Refinance rates with Laurel Road start at 1.89%.
Checking your rates won’t affect your score.
Virginia students have an average federal and private student loan debt of $37,098, compared with the national U.S. average of $36,689. Although the 1% difference might seem inconsequential, the commonwealth ranks fourth-highest in the nation for average student loan debt.
Virginia offers different need-based financial aid programs, like the Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program and Virginia Commonwealth Award, to help undergraduate residents attend college. But despite the handful of grant opportunities available to college-bound residents, as many as 1.2 million borrowers also rely on federal and private student loans to fill the gap.
Here’s what you need to know about Virginia student loans and your available repayment options.
|Virginia student debt overview|
|Total outstanding debt||$44.2 billion|
|Number of borrowers||1.2 million|
|Average total monthly payment||$293|
|Note: Averages include federal and private student loan debt.|
Students interested in higher education in the Old Dominion can choose from a list of public and private institutions. The state’s 23 community colleges offer 40 campus locations for its 375,000 students. Virginians can also apply for admission at one of 15 public, four-year institutions, including:
- University of Virginia
- Virginia Tech
- James Madison University
- College of William and Mary
To help Virginia residents pay for college costs, the state offers grants to students who demonstrate financial need. The Virginia Commonwealth Award is a renewable grant that’s available to Virginia students who are enrolled in a public two- or four-year institution in the state. Similarly, the Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program offers financial aid to Virginia high school graduates. Recipients must be admitted to a public institution in Virginia and enrolled full time toward their degree, diploma or certification program. Award amounts for both programs vary.
The state is also home to 27 private, nonprofit four-year institutions, including:
- Hampton University
- Shenandoah University
- University of Richmond
Students interested in attending a private college or university can apply for a Virginia grant to help lighten the financial burden. The state’s Tuition Assistance Grant Program is available to Virginians who’ve been admitted to one of the commonwealth’s accredited private colleges. For the 2020-21 academic year, the undergraduate award was $3,520, while graduate students were eligible for a $1,760 award.
Although these Virginia educational grants are helpful, they only cover a portion of the total cost. In this case, students often turn to federal and private student loans as a last resort.
|Student loan debt in most populous Virginia counties|
|County||Average student loan balance||Average monthly student loan payment|
|Note: Limited to counties with a population of at least 300,000 residents; averages include federal and private student loan debt.|
Student loan debt by ZIP code in Virginia’s 4 largest cities: Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk and Richmond
Eligible Virginia borrowers who are looking for ways to manage their student debt have another option. Several federal and Virginia loan repayment programs offer practicing professionals repayment assistance.
Federal student loan borrowers who are on an income-driven repayment plan can be eligible for loan forgiveness at the end of their repayment term. Term durations for IDR plans are between 20 and 25 years. The remaining balance after that time is forgiven, but borrowers may be taxed on the forgiven amount.
Public service professionals can explore the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. The program forgives the remaining balance on eligible federal loans after 120 qualifying payments made while working for a government or nonprofit organization. Unlike IDR loan forgiveness, the amount that’s forgiven through PSLF is tax-free.
Virginia educators with eligible federal loans can apply for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program. Teachers must serve full time for five consecutive years in a low-income elementary or secondary school, or an educational service agency in the state. The forgiveness amount depends on the subject taught and is either $17,500 or $5,000.
To attract health workers to Virginia’s health professional shortage areas (HPSAs), Virginians can apply for the VA-SLRP. It offers a maximum repayment assistance award of $100,000 for a minimum service commitment of two years. Recipients can renew for an additional two years with a lifetime total award of $140,000.
Virginia federal student loan borrowers younger than 25 owe more than national average — and more comparisons
As many as 8% of Virginia student loan borrowers have $100,000 or more in outstanding student debt. Refinancing student loans can help six-figure borrowers save thousands of dollars.
Student loan refinancing — whether for federal or private Virgina student loans — offers a handful of benefits. These advantages include a potentially lower interest rate that saves money over time, as well as the possibility of getting out of student loan debt faster. It also consolidates multiple loans into one, easy-to-manage loan.
However, refinancing has its downsides. Since student loan refinancing takes place with a private lender, it has stringent credit and eligibility requirements. In addition, not all lenders offer flexible repayment, so Virginia borrowers are locked into their original repayment plan.
Borrowers who are thinking about refinancing federal student loans should seriously consider the consequences of losing government benefits. For example, refinancing means losing access to IDR plans and many of the loan forgiveness programs mentioned above. And although private lenders might offer deferment or forbearance options, they’re often not as favorable as federal deferment or forbearance assistance.
- U.S. Department of Education data as of June 30, 2020
- Anonymized My LendingTree June 2020 credit reports
- Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax as of June 2020
Because the latter data is from 2015, researchers estimated the increase in student loan debt per borrower in the state using statewide data from anonymized credit reports.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 9 lenders of 2021!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.88% – 6.15%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.88% – 5.64%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.88% – 5.64%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.85%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.25% – 6.39%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.90% – 5.25%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 5.90%7||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.39% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
|2.13% – 5.25%8||Undergrad & Graduate|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 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 June 1, 2021.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
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 2.50% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.79% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.88% 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 October 26, 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 10/26/2020. 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.
3 Important Disclosures for Navient.
4 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.15% effective Jan 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation.
5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
6 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
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.
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 04/07/2021 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.90% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.95% APR – 7.63% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
7 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.
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 April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
8 Important Disclosures for PenFed.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 2.89%-4.78% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.13%-5.25% APR. Both Fixed and Variable Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. For Variable Rate student loans, the rate will never exceed 9.00% for 5 year and 8 year loans and 10.00% for 12 and 15 years loans (the maximum allowable for this loan). Minimum variable rate will be 2.00%. These rates are 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.