Refinancing with Earnest
Refinancing rates from 2.46% APR. Checking your rates won’t affect your credit score.
When you take out federal student loans, you don’t get to choose the servicer.
However, the federal student loan servicer that’s assigned to you by the Department of Education can have a huge impact on how you manage your student debt. If you run into a lot of issues with your servicer, it can be a big problem.
In fact, poor student loan servicers can be a source of significant stress for borrowers, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
A 2017 CFPB report analyzed more than 44,000 student loan complaint calls from September 2015 to April 2017. The study found that 64 percent of the calls were about “problems consumers experience when dealing with their student loan servicer.” This includes poor customer service, problems processing payments, and unnecessary obstacles to enrolling in alternative repayment plans.
But you don’t have to stay with a bad federal student loan servicer. You have other options that can help you find a servicer that’s right for you – and refinancing your student loans is one way to do it.
Find a student loan servicer that meets your needs
Student Loan Hero CEO, Andrew Josuweit, has been there. After dealing with several student loan issues, including an accidental default, he was more than disappointed with his experience:
To be honest, I was just pissed off and sick of being with my student loan servicer. I wanted a good customer experience. When I’d talked with my servicers, they didn’t listen to my personal situation.
Refinancing student loans is one way to get rid of a federal student loan servicer you hate, without having to repay your debt in full. For Josuweit, he refinanced some of his student loans and selected a servicer that was a better fit for his needs.
Student loan refinancing can have other perks, too. You might get a lower interest rate or lower payments in the process. Follow these steps to refinance your student loans and find a servicer you’re happy with.
1. Figure out what you want in a servicer
You probably have a good idea of what you don’t want after dealing with poor student loan servicers. Use that as a starting point to identify which student loan servicer features are important to you.
Depending on your needs, you might be looking to gain any of the following through student loan refinancing:
- Excellent customer service
- Fair and transparent repayment policies
- Unemployment protection, deferment, or forbearance options
- Option to refinance with a cosigner
- Flexible underwriting and credit requirements
- Loan term options that match your repayment goals
- Lowering your student loan interest rate
Make sure you put together a wish list of features you want in a servicer before you start shopping for the best options.
2. Vet student loan refinancing companies
Now that you have an idea of what you want, you can research student loan refinancing companies that potentially meet your needs.
You can start by using the Student Loan Hero refinancing marketplace to find trustworthy companies and get a preview of their terms. Visit their sites and read up on their student loan features.
Many refinancing companies provide plenty of information on their sites clarifying their student loan refinance rates and terms. They may mention other features they offer, such as repayment assistance or refinancing with a cosigner.
It can also be a good idea to contact the ones you’re interested in. You can get direct answers to your refinancing questions while also taking their customer experience for a test drive.
Take note of the customer service representative responsiveness, how long you’re put on hold, and other indicators of good (or poor) customer service.
Lastly, make sure you read in-depth reviews of the refinancing companies you’re considering. Reviews can give you an excellent idea of what kind of service you can expect.
You can also check out customer reviews to see what types of experiences other people have had. These can often alert you to potential red flags.
3. Select the best refinancing terms
Refinancing gives you the control to find a student loan servicer that works with your current financial situation. In addition to choosing a new servicer, you can choose new student loan terms that fit your needs, including your interest rate and length of repayment.
Once you choose a servicer or narrow it down to a few top picks, you can get interest rate quotes. A student loan servicer will often perform a soft credit check to generate a rate quote without affecting your credit. You can use this process to get a few quotes and see which one has the best deal for you.
After you make your final selection, you can officially apply. This involves submitting paperwork and other personal details, as well as a hard credit inquiry.
Then, when you’re approved for refinancing, your new servicer will repay your old student loan(s) and issue you a new one through them, ridding you of your old federal student loan servicer for good.
Look before you leap
Refinancing student loans can be one way to get rid of a federal student loan servicer you hate, but don’t be in such a hurry to get rid of your servicer that you rush into refinancing student loans.
You should be aware of the potential drawbacks of refinancing federal student loans, including losing access to government-backed deferment, forbearance, and repayment plans.
Though it probably shouldn’t be your only reason for doing so, refinancing can be worth it to get a better student loan servicer. No more never-ending student loan headaches. No more dead-end phone conversations with a federal student loan servicer that’s unhelpful and unresponsive; just a student loan that works for you.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
|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 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.97% 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 Month/Day/Year, 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 08/21/18. 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 ourstudent 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
APR stands for “Annual Percentage Rate.” Rates listed include a 0.25% EFT discount, for automatic payments made from a checking or savings account. Interest rates as of 11/8/2018. Rates subject to change.
Variable rate options consist of a range from 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term, 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term, 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term, 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term, or 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rate will change on the first day of every month (“Change Date”) if the Current Index changes. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes. The variable interest rates are calculated by adding a margin ranging from 0.98% to 3.80% for the 5-year term loan, 2.35% to 3.85% for the 7-year term loan, 2.40% to 3.90% for the 10-year term loan, 2.65% to 4.15% for the 15-year term loan, and 2.90% to 4.40% for the 20-year term loan, respectively, to the 1-month LIBOR index published on the 25th day of each month immediately preceding each “Change Date,” as defined above, rounded to two decimal places, with no origination fees. If the 25th day of the month is not a business day or is a US federal holiday, the reference date will be the most recent date preceding the 25th day of the month that is a business day. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term would be from $180.89 to $193.75. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term would be from $139.65 to $146.76. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term would be from $104.56 to $111.98. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term would be from $78.77 to $86.78. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term would be from $67.05 to $75.68.
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.
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 2.28% effective October 10, 2018.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.47% – 6.99%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.46% – 6.97%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.57% – 8.44%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.02% – 6.44%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 7.24%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.79% – 8.39%6||Undergrad & Graduate|