6 Best Banks to Refinance and Consolidate Student Loans in 2016

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Finding the right bank to refinance or consolidate your student loans is confusing.

Fortunately, we’ve highlighted the six best banks and lenders to help you refinance and consolidate both private and federal student loans, based on your financial situation. With student loan consolidation, you may be able to refinance at a lower interest rate, decrease your monthly payment, or both!

When you apply, most banks and lenders will look at your credit score, annual income, savings, and college degree type (or certificate of enrollment if still in school). If you meet these requirements, you might be an excellent candidate for student loan refinancing and consolidation! If you don’t think you meet the requirements, don’t worry – as you can apply with a cosigner to increase your chances of getting approved for a better student loan.

Disclosure: Student Loan Hero is a free website to help student loan borrowers. We only evaluate lenders and do not issue student loans. This report was not chartered by or created on behalf of any lender listed below.

Our Top 6 Picks for Student Loan Refinancing

Advertiser Disclosure

Lender Rates (APR) Loan Types Terms Eligible Degrees Eligible Loans More Info
3.84% - 7.20% Variable & Fixed 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 Undergrad & Graduate Private & Federal Visit DRB
2.20% - 7.74% Variable & Fixed 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 Undergrad & Graduate Private & Federal Visit SoFi
2.20% - 7.45% Variable & Fixed 5 to 20 Undergrad & Graduate Private & Federal Visit Earnest
2.19% - 9.39% Variable & Fixed 5, 10, 15, 20 Undergrad & Graduate Private & Federal Visit Citizens
2.14% - 7.74% Variable & Fixed 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 Undergrad & Graduate Private & Federal Visit CommonBond
2.13% - 8.97% Variable & Fixed 5, 10, 15, 20 Undergrad & Graduate Private & Federal Visit LendKey

Top 6 Banks: In-Depth Reviews

1. DRB – Darien Rowayton Bank

Refinance up to 100% of outstanding federal and private loans at
super low rates.

Clients save on average $20,000.

Get Your Rate
  • Refinancing and consolidation of private and federal student loans
  • Must be an alumni of a bachelors or graduate degree program (e.g. MBA, Law, post-residency Medical/Dental, Physician Assistant, Advanced Degree Nursing, Pharmacist, Engineering, PhD, etc.) who meet the underwriting criteria
  • DRB also offers parents of Bachelor degree holders the opportunity to refinance student loans they took out to finance their child’s education as long as their child has graduated and is working. Parents can refinance Parent PLUS loans in their own name or their child’s name.
  • 3.84% – 6.49% (with autopay) variable rates
  • 4.45% – 7.20% (with autopay) fixed rates
  • 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 year repayment terms
  • Maximum variable rates capped at 9% for 5-10 year terms. For greater than 10 year term, maximum rate cap is 10% APR
  • No origination fee or prepayment penalty
  • .25% Interest Rate Reduction with automatic payments via ACH

2. SoFi

Cut the cost of your student loan debt.

Members average $18,936 in savings.

Get Your Rate
  • Refinancing and consolidation of private and federal student loans
  • Must have completed an eligible undergraduate or graduate degree program
  • Available for both undergraduate and graduate school student loans
  • 2.20% to 6.00% APR (with autopay) variable rates, capped at 8.95% to 9.95% APR
  • 3.50% APR to 7.74% APR (with autopay) fixed rates
  • 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 year repayment terms
  • No origination fees or prepayment penalties
  • Unemployment protection – loan payments are paused and they help find new job
  • Career support – complimentary coaching for SoFi members
  • Entrepreneur program – qualified applicants can receive loan deferrals and mentorship

3. Earnest

Clients save on average $17,936.

Get your rate in 2 minutes.

Get Your Rate
  • Refinancing available for undergraduate or graduate student loans from both private and federal lenders
  • Rates start at 2.20% APR variable (with autopay) and 3.50% APR fixed (with autopay)
  • Radical flexibility to pick any monthly payment and term between 5 and 20 years – saving you more than standard rates and terms
  • No set credit score or income requirements – Earnest looks at thousands of data points to evaluate financial responsibility and deliver the lowest possible rate
  • Commitment-free 2 minute rate check
  • Earnest never passes you off to a third party – their on-site team is your customer service partner for the life of your loan
  • Ability to change your loan as your life and needs change – refinance your loan for free, switch between fixed and variable rates, change payment dates, even skip a payment once a year and make it up later
  • Unemployment protection to pause your monthly payments when in between jobs
  • No origination fees, application fees, or prepayment fees
  • Must have completed undergraduate or graduate degree or expected graduation within 6 months
  • Must be currently employed or with an employment offer starting within 6 months
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident

4. Citizens Bank

Average customer savings $1764/yr.2

No application, origination or disbursement fees.

Get Your Rate
  • Refinancing and consolidation of federal and private student loans with an Education Refinance Loan® from Citizens Bank®1
  • Citizens Bank private student loan customers have saved an average of $1,764/yr2
  • Fixed rate student loan refinancing featuring an interest rate as low as 4.74%4 APR to 9.39% APR (with autopay)4 for eligible candidates3
  • Variable interest rates range from 2.19% APR –7.94%4 APR (with autopay)4 and will fluctuate over the term of your loan with changes in the LIBOR rate3
  • 5, 10, 15 or 20 year repayment term options
  • Loyalty Discount: 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on a new Education Refinance Loan if you or your co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time of application4
  • Automatic Payment Discount: 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction by authorizing our loan servicer to automatically deduct your payments each month from any bank account4
  • Co-signer Release: Co-signer may be released from loan responsibility after making 36 consecutive, on-time principal and interest payments5
  • No application, origination or disbursement fees
  • Minimum Loan to Refinance: $10,000
  • (See disclosure and repayment examples)

5. CommonBond

Easy 7-minute application.

Apply in less time than it takes to
make a cup of coffee.

Clients save on average $14,581.

Get Your Rate
  • Refinancing and consolidation of private and federal student loans
  • Available for undergraduate, graduate, and Parent PLUS student loans
  • 2.14% – 5.94% APR variable rate refinancing (with autopay)
  • 3.50% – 7.74% APR fixed rate refinancing (with autopay)
  • 3.79% – 6.23% APR hybrid rate refinancing (with autopay)
  • 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 Year Repayment Terms
  • 0.25% Interest Rate Reduction with automatic payments via ACH
  • Unemployment protection – loan payments are paused and they help eligible graduates find new jobs and also hire them for short-term consulting projects
  • Access to CommonBond Community – Borrowers are connected to events in their cities, networking opportunities, and lifestyle perks
  • Social good – for every fully funded degree through CommonBond, they fund the education of a student in need abroad for a year through Pencils of Promise
  • No application, origination or disbursement fees

6. LendKey

Loans funded by community lenders.

See refinancing rates from our network of 300+ lenders in 2 minutes without impacting your credit score.

Members average $12,500 in savings.

Get Your Rate
  • Higher chance of approval with our not-for-profit lenders
  • Check real refinancing rates in 2 minutes with 1 form and no impact on your credit score
  • No handoffs, you’ll be with our fully trained customer care team from your application to your final payment
  • Refinancing and consolidation of private and federal student loans
  • Available for both undergraduate and graduate school student loans
  • Fixed rates from 3.25% APR to 8.97% APR (with autopay)
  • Variable rates from 2.13% to 7.38% APR (with autopay)
  • 5, 10, 15 and 20 year repayment terms
  • 0.25% Interest Rate Reduction with automatic payments
  • Longest unemployment protection period in the market (18 months)
  • Cosigner release available after 12 on-time payments
  • Minimum balance to finance: $7,500
  • Minimum income of $24,000/year
  • No origination fees or prepayment penalties

Find this information helpful? Please share it with others! :)

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  • Spencer Thompson

    Hi,

    I attended graduate school in Scotland at the University of Edinburgh. I’ve been trying to refinance my Sallie Mae loans. And the trouble I’ve been having is that a lot of these refinance companies don’t refinance out of country student loans. Even those loans given out through Sallie Mae. Do you have any suggestions for myself and others in this position who attended graduate school overseas? I’d really love to refinance and get a lower interest rate. Sallie Mae, now Navient, was no help. The one company I found willing to work with me, SoFi, was so incompetent in their customer service that I felt hesitant to trust them with my credit score, after reading that others were billed twice or not at all and then thrown to credit agencies for reported non payment. I’d love to hear a suggestion of a reliable company that will work with me to refinance student loans racked up by attending an overseas school. Thank you very much for your help, it’s very much appreciated.

