Refinancing with Laurel Road
Refinancing rates from 1.89% APR. Checking your rates won’t affect your credit score.
Note that the situation for student loans has changed due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and relief efforts from the government, student loan lenders and others. Check out our Student Loan Hero Coronavirus Information Center for additional news and details.
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If you’re headed to college in the Peach State, you might need Georgia student loans to cover costs. In fact, the majority of Georgia students graduate with loans — 57% according to The Institute for College Access & Success.
And if you already have Georgia student loans, you may be looking for ways to make repayment easier or cheaper.
Here’s a guide to how to get Georgia student loans and how to refinance them (along with other options):
- Getting Georgia student loans
- Refinancing or consolidating Georgia student loans
- Some final thoughts on Georgia student loans
Before you apply for Georgia student loans, exhaust your options for scholarships and grants, which are sources of college funds you don’t have to repay. For example, these resources for finding Georgia scholarships can help you start your search.
GAfutures also provides information on sources of financing for school, including scholarships, grants and student loans. GAfutures is run by the Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC), a state agency that was originally created to provide loans. It now also administers scholarships and grants funded by the state and by the state lottery and offers free financial aid counseling.
Of course, you might not be able to cover your cost of attendance with grants and scholarships alone. In that case, you have some choices, including loans through GSFC that may be cancelable through service work. Here are the main types of loans available…
If you need to borrow money after obtaining scholarships and grants, federal student loans usually are your best bet. These loans provide competitive interest rates and can be easy to qualify for. Federal loans also allow you to choose affordable and flexible repayment options. Plus, they provide borrower protections you may not get with private loans.
Your options for federal loans include:
- Direct subsidized loans: For undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need, these loans typically are one of the best options because the government covers interest charges while you’re in school, during your grace period and during deferment.
- Direct unsubsidized loans: While interest isn’t subsidized on these loans, qualifying is easy for both undergraduate and graduate students. There’s no requirement to demonstrate financial need.
- Direct PLUS loans: Both parents and graduate students can obtain PLUS loans. Unlike with direct loans, however, your credit matters in determining your eligibility. PLUS loans aren’t always a better deal than private loans, so comparison shopping is important.
To obtain federal student loans, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The Georgia Student Finance Commission administers the Student Access Loan (SAL) program. This program offers fixed-rate loans at 1.00% interest to eligible undergraduate students who need help funding their education.
Students can obtain financing to attend a private postsecondary institution or a school within the University System of Georgia or Technical College System of Georgia.
The loan application and eligibility requirements are available online. Students must submit the FAFSA before being considered for loans through SAL. The minimum annual loan amount is $500 and the maximum is $8,000 for students within the University System of Georgia or attending a private university. For technical college students, the minimum is $300 and the maximum is $3,000 per year.
If you work as a teacher in a STEM field or in public service after graduation, you might be eligible for loan cancellation. Students who attend a technical college in Georgia and graduate with a 3.5 GPA or higher might also be eligible for loan discharge.
Engineering students at Mercer University might also qualify for the Scholarship for Engineering Education (SEE) program. This scholarship works like a forgivable loan of $3,500 per academic year for up to $17,500. Students must then work as engineers in Georgia to get forgiveness for $3,500 per year. If they fail to meet the service requirements, they’ll have to pay the award back with interest within a six-year period.
Some students need to fill a funding gap left by grants, scholarships and state and federal student loans. Private student loans may be a good option, and they’re available through banks, credit unions and online lenders. Loan terms vary among private lenders, so make sure you shop around.
Consider the interest rates, repayment terms and borrower protections offered by lenders. Keep in mind that private loans won’t qualify for federal borrower protections or income-driven repayment (IDR) plans. You’ll also need good credit or a cosigner with good credit to qualify for private loans.
Graduates who leave school with Georgia student loans may be interested in making repayment easier. The first step is to see if you qualify for student loan forgiveness. This can be tough to get, however, so it’s also worth considering student loan consolidation and refinancing as possible options.
Loan consolidation through the federal government allows you to combine multiple federal loans, including direct loans, into one loan. A direct consolidation loan makes repayment simpler because you’ll have only one loan to repay instead of several. It also can give you access to additional IDR plans and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
A direct consolidation loan won’t reduce your interest rate, however. Your new rate will be the weighted average of the rates on your consolidated loans.
Refinancing isn’t offered by the federal government. Instead, you’ll need to work with a private lender to refinance your student loans. When you refinance, you take out a new loan with different terms to repay your existing education debt. Students should shop carefully to find a lender offering your best rates and terms.
While refinancing can save you money, refinancing federal loans makes them ineligible for federal protections and plans. It’s also important to weigh the pros and cons of refinancing before you trade your federal debt for a private loan, and to consider whether you’re better off with income-driven repayment instead.
Choosing the right Georgia student loan is important because you don’t want to be burdened with unaffordable debt after graduation. You should, however, prioritize applying for grants and scholarships before turning to student loans.
In many cases, federal student loans are preferable to private debt, thanks to borrower protections and flexible repayment plans offered by the government. But since they come with borrowing limits, you might need to look to private sources for additional funding.
If you do, compare loan terms carefully so you get the most affordable loan. It may take time to do the research, but it’s worth it to make a smart investment in your future.
Rebecca Safier contributed to this report.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2020!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.99% – 5.64%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 5.90%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.25% – 6.09%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 6.77%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.39% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
|1.99% – 5.41%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|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 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.79% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% 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 July 31, 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 7/31/2020. 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.
2 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 September 9, 2020. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 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 September 10, 2020.
5 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 0.16% effective August 10, 2020.