

I’m the borrower. Can my cosigner be released from the loan?
Yes, if you have an Advantage Refinance Loan. A cosigner release option is available after 36 months of on-time, regularly-scheduled payments. The borrower must request the release. When you request a cosigner release, a credit review will be performed to ensure you meet certain credit and eligibility requirements.
I’m the cosigner. Can I be released from the loan later on?
Yes, if you are a cosigner on an Advantage Refinance loan. A cosigner release option is available after 36 months of on-time, regularly-scheduled payments. The borrower must request the release. When the borrower requests a cosigner release, a credit review will be performed to ensure the borrower meets certain credit and eligibility requirements.
Is the cosigner release application available on Advantage's website?
No. To get an application, you must first contact the loan servicer, KHESLC, to confirm that the eligibility requirements have been met. If you meet the requirements, a cosigner release application will be mailed to you. To discuss your cosigner release eligibility, please call KHESLC at 800-693-8220.
Is a cosigner's income, debt and credit history reviewed in the cosigner release process?
No. The cosigner's income, debt and credit history are not reviewed; however, the borrower's income, debt and credit history are evaluated.
How will the borrower and cosigner be notified of the decision?
If the borrower’s application for the cosigner release is denied, the borrower will be notified. If the borrower has been approved, both the borrower and cosigner will be notified.
If the cosigner is released from liability, will there be any changes made to the credit bureau report for the borrower or cosigner?
There will be no changes made to the borrower's credit bureau report upon the release of a cosigner. The loan will continue to be reported to all the major credit bureaus on an ongoing basis.

For the cosigner, there will be changes to the credit reporting. The historical reporting for the loan will remain in place, however the loan will not show any balance owed by the cosigner since the cosigner will have been released from the loan.

Processing Your Loan

How quickly does the loan processing take once I’m approved for the Advantage Refinance Loan?
Once approved and all documentation has been received, the processing should take 2– 3 business days. Disbursement times vary based on the school’s request.
How do I sign my loan documents?
The quickest way to complete and sign your documents is to log in to https://www.kheaa.com/privateloan using the login and password supplied to you (your Case ID, last name and last 4 digits of your Social Security number). Once logged in, you can simply follow the prompts to read and electronically sign your loan documents. Make sure to print a copy of your documents for your records.
I need to send in supporting documents for my Advantage Refinance Loan. How can I do that?
You may send in your supporting Advantage Refinance Loan documents(s) via:
  1. Online Document Upload — Upload your documents securely from anywhere, anytime when you log in to kheaa.com/privateloan with your case ID, last name and last 4 digits of your Social Security number.
  2. Special Delivery (FedEx, UPS, etc.) — KHEAA, 100 Airport Rd, Frankfort, KY 40601
  3. U.S. Postal Service Mail — P.O. Box 4250 Frankfort, KY 40604-4250
  4. Fax — 502-696-7305

Keep a copy of your documents. Once you send us your documents, it usually takes about 3-5 business days for us to process your documents. We will contact you if we need additional information.

How do I check the status of my application or my cosigner application?
Please call 800-988-6333 or email advantageloans@kheslc.com to check the loan status. We will also contact you whenever the status changes.
I forgot my User ID/Password. How do I access my application?
You can either click the link to reset your password or call our Technical Support at 877-214-6119.
Do you send me the funds from the loan?
Once the Advantage Refinance Loan is approved and processed, the loan funds are disbursed directly to your prior lenders/servicers to pay off the loans that you refinanced.

Payments / Repayment

Payments

Who is KHESLC?
Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation (KHESLC) owns, manages and services Advantage Parent Loans.
Should I continue making payments on my existing loans I'm requesting to refinance?
Yes. You should continue making any required payments on the existing education loans you choose to refinance until they are fully transferred into the new Advantage Refinance Loan. There will be a lag period between the time you apply and the time the old loans are actually paid off and the new loan is established. Some borrowers will request an administrative forbearance from their existing servicer to cover the lag time.

We’ll notify you when we’ve sent payments to cover the original loans, so you’ll know when you can stop making those payments and when your first Advantage Refinance Loan payment will be due.