    Sincerely,

    Spencer Thompson

    • Hi Spencer!

      Thanks for your question.

      Most lenders are willing and able to refinance both federal and private student loans that you obtained to attend a “Title IV” school. FYI – You can search for Title IV schools here: https://fafsa.ed.gov/FAFSA/app/schoolSearch

      I did a quick search and it appears the University of Edinburgh is a Title IV school. You can see the Title IV school information here: https://fafsa.ed.gov/FAFSA/cycleNeutral/faces/MoreInfo.faces?schoolCode1=G06839

      From a school eligibility standpoint, all of the lenders listed on our website should be able to work with you. (With the exception of CommonBond, as they don’t support your school yet.)

      Sorry to hear about your experience with SoFi, we’ve heard from several other customers who are extremely satisfied with their customer experience. If you want me to connect with the SoFi team on your behalf, please email me: andrew [at] studentloanhero.com

      Please let us know if any of our recommended lenders are unable to work with you, based on the school you attended.

      Cheers,
      Andy Josuweit
      CEO/Founder of Student Loan Hero

  • Frank Castle

    My graduate school student loans have interest rates at 5.41% and 6.21%. I’m still in school, but the interest keeps adding on to the principle. Can I refinance and consolidate these graduate school student loans while I’m still in school?

    • Hi Frank,

      Generally you cannot refinance loans until you have completed a degree. One option could be to make interest-only payments while you’re still in school to prevent additional principal from being added to your loans.

      Cheers,

      Jeffrey
      Student Loan Hero

      • Matt

        What would you pay the interest with? More loans? Wouldn’t the new loans just add additional principal?

        • Hi Matt,

          Some students who have a job while they’re attending school choose to pay interest on their loans rather than allow it to be added to principal. Otherwise, the interest gets added to principal amount and you’re now paying interest on the new balance with the interest added on. While I know not all students are able to afford this, it’s a strategy to consider if you can.

          Does this make sense? Let me know if you have other questions.

  • Sean M.

    Is there a way you could list out minimums and maximums each company would be willing to take on?

    Also what are your thoughts on getting different quotes from each one? Will is drastically affect my credit score possibly? I despise signing up for sites I might not use but I don’t see a way to get a quote without fulling signing up as they require.

    • Hi Sean,

      Not all of our lender partners publish this information, so we generally only publish this if they do. You can see minimums for Citizens and LendKey above. In general, minmums are between $5,000 – $10,000 depending on the lender.

      Our lending partners do not generally have maximums for refinancing (although some do).

      In terms of how applications affect credit, myFICO reports that”rate shopping” should not negatively affect your credit as long as you choose a loan within 30-45 days (depending on the credit scoring model used) of applying. See here for more info: http://www.myfico.com/crediteducation/creditchecks/inquiries.aspx

      Cheers,

      Jeffrey
      Student Loan Hero

      • Eric

        Hi Jeffrey,

        I understand what rate shopping is, but when I followed the myfico.com link it only mentioned student loans, but nothing about student loan refinancing (which I assumed would be a bit different). I called their customer support and they told me that refinancing would not fall under this category. Perhaps there is a misunderstanding?

        • Hi Eric,

          Thanks for your question. Our understanding is that although this is a different type of loan than a student loan this would still apply for student loan refinancing. Rate shopping is available for various types of loans.

          I will look into this more closely and report what I find.

          Best,

          Jeffrey
          Student Loan Hero

  • Jeff Sisson

    I have 5 Loans right now that equal around $30k.. interest rates are 3 Loans @ 2.3% & 2 Loans @ 6.5%… Would it be in my best interest to consolidate all of these into just 1 Loan with just 1 Interest rate?

    • Hi Jeff,

      Assuming we’re talking about consolidation and refinancing with a private lender, here’s what you should consider:

      2.3% is a very low interest rate. Many borrowers with interest rates this low would not seek to refinance these loans as it might not be possible to find interest rates that are any lower.

      6.5% is still pretty low, but it’s possible to get a lower interest rate. However, if these are federal student loans, keep in mind that you will lose some of the repayment options. You can read more about this here: https://studentloanhero.com/featured/should-you-refinance-your-federal-student-loans/

      In any case, when you refinance and consolidate, you have the option to choose which loans you want to include in the new loan.

      Hope this helps. Let us know if you have other questions.

      Best,

      Jeffrey

  • DJ O

    Hi,

    Is it smart to just concentrate on paying my highest interest loans first (~7%), while paying just minimums on lower interest loans (~3.5%).

    Does it really matter that interest is been capitalized on the lower interest rate loan? I know it does, but not as much as on the ~7% loan. That is my strategy for now.

    I also do not see the benefit of consolidating my federal loan with the education department for now, since all they do is average out you interest rates. I will wait until i find a bank that will refinance the entire loan. I just graduated a few months ago and will be starting a new job soon.

    Thanks.
    Dj

    • Hi Dj,

      Yes, that’s a strategy that many borrowers use by focusing on paying the highest interest loans first while paying minimums on the lower interest loans.

      You’re right about consolidating your federal student loans into Federal Direct Consolidation loan. Once you do this, you will lose any ability to use the above strategy. Consolidating your loans in this way does not save money, but is merely used for simplifying the repayment process (as well as a few other benefits).

      Best of luck with your new job and paying off your loans. Sounds like you’re off to a great start!

      Cheers

      Jeffrey

  • Hi Matt,

    Thanks for your thoughtful response. I can tell you’re pretty passionate about student loan debt, just like we are.

    When we give advice, we like to acknowledge that our readers come from a variety of backgrounds. In this case, there are times when someone may be attending school part-time while working a job. Perhaps they do not have enough money to pay their entire tuition bill at once (a significant cost to man), so they take out loans to cover these costs.

    However, they still may be able to afford interest-only payments on their loans, which often aren’t too high.

    For example, monthly interest on $35,000 worth of student loans at 6.21% interest (last year’s graduate student rate) is only about $180/month. Some students will opt to take out student loans and pay interest charges each month.

    You can read more about why this is a good idea here on US News: http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/student-loan-ranger/2014/05/14/3-benefits-of-making-interest-only-student-loan-payments

    Just to be clear, we would never suggest taking out a new loan to make interest-only payments on another loan. This strategy wouldn’t help save money.

    I hope this clears things up. Let us know if you have any other questions. Thanks for stopping by!

    Jeffrey

    • Diane

      Hi Jeff, i am in real trouble here, we have loans that we need to consolidate but since we have so many out there I don’t know where to start . we owe $103,000.00 and salllie Mea and navient just keep adding interest rates. it is a very sad long story but the thing is that i need to start thIs ASAP we were coned to get these loanes. I HAAATE SALLIE MEA AND NAVIENT!!!
      PLEASE HELP!!!

  • Alex

    does a technical school degree qualify for any of these banks?

  • kousik

    Would any on the above said organization refinance a student loan worth 20K USD to a non US citizen pursuing masters in USA ?

    I’m pursuing masters in Food Science at U of Wisc. I’d graduate in dec 2015. I’ve taken a student loan worth 21K USD from a bank in India. The APR is too high and I’d like to refinance with a banking organization here in USA.

    I have landed an internship and have a full time offer in hand. gg.

    would you offer a loan to a non US citizen ?

