How to Refinance or Get Missouri Student Loans

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. 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 to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with 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.

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.

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Refinancing rates from 1.99% APR. Checking your rates won’t affect your credit score.

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Only 57% of Missouri graduates left school with student loans in 2016, according to the Institute for College Access and Success. Those that did take on debt had an average balance of $27,532, which is well below the current average student loan balance of $39,400.

In an ideal world, you’d be part of the 43% of Missouri students who didn’t go into debt for college. But if you can’t manage to get through school without Missouri student loans, it’s essential that you know where to go to get the best student loan interest rates and other terms.

Missouri student loans

Like students in other states, Missourians have access to federal and private student loans to help them cover the cost of college.

Federal student loans

Depending on where you are in school or if you’re a parent trying to help your child pay for school, the U.S. Department of Education offers a few federal loan options.

Most of these loans offer special benefits, such as income-driven repayment (IDR) plans and student loan forgiveness programs. Here are the details of what’s available as of July 24, 2018:

Loan type Designed for Requires a credit check? Interest rates Loan fee
Direct Subsidized Loans Undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need No 5.05% 1.066%
Direct Unsubsidized Loans Undergraduate, graduate, and professional students No 5.05% for undergraduates, 6.60% for graduate and professional students 1.066%
Direct PLUS Loans Graduate and professional students, and parents of undergraduate students Yes 7.60% 4.264%

Private student loans

If federal loans aren’t enough to cover your education expenses, you can also consider private student loans. These loans require a credit check, so you may need to find a cosigner if your credit history is bad or limited.

While these lenders typically don’t offer IDR plans or loan forgiveness, the best private student loan companies provide borrowers with competitive interest rates and terms. Here are some of the top examples, including rates:

Lender Variable APRs Fixed APRs Origination fee
CommonBond 3.52% – 9.50% 5.45% – 9.74% 2%
College Ave Student Loans 1.24% – 11.98% 3.99% – 12.99% None
Ascent 2.73% – 13.01% 3.84% – 14.50% None

Check out these and other private student lenders to determine if one is the right choice for you.

Missouri Health Professional Nursing Student Loans

If you’re a resident of Missouri attending a Missouri school and are in a program that leads to licensure as a practical or professional nurse, you could qualify for a loan through the state’s Health Professional Nursing Student Loans program.

The loan is eligible for forgiveness if you serve at any hospital in the state or in an area in need. Having two loans forgiven would require two years of service. Here’s what you need to know about the program:

  • Licensed practical nurse students can qualify for up to $2,500 a loan.
  • Professional nursing students can qualify for up to $5,000 a loan.
  • Registered nurses can receive up to $10,000 in forgiveness for a two-year service commitment.
  • Advanced practice nurses can receive up to $20,000 in forgiveness for a two-year service commitment.

To qualify, your nursing program must have a pass rate of at least 80%, and you need to maintain a 2.5 GPA. If you choose not to serve in an area in need, the interest rate on your loans is 9.5%.

Refinancing Missouri student loans

If you’ve already graduated, you may feel like you’ve missed the boat on getting lower student loan interest rates. Fortunately, that’s not the case.

You can potentially qualify for a lower interest rate and a lower monthly payment on your Missouri student loans by refinancing them with a private lender.

Student loan refinancing companies typically offer both variable and fixed interest rates, and some of their best rates can even be lower than what the federal government offers.

Like private student loans, these refinancing loans require a credit check. They also generally don’t offer IDR plans or loan forgiveness. Here are a few of the top student loan refinancing companies:

Student loan company Variable interest rates Fixed interest rates Minimum loan balance Origination fee
First Republic Not available 1.95% – 4.45% $40,000 None
SoFi 2.99% – 6.44% 3.20% – 6.44% $5,000 None
Earnest 1.99% – 6.43% 3.19% – 6.43% $5,000 None

Compare several student loan refinancing companies to increase your chances of getting a low rate. Also, look at repayment terms, fees, and other features to ensure you get the right lender.

Ways to limit your Missouri student loans

Even if Missourians tend to take on less debt than the national average, $27,532 in student loans is still a lot. With a 5% interest rate and a 10-year repayment period, that’s a monthly payment of $292.

So if you’re still in college, it’s important to take steps now to reduce your dependency on student loans so that you can have more financial freedom after you graduate. Here are our top tips:

  • Choose an inexpensive college. Attending a “household name” college may look nice on paper. But Missouri has several affordable schools that can offer you a quality education. Consider all your options if you haven’t decided where to go. If you’re already in school and it’s expensive, consider transferring.
  • Apply for scholarships. Several organizations and companies offer scholarships, which is money that you don’t have to pay back. Apply for as many as you can to maximize your chances. Also, be sure to apply for the Student Loan Hero $5K Scholarship while you’re at it.
  • Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA form helps the federal government determine if you need financial aid while you’re at college, and how much. Depending on your need, you may qualify for subsidized federal student loans — the government covers your interest while you’re in school — or a Pell Grant, which you typically don’t need to repay.
  • Get a job. Missouri student loans won’t cover all your expenses while you’re at school. To pay for living expenses that aren’t included as eligible education expenses, consider finding a part-time or full-time job.
  • Finish early. To be a full-time student, you typically only need 12 credit hours a semester. But at many universities, you can take up to 18 credit hours without paying extra tuition. By consistently taking extra credit hours, you may be able to graduate one or two semesters early, saving yourself thousands of dollars.

