Refinancing with Earnest
Refinancing rates from 2.50% APR. Checking your rates won’t affect your credit score.
From a less-than-stellar GPA to a high student loan rate, your college-era mistakes have a way of sticking with you. But even if you never earned a spot on the dean’s list, you can get a second chance at a low-cost student loan.
Refinancing your student loans can be a chance to modify your debt to match your needs — and possibly pay less interest. Companies like PenFed, formerly known as Purefy, give you the opportunity to lower your student loan rate, lower your monthly payment, or both.
Use our PenFed review to find out more about this student loan refinancing platform and whether it could help you ace Student Loan Repayment 101.
PenFed review: Student loan refinancing process
PenFed is a lending platform that connects applicants with lenders that fit their student loan refinancing needs.
PenFed works with two lenders, PenFed Credit Union and Citizens Bank, to offer both student loan refinancing and private student loans for in-school borrowers. This PenFed review will focus on PenFed student loan refinancing offers.
Pros of PenFed student loan refinancing
Here are some PenFed student loan refinance benefits that stand out:
- Adjust student loan terms to match your current needs: With a new student loan, you can take advantage of offers for lower student loan rates. You also can choose the best terms to match your financial situation and goals.
- Quickly see if PenFed can beat your student loan rates: PenFed’s “Find My Rate” tool delivers instant rate estimates from two lenders, with no credit check required.
- Take advantage of unique solutions for all types of applicants: PenFed tailors student loan refinancing offers to meet the specific needs of parents, couples, and even borrowers with imperfect credit.
Cons of PenFed student loan refinancing
As a student loan refinancing platform, PenFed is a solid choice. However, there are a few student loan refinancing drawbacks borrowers should be aware of:
- You have to meet eligibility standards: In other words, you’ll need to have at least decent credit and steady income to get approved for PenFed’s student loan refinancing offers. Or you’ll need a student loan cosigner who can qualify.
- You’ll lose federal student loan benefits: Once you refinance your student loans, you’ll no longer be eligible for federal student loan forgiveness options such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness. You’ll also lose access to federal repayment protections such as deferment and income-driven repayment plans.
How to get customized PenFed student loan refinancing rates
You’ll see in the PenFed review below how easy it is to get a rate estimate for refinancing student loans. Using PenFed’s tool, you have to answer just five questions (pictured below).
Since you submit an estimate of your credit score, there’s no credit check, and your credit won’t be affected. If you’re not sure what your score is, you can check your credit score for free on sites such as Credit Karma and Credit Sesame.
PenFed uses the information you submit to generate customized student loan refinancing rates and offers from its lenders. For each loan offer, PenFed highlights the change in monthly payments and total costs over the life of the loan (pictured below).
If you see an offer you like, you can click through and apply to refinance your student loans with that lender.
On its site, PenFed suggests applicants should be ready to submit important documents, including:
- An image of their driver’s license
- Proof of income, such as a pay stub or tax return
- College transcripts to verify their degree
- Payoff statements for the student loans the applicant intends to refinance
Additionally, you’ll need to submit a PenFed membership application before you can refinance student loans with this credit union.
PenFed interest rates and fees
Since PenFed works with two lenders, it’s easy to quickly compare offers — all with a single rate request. During our PenFed review, we noted the following cost-effective benefits:
- Competitive refinancing rates. PenFed offers low student loan refinancing rates to help many borrowers save. According to PenFed’s site, its lenders set student loan rates based on your credit score and the college degrees you hold.
- A wide range of terms. Whether you’re looking to get out of student debt fast or want to to lower your monthly payments, PenFed can probably help. In the rate offers we previewed, refinanced student loan terms ranged from five years up to 20.
- No fees. PenFed’s student loan refinancing offers carry no origination fees or prepayment penalties, giving you a better chance at savings.
Unfortunately, not every borrower can refinance to lower student loan rates. If you already have low student loan rates, PenFed might not be able to beat them. Borrowers with high-interest student debt, such as Grad or Parent PLUS Loans, are most likely to save money via PenFed.
PenFed student loan refinance eligibility requirements
PenFed student loan refinancing options can be used to pay off and replace outstanding federal student loans, private student loans, and even PLUS Loans.
Applicants also must be U.S. citizens and have a healthy financial background to meet PenFed student loan refinance requirements. That means you’ll need good to excellent credit to be eligible, as outlined by the following lenders:
- PenFed requires a credit score of 700 or higher to qualify for student loan refinancing or 670 with a qualified cosigner.
- Citizens Bank requires a minimum credit score of 680 on student loan refinancing applications or 620 with a qualified cosigner.
Both PenFed lenders also have income requirements for their student loan refinancing offers:
- PenFed requires a minimum annual income of $42,000 or $25,000 with a qualified cosigner.
- Citizens Bank requires a minimum income of $24,000 per year (it may be combined income for applicants with a cosigner) to qualify.
Through our PenFed review, we also noted a few unique student loan refinancing options that not every lender provides:
- Refinancing student loans with the help of a cosigner: If your credit is too low to qualify for student loan refinancing on your own or get the best rates, try adding a cosigner. Both lenders working with PenFed accept cosigners on student loan refinancing applications.
- Parent PLUS Loan refinancing: Only a handful of lenders refinance Parent PLUS Loans, and PenFed’s lenders even provide an option to refinance these loans from the parent’s name to the student’s name.
- Student loan refinancing for married couples: A rare offering, PenFed can facilitate the request to combine and refinance married couples’ student loans. One spouse is the primary borrower, and the other is the cosigner, with interest rates set by the higher credit score of the two.
Lastly, PenFed is willing to work with borrowers in “unique situations” to find the right student loan refinancing solution.
PenFed customer service
Reach out to talk to a representative and see what PenFed can do for you. Here’s how you can get in touch with PenFed’s customer service team:
- Phone: 202-524-1115
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Twitter: @PenFed
If you think PenFed could help you pay less on your student debt, give it a try. With its low-pressure rate checker, you have nothing to lose — and could save quite a bit.
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|