Top 10 Student Loan Refinance Companies in 2022

– Student Loan Refinance –

Refinancing is a good idea for people with a large monthly payment or a high-interest rate. When you refinance student loans, you lower your payments by consolidating your private or federal student debt into a new loan with a lower rate. You have to compare your options before choosing a lender.

Student Loan Refinance

 

Student Loan Refinance

Student loan refinancing is the process of taking out a new loan to pay off your existing student loans.

When you refinance your student loans, you may qualify for a lower interest rate and a different repayment timeline.

However, this could help you save money on interest or lower your monthly payments.

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Borrowers with good credit, in particular, will qualify for the best rates and terms.

You can refinance both federal and private student loans, though it’s usually best to avoid refinancing federal loans.

This is because they come with a number of perks that aren’t available through private lenders.

How to Refinance Student Loans

If you’re considering refinancing your student loans. Here’s a deeper look at the seven steps that make up how the student loan refinancing process works:

1. Decide if Refinancing is Right for You

Refinancing can make sense if it can save you money, but not everyone should refinance.

You’ll need strong credit and finances to qualify for the lowest rates and meet a refinance lender’s eligibility criteria.

If you refinance federal student loans, they’ll be ineligible for government programs like income-driven repayment and student loan relief due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Don’t refinance federal student loans unless you’re sure your job isn’t at risk and you won’t need these options.

On the other hand, refinancing private student loans has a minimal downside. Private loans won’t qualify for those federal programs.

2. Research Lenders

At first glance, most student loans refinance lenders are very similar. But look for certain features depending on your situation.

For example: Want to refinance parent PLUS loans in your child’s name?

Find a lender that allows it. Didn’t graduate? Find a lender that doesn’t require a college degree.

3. Get Multiple Rate Estimates

Once you identify a few lenders that fit your needs, get rate estimates from all of them.

Ultimately, the best refinance lender for you is the one that offers you the lowest rate.

You can compare rates from multiple student loans refinance lenders at once, or visit each lender’s website individually.

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As you shop, some lenders will ask you to pre-qualify and supply basic information to give you their best estimate of the rate you might qualify for.

Other lenders will show you a rate only after you submit a full application, but that rate is an actual offer.

A soft credit check, or pre-qualification, typically doesn’t affect your credit scores.

An actual application requires a hard credit check that may briefly lower your credit scores.

4. Choose a Lender and Loan Terms

Once you land on a lender, you have a few more decisions to make: Do you want a fixed or variable interest rate, and how long do you want for your repayment period?

Fixed interest rates are generally the best option for most borrowers.

Variable rates may be lower at first, but they’re subject to change monthly or quarterly.

To save the most money, choose the shortest repayment period you can afford.

If you would like lower monthly payments so you can prioritize other expenses, pick a longer repayment timeline.

5. Complete the Application

Even if you are pre-qualified, you need to submit a full application to move forward with a lender.

You’ll be asked for more information about your loans and financial situation and to upload supporting documents. You’ll need some combination of the following:

‣ Loan or payoff verification statements.

‣ Proof of employment (W-2 form, recent pay stubs, tax returns).

‣ Proof of residency.

‣ Proof of graduation.

‣ Government-issued ID.

Finally, you must agree to let the lender do a hard credit pull to confirm your interest rate.

You’ll also have the option to refinance with a co-signer, which could help you qualify for a lower rate.

6. Sign the Final Documents

If you’re approved, you’ll need to sign some final paperwork to accept the loan.

A three-day rescission period begins once you sign the loan’s final disclosure document.

During that time, you can cancel the refinance loan if you change your mind. If you’re denied, the lender will let you know the reason why.

If it’s because you have bad credit, you may be able to qualify by adding a co-signer, or you may need a lower debt-to-income ratio to qualify.

7. Wait for the Loan Payoff

After the rescission period ends, your new lender will pay off your existing lender or servicer.

Going forward, you’ll make monthly payments to your new refinance lender.

Keep making payments to your existing lender or servicer until you get confirmation that the process is complete. If you end up overpaying, you’ll get a refund.

