Refinancing with Earnest
Refinancing rates from 2.50% APR. Checking your rates won’t affect your credit score.
If you have a criminal conviction in your rearview mirror, you might think student loan refinancing is unachievable. After all, private lenders have strict eligibility requirements for borrowers seeking to lower their interest rate or monthly payment.
You might be surprised to learn, however, that refinancing with a criminal record is possible, though difficult.
Refinancing student loans with a criminal record
While many types of criminal offenses would limit your access to federal student loans, those convictions wouldn’t directly affect your ability to refinance with a private lender.
Student Loan Hero polled five leading refinancing lenders — Earnest, SoFi, EdVestinU, Splash Financial and CommonBond — and received a similar response from each. They’re most concerned with your employment, income and credit score, and they won’t perform the same background check that potential employers would. For example, the application doesn’t contain any box to check that can identify you as having been convicted of a felony or anything else.
CommonBond specified that it wouldn’t hold a criminal conviction against you — unless it included financial sanctions from a federal agency, like the Department of the Treasury.
A criminal record could complicate your eligibility
Nevertheless, a conviction could indirectly harm your chances of refinancing student loan debt. That’s because it could stop you from meeting other eligibility requirements.
Consider, for example, that slightly more than half (55%) of ex-prisoners find employment within a year of their release — and those who do find work only earn a median annual wage of $10,090, according to The Brookings Institution.
Both data points present problems for refinancing. Many reputable lenders heavily weight your employment status and earnings when evaluating your application. Some lenders impose minimum income requirements for prospective borrowers, including LendKey ($24,000), Education Loan Refinance ($35,000) and Splash Financial ($42,000).
But even if you have a steady, well-paying gig, you might find that your credit score isn’t up to snuff.
Although your credit score won’t account for any criminal history, it might be impacted in a roundabout way. Say you were incarcerated for an extended period and fell behind on your bills. In cases like these, your credit score likely took a dip beneath the solid score range that makes you eligible for refinancing, let alone the excellent score range that would unlock a lender’s advertised interest rates.
Regardless of your past, ensure refinancing is right for your future
A criminal record in and of itself won’t harm your eligibility for student loan refinancing. Your application will be judged traditionally, surveying your job, pay and credit file. Without strong financials, you could lean on a cosigner to improve your chances of qualifying or scoring the lowest possible interest rate.
If you’re unable to meet refinancing eligibility requirements (or find a cosigner who does), beware of predatory lenders tagging their refinancing products with high rates and fees. You might be better off taking the time you need to steady your career and improve your credit score in order to get a more reasonable refinancing offer.
Now that you’ve clarified your eligibility, review student loan refinancing basics to determine if it’s right for you.
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|