    • Hi Kousik,

      Unfortunately, all of the lenders we partner with require that borrowers are either a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident of the U.S. at this time.

      Best,

      Jeffrey

      • kousik

        Jeff,
        Thanks for your input.
        Would it be OK if the burrower be a US citizen as a cosigner ? or does the student need to be citizen too ??
        Thanks.

        • The borrower has to be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident regardless of the cosigner’s status. I wish we could be of more help, but we don’t make these rules. It’s up to the lenders.

          Best,

          Jeffrey

  • Danielle A.

    “If you don’t think you meet the requirements, don’t worry – as you can apply with a cosigner to increase your chances of getting approved for a better student loan.”

    …Except that I am worried for this exact reason. I have no one who can cosign a loan for me (my grandfather, who cosigned my original student loans with me, has since passed away and there is no one else in my life capable or willing to co-sign.)

    What is someone in my position supposed to do? I don’t meet credit history requirements (not always necessarily because of the number itself, but the length – I was told by Citizens Bank, for example, that my credit history isn’t sufficiently long to be approved without a cosigner). I don’t meet the debt-to-income ratio requirements with $100k in student loans, well above my annual salary. I am in a situation where I make enough to consistently and responsibly pay my heavy monthly loan payments at their high current interest rates (I’ve been doing so since my payments began in January 2014, after graduating with a bachelors in May 2013), yet not enough to qualify me for the ability to refinance and get a better rate with any bank I’ve spoken to. It feels as though I am stuck in a financial purgatory.

    • Hi Danielle,

      Sorry to hear that you’re in a tough position. You’re certainly not alone as we hear from many others who are experiencing the same difficulties repaying their student loans.

      If you aren’t able to get approved for refinancing now, we recommend working on increasing your ability to get refinancing in the future. This includes continuing to build good credit and improve in the other financial criteria. If your financial position changes, you can apply again in the future.

      I wish I could be of more help right now, but I hope you’re able to get approval in the future.

      Best,

      Jeffrey

  • abagnale

    Are there options for borrowers who did not graduate undergrad?

    • Hi,

      Unfortunately, at this time there are not any refinancing options for borrowers who have not completed a degree.

      Cheers,

      Jeffrey
      Student Loan Hero

      • Lisa

        It appears Citizens Bank refinances/consolidates loans if you did not graduate but are not in school. Is that correct?

        • Hi Lisa,

          I apologize. I made a mistake in the above comment, which I’ve now fixed. Yes, you are right. With Citizens you may apply if you are not currently in school and you have made 12 consecutive on-time payments.

          Sorry for the mixup. Let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help.

          Best,

          Jeffrey

  • Hi Rochel,

    Sorry to hear you’re having trouble. Have you asked any of the lenders if they can refinance the loan into your name? I know some do this for Parent PLUS loans, so they may also do so for private student loans.

    Cheers,

    Jeffrey
    Student Loan Hero

  • Hi Uriel,

    Citizens Bank and LendKey allow loans in the state of Nevada. I believe DRB does as well, but you may want to check with them before applying.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers,

    Jeffrey
    Student Loan Hero

  • Donna Davis

    Great post! I could really benefit from the info. thank you!

    • Thanks, Donna! Glad we could help. Let us know if you have any questions.

  • Trevor

    Hello! Just wanted to ask what are the best steps to take to get my father’s Parent PLUS loans refinanced under my name? I’m trying to apply for loan forgiveness programs but always get denied due to companies looking at my father’s income and not mine (even though my loans are automatically taken out of my bank account). Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    • Hi Trevor,

      Do you mean you’ve tried with loan refinancing companies already? If you’ve been turned down, have you asked about having them transferred to your name?

      Currently, you’re able to apply to have the loans transferred to your name with SoFi, DRB, and CommonBond. Give those lenders a shot if you haven’t already, and let us know how it goes.

      Best,

      Jeffrey

  • Charlotte

    Can I still use the Public service forgiveness program with these banks???

    • Hi Charlotte,

      You cannot use Public Service Loan Forgiveness on any federal loan that you choose to refinance.

      However, if you have both federal and private loans, you can choose to only refinance the private loans and leave the federal loans alone. In this case, the federal loans would still be eligible for PSLF.

      Hope this helps. Let us know if you have other questions.

      Best,

      Jeffrey
      Student Loan Hero

  • Linda Gehrkens Gambino

    My daughter has approximately $47,000 in private and federal loans which she would like to refinance. She graduated in May of 2015 with a B.S. and is taking a GAP year until fall of 2016 in which she will enroll in a Physicians Assistant Program. She is looking to refinance the loans she presently has with a deferment upon entry into her graduate program. Which banks would offer this?

    • Hi Linda,

      Thanks for your question. Our lending partners typically require the borrower/applicant to be employed and have a steady income in order to be eligible for refinancing. Second, the borrower must typically be finished with school or near finished. So in your daughter’s case, it may be best for her to wait to apply until after she’s finished her graduate program.

      I hope this helps. Let me know if you have additional questions.

      Best,

      Jeffrey
      Student Loan Hero

    • Linda Gehrkens Gambino

      What does she do with her present loans once she is enrolled full time in grad school?

      • Hi Linda,

        When she returns to school, if she does not or cannot make payments on her present loans, she’ll likely want to request deferment. She can do so by contacting her student loan servicers and making this request once she is enrolled in grad school.

        You can read more about deferment and federal student loans here: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/deferment-forbearance

        Her private loan servicer(s) should also have more information on this as well.

        Hope this helps. Let me know if you have other questions about the process.

        Best,

        Jeffrey

        Student Loan Hero

  • Hi Andy,

    Thanks for your question. I think you may be over-analyzing the situation a bit 🙂

    If you’re looking to save the most money on interest, paying off loans with the higher interest rates first is basically always going to save more, regardless of what the balance are.

    With this in mind we typically encourage borrowers to pay off loans with the highest interest rates first.

    One other method people use to pay off debt is called the Debt Snowball method. This is when you target the loan with the lowest balance first, regardless of interest rate. The idea here is to gain a psychological advantage by paying off loans. However, this doesn’t apply in the case you’ve supplied above.

    I hope this helps. Let us know if you have other questions.

    Cheers,

    Jeffrey

  • Great post, will keep for future reference.

    • Thanks, Antionette! Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Barb D

    I’m 55 and still have over $100k in student loans. I have a BA and Assoc degree and I’m 3 months behind on my payments and Sallie Mae is driving me nuts with all the calls. Can I still consider refinancing?

    • Hi Barb,

      Sorry to hear you’re having some trouble. As long as your student loans aren’t in default, you should still be able to apply for refinancing. You can get started using the links above.

      Hope this helps. Let us know if there’s anything else we can do.

      Best,

      Jeffrey
      Student Loan Hero

  • Ruthy Evora

    What would you suggest for someone in massive student loan debt but hasn’t graduated?

    • Hi Ruthy,

      Are you currently taking classes now? If so, you typically need to wait until you graduate or you reach your final semester to consider refinancing.

      If you’re no longer taking classes and have made 12 consecutive on-time student loan payments, you can apply with Citizens Bank (see above).

      In either case, our lending partners are typically able to refinance any amount of debt (assuming you meet their eligibility criteria)

      Hope this helps. Let us know if you have other questions.

      Best,

      Jeffrey
      Student Loan Hero

      • Meg

        I read in your post to Ruth Evora …. “If you’re no longer taking classes and have made 12 consecutive on-time student loan payments,….”? Is this the key to getting an approved consolidation loan with one of these lenders- 12 months of payments?

        I am 22 y/o . I recently graduated with my bachelors in 5/2015. I started a full time job 2 weeks after graduation and have banked almost $6,000. I have two private student loans (Americu-25 y/term and Sallie Mae 12 y/term) and then 4 yrs worth of sub/unsub Fed Loans which I used to pay for the 4 years of private tuition (not a smart move). They are all coming due this month and next. After the the 3 student loan and 1 car payment is made, I am literally left with $350 a month (the $6K I saved will not get me very far). My parents are unable to help me with the loan payments, but I do live at home without any cost and they pay my car insurance.

