Your Ultimate Guide to Paying Off Debt

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Debt can hang over your head like a toxic cloud. Even if you haven’t done the actual math, somewhere in the back of your mind, you’re aware that things are quickly adding up.

Whatever is making your debts feel scary, out of control, or even unfair, it’s time to address it. And it all starts with learning how to pay off debt.

So get ready to spend a lot of mental, emotional and financial capital to resolve your debts by going through the following steps.

How to pay off debt in 15 steps

1. Admit your debts are an issue

Figuring out how to pay off debt often starts with admitting there’s a problem.

Sometimes you’re not even aware of how big the problem is. You just have a nagging sense that something’s not quite right with your finances. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to financial red flags and when you’re potentially getting too deep into debt.

For me, everything came to a head in 2012. At this point, I’d been stressed out about my family’s finances for a while. But when I stared at my Mint account and saw that the bank accounts my husband and I held only had $1,450 combined, I officially freaked out.

This amount was barely enough to cover our next month’s rent for our one-bedroom, Los Angeles apartment. And I knew we owed several times more than that on credit cards alone.

Meanwhile, I was unemployed. So that meant we were trying to scrape by on my husband’s $45,000 salary in this expensive city.

Thinking about my finances made me want to collapse in on myself and stop existing. But I needed to start seeing, in black and white, that I had a problem — and it was my debts.

2. Find out how much you owe

Before you can start digging your way out, you need to know just how deep in the hole you are.

Take inventory of your debts — the total balance, interest rates, and minimum monthly payments. For the debts you’re aware of and have account information for, you can get your debt details in a few ways:

  • Log into your lender’s online account management system.
  • Find your most recent account statements.
  • Contact your lender by phone.

If you think you might have debts you’ve lost track of, work to find them. Pull your free annual credit reports, then check for debts and accounts you might have missed. For student loans, you can use the National Student Loan Data System to find any educational debts that have fallen off your radar.

When I realized that my debt had become an issue, I took a full inventory. Here’s what I found:

  • There were our student loans — $26,000 from my husband’s graduate degree and $9,000 remaining on my undergraduate debt.
  • We owed $8,500 on our car.
  • Credit card debts of $1,700 and $4,000 from miscellaneous college expenses and moving costs.

In total, we owed $49,200. It was terrifying.

3. Commit to getting out of debt

Just thinking about how much I owed stirs up old financial panic and anxiety. I felt like a total failure for getting into debt. At the same time, I also felt powerless.

Truthfully, I wasn’t sure how I could have covered important expenses without debt. I told myself debt had been my only option. And after a couple of months of unemployment, I was feeling worthless and at my wit’s end with the job search.

But even as I was feeling scared and panicked, I decided to harness these big emotions into a powerful driving force for change.

You can do the same to get ready to make big changes in your behaviors and situation. Remember, it’s the combination of your choices and circumstances that got you into debt. And you’re going to need to do a complete 180 on those factors to figure out how to pay off debt.

Look, getting out of debt doesn’t happen overnight. Even if you’re intensely focused on this goal, this is not an issue you’ll be able to immediately resolve. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. You’ll need to be mentally tough and capable of dealing with debt payoff for months – likely years – to come.

4. Reduce what you owe

For certain types of debt, it’s possible to lower the initial amount you owe.

If you have medical debts, you can try to negotiate your medical bill and ask if any of it can be forgiven. And if you owe money to a doctor or hospital, ask about financial assistance programs. You can offer to pay cash for a portion of the bill and have the remaining balance forgiven. If that fails, try to set up a payment plan that fits your needs.

You can also try to negotiate any debts in collections. Again, you can offer to pay a portion of your debt in cash to have the remaining balance forgiven. Not every negotiation will be successful, but it’s worth a shot.

5. Try to lower interest rates

If you can lower interest rates, you’ll make your debts cheaper.

That’s because more of the money you put towards them will go toward the principal you owe. You’ll pay down debts faster and save money in the process.

There are a few ways you can try to lower your interest rates, and the options vary depending on the types of debts you have.

Refinance or consolidate debts. 

When you refinance or consolidate debts, you take out a new loan and use it to pay off other debts. This replaces existing debt with a new loan that has a lower interest rate and can simplify your debts.

You can do this with most kinds of debt, including refinancing student loans, credit card debt, a mortgage, or a car loan.

Credit card balance transfer.

If you have a credit card debt on a high-interest card, you can transfer this balance to a card with a lower APR to save on interest.

This can be especially effective if you get a new credit card with a 0% introductory APR. You can transfer the balance and get several months to pay it down, interest-free.

Negotiate interest rates.

Finally, you can call your credit card company and ask for a lower credit card rate. In many cases, your issuer will lower your APR indefinitely.

