6 Best Banks to Refinance and Consolidate Student Loans in 2019

Andy Josuweit

Andrew Josuweit Updated July 15, 2019

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Andy Josuweit

Andrew Josuweit Updated July 15, 2019


If you’re ready to refinance your student loans, your search for the best lender is finally over.

We compared banks and lenders across the country to find ones with the best terms for student loan borrowers. The six below could help you refinance and consolidate both private and federal student loans. With this move, you could snag a lower interest rate, decrease your monthly payment, or both.

You might even get out of student loan debt ahead of schedule.

To qualify for refinancing, you’ll need to meet requirements for credit score, annual income, savings, and college degree (or certificate of enrollment if you’re still in school). If you can’t yet qualify on your own, you could apply with a creditworthy cosigner to improve your chances.

Ready to take control of your student loans? Here are our top recommendations for student loan refinancing and consolidation.


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. 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 to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with 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.

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
 
2.41% to 6.99%
Variable & Fixed5 to 20Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal

Visit Earnest

2.41% to 7.89%
Variable & Fixed5, 7, 10, 15, 20Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal

Visit SoFi

2.43% to 6.65%
Variable & Fixed5, 10, 15, 20Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal

Visit Laurel Road

2.38% to 6.81%
Variable & Fixed5, 7, 10, 15, 20Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal

Visit Lendkey

2.41% to 7.95%
Variable & Fixed5, 7, 10, 15, 20Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal

Visit CommonBond

2.49% to 7.24%
Variable & Fixed5 to 20Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal

Visit College Ave

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

Our top 6 picks for Student Loan Refinancing

2.41% – 7.82%2.41% – 6.99%3.36% – 7.82%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

2.41% – 8.14%2.41% – 7.89%3.49% – 8.14%5, 7, 10, 15, 20
$5kNo MaxYes0.25%
(up to 12 months)
NoneNone
Any
Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & FederalGood or Excellent score neededNo min
(or signed job offer)No min< 3 minutes< 10 minutes
No2011

Visit SoFi

2.43% – 7.02%2.43% – 6.65%3.50% – 7.02%5, 10, 15, 20
$5k$300000Yes0.25%
(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

2.38% – 7.50%2.38% – 6.81%3.64% – 7.50%5, 7, 10, 15, 20
$2k$250,000Yes0.25%
(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
2.41% – 8.22%2.41% – 7.95%3.48% – 8.22%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

2.49% – 7.99%2.49% – 7.24%3.24% – 7.99%5 to 20
$5k$300,000Yes0.25%
No
NoneNone
Any
Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal680$65,000
per year
Yes(or signed job offer)No min3 minutes3 minutes
No2014

Visit College Ave

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. 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 to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with 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.



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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 3.36% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.82% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.41% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.99% 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 April 17, 2019, 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 04/17/2019. 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 our student 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

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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

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Ok icon Private and federal loans are eligible

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View Disclosures

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: Fixed rates from 3.49% APR to 8.144% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.41% APR to 7.894% 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 2.41% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.43% plus 0.04% 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. See eligibility details. 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

Laurel Road Disclosures

FIXED APR
Fixed rate options consist of a range from 3.50% per year to 5.55% per year for a 5-year term, 4.00% per year to 6.00% per year for a 7-year term, 4.30% per year to 6.40% per year for a 10-year term, 4.60% per year to 6.80% per year for a 15-year term, or 5.05% per year to 7.02% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. The fixed interest rate will apply until the loan is paid in full (whether before or after default, and whether before or after the scheduled maturity date of the loan). The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 3.50% per year to 5.55% per year for a 5-year term would be from $184.00 to $193.00. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.00% per year to 6.00% per year for a 7-year term would be from $138 to $148. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.30% per year to 6.40% per year for a 10-year term would be from $104 to $115. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.60% per year to 6.80% per year for a 15-year term would be from $79 to $91. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.05% per year to 7.02% per year for a 20-year term would be from $68 to $80.

However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed 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.

VARIABLE APR
Variable rate options consist of a range from 2.43% per year to 6.05% per year for a 5-year term, 3.75% per year to 6.10% per year for a 7-year term, 4.00% per year to 6.15% per year for a 10-year term, 4.25% per year to 6.40% per year for a 15-year term, or 4.50% per year to 6.65% 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 0.25% to 3.80% for the 5-year term loan, 1.50% to 3.85% for the 7-year term loan, 1.75% to 3.90% for the 10-year term loan, 2.00% to 4.15% for the 15-year term loan, and 2.25% 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 2.43% per year to 6.05% per year for a 5-year term would be from $179 to $195. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 3.75% per year to 6.10% per year for a 7-year term would be from $137 to $148. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.00% per year to 6.15% per year for a 10-year term would be from $103 to $114. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.25% per year to 6.40% per year for a 15-year term would be from $77 to $88. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.50% per year to 6.65% per year for a 20-year term would be from $65 to $77.

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.

All credit products are subject to credit approval.

Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.

Ok icon Caters to grad students

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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

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.