Reduce, research, and refinance

While you’re still in school, reducing the amount you borrow in student loans should be your top priority. But if you fall short on covering your tuition and living expenses, do your research to ensure that you’re getting the best deal available to you.

After you graduate, learn more about how to refinance your student loans to get a better interest rate or lower monthly payment.

While it’s possible that you won’t qualify for a better rate, you’ll never know if you don’t try. And if you do qualify for a lower rate, you could end up saving hundreds, if not thousands, in interest over the life of your loans.

Need a student loan?

Here are our top student loan lenders of 2020!
LenderVariable APREligibility 
1.25% – 9.44%*,1Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit SallieMae

1.24%
11.98%
2
Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents

Visit College Ave

1.24%
11.37%
3
Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit Discover

1.24%
11.44%
4
Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents

Visit Earnest

2.73% – 13.01%5Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit Ascent

3.52% – 9.50%6Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit CommonBond

* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.


1 Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.

2 Important Disclosures for College Ave.

CollegeAve Disclosures

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.

  1. Rates shown are for the College Ave Undergraduate Loan product and include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
     
  2. This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a first year graduate student borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 7.10% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $141.66 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $16,699.21. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.

Information advertised valid as of 7/1/2020. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Lowest advertised rates require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.


3 Important Disclosures for Discover.

Discover Disclosures

  1. Students who get at least a 3.0 GPA (or equivalent) qualify for a one-time cash reward on each new Discover undergraduate and graduate student loan. Reward redemption period is limited. Please visit DiscoverStudentLoans.com/Reward for any applicable reward terms and conditions.
  2. View Auto Reward Debit Reward Terms and Conditions at DiscoverStudentLoans.com/AutoDebitReward.
  3. Aggregate loan limits apply.
  4. Lowest APRs shown are available for the most creditworthy applicants and include an interest-only repayment discount and Auto Debit Reward. The interest rate ranges represent the lowest and highest interest rates offered on Discover student loans, including undergraduate and graduate loans. The fixed interest rate is set at the time of application and does not change during the life of the loan. The variable interest rate is calculated based on the 3-Month LIBOR index plus the applicable margin percentage. For variable interest rate loans, the 3-Month LIBOR is 0.375% as of July 1, 2020. Discover Student Loans may adjust the rate quarterly on each January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 (the “interest rate change date”), based on the 3-Month LIBOR Index, published in the Money Rates section of the Wall Street Journal 15 days prior to the interest rate change date, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of one percent (0.125% or 0.00125). This may cause the monthly payments to increase, the number of payments to increase or both. Our lowest APR is only available to customers with the best credit and other factors. Your APR will be determined after you apply. It will be based on your credit history, which repayment option you choose and other factors, including your cosigner’s credit history (if applicable). Learn more about Discover Student Loans interest rates.
  5. Get a variable interest rate from 2.37% APR to 6.14% APR (3-Month LIBOR + 2.00% to 3-Month LIBOR + 5.77%) for either a 10-year or 20-year repayment term. Or lock in a fixed interest rate from 3.99% APR to 7.49% APR for a 10-year repayment term or from 4.24% APR to 7.74% APR for a 20-year repayment term. The fixed interest rate is set at the time of application and does not change during the life of the loan. The variable interest rate is calculated based on the 3-Month LIBOR index plus the applicable margin percentage. The margin is based on your credit evaluation at the time of application and does not change. For variable interest rate loans, the 3-Month LIBOR is 0.375% as of July 1, 2020. Discover Student Loans may adjust the rate quarterly on each January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 (the “interest rate change date”), based on the 3-Month LIBOR Index, published in the Money Rates section of the Wall Street Journal 15 days prior to the interest rate change date, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of one percent (0.125% or 0.00125). This may cause the monthly payments to increase, the number of payments to increase or both.
Lowest APRs shown for Discover Student Loans are available for the most creditworthy applicants for undergraduate loans, and include an interest-only repayment discount and a 0.25% interest rate reduction while enrolled in automatic payments.

4 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

  1. Rates include 0.25% Auto Pay Discount
     
  2. Explanation of Rates “With Autopay” (APD)
    Rates shown include 0.25% APR discount when client agrees to make monthly principal and interest payments by automatic electronic payment. Use of autopay is not required to receive an Earnest loan.

    Available Terms
    For Cosigned loans – 5, 7, 10, 12, 15 years. 
    Primary Only – 10, 12, 15 years

    In school deferred payment is not available in AL, AZ, CA, FL, MA, MD, MI, ND, NY, PA, and WA).


