Refinance rates with Laurel Road start at 1.89%.
Checking your rates won’t affect your score.
Making multiple monthly student loan payments to various servicers can be complicated, leaving borrowers searching for an easier solution.
If you’re among that group, you could research the best student loan refinancing rates to simplify your payments and possibly lower your monthly bill.
However, lots of lenders are eager for your business, and it’s often hard to know which financial institution to choose.
We can’t make that decision for you. But we can help you with a student loan consolidation comparison so you can compare student loans and choose the best option.
Determine your goals for consolidation or refinancing
There are several reasons to refinance your student loans. At first, it may seem like the right strategy to focus solely on the best student loan refinancing rates. But borrowers’ goals may vary, so it’s good to know what you’re looking for before researching and selecting a student loan refinancing lender.
Here are three goals you may have when refinancing.
1. Saving on interest
Lenders may view you as a lower-risk borrower now that you’re out of school compared to when you were a freshman. Because of this, during your student loan consolidation comparison shopping, you may find that lenders reward lower-risk customers with lower interest rates.
How much less could you pay? Let’s imagine you have $20,000 in student loans at a 6% interest rate, which you’re repaying over 10 years. Using our student loan refinancing calculator, you’ll see your monthly payment is $222, and that you’d pay $6,645 in total interest.
But if you could lower your interest rate to 5% while staying on a 10-year term, your monthly payment would drop to $212 and you’d pay $5,456 in interest — a savings of $1,189.
2. Lowering monthly payments
Longer repayment terms almost always mean lower monthly payments. But you’ll also likely pay more in interest over the long run. Lower payments can be a good choice when you’re starting out and cash is tight.
If you’ve got a little extra cash at the end of the month, you can always make an extra payment, which will reduce the time of your loan and the amount paid toward interest.
3. Removing co-signers
If you’re trying to become independent, you don’t need the stress of having co-signers while you’re paying your student loans. Refinancing, especially if you’ve got a good job, can remove Mom and Dad from your student loans.
There may be other reasons you wish to refinance and consolidate, too, including switching student loan servicers, making only one payment and paying off student loans faster. No matter your reasons, keep them in mind as you student loan consolidation comparison shop.
Look for a refinancing offer that accomplishes your goals
There are plenty of lenders willing to consolidate or refinance private student loans, and it’s sometimes hard to know which one to select.
First, read the eligibility requirements, which differ with each lender. Most — not all — will refinance student loans only if you’ve graduated from college or a graduate program and have good credit, a steady job and a favorable debt-to-income ratio.
If you qualify for refinancing, select a lender that offers terms that best suit your needs. There are certain loan features you should consider when making your decision.
Loan consolidation rates are all over the map, ranging from 1.87% to 10.47%, depending on your credit.
Of course, if saving money is your top priority, you should seek out the lender with the best student loan refinancing rates. But unless you’ve got a great job and a high credit score — unusual for people just out of school — you’ll have to accept the best rate you can get.
2. Loan rate types
Lenders typically offer fixed- and variable-rate loans. Fixed rates usually start higher than variable rates, but variable rates can start low and end up high by the end of the loan, though most have a cap.
Whichever you select will depend on the monthly payment you can afford, as well as how much risk you can tolerate regarding future rates.
Lenders typically offer loans you must repay over five to 20 years, but some lenders will only go to 15 years. The longer the repayment time, the lower the monthly payment — but you’ll ultimately pay more in interest over time.
4. Eligible degrees
Most lenders will let you consolidate private and federal loans for both undergraduate and graduate schools. However, many lenders want to see a degree before refinancing your loans. Plus, some lenders only accept degrees from certain schools, so you’ll want to check lenders’ lists of eligible institutions first.
5. Unemployment protection
Many lenders understand that newcomers to the job market often switch jobs during their first years as a working adult — indeed, the data backs this up.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employees ages 55 to 64 have a median tenure at their jobs of just over 10 years, while employees ages 25 to 34 have a median tenure of less than three years.
Lenders understand that job-hopping is a function of youth, and some will allow you to pause payments while you’re looking for work. However, take into account the conditions when you can request deferment, as it varies for each lender.
6. Loan discounts
Some lenders will give you a 0.25% interest rate discount if you allow them to automatically deduct monthly payments from your bank account. Other lenders will give you another small discount if you maintain a bank account at their institution.
7. Co-signer release
Lenders know that neither you nor your parents want to be linked by debt forever. Some lenders will release co-signers if you make timely payments for a certain period.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2015 — the latest data available — found that 90% of borrowers who applied for co-signer release with a private student loan were rejected. Keep that 90% figure in mind as you consider co-signer release.
Looking for refinancing options?
When it’s time to compare student loan refinancing options, you may find that many lenders offer similar terms and benefits. Here are a few standouts looking beyond the best student loan refinancing rates:
- Earnest: Allows free refinancing, the ability to change payment dates and the opportunity to skip a payment every year (to be made up later).
- SoFi: Offers an entrepreneur program where eligible customers can get a deferral while they receive mentorship.
- LendKey: Offers unemployment protection for 18 months and releases co-signers after 12 months of timely payments.
- Laurel Road: Helps refinance loans parents have taken out to pay for a child’s education.
- CommonBond: Offers access to networking events and hires eligible job-seekers for short-term consulting projects at the company.
- College Ave: Features a three-minute application process and flexible payment terms.
Which financial institution should you choose?
Which of these qualities are most important? Would you be willing to pay a slightly higher interest rate in exchange for unemployment protection or a co-signer release? Are you more interested in lowering your monthly payments or improving your loan terms?
Your answer will depend on a multitude of factors, including your job prospects, income, family situation and other personal considerations. Compare many student loan refinancing options to decide which one fits you best.
Laura Gariepy contributed to this article.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 9 lenders of 2021!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.88% – 6.15%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.88% – 5.64%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.99% – 5.64%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.85%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.25% – 6.39%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.90% – 5.25%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 5.90%7||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.39% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
|2.13% – 5.25%8||Undergrad & Graduate|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 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 June 1, 2021.
2 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 2.50% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.79% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.88% 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 October 26, 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 10/26/2020. 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.
3 Important Disclosures for Navient.
4 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 0.15% effective Jan 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation.
5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
6 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.
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 04/07/2021 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.90% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.95% APR – 7.63% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
7 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 April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
8 Important Disclosures for PenFed.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 2.89%-4.78% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.13%-5.25% APR. Both Fixed and Variable Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. For Variable Rate student loans, the rate will never exceed 9.00% for 5 year and 8 year loans and 10.00% for 12 and 15 years loans (the maximum allowable for this loan). Minimum variable rate will be 2.00%. These rates are 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.