        I am embarrassed to say how much my loans total (4 yrs of private school all paid for with student loans = over 100k). I am in the process of submitting an application to consolidate my Fed Loans. I previously submitted an application to SOFI for the total combined amount of all 3 loans, but was denied- even with a co-signer. I just now tried to get a rate with Earnst for half of total combined loan amounts, and was given a message that said they need an actual application before they can provide me with any rate information….looks to me like another denial 🙁 Should I wait until 12 months of payments have been made before trying to get consolidation through these lenders? I am sick to my stomach about this. I had no clue the monthly payments would be so high and unless I want to add to the interest, neither private lender will work with me.

        I also see that you mentioned a financial adviser in one of your posts. Do you think one would be beneficial to me in my particular situation?

        • Hi Meg,

          Thanks for your question. Congrats on graduating!

          In terms of how much you owe, you’re certainly not alone! I know it must feel like a huge uphill battle. We’re happy to help all we can.

          In terms of the “12 months of payments” comment, that was specifically in reference to borrowers who have dropped out and not earned a degree.

          Borrowers who have a degree can apply any time.

          In terms of getting rejected from SoFi, can you tell me the reason for this? Lenders are required to notify you in writing if you apply and are rejected. So knowing that reason should shed some more light on what you can do.

          In terms of keeping your federal student loan payments manageable in the meantime, have you looked into income-driven repayment options? If not, you can learn more here: http://studentloanhero.com/featured/complete-guide-income-driven-repayment-plans-federal-student-loans/

          In terms of meeting with a financial advisor, I think that’s generally helpful for anyone who’s looking to get on sound financial footing.

          Hope this helps. Let me know if you have other questions!

          Best,

          Jeffrey
          Student Loan Hero

  • John

    Hello,

    This is extremely helpful information, thank you. My wife and I are having a difficult time figuring out what the best approach for us is and would greatly appreciate any insight. She has about 165k debt in federal loans which consists of two 70k loans, one with 6% fixed and the other with 7% fixed and a few other smaller loans with around 5% fixed… I am pretty confident that with our 740 plus credit scores and both having full time jobs with annual salaries around 60k each that we could at least refinance the 70k loan with 7% to a lower fixed rate.

    When we first applied through Earnest, we included the entire amount of debt (165k) and our result was about what the federal government rates are now (6.44% $2,005/month payment, 9.4year payoff).. it required that my wife apply with just her income and would not consider a co-signer/household income.

    To minimize our total interest paid: Would you recommend trying to refinance just the 70k loan with 7% fixed in just her name through someone like Earnest? Or are we better off going through someone like DBR who allows co-signers/household income to be considered? Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

    One more thought is that we are also interested in keeping the student loans just in her name… the intent being that i could apply for a mortgage on my own as i have no debt and could get a much more favorable mortgage rate with a better debt/income ratio with all the loans remaining under name.

    Thank you!

    • Hi John,

      Thanks for your questions.

      It’s tough for us to give recommendations on specific situations as it really comes down to your personal preference and what you think is best. There are a lot of factors in play here, so it’s pretty hard to say in your case.

      Generally, for very specific and personal cases, we recommend meeting with a Certified Financial Planner who can really dig into your personal situation.

      However, terms of trying to decide which lender to refinance with and how to get the best rates, we do recommend shopping around and applying with multiple lenders. Perhaps that will give you a clearer picture as to what rates you’re able to get with another lender and will help you make a more clear comparison.

      I hope this helps. Let us know if there’s anything else we can do.

      Cheers

      Jeffrey
      Student Loan Hero

  • Ashley B

    I have bother government and private loans totaling more than 100K. My grace period is over in a few weeks and my private loan monthly payments (about $800) plus my government payments (about $300) are too much for me to handle as a recent grad. I am considering consolidating my loans so that my payments can be little more manageable. What should I do? I’m in desperate need of help

  • Vincent Snow

    I could use some help. Jeff, is there anyway you can spare some time on the phone or send me to a good source

  • Nathan Dalechek

    Do all of these loan companies do a Hard Credit Check before showing you their rate that they can offer? I feel like in a perfect world, I would be able to see what fixed rate each loan company can offer me. I am a Psychiatry resident, recently graduated from Medical School, and currently have federal loans of $230,000 at about 5.8% interest and another $40,000 at about 9.5% interest. I won’t be doing PSLF. I want to get the fixed rate from each loan company, but I don’t think I can do that without taking a hit on my credit score on each one. Am I supposed to just guess which one has the best rate for my situation? What do you recommend?

    • Hi Nathan,

      That’s a great question. You’re typically allowed to “rate shop” during a certain period (ranging from 14-45 days). During this time, if you’re applying for a loan, all your inquiries will typically only be counted as one inquiry.

      You can read more about this related to FICO here: http://www.myfico.com/crediteducation/creditchecks/inquiries.aspx

      Some of our lending partners (SoFi, Earnest, CommonBond) will do a soft inquiry first to give you an estimated rate as well.

      Hope this helps. Let us know if you have other questions.

      Best,

      Jeffrey
      Student Loan Hero

  • Raj

    I’ve taken an edu loan from India and I would like to know if banks/cu provide options to refinance the loan even though it’s in another country. I have a co-signer who is a permanent resident of the US.

    • Hi Raj,

      Thanks for your question.

      All of our lending partners require the borrower to be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.

      If you meet this requirement, your school must also be on this list here: http://ifap.ed.gov/ifap/fedSchoolCodeList.jsp

      I hope this helps. Let us know if you have other questions.

      Best,

      Jeffrey
      Student Loan Hero

  • Dustin

    Must you have graduated to refinance? I got a good job offer before I finished school and no longer need a degree.

  • Meghan

    My family’s situation makes it difficult to consolidate my private loans.. Because my parents recently bought a business, our debt to income ratio is incredibly high, which resulted in being denied by two of the places listed above.

    At this point, I make less than what I have to pay each month but would be able to make the payments if I could consolidate my debt, which is endlessly frustrating.

    Are there banks out there, or listed here, that would take such a consideration?

    • Hi Meghan,

      Thanks for your question. I certainly understand how frustrating this can be!

      Unfortunately, I’m not sure there’s a solution for this if you’ve been denied other than to work on improving your debt-to-income ratio over time and reapplying once you do. Virtually all lenders take debt-to-income into consideration with your application.

      Are you unable to qualify without your parents cosigning? I ask because you mentioned their high debt load.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help. If you have any other questions, let us know!

      Best,

      Jeffrey
      Student Loan Hero

    • Brittany

      Meghan, for any federal or state loans, make sure you check out the “pay by income” option– it will allow you to at least lower those payments based on the amount of money you are currently making. Hope that helps a little!

  • Anastasia82

    All of these don’t require that you actually have a degree, right? I
    have student loans in a court reporting school. I didn’t get the degree,
    but I’m still a successfully working stenographer with super high
    student loans unfortunately.

    • Hi Anastasia,

      Unfortunately nearly all lenders do require you have a degree. The one option out of those listed here that doesn’t is Citizens Bank. You can apply with Citizens if you are no longer in school and if you have made 12 consecutive on-time payments.

      Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions.

      Best,

      Jeffrey
      Student Loan Hero

  • Mary

    Before I refinance, I am trying to figure out if I am eligible for Student Loan forgiveness because I taught in Title I public schools for ten years. Do you have any thoughts on this? Thanks!

    • Hi Mary,

      You may be able to qualify for teacher student loan forgiveness. You can see options here: http://studentloanhero.com/featured/student-loan-forgiveness-for-teachers/

      In terms of qualifying for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, you would not potentially be eligible until at least October 2017. The reason for this is that only payments made after October 1, 2007 qualify.

