Our Latest Survey Finds a Third of Borrowers Don’t Know About Student Loan Refinancing

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the financial institution.

student loan refinancing survey

We’ve got your back! Student Loan Hero is a completely free website 100% focused on helping student loan borrowers get the answers they need. Read more

How do we make money? It’s actually pretty simple. If you choose to check out and become a customer of any of the loan providers featured on our site, we get compensated for sending you their way. This helps pay for our amazing staff of writers (many of which are paying back student loans of their own!).

Bottom line: We’re here for you. So please learn all you can, email us with any questions, and feel free to visit or not visit any of the loan providers on our site. Read less

With the average cost of college rising at a rapid pace, so are the student loan balances of graduating seniors. New graduates and longtime borrowers alike are desperate for ways to make their student loan payments more manageable so they can get out from under the crushing weight of debt once and for all.

Yet one of the most effective ways of reducing student loan payments — by consolidating multiple high-interest loans into a single, new loan with a lower rate — is unknown by a large portion of today’s borrowers.  That solution is student loan refinancing.

In a new survey by Student Loan Hero, we polled student loan borrowers of all ages to find out how well they understood the refinancing process, whether they had successfully refinanced, and if not, what was stopping them. Read on to find out what they had to say.

Student Loan Hero Refinancing Survey: 2016 Results

Are you familiar with student loan refinancing?

  • Yes: 62.11%
  • No: 37.89%

student loan refinancing survey 2

Have you refinanced your student loans?

  • Yes. Only my federal student loans: 13.73%
  • Yes. Only my private student loans: 3.59%
  • Yes. Both federal and private student loans: 13.51%
  • No. I have not refinanced: 69.16%

student loan refinancing survey 3

If you haven’t refinanced your student loans, why not?

  • I wasn’t aware of student loan refinancing: 23.40%
  • I plan to receive student loan forgiveness: 8.35%
  • My refinancing application was rejected: 1.96%
  • I’ve already refinanced my student loans: 15.14%
  • I wish to remain on income-driven repayment: 20.09%
  • Other: 31.05%

student loan refinancing survey 4

If you were to refinance your student loans (or have already refinanced), what would be (or was) your main reason for doing so?

  • Lower monthly payments: 25.93%
  • Lower interest rate: 33.38%
  • Release a cosigner: 2.40%
  • Transfer Parent PLUS loans to child/student2.81%
  • Convert variable rate loan to fixed rate: 2.56%
  • Not sure/I don’t know what refinancing is12.93%
  • Other: 19.99%

student loan refinancing survey 5

Would you be willing to give up access to federal student loan repayment options such as income-driven repayment and forgiveness in exchange for a lower interest rate?

  • Yes: 24.72%
  • No: 35.88%
  • Not sure: 39.40%

student loan refinancing survey 6


Survey Methodology

Survey was conducted via Google Consumer Surveys on behalf of Student Loan Hero from June 30 – July 3, 2016, with a nationally representative sample of 1,001 individuals living in the US with student loans in repayment. “Do you have student loans that are currently in repayment?” was used as a screening question (with a target answer of “yes”).