Best Student Loan Refinance Companies

Student Loan Refinance

To find the right lender for you, compare at least three student loan refinancing companies.

Start by getting prequalified to see which lenders offer you the most affordable loan and compare repayment terms to ensure that the timeline works for your budget.

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Also check for hidden fees, including application fees and late fees.

While rates and terms are important, you should also consider any unique features or perks, like deferment options or available discounts.

These features could help you decide between lenders that offer similar rates. Below is the best student loan refinance companies:

1. SoFi Student Loan

Fixed APR From: 2.74%

Loan amount: $5,000–$500,000

Term lengths: 5 to 20 years

Min. annual income: $0

SoFi is one of the most popular lenders for student loan refinancing, and it’s easy to see why.

This lender offers loans with competitive interest rates and no hidden fees, including no origination fees.

SoFi is the best overall student loan refinance company because its range of repayment terms, low rates, and variety of online resources make it a good choice for many types of borrowers.

SoFi Pros and Cons

Pros

‣ No fees.

‣ Career coaching and unemployment benefits.

‣ Customer support seven days a week.

Cons

‣ Associate degree or higher required.

‣ Borrowers must have sufficient income or an offer of employment.

‣ No co-signer release.

Loan Eligibilities

1. Borrowers must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or visa holders and be at least the age of majority with sufficient income or an offer of employment.

2. Borrowers must also have graduated with at least an associate degree and be refinancing educational debt; bar loans and residency loans are not eligible.

SoFi charges no fees. Once you’re approved, the funding process typically takes around seven to 15 business days.

Click Here for the Offer

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2. Earnest Student Loan

Fixed APR From: 2.69%

Loan amount: $5,000–$500,000

Term lengths: 5 to 20 years

Min. annual income: $35,000

Earnest lets you refinance your student loans with the potential for a low APR and flexible repayment options.

Variable interest rates range from 1.99 percent APR to 8.24 percent APR (with autopay), and fixed rates range from 2.69 percent APR to 8.24 percent APR (with autopay).

Earnest is the best for flexible repayment options because Earnest lets you pick a payment that fits your budget.

This means that it will dabble with the length of your loan until you land on a monthly payment you can afford.

You can also skip a payment once every 12 months if you need some breathing room.

Earnest Loan Pros & Cons

Pros

‣ No origination fees.

‣ Factors beyond credit score are considered.

‣ Choose biweekly or monthly payments.

Cons

‣ Credit score of at least 650 is required.

‣ Not available in Kentucky or Nevada.

‣ Strong finances are required.

Loan Eligibilities

1. Borrowers must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and be at least 18 years old.

2. Borrowers must be currently enrolled less than half the time and be in repayment on their student loans or be completing their degree at the end of the semester.

3. Applicants must have consistent income, have all student loan accounts in good standing, be current on rent or mortgage payments, and have no bankruptcies on their credit report.

Borrowers can expect a decision within two to five business days after applying, and it generally takes 10 days after signing the loan for Earnest to send funds to your old servicer.

Earnest charges a returned payment fee of up to $8 and a Florida stamp tax of 0.35 percent.

Click Here for the Offer

3. Rhode Island Student Loan Authority

Term lengths: 5, 10, and 15 years

Loan amounts: $7,500 to $250,000

Forbearance options: Up to 24 months of forbearance are available

Co-signer release policy: None

Rhode Island Student Loan Authority, or RISLA, is a Rhode Island-based nonprofit that refinances loans for customers across the country.

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It stands apart for its income-based repayment program, which limits payments to 15% of income for a 25-year period if borrowers can’t afford their payments.

That’s an extremely rare perk in the student loan refinance market, as is its 24-month forbearance period.

RISLA did not receive a perfect score because it doesn’t provide a co-signer release policy and it charges late fees.

RISLA only offers fixed interest rates.

Loan Pros & Cons

Pros

‣ Income-based repayment plan is available

‣ No degree is required. “Student Loan Refinance”

‣ Interest rate estimate available without undergoing a hard credit check

Cons

‣ No co-signer release is available

Eligibility

No degree is required. Minimum credit score 680 and a minimum income of $40,000.

