Fixed vs. Variable Rate: How to Make the Right Choice for Your Student Loans

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the financial institution.

variable interest rate
Logo

We’ve got your back! Student Loan Hero is a completely free website 100% focused on helping student loan borrowers get the answers they need. Read more

How do we make money? It’s actually pretty simple. If you choose to check out and become a customer of any of the loan providers featured on our site, we get compensated for sending you their way. This helps pay for our amazing staff of writers (many of which are paying back student loans of their own!).

Bottom line: We’re here for you. So please learn all you can, email us with any questions, and feel free to visit or not visit any of the loan providers on our site. Read less

When it comes to student loans and student loan refinancing, interest rates are a huge factor. Your interest rates can affect how much money you end up paying back over time, and high rates can make it difficult to keep pace in repayment.

So, you might have a very important choice to make between a fixed or variable rate. Which one you pick could have significant consequences, and there are different factors to consider, depending on whether you are getting new student loans to pay for college or are looking to refinance your current debt.

A fixed interest rate means never changes for the life of your loan. Having fixed-rate loans can help you predict how much you’ll pay in interest and can keep your interest payments at manageable levels. A variable interest rate, meanwhile, can rise and fall with market conditions.

So, how do you choose between a fixed or variable rate for your student loans? We’re here to break it down for you. Click on one of the links below, or scroll down to get the lay of the land for both situations:

New student loans to pay for college

College is a big expense, and many students can’t afford an education on their own. Student loans can help put that higher education within reach, but how long they take to repay — and how much that repayment adds up to — can depend in large part on the interest rate.

The type of rate you receive (fixed interest rate or variable interest rate) is, in turn, connected to whether you have federal or private loans. Let’s take a look at both:

Federal student loan = Fixed-rate loan

If you get a federal Direct loan, you won’t have the choice of a fixed or variable rate. Your interest rate will be fixed for the life of the loan. Congress sets interest rates on federal loans each year. For the 2017-2018 school year, the fixed rate on undergraduate Direct loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) is 4.45%. The rate for graduate or professional Direct unsubsidized loans is 6.00%. Direct PLUS loans have an interest rate of 7.00%.

However, that doesn’t mean all your debt has the same interest rate. Each year you attend school means a new student loan and a new interest rate. By the time you finish school, you might have several different loans — each a different fixed-rate student loan.

If you decide to consolidate your federal loans after you graduate, your interest rate will be an average of your loan rates, and it too will remain fixed during your repayment term.

What about private student loans?

These are a different story. You can choose a variable interest rate instead of a fixed interest rate, if you think it will work better for your situation.

Interest rates for student loans have been at historic lows in recent years, allowing borrowers to enjoy relatively cheap debt (with the lowest rates reserved for those with excellent credit scores). For example, private student loan candidates with good credit could potentially score a variable interest rate below 4.00%.

However, interest rates can rise. When this happens, a low-interest loan could jump to a higher rate and affect your monthly payments.

The London Interbank Offered Rate (better know as LIBOR) is a key market benchmark for everything from mortgages to credit cards to, yes, student loans. LIBOR fell in the wake of the Great Recession in 2008, and only began to rise by the end of 2015. Recently, global interest rates have been on the rise, with LIBOR doubling between mid-2016 and mid-2017, according to historical data from Macrotrends.

Committing to a variable rate means committing to the market’s ebbs and flows.

Federal or private student loans: Which is right for you?

If you can qualify for a low variable interest rate, it can be tempting to take the private student loan rather than go with the federal loan. However, one of the issues you run into is when that interest starts accruing.

When you only qualify for unsubsidized federal student loans, your interest starts piling up immediately — just like with private student loans. With subsidized federal loans, however, the government pays your interest while you’re in school; you can save thousands of dollars just in interest.

Let’s say you borrow $12,000 for school expenses. With a subsidized loan, you don’t have to worry about interest charges over your time in school. However, with a private student loan, the interest is accruing during that four years.

Using our student loan payment calculator, you can see that you would pay right around $1,000 in interest over that four years if you have a 3.98% APR. Of course, that assumes your variable interest rate hasn’t risen, adding to your charges.

