Refinancing with Earnest
Refinancing rates from 2.27% APR. Checking your rates won’t affect your credit score.
Paying back your student loans can feel like a huge burden — one that affects nearly every aspect of your life. But sometimes, it’s more than just an inconvenience. If there are bigger issues at play, you may need some student loan help.
Luckily, there are several resources that can offer assistance with your debt. Here are some places you can turn to, depending on what type of student loan help you need.
If you’re having trouble making payments
If you’re having trouble with your loan servicer
If you’re curious about student loan refinancing and other repayment options
If you’re facing default
If you’re looking for community support/help from an expert
There may be times when you will have difficulty putting together enough money for your payments. If you’re struggling to make the monthly bill on your student loans, a good place to start for student loan help is with your loan servicer.
You may or may not have the best relationship with your loan servicer, but that company is your main point of contact when it comes to repaying your loans. It’s crucial that you contact your loan servicer to discuss various repayment options. You can learn more about deferment or forbearance, as well as other options that may offer some student loan help.
If you don’t contact your loan servicer, you may be vulnerable to student loan default, which can wreak havoc on your credit and your financial life (see below).
Unfortunately, student loan borrowers can’t choose who their loan servicers are. If you’re having issues with your servicer, you can’t just decide to switch to another company (unless you refinance your student loans).
If you’ve tried to directly communicate with your loan servicer, and it’s either not working or you’re not getting a response, you can contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal agency that was established to help empower consumers and help enforce federal consumer financial laws.
In a 2017 CFPB report, the agency said it handled more than 60,000 student loan complaints since 2011 and returned more than $750 million in relief to affected borrowers. Since then, the agency has shut down its division that focused on protecting student loan borrowers from abuses by loan servicers and others. However, if you’re having trouble with your loan company, it might still be worth seeking CFPB help by submitting your issue via its general complaint portal.
If you need legal assistance, the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA) can connect you to an attorney who can help with servicing issues on both private and federal student loans. (See more on student loan attorneys below.)
Student loan refinancing offers the possibility to reduce your interest rate and save money, as long as you or a cosigner have solid credit.
Student loan refinancing can be a good option, if it’s the right choice for you. For instance, refinancing might not be the best idea if you’re trying to get your federal student loans forgiven. This is because refinancing will turn any federal loans you have into a single private loan, meaning you won’t be able to take part in some government forgiveness programs and will lose access to other federal protections.
However, if you feel good about your progress toward repayment and want to change your monthly payment amount, switch lenders, or possibly save a bundle on interest charges, then refinancing could be a wise move. Just make sure to shop around for the best refinancing deal.
If you want to learn more, you can check out our guide to student loan refinancing and search for some good lenders.
Facing default on your student loans can be scary. Luckily, there’s help out there if you find yourself in this situation.
If you’re at risk of default, there are steps you can take to protect your financial future, including looking into income-driven repayment plans that can potentially shrink your monthly payments down to zero. Or if that doesn’t work, there’s forbearance or deferment — even some private student loans offer this.
Default can be a very sticky situation, so do your research and be informed about the risks out there. In some cases, it might be worth checking with a student loan lawyer, who may be able to help you.
If you’re looking for more resources on how to manage your money and pay back your student loans, there are people out there willing to help.
For one thing, you can start right here at Student Loan Hero, where we offer free student loan help with a wide variety of tools, advice and other helpful material.
If you need to take it up a notch and speak with a certified financial planner, for example, you can check out this list of free events and counseling from the Financial Planning Association where free advice is on offer. Or try the nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counselling, which can offer personalized assistance.
Know that when it comes to student loans, you are not alone.
The final word
Managing your student loans can be tough at times, and you may need a little extra student loan help. Try using the above resources — it could make your journey to repayment much easier and get you on track to secure your financial future.
Kristina Byas contributed to this report.
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 3.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.59% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.27% 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 August 15, 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 08/15/2019. 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 email@example.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.
3 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.
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 2.37% effective July 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.27% – 6.89%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.27% – 7.75%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.43% – 6.65%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.24% – 6.67%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.37% – 7.95%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.46% – 9.24%6||Undergrad & Graduate|