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Refinance Student Loans: Rates starting at 1.74%

Refinancing your student loans could save you money and it only takes a few minutes to get personalized quotes from lenders. Click here to see if you can save - and if so, how much.

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Best Student Loan Refinance Rates – July 2022

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Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

Variable APR
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
Loan Types
Our partners refinance both private and federal student loans. Both types of loans can be consolidated to create a single payment.
Terms (Years)
"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
Eligible Loans
Our partners refinance both private and federal student loans. Both types of loans can be consolidated to create a single payment.
 

Lender Disclosures

Splash Financial Disclosures

Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount

The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.

To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of June 1, 2022.

1.74% - 9.51%
Lender Disclosures

Splash Financial Disclosures

Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount

The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.

To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of June 1, 2022.

Variable & Fixed5 to 25Private & Federal

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Lender Disclosures

Laurel Road Disclosures

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.

As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.

  1. Checking your rate with Laurel Road only requires a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
  2. Savings vary based on rate and term of your existing and refinanced loan(s). Refinancing to a longer term may lower your monthly payments, but may also increase the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Refinancing to a shorter term may increase your monthly payments, but may lower the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Review your loan documentation for total cost of your refinanced loan.
  3. After loan disbursement, if a borrower documents a qualifying economic hardship, we may agree in our discretion to allow for full or partial forbearance of payments for one or more 3-month time periods (not to exceed 12 months in the aggregate during the term of your loan), provided that we receive acceptable documentation (including updating documentation) of the nature and expected duration of the borrower’s economic hardship. During any period of forbearance interest will continue to accrue. At the end of the forbearance period, any unpaid accrued interest will be capitalized and be added to the remaining principle amount of the loan.
  4. Automatic Payment (“AutoPay”) Discount: if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically from a bank account, the interest rate will decrease by 0.25% and will increase back if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically from the borrower’s bank account. The 0.25% AutoPay discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the discount is applied to the principal to help pay the loan down faster.

Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.

Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.

Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.

Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.

KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

This information is current as of April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
 

1.89% - 5.90%
Lender Disclosures

Laurel Road Disclosures

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.

As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.

  1. Checking your rate with Laurel Road only requires a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
  2. Savings vary based on rate and term of your existing and refinanced loan(s). Refinancing to a longer term may lower your monthly payments, but may also increase the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Refinancing to a shorter term may increase your monthly payments, but may lower the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Review your loan documentation for total cost of your refinanced loan.
  3. After loan disbursement, if a borrower documents a qualifying economic hardship, we may agree in our discretion to allow for full or partial forbearance of payments for one or more 3-month time periods (not to exceed 12 months in the aggregate during the term of your loan), provided that we receive acceptable documentation (including updating documentation) of the nature and expected duration of the borrower’s economic hardship. During any period of forbearance interest will continue to accrue. At the end of the forbearance period, any unpaid accrued interest will be capitalized and be added to the remaining principle amount of the loan.
  4. Automatic Payment (“AutoPay”) Discount: if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically from a bank account, the interest rate will decrease by 0.25% and will increase back if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically from the borrower’s bank account. The 0.25% AutoPay discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the discount is applied to the principal to help pay the loan down faster.

Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.

Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.

Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.

Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.

KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

This information is current as of April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
 

Variable & Fixed5, 7, 10, 15, 20Private & Federal

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Lender 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.

Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of  5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.

As of 5/17/2022 student loan refinancing rates range from 2.05% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.49% APR – 7.93% Fixed APR with AutoPay.

2.05% - 5.25%
Lender 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.

Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of  5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.

As of 5/17/2022 student loan refinancing rates range from 2.05% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.49% APR – 7.93% Fixed APR with AutoPay.

Variable & Fixed5, 7, 10, 15, 20Private & Federal

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Lender Disclosures
1.74% - 7.99%
Lender Disclosures
Variable & Fixed5 to 20 Private & Federal

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Lender Disclosures

SoFi Disclosures

Fixed rates range from 3.49% APR to 7.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 1.74% APR to 7.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates on 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms are capped at 8.95% APR; 15- and 20-year terms are capped at 9.95% APR. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR 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. This benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit lowers your interest rate but does not change the amount of your monthly payment. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.

1.74% - 7.99%
Lender Disclosures

SoFi Disclosures

Fixed rates range from 3.49% APR to 7.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 1.74% APR to 7.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates on 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms are capped at 8.95% APR; 15- and 20-year terms are capped at 9.95% APR. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR 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. This benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit lowers your interest rate but does not change the amount of your monthly payment. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.

