How to Refinance or Get Colorado Student Loans

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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.

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Refinancing rates from 1.89% APR. Checking your rates won’t affect your credit score.

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With the highest mean elevation of any state, Colorado is home to over 1,000 peaks in the Rocky Mountain range. But the Centennial State isn’t just known for hiking and skiing — it’s also home to more than 60 colleges and universities serving 200,000-plus students.

If you’re heading to the University of Denver, the University of Colorado Boulder or another Colorado college, you might be searching for options to pay for school. And while grants and scholarships are the best way to go, you might also need to take out student loans to cover costs.

Read on to learn about all your options for borrowing student loans in Colorado. And if you already have loans, keep scrolling to learn how student loan refinancing could help you save money on your repayment.

Colorado Student Debt: At a Glance
Average debt upon graduation$26,530
Percent of students who graduate with debt52
National ranking for average debt upon graduation36
National average debt upon graduation (Class of 2017)$39,400
Info current as of 2015-16 school year, except when noted
Source: The Institute for College Access & Success

How to get Colorado student loans

The state of Colorado doesn’t have its own student loan program, but it does offer need-based grants, work-study and tuition assistance to qualifying students. Check out Colorado’s Department of Higher Education for more on state-based grants.

With no Colorado state loans, residents and out-of-state students alike have two main options for student loans: federal or private. Once you’ve exhausted your options for scholarships and other free aid, here’s where to head for student loans.

Federal student loans

Your first stop should be Federal Student Aid, the part of the Department of Education that manages the government’s financial aid program. To qualify for federal student loans and other financial aid, you’ll need to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

There are two main types of federal student loans for undergraduate students, subsidized and unsubsidized. Subsidized loans go to those with financial need, and they don’t accrue interest until six months after you leave school. But anyone can borrow unsubsidized loans as long as they’re attending an eligible school, but these begin racking up interest immediately.

Both of these loans come with relatively low fixed interest rates of 5.05% for undergraduates for the 2018-19 school year, and they’re eligible for many federal protections, including income-driven repayment (IDR) plans, deferment and forbearance, and federal loan forgiveness programs.

But these federal student loans come with borrowing limits, so you might still have a gap in funding after you borrow. In this case, you have a couple of options. First, your parents could borrow a parent PLUS loan, which comes with a 7.60% rate for 2018-19 and essentially has no limit.

Or you could try to get a better offer from a private lender.

Note that graduate students can also borrow PLUS loans up to the cost of attendance of their school. But before you borrow a PLUS loan as a graduate student or parent, you might want to explore your options for private student loans to see if you can get a lower rate.

Private student loans

Once you’ve run through all your federal student loan options, you could consider a private student loan from a bank, credit union or online lender.

Unlike federal student loans, you’ll need to pass a credit check to qualify. Most undergraduate students can’t meet credit and income requirements on their own, so they apply with a cosigner, such as a parent. Your cosigner will be equally responsible for your debt, so make sure you’re on the same page about who’s responsible for repayment.

Unlike federal student loans, private loans can come with fixed or variable rates. You often have a choice when you borrow, and you can choose repayment terms, often ranging between five and 20 years.

Most lenders offer a grace period to college students, but they often don’t have the same flexibility when it comes to repayment as the federal government. For instance, private lenders don’t typically offer IDR plans, and only a few allow for deferment or forbearance.

What’s more, private student loans aren’t eligible for federal forgiveness programs, though they might qualify for some student loan repayment assistance programs. Make sure you understand the differences between private and federal student loans before borrowing from a private lender.

If you decide to borrow, though, check out these providers of private student loans in Colorado.

  • Credit Union of Colorado
    • Finances student loans of up to $10,000 a year for a maximum of $70,000
    • Offers APRs starting at 8.25% as of Oct. 12, 2018
  • Elevations Credit Union
    • Partners with Sallie Mae to provide the Smart Option Student Loan
    • Offers variable rates from 1.25% to 12.35%
  • Ent Credit Union
    • Connects borrowers with the Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan
    • Finances loans up to the cost of attendance of your school
  • Vectra Bank Colorado
    • Works with Sallie Mae to provide the Smart Option Student Loan
    • Offers variable rates from 1.25% to 12.35%
  • Citizens Bank
    • Finances undergraduate loans up to $100,000
    • Annual rates from 1.24% to 11.95%
  • College Ave Student Loans
    • Finances student loans starting at $1,000
    • Offers student loan repayment terms of five, eight, 10 or 15 years
    • Has rates from 3.64% to 8.99%

Each lender sets its terms and conditions, so it’s a good idea to shop around. Look for factors such as low interest rates, good customer reviews and flexible repayment options before choosing a loan provider, and check out our private student loan marketplace for more choices.

