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Zero Percent Loan

Ascent helps Merit America students cover their tuition with a 0% interest loan.

Program

A zero interest monthly payment plan built for you

With a Zero Percent Loan, you won’t pay anything until at least three months after you complete or exit your Merit America 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 land a job earning the equivalent of at least $40,000 per year.

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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 Loan from start to finish. Check out the example below to see possible monthly payments for your loan.

Program

Please select a program

Location

Your example Zero Percent Loan

0 10000

You can borrow up to $5700 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
$6,500
This total cost includes the total loan amount, origination fee, and estimated interest.
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
$6,500
This total cost includes the total loan amount, origination fee, and estimated interest.
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

How much can I borrow for tuition?

From $2,000 to $5,700 and not to exceed the total cost of your program as certified by Merit America.

Will I qualify for an Ascent Zero Percent Loan?

Our goal at Ascent is to help students from all walks of life and with a broad range of backgrounds get access to the programs that interest them. We offer two possible ways to qualify for an Ascent Zero Percent Loan: on your own or with a cosigner.  For the Merit America program applying with a cosigner will not change your loan terms or improve your chances of obtaining a loan.

To see if you pre-qualify for an Ascent Zero Percent Loan, 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; however, there is no minimum credit history or credit score required for loan approval for the Ascent Zero Percent loan.

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.

 

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 Merit America program.

How and when will I repay my Zero Percent Loan?

You have several options, including automated payments! As part of your application process, you’ll have the option to enter your payment information. Repayment begins three months after completing your program. You’ll make monthly payments for 60 months. If after 60 months of qualifying payments a balance remains, it will be forgiven. 

If you do not find a job earning the equivalent of at least $40,000 per year, you may defer repayment by getting in touch with your servicer. Launch Servicing is the servicer for your Ascent 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 1-877-354-2629. 

What is the Zero Percent Loan’s origination fee?

You will not be charged an origination fee for Ascent’s Zero Percent Loan for Merit America.

What is the Zero Percent 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. See rates and repayment examples by program 

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

Merit America offers a refund in certain situations. If you meet the requirements of the Merit America Tuition Refund Guarantee (TRG) and do not obtain employment as defined within the Merit America TRG within 2 years after completing the Immersion phase of your program, you may be eligible for a refund or cancellation of your loan. Please refer to the Merit America TRG and get in touch with a Merit America representative for more details.

If you are unable to obtain employment earning the equivalent of at least $40,000 per year, 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?

If you leave during the Foundations phase of the program, you won’t commit to pay your tuition and you’ll never pay anything for the program. See Merit America’s policies for more information.

Otherwise, 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.

Can I cancel or change my Zero Percent 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.

How do I apply for the Zero Percent Loan?

During the Merit America admissions process, Merit America will direct you to Ascent Funding to learn more about the Zero Percent Loan, and get all of your questions answered. When it’s time to apply for a Zero Percent Loan at the end of the Foundations phase, Merit America will direct you to the Zero Percent Loan application online.

You can submit an application and become pre-qualified for an Ascent Zero Percent Loan for Merit America. In the pre-qualification process, we’ll conduct a soft credit check with no impact to your credit score. Before accepting a loan offer, please ensure you have enrolled in your program.

Can I pay off my Zero Percent 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-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 bootcamp loans (including the Zero Percent Loan).

Are Ascent bootcamp loans (including the Zero Percent Loan) student loans?

No, they’re consumer loans to help pay for tuition at our partner schools.

Given that Ascent bootcamp loans (including the Zero Percent Loan) are not private student loans, what are some of the key differences between consumer loans for bootcamps and private student loans?

There are several key differences, and we encourage applicants to perform their own research into this topic. However, some of the high-level differences between an Ascent consumer loan for bootcamps and a private student loan include:

  • For private student loans, interest paid may be tax-deductible. For consumer loans for bootcamps, interest is not tax-deductible. Please consult your tax advisor to determine if this applies to you.
  • Consumer loans for bootcamps may be treated differently in the event of a borrower bankruptcy.
  • Private student loans may typically only be used for qualified education expenses as defined by the IRS.
  • Ascent’s private college loans may be eligible for cosigner removal, while the bootcamp loans are not.