And if you can’t negotiate that, then ask for a temporary drop in your interest rate while you work to pay down the balance. Typically, only rates for revolving credit like a credit card are negotiable. Rates on installment loans usually can’t be lowered without refinancing.

6. Identify which debts are most urgent

When you add up your debts, it can be nauseating to realize how much you’ve accumulated. But it’s also important to realize that not every single debt is an emergency.

Therefore, don’t put pressure on yourself to solve the issue overnight. It will take a lot of hard work and time to pay off your debts. Here’s are the debts that are more urgent than others when it comes to paying them off.

High-interest debts.

If you have high-interest debts, these are the ones you need to worry about. Identify which debts are costing you the most and treat those like an emergency.

For instance, I knew I wasn’t going to figure out how to pay off debt that was a staggering $49,200 right away — especially not on $45,000 a year in a high-cost city.

But of those debts, only my credit card balances had interest rates over 6% APR. And these were costing me almost $100 a month in interest, which I definitely couldn’t afford. So paying off this credit card debt became priority No. 1.

Overdue debts or debts in collections.  

Other urgent debts will be accounts for which you are overdue, delinquent, defaulted, or in debt collection. These take priority because you want to:

  • Stop accruing more costs like late fees, collection fees, or penalty APRs.
  • Prevent serious consequences like wage garnishment or bank liens.
  • Avoid further damage to your credit and begin repairing it.

For low-interest debts, it’s ok to just pay the minimums for now. And if there are other debts you’re not legally obligated to pay, then don’t.

For example, if it’s an informal loan from a family member or friend, talk to them and see if you can put repayment on hold. If the debts are in someone else’s name, stop contributing to it.

Even if you feel responsible for the debt, you have no legal obligation to pay. Maybe you can pick up payments on these debts at some point, but for now, you can’t afford them.

7. Target your most urgent debt first

One of the most popular and effective strategies to repay debts is through the debt snowball method. It breaks down how to pay off debt into four steps:

  • Focus on paying down one balance at a time — starting with the lowest balance.
  • Make extra monthly payments on this debt until it’s gone.
  • When that debt is gone, you keep paying the same amount toward the next debt. So, if you pay $200 extra a month toward a credit card with a $50 minimum, once that debt is gone you’d start paying $250 extra toward your next debt.
  • Continue paying off debts until you’re debt free!

Since you know which debt is the most urgent, make efforts to pay it down. Whatever you pay, the key is just to get started. Even an extra $20 a month can help.

8. Figure out your bare-bones budget

To figure this out, you need to go over your budget.

You already know the minimum payments towards debt each month. Add it up, then add in other living expenses including rent or mortgage, gas or transportation, food and groceries, and insurance premiums. Review your recent bank account statements to see where your money has been going.

After your necessary expenses, look at what’s left over from your paychecks each month — this is your disposable income. This is money you can decide how to use because it doesn’t have to be spent on bills.

It’s possible that there might not be much left over. Maybe you’re in the red just from covering necessities, and that’s how you got into debt in the first place. In our case, my husband’s salary was barely enough to cover basic living expenses and bills.

Don’t get too stressed at this point. You can still try other ways to come up with extra funds for repaying debt.

9. Find savings on fixed expenses

Next, it’s time to look for ways to cut the fat from your budget. Even with the “needs” in your budget, there can be ways to save.

Audit your spending and look for ways to downsize and cut back. It won’t be forever, and if you find ways to save on recurring costs, you’ll keep reaping the rewards each month.

For us, this meant finding the cheapest apartment in a neighborhood close enough to my husband’s workplace that he could commute by bike. Our rent was (relatively) affordable, and we could remain a one-car family (which we still are to this day).

We also shopped around for better prices on monthly bills like phone service and car insurance.

10. Control your spending

If you have some disposable income but always seem to spend it, track where this money goes. What are the wants or non-necessities you’re always shelling out for? Can you reduce or skip these expenses to pay off debts instead?

I had been keeping my hair short enough to require a haircut every six weeks. But at $70 a cut, plus tip, I could no longer justify this cost. It was time to let it grow out. I also targeted spending on clothing, dining out, and non-essential groceries.

And the negative feelings surrounding my debt helped keep my spending in check. Because I was so anxious about my debts (and money in general), I was on edge anytime I bought anything.

This wasn’t exactly pleasant, but it did increase my awareness of each dollar that went into and out of our bank accounts. And that made shopping feel less rewarding than saving.

11. Increase your income

There is only so far you can cut back before you hit a barrier on your actual cost of living. That’s when it’s time to find extra money on the other end of the equation: increasing your income.

If income is the problem, hunt down opportunities to grow it:

  • Increase your pay at your current job. Offer to pick up overtime or ask how you can work toward a raise.
  • Hunt for new jobs and opportunities to see if you can get a competing offer with a higher wage.
  • Consider starting a side hustle or second job to boost your earnings.

