Refinance rates with Laurel Road start at 1.89%.
Checking your rates won’t affect your score.
The average federal and private student loan borrower in Rhode Island owes $30,225, 18% less than the national average of $36,689. However, the Ocean State is also home to some exclusive — and expensive — universities.
If you live in Rhode Island, you may be eligible for scholarships or grants to reduce your costs. And after you graduate, you may qualify for student loan forgiveness or repayment assistance programs offered by the state or federal government.
Whether you’re planning on attending college this fall or your grace period is about to end, here’s what you need to know to manage your Rhode Island student loans.
Rhode Island borrowers owe $30,225 in federal and private student loans. That amount is below the national average for student loan debt, though Rhode Island residents do tend to earn higher incomes. The median household income in Rhode Island is $67,167, compared with the national median of $62,843.
The relatively low average loan balance for Rhode Island borrowers is particularly remarkable considering that the state is in the Northeast, which tends to be more expensive. States near Rhode Island tend to have much higher average balances. For example, the average federal and private student loan balance is $31,821 in Massachusetts, $32,767 in Connecticut and $35,638 in New York.
You can see how Rhode Island measures up to the other states in this chart:
Rhode Island is a tiny state, with just over 1 million people living there. However, it has a robust education system, with several noteworthy institutions and financial aid programs.
If you’re planning on attending school within the state, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Public universities: The state has just three public schools. The University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College are four-year universities, while the Community College of Rhode Island is a two-year school.
- Private schools: Despite its size, several prestigious universities are in Rhode Island, including Brown University, a nationally-recognized Ivy League school. Other well-known schools include Providence College, Bryant University, the New England Institute of Technology and the Rhode Island School of Design.
- State scholarships: The Rhode Island Foundation connects students to financial aid opportunities. There are scholarships targeted for different groups, such as first-generation students, Black students, women and individuals pursuing arts careers, among others.
- Other financial aid options: The Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA) maintains a database of local scholarship opportunities offered by nonprofits and businesses. You must register and create an account to search through available scholarships.
Depending on your job, you may be eligible for partial or full student loan forgiveness from the federal government, or you could qualify for repayment assistance from the state. There are multiple student loan relief programs available to Rhode Island residents.
PSLF, a federal loan forgiveness program, is administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Designed to encourage people to work in public service, you can qualify for loan forgiveness if you work for a nonprofit organization or government agency for at least 10 years and make 120 qualifying monthly loan payments.
If you meet that criteria, you can have your remaining federal loan balance forgiven tax-free. Use the PSLF Help Tool to find out if you qualify and to apply for forgiveness.
If you’re a health care professional, you may be eligible for assistance repaying your federal and private loans. Through the Rhode Island HLRP, you can get money for repaying your loans if you make a two-year commitment to provide direct patient care in an ambulatory outpatient setting (with the funding amount varying based on the applicant). Primary care, mental health and dentistry are among the medical fields eligible for this program.
If you have federal student loans and teach in an elementary school, secondary school or educational service agency, you may qualify for Teacher Loan Forgiveness.
Through this program, select teachers — those who teach science or mathematics at the secondary level or work in special education — can qualify for up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness. Teachers in other areas can receive up to $5,000 to repay their loans.
To get loan forgiveness, you must work for at least five consecutive academic years for a qualifying school.
Provided by Rhode Island Commerce Corp., the Wavemaker Fellowship is a tax credit program. The program is designed to encourage students in subjects such as technology, engineering, finance and medicine to work or launch businesses in the state.
If selected, you can use the tax credit to pay your income tax liability, or you can opt for a full refund of your tax credit amount.
The Wavemaker Fellowship tax credit is valued as the annual total of your student loan payments up to the following limits:
- If you have an associate degree, the maximum award is $1,000 a year
- If you have a bachelor’s degree, the maximum is $4,000 a year
- If you have a master’s degree, the maximum award is $6,000 a year
Rhode Island federal student loan borrowers younger than 25 owe more than national average — plus a look at payment status
Nearly 6% of federal student loan borrowers in Rhode Island owe six figures in debt, not including what they may owe in private loans. If you have $100,000 or more in debt, interest can occur rapidly, and your balance can grow over time.
Student loan refinancing can be especially beneficial if you have a large loan balance. By refinancing your loans, you can lower your interest rate, reduce your monthly payments and save money on your total repayment costs. You can use Student Loan Hero’s student loan payment calculator to determine how much you can save.
The nonprofit RISLA offers private student loans and student loan refinancing to borrowers nationwide. Regularly recognized by publications as a top lender, it offers competitive interest rates and terms and allows borrowers to refinance between $7,500 and $250,000 of their debt.
However, what makes RISLA stand out from other lenders is its unique benefits. Notably, it offers the following perks:
- Income-Based Repayment: Similar to the federal repayment plan of the same name, RISLA’s version of IBR bases your payments on your family size and income, extending your repayment term to up to 25 years. If you still have a balance after 25 years of making payments, RISLA will forgive the remaining amount.
- Total and Permanent Disability Discharge: If you become physically disabled or develop a mental impairment and are unable to work, RISLA will discharge your loan balance.
- Nursing Reward Program: Licensed registered nurses employed by health facilities in Rhode Island with RISLA loans can qualify for the company’s program. RISLA will lower the interest rate on nurses’ loans to 0% for 48 months. While the 0% period is in effect, all your payments will go entirely toward the loan principal, lowering your payments and decreasing your total repayment amount.
But while RISLA is an excellent lender, it’s still always a good idea to compare rates and terms from multiple student loan refinancing lenders before making a decision.
And whether you decide to use RISLA or another lender, make sure you understand the pros and cons of refinancing before submitting your loan application, particularly if you have federal loans. Once you refinance federal loans, you’ll no longer be eligible for federal forbearance, forgiveness or income-driven repayment plans. While some refinancing lenders, like RISLA, offer similar benefits, they tend to be less generous than the federal programs.
- U.S. Department of Education data as of June 30, 2020
- Anonymized My LendingTree June 2020 credit reports
- Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax as of June 2020
Because the latter data is from 2015, researchers estimated the increase in student loan debt per borrower in the state using statewide data from anonymized credit reports.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 9 lenders of 2021!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.88% – 6.15%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.88% – 5.64%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.99% – 5.64%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.85%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.25% – 6.39%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.90% – 5.25%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 5.90%7||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.39% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
|2.13% – 5.25%8||Undergrad & Graduate|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount
The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.
To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of June 1, 2021.
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 2.50% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.79% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.88% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.64% 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 October 26, 2020, 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 10/26/2020. 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 protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2020 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 Navient.
4 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. 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 0.15% effective Jan 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation.
5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
6 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.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
As of 04/07/2021 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.90% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.95% APR – 7.63% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
7 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
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.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.
Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.
Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.
Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.
Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
8 Important Disclosures for PenFed.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 2.89%-4.78% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.13%-5.25% APR. Both Fixed and Variable Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. For Variable Rate student loans, the rate will never exceed 9.00% for 5 year and 8 year loans and 10.00% for 12 and 15 years loans (the maximum allowable for this loan). Minimum variable rate will be 2.00%. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.