Refinancing with Earnest
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Thinking of going to school in Georgia? If so, you may need Georgia student loans.
Six out of 10 students who obtain a four-year degree in the state graduate with debt, according to the Institute for College Access & Success, and the average debt balance is $27,657.
Student debt is fairly common, but you should secure grants and scholarships before leaning on student loans. Once you’ve exhausted your options for free money, you can consider borrowing funds for your education.
Check out this guide to federal, private, and state loans for Georgia schools and ways you can refinance or consolidate your existing student debt.
Your guide to finding 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. 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), which was originally created to provide loans. It now administers scholarships and grants funded by the state and by the lottery and offers free financial aid counseling. Students also can receive loans through GSFC that may be cancelable through service work.
Federal student loan options
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 the best option 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 for you 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).
Georgia student loans
The Georgia Student Finance Authority administers the Student Access Loan Program (SAL). 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 within the Technical College System of Georgia.
The loan application and eligibility requirements are available online. However, funds for the 2018-19 academic year are no longer available. Students must submit the FAFSA before being considered for loans through SAL.
Private student loans
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.
Refinancing or consolidating Georgia student loans
Graduates who leave school with Georgia student loans may be interested in making repayment easier. Student loan consolidation and refinancing are 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 Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
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 the best rates and terms.
It’s also important to weigh the pros and cons of refinancing before you trade your federal debt for a private loan.
Which Georgia student loans are right for you?
Choosing the right Georgia student loans 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. 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.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2019!
|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 3.36% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.82% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.41% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.99% 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 April 17, 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 04/17/2019. 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 our student 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 SoFi.
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.
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.
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 2.45% effective May 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.41% – 6.99%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.41% – 7.89%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.43% – 6.65%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.38% – 6.81%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.41% – 7.95%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.60% – 9.60%6||Undergrad & Graduate|