With the national student loan debt surpassing $1.4 trillion, millions of Americans are looking for solutions. Fortunately, financial tech companies like LendEDU have stepped in to help.
Created in 2014, LendEDU is an online marketplace for comparing refinanced student loans, private student loans, personal loans, and credit cards.
It’s a free service that lets you window shop a variety of products and lenders. If you find the right deal, you’ll go on to submit an application with the lender itself.
Here’s how LendEDU can help you compare rates and improve your personal finances.
There are tons of banks, online lenders, and credit companies that want to sell you their products. Whether you’re trying to refinance your student loans, take out a new loan, or choose a credit card, it’s tough to know where to start.
LendEDU simplifies this process by partnering with lenders offering competitive interest rates. Plus, it checks your creditworthiness to see if you prequalify for any refinancing or loan offers. (Note that none of these offers are final until you submit a full application with the lender.)
In a few minutes, you can see whether you’re eligible. And this process won’t affect your credit score at all. LendEDU does a “soft pull” on your credit, so it doesn’t impact your score.
Besides comparing offers, you can also browse LendEDU’s financial resources. The LendEDU blog shares articles on student loans, credit cards, and other financial topics. It has video courses on financial aid, as well as a college scholarship guide.
Between its financial resources and online marketplace, LendEDU helps you learn about your options and make smart choices about your loans.
LendEDU helps you shop for four main products:
- Student loan refinancing offers (between $5,000 and $300,000)
- Private student loans (amounts vary)
- Personal loans (between $1,000 and $100,000)
- Credit cards
The company started primarily as a marketplace for student loan refinancing. But as LendEDU grew, it added student loans, personal loans, and credit cards to the mix. As with refinancing, you’ll answer a few questions to see if you prequalify for student loan or personal loan offers.
To browse student loan rates, for instance, you’ll indicate whether you’re a student or parent. For personal loan offers, you’ll explain why you need the personal loan, whether it’s to help with debt consolidation, medical expenses, or another reason.
If you’re interested in credit cards, you don’t need to go through any prequalification check. Just go directly to LendEDU’s credit card marketplace. Then once you’ve chosen a card, you’ll head to the company’s website to apply.
Pros and cons of LendEDU
One benefit of using LendEDU is that it simplifies the loan and credit card shopping process. You don’t have to sift through hundreds of banks and companies. Instead, LendEDU pre-selects some of the best ones.
But on the flip side, this marketplace limits your options. LendEDU mainly shows rates from its partner companies. Although some have great reputations, including SoFi and CommonBond, you won’t see a comprehensive list of banks and online lenders.
Some borrowers, for instance, might find better deals with their local community bank or credit union. As you use LendEDU, remember that there are other options out there.
You should also note that 43 percent of LendEDU’s refinancing applicants are denied by lenders. In other words, you need to have particularly strong credit and income to qualify for refinancing through LendEDU.
If you’re unsure about the strength of your candidacy, keep this high threshold in mind as you compare your options. Even if you’re not approved through LendEDU, you could find an offer somewhere else.
LendEDU interest rates
One of the best perks of student loan refinancing is lowering your interest rate. Lowering your rate by even one point can save you a great deal of money over the life of your loans.
The interest rates you qualify for largely depend on your income and creditworthiness. Student loan and personal loan lenders also look at these factors to determine your rates. If you have weak credit, you could get a better deal by applying with a cosigner.
Interest rates vary by lender. Among LendEDU’s refinancing partners, variable and fixed interest rates start as low as 2.10% and go as high as 8.38%.
LendEDU’s student loan partners offer variable rates starting at 2.751%. Fixed rates start at 4.751% and go as high as 12.99%.
Finally, personal loan interest rates range from 5% to 15.74% for variable rates. Fixed rates go from 2.19% all the way up to $35.99%.
As you can see, variable rates can start lower than fixed rates, but they have the potential to increase over time. The rate type you choose largely depends on how long it will take you to pay off your loans and your comfort with risk.
How to use LendEDU online
LendEDU has a straightforward, easy-to-use online platform. All you have to do is answer a handful of basic questions to browse loan offers. Questions include your name, address, phone number, and education level. After providing this information, you’ll choose a password to create your account.
When you head to the website, you’ll see your four options for financial products: student loan refinance, private student loans, personal loans, and credit cards.
As mentioned above, you don’t have to answer any personal questions to browse credit card offers. You’ll just indicate whether you’re looking for a rewards, travel, student, balance transfer, hotel, or another type of card. In the marketplace, you can filter your results even more — by card type or credit score.
The other categories require some more input. Let’s say you click on the “student loan refinance” tab. First, you’ll indicate what kind of student loans you’re looking to refinance.
Second, you’ll enter your level of education. For the third step, you’ll say how much you owe in student loans. The minimum to refinance is $5,000, and the maximum is $300,000.
Next, you’ll enter your zip code and street address before creating a login by providing your email and choosing a password.
At this point, LendEDU will perform a soft credit check to verify your details and get a sense of your credit history. Then, it will show you a bunch of refinancing offers from its partner lenders.
You’ll see both variable and fixed interest rates, as well as repayment terms ranging from five to 20 years. You’re not obligated to choose any of them, but if you find one that’s appealing, you can head to its website and submit a full application.
If you submit an official application, the bank or online lender will run a hard credit check. As long as your information checks out, you should get the same offer you saw through LendEDU.
The process for comparing student loans and personal loans asks for slightly different information. When applying for student loans, for instance, you’ll indicate whether you’re a student or parent. If you’re a student, you’ll provide your college name and current school year.
For a personal loan, you’ll say how much you want to take out and the reason for the loan. Whatever product you’re interested in, the questions will only take you two to three minutes to answer. Then, you’ll have a list of offers to compare.
How did LendEDU start?
Cofounders Nate Matherson and Matt Lenhard started LendEDU in August 2014. Both graduated with student loan debt and wanted to help other borrowers.
They developed their company vision through the Iowa Startup Accelerator and Y Combinator. LendEDU also acquired funding from Built by Iowa, MicroVentures, and various angel investors.
The company started as a marketplace for refinancing lenders, but has since expanded into student loans, personal loans, and credit cards.
LendEDU contact info and customer support
For more information beyond this LendEDU review, call (800) 928-3940 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also connect directly with a member of LendEDU’s support team via the Live Chat function on its website.
To stay up to date on company developments, follow LendEDU’s social media channels:
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
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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 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% 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 Month/Day/Year, 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 08/21/18. 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 ourstudent 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 Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
Savings example: average savings calculated based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were disclosed. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
Application detail: 5 minutes indicates typical time it takes to complete application with applicant information readily available. It does not include time taken to provide underwriting decision or funding of the loan.
Instant rates mean a delivery of personalized rates for those individuals who provide sufficient information to return a rate. For instant rates a soft credit pull will be conducted, 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.
Total savings calculated by aggregating individual average savings across total borrower population from 9/2013 to 12/2017. Individual average savings calculation based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were provided. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
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.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.47% – 6.99%3||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit SoFi|
|2.47% – 5.87%1||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Earnest|
|2.47% – 8.03%4||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Lendkey|
|2.95% – 6.37%2||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Laurel Road|
|2.48% – 6.25%5||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit CommonBond|
|2.72% – 8.32%6||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Citizens|