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Zero Percent Private Education Loan

Ascent helps Hawai‘i Renewable Learning Fund participants cover their tuition with a 0% interest loan.

A zero interest monthly payment plan built for you

With a Zero Percent Private Education Loan, you won’t pay anything until at least three months after you complete or exit your College of Engineering at the University of Hawai‘i program. Once you begin repayment, you can make monthly payments without any interest – and defer payment if you’re unemployed. There will be 0% interest for the duration of the loan.

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Flexible repayment options

Defer your repayment every 3 months for up to 60 months until you are earning a total income of at least $50,000 annually.

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Fixed monthly payments

Once you begin repayment, you’ll make low, predictable monthly payments for 60 months.

Preview your monthly payments

Budget for your Zero Percent Private Education Loan from start to finish. Check out the example below to see possible monthly payments for your loan.

Please select a program

Your example Zero Percent Private Education Loan

0 10000

You can borrow up to $15000 for this program.

0 10000

You can borrow up to $0 for living expenses for this program.

6.5 13.5
Monthly in-program payments
$83
Monthly post-program payments
$230
Total loan amount
$5,000
Total cost of loan Tooltip
This total cost includes the total loan amount, origination fee, and estimated interest.
$6,500
Interest rate
6.5%
APR *
5.0%
*APR - Annual Percentage Rate
This example shows no monthly payments while in program and for a 3 month grace period after completion, then full repayment for 60 months post-program.
Monthly in-program payments
$83
Monthly post-program payments
$230
Total loan amount
$5,000
Total cost of loan Tooltip
This total cost includes the total loan amount, origination fee, and estimated interest.
$6,500
Interest rate
6.5%
APR *
5.0%
*APR - Annual Percentage Rate
This example shows no monthly payments while in program and for a 3 month grace period after completion, then full repayment for 60 months post-program.

Frequently asked loan questions

Who is the Hawai‘i Renewable Learning Fund and what is the Hawai‘i Renewable Learning Fund Loan Program?

The Hawai‘i Renewable Learning Fund is a philanthropic fund created to support students to affordably finance their college education and secure quality jobs in Hawai‘i and it has partnered with Ascent Funding to create the Hawai‘i Renewable Learning Fund Loan Program and make Zero Percent Private Education Loans available for eligible students at the University of Hawai‘i.

How much can I borrow for tuition?

Each year, between $2,000 to $15,000 and not to exceed the total cost of attendance as certified by the University of Hawai‘i.

Will I qualify for an Ascent Zero Percent Private Education Loan offered under the Hawai‘i Renewable Learning Fund Loan Program?

The Hawai‘i Renewable Learning Fund has created very flexible underwriting terms described below making it very likely that you will qualify for an Ascent Zero Percent Private Education Loan on your own without the need for a cosigner.  Applying with a cosigner will not change your loan terms or improve your chances of obtaining a loan, unless you are a U.S. Temporary Resident, in which case a U.S. citizen or permanent resident cosigner is required.

To see if you pre-qualify for an Ascent Zero Percent Private Education Loan offered under the Hawai‘i Renewable Learning Fund Loan Program, submit an application. In the pre-qualification process, we’ll conduct a soft credit check with no impact to your credit score. After being conditionally approved and confirming your loan details, a hard credit check will be run to finalize the process.

Solo applicants must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or DACA recipients. U.S. temporary residents may apply with a qualified U.S. citizen or permanent resident cosigner. All applicants must pass a credit review that checks for certain derogatory credit items; for example, as of 6/1/2024, certain derogatory credit items that may disqualify you are:

  • You have accounts in collection greater than $15,000 (excluding medical debt or student loan debt)
  • You are individually a debtor in open bankruptcy proceeding

This list is not intended to be exhaustive, and underwriting requirements may be subject to change. However, there is currently no minimum credit history or credit score required for loan approval for the Ascent Zero Percent Private Education loan offered under the Hawai‘i Renewable Learning Fund Loan Program.

While our application process asks for income and employment details, we won’t use income, employment, or your requested loan amount to evaluate your application.