This was the basis of our whole financial crisis. I already knew my solution for how to pay off debt: I needed a job, like, yesterday. Now I found new motivation to fight my unemployment.

I started treating my job search like a job. I spent at least six hours a day hunting down job leads, sending out applications, and following up. Finally, I got an offer — with a decent salary that nearly doubled our income.

12. Put “extra” money toward debts

When additional money comes along by chance, smart budgeting, or new income — keep your spending at the same level. Instead of spending more, pay off debts with extra money from:

  • Cash gifts
  • Savings from cutting expenses
  • Months with a third paycheck (if paid biweekly)
  • Bonuses or raises
  • Income from second jobs
  • Tax refunds

After I had been hired, we loosened our budget just enough to ease the worst of our financial stress. But we stopped there, making it a point to live on half our income. We used the rest of our earnings to rebuild savings and pay extra on our debts.

13. Choose the debt strategy that works for you

You know which debts are the ones you should pay off first — the one with the highest rates or that are in collections. As mentioned above, the debt snowball method is a popular one for debt repayment that can give you the quick wins you need to stay motivated.

But there are a few other popular debt strategies you can use to target your most dangerous debt:

  • Debt avalanche, which targets debts with the highest interest rates first. This saves you the most in interest over time.
  • Debt snowflaking, which is about making smaller, incremental payments toward debts.
  • Debt chunking, where you make extra payments in large lump sums.

Each of these debt repayment strategies has its benefits and drawbacks. The most important factor in choosing how to pay off debt, however, is you.

While the debt avalanche saves the most money over time, that doesn’t automatically make it the best strategy if you find it hard to stick to. Many people find the quick wins of a debt snowball give them an important reward and boost their commitment to debt repayment.

Be honest with yourself and how you approach your money. Take the time to consider which strategy will keep you motivated.

I had a hard time unwinding my financial anxiety. I paid a little extra toward our debts each month but was too timid to make the max payments possible.

But after a while, we had saved a bit and had more of a buffer in our bank account. Then I felt comfortable “chunking” our debts with larger, one-off payments. Seeing our debts drop by thousands at a time was an awesome high. Plus, it got me craving more.

14. Stay motivated and track your progress

While you will have some wins as you work to get out of debt, there can be months at a time where the progress feels slow.

Tracking your progress and keeping your eyes on the prize will help you stay on track. Try to mix things up if you hit a slump in your get-out-of-debt plan.

  • Use a debt payoff app to track your progress and play with different payoff methods.
  • Set a regular financial check-up to review your debts and adjust your budget.
  • Get a debt pay-off buddy to keep you accountable and encourage you when the going gets rough.
  • Create a physical way to see your progress toward debt repayment. Maybe put up post-it notes on a door with each square representing $100 in debt — and you get to take one down for each $100 you repay.
  • Pair debt payments with a reward through temptation bundling.
  • Read other people’s debt success stories to get inspiration and remind yourself of your goals.

15. Push through setbacks

As you work toward repaying debts, there might be problems that crop up and set back your goals, such as an emergency expense or hardship like unemployment. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments when necessary so you can work to recover and get your finances back on track.

Just a couple months after I started at my job, my husband’s hours got cut from full-time to 25 hours a week. It was discouraging and derailed our debt repayment.

But we adjusted our budget and scaled back spending. And my husband picked up a freelance job to compensate for his lost income, while also looking for a new position.

Since we had already worked on our finances and kept our expenses low, we were much better prepared to weather this setback. Instead of panicking, we could take this pay cut in stride.

Within a few months, my husband had a new job — and we’d managed to eliminate our $5,700 in credit card debt. Not bad for someone who was curled up in the fetal position about her debts only a year prior.

Pay off debt for the payoff of financial freedom

If your debts seem like a huge deal, it’s probably because they are. Instead of reacting to financial stress with overspending or flawed financial coping mechanism, be proactive. You will get results.

In the five years since my debt wake-up call, I’ve repaid over $35,000 on those debts. Plus, I learned a lot about myself and my money management as I worked to pay off debts.

Take it from me: working on how to pay off debt is well worth the reward of financial freedom, peace of mind, and healthier money habits.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 8 lenders of 2020!
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 3.20% 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 December 13, 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 12/13/2019. 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 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 1/1/2020. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.


5 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.


6 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.


7 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.


8 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 12/019/2019 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.

1.99% – 6.89%1Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Earnest

2.31% – 7.36%2Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit SoFi

2.06% – 6.81%3Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Figure

2.62% – 6.12%4Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit College Ave

1.99% – 6.65%5Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Laurel Road

1.99% – 7.06%6Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Splash

1.85% – 6.13%7Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit CommonBond

1.90% – 8.59%8Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Lendkey

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 Big Money Decisions, Credit & Debt,