Connecticut Student Loans: Debt Stats, Repayment Programs and Refinancing Loans

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Refinance rates with Laurel Road start at 1.89%.

Checking your rates won’t affect your score.

Check out Laurel Road

In Connecticut, the average federal and private student loan balance for borrowers is $32,767 — 11% lower than the national average of $36,689. However, student loans can be a substantial burden, taking up a significant portion of graduates’ take-home pay.

The state has a few scholarships, grants and state-run loan programs to help make college more affordable. While the state doesn’t have its own student loan repayment assistance program, you may be eligible for a federal loan forgiveness program instead.

Here’s what you need to know to manage your Connecticut student loans.

Connecticut student loans: Borrowers owe average of $32,767 in federal, private debt — and more facts

For those looking to minimize their education costs by attending a public school, 17 colleges and universities make up the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities organization. This network comprises four state universities, 12 community colleges and Charter Oak State College — a public, online degree-granting institution.

However, Connecticut is also home to many prestigious private schools, including Yale University.

To make college more attainable for Connecticut residents, the state operates the following scholarship and grant programs:

  • Minority Teacher Incentive Grant: College students who are part of minority groups and are interested in teaching may qualify for this grant. If eligible, recipients can get up to $5,000 a year for their final two years of school if enrolled in an approved Connecticut teacher preparation program. Eligible students can also receive $2,500 yearly stipends for up to four years of teaching in a Connecticut public elementary or secondary school.
  • Roberta B. Willis Merit-Based Scholarship: Connecticut residents can receive up to $5,250 a year if they attend an eligible four-year institution. To qualify, students must be high school seniors or graduate with a junior year class rank of 20% or better or have an SAT score of 1200 or higher or an ACT score of 25 or higher.
  • Roberta B. Willis Need-Based Grant: Low-income students who plan on attending a Connecticut public school or nonprofit private university can receive up to $4,500 a year in a four-year or two-year program.
  • TEACH Connecticut Scholarship: To encourage more Connecticut residents to become teachers, the state offers the TEACH Connecticut Scholarship. Eligible students enrolling in partner educator preparation programs can receive $1,000 to cover a portion of their tuition.

Student loan debt by ZIP code in Connecticut’s largest counties, from Fairfield to New Haven

Loan repayment programs for Connecticut residents

While some states have robust student loan repayment assistance programs, Connecticut doesn’t operate any assistance programs of its own. However, borrowers may qualify for full or partial loan forgiveness through the following federal programs.

Income-driven repayment (IDR)

Federal loan borrowers can apply for one of the four IDR plans offered by the government. If approved, your monthly payments will be recalculated based on your discretionary income and family size, and will extend your repayment term to either 20 or 25 years.

If you have a balance after your repayment term ends, the government will discharge the remaining amount. However, you might have to pay income taxes on the amount forgiven.

You can apply for an IDR plan online.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

If you have federal direct loans and are employed by a nonprofit organization or government agency, you may qualify for PSLF.

PSLF is a federal loan forgiveness program that discharges your remaining balance after you make 120 monthly payments while working for an eligible employer for at least 10 years.

If you qualify for PSLF, your remaining loan balance is forgiven. Unlike IDR forgiveness, the amount discharged is not taxable as income.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness

If you have federal direct subsidized or unsubsidized loans and are a teacher, you may qualify for Teacher Loan Forgiveness. Under this program, eligible teachers can receive up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness in exchange for working at least five full and consecutive academic years in a low-income school or educational service agency.

Connecticut federal student loan borrowers younger than 25 owe more than national average — and more comparisons

How to refinance Connecticut student loans

In Connecticut, 7.2% of borrowers owe $100,000 or more in student loans. If you’re part of that group, student loan refinancing can be an effective way to reduce your interest charges and accelerate your debt repayment.

To refinance your student loans, you apply for a private lender loan to cover your existing debt. Because it’s an entirely new loan, you’ll get a different interest rate, repayment term and monthly payment. Borrowers with good credit may qualify for a lower interest rate, or opt for a longer loan term to get a smaller monthly payment.

One lender specializing in student loan refinancing for Connecticut residents is the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority (CHESLA). Through CHESLA, borrowers can refinance $5,000 to $125,000 in student loan debt. CHESLA’s refinancing loans have fixed interest rates, and borrowers can choose a repayment term of five, 10 or 15 years.

You can refinance both federal and private student loans. However, think twice before refinancing your federal debt. When you refinance, you’ll lose your current federal loan benefits, such as access to alternative payment plans and forbearance. Some refinancing lenders have financial hardship repayment options, but they’re usually less generous than federal programs.

Sources

  • U.S. Department of Education data as of June 30, 2020
  • Anonymized My LendingTree June 2020 credit reports
  • Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax as of June 2020
  • mappingstudentdebt.org

Because the latter data is from 2015, researchers estimated the increase in student loan debt per borrower in the state using statewide data from anonymized credit reports.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 6 lenders of 2021!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
1.89% – 5.99%1Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Splash

1.99% – 5.64%2Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Earnest

1.99% – 6.84%3Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit CommonBond

1.91% – 5.25%4Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Lendkey

2.25% – 6.53%5Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit SoFi

2.17% – 4.47%6Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit PenFed

Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.

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 Feburary 1, 2021.


2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

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

Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.49% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.34% 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 October 26, 2020, 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 10/26/2020. 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 protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.

© 2020 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 CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. 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 0.15% effective Jan 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation.


4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.

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 02/17/2021 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.91% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.95% APR – 7.63% Fixed APR with AutoPay.


5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: 1. Fixed rates from 2.99% APR to 6.99% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.25% APR to 6.53% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.25% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 0.12% plus 2.38% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. See eligibility details. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the interest savings are applied to the principal loan balance, which may help pay the loan down faster. Enrolling in autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score.Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

6 Important Disclosures for PenFed.

PenFed Disclosures

Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 2.99%-5.15% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.17%-4.47% APR. Both Fixed and Variable Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. For Variable Rate student loans, the rate will never exceed 9.00% for 5 year and 8 year loans and 10.00% for 12 and 15 years loans (the maximum allowable for this loan). Minimum variable rate will be 2.00%. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.