Refinance rates with Laurel Road start at 1.89%.
Checking your rates won’t affect your score.
The average balance for federal and private student loan borrowers in Louisiana is $33,823, 8% lower than the U.S. average of $36,689.
Although several bills were introduced in Louisiana in 2020 to protect student loan borrowers, only one has passed as of the end of January 2021, prohibiting public colleges from withholding student services for financial reasons. It’s a step in the right direction, but more protection is needed for the 600,000 state residents who have taken out loans for school.
Here’s what else you should know about student loans in Louisiana.
Student loans in Louisiana: Borrowers owe average of $33,823 in federal, private debt — and more facts
|Louisiana student debt overview|
|Total outstanding debt||$21.7 billion|
|Number of borrowers||0.6 million|
|Average total monthly payment||$246|
|Note: Averages include federal and private student loan debt.|
When it comes to college options, Louisiana has plenty for students to choose from. For example, there are four major public college systems in the Pelican State:
- University of Louisiana System
- Louisiana State University System
- Southern University System
- Louisiana Community and Technical College System
There are 29 campuses spread across those systems.
In general, keeping costs low means going for one of those public colleges. Another way is taking advantage of state grants and scholarships. On that front, the state provides a substantial number of options, including:
- Taylor Opportunity Program for Students
- Rockefeller State Wildlife Scholarship
- Chafee Educational and Training Voucher Program
- Strategies to Empower People (STEP) Vocational Education Program
- YCP: GO Youth ChalleNGe Program
- GO Grant
- Regional Contract Program
- BESE Tuition Program for Teachers
These offerings could help explain why the state’s students have less student loan debt than the average American college grad.
|Student loan debt in most populous Louisiana parishes|
|Parish||Average student loan balance||Average monthly student loan payment|
|East Baton Rouge||$36,989||$276|
|Note: Limited to parishes with a population of at least 300,000 residents; averages include federal and private student loan debt.|
Louisiana has repayment programs that benefit professionals, such as lawyers and health care workers. There are also federal loan forgiveness programs available to those borrowers.
Those who have federal student loans may be eligible for one of several repayment programs that lead to forgiveness, including:
- Income-driven repayment options, such as Income-Based Repayment (IBR), Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR), Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE)
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
- Teacher Loan Forgiveness
Income-driven options cap payments based on your annual earnings, and anything owed after 20 or 25 years (depending on the plan) is forgiven. Be aware, though, that you do have to reapply each year to stay on an income-driven repayment plan, and you could be taxed on the balance that’s forgiven.
With PSLF, you’d earn forgiveness after 120 eligible payments — but it’s only available to those who are employed by a federal, state, local or tribal government or a nonprofit organization. Plus, in addition to other requirements, you have to have direct loans (or consolidate other federal student loans into a direct loan). However, you won’t have to pay tax on the amount that’s forgiven with PSLF.
On the other hand, Teacher Loan Forgiveness applies only to those who teach full time for five consecutive academic years in a low-income school or educational service agency. It caps forgiveness at $17,500 or $5,000, depending on the subject you teach.
The John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program is available to state and federal public defenders and state prosecutors employed in Louisiana, provided they meet the requirements, including staying in that job for at least three years.
To be eligible, you need to have at least $20,000 in eligible student loans (including federal loans such as direct loans, Perkins loans and FFELP loans) which are not in default and work at least 30 hours a week. A total of five public defenders can get $3,900 a year, while 10 assistant district attorneys are awarded $1,950 a year.
Another option for those who go into law after graduation, the Louisiana Bar Foundation LRAP offers up to $5,000 in financial assistance to those who have law school debts. The program maxes out after 10 years and cannot exceed 75% of the annual debt service on the eligible loan.
To qualify, you have to be a member of the state Bar Association, earn $65,000 or less a year and be employed by a nonprofit legal organization assisting low-income individuals. Per IRS guidelines, your annual income can be adjusted down if you have dependents.
Qualifying primary care providers serving in health professional shortage areas can take advantage of the Louisiana SLRP. Among other requirements, you have to work for a public or nonprofit entity, accept assignments of Medicare or Medicaid and have no other obligation for health professional services to qualify.
The program will repay governmental or commercial educational loans for $15,000 to $30,000 a year, for a three-year commitment, depending on professional type. Participants in good standing may be able to renew for an additional two years.
Louisiana federal student loan borrowers younger than 25 owe less than national average — and more comparisons
A significant 7.1% of borrowers in Louisiana owe $100,000 or more in student loans. Refinancing could be an advantageous option to minimize loan costs, particularly for those high-debt borrowers.
