Applying for student loans can be a confusing and stressful process. Thrivent offers private student loans to help students and families finance higher education costs. If you’re considering a Thrivent student loan, you likely have a lot of questions. This comprehensive guide answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Thrivent student loans.
What is Thrivent?
Thrivent is a not-for-profit financial services organization that provides financial planning, insurance, investments, banking, and student loan solutions. Thrivent is based in Minneapolis and serves over 2 million members nationwide.
Thrivent offers private student loans to both undergraduate and graduate students. These loans can help bridge the gap between federal loans, scholarships, personal savings, and the remaining cost of attendance. Thrivent student loans offer competitive rates and flexible repayment options.
What are the eligibility requirements for a Thrivent student loan?
To qualify for a Thrivent student loan, you must:
- Be enrolled at least half-time at an eligible degree-granting institution
- Be seeking an associate, bachelor’s, graduate, or vocational degree
- Have a creditworthy cosigner if you are an undergraduate student seeking a loan without a cosigner
- Meet citizenship and residency requirements
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress
Your school also needs to be on Thrivent’s list of eligible institutions. You can check the eligibility of your school by contacting Thrivent directly.
What types of Thrivent student loans are available?
Thrivent offers both fixed and variable-rate student loans.
These loans have interest rates that remain the same throughout the life of the loan. Thrivent offers 5, 10, and 15-year fixed rate repayment terms.
Variable rate loans
These loans have interest rates that may increase or decrease over time based on market conditions. Thrivent offers variable-rate loans with 5, 10, and 15-year repayment terms.
In addition, Thrivent offers student loan products for:
- Undergraduate students
- Graduate students
- Career training loans
- Parent/sponsor loans
- Refinancing and consolidation
So whether you’re an undergraduate, graduate, parent, or sponsor, Thrivent likely has a loan option to meet your needs.
What are the interest rates, fees, and repayment options?
Interest rates on Thrivent student loans vary depending on the loan product, term length (5-15 years), and whether you choose a fixed or variable interest. As of August 2022, fixed rates range from 5.25% to 9.37% APR and variable rates range from 3.62% to 8.32% APR.
Thrivent student loans have no application, origination, or disbursement fees. There are no prepayment penalties if you pay off your loan early.
You’ll make principal and interest payments on your Thrivent student loan while in school and during your repayment term after graduation. Thrivent offers flexible in-school payment options including:
- Interest-only payments
- Fixed payments of $25 or $50 per month
- Deferred payments during school (interest will accrue)
After you graduate, Thrivent offers different repayment terms depending on your loan. Options include standard, graduated, interest-only, and deferred repayment.
How do I apply for a Thrivent student loan?
Applying for a Thrivent student loan involves 4 key steps:
- Check eligibility requirements
Confirm you meet the eligibility criteria for the specific loan product you want to apply for. This includes enrollment status, degree program, citizenship status, etc.
- Submit online application
Complete Thrivent’s online student loan application which includes information on your school, program, expected graduation date, and requested loan amount. Application forms are available on Thrivent’s website.
- Provide supporting documents
Supply any required supporting documentation such as proof of income, enrollment verification letter, government IDs, previous tax returns, etc.
- Accept your loan offer
If approved, you’ll receive a loan offer detailing your interest rate, fees, repayment schedule, and other terms. You’ll need to accept the offer to finalize your Thrivent student loan.
The entire application process can take 1-2 weeks. Thrivent recommends applying 90 days before your first tuition payment deadline.
How much can I borrow with a Thrivent student loan?
The maximum you can borrow depends on factors like your enrollment status, degree program costs, expected family contribution, other financial aid received, and year in school.
For undergraduates, the maximum loan limits are:
- $40,000 total for students seeking a bachelor’s degree
- $27,500 total for associate degree students
- $40,000 total for career training programs
For graduate students, annual loan limits are:
- $80,000 for medical school
- $65,000 for dental school
- $50,000 for other health professional degrees
- $20,000 for other graduate degree programs
Thrivent does not have an aggregate (lifetime) federal student loan limit. Your total borrowing amount will depend on your costs each year.
Can I consolidate or refinance my Thrivent student loans?
Yes, Thrivent offers student loan consolidation and refinancing options.
You may be eligible to consolidate multiple federal and/or private student loans into one Thrivent Consolidation Loan. This can help simplify payments into one monthly bill at a fixed interest rate.
Thrivent student loan refinancing allows you to potentially qualify for a lower interest rate and change loan terms after graduation. Refinancing or consolidating your Thrivent loans will require applying and meeting eligibility criteria.
How do I make payments on my Thrivent student loan?
Thrivent offers multiple payment options:
- Auto-pay: Set up monthly automatic payments from your bank account to save 0.25% on your interest rate.
- Online: Make one-time or recurring payments via Thrivent’s website.