Variable & Fixed5, 7, 10, 15, 20Private & Federal

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Lender Disclosures

Earnest Disclosures

Student Loan Refinance Interest Rate Disclosure Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 3.24% APR to 8.24% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 1.99% APR to 8.24% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. The rate will not increase more than once per month. The maximum rate for your loan is 8.95% if your loan term is 10 years or less. For loan terms of more than 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%. Please note, we are not able to offer variable rate loans in AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN, and TX. Our lowest rates are only available for our most credit qualified borrowers and contain our .25% auto pay discount from a checking or savings account. Let us know if you have any questions and feel free to reach out directly to our team.

1.74% - 7.99%
Lender Disclosures

Earnest Disclosures

Student Loan Refinance Interest Rate Disclosure Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 3.24% APR to 8.24% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 1.99% APR to 8.24% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. The rate will not increase more than once per month. The maximum rate for your loan is 8.95% if your loan term is 10 years or less. For loan terms of more than 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%. Please note, we are not able to offer variable rate loans in AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN, and TX. Our lowest rates are only available for our most credit qualified borrowers and contain our .25% auto pay discount from a checking or savings account. Let us know if you have any questions and feel free to reach out directly to our team.

Variable & Fixed5 to 20Private & Federal

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1.86% - 6.01%
Variable & Fixed5, 7, 10, 15, 20Private & Federal

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Lender Disclosures

Purefy Disclosures

Purefy Student Loan Refinancing Rate and Terms Disclosure: Annual Percentage Rates (APR) ranges and examples are based on information provided to Purefy by lenders participating in Purefy’s rate comparison platform. For student loan refinancing, the participating lenders offer fixed rates ranging from 2.73% – 7.99% APR, and variable rates ranging from 1.74% – 7.99% APR. The maximum variable rate is 25.00%. Your interest rate will be based on the lender’s requirements. In most cases, lenders determine the interest rates based on your credit score, degree type and other credit and financial criteria. Only borrowers with excellent credit and meeting other lender criteria will qualify for the lowest rate available. Rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice. Terms and conditions apply.  

1.74% - 7.99%
Lender Disclosures

Purefy Disclosures

Purefy Student Loan Refinancing Rate and Terms Disclosure: Annual Percentage Rates (APR) ranges and examples are based on information provided to Purefy by lenders participating in Purefy’s rate comparison platform. For student loan refinancing, the participating lenders offer fixed rates ranging from 2.73% – 7.99% APR, and variable rates ranging from 1.74% – 7.99% APR. The maximum variable rate is 25.00%. Your interest rate will be based on the lender’s requirements. In most cases, lenders determine the interest rates based on your credit score, degree type and other credit and financial criteria. Only borrowers with excellent credit and meeting other lender criteria will qualify for the lowest rate available. Rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice. Terms and conditions apply.  

Variable & Fixed5 to 20Private & Federal

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Lender Disclosures

Citizens Bank Disclosures

Education Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 2.24%-9.23% (2.24%-9.23% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.29%-9.73% (4.29%-9.73% APR). 

Undergraduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 5.37%- 8.81% (5.37% – 8.81% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 5.87% – 9.31% (5.87% – 9.31% APR).

Graduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 2.24% – 8.75% (2.24% – 8.75% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.29% – 9.25% (4.29% – 9.25% APR).

Education Refinance Loan for Parents Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 2.24%- 8.40% (2.24%- 8.40% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.29% – 8.90% (4.29% – 8.90% APR). 

Medical Residency Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 2.24% – 8.75% (2.24% – 8.75% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.29% – 9.25% (4.29% – 9.25% APR).

2.24% - 9.23%
Lender Disclosures

Citizens Bank Disclosures

Education Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 2.24%-9.23% (2.24%-9.23% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.29%-9.73% (4.29%-9.73% APR). 

Undergraduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 5.37%- 8.81% (5.37% – 8.81% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 5.87% – 9.31% (5.87% – 9.31% APR).

Graduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 2.24% – 8.75% (2.24% – 8.75% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.29% – 9.25% (4.29% – 9.25% APR).

Education Refinance Loan for Parents Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 2.24%- 8.40% (2.24%- 8.40% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.29% – 8.90% (4.29% – 8.90% APR). 

Medical Residency Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 2.24% – 8.75% (2.24% – 8.75% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.29% – 9.25% (4.29% – 9.25% APR).