How to refinance Colorado loans

The average Colorado student graduated owing $26,530 in 2017. This amount of debt is a lot to manage when you’re starting in the workforce after graduation. On a 10-year plan at a 5.50% interest rate, for instance, you’d be facing monthly payments of $288.

If you left school with debt, you might be looking for strategies to manage it better. Student loan refinance is one option, since it could combine multiple loans into one and get you a lower interest rate.

Refinancing can also allow you to choose new repayment terms. A shorter term would let you pay off your debt faster and save money on interest. A longer term, though, could be helpful if you want to make your monthly payments more affordable. And, remember, you can always make extra payments without penalty to get out of debt ahead of schedule.

To qualify for refinancing, you’ll need a strong credit score and steady income. If you can’t qualify — or want to get an even more competitive rate — you could apply with a creditworthy cosigner. Note that some lenders offer cosigner release after a few years of on-time payment.

Before you refinance, note that this decision could have some downsides. You can refinance both private and federal student loans, but if you refinance federal loans, you turn them private. As a result, you’ll no longer be eligible for income-driven plans or federal forgiveness programs, such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness or Teacher Loan Forgiveness.

If you’re worried about your ability to pay back a refinanced student loan, you probably shouldn’t sacrifice these federal protections. But if you’re confident you can keep up with payments, refinancing could simplify your debt repayment and get you a better deal.

Here’s a selection of reputable lenders for refinancing Colorado student loans, though you can also check our marketplace for more options.

  • Ent Credit Union
    • Provides a refinancing loan that consolidates multiple loans into one
    • Offers repayment terms up to 120 months
  • Everence
    • Partners with LendKey to provide student loan refinancing to qualifying borrowers
    • Refinances up to $125,000 in undergraduate loans or up to $175,000 in graduate loans
    • Offers variable rates starting at 5.75% as of Oct. 12, 2018
  • CommonBond
    • Refinances student loans between $5,000 and $500,000
    • Rates currently range from 1.99% to 5.78%
  • Earnest
    • Offers student loan refinancing loans of between $5,000 and $500,000
    • Rates run from 1.99% to 5.79%
  • Laurel Road
    • Carries repayment terms of five, seven, 10, 15 or 20 years
    • Currently offering rates from 1.89% to 6.00%
  • SoFi
    • Refinances student loans starting at $5,000
    • Current rates range from 2.25% to 6.28%

Since each refinancing provider has its own terms, compare your options from several before selecting one. That way, you can refinance your student loans at the best rates.

The bottom line: Student loans in Colorado

With some of the best hiking and mountain biking trails in the country, it’s no wonder Colorado is known as one of the healthiest states. And if you make smart choices with your student loans, you can make sure your personal finances stay in shape, too.

Although taking on too much student debt can be a major source of stress, borrowing a manageable amount could be what you need to earn your degree. Make sure you understand what you’re getting into and come up with a plan for repayment.

Whether you’re borrowing for the first time or refinancing student loans you already have, take time to compare all your options. By doing your due diligence, you can breathe easy knowing you’ve found a Colorado student loan with the best possible terms and conditions.

Note: Student Loan Hero has independently collected the above information related to student loan interest rates and terms. The financial institutions mentioned have neither provided nor reviewed the information shared in this article prior to publish.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 6 lenders of 2020!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
1.99% – 5.64%1Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Earnest

1.89% – 5.90%2Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Laurel Road

2.25% – 6.28%3Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit SoFi

1.89% – 6.77%4Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Splash

2.39% – 6.01%Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Elfi

1.99% – 5.61%5Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit CommonBond

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 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.79% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% 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 July 31, 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 7/31/2020. 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.


2 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.

  1. Checking your rate with Laurel Road only requires a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
  2. Savings vary based on rate and term of your existing and refinanced loan(s). Refinancing to a longer term may lower your monthly payments, but may also increase the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Refinancing to a shorter term may increase your monthly payments, but may lower the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Review your loan documentation for total cost of your refinanced loan.
  3. 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. During any period of forbearance interest will continue to accrue. At the end of the forbearance period, any unpaid accrued interest will be capitalized and be added to the remaining principle amount of the loan.
  4. Automatic Payment (“AutoPay”) Discount: if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically from a bank account, the interest rate will decrease by 0.25% and will increase back if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically from the borrower’s bank account. The 0.25% AutoPay discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the discount is applied to the principal to help pay the loan down faster.

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 September 9, 2020. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
 


3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: Fixed rates from 2.99% APR to 6.28% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.25% APR to 6.28% APR (with 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 2.25% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 0.18% plus 2.32% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, 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. See eligibility details. 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. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. 

4 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 September 10, 2020.


5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

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 0.16% effective Sep 1, 2020 and may increase after consummation.

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.