Click Here for the offer

4. Laurel Road Student Loan

Min. credit score: Not disclosed

Fixed APR From: 2.25% –5.75%

Loan amount: $5,000–$500,000

Term lengths: 5 to 20 years

Min. annual income: $0

Laurel Road is a lender with low rates and a robust online experience. Borrowers can choose a term of five, seven, 10, 15 or 20 years.

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Laurel Road is the best for students in health care; Some student loan lenders don’t refinance associate degree debt.

But borrowers earning an associate degree in dental hygiene, nursing, occupational therapy and more can refinance with Laurel Road as soon as their final term.

Medical and dental residents who refinance can also defer making full payments on their loans for up to six months after the residency ends.

Loan Pros & Cons

Pros

‣ Five-minute prequalification process.

‣ Discount for opening a Laurel Road checking account.

‣ Refinance as early as your final semester.

Cons

‣ Strict eligibility requirements for associate degree applicants.

‣ Maximum $50,000 loan amount for associate degree applicants.

‣ Several fees.

Loan Eligibilities

1. Borrowers must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents or have a co-signer who is.

2. Borrowers must also have graduated or be enrolled in good standing in the final term preceding graduation and be employed or have an offer of employment.

3. Only certain associate degrees in health care are eligible; borrowers with associate degrees must be in their final term with an offer of employment in their field or have graduated and been employed in their field.

Laurel Road charges a late fee equal to 5 percent of the late payment or $28, whichever is less. It also charges a $20 nonsufficient funds fee.

Click Here for the offer

5. CommonBond Student Loan

Min. credit score: Not disclosed

Fixed APR From: 2.94%

Loan amount: $5,000–$500,000

Term lengths: 5 to 20 years

Min. annual income: $55,000

CommonBond offers a solid all-around refinance product with a rare 24 months of forbearance for borrowers experiencing financial hardship.

Graduates also have the option to refinance their parents’ federal PLUS loans in their own names.

CommonBond also is unique in that it offers a hybrid loan option, which charges a fixed interest rate for the first five years of a 10-year loan term, then a variable rate for the following five years.

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That could be a smart bet for borrowers who plan to repay their loans early but want some assurance their rates won’t increase in the short term.

Borrowers may also get a lower rate on the Hybrid loan than on CommonBond’s 10-year fixed-rate loan.

Commonbond Forbearance options have Up to 24 months of forbearance available throughout the loan term

Loan Pros & Cons

Pros

‣ Interest rate estimate available without undergoing a hard credit check

‣ Comparatively long forbearance period available

‣ Students can refinance parent PLUS loans in their own name

Cons

‣ Charges late fees

‣ Bachelor’s degree required

‣ Maximum loan term is longer than 15 years

Loan Eligibilities

1. Borrowers must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents,s or visa holders.

2. Borrowers must also have graduated from a school in CommonBond’s network, which includes more than 2,000 Title IV universities and graduate programs.

3. Borrowers looking to refinance must have a credit score of at least 660.

4. Borrowers should prepare to share proof of employment (a letter of acceptance from a future employer, a recent pay stub, or two years of tax documents).

Also, a loan statement for each loan being refinanced, and proof of residency (such as a recent utility bill or a recent bank statement).

The only fee that CommonBond charges on its refinance loans is a $5 fee for returned payments.

Click Here for the offer

6. Citizens Student Loan

Min. credit score: Not disclosed

Fixed APR From: 2.99%

Loan amount: $10,000–$750,000

Term lengths: 5 to 20 years

Min. annual income: $24,000

Citizens Bank offers student loan refinancing for borrowers who need to refinance up to $750,000 in student loans, although maximums vary based on your degree type.

Variable interest rates as low as 1.99 percent APR are available, and you can choose a repayment option between five and 20 years.

Citizens Bank is the best for available discounts: You can qualify for several discounts that can reduce your interest rate, including a loyalty discount and an automatic payment discount.

