Refinancing with Laurel Road
Refinancing APRs starting at 1.89%. Checking your rates won’t affect your score.
Note that the situation for student loans has changed due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and relief efforts from the government, student loan lenders and others. Check out our Student Loan Hero Coronavirus Information Center for additional news and details.
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This post was originally published on Dec. 27, 2017.
If you borrowed for college but did not graduate , trying to refinance student loans without a degree can be a challenge. That goes for students and, in the case of Tina MacDonald, parents too.
Having never finished college themselves, MacDonald and her husband prioritized their son’s education: They borrowed federal Parent PLUS Loans to pay for a private education. However, doing so caused them to rack up six figures of debt and endangered their retirement.
In her search for possible solutions, MacDonald heard about student loan refinancing and thought it sounded like a good strategy to pay off the debt. Unfortunately, her lack of a diploma was a sticking point initially.
To refinance student loans without a degree is possible, however. Let’s see how MacDonald accomplished it (and how you can too) by looking at the following topics:
- Borrowing money to pay for her child’s education
- Looking into student loan refinancing for Parent PLUS Loans
- Finding a lender to refinance student loans without a degree
- Refinancing student loans without a degree
MacDonald’s son chose a prestigious but expensive private school for college. He took out his own loans but needed help to cover the rest, so MacDonald and her husband offered to take out loans to pay for the remaining balance.
To cover tuition and other fees, MacDonald took out a total of about $140,000 in Parent PLUS Loans. Unfortunately, they came with a high interest rate of 7.90%.
“After five years, (the loan balance) grew to over $150,000,” MacDonald said.
The monthly payments on the loans were huge, so MacDonald opted for a graduated repayment plan — where payments start small and increase every two years — to reduce the monthly payment.
At first, the payments were manageable, but they increasingly became difficult. By the time she started researching other options to manage her debt, her monthly payments were $1,835.
“At the time (I considered refinancing), we had been through two increases already,” she said. “In a few years, (the payments) would have been insane.”
With such a large payment, MacDonald worried about saving enough for retirement and her other children’s education. She began researching options online.
“I’ve always been kind of interested in finance, and I’ve always handled the mortgages and the insurance,” MacDonald said. “Over the past couple of years, I had been thinking about (refinancing).”
“It was a big decision, and I was afraid,” MacDonald said. “That interest was crazy. But I kept thinking about that pending increase (with the graduated repayment plan). My payments would have been over $3,600 a month.”
Despite the benefits of refinancing, MacDonald was nervous about giving up the perks that come with federal loans.
“The only thing that frightened me is that when my husband was laid off a few years ago, we were able to put our payments on hold,” she said. “It was a big deal to give that option up.”
However, MacDonald decided to pursue refinancing despite the possible drawbacks of refinancing federal student loans.
MacDonald looked at our list of recommended student loan refinancing lenders and ended up applying to four of them. Initially, she worried that the loans were too big to refinance all at once, so she applied to have just half of the loans refinanced.
MacDonald and her husband are in their late 50s and make over $300,000 per year. Although that would make them sound like ideal applicants on paper, two lenders denied them.
Turned out, trying to refinance student loans without a degree — even as parents — was easier said than done.
“Even though we’ve never been late on a payment, we were denied because we never finished college,” she said. “They wouldn’t consider us because we didn’t have a degree.”
Thankfully, she did find a lender willing to refinance student loans without a degree: SoFi. After completing the application online, she received an approval notification just a few hours later.
Even better, MacDonald’s new loan included unemployment protection and would have a fixed interest rate of just 5.50%. With the new rate and loan term, she no longer had to worry about the payment growing.
“My payments are just under $1,800, but they’ll never change,” she said.
With more wiggle room in her budget, MacDonald said she feels more secure.
“A lot of people are afraid of financial things and don’t take action,” she said. “But you can save so much money by doing it.”
By refinancing her loans, MacDonald was able to lock in a monthly payment she could afford, freeing up money to put toward her other goals. That extra cash flow will go a long way in helping her other, younger children pay for school and for her own retirement.
Student loan repayment without a diploma on the wall can be a serious burden. The outstanding loans can affect your monthly budget, your ability to get a mortgage and even how much you can save for retirement.
Fortunately, there are reputable lenders that refinance student loans without a degree.
SoFi was the solution for MacDonald, but another lender could be up your alley.
If you’re looking to refinance student loans without a degree, check out other banks, credit unions and national companies with this option:
|More lenders that refinance student loans without a degree|
|Lender||Select requirements (not a full list)|
|Citizens Bank||Make 12 full, on-time monthly payments before applying.|
|PNC||You’re no longer enrolled, and you’re active in repayment.|
|EdVestinU||You’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and are at least 18.|
|Discover||You’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and are at least 18.|
|Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA)||You’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.|
|Advantage Education Loan||You’ve entered your grace period or repayment on the loans you want to refinance.|
|INvestED||You’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and you or your cosigner has been employed continuously for 12 months.|
|MEFA||You’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and haven’t experienced a delinquency in the past 12 months.|
Andrew Pentis contributed to this report.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2021!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.89% – 5.99%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.99% – 5.64%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.91% – 5.25%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.25% – 6.88%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 5.90%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.39% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
|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 Feburary 1, 2021.
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 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.49% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.34% 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 October 26, 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 10/26/2020. 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.
3 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 02/17/2021 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.91% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.95% APR – 7.63% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
4 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
5 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 January 4, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.