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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.
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