How to Get or Refinance Ohio 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.

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From Ohio State to the University of Cincinnati, students are flocking to the Buckeye State to earn their degrees. The state is home to no less than 190 colleges and universities — even including Miami University, which despite its name, isn’t in Florida.

If you’re headed to an Ohio school for college, and you’ve exhausted your options for scholarships and grants, it may be time to consider Ohio student loans. As long as you don’t borrow too much, student loans can be a useful tool for covering college costs.

Or maybe you’ve already graduated and have started earning an income. In this case, you could refinance your Ohio student loans for new terms and a lower interest rate.

For more on borrowing and refinancing student loans in Ohio, read on for everything you need to know.

Ohio student debt: At a glance
Average debt upon graduation $30,629
Percent of students who graduate with debt 62%
National ranking for average debt upon graduation 17
National average debt upon graduation (Class of 2017) $39,400
Info current as of 2015-16 school year, except when noted
Source: The Institute for College Access & Success

How to get Ohio student loans

The state of Ohio offers a variety of grants and scholarships for Ohio students, including the Choose Ohio First Scholarship and the Forever Buckeyes program. You can explore more opportunities for funding on the state’s higher education website.

However, Ohio doesn’t offer a state-run student loan program, so your options are limited to the federal government or private lenders. Here’s how to get both these types of student loans in Ohio.

Federal student loans

Whether you’re from Ohio or another state, your first stop for student loans should be Federal Student Aid. You can access federal student loans, along with federal grants and scholarships, by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Federal student loans for undergraduates generally come with lower interest rates than private ones, as well as various borrower protections. For instance, students with financial need could qualify for subsidized loans, which don’t accrue interest while you’re in school. And borrowers who need to adjust their monthly bills after they begin repayment could put their student loans on an income-driven or extended repayment plan.

What’s more, federal student loans are eligible for forgiveness programs, such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) or Teacher Loan Forgiveness. Private student loans don’t qualify for these programs.

One drawback of federal student loans, though, is that they come with borrowing limits. Once you’ve borrowed the maximum, you might still need more money to pay for school.

In this case, you have two main options. Your parents could borrow a parent PLUS loan, which is a federal loan designed for parents that currently comes with a 7.60% interest rate (as of July 2018). Alternatively, you could borrow private student loans from a bank, credit union or online lender.

But before you do, make sure to learn about how private student loans differ from federal ones.

Private student loans

When your federal financial aid runs out, you might look to private sources. Private student loans come from banks, credit unions or online lenders such as Ascent or CommonBond.

To qualify for a private student loan, you must pass a credit check — or apply with a cosigner who can. Most undergraduate students apply with a cosigner, such as a parent, to meet criteria for income and credit.

With private student loans, you can typically choose between a fixed and variable interest rate. You’ll also choose repayment terms, usually between five and 20 years.

Unlike the federal government, most private lenders don’t offer income-driven repayment plans. Some will give you deferment or forbearance — temporary suspension of your loan payments — if you run into financial hardship or go back to school, but this varies from lender to lender.

If you’re borrowing a private student loan, find out if your lender offers any flexibility in the event you lose your income. And use our free loan calculator to estimate your future monthly payments, so you have a clear sense of what repayment will look like.

If you decide borrowing a private student loan is right for you, here are some top picks for private student loans in Ohio:

  • Credit Union of Ohio
    • Partners with Sallie Mae to provide the Smart Option Student Loan
    • Rates currently run from 2.87% to 11.85%
  • OHecu
    • Finances a student line of credit from $1,000 up to a maximum determined by your school
    • Offers variable rates between 7.60% and 13.60% APR
  • KEMBA Financial Credit Union
    • Provides a student line of credit starting at $1,000
    • Offers variable rates between 5.75% and 7.25% APR and fixed rates between 5.99% and 12.99% APR
  • Ascent
    • Offers student loan repayment terms of five, 10 or 15 years for undergraduates, and 10 or 15 years for graduate students
    • Awards you with 1% cash back if you meet certain terms and conditions
    • Ascent Private Loans currently has rates ranging from 3.28% to 13.22%
  • College Ave Student Loans
    • Finances student loans of $1,000 or more
    • Offers student loan repayment terms of five, eight, 10 or 15 years
    • Current rates go from 2.84% to 11.98%
  • Sallie Mae
    • Finances student loans up to the cost of your school’s cost of attendance
    • Currently offering rates from 2.87% to 11.85%

Since no two banks are the same, make sure to shop around. By comparing several offers, you can find one with the lowest rate and best terms.

How to refinance Ohio student loans

As students take on more debt than ever before, many are looking for strategies to save money on their loans. Student loan refinancing is one way to lower your interest rate and restructure your debt.