- Phone: Call Thrivent’s toll-free number and use an automated system or speak to a representative.
- Mail: Send paper checks or money orders to Thrivent’s payment address.
You can make one-time lump sum payments or recurring monthly payments. Thrivent does not charge late fees but missed payments may impact your credit score.
Does Thrivent offer student loan forgiveness or discharge?
Thrivent student loans are not eligible for federal student loan forgiveness programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). However, Thrivent may offer hardship-based assistance such as:
- Deferment or forbearance if you can’t make payments due to financial hardship
- Temporary interest rate reductions
- Extended repayment plans
Options depend on your loan program and circumstances. Contact Thrivent to learn about assistance programs that may be available to you.
Who do I contact for questions about my Thrivent student loan?
You can contact Thrivent Student Loan Resources at:
Live chat: Available via the Thrivent website
Mail: Thrivent Student Loan Resources 625 Fourth Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55415
Thrivent also provides student loan account access online and via mobile app to manage your loan details 24/7. Contact their friendly team for any questions about applications, interest rates, monthly payments, or other loan-related needs.
Do I need a cosigner for a Thrivent student loan?
Whether you need a creditworthy cosigner depends on your student loan product and credit profile:
- Undergraduate loans: Most undergraduate borrowers will need a cosigner like a parent or guardian to meet approval criteria.
- Graduate loans: Applicants often qualify for graduate loans without a cosigner, but cosigners may help you get a better rate.
- Parent PLUS loans: Parents applying for a PLUS loan can do so without a cosigner. Creditworthiness is based on the parent borrower’s credit.
- Refinancing: You may qualify to refinance an existing student loan without a cosigner, based on your income, credit score, and debt-to-income ratio.
During the application process, Thrivent will let you know if you need a cosigner for the specific loan product you are requesting. Adding a cosigner can increase the chances of approval and lower interest rates.
What credit score do I need to qualify for a Thrivent student loan?
Thrivent does not publish specific minimum credit score requirements for their student loans. In general, you’ll have the best rates and approval odds with a credit score over 700.
Here are factors that impact approval and your interest rate:
- Your credit history and score
- Your cosigner’s credit, if applicable
- Your total requested loan amount and cumulative debt
- Your income and assets
- Your education costs and expected future earnings
With a good credit cosigner, many students can qualify for a Thrivent loan even with thin credit files. Review your credit reports and maximize your score before applying.
Can I release my cosigner after I get the loan?
Yes, Thrivent may allow you to release your cosigner and continue with just your name on the loan. Releasing a cosigner typically requires:
- Making a minimum number of on-time principal and interest payments (usually 24-36 consecutive monthly payments)
- Meeting Thrivent’s credit score and income requirements on your own
- Submitting an online cosigner release application
If approved, your loan will continue with only you as the responsible borrower. Releasing a cosigner can help build your credit history. Check with Thrivent for their specific cosigner release eligibility criteria.
Who owns Thrivent student loans?
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is a Fortune 500 financial services organization that offers student loans directly to borrowers. Thrivent retains ownership of the student loans it originates from – the loans are not sold to third parties.
When you take out a Thrivent student loan, you work directly with Thrivent throughout the application, funding, repayment, and loan servicing processes. Your loan will not be transferred to an outside company.
Are Thrivent student loans federally or privately funded?
Thrivent student loans are privately funded student loans. This means they are issued by a private lender (Thrivent Financial) rather than the federal government.
As private student loans, Thrivent products are not part of federal student loan programs. However, you can combine them with federal student loans from the Department of Education.
Be sure to maximize your federal student loan options first before considering private loans. Private student loans like those from Thrivent typically have higher interest rates and fewer repayment protections compared to federal loans.
How long does it take to pay off a Thrivent student loan?
How long it takes to pay off your Thrivent student loan depends on several factors:
- The total principal (amount borrowed)
- Your interest rate and whether it’s fixed or variable
- Your repayment term length (5 years, 10 years, 15 years, etc)
- Your monthly payment amount
- Any additional payments you make to the principal
For example, paying off a $30,000 Thrivent student loan with a 10-year term and a 6% fixed rate would take 120 monthly payments of approximately $345. Making extra principal payments can reduce your total repayment period.
Use Thrivent’s online student loan calculators to estimate your monthly payment amount and loan payoff timeframe based on your specific loan details.
Can Thrivent student loans be discharged in bankruptcy?
Thrivent student loans are typically more difficult to discharge in bankruptcy compared to federal student loans. While it is possible in some rare cases, the bar is high.
To qualify for a bankruptcy discharge of Thrivent student loans, you must prove that repayment would impose undue hardship on you and your dependents. This usually requires meeting a stringent legal test often referred to as the Brunner test.
Before considering bankruptcy, contact Thrivent to discuss options like deferment, forbearance, income-driven repayment plans, or loan modification. Discharging student loans in bankruptcy should be a last resort option after exhausting other alternatives. Consult a bankruptcy attorney regarding your situation.