Variable & Fixed5, 7, 10, 15, 20Private & Federal

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How to Refinance Your Student Loans in 4 Steps

STEP 1
Check
rates

5-10 min
1

Check rates

5-10 min

Shop around with multiple lenders

Provide some basic info to get rate quotes

With our recommended lenders, this can be done online and in a few minutes without affecting your credit

STEP 2
Consider
your
options

5 min
2

Consider your options

5 min

Make sure that refinancing is right for you

Review FAQs about refinancing below

Be certain you won’t need any of the federal student loan programs that won’t be accessible after refinancing

STEP 3
Choose
a loan

take your time with this step
3

Choose a loan

take your time with this step

Pick your best offer

Base your pick on rates and other features (such as repayment protections)

STEP 4
Apply

2-3 weeks
4

Apply

2-3 weeks

Upload your documents (and those of your cosigner, if any)

Sit back and wait for approval

Keep making payments on your loans until they're refinanced

Calculate Your Student Loan Refinance Savings

Interest

Monthly

Rate

Years

OriginalNewSavings
Interest
Monthly
Rate
Years

Best Student Loan Refinance Lenders

Lender Best for Loan amount Credit score required
Sofi Best overall for refinancing $5,000 Good or Excellent score needed
Splash Financial Best with a cosigner $5,000 650 for solo applicants, 660 with a cosigner.
Earnest Best for repayment flexibility $5,000 650
Laurel Road Best for borrowers sith savings $5,000 660
Lendkey Best for fielding loan offers $2,000 680
NaviRefi Best for a federal loan-like experience $5,001 650
Education Loan Finance Best for larger balances $10,000 680
PenFed Credit Union Best for spousal, parent loan consolidation $7,500 700 to refinance alone, 670 to refinance with a spouse or other cosigner
Methodology

Our recommended lenders allow you to check eligibility and view individualized fixed and variable rates without submitting to a hard credit check. They also advertise competitively low APRs, thanks to no-fee policies and autopay discounts. Other than what they have in common, these lenders are uniquely “best” for certain borrowers or situations.

SoFi: Best overall for refinancing

Loan amount $5,000
Credit score required Good or Excellent score needed
Key eligibility criteria U.S. citizens and permanent residents with at least an associate degree — but certain visa-holders could qualify with the aid of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident cosigner.

A pioneer in the refinancing of federal and private student loans, SoFi started the practice in 2012 and claims $30 billion worth of refinancing for 375,000 members. The online lender works with veteran servicer MOHELA to administer an unemployment protection program, plus 10 types of deferment and forbearance (in addition to unemployment protection) that allow borrowers to postpone repayment. These repayment safeguards, plus other perks, make SoFi our top-reviewed lender.

  • Transfer Parent PLUS Loans to your child or away from your parent
  • Minimum $100 monthly payments for doctors and dentists in training
  • Customer perks include career coaching, wealth management
  • Guaranteed Rate Match program allows you to shop for a lower rate elsewhere
  • Cosigner release not available

Splash Financial: Best with a cosigner

Loan amount $5,000
Credit score required 650 for solo applicants, 660 with a cosigner.
Key eligibility criteria Bachelor’s or higher degree — but associate degree-holders working in certain health care fields could still qualify

Launched in 2013, Splash Financial claims $6 billion in refinancing requests and 100,000 accounts. These days, the lender stands out for providing applicants with the opportunity to strengthen their application by including a cosigner, and applying to release that cosigner in as soon as one year.

  • Low $100 monthly payments for medical and dental school graduates during the residency or fellowship, and for an additional six months
  • Information on deferment and forbearance program cannot be found on website, varies by Splash Financial partners

Earnest: Best for repayment flexibility

Loan amount $5,000
Credit score required 650
Key eligibility criteria Degree from a Title IV accredited nonprofit institution — but you could qualify if you’re within a semester of graduation

Owned by industry stalwart Navient, Earnest has maintained its innovative student loan solutions since first introducing its refinancing product. The online company sets more accessible eligibility standards and provides a wider degree of choice in repayment terms than many of its competitors.

  • Flexible approval process that weighs factors like job and banking history
  • Pick one of 180 possible repayment terms spanning 5 to 20 years
  • Skip a payment once per year without penalty
  • Job loss protection if you lose your job involuntarily
  • Not possible to apply with a cosigner
  • Refinancing not available in Kentucky and Nevada

Laurel Road: Best for borrowers with savings

Loan amount $5,000
Credit score required 660
Key eligibility criteria Bachelor’s or higher degree — but associate degree-holders working in certain health care fields could still qualify.

