Refinancing with Earnest
Refinancing rates from 2.49% APR. Checking your rates won’t affect your credit score.
You could save thousands of dollars over the life of your loan by refinancing your student loans. A lower interest rate and different loan term can make repayment easier. But you shouldn’t apply with just any lender.
Researching lenders and digging into the fine print can take some legwork. But doing your due diligence could spare you the headache of working with a lender that offers subpar service.
Keep these four key questions in mind when you’re ready to compare student loan refinancing lenders.
1. How are they ranked by independent rating organizations?
You’ve probably heard of the Better Business Bureau, but you may not know that it can help you review a lender and avoid getting scammed.
On the BBB website, type the name of any student loan refinancing company in the search bar, and you’ll find a letter grade for the company. Laurel Road, for example, is a Connecticut-based institution that offers student loan refinancing and has an A- on the BBB website.
The BBB bases its rating on information from the company’s existing customer reviews as well as original research. The letter grade also reflects factors such as transparency and time in business.
2. What do current borrowers have to say?
Yelp isn’t just for picking a Chinese restaurant for dinner. Refinancing companies such as SoFi are rated on the review site. But Yelp shouldn’t be your only source for reviews.
The motherlode of student loan complaints, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has an interactive tool that allows you to see complaints a lender is receiving and how they are responding.
The data can help you uncover common problems customers are having, or simply give you an idea of the company’s customer service.
You can also search review sites like TrustPilot.com. There, you can uncover real success (or horror) stories from customers and see a rating. SoFi, for example, has 703 reviews and a 9.6-out-of-10 rating on the site. That can tell you a lot about the lender.
You can also search for reviews on the best banks for refinancing your loans.
3. Is the lender allowed to offer loans in my state?
Consult your state’s department of finance to ensure a lender is legally allowed to lend to you and in good standing.
You may be able to find out which states a lender is allowed to offer loans by checking its website. CommonBond, for example, lists 44 eligible states on its FAQ page.
You can also find contact information for your state on the Conference of State Bank Supervisors’ website. That will allow you to get in touch with someone who can tell you whether a lender is certified and in good standing.
4. What does the lender have to say?
When you’ve exhausted online sources, give the lender a call or check their website. You may learn some interesting details.
For example, CommonBond won a 2017 People’s Choice Stevie Award for Favorite Customer Service. It’s an interesting fact, but one that might not be advertised online.
You can also ask the lender if they have a Network Promoter Score. The NPS is based on the question, “How likely is it that you would recommend [company] to a friend or colleague?” The score will be somewhere between -100 and 100 and is a good indicator of how happy customers are with the business.
But if you’re dialing the lender, you may not even need to speak with a customer service rep to determine whether you want to work with them. If you’re trapped in a maze of automated menus, imagine trying to reach someone when you have a question about your loan.
Choosing a student loan refinancing company
The four questions above are valuable because they go beyond what lenders typically share with prospective customers. Yes, average savings, APRs, and loan terms are important factors to consider when you’re refinancing student loans, but so is customer service.
With that in mind, don’t rely solely on any one factor when making your decision. Every piece of information you gather helps you determine whether a lender is a fit for you and whether any red flags need to be further researched.
Don’t feel bad about putting lenders’ customer service reps through the ringer. After all, if their company is going to vet you, there’s no reason you can’t vet them.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2019!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.50% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.49% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.27% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 17, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/17/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
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.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.48% effective April 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.49% – 7.27%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.49% – 6.65%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.49% – 7.41%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.49% – 7.11%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.98% – 9.72%6||Undergrad & Graduate|