      I hope this helps. Let us know if you have other questions!

      Best,

      Jeffrey
      Student Loan Hero

  • Lydia

    How do I reason with my private loan company on lowering my monthly bill? They say the only way they could help me is if I was apart of the uniformed services but I honestly think that is terribly unfair to those who truly cannot afford the monthly bill and it eventually becomes a revolving door of late payments and plummeting credit score.

    • Hi Lydia,

      Sorry to hear you’re having trouble. Unfortunately it can be difficult to get assistance from private loan companies in this situation. They are not required to lower your monthly bill, and many are unwilling to do so regardless of your situation. Typically any assistance you can get would be from explaining your situation and asking how they can help (which it sounds like you’ve already done).

      One option is to apply to refinance your student loans using the lenders on this page (http://studentloanhero.com/featured/5-banks-to-refinance-your-student-loans/) This can help lower your monthly payments on private loans.

      I hope this helps. Let me know if there are any other questions we can answer.

      Cheers,

      Jeffrey
      Student Loan Hero

  • Manny

    Instead of paying back your loans in full, why not save 60% of the balance?

  • Katie

    Hi,
    I have roughly 60,000 dollars in private loans and about 50,000 in federal loans. I am looking to consolidate my private loans because I am unable to live on the current payments. While each private loan payment is about 150-200 dollars, because I am paying 5 different private loans, the monthly overall payment is difficult to live off of. I have been able to make all payments so I have good credit and good status with all loans companies. The problem is that I cannot find ANYONE to help me with my private loan consolidation. I just got off the phone with SoFi who kept trying to get me to consolidate my federal loans but said they could not help me with my private loans.

    Is there any where I could go to get some help? Any one else that could help consolidate my loans (I live in MA)? Any one I could speak with for advice? I am the first person in my family to attend college and I have no one to help me figure this out. I can’t get my own apartment or a new car because all of my income is going towards these loans, and mostly just interest at that. Please help.

    • Hi Katie,

      Sorry to hear you’re having trouble. I know it can be extremely frustrating.

      Have you tried any of the lenders on this page (other than SoFi)? I’d start there if you’re looking to refinance.

      You can also check out CordiaGrad: studentloanhero.com/cordiagrad-student-loan-refinance-review/

      In terms of getting advice, we often recommend meeting with a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). While they won’t be able to directly help you get a student loan refinance, they will be able to help you get your student loans and money in order and hopefully refinance your student loans now or in the near future. You can search for one here: http://www.letsmakeaplan.org/choose-a-cfp-professional/find-a-cfp-professional

      I hope this helps. Please let us know if there’s anything else we can do.

      Best,

      Jeffrey
      Student Loan Hero

  • Raylor Toy

    I’m trying to decide if I should consolidate my loans or keep paying the different interest rates of my current mix of loans. All of my loans are through Great Lakes and there are interest rates ranging from 3.4% to 6.8% on nine different loans. There are three at 6.8% and the rest are either 3.4% or 4.8%.

    There are pros and cons to consolidating or sticking with what I currently have but which one will result in paying out less? Refinancing results in me losing the safety net the government provides for student loans but if I pay less overall with refinancing then I see it as a reasonable risk. So which way should I go? Thanks!

    • Hi Raylor,

      Great question. You’re correct in your reasoning on the pros and cons.

      In your case it might make sense to refinance only some of your loans. You do not need to refinance all of your loans and instead can choose which ones you want to refinance. So in other words, you could keep the lowest interest rates loans as federal loans and the low rates as well.

      If you’re most interested in saving money and paying the least amount possible, lowing your interest rates and/or making extra monthly payments will result in the most savings. The federal repayment options you can use, like Income-Based Repayment, are definitely helpful to have available. But keep in mind that they often result in higher lifetime payments in loans as more interest accrues.

      I hope this helps. Let us know if you have more questions.

      Best,

      Jeffrey
      Student Loan Hero

  • Shane

    Hi, looking for some advice. I have a loan in default with Chase (around $17k). They are offering to resolve the debt if a reduced payment in full is made ($13k). I have a good job but if I had $13k in the first place, I would not be in default. They will not negotiate a new monthly payment with me. I want to get this loan off my credit asap. What steps should I take?

    • Hi Shane,

      Sorry to hear you’re in a tough situation. It’s unfortunate they won’t allow you to get on a new monthly payment plan. It’s possible they may send you to collections and then you it’s possible you could get on a payment plan, but it’s not for certain.

      Here’s a post that may help a bit: studentloanhero.com/featured/preventing-and-dealing-with-student-loan-default/

      Otherwise, the only recommendation I have is to continue talking with Chase about your options.

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Let us know if there’s anything else we can do.

      Best,

      Jeffrey
      Student Loan Hero

  • Fe

    Is it possible to apply to each of these places to see what the rate will be or will that severelyhurt your credit score?

    • Hi Fe,

      Thanks for your question.

      According to myFICO, you’re typically allowed to “rate shop” during a certain period (ranging from 14-45 days). During this time, if you’re applying for a loan, all your inquiries will typically only be counted as one inquiry.

      You can read more about this related to FICO here: http://www.myfico.com/crediteducation/creditchecks/inquiries.aspx

      Some of our lending partners (SoFi, Earnest, CommonBond) will do a soft inquiry first to give you an estimated rate as well.

      Hope this helps. Let us know if you have other questions.

      Best,

      Jeffrey
      Student Loan Hero

  • Earl Griffiths

    Hey There, I have pretty bad credit(500 range) from being inconsistent with paying back by student loans due to paying four different lenders. I recently applied to SoFi and they denied me due to my credit and payment history. I plan on contacting the other companies listed here but do you suggest anything else for someone in my situation?

  • Jerry Benson

    Am here to give a great Testimony I have tried a couple of other platform all in search of a good loan company that will help me with a loan unfortunately for me I meet 3 loan company who were only after what I could give them and not helping me they took money from me and did not give me any positive response all I got was stories. Then I found a publication from a loan service and just decided to Email and hear what they have got to say but then I discovered that they spoke well and sounded real I taught about it and gave it a trial. Finally I got the loan just 24 hours after negotiations as if that was not all I got to meet the loan in my account the next evening of the day I contacted them. wow! finally same thing that took me years to get from other loan company too me just 24 hours to get from them. Since then I have decided to help publicist and advertise them for people who meet be in the shoes I was or for persons who need the service here is there company Email: goodnewsloaninvestment001@gmail.com give them a trial and thank me later they do not even know I am doing this. just a little way of saying thank You.

  • Stephanie Gregory

    I am curious to know what happens if you refinance and you die? With federal student loans these do not have to be paid from the estate.

  • Andrew Grogan

    Very frustrated with Darien Rowayton Bank. Just went for the entire loan process with them to be turned down partialy based on my income. They said the minimum annual income must be at least 55k. This is listed nowhere on their site and they knew my annual salary when I filled out the original application and still approved me to proceed.

    • Noone Holmes

      the exact same thing happened to me! avoid DRB

      • Mike Keleher

        I had the same issue with Drb. There was no communication other then emails. They requested and re-requested items. After calling in mutiple times I finally received confirmation I was denied due to my debt to income ratio. The best part they requested more items, after I was already denied. They may seem tempting by the rates they have on paper, but their customer service is non existent.

  • Wes Strawn

    Jeffrey, I have a few questions. We are buying a home and my wife’s score is a little low. She is a nurse and has around 50+K in debt, the lender asked if we thought about consolidation. So if we consolidate what are the factors we should consider and will it ruin any type of forgiveness she could be eligible for as an RN. Other nurses at her hospital told her to just pay the minimums for like 10 years and she can get the rest forgiven… any advice is appreciated! Thank, Wes.

    • Hi Wes,

      Thanks for your question. In terms of forgiveness, refinancing and consolidating federal student loans with a private lender will, unfortunately, make these loans ineligible for any federal student loan forgiveness plan.

