Refinancing with Earnest
Refinancing rates from 2.43% APR. Checking your rates won’t affect your credit score.
Homeowners spend more than $4,000 on average to refinance a mortgage. That number increases and decreases, depending on many factors.
The average cost for borrowers to refinance student loans, on the other hand, doesn’t change. That’s because it’s $0.
Is there a fee to refinance student loans?
Unlike the high cost of refinancing a home loan, there’s no price to pay for refinancing your student loans — zilch, nada, no siree. That’s true whether you’re motivated to refinance to reduce your interest rates or if you’re more focused on adjusting your monthly payments.
Rather than costing you money, refinancing could save you if you get a lower interest rate. Switching from a 7.00% rate to a 4.00% rate on $30,000 worth of loans, for example, could spare you $5,351 worth of interest.
On the flip side, employing refinancing to lengthen your repayment term — say, from 10 years to 15 or 20 years — would lower your monthly payment, but it would also increase the overall cost of your debt, as interest would have more time to accrue and capitalize.
Still, the act of refinancing itself is free and clear.
That also means there’s no charge to prequalify and apply for refinancing with most reputable banks, credit unions and online companies. There’s also no amount due for receiving your loan from most top-rated lenders — in fact, you should be suspicious of any that impose a federal loan-like origination fee.
Why student loan refinancing is free
Student loan refinancing companies don’t just offer their product for free — some also offer perks and benefits, such as unemployment protection. That’s because they’re competing with each other to recruit creditworthy borrowers who are good bets to repay their debt on time.
When you zero your debt, the bank is made whole and can lend the money elsewhere. It’s a win-win situation. It’s also how lenders make money.
Costs you might get hit with after refinancing
While you shouldn’t have to shell out to refinance your student loans, there are different ways for lenders to add to their bottom line. Student loan fees to be wary of include:
- Prepayment penalty for zeroing your balance before the end of your loan term
- Late payment fees for submitting your dues past the deadline
- Collections fees for defaulted loans
When shopping around for a lender, ask each one about its fee schedule. This way, you can ensure it won’t nickel-and-dime you down the road.
Refinancing might not cost you money, but it should take time
By now, you might feel like every student loan service and product comes with a catch or at least some section of fine print written in indecipherable legalese. But while there are pros and cons of student loan refinancing, paying to get your loan isn’t one of them, so don’t get tricked into doing so.
On the other hand, just because refinancing is free doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the right move for your own situation.
If you’re looking to lower your interest rate or monthly payment, transition to a lender with better customer service or consolidate your federal and private loans into a single debt with a single monthly payment, then refinancing could be a great choice.
But refinancing could be a mistake if you think you’ll need the safeguards attached to your federal loans. By trading your federal loans for a private refinancing loan, you will lose access to income-driven repayment, most of your loan forgiveness options and other government-exclusive benefits.
Take the time you need to determine whether refinancing might be right for your repayment. If it is, the only cost could be failing to investigate it further. Start by asking yourself the right questions before deciding whether to apply.
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 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 7.82% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.43% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.21% 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
2 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.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
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 2.45% effective May 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.43% – 7.21%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.43% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.43% – 6.59%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.44% – 6.87%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.46% – 7.08%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.93% – 9.67%6||Undergrad & Graduate|