How do I apply for the Ascent Zero Percent Private Education Loan offered under the Hawai‘i Renewable Learning Fund Loan Program?

Your school (i.e., College of Engineering) will provide you with an intake form link to assess your eligibility for the Renewable Learning Fund Loan Program and will provide eligible individuals with a one-on-one counseling session. After successfully completing these steps, your school will give you a link to learn more about the Ascent Zero Percent Private Education Loan offered under the Hawai‘i Renewable Learning Fund Loan Program and, if you are ready, apply.

How and when will I repay my Zero Percent Private Education Loan?

You have several options, including automated payments! As part of your application process, you’ll have the opportunity to enter your payment information. Repayment begins three months after completing your program. You’ll make monthly payments for 60 months. If a balance remains after 60 months of qualifying payments or approved deferment or forbearance, your loan may be forgiven in accordance with the policies of the Renewable Learning Fund Loan Program.

If you are not earning a total income of at least $50,000 annually, you may defer repayment by getting in touch with your servicer. Launch Servicing is the servicer for your Ascent Zero Percent Private Education Loan. This means Launch will collect your monthly payments during the repayment phase of your loan. Need to pay your loan? Have a question about repayment on an existing loan? Visit Launch online or at 1-877-209-5297.

Are payments required while I am in program?

No, payments are not required during your program and while you’re in the three-month grace period following completion or termination of your University of Hawai‘i program.

What is the Zero Percent Private Education Loan’s origination fee?

You will not be charged an origination fee for the Ascent Zero Percent Private Education Loan offered under the Hawai‘i Renewable Learning Fund Loan Program.

What is the Zero Percent Private Education Loan’s interest rate?

Interest rate:

0% for all qualified applicants

 

Annual Percentage Rate (APR):

0%*

*These examples show no monthly payments while in program and for a 3-month grace period after completion, then full repayment for 60 months post grace period.

Will my Zero Percent Private Education Loan be refunded if I don’t get a job?

If you are not earning a total income of at least $50,000 annually, you may contact Launch Servicing at any time to request an Unemployment / Underemployment Deferment under which payments may be postponed.

What if I don’t complete my program?

You will have a three-month grace period after withdrawing from your program before you enter repayment. The first payment is due shortly thereafter (typically within 30 to 45 days from the end of the grace period), after which monthly payments are required over the 60-month repayment term.

See your school’s refund policy for details around tuition obligations.

How can I defer my payments?

If you are not earning a total income of at least $50,000 annually, then you may be able to take advantage of the Underemployed / Unemployed deferment option.

In order to use this option, please follow these steps:

  • DEFERMENT BY CALLING: Call the loan servicer, Launch Servicing at 1-877-209-5297. Please have your 9-digit account number (for Launch) ready or the last 4 of your Social Security Number. The representative will ask you for your information. Once they are able to verify your identity, you will need to request with the representative that you want to use the Underemployed/Unemployed deferment option. From there, the representative will ask you some questions, and once answered satisfactorily, your account may then be put into deferment.

 

  • DEFERMENT VIA PORTAL: Visit the website AscentFunding.LaunchServicing.com to set up an account in the Launch borrower customer portal. By selecting Register Now, fill out the prompts and requested information to proceed. After logged in, reach out to the Launch Customer Support Team via their internal messaging system. In a message, advise that you want to initiate the use of the Underemployed/Unemployed deferment option. A set of questions will either be sent via email or via a telephone call. Once answered, Launch may, set the account in deferment.

You will need to reach out every 3 months and provide documentation for the deferment to continue.

Please note this process is subject to change and Ascent will do its best to update any new procedures in a timely manner. You can always reach out to Launch Servicing directly for the most updated deferment information. They can be reached at 1-877-209-5297 or https://ascentfunding.launchservicing.com/.

What if the Underemployed/Unemployed deferment option doesn’t fit my scenario?

