How to Refinance or Get Texas Student Loans

Advertiser Disclosure

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 and will make a positive impact in your life. 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 understand what you are buying, and consult 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. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

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.

texas student loans
Logo

We’ve got your back! Student Loan Hero is a completely free website 100% focused on helping student loan borrowers get the answers they need. Read more

How do we make money? It’s actually pretty simple. If you choose to check out and become a customer of any of the loan providers featured on our site, we get compensated for sending you their way. This helps pay for our amazing staff of writers (many of which are paying back student loans of their own!).

Bottom line: We’re here for you. So please learn all you can, email us with any questions, and feel free to visit or not visit any of the loan providers on our site. Read less

Refinancing with Earnest

Refinancing rates from 2.47% APR. Checking your rates won’t affect your credit score.

Check out Earnest

Barbecue, football, the Alamo — Texas is famous for a lot of reasons, but one you might not know about is its robust student loan options.

Home to 148 colleges and other institutions, the Lone Star State supports its booming student population with a variety of low-interest Texas student loans.

Texas college students also leave school with less debt than their peers in other states. According to The Student Loan Report, the average student in Texas left school in 2015 owing $14,469. That’s less than half the national average of student loan debt ($37,172) for class of 2016 graduates.

If you’re a Texas resident looking to take out a new student loan or refinance your education debt, read on for all your options for Texas student loans.

Low-interest options for Texas student loans

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) offers two types of Texas student loans to qualifying residents.

College Access Loan (CAL) Program

The CAL Program offers educational loans to Texas students who can’t afford their school’s cost of attendance. You can take out as much as you need minus any other federal aid you’ve qualified for. The minimum borrowing amount is $100, and every loan comes with a fixed interest rate of 6.60%.

Along with being a Texas resident, you must satisfy these requirements to qualify:

  • At least half-time enrollment in a program that offers a certificate or an associate, bachelor’s, or graduate degree
  • Satisfactory academic progress, as defined by the school
  • Meet credit requirements or apply with a cosigner who has a steady income and a VantageScore of 650 or higher

If you borrow from the CAL Program, you won’t have to start repayment until six months after you leave school. Loans that are less than $30,000 have a maximum repayment period of 10 years. If you borrow more than $30,000, you can request a repayment plan of up to 20 years.

Texas B-On-Time (BOT) Loan program

The BOT Loan program is a hot ticket in the world of Texas student loans. It offers zero-interest loans that can be forgiven after graduation.

However, as of 2015, BOT Loans are no longer available to new borrowers. If you’ve already received a BOT Loan, you still can apply for a renewal.

Students looking to renew must meet these eligibility requirements:

  • Texas residency or eligibility for in-state tuition rates as a dependent child of a U.S. armed forces member
  • Enrolled full time in an undergraduate degree program
  • Eligible for federal financial aid
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA while completing at least 75% of attempted credit hours in your last semester

For the 2017-2018 academic year, renewal recipients at four-year colleges can borrow $9,050 per year. Students at public technical colleges can borrow $5,496, and community college students can borrow $3,010.

Although these loans come with a 3% origination fee, you could be off the hook for repayment after graduation. Forgiveness could be granted if you graduate on time with a GPA of at least 3.0.

Other private Texas student loans available

The Higher Education Servicing Corporation (HESC) is a nonprofit that connects students with private Texas student loans. It partners with various lenders to help students take out new education loans or refinance existing ones.

HESC categorizes its Texas student loans into three types: student loans, sponsor loans, and consolidation loans.

Student loans go to the student, who can apply with a cosigner to meet credit requirements. Sponsor loans are granted to parents or sponsors. As the student, you’ll cosign on this loan type. Finally, consolidation loans help you pay off existing private student loans. You can simplify your monthly payments and potentially snag a lower interest rate via the nonprofit’s consolidation loan.

However, Direct Loans from the federal government aren’t eligible for HESC consolidation loans. If you want to refinance federal student loans, you’ll have to do so with another lender, such as Citizens Bank or SoFi.

Here are the three main offerings you’ll find through HESC.

Texas Extra Credit Education Loans

  • Borrow from $1,000 to $65,000
  • 10- or 15-year repayment term
  • Options of immediate, interest-only, or deferred repayment
  • No origination fee
  • Variable or fixed interest rates
  • Cosigner release after 24 months of on-time repayment

Greater Texas Federal Credit Union loans

  • Borrow from $1,000 to $50,000
  • 10-year repayment term
  • Immediate, interest-only, or deferred repayment
  • No origination fee
  • Variable or fixed interest rates

You also can borrow from Aggieland Credit Union, a branch of Greater Texas Federal Credit Union. It offers loans with similar terms.

Baptist Credit Union loans

  • Borrow from $1,000 to $25,000
  • 10-year repayment term
  • Immediate or interest-only repayment
  • No origination fee

While the above are offered by HESC, they aren’t your only options for private student loans. You also might look to national lenders, such as College Ave or LendKey.

These lenders, along with others, also offer student loan refinancing. Refinancing could help you meet your debt payoff goals by lowering your interest rate or changing your repayment term.

Whether you’re looking to take out a loan or refinance loans you already have, shopping around with multiple lenders is a smart move. You can compare offers and find the lowest interest rate to reduce your long-term borrowing costs.

Federal options for Texas student loans

Federal student loans are available to students who are enrolled at least half time. In most cases, you must be working toward a degree or certificate to qualify. Further, your school must participate in the Direct Loan Program.