Another consideration is that some private lenders require you to start repaying your loans immediately. So even though you are in school, you might have to find a way to make your payments. When you have federal loans, you don’t have to start repaying them until you actually graduate. (Parent PLUS loans are a different story, though.) You might even be eligible for a six-month grace period when you finish your degree. If you can’t afford to start making student loan payments while you’re in school, federal loans can make sense.

Federal student loan protections

Sometimes it’s not just about a fixed or variable student loan. Federal student loans come with protections you might not see with private student loans. With federal loans, there are income-driven repayment and loan forgiveness programs that can protect you during times of economic hardship. Your private loans might not provide that. On top of that, federal deferment and forbearance programs are often easier to access than similar options offered by private lenders.

On the other hand, you can save thousands of dollars in interest charges if your private variable-rate loans come with lower interest than your federal loans, especially if those federal loans are unsubsidized. Plus, private student loans often come with shorter loan terms, so you could potentially pay off your debt in five years if you can afford the monthly payments. The shortest term for a federal loan is 10 years (although you can always pay off your federal loans early).

4 questions to ask about your options

When deciding between fixed or variable rate student loans, it’s important to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do I qualify for federal subsidized student loans to help me avoid accruing interest while I’m in school?
  2. Can I afford to make student loan payments while I’m in school?
  3. Is there a chance I will need the protections that come with federal student loans?
  4. Do I have good enough credit to qualify for the lowest private student loan variable interest rate?

Start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see what federal programs you qualify for. After you submit the FAFSA, your schools of choice will send you financial aid offers that can help you sort through your options.

For some students, it makes sense to take what you can from the federal government and only use private student loans if there is still a college funding gap. This is especially true if you want access to more flexible payment plans and hardship options when you finish school.

If you reach graduation and are concerned about your federal fixed-rate student loans, it’s possible to refinance them privately if you decide that’s the right thing for your situation.

Need a student loan?

Here are our top student loan lenders of 2019!
LenderVariable APREligibility 
* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.

1 Important Disclosures for College Ave.

CollegeAve Disclosures

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.

(1)All rates shown include the auto-pay discount.  The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.

(2)This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.

(3)As certified by your school and less any other financial aid you might receive. Minimum $1,000.

Information advertised valid as of 11/4/2019. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.


2 Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.

3 Important Disclosures for Discover.

Discover Disclosures

  1. Students who get at least a 3.0 GPA (or equivalent) qualify for a one-time cash reward on each new Discover undergraduate and graduate student loan. Reward redemption period is limited. Please visit DiscoverStudentLoans.com/Reward for any applicable reward terms and conditions.
  2. View Auto Reward Debit Reward Terms and Conditions at DiscoverStudentLoans.com/AutoDebitReward.
  3. Aggregate loan limits apply.
  4. Lowest rates shown are for the undergraduate loan and include an interest-only repayment discount and a 0.25% interest rate reduction while enrolled in automatic payments. The interest rate ranges represent the lowest interest rate offered on the Discover Undergraduate Loan and highest interest rates offered on Discover student loans, including Undergraduate, Graduate, Health Professions, Law and MBA Loans. The fixed interest rate is set at the time of application and does not change during the life of the loan. The variable interest rate is calculated based on the 3-Month LIBOR index plus the applicable Margin percentage. The margin is based on your credit evaluation at the time of application and does not change. For variable interest rate loans, the 3-Month LIBOR is 2.250%% as of October 1, 2019. Discover Student Loans will adjust the rate quarterly on each January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 (the “interest rate change date”), based on the 3-Month LIBOR Index, published in the Money Rates section of the Wall Street Journal 15 days prior to the interest rate change date, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of one percent (0.125% or 0.00125). This may cause the monthly payments to increase, the number of payments to increase or both. Please visit discover.com/student-loans/interest-rates for more information about interest rates.
Discover's lowest rates shown are for the undergraduate loan and include an interest-only repayment discount and a 0.25% interest rate reduction while enrolled in automatic payments.

4 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change and state law restrictions. Loans are offered through CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS #1175900).

  1.  Rates are as of July 1, 2019 and include auto-pay discount. All loans are eligible for a 0.25% reduction in interest rate by agreeing to automatic payment withdrawals once in repayment. Variable rates may increase after consummation.

