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Sixup student loans are a great gap-loan option for academic achievers. A gap student loan is a loan meant to cover the difference between your tuition and expenses and other financial aid, including federal student loans.
- Earning good grades can make you eligible for better student loan rates
- No co-signer or credit history required
- Can borrow as much as $15,000 per academic year
- Free unlimited tutoring
- No origination fee
- This loan is not available nationwide and requires that you live in one of 17 states or Washington, D.C.
- A minimum GPA of 3.0 required
- Higher interest rates
Sixup: What You Need to Know
Sixup prides itself on helping first-generation and immigrant students pay for college.
The company was founded by individuals who encountered such scenarios — they were accepted to top-tier colleges but did not have financial resources from their families that could help. To fund the difference between what financial aid offered and what tuition and expenses were owed, they had to come up with their own gap funding. Now, as graduates of prestigious institutions, they set up Sixup to help students like themselves with such funding needs.
Founded in 2015, the company is based in San Francisco. Not only does Sixup aim to offer gap funding for students in need, but the company also offers assistance to students in the form of tutoring, help with resume writing and internships, and other coaching for students from disadvantaged backgrounds with great potential.
Sixup’s nonprofit partner, the Sixup Foundation, is geared toward building educational tools designed to help high-achieving, low-income students along the pathway toward college.
Sixup’s BBB Rating: A
Sixup has excellent intentions, for sure — who wouldn’t be interested in a student loan from a company whose mission is to help those most deserving? However, to get a better idea of whether a Sixup student loan is right for you, it’s important to look at reviews and ratings.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB), a private nonprofit founded in 1912, is considered one of the best sources for judging how good a particular business is in terms of its operations, customer complaints, and so on. Not only does the BBB compile data about a business, including complaints, but it also investigates these complaints and determines if they are justified and what methods the business has taken to address them.
Sixup comes just shy of the BBB’s top rating of A+. The BBB offers ratings from A+ to F, just like your college grades, which indicate a business’s quality. Sixup’s rating of an A is certainly nothing to scoff at. In fact, the only reason given as to why the rating isn’t higher is that it hasn’t been in business very long compared to other similar companies.
Sixup: Potential Benefits for Borrowers
If you’re an academically motivated student in need of a gap loan to cover the costs at a top-tier school, Sixup might be ideal for you. This is also a great loan for students who are unable to obtain other student loans without a co-signer.
Sixup recognizes that low-income and first-generation students may lack credit histories and may not have the family resources to help them gain access to other student loans.
- Earning good grades can make you eligible for better loan rates. Sixup’s target audience is high-achieving students. They require a minimum 3.0 GPA and look for an upward/improving trend in your academic record. While they will take credit history into account if you have one, they typically base the interest rate offered to you on your academic record — which is considered an indication of your likelihood to repay.
- No co-signer or credit history is required. Sixup understands that not every student is going to have a credit history or an available co-signer, so they require neither. Instead, by basing their student loans on your academic achievement, they mitigate the loan risk by seeing your academic prowess as a solid investment.
- You can borrow as much as $15,000 per academic year. Sixup student loans are meant to cover the difference between what you owe for tuition and fees and what financial aid package you get. They require a minimum amount of $2,500, but you can borrow as much as $15,000 each year if needed.
- Sixup offers services beyond student loans. Sixup wants to help you with college in every way possible. Their founding members faced situations very similar to those of the students they hope to help. Because of this, they also offer financial, academic, personal, and career services to borrowers to help them succeed.
- Sixup can help develop your credit and financial literacy: Among the services offered to borrowers, Sixup teaches financial literacy to help you develop good financial strategies that will put you in a better position to pay off student loans after school. Not only that, but one of their repayment options allows you to make minimum payments while in school to establish a solid credit history.
- Sixup offers academic support and online tutoring. Sixup wants to help you keep those grades up. If your academic record begins to slide, they will reach out to you and help you get started with access to free online tutoring. They additionally offer personal wellness services to help you maintain balance in your pursuit of a degree.
- Sixup also offers career help. To help you start on the right foot after graduation, Sixup provides career services, including assistance with determining a career path, help finding internships, and assistance with resumes.
Sixup: Potential Drawbacks for Borrowers
While Sixup can be the difference between being able to achieve a dream and having to give up on college for those with extreme need, no loan scheme is perfect, and it’s worth considering some potential drawbacks before deciding if a Sixup student loan is right for you.
