8 Best Student Loan Refinance Companies Right Now
Refinance your student loans today and save thousands of dollars. We’ve compiled eight of the top lenders available to help you achieve this in the best way possible.
Table of Contents
- Top Lenders for Student Loan Refinancing
- How To Find The Best Student Loan Refinance Companies
- Steps to Refinance Student Loans
- Refinancing Student Loans - Pros and Cons
- Final Thoughts
Student loan refinancing can be a great way to save money on interest and lower your monthly payments. However, with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to find the best lender for your needs. That is why we have put together a comprehensive guide of the current 8 best student loan refinance companies.
By comparing rates, terms, and eligibility requirements, you can find the lender that works best for your financial situation. Whether you are looking to refinance federal or private student loans, our guide has got you covered.
Best Student Loan Refinance Companies
Consider any one of the following top eight lenders for student loan refinancing:
|Lender||Scholaroo||Our view||Fixed rates||Variable rates||Learn more|
|Best for borrowers without co-signers. ||4.96%||4.99%||Visit website|
|Best for PenFed members.||7.74%||N/A||Visit website|
|Provides plenty of added benefits to borrowers. ||4.99%||5.38%||Visit website|
|Lowest fixed rate loans.||4.49%||6.94%||Visit website|
ISL Education Lending
|Best for borrowers who did not graduate.||6.39%||N/A||Visit website|
|Best for mid-income earners.||4.49%||4.76%||Visit website|
|Best for flexible repayment options.||5.99%||5.99%||Visit website|
|Best for low-interest rates.||4.99%||4.74%||Visit website|
Earnest is a financial technology company that offers student loan refinancing as well as personal loans. Based on its mission to make higher education affordable and accessible, Earnest is known for its flexible eligibility requirements and personalized interest rates based on individual financial profiles.
- Borrowers can skip one payment each year.
- Borrowers can customize their loan terms.
- Earnest does not charge any application, origination, or prepayment fees.
- Unlike some other lenders, Earnest does not allow borrowers to add a co-signer to their loan application, which can make it harder to qualify for refinancing if you have a limited credit history or lower income.
- Earnest only offers fixed and variable interest rate loans, which may not be ideal for borrowers who want more customized loan options.
- This lender is unavailable to borrowers based in Nevada.
- Be a U.S. citizen or holder of a 10-year unconditional green card.
- Have a minimum credit score of 700.
- Have a minimum loan balance of $5,000
- Debt is from a Title IV-accredited institution within the U.S.
- Reside in an eligible state.
Another one of the best student loan refinance companies is PenFed. It is particularly good for existing PenFed members. PenFed Credit Union is a non-profit financial institution that offers a variety of financial services, including student loan refinancing. PenFed only offers fixed-rate options for refinancing both federal and private student loans.
- Offers flexible repayment periods from five to 15 years.
- Transparency during the application process, especially regarding income and credit requirements.
- No fees are charged during the application process.
- Only PenFed members can apply.
- Only fixed-rate loans are available.
- No discounts for borrowers who select to autopay.
- Be a U.S. citizen residing in the country.
- Must be a PenFed member.
- Be of age of majority in state of residence.
- Have a minimum of $7,500 in outstanding student loans.
- Debt must be from a Title-IV institution.
- Must be employed or have sufficient sources of income.
SoFi, or Social Finance, is a popular online lender that offers a variety of financial products, including student loan refinancing. Based on its mission to help individuals achieve financial independence, SoFi aims to provide affordable financing options and personalized service to its customers.
- Offers competitive interest rates for student loan refinancing, which can help you save money over the life of your loan.
- Provides flexible repayment options, including fixed and variable interest rates, as well as 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20-year repayment terms.
- Offers access to career coaching and networking events to help borrowers advance their careers and increase their earning potential.
- SoFi has strict eligibility requirements, including a minimum credit score of 680 and a minimum income of $50,000.
- No co-signer release is available.
- Non-U.S. citizens or permanent residents need a qualifying co-signer.
- Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- Must have graduated from an eligible school.
- Possess a strong financial history.
- Must be employed, have sufficient income, or hold a job offer maturing within 90 days.
Splash Financial is an online lending platform that offers student loan refinancing options for borrowers with federal and private student loans. They work with multiple lenders to provide competitive rates and a variety of repayment options.
- Splash Financial offers competitive interest rates, which can help borrowers save money over the life of their loans.
- Borrowers can choose from a variety of repayment options, including fixed and variable interest rates, as well as various repayment terms.
