Refinancing with Earnest
Refinancing rates from 2.50% APR. Checking your rates won’t affect your credit score.
Have you ever scored a free ride on a ride-sharing app or earned a recruiting bonus from an employer? Then you’re already familiar with refer-a-friend promotions. But you might be surprised to learn about student loan referral programs that could earn you money — we even have one at Student Loan Hero.
Most student loan referral programs operate on a simple premise. If your friend uses your code to apply for or refinance a loan — and it’s approved — you get money. These referral bonuses can help boost your own monthly loan payments.
But not all of these student loan referral programs are equal.
What to look for in a student loan referral program
Unlike programs you might be familiar with in other industries, student loan referral programs typically don’t require you to be a borrower in order to recommend a lender and reap the reward.
The key differentiators between referral programs are how big of a reward you can earn and how fast you can get it. But what makes them similar is their eligibility requirements. Most programs require the following terms:
- The person you refer can’t have an existing account with the lender.
- You can receive only one bonus per referral.
- Your referral’s loan must be refinanced or approved before you earn a bonus.
It’s worth noting that most programs allow you to send out as many referrals as you wish. But be sure to read the rules of the referral programs under consideration. Keep in mind, too, that you won’t be updated on the progress of your referrals’ loan applications unless they tell you directly. This is to ensure the privacy of the loan applicant.
5 awesome student loan referral programs
Here are five lenders who offer a student loan referral program and the details of each.
The SoFi referral program is unique in a few ways. First, you can get rewarded for referring someone who is interested in refinancing a student loan or a Parent PLUS loan, or even someone who is considering taking out a personal loan.
Registering and enrolling in the program will create the customized link that you and your referrals will need to collect the cash bonuses. Unlike other lenders, SoFi’s referral program awards $300 to both you and your pal.
Once your referral’s new loan has been approved, you’ll each receive the money via Automated Clearing House (ACH) and to your bank account within 30 days. All U.S. residents — except those living in Michigan — are eligible to participate.
2. Laurel Road
One nice benefit of the Laurel Road referral program is not having to register. Provide your name and contact information, plus the same for referrals. You can invite as many people as you like, but you’ll need to manually add them one at a time. You won’t have a unique link to share more openly.
Still, a $300 check with your name on it could be in the mail if someone in your network gets approved for a loan with Laurel Road.
Enter an email address on the CommonBond sign-up page to get a link and send it around as you wish. CommonBond pays out $200 via PayPal for each new or refinanced loan that originated with your referral.
Need a selling point to share with your referrals? Every time they take out a loan with the company, it funds the education of a child in a developing country.
With its Refer and Earn program, LendKey separates itself from the competition. It offers a bonus for each referral who gets approved ($50), plus each referral who actually takes out a loan (another $250).
This could be the ideal referral program if you have friends who are rate-shopping and willing to submit their credit report as part of an application.
You need to enter your name and email address to get started — and that’s it. The small or big bonus would arrive via PayPal within four weeks of each loan’s approval or disbursement.
5. Education Loan Finance
Like the SoFi referral program, the Education Loan Finance program is doubly rewarding. It offers $400 for successful referrals, and your friend would score a $100 bonus when refinancing a loan within 90 days of registering on the site. A second $100 Education Loan Finance Fast Track Bonus is awarded to new customers who have their loans stamped within 30 days of their initial application.
Registering is as simple as filling out a quick form. But there is one unique qualifier: A friend or family member must refinance a minimum of $15,000 in order for you both to be eligible for the cash bonuses.
How to use your bonus from a loan referral program
If you’re a borrower and are awarded $300 or $400 for helping a friend refinance their own loans, there are a number of ways to handle this influx in income.
There’s not one correct way for everyone, but making a larger-than-usual monthly payment on your student loan can help immensely. If that’s your plan, don’t let the bonus get lost in your bank account. Make an extra student loan payment as soon as you receive the bonus to remove the temptation of spending it elsewhere.
Of course, you can also apply the cash to other routine expenses. Perhaps you use it to pay your rent or mortgage, internet bill, or maybe even the next few grocery trips.
You might not receive the full bonus as advertised either — it might be taxable income. SoFi, for example, will ask you to complete a W-9 form before handing you more than $599. CommonBond says it will send a 1099-MISC form to use when filing your taxes if six or more of your referrals result in new loans.
If you’ve ever been burdened by student loans, you can appreciate how impactful a good referral can be. Even though you don’t need to be a borrower of a particular lender in order to recommend it to friends, relaying a positive experience could lead to someone else’s.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2019!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
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 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.50% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.27% 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 April 17, 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 04/17/2019. 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 email@example.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.
3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
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.
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.
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 2.49% effective March 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.50% – 7.27%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 7.12%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.81% – 8.79%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.55% – 7.12%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.00% – 9.74%6||Undergrad & Graduate|