These discounts can knock 0.5 percent off your APR, saving you even more money over the long term.

Loan Pros & Cons

Pros

‣ Graduation is not required to apply.

‣ Loyalty discount for existing Citizens Bank customers.

‣ Five repayment term options.

Cons

‣ $10,000 minimum refinancing requirement.

‣ Relatively high rate caps.

‣ Long co-signer release period.

Loan Eligibilities and More

1. Borrowers must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents,s or resident aliens.

2. Borrowers with an associate degree or no degree must have made at least 12 qualifying payments after leaving school.

Citizens Bank doesn’t disclose its credit score requirements, stating only that it looks for a “reasonably strong credit history.”

3. Borrowers must also have an annual income of at least $24,000 to qualify.

Click Here for the Offer

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7. LendKey Student Loan

Min. credit score: 660

Fixed APR From: 2.49%

Loan amount: $5,000–$300,000

Term lengths: 5 to 20 years

Min. annual income: $12,000

LendKey pairs with multiple student loan lenders to offer student loan refinancing with variable APRs starting at 1.9 percent and fixed APRs starting at 2.49 percent.

There are no origination fees. LendKey is the best for comparing multiple lenders.

LendKey partners with a network of credit unions and banks, combing through multiple lenders’ offerings to customize your loan.

This means that you need to apply only once to receive multiple offers. “Student Loan Refinance”

LendKey Loan Pros & Cons

Pros

‣ Repayment terms of five to 20 years.

‣ One application to compare multiple lenders.

‣ No origination fees.

Cons

‣ Loan details and fees depend on the lender you’re matched with.

‣ Associate degree or higher required.

‣ Forbearance options vary by lender.

LendKey Eligibility & More

Because LendKey works with many different lenders, many details about your loan, including your eligibility, depend on your matches.

In general, you’ll need;

To be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and have graduated with at least an associate degree. Minimum credit score, fees, and more vary by lender.

LendKey says that it generally takes 10 to 30 days to process the refinance, from signing the final loan agreement to loan payoff.

Click Here for the offer

8. College Ave Student Loan

Min. credit score: Not disclosed

Fixed APR From: 3.24%

Loan amount: $1,000–$500,000

Term lengths: 5 to 15 years

Min. annual income: $35,000

If you want to refinance your student loans and you don’t want to pay any fees, College Ave is worth checking out.

This lender offers variable rates as low as 2.94 percent APR and fixed rates as low as 2.99 percent APR.

Also, you can refinance up to $300,000 in student debt if you have a medical, dental, pharmacy, or veterinary doctorate degree. Loan limits are lower for other degrees.

College Ave is the best for no fees because this lender doesn’t charge any upfront fees for its loans; the only fee you may have to pay is a late fee.

College Ave Pros & Cons

Pros

‣ Choice of 11 loan terms.

‣ Fast prequalification.

‣ No origination fees.

Cons

‣ Maximum loan amount of $150,000 for nonmedical degrees.

‣ Borrowers must have graduated.

‣ Relatively high starting rates.

Loan Eligibility & More

1. Borrowers must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and be at least 18 years old.

2. Borrowers must also have graduated from a Title IV undergraduate or graduate program within College Ave’s network.

After you receive your final disclosure, the payoff to your old servicer should be complete within three or four weeks.

While College Ave doesn’t specify an amount, you may be assessed a late fee. “Student Loan Refinance”

Click Here for the offer

9. Splash Financial Student Loan

Min. credit score: 650

Fixed APR From: 1.99%

Loan amount: $25,000–$500,000

Term lengths: 5 to 25 years

Min. annual income: $36,000

Splash Financial is a lending marketplace that lets you refinance from $5,000 to the full amount of your loans.

Splash Financial is the best for low rates because Splash works with a variety of lenders, it advertises some of the lowest rates for student loan refinancing for borrowers with good credit.

Loan Pros & Cons

Pros

‣ Low starting rates.

‣ Prequalify with multiple lenders at once.