Ok icon Higher chance for approval

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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

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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 2.45% effective May 10, 2019.

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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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College Ave Disclosures

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.

(1) College Ave Refi Education loans are not currently available to residents of Maine.

(2) All rates shown include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.

(3) $5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees.

(4) This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.

Information advertised valid as of 04/01/2019. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.

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Highly recommended

Staff was really responsive and answered all my questions promptly. Would definitely recommend College Ave to anyone!

— Dora F. – Pennsylvania

Easy process, great communication

You made getting our loan very easy, from the quick online application to the constant communication via email. We really appreciate knowing where we are at in the process. Thank you!

— Kris D. – Delaware

Recap: The Top 6 Student Loan Refinancing Companies

  • Earnest
  • SoFi
  • Laurel Road
  • Lendkey
  • CommonBond
  • College Ave

Refinancing has some big potential benefits, including the possibility of lowering your interest rate to save you money on accruing interest. Alternatively, it might reduce your payments to a more affordable level, if you’re willing to shell out more interest over time. A student loan refinancing calculator can calculate your potential savings (or cost).

Aside from speeding up or slowing down your repayment, refinancing accomplishes the same feats for every borrower — putting the power back in your hands. It allows you to choose your new lender, consolidate your federal and private loan debt into one monthly payment and possibly release your original loan cosigner/s.

To qualify for refinancing, you’ll need a strong credit score and steady income, among other criteria. Banks, credit unions and online lenders offer their lowest fixed and variable rates to the most creditworthy applicants.

Lenders may perform a soft credit check a quoted rate within minutes. Your credit report wouldn’t be affected until the hard check of your formal loan application. We recommend pre-qualifying with multiple lenders that meet your unique needs to see whose overall loan offering is best.

Of all the questions to ask before refinancing, this one might be most paramount: Should you refinance federal loans and lose the exclusive benefits they come with? Keep in mind that refinancing is irreversible and strips your government debt of safeguards like income-driven repayment options and access to loan forgiveness and cancellation.

If these benefits could prove useful down the road, you could be better off transitioning some or all of your original federal loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan, combining your federal loans into a single monthly payment. You could even choose a new loan servicer if you’re unhappy with your current one.

Unlike private refinancing, however, federal consolidation won’t lower your overall interest rate or let you lump any private loans into your newly consolidated debt. Also, consolidating could reset your progress in programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness. These are just some the reasons consolidation could be a bad idea.

Moving your loans to a private lender or grouping your government debt with a new federal loan servicer could be the turning point of your repayment. If you’re unsure which route to take, consider scenarios when refinancing makes sense or whether consolidation would be wise in your case. In the end, the best decision is the one that’s best for you.


Frequently Asked Questions About Refinancing

What is student loan refinancing?

When you refinance student loans, you take out a new loan from a private lender to pay off one or more of your old loans. If you qualify, you could snag a lower interest rate on this new loan. You can also choose new repayment terms to pay off your debt faster or lower your monthly bills.

Eligible borrowers can refinance student loans to achieve a number of objectives, such as:

  • Saving money on interest with a lower rate
  • Adjusting your monthly payments to match your goals
  • Combining multiple loans into one, simple repayment
  • Removing a cosigner from your debt
  • Switching to a new loan servicer with better customer service

Whatever your goals, refinancing can be a savvy strategy for managing your student loan debt.

Are there any downsides to refinancing student loans?

Refinancing federal student loans means you turn them private. As a result, you lose access to federal programs, such as income-driven repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Some private lenders offer help if you run into financial hardship, but this varies by lender. If you’re relying on federal protections, then you should not refinance your federal student loans. But if you’re comfortable sacrificing these programs, refinancing could be a smart strategy for paying off your loans.

What’s the difference between private refinancing and federal consolidation?

Although refinancing can simplify your debt by combining multiple loans into one, it’s different from federal student loan consolidation. You refinance student loans with a private lender, but you consolidate loans by taking out a direct consolidation loan from the federal government.

Federal consolidation combines federal student loans into one new loan, and it lets you choose new repayment terms. But it doesn’t lower your interest rate, so you won’t save money on interest — only student loan refinancing helps you lower your rate, if you qualify.

How do I refinance my student loans?

Many lenders offer student loan refinancing, from traditional banks, to credit unions to online lenders. Before choosing one, shop around and compare your offers. Several lenders make it easy to get an instant rate quote online with no impact on your credit score. By checking your rates with a variety of providers, you can find a refinanced student loan with the best possible terms.

Am I eligible for student loan refinancing?

You can refinance one or more federal and/or private student loans, but you must meet a lender’s requirements for credit and income. Most lenders look for a credit score of 650 or higher, along with a steady source of income or an offer of employment. If you can’t meet these criteria on your own, you could qualify by applying with a creditworthy cosigner, such as a parent.

Along with your credit score and annual income, some lenders also look at your savings and debt-to-income ratio. Finally, some lenders require proof of graduation, as they’ll only approve borrowers who have obtained their degree. If you left school before graduating, there are relatively few student loan refinance providers that will work with you.

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