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6 Best Banks to Refinance and Consolidate Student Loans in 2018

Andy Josuweit

Andrew Josuweit Updated November 14, 2018

Andy Josuweit

Andrew Josuweit Updated November 14, 2018



Our top 6 picks for Student Loan Refinancing

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Variable-rate student loans have interest rates that can change during the repayment period. Interest rates may increase or decrease at any time and typically do so based on changes to LIBOR. Often, the introductory rate on a variable-rate loan is lower than that of a fixed rate loan, though it has the potential to increase later. Learn more
Variable APR
Our partners refinance both private and federal student loans. Both types of loans can be consolidated to create a single payment.
Loan Types
"Term" refers to the length of the loan, typically in years. In general, the shorter the term, the lower the interest rate and the higher the monthly payments. Longer terms will typically result in lower monthly payments but at a higher interest rate. Borrowers may select any term offered by a lender regardless of the current loan term. Learn more
Terms
Our partners refinance student loans from both undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Eligible Degrees
Our partners refinance both private and federal student loans. Both types of loans can be consolidated to create a single payment.
Eligible Loans
 
2.47% to 6.99%
Variable & Fixed5, 7, 10, 15, 20Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal

Visit SoFi

2.46% to 6.97%
Variable & Fixed5 to 20Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal

Visit Earnest

2.57% to 8.44%
Variable & Fixed5, 7, 10, 15, 20Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal

Visit Lendkey

3.05% to 6.47%
Variable & Fixed5, 7, 10, 15, 20Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal

Visit Laurel Road

2.50% to 7.24%
Variable & Fixed5, 7, 10, 15, 20Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal

Visit CommonBond

2.55% to 6.01%(subject to a 9.95% rate cap)
Variable & Fixed5, 7, 10, 15, 20Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal

Visit Elfi

DID YOU KNOW CHECKING YOUR RATE DOESN’T AFFECT YOUR CREDIT SCORE?

Our top 6 picks for Student Loan Refinancing

2.47% – 7.98%2.47% – 6.99%3.90% – 7.98%5, 7, 10, 15, 20
$5kNo MaxYes0.25%
(up to 12 months)
NoneNone
Any
Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & FederalGood or Excellent score neededNo min
Yes(or signed job offer)No min< 3 minutes< 10 minutes
No2011

Visit SoFi

2.46% – 7.89%2.46% – 6.97%3.89% – 7.89%5 to 20
$5kNo MaxYes0.25%
(up to 12 months)
NoneNone
Any except AL, DE, KY, MS, NV, RI
Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal650No min
Yes(or signed job offer)No min< 3 minutes< 10 minutes
No2013

Visit Earnest

2.57% – 8.97%2.57% – 8.44%5.13% – 8.97%5, 7, 10, 15, 20
$5k$125k Undergrad
$250k Graduate
$300k Medical
Yes0.25%
(up to 18 months)
(up to 4 years)
NoneNone
Any except ME, ND, NV, RI, WV
Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal680$24,000
per year
YesNo min< 3 minutes< 10 minutes
No2007

Visit Lendkey

Start Application: 1-877-304-9306
3.05% – 7.02%3.05% – 6.47%3.50% – 7.02%5, 7, 10, 15, 20
$5kNo MaxYes0.25%
(up to 12 months)
NoneNone
Any
Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal660No min
Yes(or signed job offer)No min< 3 minutes< 5 minutes
No2006

Visit Laurel Road

2.50% – 7.57%2.50% – 7.24%3.67% – 7.57%5, 7, 10, 15, 20
$5k$500kYes0.25%
(up to 24 months)
NoneNone
Any except ID, LA, MS, NV, SD or VT
Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal660No min
Yes(or signed job offer)No min< 3 minutes< 10 minutes
No2011

Visit CommonBond

2.55% – 6.69%2.55% – 6.01%3.09% – 6.69%5, 7, 10, 15, 20
$15kNo MaxYes0.25%
(up to 12 months)
NoneNone
Any
Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal680$35k
Yes(or signed job offer)No min< 3 minutes< 10 minutes
No2015

Visit Elfi

Check out the in-depth reviews!

Did you know checking your rate won’t affect your credit score?