5 Important Disclosures for Citizens.

Citizens Disclosures

Undergraduate Rate Disclosure: Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of December 1, 2019, the one-month LIBOR rate is 1.70%. Variable interest rates range from 2.80% – 11.06% (2.80% – 10.91% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Fixed interest rates range from 4.72% – 12.19% (4.72% – 12.04% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Lowest rates shown requires application with a co-signer, are for eligible applicants, require a 5-year repayment term, borrower making scheduled payments while in school and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. 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. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of the loan.

Please Note: International Students are not eligible for the multi-year approval feature.

2.84%
10.97%
1
Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents

Visit College Ave

3.12% – 10.54%*,2Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit SallieMae

2.95%
11.62%
3
Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit Discover

3.52% – 9.50%4Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit CommonBond

2.80% – 11.06%5Undergraduate and Graduate

VISIT CITIZENS

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

Refinancing your existing student loans

When you refinance your student loans, you take out one new loan (hopefully with a lower interest rate) and use it to pay off an existing loan or group of loans. You can refinance federal and private student loans.

It’s possible to choose which loans to refinance — you don’t have to refinance all your loans if there’s a benefit to keeping some as they are.

One thing you’ll have to decide when you refinance, though, is what type of interest rate you want. Maybe you didn’t get to choose between a fixed or variable student loan when borrowing, but if you’re applying for student loan refinancing now the choice is yours.

If you’re refinancing fixed-rate student loans, then you’ll need to consider the tradeoffs between fixed and variable interest rates. With fixed interest rates, you know what your exact payment will be until you pay off the loan. On the other hand, a fixed rate can sometimes be higher than a variable interest rate, costing you more.

On top of that, if rates drop during your loan term, you’ll miss out if you have a fixed interest rate. The flip side, though, is that a fixed-rate loan protects you from rising interest rates. You need to consider the tradeoffs as you make your decision.

This second consideration can be vital. Although interest rates have hovered near historic lows recently, the LIBOR benchmark rate, on which most variable interest rate loans are based, more than doubled in the year through July 2017, dragging payments for variable interest rate student loans up with them. And these rates could rise further in the near future.

Fixed or variable student loan refinance: Which is right for you?

If you have federal student loans, chances are you have fixed interest rates — which can be a blessing or a curse. Depending on when you consolidated, you might have undergraduate loans at the low rate of 2.30%. However, your graduate PLUS Loans could be either 6.80% or 7.90% (and maybe you have a loan at each rate), depending on the year you took them out. That’s a big difference.

This is why student loan refinancing is an attractive option for so many borrowers. Through refinancing, you have the potential to drop your interest rate, effectively saving you thousands of dollars. If you can refinance to a fixed interest rate that’s lower than your current rate, so much the better.

Even if you decide to refinance to a variable interest rate that can fluctuate at any time, you might still come out ahead. As long as rates stay low, you can save thousands of dollars in interest charges over the life of your loan.

Because you can choose which loans to refinance, it’s a good idea to consider which ones make the most sense. If you have low-rate federal loans, refinancing to a variable interest rate probably doesn’t make sense. However, if your federal loan rates are high, and you aren’t concerned about accessing income-driven repayment, you can save money by refinancing to a private loan — even if it comes with a variable interest rate.

3 questions to ask about your options

There are a few things to consider before deciding if refinancing to a fixed or variable interest rate is best for your student loans. First, ask yourself these questions:

  1. How long will it take you to pay off your loans?
  2. What type of interest rate feels most comfortable to you?
  3. Does the variable-rate loan have an interest-rate cap?

If you want to see the whole picture of your loan situation, these questions are important to answer. A variable interest rate might be a good option if you can pay off your loans in a few years or less, before rates climb too high. On top of that, you can reduce the risk associated with a variable interest rate if the lender caps how high that rate can go.

Second, consider the non-mathematical aspect of the equation. Choosing the rate type that you’re most comfortable with might make repayment easier in the future. If the greater uncertainty of variable interest rates is going to add to your stress level, for example, put one point in the column of fixed rates.

On the other hand, if you can get a low variable interest rate and can afford to make higher payments for a shorter loan term, that might be the way to go. This is especially true if just having debt makes your cringe and you want to get rid of it as quickly as possible.

Also, consider what type of interest rates you currently have. Perhaps you have private student loans with variable rates and are looking to gain the stability of a fixed rate. Refinancing those private student loans to a single fixed-rate loan can make a big difference in the long run.