Formerly Darien Rowayton Bank, Laurel Road has proven staying power, claiming $9 billion in refinanced education debt since opening its digital doors in 2013. Now a KeyBank subsidiary, it provides cash bonuses and APR discounts of up to 0.80 percentage points for enrolling in autopay for your loans and opening a linked savings account; the more you deposit, the greater your discount.

  • Limit loan payments to $100 for medical professionals in residency or fellowship
  • Transfer Parent PLUS Loans to your child or away from your parent
  • Cosigner release isn’t possible until after 36 months of prompt payments
  • No in-school deferment is available

LendKey: Best for fielding loan offers

Loan amount $2,000
Credit score required 680
Key eligibility criteria You may have to join a credit union to accept its refinancing offer — but it’s typically at low or no cost

LendKey started out with the idea of connecting refinancing applicants with lesser-known lenders, such as community banks and credit unions, to find the most attractive terms possible. Its ability to potentially deliver multiple offers from its partner institutions makes LendKey worth at least considering as you shop around.

  • Cosigner release and forbearance policies are available (but vary by LendKey partner)
  • LendKey offers are limited to its partner lenders, so it’s still wise to shop around elsewhere

NaviRefi: Best for a federal loan-like experience

Loan amount $5,001
Credit score required 650
Key eligibility criteria NaviRefi loans were invitation-only, as of Dec. 8, 2021; U.S. citizen or permanent resident

The lone lender on our list that doesn’t offer prequalification (the chance to clarify eligibility and view personalized APRs without a hard credit check), NaviRefi is a new enterprise from industry veteran Navient. The company’s refinancing product resembles federal loans in a couple of ways: For instance, you’ll automatically be placed into a Standard Repayment Plan.

  • Navient customer service has consistently drawn among the most consumer complaints via Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reporting

Education Loan Finance: Best for larger balances

Loan amount $10,000
Credit score required 680
Key eligibility criteria U.S. citizen or permanent resident — and have a bachelor’s degree or higher

Also known as ELFI, this SouthEast Bank subsidiary’s management team sports 30 years of industry experience and says its customers average savings of $18,699 after refinancing. It may be a worthwhile option for refinancing six-figure balances: While ELFI’s minimum borrowing amount of $15,000 could turn some customers away, it doesn’t impose a maximum borrowing requirement.

  • Transfer Parent PLUS Loans to your child or away from your parent
  • Cosigner release not available
  • No automatic payment discount

PenFed Credit Union: Best for spousal, parent loan consolidation

Loan amount $7,500
Credit score required 700 to refinance alone, 670 to refinance with a spouse or other cosigner
Key eligibility criteria Bachelor’s degree-holding U.S. citizen

Partnered with Purefy, Pentagon Federal Credit Union mostly manages financial accounts for government and military personnel, but you don’t have to identify with either group to refinance your loans with PenFed. Most notably, PenFed features the ability for borrowers to consolidate education debt with their spouse or away from their parents.

  • Be assigned a personal student loan advisor
  • Release a cosigner in 12 months (if applicable)
  • Credit union membership is required to refinance
  • Deferment, forbearance options are more limited than competing lenders
  • No automatic payment discount

Methodology

To judge the best qualities of student loan refinancing lenders and companies, we review data points across three categories: Accessibility, Rates & Terms and Repayment Experience. That’s because we want to judge financial institutions on their products and services from start to finish: when our users are shopping around, filing applications and paying down their debt. A top-rated lender, for instance, has inclusive eligibility criteria, allows you to prequalify and check rates without harming your credit score and is supportive as you face monthly payments.

Frequently Asked Questions About Refinancing

Andrew Pentis, Certified Student Loan Counselor

| Updated July 1, 2022

Repaying student loans during the coronavirus pandemic can be very difficult. Refinancing might — or might not — make your repayment easier.

  • If you have federal loans, you should probably hold off on applying for refinancing until after the student loan interest freeze thaws on Feb. 1. Even after that date, ensure that you’re comfortable giving up federal loan protections like income-driven repayment plans and loan forgiveness options; refinancing makes your debt irreversibly private.
  • If you have private loans, looking into refinancing is always a good idea. Your loans are already private, so you won’t yield anything by refinancing them with another lender, unless your current lender is offering an extended, coronavirus-inspired reprieve. Refinancing could also lower your interest rate (saving you money) or your monthly payments (creating more room in your budget).