      It sounds like the “10 years’ plan the other nurses are referring to is Public Service Loan Forgiveness. This program only applies to federal student loans. (You can read more about it here: https://studentloanhero.com/featured/public-service-loan-forgiveness-do-you-qualify/)

      If you’d like to learn more about refinancing and consolidation in general, I recommend checking out our “Cheat Sheet.” You can get it by signing up for our email list on this page: https://studentloanhero.com/start-here/

      I hope this helps. Let me now if you have other questions.

      Best,

      Jeffrey
      Student Loan Hero

  • Hi CC,

    Your best bet may be to try lenders like Earnest and SoFi that may be able to give you a decision in 2 minutes without a hard credit pull. Head over to the websites to do this.

    However, I think it’ll be unlikely you’ll qualify with a credit score that low. Most of our lenders are looking for a credit score of at least 680 (though that’s not always the case). SoFi actually doesn’t use credit scores now, but they still look at other financial information on your credit history.

    I hope this helps. Let us know if you have other questions.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Hi David,

    Thanks for your questions.

    All the lenders we work with now will consolidate both private and federal loans and will combine them if the borrower chooses to do so. So no, you don’t need to select a different bank for each loan type.

    Once a borrower consolidates the loans, the old loans should show up as paid in full and closed loan accounts on a credit report. So no, it shouldn’t show up as showing you have double the amount of debt (I’ve never heard of this happening to anyone either).

    I hope this helps. Let me know if you have other questions.

    Best,

    Jeffrey
    Student Loan Hero

    • David Romero

      Thank you for clarifying.

  • cnccnc

    Be aware that you lose significant benefits from the Federal government by consolidating Federal loans to private:
    * Income Based Repayment
    * Public Service Loan Forgiveness
    * 20-25 year loan forgiveness
    * Forbearance
    * Deferment

    Often better and more flexible loan servicing. You can get lower rates with Private financing if you have great credit, but otherwise, it may not be worth losing the benefits.

  • Kurt Cornejo

    How about those who incurred student loans from for profit colleges such as The Art Institutes? Can we refinance as well using any of there services? Is there application fee as well and how much?

    • Hi Kurt,

      The general requirement in most cases is the school has to have Title IV designation. I see “Art Institutes International Minnesota” on the list. Is that your college?

      In any case, many lenders will ask you which university you attended at the beginning of the application. Typically all eligible institutions are listed there.

      There is no application fee for any of the partners we work with (which are listed on this page).

      I hope this helps. Let us know if you have other questions.

      Best,

      Jeffrey
      Student Loan Hero

  • Matt

    Do any of these work on private loans that were taken out to complete an associates degree?

    • Hi Matt,

      Yes, assuming you meet other eligibility requirements, you can apply with both LendKey and Earnest with an Associate’s degree.

      I hope this helps. Let me know if you have other questions.

      Best,

      Jeffrey
      Student Loan Hero

  • James Batchelor

    Hi! I have a very unique situation and I need some real advice ;-/ I’ve finished grad school (masters) and now I’ve got about $100,000 in student debt. I am an American citizen but I live and work in France, and every month I transfer money from my French to my American account to pay my debt.

    I’ve got too many banks, the interest rates are high, I have both private and federal loans, and the banks don’t give me a payoff date. I have an ok credit score in the USA (620), but because i don’t live in the States I have no property or cars. My yearly income is about $30k.

    I really want to refinance my loans and have 1 payment with 1 payoff date. But banks are reluctant to even consider me because of my situation. Would you have any advice at all by chance? No one’s ever been able to help me out ;-/

    • Hi James,

      Unfortunately, I do not think you’ll be able to refinance given your current income and credit score. Both are a bit on the low end based on our partners’ requirements.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help right now. But I’d definitely check back if your financial situation improves in the future.

      Best,

      Jeffrey
      Student Loan Hero

  • Matthew Conners

    Filled out 2 apps that could not be processed because they don’t do business in my state. Why don’t they ask that first before wasting time making me fill out the entire app? Another one was shot down because debt to income ratio too high. Will keep trying!

    • Hi Matthew,

      Sorry for the confusion regarding eligible states. We really wish that this information was more readily available before borrowers fill out the entire application.

      Please let us know if there’s anything else we can do to help!

      Best,

      Jeffrey
      Student Loan Hero

  • Katie M

    Hello,

    I have three student private loans. Each one has a separate co signer. I am eligible next month to release my co signers. Will releasing my co-signers have any effect if I am planning to consolidate these loans in the near future?

    • Hi Katie,

      I can’t think of any ways that this would impact your plans to consolidate these loans in the near future. Private lenders that are refinancing your current loans are typically just paying off these loans regardless of your cosigner status.

      Best,

      Jeffrey
      Student Loan Hero

  • Matt

    Hi does anyone know of any private relationship banks that will refi medical school debt? I know First Republic has a 3.75% 15 yr fixed program but you have to live in a big coastal city to qualify and I’m in Chicago. Thanks.

    • Hi Matt,

      Any of the lenders on this list should be able to refi medical school debt. But as you may be hinting at, the rates may be higher than 3.75% on a 15-year loan.

      I can’t say I know of any others that have an offer like that, but if I come across any I’ll be sure to let you know.

      Best,

      Jeffrey
      Student Loan Hero

  • Jake L

    Recently submitted loan apps to SoFi, CommonBond and DRB. Of those 3, CommonBond was clearly the best.

    Both SoFi and CommonBond got back to me with quick decisions, decent rates and overall treated me well. CommonBond has incredible customer service and personal touch. SoFi messed up details of my loans multiple times (likely due to a very buggy online application interface). It seems like SoFi is exploding in growth and having a tough time keeping up with the customer experience.

    Avoid DRB at all costs. I had heard rumor they could give the best rates, but it’s not worth the hassle. They require you to submit a ridiculous amount of application forms or ID, as well as really odd requests (a 45 day payoff period on my loans… really?). The application interface is incredibly limited and their customer service seems like an outsourced call center staffed by people who are obviously sick of dealing with angry customers. To top it off, I withdrew my application after not receiving a decision for a month and a half. I called once or twice a week to check, but it was always “in process” and there was nothing I could do. DRB is absolutely awful.

  • Hi Devon,

    Thanks for your question. Many private lenders will not adjust your monthly payments. That’s why we recommend borrowers look into student loan refinancing with one of the lenders on this page. Borrowers who refinance are often able to reduce their interest rates and thus reduce their monthly payments as well.

    If you’d like more information on refinancing, check out our Cheat Sheet by signing up at the bottom of this page: https://studentloanhero.com/start-here/

    I hope this helps. Let us know if you have other questions.

    Best,

    Jeffrey
    Student Loan Hero

  • Burc

    I had a great experience with Earnest. They were quick and very responsive throughout the process. It took a few weeks to finalize and sign. I highly recommend it.

  • Hi Phil,

    No, none of these have an affiliation with Nelnet that I’m aware of.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Hi Pat,

    The one option out of those listed here that doesn’t is Citizens Bank. You can apply with Citizens if you are no longer in school and if you have made 12 consecutive on-time payments.

    I’m not sure if your income will be enough to qualify. However, you can check with Citizens to find out.

    Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions.

    Best,

    Jeffrey
    Student Loan Hero

  • Justin

    DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME WITH DRB!! I wish I had read the posts below before applying, looks like I’m not the only one that feels this way. Definitely tempting because of their slightly lower rates, but all the hidden “guidelines” for minimum income and the way they calculate the Debt to Income ratio will leave most with denials (even with my 800+ credit score).

    After a LOT of digging, I found out that their DTI percentage is inflated and won’t reflect your actual debt or income, and the 40% they claim you have to be under isn’t accurate either. When asked specific questions about where the numbers came from or what DTI percentage is needed for approval since that was the only reason for denial, they were not able to produce any information.