How much your choice could save you?

Lastly, you should look at the overall savings. How much will you save by refinancing in general? How much will you save in interest by choosing a variable interest rate over a fixed rate?

Here’s an example showing your total interest and total payment for three scenarios:

Fixed Rate Variable Rate (No Change) Variable Rate (Rising Rate)
Loan Amount $35,000 $35,000 $35,000
Interest Rate 6.30% 5.09% 5.75% (average)
Repayment Term 10 years 10 years 10 years
Monthly Payment $394 $373 $384 (average)
Total Interest $12,264 $9,733 $11,103 (estimated)
Total Payment $47,264 $44,733 $46,103 (estimated)

This example took average rates from Laurel Road and used our Student Loan Hero monthly payment calculator to do the hard part. As you can see from the results, variable rates can save you money. This is especially true if you have a shorter repayment term — even if rates increase.

On the flip side, while the Laurel Road example above favors variable interest rate loans, the situation could certainly be reversed in a high-rate environment. Plus, rising rates can hinder your ability to budget month to month. The initial monthly payment ($373) and the increased monthly payment ($384) for the variable rate aren’t all that different. But when you sign up for a variable-rate loan, you are taking the chance that your recurring payment will rise, putting a potential strain on your budget.

Before you choose which option is right for you, look closely at your repayment term and consider your level of risk tolerance. If your repayment period will be 20 years and you like stability, a fixed-rate loan might be a better option for you. If, on the other hand, you believe the savings of a lower, fluctuating rate outweigh the risk that it could skyrocket, go with the variable rate.

Andrew Pentis and Melanie Lockert contributed to the reporting for this article.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 8 lenders of 2019!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 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 3.45% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.99% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.89% 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 November 21, 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 11/21/2019. 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 hello@earnest.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.


2 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: Fixed rates from 3.46% APR (with AutoPay) to 7.61% APR (without AutoPay). Variable rates currently from 2.31% APR (with AutoPay) to 7.61% (without 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 2.31% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.31% plus 0.75% margin minus 0.25% for AutoPay. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your credit history and the term of the loan 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. 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.

3 Important Disclosures for Figure.

Figure Disclosures

Figure’s Student Refinance Loan is a private loan. If you refinance federal loans, you forfeit certain flexible repayment options associated with those loans. If you expect to incur financial hardship that would impact your ability to repay, you should consider federal consolidation alternatives.


4 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

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. Mortgage lending is not offered in Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association.
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.

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.

FEE INFORMATION

There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties associated with the loan. Lender may assess a late fee if any part of a payment is not received within 15 days of the payment due date. Any late fee assessed shall not exceed 5% of the late payment or $28, whichever is less. A borrower may be charged $20 for any payment (including a check or an electronic payment) that is returned unpaid due to non-sufficient funds (NSF) or a closed account.

LOAN AMOUNT

For bachelor’s degrees and higher, up to 100% of outstanding private and federal student loans (minimum $5,000) are eligible for refinancing. If you are refinancing greater than $300,000 in student loan debt, Lender may refinance the loans into 2 or more new loans.
For eligible Associates degrees in the healthcare field (see Eligibility & Eligible Loans section below), Lender will refinance up to $50,000 in loans for non-ParentPlus refinance loans. Note, parents who are refinancing loans taken out on behalf of a child who has obtained an associates degrees in an eligible healthcare field are not subject to the $50,000 loan maximum, refer to https://www.laurelroad.com/refinance-student-loans/refinance-parent-plus-loans/ for more information about refinancing ParentPlus loans.

ELIGIBILITY & ELIGIBLE LOANS

Borrower, and Co-signer if applicable, must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident with a valid I-551 card (which must show a minimum of 10 years between “Resident Since” date and “Card Expires” date or has no expiration date); state that they are of at least borrowing age in the state of residence at the time of application; and meet Lender underwriting criteria (including, for example, employment, debt-to-income, disposable income, and credit history requirements).

Graduates may refinance any unsubsidized or subsidized Federal or private student loan that was used exclusively for qualified higher education expenses (as defined in 26 USC Section 221) at an accredited U.S. undergraduate or graduate school. Any federal loans refinanced with Lender are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment.