  • APR Range
  • Variable APR
  • Fixed APR
  • Terms
  • Soft Credit Check
  • Min. Lending Amount
  • Max. Lending Amount
  • Auto-Pay Interest Rate Reduction
  • Unemployment Protection/Benefits
  • Interest-Only Payment Option
  • Discharge Due to Death
  • Transfer Parent PLUS From Parent to Child/Graduate
  • Origination Fees
  • Prepayment Penalty
  • Refi Parent PLUS Loans
  • State Residency
  • Previously Defaulted (Now Rehabilitated) Loans Eligible
  • Eligible Degrees
  • Eligible Loans
  • Min. Credit Score
  • Min. Annual Income
  • No Cosigner Required
  • Ability to Apply With a Cosigner
  • Cosigner Release Offered (Existing Loans)
  • Cosigner Release Offered (Refinanced Loans)
  • Borrower Can Be Delinquent on Current Student Loans
  • Borrower Can Apply While Still Enrolled in School
  • Borrower Must Currently Be Employed
  • Minimum GPA Required
  • Avg. Time to Check Rate
  • Avg. Time to Apply
  • Apply on Mobile Device
  • Interest Is Tax Deductible
  • Personal Reference Required
  • Year Established
Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.



Real People, Real Reviews

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View Disclosures

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance:
    Fixed rates from 3.899% APR to 7.979% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.470% APR to 6.990% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.470% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.30% plus 0.91% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score.
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

Ok icon Career planning and job search assistance support

Ok icon No minimum income requirement

Ok icon Checking your rate will not affect your credit score

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Chiara McPhee – Stanford

Lowest rates without a cosigner!

I was looking for the lowest rates I could find without a cosigner. SoFi was by far the best.

— Chiara McPhee – Stanford

Ali Kahn – Ross University

Tens of thousands saved!

It's almost mind-boggling how much money I'll save through refinancing my student loans with SoFi - I'd literally be paying tens of thousands more with my original loans. Now that I’ve refinanced my student loans with SoFi, I see a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m able to put away a little bit more, think about long term goals, save for a house - and I know this burden isn’t going to be over my head for the rest of my life.

— Ali Kahn – Ross University

Barry Malinowski Jr. – Harvard

Significantly lower rate!

With SoFi, I was able to significantly lower my rate, saving me thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. Plus, now I belong to a support group of borrowers and lenders, turning debt that was once only a liability into an assets of sorts. I’m grateful that a friend told me about SoFi.

— Barry Malinowski Jr. – Harvard

Taryn B. – New York

Amazing customer service!

Not only does SoFi provide low interest rates, but they have a seamless process, a tech savvy website and amazing customer service. They actually make me feel good about borrowing money from them.

— Taryn B. – New York

Ok icon Career planning and job search assistance support

Ok icon No minimum income requirement

Ok icon Checking your rate will not affect your credit score

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View Disclosures

Earnest Disclosures

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.

Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.97% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.

Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.

The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at hello@earnest.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.

© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

Ok icon Maximum payment flexibility

Ok icon No minimum income requirement

Ok icon Private and federal loans are eligible

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Sara Hathaway – UBC

Not just another statistic

These are real people who actually care about my needs as a person; I'm not just another statistic to them, I'm a relationship.

— Sara Hathaway – UBC

Ok icon Maximum payment flexibility

Ok icon No minimum income requirement

Ok icon Private and federal loans are eligible

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View Disclosures

LendKey Disclosures

Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.

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Megan – Wartburg College

I feel like I can breathe again!

I have been very impressed with my application process with LendKey! Their customer service team is prompt in responding to any inquiries via email and very helpful on the phone! The application process was easy to follow and very user friendly! With LendKey's help, I'll be saving nearly $400 per month on my student loans! I'm absolutely thrilled and feel like I can breathe again knowing how much this is going to help me financially and the ability to pay my loans off faster. Thank you LendKey!

— Megan – Wartburg College

Tyler – Grand Valley State University

Thanks LendKey!

I checked multiple companies for student loan refinancing and LendKey was by far the easiest and had best rates. Save yourself time and just go with LendKey.

— Tyler – Grand Valley State University

Michelle – San Jose State University

Easy, friendly, and approved!!

I found the application process easy, the customer service when I called always friendly and helpful (minimal automated phone assistance!) and I was approved quickly! Highly recommend refinancing your student loan with Lendkey!

— Michelle – San Jose State University

Tyler – Harvard

Customized repayment plans

I liked the repayment program that was offered. Lower payments in the beginning and as I moved along in my career and earned more, I could pay more.

— Tyler – Harvard

Gregory – Rutgers

Fantastic customer service!

The customer service was fantastic and the network of credit unions was incredible. At the time when I was looking to consolidate my loans, I could not find many other opportunities like the one presented by you guys.

— Gregory – Rutgers

Abigail – Western Michigan University

Much easier than the alternatives!

I had outstanding loans from Sallie Mae with an extremely high interest rate. It would have taken me over 30 years to pay my college debt. You guys were the only program that allowed me to consolidate my private student loans for one easy payment. They are much easier and nicer to work with then Sallie Mae.

