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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If you’re headed to the Buckeye State for college, and you’ve exhausted your options for scholarships and grants, it may be time to consider Ohio student loans. And if you’ve already graduated, then it may be time to consider ways to save on repayment, such as through refinancing.

To help you find your best student loans and refinancing options, let’s take a deeper look:

Ohio student debt: At a glance
Average debt upon graduation$30,323
Percent of students who graduate with debt60%
National ranking for average debt upon graduation18
Info based on the class of 2018
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 Ohio College Opportunity Grant. 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 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 (as the name implies) is a federal loan designed for parents. 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 APR. 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, below are some lenders to consider. (Rates are current unless otherwise specified)

  • Credit Union of Ohio
    • Partners with Sallie Mae to provide the Smart Option Student Loan
    • APRs from 1.25% (variable) and 4.25% (fixed)
  • KEMBA Financial Credit Union
    • Provides a student line of credit
    • Offers variable APRs between 4.99% and 9.49% APR and fixed APRs between 5.49% and 11.49% APR, as of Aug. 11, 2020.
  • Ascent
    • Offers student loan repayment terms of five, 10 or 15 years for undergraduates and 10 or 15 years for graduate students (20-year terms are available for some degree programs)
    • Rewards you with 1% cash back if you meet certain terms and conditions
    • Variable APRs: 2.71% – 12.99%
    • Fixed APRs: 3.53% – 14.50%
  • College Ave Student Loans
    • Finances student loans of $1,000 or more
    • Offers student loan repayment terms of five, eight, 10 or 15 years
    • Variable APRs: 1.24% – 11.98%
    • Fixed APRs: 3.49% – 12.99%
  • Sallie Mae
    • Finances student loans up to your school’s cost of attendance
    • Variable APRs: 3.50% – 10.12%
    • Fixed APRs: 5.49% – 12.87%

Since no two banks are the same, make sure to shop around. By comparing several offers, you can find one with your lowest APR 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 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 that refinance Ohio student loans. (Rates are current unless otherwise specified)

  • KEMBA Financial Credit Union
    • Refinances student loans up to $125,000
    • Offers APRs starting at 3.25%, as of Aug. 11, 2020
  • BMI Federal Credit Union
    • Refinances student loans up to $75,000
    • Offers variable APRs starting at 5.74%, as of Aug. 11, 2020
  • Earnest
    • Refinances student loans from $5,000 to $500,000
    • Variable APRs: 1.99% – 1.99%
    • Fixed APRs: 2.98% – 5.79%
  • Laurel Road
    • Offers repayment terms of five, seven, 10, 15 or 20 years
    • Variable APRs: 1.89% – 5.90%
    • Fixed APRs: 2.80% – 6.00%
  • CommonBond
    • Refinances student loans up to $500,000
    • Variable APRs: 1.99% – 5.41%
    • Fixed APRs: 2.78% – 5.59%

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.

How to manage 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 60% 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 be just 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 6 lenders of 2020!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
1.99% – 5.64%1Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Earnest

1.89% – 5.90%2Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Laurel Road

2.25% – 6.09%3Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit SoFi

1.89% – 6.77%4Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Splash

2.39% – 6.01%Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Elfi

1.99% – 5.41%5Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit CommonBond

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: 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 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.79% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.64% 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 July 31, 2020, 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 7/31/2020. 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 [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.

© 2020 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 Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

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.

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.

  1. Checking your rate with Laurel Road only requires a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
  2. Savings vary based on rate and term of your existing and refinanced loan(s). Refinancing to a longer term may lower your monthly payments, but may also increase the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Refinancing to a shorter term may increase your monthly payments, but may lower the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Review your loan documentation for total cost of your refinanced loan.
  3. 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. During any period of forbearance interest will continue to accrue. At the end of the forbearance period, any unpaid accrued interest will be capitalized and be added to the remaining principle amount of the loan.
  4. Automatic Payment (“AutoPay”) Discount: if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically from a bank account, the interest rate will decrease by 0.25% and will increase back if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically from the borrower’s bank account. The 0.25% AutoPay discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the discount is applied to the principal to help pay the loan down faster.

Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.

Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.

Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.

Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.

KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

This information is current as of September 9, 2020. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
 


3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: Fixed rates from 2.99% APR to 6.09% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.25% APR to 6.09% APR (with 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 2.25% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 0.18% plus 2.32% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, 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. See eligibility details. 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. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. 

4 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. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount.

The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.

To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of September 10, 2020.


5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

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 0.16% effective August 10, 2020.

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.