Will my Advantage Parent Loan be sent to a third party to manage payments and service the loan?
No. Advantage Parent Loans are owned, managed and serviced by the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation (KHESLC). We do not sell or subcontract our loans.
When will my payments to KHESLC start?
Monthly payments begin within 60 days after your refinance loan is disbursed.
What are the repayment options?
The Advantage Refinance Loan offers the standard repayment and a graduated repayment option. The graduated repayment offers an initial reduced payment followed by a 10% increase in payments every two years for the remainder of the loan term. Payment amounts may change to ensure that the loan is paid off within the remaining loan term. We will let you know at least 30 days in advance if your payment amount will change.
Can I change my repayment plan?
Once a repayment plan has been selected you cannot change it for that loan. However, the Advantage Refinance Loan offers the standard repayment and a graduated repayment option. The graduated repayment offers an initial reduced payment followed by a 10% increase in payments every two years for the remainder of the loan term. Payment amounts may change to ensure that the loan is paid off within the remaining loan term. We will let you know at least 30 days in advance if your payment amount will change.
Can I change my Advantage Refinance Loan’s loan term?
You must pick the loan term (10- 15- 20-year) during the application process. Once the loan is approved, the loan term cannot be changed.
My existing loans are still in the grace period. Do I get to defer my payments when I refinance with you?
Monthly payments begin within 60 days after the Advantage Refinance Loan funds have been disbursed.
Do you offer a grace period even if my existing loans are no longer in a grace period?
Monthly payments begin within 60 days after the Advantage Refinance Loan funds have been disbursed.
What is the autopay or EFT discount?
We offer an incentive to borrowers who participate in our automatic payment (autopay) program via electronic funds transfer (EFT) to make payments on their Advantage Parent Loan account.

To earn a 0.25% interest rate reduction, choose autopay! Using autopay can lead to significant savings over the life of the loan.

When your payments are automatically deducted from your checking or savings account each month with our EFT/autopay, your interest rate on the Advantage Parent Loan may be reduced by 0.25%. Example: A loan having a 3.80% interest rate would be reduced to 3.55% while using our EFT service.

Since there are no service fees for using autopay, sign up as soon as your loans are in repayment and start saving time and money! More info…

How can I pay less interest?
Make payments toward your loans before they are due. Make extra payments. Pay more than your regular monthly amount. Avoid using forbearance — or if you need a forbearance, pay the interest each month before the accrued interest capitalizes at the end of the forbearance period.
Can I pay off the loan early before the payment period ends?
Definitely! There is no penalty for paying off the loan early. Doing so will reduce the amount of interest paid over the life of the loan. Make sure to contact us for the exact payoff amount.

Forbearance/ Trouble Making Payments

What is forbearance?
If you are willing but unable to make payments, you may request forbearance. Forbearance allows payments to stop temporarily or the amount decreased for a specific length of time. You are responsible for repayment of the interest that will still be accruing. At the end of the forbearance period, any unpaid accrued interest will be added or “capitalized” to the principal balance.

If your forbearance allows you to stop making payments, you can make full or partial interest payments at your discretion, in order to lessen the amount of interest that will be capitalized.

Does the Advantage Refinance Loan offer forbearance options if I have trouble making payments?
Yes. Borrowers can request to temporarily suspend payments upon a proven economic hardship or during military deployment.

If you have any trouble making your payments, please contact us immediately to explore your options. Contact a KHESLC servicing specialist at 800-693-8220 or 888-599-7768.

Caution:
By using forbearance, interest continues to accrue and will be capitalized (added to the principal balance of your loan) at the end of the forbearance period. To avoid this, you can make payments during forbearance to cover the accruing interest.

Can my Advantage Refinance Loan be deferred if I go back to school?
Advantage Refinance loans do not have the option to postpone payments while in school.

Death and Disability

Is my Advantage Refinance Loan forgiven should I die or become totally and permanently disabled?
No one wants to think about the unfortunate things in life, but should the worst happen, relief is available.

If the Advantage Refinance Loan borrower dies or becomes totally and permanently disabled prior to loan payoff, the borrower and cosigner (if applicable) are released from the outstanding debt.