‣ $200 referral bonus. “Student Loan Refinance”

Cons

‣ Fees and requirements vary by lender.

‣ Four-year degree (or associate degree in a medical field) is required.

‣ Loan minimums and maximums vary by lender.

Loan Eligibility and More

Borrowers must have graduated with a four-year degree from a Title IV institution or an associate degree in an eligible field.

Other requirements, such as minimum credit score and minimum income, depending on the lender you’re matched with. The same is true of potential fees.

Click Here for the offer

10. MEFA Student Loan

Variable APR: N/A

Fixed APR: 3.45% to 6.00%

Terms Lenght: 7, 10 and 15 years

Loan amounts available: $10,000 minimum; no maximum

Co-signer release policy: None

The Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority, known as MEFA, is a nonprofit, state-based agency that offers student loan refinancing to customers across the country.

It does not require borrowers to have a degree, so those who did not graduate can refinance. It also doesn’t charge fees, including late fees.

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While MEFA does not advertise a specific forbearance limit, the agency says it will work with borrowers to modify their payment plans if necessary due to financial hardship.

Since the fixed and variable rates offered are currently the same, your best bet is to pick a fixed-rate loan so you know it won’t increase in the future.

Forbearance Options:

‣ No specific policy except in the case of natural disasters or other extenuating circumstances.

‣ Loan modification programs are available on a case-by-case basis to borrowers who need long-term help.

Loan Pros & Cons

Pros

‣ Interest rate estimate available without undergoing a hard credit check

‣ No late fees

‣ Borrowers can refinance without a degree. “Student Loan Refinance”

Cons

‣ The shortest loan term is 7 years

‣ No co-signer release is available

Loan Eligibilities

1. No degree required

2. Minimum FICO score of 670 and a minimum income of $24,000 for each loan applicant.

Click Here for the Offer

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Student Loan Refinancing Calculator

Student Loan Refinancing Calculator

If you know the terms of your loans, you can enter them into the student loan refinancing calculator below to see how much money you might save through refinancing.

Here’s the information you’ll need for the calculator:

1. Loan Amount: This is the amount you want to refinance. Keep in mind that you can choose to refinance some or all of your student loans.

2. Remaining Term: This is the number of years left on your current loan term.

3. New Loan Term: This is the repayment term you’re considering for your new loan. Terms on refinancing loans generally range from five to 25 years, depending on the student loan refinancing company.

4. Interest Rate: In the interest rate fields, enter the interest rate for your current loan and enter the potential interest rate you might have after refinancing your student loan.

5. Monthly Payment: While the monthly payment will populate automatically after you add the interest rate and loan term, adjusting the amount will show you how increasing or decreasing your payment could affect your loan term and overall cost.

Steps for Student Loan Refinancing Calculator

Step 1: Enter your Loan Balance

For Example;

$ 55000 (Enter the remaining amount of the loans you’d like to refinance)

Step 2: Enter Current Loan Information

For Example;

Interest rate (6.8 %) [Enter the average annual interest rate of the loans you’d like to refinance]

Monthly payment ($ 682)[Enter the monthly amount you currently pay on your loans (or enter the remaining term)]

Remaining term (9 years) [Enter the amount of time left to repay your loan (or enter monthly payment)]

Step 3: Enter your New Loan Information to Start Calculating your Savings

For Example;

Interest rate (4.25 %) [Enter an estimated new interest rate].

Monthly payment ($ 563) [Enter the monthly amount to pay on your new loan (or enter the new loan term)]

New loan term (10 years) [Enter the amount of time you have to repay your loan (or enter monthly payment)]

In Summary:

Lifetime Savings: $6,078

New Monthly Payment: $563

Monthly Savings: $119

If you refinance your student loan at a 4.25% interest rate, you can save $119 monthly and pay off your loan by April 2032. The total cost of the new loan will be $67,609.

Should I Refinance My Student Loans?

Should I Refinance My Student Loans?

If you can qualify and have stable finances, consider refinancing student loans if it will save you money.

Student loan refinancing means swapping your current student loans for a new loan with a lower interest rate.