5 Important Disclosures for Ascent.

Ascent Disclosures

Before taking out private student loans, you should explore and compare all financial aid alternatives, including grants, scholarships, and federal student loans and consider your future monthly payments and income. Applying with a cosigner may improve your chance of getting approved and could help you qualify for a lower interest rate. Ascent Student Loans may be funded by Richland State Bank (RSB). Ascent Student Loan products are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application, verification of application information and certification of loan amount by a participating school. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions, and certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. Ascent is a federally registered trademark of Turnstile Capital Management (TCM) and may be used by RSB under limited license. Richland State Bank is a federally registered service mark of Richland State Bank.

  1. Competitive variable rates calculated monthly at the time of loan approval based on a margin plus the 1-Month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) rounded to the nearest 1/100th of a percent. The current LIBOR is 0.667%, which may adjust monthly. Your interest rate may increase or decrease, based on LIBOR monthly changes. Rates are effective as of 06/01/2020 and reflect an Automatic Payment Discount. Automatic Payment Discount is available if the borrower is enrolled in automatic payments from their personal checking account and the amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month. (See Automatic Payment Discount Terms & Conditions.)
    1. Undergraduate Loans: Variable rate loans have an Annual Percentage (APR) range between 2.73% – 13.01%. Fixed rate loans have an APR range between 3.84% – 14.50% based on your credit worthiness and your selected program. Rates reflect an Automatic Payment Discount of 0.25% (for Credit-Based Loans) on the lowest offered rate and a 2.00% discount on the highest offered rate (See Undergraduate Loan repayment examples.)
    2. Graduate Loans: Loans have an APR range between 4.11% and 10.78% based on your credit worthiness and your selected program. Rates reflect an Automatic Payment Discount of 0.25%. (See Graduate Loan repayment examples.)
  2. Payments may be deferred. Subject to lender discretion, forbearance and/or deferment options may be available for borrowers who are encountering financial distress.
  3. Making interest only or partial interest payments while in school will not reduce the principal balance of the loan. There are three (3) flexible in-school repayment options that include fully deferred, interest only and $25 minimum repayment. (See Undergraduate Loan repayment examples.)
  4. Flexible repayment plans may be offered up to a fifteen (15) year repayment term for a variable rate loan and ten (10) year repayment term for a fixed rate loan. Students must be enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school. Minimum loan amount is $2,000.
  5. Interest rate reduction of 0.25% for enrollment in automatic debit applies only when the borrower and/or cosigner signs up for automatic payments and the regularly scheduled, current amount due (including full, flat, or interest only payments, as applicable) is successfully deducted from the designated bank account each month. Interest rate reduction(s) will not apply during periods when no payment is due, including periods of In-School, Deferment, Grace or Forbearance. If you have two (2) returned payments for Nonsufficient Funds, we may cancel your automatic debit enrollment and you will lose the 0.25% interest rate reduction. You will then need to re-qualify and re-enroll in automatic debit payments to receive the 0.25% interest rate reduction.
  6. All applicants (individual and cosigner) are required to complete a brief online financial literacy course as part of the application process to be eligible for funding.
  7. Eligibility, loan amount and other loan terms are dependent on several factors, which may include: loan product, other financial aid, creditworthiness, school, program, graduation date, major, cost of attendance and other factors. Aggregate loan limits may apply. The cost of attendance is determined and certified by the educational institution.
  8. The legal age for entering into contracts is eighteen (18) years of age in every state except Alabama where it is nineteen (19) years old, Nebraska where it is nineteen (19) years old (only for wards of the state), and Mississippi and Puerto Rico where it is twenty-one (21) years old.
  9. 1% Cash Back Graduation Reward subject to terms and conditions. Click here for details. In order to be eligible for the 1% Cash Back Graduation Reward, borrower must meet the following criteria after graduation:
    • The student borrower has graduated from the degree program that the loan was used to fund.
    • The student borrower may change majors and/or transfer to a different school, but must obtain the same level of degree (e.g. – undergraduate or graduate)
    • The graduation date is more than 90 days and less than five (5) years after the date of the loan’s first disbursement.
    • Any loan that the student has borrowed under the Ascent loan is not more than 30-days delinquent or in a default status as of the graduation date and until any Graduation Reward is paid.
  10. Students can apply to release their cosigner and continue with the loan in only their name after making the first 24 consecutive regularly scheduled full principal and interest payments on-time and meeting the other eligibility criteria to qualify for the loan without a cosigner.

* Application times vary depending on the applicant’s ability to supply the necessary information for submission.


6 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change and state law restrictions. Loans are offered through CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS #1175900).

  1.  Rates are as of July 1, 2019 and include auto-pay discount. All loans are eligible for a 0.25% reduction in interest rate by agreeing to automatic payment withdrawals once in repayment. Variable rates may increase after consummation.

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. 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 to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with 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.