When you refinance, you can qualify for a lower interest rate than the one you have currently. You can also choose new repayment terms, usually between five and 20 years. A shorter term will help you get out of debt faster, but it might require higher monthly payments. A longer term will mean you’ll pay more interest overall, but it could offer financial relief from month to month.

Both private and federal student loans qualify for refinancing, and you can refinance one or more loans at the same time. If you refinance several, you get the added benefit of combining multiple loans into one. Instead of tracking several bills and due dates, you’ll only have to remember one with a single lender.

Note that refinancing is different from federal consolidation, which involves taking out a direct consolidation loan. Only federal loans qualify for federal consolidation, and the process doesn’t lower your interest rate.

Since refinancing is done with a private lender, you’ll need to meet requirements for credit and income. Most lenders let you apply with a cosigner to strengthen your application, and some also offer let you release the cosigner from your loan after you’ve made a year or more of on-time payments.

Although refinancing has several benefits, it could also come with a major drawback: When you refinance federal student loans, you turn them into a private loan. As a result, the debt becomes ineligible for the federal programs mentioned earlier, such as income-driven repayment or PSLF.

If you’re worried about your ability to repay your loan, you might not want to sacrifice federal protections. And if you’re aiming for federal loan forgiveness, you should also avoid refinancing.

But if you have a stable income and have thought through the pros and cons of student loan refinance, it could be a savvy strategy for managing your student loans. Here are some lenders to refinance Ohio student loans.

  • OHecu
    • Refinances student loans between $15,000 and $75,000
    • Offers variable rates between 6.50% and 10.50% APR and fixed rates between 5.25% and 9.50% APR
  • KEMBA Financial Credit Union
    • Refinances student loans up to $125,000
    • Offers rates starting at 4.50% APR
  • BMI Federal Credit Union
    • Refinances student loans between $5,000 and $100,000
    • Offers variable rates starting at 7.49% APR
  • Earnest
    • Refinances student loans from $5,000 to $500,000
    • Currently offers APRs from 1.99% to 6.99%
  • Laurel Road
    • Offers repayment terms of five, seven, 10, 15 or 20 years
    • Current rates range from 1.99% to 7.02%
  • CommonBond
    • Refinances student loans up to $500,000
    • Rates currently run from 1.85% to 6.45%

Just as you should shop around when applying for a private student loan, the same rule applies when refinancing student loans. Get a rate quote from a few different lenders so you can find an offer that will save you the most money on your student debt or adjust your monthly payment to where you want it.

Find the best strategies for managing your student loans in Ohio

Whether you’re an Ohio college student or a new graduate, you’ve got enough on your plate without having to worry about student loans.

If you haven’t borrowed yet, educate yourself on your options so you can avoid taking on too much debt.

And if you’re part of the 62% of Ohio students who graduate with student loans, consider refinancing as a strategy for managing your debt.

Whatever path you choose, stay patient and focus on the long game. Although it might take some years, eventually you’ll make that last payment, and your student debt will just be a memory.

Note: Student Loan Hero has independently collected the above information related to student loan interest rates and terms. The financial institutions mentioned have neither provided nor reviewed the information shared in this article.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 8 lenders of 2020!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

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: 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 3.20% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.99% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.89% 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 December 13, 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 12/13/2019. 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, email us at, 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.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: Fixed rates from 3.46% APR (with AutoPay) to 7.61% APR (without AutoPay). Variable rates currently from 2.31% APR (with AutoPay) to 7.61% (without AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.31% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.31% plus 0.75% margin minus 0.25% for AutoPay. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your credit history and the term of the loan and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. 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.

3 Important Disclosures for Figure.

Figure Disclosures

Figure’s Student Refinance Loan is a private loan. If you refinance federal loans, you forfeit certain flexible repayment options associated with those loans. If you expect to incur financial hardship that would impact your ability to repay, you should consider federal consolidation alternatives.

4 Important Disclosures for College Ave.

College Ave 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.

1College Ave Refi Education loans are not currently available to residents of Maine.

2All rates shown 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.

3$5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees.

4This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. 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 1/1/2020. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.

5 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

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. Mortgage lending is not offered in Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association.
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.

This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.


There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties associated with the loan. Lender may assess a late fee if any part of a payment is not received within 15 days of the payment due date. Any late fee assessed shall not exceed 5% of the late payment or $28, whichever is less. A borrower may be charged $20 for any payment (including a check or an electronic payment) that is returned unpaid due to non-sufficient funds (NSF) or a closed account.


