How to Refinance or Get Missouri Student Loans

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Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

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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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 interest rates Fixed interest rates Origination fee
CommonBond 3.52% – 9.50% 5.45% – 9.74% 2%
College Ave Student Loans 3.70% – 11.98% 4.72% – 12.94% None
Ascent 3.52% – 12.81% 4.09% – 12.94% 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 2.05% – 5.98% 3.46% – 5.98% $5,000 None
Earnest 2.05% – 6.49% 3.45% – 6.99% $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 free 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.

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Here are our top student loan lenders of 2019!
LenderVariable APREligibility 
* 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 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)All rates shown include the auto-pay 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.

(3)As certified by your school and less any other financial aid you might receive. Minimum $1,000.

Information advertised valid as of 9/3/2019. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.


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

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 rates shown are for the undergraduate loan and include an interest-only repayment discount and a 0.25% interest rate reduction while enrolled in automatic payments. The interest rate ranges represent the lowest interest rate offered on the Discover Undergraduate Loan and highest interest rates offered on Discover student loans, including Undergraduate, Graduate, Health Professions, Law and MBA 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. 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 2.50% as of July 1, 2019. Discover Student Loans will 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. Please visit discover.com/student-loans/interest-rates for more information about interest rates.
Discover's lowest rates shown are for the undergraduate loan and include an interest-only repayment discount and a 0.25% interest rate reduction while enrolled in automatic payments.

4 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.

5 Important Disclosures for Citizens.

Citizens Disclosures

Undergraduate Rate Disclosure: Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of October 1, 2019, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.05%. Variable interest rates range from 3.15% – 11.41% (3.15% – 11.26% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Fixed interest rates range from 4.72% – 12.19% (4.72% – 12.04% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Lowest rates shown requires application with a co-signer, are for eligible applicants, require a 5-year repayment term, borrower making scheduled payments while in school and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of the loan.

Citizens Bank Student Loan Eligibility: Borrowers must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program at an eligible institution. Borrowers must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident or an international borrower/eligible non-citizen with a creditworthy U.S. citizen or permanent resident co-signer. For borrowers who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer is required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Citizens Bank private student loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, and if applicable, self-certification form, school certification of the loan amount, and student’s enrollment at a Citizens Bank- participating school. 

Please Note: International Students are not eligible for the multi-year approval feature.

3.70%
11.98%
1
Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents

Visit College Ave

3.25% – 10.65%*,2Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit SallieMae

3.37%
11.87%
3
Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit Discover

3.52% – 9.50%4Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit CommonBond

3.15% – 11.41%5Undergraduate and Graduate

VISIT CITIZENS

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.