- One application gives borrowers access to offers from multiple refinancers.
- Not all borrowers will be eligible for refinancing with Splash Financial, as they have strict credit score and income requirements.
- Splash Financial does not offer cosigner release, which means borrowers will be responsible for the loan even if their cosigner passes away or becomes disabled.
- Loan features and offers vary depending on the final refinancer.
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- Have a minimum credit score of 650.
- Have a minimum income of $42,000.
- Have graduated from an eligible school.
- Have a debt-to-income ratio of less than 45%, including the new loan.
- Must be at least 18 years old.
ISL Education Lending
ISL Education Lending (ISL) is a non-profit student loan lender that offers both private and federal student loans to help students finance their education. ISL has a mission to help students achieve their educational goals while providing affordable and manageable loan options.
- One can refinance without a degree.
- Open to borrowers from a range of schools, even non-Title-IV accredited ones.
- Offers a generous forbearance policy.
- Does not offer a biweekly payment scheme via autopay.
- Charges high interest rates.
- Not available to Maine residents.
- Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- Must be residing in the U.S.
- Must not be in default of any private or federal student loan.
- Should owe $5,000 in outstanding student loans.
- Have a minimum FICO score of 670.
LendKey is an online platform that connects borrowers with community banks and credit unions to refinance and consolidate student loans. The company aims to provide borrowers with competitive rates and flexible repayment options which is why it has made it into our list of the best student loan refinance companies.
- LendKey partners with community banks and credit unions to offer borrowers competitive rates and terms on student loan refinancing.
- LendKey does not charge origination fees, which can help borrowers save money on the overall cost of their loan.
- LendKey offers a co-signer release option, which allows borrowers to remove their co-signer from the loan after making a certain number of on-time payments.
- LendKey’s eligibility requirements may be more strict than other lenders, which may make it difficult for some borrowers to qualify for refinancing.
- The application process for refinancing with LendKey may be longer and more involved than with other lenders, which may be a drawback for some borrowers.
- LendKey is not available in all states, so borrowers in certain areas may not be able to use the platform.
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- Have a minimum credit score of 660.
- Have a minimum annual income of $24,000.
- Have a minimum loan balance of $5,000.
- Possess a degree from an eligible institution and program.
College Ave is a private student loan lender that offers both undergraduate and graduate loans. They offer flexible repayment options and competitive interest rates to help students and their families finance their education.
- College Ave offers a range of repayment options, including interest-only payments and full principal and interest payments, allowing borrowers to choose the option that works best for them.
- College Ave offers competitive interest rates for both fixed and variable loans, which can potentially save borrowers money over the life of their loan.
- College Ave’s online application process is fast and easy, allowing borrowers to get a decision in as little as three minutes.
- Charges lateness fees.
- Not available across the U.S.
- Long co-signer release period requirement.
- A borrower, or their co-signer, must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- Must have graduated from an eligible degree-granting institution within the U.S.
- Must be older than 18 years.
- Must meet credit requirements, including having a minimum credit score and debt-to-income ratio
- Must have a co-signer if they do not meet the credit requirements on their own
Laurel Road is a digital lender that offers student loan refinancing, personal loans, and mortgages. While it offers student loan refinancing to all eligible borrowers, it offers special pricing to medical professionals.
- Laurel Road offers competitive interest rates, which can potentially save borrowers thousands of dollars over the life of their loan.
- Borrowers can choose from a variety of repayment terms, ranging from 5 to 20 years, to help make their monthly payments more manageable.
- Available to borrowers in medical residency programs.
- Offers special discounts but only to borrowers who open Laurel Road checking accounts.
- Laurel Road has strict eligibility requirements.
- No payment postponement to borrowers who return to school.
- Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- Must have graduated from an eligible school and have a degree.
- Should be in good credit standing.
- No minimum income requirement.
- Associate degree holders should have studied eligible programs.
How To Find The Best Student Loan Refinance Companies
Deciding on a company to refinance your student loan is an important decision, so it’s crucial that you find the best one to suit your needs. Consider the following as a guide to help you make an informed decision.
- Compare rates
Look for the lenders with the lowest rates. It is important to note that interest rates can vary depending on your credit score and the repayment term you choose.
- Repayment options
Check for lenders that offer flexible repayment options, such as interest-only payments, deferred payments, or even a pause in payments if you run into financial difficulties.
- Loan amounts
Look for lenders that offer high loan amounts to ensure that you can refinance all your student loans in one place. However, keep in mind that some lenders may have minimum or maximum loan amounts.