All loans must be in grace or repayment status and cannot be in default. Borrower must have graduated or be enrolled in good standing in the final term preceding graduation from an accredited Title IV U.S. school and must be employed, or have an eligible offer of employment. Parents looking to refinance loans taken out on behalf of a child should refer to https://www.laurelroad.com/refinance-student-loans/refinance-parent-plus-loans/ for applicable terms and conditions.

For Associates Degrees: Only associates degrees earned in one of the following are eligible for refinancing: Cardiovascular Technologist (CVT); Dental Hygiene; Diagnostic Medical Sonography; EMT/Paramedics; Nuclear Technician; Nursing; Occupational Therapy Assistant; Pharmacy Technician; Physical Therapy Assistant; Radiation Therapy; Radiologic/MRI Technologist; Respiratory Therapy; or Surgical Technologist. To refinance an Associates degree, a borrower must also either be currently enrolled and in the final term of an associate degree program at a Title IV eligible school with an offer of employment in the same field in which they will receive an eligible associate degree OR have graduated from a school that is Title IV eligible with an eligible associate and have been employed, for a minimum of 12 months, in the same field of study of the associate degree earned.

INTEREST RATES

The interest rate you are offered will depend on your credit profile, income, and total debt payments as well as your choice of fixed or variable and choice of term. For applicants who are currently medical or dental residents, your rate offer may also vary depending on whether you have secured employment for after residency.

DISBURSEMENT OPTIONS

The repayment of any refinanced student loan will commence (1) immediately after disbursement by us, or (2) after any grace or in-school deferment period, existing prior to refinancing and/or consolidation with us, has expired.

POSTPONING OR REDUCING PAYMENTS

After loan disbursement, if a borrower documents a qualifying economic hardship, we may agree in our discretion to allow for full or partial forbearance of payments for one or more 3-month time periods (not to exceed 12 months in the aggregate during the term of your loan), provided that we receive acceptable documentation (including updating documentation) of the nature and expected duration of the borrower’s economic hardship.

We may agree under certain circumstances to allow a borrower to make $100/month payments for a period of time immediately after loan disbursement if the borrower is employed full-time as an intern, resident, or similar postgraduate trainee at the time of loan disbursement. These payments may not be enough to cover all of the interest that accrues on the loan. Unpaid accrued interest will be added to your loan and monthly payments of principal and interest will begin when the post-graduate training program ends.

We may agree under certain circumstances to allow postponement (deferral) of monthly payments of principal and interest for a period of time immediately following loan disbursement (not to exceed 6 months after the borrower’s graduation with an eligible degree), if the borrower is an eligible student in the borrower’s final term at the time of loan disbursement or graduated less than 6 months before loan disbursement, and has accepted an offer of (or has already begun) full-time employment.

If Lender agrees (in its sole discretion) to postpone or reduce any monthly payment(s) for a period of time, interest on the loan will continue to accrue for each day principal is owed. Although the borrower might not be required to make payments during such a period, the borrower may continue to make payments during such a period. Making payments, or paying some of the interest, will reduce the total amount that will be required to be paid over the life of the loan. Interest not paid during any period when Lender has agreed to postpone or reduce any monthly payment will be added to the principal balance through capitalization (compounding) at the end of such a period, one month before the borrower is required to resume making regular monthly payments.

KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

This information is current as of November 8, 2019 and is subject to change.


5 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.


6 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

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 1.76% effective November 10, 2019.


7 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 12/07/2019 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.90% to 8.59% Variable APR with AutoPay and 3.49% to 7.75% Fixed APR with AutoPay.


8 Important Disclosures for College Ave.

College Ave Disclosures

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.

1College Ave Refi Education loans are not currently available to residents of Maine.

2All rates shown include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.

3$5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees.

4This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.

Information advertised valid as of 12/1/2019. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.

1.99% – 6.89%1Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Earnest

2.31% – 7.36%2Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit SoFi

2.21% – 6.21%3Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Figure

1.99% – 6.65%4Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Laurel Road

2.43% – 7.60%5Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Splash

1.85% – 6.13%6Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit CommonBond

1.90% – 8.59%7Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Lendkey

2.74% – 6.25%8Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit College Ave

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

Published in Paying for College, Student Loan Repayment

You're on your way...

You are being redirected to LendingTree.com where you’ll be able to fill out an online form. Based on your creditworthiness, you may be matched with up to five different personal loan lenders in our partner network.