Refinancing with Earnest
Refinancing rates from 2.54% APR. Checking your rates won’t affect your credit score.
With so many banks, credit unions and companies offering low student loan refinancing rates, it can be difficult to differentiate one from another. That’s why it’s wise to take a deeper look to find top lenders’ distinguishing characteristics.
As you consider the various perks on offer, here’s an oldie but goodie available at some lenders: receiving personal banker support as you decide whether refinancing is right for you.
How a personal banker could help with student loan refinancing
If you’re thinking of refinancing your student loans with a bank, you might be offered the services of a financial professional, rather than just a run-of-the-mill customer service agent.
At First Republic Bank, for example, you can schedule a conversation with a personal banker before you decide to apply. If you like what you hear, you could apply online at your convenience. You could also check in with your banker, peppering them with any questions you might have.
In the case of First Republic, the lender ensures that your personal banker is located in your region, according to James Herbert, First Republic’s managing director of student loan refinancing. Personal bankers might invite their borrowers to local client-networking events or offer their help in more routine ways — you might be alerted to a pending loan payment, for instance.
“The goal of a [lender’s] customer service rep is to mediate whatever you proactively called in for, and that’s kind of it,” Herbert said. “The goal of our bankers is to be anticipatory to what your needs may be, to watch out for you as a client.”
For instance, a personal banker might ask you about your timeline for having a family. After all, it could affect your deadline for loan repayment — and as a result, the banker might suggest a loan term.
“If you go apply with [another lender] online, you’re not going to have anyone to ask those questions of. Or if you go online and your application is declined, you don’t always know why,” Herbert said. “We actually have conversations all the time with people who come in and aren’t qualified just yet. We actually talk with them … and say, ‘Here’s what we recommend.’”
What to keep in mind when working with a personal banker
Like other lenders, First Republic trains its bankers internally. They’re familiar with all of the bank’s products, not just student loan refinancing.
Note that banks like First Republic don’t offer their one-to-one service just to help you with your education debt — they also want to solve your banking, home mortgage and wealth-building questions too.
As Herbert said: “The goal of our bankers is to bring the full bank to you, when you need it.”
Because of this, you might have to field (or ward off) an occasional sales pitch from some lenders with this service.
How to get by without a personal banker
If your top-choice lenders don’t offer direct service from a financially-savvy professional, that doesn’t mean their customer service is unhelpful. The quality of your experience can vary from lender to lender, regardless of whether you get a bonafide personal banker to work with.
EdvestinU, for example, says its “expert loan counselors” are highly knowledgeable in the scope of federal student loans. After all, the nonprofit lender services federal loan borrowers, so it can advise borrowers about federal repayment and deferment options, not just about EdVestinU’s suite of products.
“Because our team does both … we can speak holistically about what may or may not be good things for [borrowers] — versus just saying, ‘Sure, refi with us, because that would be good for our bottom line,’” Rich Neilsen, EdVestinU’s loan program manager, said.
For example, a loan counselor would go over how refinancing federal loans means yielding government-exclusive protections like income-driven repayment plans, mandatory deferment and access to loan forgiveness or cancellation.
It’s also worth noting that, just like First Republic and other banks, other similar lenders also can serve local borrowers in person, if that’s your preference — for example, EdVestinU welcomes local residents to visit its Concord, N.H. headquarters. If you’re considering refinancing but would prefer to talk it through first, you might prioritize a lender with such a brick-and-mortar branch. (That’s also one of the pros of borrowing or refinancing from credit unions.)
“For some people, it’s not all about the dollars [saved],” Neilsen said. “It’s about the ability to have a person that they can continually go back to and ask questions throughout the process. … I know I give my [telephone] extension out all the time to call me back directly. There’s no general queue where whoever picks up picks up.”
Choose the right lender — with or without a personal banker
A personal banker could be useful if your student loan debt is an obstacle to achieving personal finance goals, such as buying a home. For instance, First Republic’s Herbert said his bank offers mortgage discounts and incentives to its student loan refinance customers.
One-on-one support at the bank or credit union of your choice could also prove to be a boon if you’re looking for a knowledgeable professional with whom you can brainstorm solutions — just ensure that they’re an expert in student loan debt, not only their employer’s products.
But in the end, having a personal banker is just one of the many factors that go into your decision on where to finance. And regardless of your preference, make sure to shop around among different lenders so you can find the one that’s the best match for you.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2019!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
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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 2.54% 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 March 18, 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 0318/2019. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent 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.
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 2.5% effective February 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.54% – 7.12%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.54% – 7.27%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.67% – 8.96%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.23% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.69% – 7.43%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.98% – 9.72%6||Undergrad & Graduate|