- This loan is not available nationwide. You must be a resident of one of the following states:
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- West Virginia
- A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required. If staying at the top of your class is more of a struggle for you, a student loan based on your grades might not be in your best interest. Consider if having your student loans tied to high academic performance will cause you more stress than not.
- These loans may have higher interest rates than loans from other lenders. Because it can be considered more of a risk to lend to individuals with minimal or no credit histories without a co-signer, the interest rates on these particular student loans are often higher than those found elsewhere.
- These loans also have fewer repayment options than you might see from other lenders. You have the choice to defer payment while in school or pay $20 a month while in school to establish your credit history. There are no interest-only options or other plans available while you are in school.
Sixup: The Details
Loan Amounts and Term Lengths
Minimum loan amount: $2,500 ($3,000 for Georgia residents and $5,000 for California residents)
Loan term options: 10-year only (up to 54 months of deferment plus six months of grace period)
Multi-year approval available: Not disclosed
Interest Rate Ranges
Fixed and variable rates available: Yes
Fixed low APR: 6.890%
Fixed high APR: 9.890%
Variable low APR: 6.650%
Variable high APR: 9.933%
In-school payment options: Two repayment options are available:
- Small in-school payments of $20 per month
- Full deferment until six months after graduation or lower than half-time enrollment
Grace period: 6 months
Co-signer release available: No co-signer required
Loan servicer: Launch Servicing
Other Perks and Options
Interest rate discounts: Better grades can lead to better interest rates on new loans.
Other rewards or services: Financial, academic, personal, and career services are offered for free to borrowers.
Sixup: Eligibility and Application Requirements
Income requirements: None
Credit score requirements: No credit history is required; however, if you have a credit score, it should be above 600.
Eligibility for international borrowers: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
Additional requirements include:
- Must be a resident in one of the above-mentioned states
- Must be pursuing a degree and not a certificate
- Must have admission to or are enrolled full time in a four-year, nonprofit, Title IV institution
- Must be 18 years of age (or the age of majority in your state)
- Your GPA must be 3.0 or higher, and you must meet your school’s satisfactory academic progress (SAP) policy
- Must have completed the FAFSA and accepted all financial aid/awards
- Meet one of the following three student profiles:
- In-college: Student of four-year colleges (no for-profit schools eligible) with a remaining financing gap after maximizing federal, state, and institutional aid, scholarships, and work-study
- Transfer: Student transferring from a two-year college to a four-year college (no for-profit schools eligible)
- Incoming first-year: Incoming first-year student who needs some extra financing to fill the gap
Application or origination fees: None
Soft pull rate check availability: Not disclosed, but credit history is not required for a loan.
Private Student Loans: Understanding Your Options
There are two main types of student loans: federal student loans and private student loans. Loans from Sixup are considered private student loans. For students in most situations, it is best to exhaust your federal student loan options first before seeking a private student loan. However, the purpose of Sixup student loans is to fund the difference between what you can get for federal financial aid — including student loans — and what your tuition and expenses are.
The benefits of federal student loans over private student loans are many and include:
- Interest rates are typically much lower than for private student loans
- Loan cancellation forgiveness programs for some career choices or repayment plans
- Many more repayment options available, including income-based plans
- Deferment and forbearance are often much easier to obtain
- No or minimal credit requirements
- Subsidized federal loans do not accrue interest while you’re in school or during grace periods
- These loans are backed by the federal government, and many more options exist for those who struggle to repay
Again, where private student loans come into play is usually when the maximum amount of federal financial aid available fails to cover all associated costs. Private student loans are rarely a good first choice due to their higher rates and stricter repayment options, but they can be an excellent resource for those in need of gap funding.
As you apply to college, you always want to consider as many options for paying before taking out any student loans. Our guide to financial aid can help you determine what you might qualify for and what to expect.
Is Sixup Right for You?
When determining if Sixup is right for you, there are several factors to consider. First, it’s always best to exhaust all other financial aid — including scholarships, grants, and federal student loans — before taking out private student loans. But if you have a funding gap, you need to look at other options.
Sixup Could Be a Good Option for You If:
- You are in need of gap funding.
- You are academically motivated but have minimal family financial resources.
- You want to work with a lender who has your best interest in mind.
- You like the idea of additional perks, including tutoring, coaching, and career assistance.
CollegeFinance.com can help students assess all of their loan options with reviews. We also offer advice about scholarships, planning, and refinancing for those who are already repaying their student loans. Our goal is to help you make informed choices about financing your education. Check out our articles and guides for more information.