Does Thrivent offer student loan forgiveness?
Thrivent is a private lender, so its loans do not qualify for federal student loan forgiveness programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) or Teacher Loan Forgiveness.
However, Thrivent may offer temporary hardship assistance such as:
- Deferment or forbearance periods if you have difficulty making payments
- Interest rate reductions
- Extended loan repayment terms
The best way to lower your Thrivent student loan costs is to refinance and qualify for a lower market interest rate. Check with Thrivent regarding hardship relief or loan modification options that may be available to you.
What repayment options are available on Thrivent student loans?
Thrivent offers flexible repayment plans on their student loans including:
- Standard: Fixed monthly payments of principal and interest for 5-15 years.
- Graduated: Payments start lower and increase over the loan term.
- Extended: Stretch out payments up to 20 years for lower monthly amounts.
- Interest-only: Pay only the monthly accrued interest for up to 4 years after graduation.
- Deferred: Make no payments while enrolled in school at least half-time. Interest accrues during the deferment period.
You’ll select your preferred repayment schedule when you first take out the loan. Contact Thrivent after graduation if you need to change your repayment plan due to financial hardship.
Who is eligible to cosign a Thrivent student loan?
To be an eligible cosigner on a Thrivent student loan, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Have a valid Social Security number
- Be at least 18 years old
- Pass a Thrivent credit check
- Have sufficient income to repay the loan if necessary
- Not be your spouse (spouses can’t cosign)
Family members like parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles, or friends are common cosigners for private student loans. The cosigner is equally responsible for repaying the Thrivent student loan under its terms.
Can I get a cosigner release on my Thrivent student loan?
Yes, for most Thrivent student loans you can apply to release your cosigner after making 12 to 48 consecutive, on-time principal and interest payments (depending on your loan program).
To release your cosigner, you’ll need to meet Thrivent’s credit score and income requirements on your own. If approved, you’ll continue the loan in just your name moving forward.
Releasing your co-signer can help build your credit history. Check for the cosigner release eligibility details on your specific Thrivent student loan program.
What should I consider when choosing between fixed and variable interest rates?
The main factors to consider are:
Your budget – Fixed rates have stable, predictable monthly payments that make managing a tight budget easier. Variable rates can start lower but may increase over time.
Plans – If you plan to pay off your loan quickly, a variable rate could save money. For longer payoff timelines, fixed rates limit your interest cost exposure.
Interest rate forecast – If rates are low currently and expected to rise substantially in coming years, locking in a fixed rate now can mean lower long-term costs.
Risk tolerance – If you’re comfortable with interest rate uncertainty and variability, a variable rate may offer savings. If rate hikes would strain your budget, fixed is safer.
In general, fixed rates are lower risk while variable rates offer potential savings but also uncertainty. Consider your situation including expected degree time and career earnings potential.
What credit score is needed for Thrivent student loan refinancing?
Thrivent does not disclose a minimum credit score requirement for refinancing student loans. In general, the higher your credit score, the better your chances of approval and lower interest rate offers.
Here are rough guidelines for credit scores needed to qualify for Thrivent student loan refinancing:
- Excellent credit (750+): Preferred rates and maximum savings
- Good credit (700-749): Decent rate offers with good savings
- Fair credit (650-699): May qualify for refinancing but limited savings
- Poor credit (<650): Very difficult to qualify
Other important factors include your income, job stability, total debt load, education completed, and typical graduate career trajectories for your major. Having a cosigner helps compensate for credit weaknesses.
Aim for the best credit score possible before applying to maximize approval chances and savings when refinancing your Thrivent student loans.
Is Thrivent a good choice for student loans?
Thrivent can be a good private student loan option to consider for several reasons:
- Competitive rates: Thrivent offers interest rates in line with top national lenders. Rates are often lower than big banks.
- No fees: Thrivent has no origination, disbursement, or prepayment fees which save on costs.
- Flexible terms: Choose from multiple repayment schedules from 5-20 years. Make interest-only payments while in school.
- No cosigner release fee: Thrivent doesn’t charge a fee to apply to release your cosigner after making the required number of on-time payments.
- Soft credit checks: Thrivent allows prequalification with a soft credit inquiry that won’t impact your score.
- Member benefits: Thrivent clients may qualify for loan discounts.
- Strong customer service: Thrivent gets high marks for helpfulness and responsiveness.
Make sure to maximize any federal student loans first. But for private loans, Thrivent is competitively priced and provides quality servicing.
Is Thrivent a nonprofit?
Yes, Thrivent Financial is a non-profit, Fortune 500 financial services organization. Thrivent is a membership-owned fraternal benefit society that serves over 2 million clients nationwide.
Thrivent is organized to provide members with financial services, guidance, and products to help them support Christian churches and communities.
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