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 are a college graduate in Missouri, you may have left school with less debt than students in states like New Jersey or Vermont, but you probably had some student loan debt. The average balance on a student loan in Missouri is around $29,225.
There are various sources for Missouri student loans and also many ways to ease the burden of the loans you already have. Let’s look at the following topics:
- Missouri student loans
- Refinancing Missouri student loans
- Missouri grants and scholarships
- Final thoughts: reduce, research and refinance
Like students in other states, Missourians have access to federal and private student loans to help them cover the cost of college. Here are the three main categories to look at:
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 (DoED) offers a few federal loan options.
Here are the details of what’s available as of July 28, 2020:
|Loan type||Designed for||Requires a credit check?||Interest rates||Loan fee|
|Direct Subsidized Loans||Undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need||No||2.75||1.059%|
|Direct Unsubsidized Loans||Undergraduate, graduate, and professional students||No||2.75% for undergraduates, 4.30% for graduate and professional students||1.059%|
|Direct PLUS Loans||Graduate and professional students, and parents of undergraduate students||Yes||5.30%||4.236%|
If federal loans aren’t enough to cover your education expenses, you can also consider private student loans. Like direct PLUS, these loans require a credit check, so you may need to find a cosigner with strong credit if your credit history is poor or limited.
While these lenders typically don’t offer IDR plans or loan forgiveness, some private student loan companies provide borrowers with competitive interest rates and terms.
Below are some of the top examples, including rates:
|Lender||Variable APRs||Fixed APRs||Origination fee|
|CommonBond||3.52% – 9.50%||5.45% – 9.74%||None|
|College Ave Student Loans||1.24% – 11.98%||3.54% – 12.99%||None|
|Ascent||2.71% – 12.99%||3.53% – 14.50%||None|
Check out these and other private student lenders to determine if one is the right choice for you.
Before you take out a private student loan or refinance your school debt, you’ll also want to consider some opportunities special for Missouri students — specifically:
- Missouri Health Professional Nursing Student Loans and Nurse Loan Repayment Programs
- Primary Care Resource Initiative of Missouri (PRIMO)
- Missouri State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP)
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. There are two programs – the Nurse Loan Repayment Program. This program is eligible for educational loan forgiveness if you serve at any hospital in the state or in an area in need for two years.
Here’s what you need to know about the program:
- 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.
The second program available is the Nurse Student Loan program. For this program nursing students receive partial funding in exchange for full-time service obligation for one year, per loan, in a qualifying facility where health professionals are in short supply. Here are the amounts available to eligible students.
- 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.
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%.
In addition, there are two other programs in place to help medical and dental students and professionals.
The Primary Care Resource Initiative for Missouri program offers medical, dental, pre-med and pre-dental or dental hygienist students funds to pay for their education in exchange for working full time at a facility in need of medical and dental professionals.
There are a variety of loans and repayment plans available via PRIMO, including funds of up to $25,000 depending on your discipline in school and the service obligation for loan forgiveness.
Psychiatrists, primary care physicians and dentists are eligible for $50,000 in education loan repayment in exchange for two years of service in a health professional shortage area through this repayment program. There are several components to this program and visiting the SLRP website is a great way to start learning more about it.
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 refinance amount||Origination fee|
|First Republic||Not available||1.95% – 4.45%||$5,000||None|
|SoFi||2.25% – 6.09%||2.99% – 6.09%||$5,000||None|
|Earnest||1.99% – 5.64%||2.98% – 5.79%||$5,000||None|
Compare several student loan refinancing companies to increase your chances of being qualified for your best terms. Also, look at repayment terms, fees and other features to ensure you get the right lender for you.
Even if Missourians tend to take on less debt than the national average, $29,200 in student loans is still a lot. With a 5% interest rate and a 10-year repayment period, that’s a monthly payment of $310. Use our Student Loan Payment Calculator to see how much you will pay each month for your student loans
So if you’re still in college, it’s important to take steps now to reduce your dependency on student loans with scholarships and grants so that you can have more financial freedom after you graduate. Here are our top tips for students living and going to school in Missouri:
- Investigate the wide range of scholarships for students. 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.
- Check out our Student Loan Hero $5K Scholarship. Visit the website and write an essay for the chance to win a $5,000 or $2,000 scholarship.
- Investigate the A+ Scholarship Program. If you are a graduate of A+ designated high school and attend a technical, vocational or community college, you could be eligible for funds to help pay for your education.
- Apply for Missouri’s Advanced Placement Grant of $500. A nonrenewable monetary award for high school students who take and receive a high score on their science and math advanced placement tests.
- The Bright Flight Program aims to encourage academically talented Missouri students in their home state for higher education. High school students who meet specific ACT and SAT test score requirements could earn up to $3,000 in award money.
- Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 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.
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.
Maya Dollarhide contributed to this report.
Need a student loan?Here are our top student loan lenders of 2020!
|1.24% – 11.44%1||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|1.25% – 11.15%*,2||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|1.24% – 11.98%3||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|1.24% – 12.49%4||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|1.80% – 11.89%5||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|2.71% – 12.99%6||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|3.52% – 9.50%7||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|* 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 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
2 Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.
3 Important Disclosures for College Ave.
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.
Information advertised valid as of 9/24/2020. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Lowest advertised rates require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.
4 Important Disclosures for Discover.
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.
5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
UNDERGRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.23% to 11.76% annual percentage rate (“APR”) (with autopay), variable rates from 1.90% to 11.66% APR (with autopay). GRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.13% to 11.83% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.80% to 11.73% APR (with autopay). MBA AND LAW SCHOOL LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.30% to 11.98% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.97% to 11.89% APR (with autopay). PARENT LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.60% to 11.26% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.90% to 11.16% APR (with autopay). For variable rate loans, the variable interest rate is derived from the one-month LIBOR rate plus a margin and your APR may increase after origination if the LIBOR increases. Changes in the one-month LIBOR rate may cause your monthly payment to increase or decrease. Interest rates for variable rate loans are capped at 13.95%, unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law. Lowest rates are reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. If approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, the repayment option you select, the term and amount of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. Information current as of 07/10/2020. Enrolling in autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. SoFi Lending Corp., licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. NMLS #1121636 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org).
6 Important Disclosures for Ascent.
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.
* Application times vary depending on the applicant’s ability to supply the necessary information for submission.
7 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 0.17% effective Sep 1, 2020 and may increase after consummation.