— Abigail – Western Michigan University

Ok icon Higher chance for approval

Ok icon No origination fee

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View Disclosures

Laurel Road Disclosures

APR stands for “Annual Percentage Rate.” Rates listed include a 0.25% EFT discount, for automatic payments made from a checking or savings account. Interest rates as of 11/8/2018. Rates subject to change.

Variable rate options consist of a range from 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term, 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term, 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term, 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term, or 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rate will change on the first day of every month (“Change Date”) if the Current Index changes. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes. The variable interest rates are calculated by adding a margin ranging from 0.98% to 3.80% for the 5-year term loan, 2.35% to 3.85% for the 7-year term loan, 2.40% to 3.90% for the 10-year term loan, 2.65% to 4.15% for the 15-year term loan, and 2.90% to 4.40% for the 20-year term loan, respectively, to the 1-month LIBOR index published on the 25th day of each month immediately preceding each “Change Date,” as defined above, rounded to two decimal places, with no origination fees. If the 25th day of the month is not a business day or is a US federal holiday, the reference date will be the most recent date preceding the 25th day of the month that is a business day. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term would be from $180.89 to $193.75. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term would be from $139.65 to $146.76. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term would be from $104.56 to $111.98. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term would be from $78.77 to $86.78. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term would be from $67.05 to $75.68.

However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.

Ok icon Caters to grad students

Ok icon Apply in 10 minutes or less

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Bethany Whittier, DDS – Dentist

I will save over $20,000!

Refinancing my student loans through Laurel Road is the best thing that could have happened for my personal finances. The online application was very straightforward and I was approved within a week of applying. The customer service has been nothing but professional, promptly answering any questions I have about my account. Throughout the lifetime of my loan I will save over $20,000!

— Bethany Whittier, DDS – Dentist

Dr. Bryce Peterson – Medical Doctor

The customer service was very efficient!

I have refinanced other loans, but never as easily as with Laurel Road. The online services they offered made this refi a snap, and their rates were lower than other banks, too. The customer service through email and telephone was also very efficient.

— Dr. Bryce Peterson – Medical Doctor

Dr. Chandy Randall – Medical Doctor

The interest rate was great!

Applying to refinance my loan with Laurel Road was so easy! I only needed to collect a few documents and upload them to the website. The documents were reviewed and accepted quickly. The communication was easy. The interest rate was great! I am very happy that I decided to refinance with Laurel Road!

— Dr. Chandy Randall – Medical Doctor

Bethany Hammons – Registered Nurse

I would recommend them to anyone!

After spending weeks communicating with other companies I had about given up on refinancing my loans. I decided to give one more company a try. Laurel Road (formerly DRB Student Loan) was such an easy online process I almost didn’t believe. I would recommend them to anyone. Student loans are stressful so it’s so nice knowing there’s a company out there to make the process as pain free as possible!

— Bethany Hammons – Registered Nurse

Brandi Brock – Finance Manager

Fast and easy!

Working with Laurel Road was fast and easy! I searched for the right refinance company, and no one had better rates or service. I would recommend refinancing with Laurel Road to any of my friends with student loan debt to consolidate!

— Brandi Brock – Finance Manager

Ok icon Caters to grad students

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View Disclosures

CommonBond Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.

All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.28% effective October 10, 2018.

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Chan – Binghamton, NY

Very easy application!

It was very easy to go through the CommonBond website and apply for the loan.

— Chan – Binghamton, NY

Grace – Detroit, MI

Tailored, one on one service

Looking at the math and the rates, it was an easy choice for me. It's just a very personal, tailored, one on one service.

— Grace – Detroit, MI

Andrew – Grand Forks, ND

Save Thousands of Dollars

I am going to save thousands of dollars and some portion of that is going to help other people involved in education right now.

— Andrew – Grand Forks, ND

Mariana – Lansing, MI

How could I live without this?

You know that moment when you find out about something you didn't know existed, and you think how could I ever live without this?

— Mariana – Lansing, MI

Dan M – San Francisco, CA

Very innovative

It's a very innovative approach to student financing.

— Dan M – San Francisco, CA

Tom – Seekonk, MA

Commitment to financial literacy

Their committment to financial literacy education is also very important.

— Tom – Seekonk, MA

Dan S – East Hampton, CT

Support a great organization

It's an opportunity to support an organization with a really great message about the community and people.

— Dan S – East Hampton, CT

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Lance S. – Virginia Tech

ELFI was a breeze to deal with. All I had to do was complete some simple forms and upload a few documents. Anytime I had a question or issue they went above and beyond to either answer or even take care of the issue for me. I will now save over $24,000 over the life of the loan and I plan to use the savings to pay off my house faster. The best thing is, it cost us nothing. I wish I had refinanced with ELFI years ago.

— Lance S. – Virginia Tech

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