    Hard inquiry on my credit report for no reason. DRB should be taken off of this list, they are far from being the best bank.

  • Hi Dylan,

    That’s a great question. Typically isn’t not possible to refinance these loans while you’re still attending school. However, I’d advise looking into it one you reach your final semester.

    Best of luck!

    Jeffrey

  • Hi Dustin,

    Based on the scenarios you provided, it would likely impact both as you typically pay less interest per month after refinancing.

    However, it’s highly likely the the interest savings you get from refinancing will outweigh tax breaks you get from the interest deduction on your taxes. I can’t really speak to the healthcare as I’m not sure how that will impact it.

    Hope this helps. If you have other questions, let me know.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Hi Ashley,

    That’s correct. If you refinance your student loans, they are no longer eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

    However, if you have private loans, which are not eligible for PSLF, you can choose to only refinance those if you’d like.

    Cheers,

    Jeffrey

  • Hi Pete,

    The best way to get ahold of us is here: https://studentloanhero.com/support

    We’ll respond to any questions you have there (which may come from me).

    Cheers,

    Jeffrey

  • Hi Rachael,

    That’s a great question. In this case, I recommend contacting one or several of the lenders directly. They each have phone numbers you can call.

    The easiest way to get ahold of them is to just click the links in this post and call the number on this site.

    I hope this helps. If you have other questions, let me know.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Hi stuckdad,

    Sorry to hear about this. Unfortunately, private lenders typically don’t have to and don’t want to help borrowers like your son.

    These lenders do offer cosigner release. However, they often attach several conditions to it. It sounds like in his case they will not release the cosigner since he’s struggling to pay.

    I’m not sure there’s a lot that can be done in this case, unfortunately. If he gets in a better financial situation and you’re willing to cosign, you may be able to refinance.

    But in the meantime, you probably just need to work with the lender directly or figure out a way to pay.

    Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. If you have other questions, let me know.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Hi Brien,

    Sorry to hear about your trouble. The best way to lower payments on private loans is through student loan refinancing. You can apply to do that with one of the lenders on this page.

    Otherwise, there unfortunately aren’t a lot of options when it comes to private loans.

    If you have other questions, let me know!

    Cheers,

    Jeffrey

  • Hey Garetto,

    Sorry you didn’t have a good experience with SoFi. While SoFi is one of our most popular lenders, they don’t always offer the best terms compared to other lenders.

    I am glad to hear that you shopped around and found a better deal. If there’s anything else we can do to help, let us know!

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Hi,

    Thanks for your question. None of our lenders will work with borrowers who are currently enrolled. You must first complete your degree (or be in your final semester of school) and then apply.

    Please check back once you’re about to graduate. We’ll be here 🙂 In the meantime, let us know if there’s anything else we can do.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Hi Chris,

    Typically no, refinancing does not impact your ability to get the student loan interest deduction. You will typically still be eligible.

    As far as student loan relief, I’m just not sure as nothing has passed yet. We hope so, but we’ll have to wait and see!

    If there’s anything else we can do, let us know!

    Cheers,

    Jeffrey

  • Hi Maddy,

    Sure! You can send us a message here: https://studentloanhero.com/support/

    Cheers,

    Jeffrey

  • Hi SN,

    Unfortunately, you likely cannot refinance without the borrower’s help. Your only option may be to pay off the student loan in some other way, be it another loan you’re able to obtain or with your own money. Unfortunately that’s why we often don’t recommend cosigning.

    Let us know if there’s anything else we can do to help.

    Cheers,

    Jeffrey

  • Cindy Holovacs

    I am presently looking at about 60,000 in parent plus loan and my son has about 30,000 in Stafford loans. Is it best to refinance all in my sons name. He currently has a good job and we are looking for the best option.

    • Hi Cindy,

      That’s a good question. I’m not sure if there’s any advantage in terms of the rates or terms you’d get if you refinance them all in his name. This might be worth testing by checking rates with each option through the lenders above. Several of them have tools that let you check the rate without a hard pull or applying.

      I hope this helps. If you have other questions, let me know.

      Best,

      Jeffrey

  • Melanie Graves

    Hi Jeffrey,

    My sister is leaving her job and going to be doing some other things through self-employment. I am trying to help her refinance her loans as she is currently paying $376 each month on interest alone! I am trying to find a way where she can have an income based payback but also have a lower APR. Is this possible? I refinanced my own loans with SoFi and LOVE LOVE LOVE them. However, they do not have an income based repayment plan. Do you know if any of these companies mentioned above do that type of repayment plan?

    • Hi Melanie,

      Thanks for reaching out. Unfortunately, none of the lenders we work with offer an income-based repayment option when you refinance. This is something unique to federal student loans currently. While it may be possible to get lower payments with a lower interest rate or by choosing a longer repayment term, there aren’t any plans based on income.

      However, one option could be to refinance some of her loans and leave the others alone. Each of the lenders above lets you pick and choose which to refinance.

      Hope this helps! If there’s anything else we can do, let me know.

      Best,

      Jeffrey

  • Hi Aymee,

    To my knowledge, the only bank that doesn’t refinance in Idaho that’s listed here is Earnest. Were you told by other lenders that they do not?

    Based on the information I’m looking at, Idaho residents should be eligible for DRB, SoFi, Citizens, LendKey, and Commonbond.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Hi Bryan,

    Great question. These two types of consolidation are completely different. To read about the differences and find which is right for you, check this out: https://studentloanhero.com/featured/consolidation-vs-refinancing-student-loans-which-is-right-for-you/

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Hi Rickie,

    Yes, you have options. You can apply to refinance your loans with any of the lending partners on this page. If you’re approved, they’ll simply pay off your loans with Navient and you’ll repay the new lender.

    Hope this helps. If you have other questions, let me know.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Hi Rick,

    That sounds like a frustrating situation. Unfortunately, none of the lenders we’ve partnered with will refinance a loan that’s currently in default or collections.

    Citizens, Earnest, and CommonBond will consider refinancing loans that were in default in the past and have now been rehabilitated.

    If there’s anything else I can do, let me know.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Hi Rickie,

    We recommend all of the banks here, and typically recommend borrowers apply with a few different banks to find the best rates.

    Federal student loans are discharged if the borrower dies. However, this is not always the case with private lenders. You can read more about death discharge here: https://studentloanhero.com/featured/what-happens-to-student-loans-when-you-die/

    DRB, SoFi, Earnest, and Citizens offer some form of death discharge. Some of the details vary from lender to lender, so be sure to read the fine print.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Hi Valfreya,

    Thanks for your question. Unfortunately, I do not know of a lender who will do this as part of their normal process. I’ve heard that some borrowers may have had luck getting lenders to approve on a case-by-case basis, but that would require reaching out to the lender directly to find out.

    And you’re right in terms of the personal loan. It’s likely tough to get a low enough interest rate to make it worth it, and some lenders do not allow borrowers to use a personal loan to pay off student loans.

    Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. If there’s anything else I can, let me know.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Hi Avinash,

    Yes, it may help more if your husband is willing to cosign the loan with you. Some lenders will allow you to add a cosigner, which can strengthen your application in some cases.

    If there’s any other way I can help, let me know.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Hi Jessica,

    If you’re no longer taking classes and have made 12 consecutive on-time student loan payments, you can apply with Citizens Bank (see above).

    This is the only option for lenders we work with right now.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Hi,

    Yes, some of our lenders should accept applications from Wyotech as it is listed as a Title IV school. Have you had trouble finding one that does list Wyotech?

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Hi Kristina,

    Are you sure this was the case? CommonBond does a soft credit pull (i.e., one that does not affect your credit) first to estimate your rate.. Typically borrowers who are not eligible will not have a hard credit pull done.

