Refinancing with Laurel Road
Refinancing rates from 1.89% APR. Checking your rates won’t affect your credit score.
Once you’ve graduated and found your first job, you may still have to deal with student loans from your engineering degree.
The average Class of 2018 graduate has $29,800 in student loans, according to an analysis by Student Loan Hero. That can feel overwhelming to people in any field, including engineers.
To help relieve the burden, consider programs that provide student loan forgiveness for engineers, as well as repayment strategies that can save you money over time. Here’s how:
- Look into student loan forgiveness for engineers
- Refinance student loans
- Make biweekly payments
- Set a target payoff date
- Make the most of your income with a spending plan
- Pay off engineering student loans so you can grow your money
You may be able to get your federal student loan debt wiped out completely after a certain period of time if you work as an engineer for a government agency or a qualifying nonprofit organization. The Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program forgives the balance on federal direct loans after the borrower makes 120 qualifying payments. That means it takes at least 10 years, and you must be on an income-driven repayment plan during that time.
There are also other federal and state programs that offer repayment assistance or forgiveness for engineers. If you work in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) field in Maine, for instance, you may be able to get up to half of your student loan balance paid off through the Alfond Leaders student debt reduction program if you qualify. Other states may also offer similar programs, so look into what’s available in your area.
Finally, you may qualify for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program if you opt to teach at a school that serves low-income students, instead of working as a full-time engineer.
Even if you can’t get your debt forgiven, you can use repayment strategies that will reduce your loan balance faster than by only making the minimum payment.
First, you might want to consider lowering your interest rate. Refinancing your student loans may help you secure a lower interest rate, reduce your monthly payments or both. Saving on interest means you’ll have more money to put toward your loans to get rid of them faster.
If you use a private loan to refinance your federal loans, though, you will lose access to certain benefits, such as student loan forgiveness for engineers and income-driven repayment plans. Weigh out the pros and cons to determine if it’s the right move for you.
After you’ve secured the best interest rate — or even if you chose not to refinance — start making payments on your loans biweekly instead of monthly. Biweekly or half-payments will lead to the equivalent of one full extra payment per year, helping you make a bigger dent in your student loans.
Here’s how you pay every two weeks:
- Split your monthly payment in half.
- Make a half-payment every other week.
- Ensure that your both of your payments are made before your next due date.
- Read your statement online to make sure your servicer is applying them correctly.
Biweekly payments are even easier if your employer pays you every other week — just set up an automatic payment for your student loans every pay day.
It’s crucial to make sure any extra payments you make are applied toward the principal. Some student loan servicers may apply your extra payment toward a future bill, rather than allocating it to the current principal balance. Check your account online or call your servicer to make sure your payments are applied correctly.
Once you’ve optimized your payments to make sure as much of your money is going to the principal as possible, the next step is to set a target payoff date. Setting an earlier payoff date than the current term of the student loans for your engineering degree will help you save money on interest, and free you from debt sooner.
There are a few ways to choose a target payoff date:
- Pick a date based on the maximum amount you can afford to pay each month.
- Decide on a payoff date based on the maximum amount of years you’re comfortable with being in student loan debt.
- Think about another goal you want to reach and pick your date based on when you want to reach that goal.
Once you’ve picked a target payoff date, calculate how much you’ll need to pay per month to hit it using our Student Loan Payment Calculator. You can also use our Student Loan Prepayment Calculator to see how much you’d save in interest, and how much time you’d shave off your repayment term, by paying extra every month. Note – These calculators are estimates.
Setting up a budget or spending plan can help keep you on track toward a debt-free life, no matter the size of your salary.
There are a variety of ways to make a budget. Try a few and see which one works best for you. By setting intentions for your spending, you may realize you can afford to pay even more money toward student loans than you originally planned.
Allocate money for fun, too, to ensure you’re not creating a budget that’s too restrictive. Sticking to your spending plan can help you enjoy your money in the short term without falling behind on your long-term goals.
Paying off student loans for your engineering degree sooner not only reduces the amount of stress in your life — it can also free up money for other goals, like investing. Plus, you may save thousands of dollars in interest.
Look into student loan forgiveness for engineers. If you’re not eligible, consider other repayment strategies that can help you bring the balance down to zero. That can help ensure you can put your engineering salary to good use.
Joni Sweet contributed to this report.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2020!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.99% – 5.64%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 5.90%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.25% – 6.09%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 6.77%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.39% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
|1.99% – 5.41%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews! |
1 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 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.79% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.64% 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 July 31, 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 7/31/2020. 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.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.
Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.
Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.
Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.
Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of September 9, 2020. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 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 September 10, 2020.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
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 0.16% effective August 10, 2020.