For bachelor’s degrees and higher, up to 100% of outstanding private and federal student loans (minimum $5,000) are eligible for refinancing. If you are refinancing greater than $300,000 in student loan debt, Lender may refinance the loans into 2 or more new loans.
For eligible Associates degrees in the healthcare field (see Eligibility & Eligible Loans section below), Lender will refinance up to $50,000 in loans for non-ParentPlus refinance loans. Note, parents who are refinancing loans taken out on behalf of a child who has obtained an associates degrees in an eligible healthcare field are not subject to the $50,000 loan maximum, refer to for more information about refinancing ParentPlus loans.


Borrower, and Co-signer if applicable, must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident with a valid I-551 card (which must show a minimum of 10 years between “Resident Since” date and “Card Expires” date or has no expiration date); state that they are of at least borrowing age in the state of residence at the time of application; and meet Lender underwriting criteria (including, for example, employment, debt-to-income, disposable income, and credit history requirements).

Graduates may refinance any unsubsidized or subsidized Federal or private student loan that was used exclusively for qualified higher education expenses (as defined in 26 USC Section 221) at an accredited U.S. undergraduate or graduate school. Any federal loans refinanced with Lender are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment.

All loans must be in grace or repayment status and cannot be in default. Borrower must have graduated or be enrolled in good standing in the final term preceding graduation from an accredited Title IV U.S. school and must be employed, or have an eligible offer of employment. Parents looking to refinance loans taken out on behalf of a child should refer to for applicable terms and conditions.

For Associates Degrees: Only associates degrees earned in one of the following are eligible for refinancing: Cardiovascular Technologist (CVT); Dental Hygiene; Diagnostic Medical Sonography; EMT/Paramedics; Nuclear Technician; Nursing; Occupational Therapy Assistant; Pharmacy Technician; Physical Therapy Assistant; Radiation Therapy; Radiologic/MRI Technologist; Respiratory Therapy; or Surgical Technologist. To refinance an Associates degree, a borrower must also either be currently enrolled and in the final term of an associate degree program at a Title IV eligible school with an offer of employment in the same field in which they will receive an eligible associate degree OR have graduated from a school that is Title IV eligible with an eligible associate and have been employed, for a minimum of 12 months, in the same field of study of the associate degree earned.


The interest rate you are offered will depend on your credit profile, income, and total debt payments as well as your choice of fixed or variable and choice of term. For applicants who are currently medical or dental residents, your rate offer may also vary depending on whether you have secured employment for after residency.


The repayment of any refinanced student loan will commence (1) immediately after disbursement by us, or (2) after any grace or in-school deferment period, existing prior to refinancing and/or consolidation with us, has expired.


After loan disbursement, if a borrower documents a qualifying economic hardship, we may agree in our discretion to allow for full or partial forbearance of payments for one or more 3-month time periods (not to exceed 12 months in the aggregate during the term of your loan), provided that we receive acceptable documentation (including updating documentation) of the nature and expected duration of the borrower’s economic hardship.

We may agree under certain circumstances to allow a borrower to make $100/month payments for a period of time immediately after loan disbursement if the borrower is employed full-time as an intern, resident, or similar postgraduate trainee at the time of loan disbursement. These payments may not be enough to cover all of the interest that accrues on the loan. Unpaid accrued interest will be added to your loan and monthly payments of principal and interest will begin when the post-graduate training program ends.

We may agree under certain circumstances to allow postponement (deferral) of monthly payments of principal and interest for a period of time immediately following loan disbursement (not to exceed 6 months after the borrower’s graduation with an eligible degree), if the borrower is an eligible student in the borrower’s final term at the time of loan disbursement or graduated less than 6 months before loan disbursement, and has accepted an offer of (or has already begun) full-time employment.

If Lender agrees (in its sole discretion) to postpone or reduce any monthly payment(s) for a period of time, interest on the loan will continue to accrue for each day principal is owed. Although the borrower might not be required to make payments during such a period, the borrower may continue to make payments during such a period. Making payments, or paying some of the interest, will reduce the total amount that will be required to be paid over the life of the loan. Interest not paid during any period when Lender has agreed to postpone or reduce any monthly payment will be added to the principal balance through capitalization (compounding) at the end of such a period, one month before the borrower is required to resume making regular monthly payments.


This information is current as of November 8, 2019 and is subject to change.

6 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.

7 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

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 1.76% effective November 10, 2019.

8 Important Disclosures for LendKey.

LendKey Disclosures

Refinancing via 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 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 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.

Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of  5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.

As of 12/019/2019 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.90% to 8.59% Variable APR with AutoPay and 3.49% to 7.75% Fixed APR with AutoPay.

1.99% – 6.89%1Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Earnest

2.31% – 7.36%2Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit SoFi

2.06% – 6.81%3Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Figure

2.62% – 6.12%4Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit College Ave

1.99% – 6.65%5Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Laurel Road

1.99% – 7.06%6Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Splash

1.85% – 6.13%7Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit CommonBond

1.90% – 8.59%8Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Lendkey

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.