- Credit score
Most lenders have a minimum credit score requirement, so make sure to check that you meet the criteria before applying. Some lenders may also offer better rates to borrowers with higher credit scores.
- Customer service
Look for lenders with good customer service, as the quality of customer service can make a big difference if you need assistance with your loan or have questions about the refinancing process.
Check out reviews from other borrowers to gauge the lender’s reputation. Look for feedback on things like customer service, interest rates, and overall satisfaction with the refinancing process.
Steps to Refinance Student Loans
Now that you’re aware of the top lenders that can help with student loan refinancing, use the following steps to begin the process of refinancing your student loans.
Step 1: Research possible lenders
Start by researching and comparing different lenders like the ones to follow to help you find the best refinancing option for your situation.
Step 2: Check Eligibility
Once you have identified potential lenders, check their eligibility requirements to see if you meet the criteria.
Step 3: Gather the required information and documentation
Make sure that you have all the necessary information for the application, including your current loan balances, interest rates, and monthly payments.
Step 4: Submit your application
Send your application to the lender(s) you have chosen. Some lenders may allow you to pre-qualify, which can give you an idea of the rates and terms for which you may qualify.
Step 5: Review offers
Once you receive offers from lenders, review them carefully to compare interest rates, loan terms, and any associated fees.
Step 6: Choose a lender
Select the best offer for your needs and submit any required documentation, such as proof of income.
Step 7: Repay your existing loans
Your new lender will pay off your existing loans and consolidate them into one loan.
Step 8: Make payments
Start making payments on your new loan according to the terms agreed upon with the lender. Be sure to continue making payments on your existing loans until they are officially paid off by the new lender.
Pros and Cons of Refinancing Student Loans
Before we begin with the top eight lenders for student loan refinancing, it’s important to get an understanding of refinancing.
Pros of Refinancing Loans
Consider the following benefits associated with refinancing student loans.
Lower interest rates
Refinancing your student loans can potentially lower your interest rates, which can help you save money over the life of your loan.
Refinancing allows you to consolidate multiple loans into one, which can simplify the repayment process and make it easier to manage your finances.
Improved credit score
If you have a good credit score, you may be able to qualify for better rates and terms when refinancing, which can improve your credit score over time.
More flexible repayment options
Refinancing can give you access to more flexible repayment options, such as income-based repayment plans, which can help make your monthly payments more manageable.
Cons of Refinancing Loans
Here are the potential drawbacks linked with refinancing your student loans.
Loss of federal loan benefits
If you refinance federal student loans with a private lender, you will lose access to federal loan benefits, such as income-driven repayment plans and loan forgiveness programs.
Some lenders may charge fees for refinancing, such as origination fees or prepayment penalties. Be sure to carefully review the terms and fees associated with any potential lender.
Higher interest rates
Depending on your credit score and financial situation, you may end up with a higher interest rate when refinancing, which can increase the overall cost of your loan.
Longer repayment terms
Some lenders may offer longer repayment terms when refinancing, which can lower your monthly payment but may end up costing you more in interest over the life of the loan.
Here are some frequently asked questions.
When is the best time to refinance student loans?
Consider refinancing student loans when you have a good credit score as well as a stable income, as this will increase your chances of qualifying for a lower interest rate. You may also want to look into refinancing if you have high-interest private loans or if you have multiple loans with varying interest rates.
Is it worth refinancing a student loan?
It may be worth refinancing your student loan if you can secure a lower interest rate and save money over the life of the loan. However, you need to carefully consider the potential drawbacks, such as losing access to federal loan benefits and the potential fees that are associated with refinancing.
Which company is best at refinancing student loans?
There is no one “best” company for refinancing student loans, as the best lender will vary depending on your financial situation and needs. Some popular options for refinancing student loans include SoFi, Earnest, and Laurel Road.
Refinancing student loans can be a smart financial decision for borrowers who are looking to save money and simplify their finances. By comparing the rates and terms of multiple lenders, borrowers can find the best option that meets their individual needs and financial goals. Among the lenders that we looked at in this article, we found that Laurel Road stands out as a digital lender that offers competitive rates and flexible repayment terms. While it has strict eligibility requirements and limited special discounts, it charges low-interest rates and offers a variety of repayment options to fit different needs. Nonetheless, by taking the time to research and compare options, you can make an informed decision about the various student loan refinancers that will help you save money and reach your financial goals.