Please note that if your circumstances do not fit the criteria for the Underemployed/Unemployed deferment and you find that you are unable to make payments, please contact the loan servicer, Launch Servicing for additional forbearance options. They can be reached at 1-877-209-5297 or https://ascentfunding.launchservicing.com/.

Can I cancel or change my Zero Percent Private Education Loan after I apply?

Yes, you can request to cancel or decrease your loan after you apply. Log in to your Ascent account at bootcamp.ascentfunding.com or reach out to [email protected] to request changes to your loan.

If funds haven’t been sent to your school, Ascent can easily process a request to cancel or decrease your loan.  If funds have already been sent to your school, we’ll follow your school’s refund policy.

Please note that Ascent can’t increase your loan amount after you apply. Instead, you may be able to cancel your loan and reapply for a greater loan amount.

Can I pay off my Zero Percent Private Education Loan faster than the initial term?

Yes, you can prepay your loan at any time without penalty. You have the flexibility to make early payments or fully pay off your loan without prepayment fees.

What is the status of my application?

To see the status of your loan application, visit your Ascent account dashboard at bootcamp.ascentfunding.com. We’ll also send you emails throughout the process to keep you updated. You can save your progress in the application and return to it at any time.

Can non-U.S. citizens apply?

Yes. Individuals may apply as a borrower or cosigner based on their citizenship status as follows:

  • U.S. Permanent Residents – as a solo borrower, as a cosigner or as a borrower with a qualified cosigner.
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status – as a solo borrower or as a borrower with a qualified cosigner.
  • U.S. Temporary Residents – as a borrower with a qualified cosigner only.

Documentation requirements: The following are documentation will be required to verify your individual resident status:

  • For U.S. Permanent Residents: Provide a Permanent Resident Card.
  • For DACA status: Provide documentation from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security / U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that indicates DACA status that does not expire within 6-months of the end of the enrollment period for which the loan is being requested.
  • For U.S. Temporary Residents:
  • A VISA that does not expire within 6-months of the end of the enrollment period for which the loan is being requested. with an acceptable category as follows: F-1, F-3, G Series, H-1B, H-1C, H-2B, H-3, J-1, L-1, M-1, M-3, T-1, TN

OR

  • An I-20 Form (pages 1 & 2 and signed by the school) and an unexpired passport from country of origin.

OR

Can I add a cosigner?

U.S. temporary residents may apply with a qualified U.S. citizen or permanent resident cosigner.

If you’d like to add a cosigner when you apply, you can select this option in the application. If your cosigner is with you, they can start their portion of the application right away. If not, we’ll send them an email asking them to complete their part. Your cosigner’s portion of the application will look very similar to yours.

We’ll keep you and your cosigner updated on the status of your application throughout the process. You’ll receive an email or a notification in the application if you or your cosigner have any required steps to take.

Who is Richland State Bank and how is it related to Ascent?

Richland State Bank, member FDIC, is the lender for all Ascent Zero Percent Private Education Loans.  Ascent acts as the origination processor for the Zero Percent Private Education Loans processing loan applications on behalf of the bank.

Can I set up automatic payments for my Ascent Zero Percent Private Education Loan?

Borrowers have the option to enroll in Autopay. There are many benefits to making automatic payments on your loan with Autopay:

  • Statement Credit: As of January 31, 2024, if you sign up for Autopay when you apply for your loan, you will receive a $100 statement credit on your loan balance!
  • Avoid stress and late fees. With Autopay, your monthly loan payments are automatic, so you’ll never have to worry about missing a loan payment, which can affect your credit.
  • Protect your credit: Making monthly, on-time payments on a loan is one of the best ways to help maintain your credit health. Autopay protects your credit by making sure you pay your loan on time every month.

You can manage your loan and set up Autopay through the AscentConnect mobile app or through Launch, your loan servicer:

For more on Autopay, see the Automatic Payment Discount Terms & Conditions for Zero Percent Private Education Loans offered under the Hawaii Renewable Learning Fund Loan Program.  An Automatic Payment Discount in the form of a $100 statement credit will be applied to outstanding loan balance within 90 days of first payment due date.