    From CommonBond’s FAQ section:

    “We perform what’s known as a “soft credit pull” to estimate your rate, and this will not affect your credit score. In order to provide you with your actual rate, we must perform a “hard” credit inquiry, which will show up on your credit report and may have an impact on your credit score. This allows us to review your credit profile and determine your actual rate.”

    https://commonbond.co/faqs/refinance

    Best,

    Jeffrey

    • Courtney Strause Yoe

      Jeffrey, the same thing just happened to me. They said they have a minimum income of $60,000.00/year

  • Jesse

    Good evening,

    My wife has about $20,000 left in student loan debt with an 8.4% interest rate. She’s a stay-at-home mom now so she’s not employed (though she works harder than I do). Does anyone have a recommendation for a refinance company that looks at household income (or co-signer income) instead of personal income? I’d like to try and cut the interest rate down for the remainder of the loan. Thank you!

    • T

      Hi, I am a stay-at-home mother who just refinanced loans that I took out both as a parent (private parent loan) AND in my daughter’s name (trying to keep interest rate down while she was in school because we have 3 in school at the same time). CommonBond did the refinance. I put my income in as $0. They then asked for a cosigner. My husband is the cosigner. This way the debt is still in my name and we have a lower rate. It may not be as low as if I had an income, but it is still lower than what we were paying.

  • Hi Chris,

    Great questions! We generally recommend getting rates from a few different lenders to help you decide.

    Citizens Bank is actually the only lender on this page that doesn’t currently offer a quick rate check with a soft credit pull (no impact on credit). So you can do this check without a hard hit at other lenders and compare.

    That’s where I’d start!

    If there’s anything else we can do, let us know!

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Karen

    My ex and me were together for Two years and 4 months, we were very happy to be husband and wife, last month we went to california and stayed with his family, after we got back he started acting distant, then he started hanging out with a girl, and kept sneaking off to go hangout with her, so i got upset, i could not endure, i tried to do everything to please him but it got worst, one day he left the house and never came back, i tried reaching him but no way i could reach him, because of the heart break he has put me into, i went into search of a real spell caster but I was scammed several times, but I never relented in my search because I want a happy life with my boyfriend, when i saw testimony about spell caster Mr Robinson buckler on the internet, so i contacted him and to my greatest surprise robinson.buckler@yahoo.com restored my relationship, my boyfriend came back to me, i took him back and I am now settled with my him by the magic power of Mr Robinson buckler spell

  • Hi Matthew,

    Thanks for your question. Unfortunately, private lenders rarely do much to help borrowers in your situation.

    Just so I’m clear, you completed an Associate’s degree? If so, there are only two refinancing lenders who may work with you: Earnest and Lendkey. However, I’m not sure if they accept applicants from your school.

    It’s likely best to check with them directly. You can find them both here: https://studentloanhero.com/marketplace/refinancing

    if there’s anything else I can do to help, let me know.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Hi MK,

    Don’t lose hope! I agree that that’s definitely a tough situation to be in. While there might not be a ton you can do right now, you can re-apply for refinancing in the future if/when you have stable employment.

    While we don’t know what changes are ahead, it’s possible the federal government will offer more assistance to borrowers as well.

    Worst case, your student loans go into default. While this is something you want to avoid, it’s not the end of the world if it happens. Many borrowers are in default now, so you certainly wouldn’t be alone.

    I’m sorry there’s not much more you can do right now, but please hang in there!

    If there’s anything else I can do, let me know.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

    • HankHill/Back the Badge

      I was in a similar situation just 3 years ago but I am down to 45k and refinanced with Citizens bank. My interest rate is 4.15% down from a variable 5.5% and 6.99% with AES who kept increasing my rate every month. I tried Sofi a year ago and they were terrible to deal with. Citizens was a much smoother transaction and I wrapped up my refi loan in 5 business days all electronic. Never lose hope. I started off with $134k three years ago and I will be done with my loans in less than 5 yrs. My salary is only $54 btw.

  • mike

    I am with Navient right now and been with them since they took over loans from sallie mae…..I went to big state college for 4 years but never graduated…left school in 2000 and then went back to a tech college 3 years later to get an AA degree….but have $33k in student loans form the years I went to state college….now been stuck on a payment plan past 8 yrs or so where APR has been at 6.25%….does anyone have advice as to what other companies would be better in refinancing at smaller APR in reference to an not finishing the degree….or if that matters when it comes to refinanacing?? I’ve been in law enforcement for past 12 years….so its not like my employment would be a question….

  • Hannah

    I just applied for 3 of the above lenders and they all denied me because my credit was too low.. does anyone know the minimum they require? I’m at a 650 right now
    .

  • Imelda

    Does anyone have experience with college Ave ? Is it trustworthy?

  • Adam Jones

    hello, I only have about $4,500 in private loans that I want to refinance due to high interest rates. can someone tell me which banks will refi for me on this amount. I have had a few tell me it has to be over 5K to process loan?

  • Hi Jose,

    Sorry to hear you’ve been unsuccessful. Unfortunately, the lenders do have some fairly stringent requirement in terms of who they allow to refinance. We hope that more borrowers will be eligible to refinance in the future.

    In the meantime, I’d recommend trying to improve your credit score to increase your chances of approval. You can find some tips here: https://studentloanhero.com/featured/easy-ways-improve-your-credit-score-that-you-can-start-today/

    If there’s anything else I can do, let me know.

    Best,

    Jeffrey

  • Melissa Servedio

    Have about $42,000 left in private loans via NJCLASS loans through HESAA – Credit score at 750 – not a large salary – probably need a co-signer. but who would be my best option to go with to consolidate?

    • Hi Melissa,

      Thanks for your question. We always recommend checking out multiple lenders and seeing where you can find the best rates. Currently, all our lenders on this page (with the exception of Citizens) allow for a quick rate check with just a soft credit pull. So you should be able to compare multiple lenders pretty quickly without filling out full applications for each.

      Hope this helps! If you have other questions, let us know!

      Best,

      Jeffrey

  • Greg

    When consolidating loans, does the minimum amount apply to each individual loan, or the total of all loans to be consolidated?

    • Hi Greg,

      Great question! It’s the total of all the loans you wish to consolidate.

      Cheers,

      Jeffrey

  • Tulsi

    Common Bond’s web application system was awesome! Got a better rate and term from Common Bond than SoFi. Thankful to all of your that in reading your posts they prevented me from making a wrong decision. I also think Navient is as a bad as a loan shark, and/or sub prime lender. They rip students off using capitalized interest that no creditable bank lender is allowed to use anymore. Make sure that your student loan lender uses the simple interest calculation method. It works like this, a portion of your monthly payment that you make each month goes to accrued interest and the remainder to principle,which lowers our principle balance. Also, with simple interest loans if you make a payment each pay day, the principle balance reduces by that payment, less any daily calculated interest since your last monthly regular payment, thus interest is charged on the declining principle balance. Let’s all refinance our loans away from Navient, the loan sharks! Sadly, until we all get out and vote the do nothing republican senate and house members out of their 20 plus years $175,000 annual salaries that block any legislation to reform the student loan industry. Best to all!

  • Hi Trish,

    That’s a great question. To be honest, I’m not 100% sure if lenders would allow you to refinance that particular loan, and it may vary from lender to lender. I’d recommend reaching out to lenders individually with that question to find out.

    If there’s anything else I can help with, let me know. Best of luck!

    Jeffrey

  • gottwins2@yahoo.com

    any lender refinance private loans if no degree was earned and no longer in school?

    • Hi,

      If you’re no longer taking classes and have made 12 consecutive on-time student loan payments, you can apply with Citizens Bank (see above).

      This is the only option for lenders we work with right now.

      Best,

      Jeffrey

“I started Student Loan Hero in 2012 because you shouldn't need a finance degree to understand your student loans. Since then, we've been lucky enough to help over 80,000 people better understand and eliminate over $1.7 billion dollars of student loan debt!“

andy_sig@2xAndy Josuweit · Co-Founder & CEO Student Loan Hero Conquered $107,000 in Student Loans