Refinance rates with Laurel Road start at 1.89%.
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Washingtonians carry an average federal and private student loan debt burden of $33,342 — 9% less than the nationwide average of $36,689.
In 2017, the Student Loan Transparency Act, introduced by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, passed unanimously, requiring colleges to keep Washington borrowers apprised of their student loan debt’s status clearly and transparently. The following year, the state’s Student Loan Bill of Rights standardized requirements for loan servicers in how they support Washington borrowers.
Although these protections are a promising sign for students in the Evergreen State, Washington is still home to as many as 800,000 borrowers with student debt. And as new students enter higher education, some will rely on Washington student loans to pay for school. Here’s what you need to know about Washington student loans and your available repayment options.
Washington student loans: Borrowers owe average of $33,342 in federal, private debt — and more facts
|Washington student debt overview|
|Total outstanding debt||$29.4 billion|
|Number of borrowers||0.8 million|
|Average total monthly payment||$336|
|Note: Averages include federal and private student loan debt.|
Students in Washington state have many colleges and universities to choose from. Within its higher education system, the state offers 33 public community and trade colleges and 11 public baccalaureate colleges and universities, seven of which are research universities. Some four-year public schools include:
- University of Washington
- Washington State University
- The Evergreen State College
Under the Independent Colleges of Washington higher education association, students can also consider attending one of its 10 independent, nonprofit colleges. A few notable private colleges include:
- Gonzaga University
- Seattle Pacific University
- Whitman College
To help make higher education more accessible, the Washington College Grant was expanded in 2020-21 to qualify more low- and middle-income applicants. Grant recipients can receive up to full tuition and funding for school-related costs at approved public colleges or universities, depending on their family’s annual income. Similarly, former foster youth or unaccompanied homeless youth living in the state can apply for the Passport to College Scholarship. The pathway supports higher education costs, such as tuition, fees, books, housing and transportation, as well as some personal expenses.
Washington state students who are ineligible for these programs can explore the State Work Study program and other state-based scholarships and grants to avoid accumulating student debt over time. As a last resort, federal and private Washington student loans may be an option.
|Student loan debt in most populous Washington 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 borrowers who’ve completed their education and are residing in Washington can still lessen their debt during repayment. Here are a few loan repayment programs for Washingtonians.
The FHP — formerly the Federal State Loan Repayment Program, or FSLRP — is a federal program that’s available to eligible licensed health providers in Washington. It’s funded by federal and state dollars, and requires professionals to serve at least 40 hours a week at a federal health professional shortage area (HPSA). For a two-year minimum service obligation, recipients can receive a maximum award of up to $70,000.
PSLF is another federal program that’s available to eligible public service workers residing in Washington state. The program forgives any remaining direct loan balance after 120 qualifying payments while enrolled under an income-driven repayment plan. Employees must work full time for a nonprofit or government agency for the duration of repayment.
The SHP — formerly known as the State Health Professional Loan Repayment Program, or HPLRP — exclusively provides loan repayment assistance via state funds. It offers recipients up to $75,000 with a required service commitment of three years. Eligible health workers must work at a state-designated HPSA at a minimum of 24 hours a week.
Washington educators can also consider Teacher Loan Forgiveness, another federal program, as a way to lessen their debt. Teachers must be employed as a “highly qualified teacher” at a school that serves low-income students (those working for an educational service agency are also considered eligible) for at least five consecutive academic years. Depending on the subject taught, teachers can receive a maximum award of $5,000 or $17,500.
Washington federal student loan borrowers younger than 25 owe less than national average — and more comparisons
Currently, 8.6% of Washington borrowers owe $100,000 or more in student loans. Student loan refinancing is one option that can help residents get out from under six-figure debt.
During a student loan refinance, Washington borrowers can include federal or private student loans. The new refinancing lender repays the original lenders the balance they’re owed. Once all the original loans are paid in full, the refinancing lender creates a new private student refinance loan that acts as the replacement debt that the borrower repays.
Refinancing student loans can be advantageous if the borrower can secure a lower interest rate or more favorable repayment terms. This is especially true when refinancing a private student loan into another private student loan refinance. Borrowers also have a simpler loan repayment process since there’s only one loan to manage, with one monthly payment and due date to track.
However, when it comes to refinancing federal student loans into a private student loan, there are more factors to consider. Federal student loans offer benefits including loan forgiveness programs, income-driven repayment plans and extended deferment or forbearance options. Not all private student loan lenders offer this protection, and those that do may have different eligibility requirements from federal loans.
- 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.