For more information on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting student loans, visit our resource center.

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.

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 (PSLF). You would also lose out on any new relief programs offered in the future, such as student loan forgiveness awarded en masse.

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.

Both private and federal student loans that were used at a qualifying institution are eligible for refinancing. A qualifying institution typically means a Title IV-accredited school in the United States.

You must be the primary borrower on any loans you wish to refinance. A lender might also require that you’ve already earned your degree ,or are close to earning your degree. Some lenders also state a minimum loan amount for 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.

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 your best possible terms.

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. You can compare the two with our student loan consolidation vs. refinancing calculator.

Many student loan refinance companies offer the option to borrow at fixed and variable rates. It’s important to understand the differences between these rate types before you choose your ultimate loan.

  • Fixed: Your rate might start out higher than a variable rate, but it will remain static — or fixed — throughout your repayment, giving you consistency in your monthly budget.
  • Variable: Your rate might start out lower than a variable rate, but it could change — or vary — over time, according to market conditions, bringing some level of uncertainty to your budget.

For the best of both worlds, consider hybrid interest rates, though they’re not widely available.

Yes, there’s no hard-and-fast rule on the amount of times you can refinance student loans — you might decide to refinance with your current lender, or switch to another.

Refinancing a second time could make sense if your financial situation has improved to the point where you could score a significantly lower interest rate. If you extend your loan term as part of refinancing again, though, you’re likely to lose — not save — money until your balance hits zero.

Compare your current loan to your potential refinanced loan using our student loan refinancing calculator

Refinancing student loans with bad credit is difficult but not impossible. One way to circumvent the underwriting criteria of lenders is to attach a cosigner to your refinancing application. If your cosigner has a good enough credit score, debt-to-income (DTI) ratio and other characteristics, it could be enough to net you a stamp of approval. Just keep in mind that cosigning is a big responsibility, as you and your cosigner would be held equally responsible for repayment.

If you have bad credit but can’t find a cosigner, it could take longer to qualify for student loan refinancing. You might decide to build a positive credit history, improve your cash flow and reapply for refinancing down the road, when you’re more likely to meet lender requirements.

Before refinancing your student loans, make sure you’re in a financially secure position to pay them back on time, and have the credit score (or a creditworthy cosigner) to qualify for competitive rates.
It can also be a good time to refinance when interest rates are low. Note that if interest rates drop, you can consider refinancing again for better terms.

Finally, make sure you don’t need any federal plans or protections before you refinance. Once you refinance federal loans with a private lender, you’ll no longer have access to federal plans, such as income-driven repayment or federal forgiveness programs.

The lowest student loan refinance rates advertised by lenders are awarded to the most creditworthy applicants. Your creditworthiness is determined by your credit history and score, DTI ratio and other financial factors. If you fall short in any of these underwriting categories, you could lean on a cosigner to help you qualify and secure a lower APR.

Besides improving your application, another way to net the lowest possible interest rate is to make sure you’re shopping around with reputable lenders. Not all banks, credit unions and online companies start their fixed and variable rate ranges as low as industry leaders. So be sure to narrow your list of potential lenders to those that offer competitive APRs.

Usually no. Many lenders do not charge origination, application or disbursement fees for refinancing student loans. If you’re not sure, ask your lender about its fee structure before you refinance.

Note that when you refinance student loans, you can choose to extend your repayment terms. Opting for a long term can result in higher interest costs over the life of your loan. If you want to reduce the amount you pay in interest, consider selecting a shorter repayment term.

Applying for any new loan can knock a few points off your credit score, but on-time payments will improve your score over time. New credit applications only account for about 10% of your FICO Score, whereas your payment history makes up 35%.

Many refinancing lenders let you shop around with no impact on your credit score. With prequalification, you can compare rates before submitting a full application and consenting to a hard credit inquiry.

Since you’ll be refinancing your current loans rather than taking on new debt, your DTI ratio should not be affected.

You should consider refinancing if your finances are stable and you’re able to qualify (or have a qualifying cosigner). Refinancing is best for borrowers who are looking to lower their interest rate, restructure their debt or combine multiple loans into one. Since refinancing is typically done through a private institution, you should only refinance federal loans if you don’t need federal repayment plans or programs.

If you’re looking to combine several federal student loans into one loan, consider direct loan consolidation. This federal option helps you simplify repayment, and apply for a new repayment plan, but it won’t result in a lower interest rate. Also check out direct loan consolidation if you want to combine your federal loans while maintaining access to federal repayment plans.