Federal loans, with the exception of PLUS Loans, don’t require a credit check or cosigner. They tend to come with the lowest interest rates, and they have a variety of borrower protections, including income-driven repayment (IDR) plans and forbearance in the case of financial hardship.

To be eligible, you must be a U.S. citizen or qualifying resident enrolled in an approved school. You also must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). After submitting the FAFSA, you could qualify for one of the three loan types below.

Direct Subsidized Loans or Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans are granted to students. Undergraduate students can qualify for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans, which come with a fixed interest rate of 4.45%. Graduate students can qualify for only unsubsidized loans with a 6.00% interest rate. These loans have a 1.066% origination fee as of Oct. 1, 2017.

Students with financial need can get subsidized loans, which don’t accrue interest while you’re in school. Subsidized loans, however, come with relatively low borrowing limits, so they might not cover your full tuition bill.

If you have more costs to cover, you could fill the gap with unsubsidized loans. Anyone eligible for federal financial aid can get unsubsidized loans, which accrue interest from the date of disbursement.

You can defer payments on Direct Loans for six months after graduation. After this point, your loans are automatically put on the standard 10-year repayment plan. Alternatively, you can extend your repayment term with an IDR plan.

Your Direct Loans also might qualify for forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program or Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program.

Parent PLUS Loans

Parent PLUS Loans are granted to parents or guardians of students who need additional funding to pay for school. They have a 7.00% interest rate and 4.264% origination fee as of Oct. 1, 2017.

Parents don’t need especially strong credit to qualify, but they can’t have an adverse credit history. When it comes to repayment, there aren’t as many options for Parent PLUS Loans as there are for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. Make sure to learn about the available repayment plans before borrowing.

Direct Consolidation Loans

If you’re looking to simplify your student loan situation, you could apply for a Direct Consolidation Loan. This federal loan option combines multiple loans into one, so it could be easier to keep track of your monthly dues.

Unlike refinancing, taking out a Direct Consolidation Loan can stick you with a higher interest rate. Your new rate will be the weighted average of your previous interest rates rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of a percent. So even though consolidating could simplify your monthly bills, you might see your interest payments go up.

Explore your options for Texas student loans

Whether you’re looking to cover tuition charges or refinance your Texas student loans, you have a variety of options as a borrower.

THECB offers low-interest student loans to Texas residents. Plus, HESC partners with credit unions to help you finance your education.

However, Texas grants and scholarships should be your first stop for funding. After that, consider federal student loans. Unless you or your cosigner has stellar credit, it can be hard beating the low rates on Direct Loans.

Whatever you choose, make sure to research your options and compare terms. That way, you can save yourself serious money on education costs.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
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: 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 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.97% 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 Month/Day/Year, 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 08/21/18. 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 hello@earnest.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent 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 Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

APR stands for “Annual Percentage Rate.” Rates listed include a 0.25% EFT discount, for automatic payments made from a checking or savings account. Interest rates as of 11/8/2018. Rates subject to change.

Variable rate options consist of a range from 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term, 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term, 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term, 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term, or 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rate will change on the first day of every month (“Change Date”) if the Current Index changes. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes. The variable interest rates are calculated by adding a margin ranging from 0.98% to 3.80% for the 5-year term loan, 2.35% to 3.85% for the 7-year term loan, 2.40% to 3.90% for the 10-year term loan, 2.65% to 4.15% for the 15-year term loan, and 2.90% to 4.40% for the 20-year term loan, respectively, to the 1-month LIBOR index published on the 25th day of each month immediately preceding each “Change Date,” as defined above, rounded to two decimal places, with no origination fees. If the 25th day of the month is not a business day or is a US federal holiday, the reference date will be the most recent date preceding the 25th day of the month that is a business day. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term would be from $180.89 to $193.75. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term would be from $139.65 to $146.76. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term would be from $104.56 to $111.98. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term would be from $78.77 to $86.78. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term would be from $67.05 to $75.68.

However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.


3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: Fixed rates from 3.674% APR to 8.229% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.245% APR to 7.24% 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 2.245% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.30% plus 0.91% 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. 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.
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.

LendKey Disclosures

Refinancing via LendKey.com 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 LendKey.com. 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 LendKey.com 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.


5 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 2.28% effective October 10, 2018.


6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Education Refinance Loan 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 November 1, 2018, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.29%. Variable interest rates range from 2.79%-8.39% (2.79%-8.39% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Fixed interest rates range from 3.75%-8.69% (3.75%-8.69% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Lowest rates shown require application with a cosigner, are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. 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 their loan.
  2. Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer with the Education Refinance Loan. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans and replace those with the benefits of the Education Refinance Loan. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision at http://www.citizensbank.com/EdRefinance, including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.
  3. Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Eligibility: Eligible applicants may not be currently enrolled. Applicants with an Associate’s degree or with no degree must have made at least 12 qualifying payments after leaving school. Qualifying payments are the most recent on time and consecutive payments of principal and interest on the loans being refinanced. Primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The cosigner (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a cosigner will be required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Education Refinance Loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned.
  4. Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  5. Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
  6. Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply.

2.24% – 7.24%3Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit SoFi

2.47% – 6.97%1Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Earnest

2.51% – 8.09%4Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Lendkey

3.02% – 6.44%2Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Laurel Road

2.69% – 7.21%5Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit CommonBond

2.79% – 8.39%6Undergrad
& 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 and will make a positive impact in your life. 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 understand what you are buying, and consult 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. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.