That could save you big money over time. Refinancing your student loans depends on your situation.

You should refinance your student loans if:

1. Your Finances are Rock Solid: If you refinance federal loans, they won’t be eligible for benefits like loan forgiveness and student loan relief.

Think twice if it’s possible you won’t be able to make payments consistently.

2. You Would Save Money: There is no reason to refinance your loans if you can’t lower your total repayment costs or lower your monthly payment.

Use the student loan refinancing calculator below to find out how much you could save.

3. You Can Qualify: You generally need a credit score at least in the high 600s and enough income to consistently pay your debts and other expenses.

If you don’t meet those criteria, you could refinance with a co-signer who does.

How Much will Refinancing Save?

You can potentially save tens of thousands of dollars throughout the life of your loan by refinancing. There are three main benefits to refinancing student loans:

‣ You can get a lower monthly payment, freeing up cash for other expenses.

‣ You can pay off your loan faster, saving you money in interest.

‣ A lower monthly payment decreases your debt-to-income ratio, which can make it easier to qualify for a mortgage or other large purchase.

Unlike refinancing a mortgage, there are typically no fees to refinance student loans.

These include origination, application, and prepayment fees.

But read your loan agreement carefully to make sure you understand costs you could incur in the future, like late fees.

More Information

If you decide to refinance student loans, compare multiple lenders to see which offers you the best deal.

If you have similar offers, give greater weight to lenders that offer the most flexibility with payments and the longest possible forbearance options.

Consider which offers the best student loan refinance bonus as well.

Note Below:

Forbearance is Ending Soon

Federal student loan payments restart on Sept. 1, 2022. Consider all options before you refinance.

FAQs About Student Loan Refinance

Below are some frequently asked questions and answers for you about student loan refinance;

1. What is not a Good Reason to Refinance Student Loans?

Losing eligibility for federal plans and protections is one of the major cons of refinancing student loans.

Income-driven repayment plans adjust your monthly payments when you’re having trouble making them.


2. Is it Wise to Refinance my Student Loans?

Yes, the sooner you refinance student loans, the better. When you refinance, a lender pays off your existing loans with a new one at a lower interest rate.

That can save you money in the long run and from the very first payment.


3. Does Refinancing Hurt your Credit?

Refinancing will hurt your credit score a bit initially, but might actually help in the long run.

Your score will typically dip a few points, but it can bounce back within a few months.


4. Will my Student Loans be Forgiven if I Refinanced?

You’ll miss out on federal student loan relief options, as well as government programs like income-driven repayment.

You’re pursuing student loan forgiveness. Refinancing federal loans makes them ineligible for federal loan programs.


5. Is 80000 a Lot of Student Loans?

While the average student loan debt for college students is $39,351.

It isn’t uncommon for students to leave school with $80,000 or more in education debt.

Tackling this amount of student loan debt can be difficult and time-consuming.


6. Can you Refinance Student Loans Back to Federal?

You can refinance student loans, but only with a private lender. You can’t refinance student loans through the federal government.

You can consolidate federal student loans, but federal consolidation won’t lower your interest rate or save you money.


7. Can you Refinance Student Loans while in Forbearance?

Borrowers who took out federal student loans with higher rates several years ago may consider refinancing to save money while rates are low. However, experts agree that it’s not the time to refinance.


8. How Much is the Average American in Student Loan Debt?

The average college debt among student loan borrowers in America is $32,731, according to the Federal Reserve.

Most borrowers have between $25,000 and $50,000 outstanding in student loan debt.


9. Is it Better to Pay Off Student Loans Fast or Slow?

Your student loan, like most other debt, accrues interest when you carry a balance, it’s cheaper if you pay off the loan earlier.

It gives the debt less time to accumulate interest, which means that you’ll pay less money in the long run.


10, Is 100 000 in Student Loans too Much?

when you’re facing a student loan balance of $100,000 or more, the standard, 10-year federal repayment plan may not be right for you.

Standard monthly payments will likely exceed $1,000 with that much debt.


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