Refinancing with Earnest
Refinancing rates from 2.57% APR. Checking your rates won’t affect your credit score.
When looking at your interest rate and student loan payments, you might wonder if it’s possible for you to make them more manageable. For many young professionals, the burden of student loan debt can feel overwhelming, and cause you to put off life milestones.
Some companies, however, can help you get back on track with your money by helping you refinance your student loans.
SoFi is one of the largest student loan refinancing companies in the industry. With over $18 billion in refinanced student loans for more than 250,000 members, they specialize in helping young professionals manage their finances.
This SoFi student loan refinancing review will help you understand the pros and cons of the company so you can decide if it’s right for you.
SoFi student loan refinancing review: The basics
SoFi’s approach to refinancing student loans is different than that of many other lenders. Along with competitive repayment terms, the company also offers career support and wealth management services to its members. With these perks, SoFi offers you the opportunity for more than just repaying your student loans.
Here are some of the perks you can expect from SoFi:
- APR starting at 2.47% for variable rates
- 0.25% interest rate discount if you enroll in AutoPay
- Repayment terms between five and 20 years
- Deferment option for those who go back to school, experience disability, or serve in the military
- Forbearance option for those who lose their jobs
- No origination fees or prepayment penalties
- Minimum loan amount of $5,000
- Minimum credit score of 650
To refinance using SoFi loans, you must be at least 18 years old (or your respective state’s age of majority) and a United States citizen or permanent resident. Your debt must be from a Title IV accredited college or university and you must have completed your associate’s degree or higher. You must be employed or show proof that your employment will start in the next 90 days.
What we like about SoFi student loan refinancing
SoFi is an industry leader when it comes to student loan refinance, and it’s not hard to see why. Here are some of the advantages you may find at SoFi:
Not all refinancing lenders allow you to temporarily pause your payments through student loan deferment. However, SoFi provides a way for you to defer your loans while in graduate school, as long as you’re enrolled at least half time. Additionally, you can defer your loans for active military service or if you are on disability rehabilitation.
Interest will still accrue during deferment, however, and your loan will be reamortized to adjust for this.
When you refinance with SoFi loans, you get access to free career coaching. Schedule one-on-one sessions with career coaches and get help setting career goals, learn about personal branding and even receive tips for creating or improving your resume.
This career strategy also comes into play as part of the lender’s Unemployment Protection program. If you lose your job and enter your loans into forbearance, you’re required to use the career strategy services offered by SoFi. The company is invested in getting you back on your feet so you can comfortably manage your student loan debt.
Wealth management services
Not only can you get help with your career, but SoFi also offers its members access to wealth planning services. Through a combination of digital and person-to-person advising, you can set money goals and get help achieving those goals.
SoFi helps you manage your student loans and build wealth through tools like diversification, portfolio selection, and automatic rebalancing.
Parent PLUS and private parent loan refinancing
If you’re a parent who took out Parent PLUS loans or private loans to pay for your child’s education, SoFi has solutions for you, too. They offer comprehensive refinancing services for parent loans, helping you manage the debt you took out to help your kids.
What to keep in mind when considering SoFi loans
Even though SoFi is a respected lender, there are some potential disadvantages, depending on your financial situation. Here’s what you should know:
Minimum credit score
In order to qualify to refinance with SoFi, you’ll need to have a minimum credit score of 650. While SoFi does consider other criteria, including your financial history and your career experience, you won’t qualify to refinance your student loans if you have a low credit score.
If you’ve had credit problems in the past, you can increase your chances by adding a cosigner to your SoFi loan. A qualified cosigner can improve your chances of becoming eligible — and help you get a better interest rate. However, it can also add a week or two to the student loan refinancing process.
No cosigner release
If you do use a cosigner on your application, know that SoFi doesn’t allow you to remove them from your loan later, as some other lenders do. Your cosigner has to pass away or you have to refinance a second time to remove them from the account.
You must have a degree
What if you go to school, but don’t complete your degree? Unfortunately, SoFi student loan refinancing won’t be an option for you.
Unless you have at least an associate’s degree, you won’t qualify for refinancing with this lender.
Refinancing federal student loans
While refinancing could offer you a lower interest rate, you will lose certain borrower protections if you refinance federal student loans. Because the federal government doesn’t offer refinancing, any refinancing — including through SoFi — turns your federal loans into private loans.
Once you refinance with SoFi, you won’t qualify for income-driven repayment plans or federal student loan forgiveness programs. If you’re trying to get forgiveness or worried that you might need an income-based repayment plan, it might not make sense to refinance privately.
Is SoFi refinancing right for you?
Before you decide to refinance student loans with SoFi, compare your refinancing options. SoFi might be a good choice if you:
- Can show regular monthly income and comfortably afford the payments
- Have a credit score of at least 650
- Don’t plan to use income-driven repayment or federal student loan forgiveness on your federal loans
- Have higher interest rates on your current student loans
- Want access to perks like career coaching and wealth management
In the end, SoFi loans come with a number of perks and advantages that many borrowers can benefit from. Carefully consider your circumstances and your money needs as you make a decision about student loan refinancing.
Kat Tretina contributed to this post.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 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 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.97% 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 Month/Day/Year, 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 08/21/18. 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 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.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
APR stands for “Annual Percentage Rate.” Rates listed include a 0.25% EFT discount, for automatic payments made from a checking or savings account. Interest rates as of 11/8/2018. Rates subject to change.
Variable rate options consist of a range from 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term, 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term, 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term, 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term, or 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rate will change on the first day of every month (“Change Date”) if the Current Index changes. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes. The variable interest rates are calculated by adding a margin ranging from 0.98% to 3.80% for the 5-year term loan, 2.35% to 3.85% for the 7-year term loan, 2.40% to 3.90% for the 10-year term loan, 2.65% to 4.15% for the 15-year term loan, and 2.90% to 4.40% for the 20-year term loan, respectively, to the 1-month LIBOR index published on the 25th day of each month immediately preceding each “Change Date,” as defined above, rounded to two decimal places, with no origination fees. If the 25th day of the month is not a business day or is a US federal holiday, the reference date will be the most recent date preceding the 25th day of the month that is a business day. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term would be from $180.89 to $193.75. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term would be from $139.65 to $146.76. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term would be from $104.56 to $111.98. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term would be from $78.77 to $86.78. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term would be from $67.05 to $75.68.
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.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
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 2.28% effective October 10, 2018.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.47% – 6.99%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.57% – 6.97%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.57% – 8.09%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.02% – 6.44%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 7.24%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.79% – 8.39%6||Undergrad & Graduate|