Repaying medical school debt can be especially costly if you’re stuck with high interest rates you received back on campus.
If you’re aiming to reduce those rates (and consolidate your debt) through student loan refinancing, then LinkCapital is worth considering as a potential lender. The Chicago-based company offers low interest rates for medical residents and professionals working in the field.
If you meet LinkCapital’s strict eligibility requirements, you may find some very attractive rates on offer. Here are some pros and cons of LinkCapital student loan refinancing:
Medical residents and professionals alike benefit from LinkCapital in the following ways:
- Refinance between $40,000 and $450,000
- of undergraduate, graduate and medical school loans
- Fixed and variable interest rates
- Enroll in autopay and receive a 0.25% rate discount
- No application, origination, prepayment or other fees
- Repayment terms of 5, 7, 10, 15 and 20 years, depending on your choice of fixed or variable rate and your employment status
- Deferment is available in cases of hardship, natural disaster and other emergencies
- Receive loan forgiveness if you suffer a total and permanent disability
Still, eligibility requirements for refinancing can be tough to meet. Even if you’ve earned a master’s or professional degree leading to a career in the field, keep these LinkCapital rules in mind:
- You must be a U.S. citizen and meet credit requirements to qualify
- Residents must have completed at least one year of postgraduate training
- You’ll need a cosigner if your credit score or debt-to-income ratio falls short
- Your cosigner can only be released from the loan agreement in cases of death or disability
LinkCapital stands out first and foremost for its low rates. It’s able to offer these rates because investors who help fund the loans view current and future medical professionals — with their low default rates and high incomes — as good bets to succeed in repayment.
That explains why doctors already working in the field have access to some of the lowest possible APRs, and why residents who have a pending employment contract could land a lower rate than other residents who are still looking for their post-residency position.
Aside from low, fixed and variable rates, here’s what else we like about LinkCapital’s products.
No upfront or hidden fees
If you’re a medical resident or professional, you’re likely used to extra costs — whether it’s what you had to fork over for your degree or what insurance companies are taking from your pockets nowadays.
Fortunately, LinkCapital is among those student loan refinance companies that have a no-fee policy. That’s no price to pay for applying for your refinanced loan, receiving it or repaying it. There’s also no late-payment fee, although interest would accrue and capitalize onto your balance.
Apply with a cosigner
You might be wondering what credit score or debt-to-income ratio (DTI) you need to qualify for a loan with LinkCapital. Although the company doesn’t disclose its exact thresholds, it does allow you to strengthen your application with a cosigner.
At LinkCapital, you would complete an initial phase of the application before adding a cosigner. It might only be necessary if your FICO score and DTI don’t pass muster.
Press pause on repayment
If you’re a resident still working on a lower salary, you’ll appreciate this LinkCapital perk: up to six years of partial deferment — just $75 monthly payments are required — and a three-month grace period after completing your training.
Whether you’re a resident or professional, you could also postpone your monthly dues if you experience a hardship, a natural disaster or other emergency down the road in repayment. That’s a valuable feature to help you plan for the unforeseen.
LinkCapital delivers student loan refinancing features that could benefit your repayment, including those low rates, repayment protections and an absence of fees.
Still, LinkCapital isn’t right for every borrower, beginning with the fact that not every borrower qualifies.
Citizenship is an eligibility requirement
Even if you’re a medical resident or professional with strong financials, you might be ineligible for a LinkCapital loan simply because of your citizenship status. Only U.S. citizens can refinance with the company.
If you’re a noncitizen, you might opt instead for a company like Prodigy Finance that serves international students-turned-medical school graduates.
You can’t prequalify quickly and painlessly
While LinkCapital provides clear instructions on its application process and the documents you’d need to gather in advance, it’s no quick picnic. Applying will take about 35 minutes, the company says on its website.
Unfortunately, you can’t prequalify and receive a rate quote within minutes the way you can via some competing companies, such as SoFi. But on the plus side, once you pass the initial phase of the LinkCapital application, you should learn your fate within three business days of submitting.
You’re dealing with a middle man
If you have federal student loans with an awful loan servicer (or private loans with a sketchy creditor), you might be extra cautious in choosing your next lender.
While LinkCapital doesn’t have a bad reputation, it is a middle man of sorts, outsourcing the funding (Bank of Lake Mills), originating (Campus Door) and servicing (Aspire) of its loans to other companies. Before borrowing from LinkCapital, you’ll want to ensure its partners also suit your needs.
If in-house customer service is paramount to you, for example, it’d be wise to vet refinance companies before zeroing in on one.
For medical residents and professionals who are U.S. citizens, LinkCapital should certainly be under consideration. It offers low refinancing rates and repayment support that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
But no matter whether LinkCapital sounds like a fit for your repayment, it’s smart to shop around — you might find an even better fit elsewhere.
Say you have less than $40,000 of debt, which is LinkCapital’s required minimum. You might investigate SoFi refinancing, since it allows you to refinance as little as $10,001.
Also, consider that student loan refinance companies that cater to broader audiences will also reward you for your high-paying, stable career. Check out our student loan refinance marketplace to compare your options.
The information in this article is accurate as of the date of publishing.