For Louisiana residents with excellent credit, refinancing — which can combine multiple loans and potentially give you a lower rate — can be worth considering. Lela RefiHELP, for example, is a program available to state residents through the Louisiana Education Loan Authority. Those who qualify can refinance loans ranging from $5,000 to $175,000 at a fixed rate. (You’ll need a FICO Score of at least 690 to qualify.) There are also national refinancers that can provide solid options. Be sure to review the full terms and requirements before applying to make sure it’s a good option for you.
In general, the process is simple: Shop around for your best rates and terms, pick your ideal lender and apply. You’ll need to provide basic information, including existing loan details and proof of income and identity, though requirements will vary by lender. A credit check will be done to ensure you’re qualified. If approved, the refinancer would pay off your existing loan, or loans, and issue your new loan. From there, you’d start making payments under your new terms.
Borrowers should be aware that refinancing is only available through private lenders. That means that if you refinance federal loans, you’d lose access to federal programs like income-driven repayment and loan forgiveness. Some private lenders will still offer forbearance and deferment, but the offerings will likely differ from what’s available for federal loans. While refinancing can be ideal for those with private student loans, weigh any potential consequences before applying.
- U.S. Department of Education data as of June 30, 2020
- Anonymized My LendingTree June 2020 credit reports
- Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax as of June 2020
Because the latter data is from 2015, researchers estimated the increase in student loan debt per borrower in the state using statewide data from anonymized credit reports.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 9 lenders of 2021!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.88% – 6.15%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.88% – 5.64%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.88% – 5.64%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.85%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.25% – 6.39%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.90% – 5.25%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 5.90%7||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.39% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
|2.13% – 5.25%8||Undergrad & Graduate|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 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 June 1, 2021.
2 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.
Interest Rate Disclosure
Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 2.59% APR to 5.79% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 1.88% APR to 5.64% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 36% (the maximum allowable for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance 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 2.04% and 5.8% to the one month LIBOR. Earnest rate ranges are current as of 6/8/2021, and are subject to change based on market conditions.
Auto Pay Discount Disclosure
You can take advantage of the Auto Pay interest rate reduction by setting up and maintaining active and automatic ACH withdrawal of your loan payment. The interest rate reduction for Auto Pay will be available only while your loan is enrolled in Auto Pay. Interest rate incentives for utilizing Auto Pay may not be combined with certain private student loan repayment programs that also offer an interest rate reduction. For multi-party loans, only one party may enroll in Auto Pay.
Student Loan Refinancing Loan Cost Examples
These examples provide estimates based on payments beginning immediately upon loan disbursement. Variable APR: A $10,000 loan with a 20-year term (240 monthly payments of $72) and a 5.89% APR would result in a total estimated payment amount of $17,042.39. For a variable loan, after your starting rate is set, your rate will then vary with the market. Fixed APR: A $10,000 loan with a 20-year term (240 monthly payments of $72) and a 6.04% APR would result in a total estimated payment amount of $17,249.77. Your actual repayment terms may vary.Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest. com/terms-of-service, e-mail us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
Earnest Loans are made by Earnest Operations LLC or One American Bank, Member FDIC. Earnest Operations LLC, NMLS #1204917. 535 Mission St., Suite 1663, San Francisco, CA 94105. California Financing Law License 6054788. Visit earnest.com/licenses for a full list of licensed states. For California residents (Student Loan Refinance Only): Loans will be arranged or made pursuant to a California Financing Law License.
One American Bank, 515 S. Minnesota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104. Earnest loans are serviced by Earnest Operations LLC with support from Navient Solutions LLC (NMLS #212430). One American Bank and Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
© 2021 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved.
3 Important Disclosures for Navient.
4 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
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 0.15% effective Jan 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation.
5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
Fixed rates from 2.74% APR to 6.74% APR (with autopay). Variable rates from 2.25% APR to 6.39% APR (with autopay). All variable rates are based on the 1-month LIBOR and may increase after consummation if LIBOR increases; see more at SoFi.com/legal/#1. If approved for a loan your rate will depend on a variety of factors such as your credit profile, your application and your selected loan terms. Your rate will be within the ranges of rates listed above. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers, or may become available, such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license #6054612; NMLS #1121636 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org). Additional terms and conditions apply; see SoFi.com/eligibility for details. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
6 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.
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 04/07/2021 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.90% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.95% APR – 7.63% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
7 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.
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 April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
8 Important Disclosures for PenFed.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 2.89%-4.78% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.13%-5.25% APR. Both Fixed and Variable Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. For Variable Rate student loans, the rate will never exceed 9.00% for 5 year and 8 year loans and 10.00% for 12 and 15 years loans (the maximum allowable for this loan). Minimum variable rate will be 2.00%. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.