How to Get or Refinance Connecticut 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 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.

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If you’re planning to spend the next few years cheering on the UConn Huskies, strolling the tree-lined paths of Yale University, or attending any of the dozens of other Connecticut colleges, you first need to figure out how to cover the costs of tuition.

Connecticut student loans can help, but you should also be cautious about how much debt you take on to pay for college. According to The Institute for College Access & Success, Connecticut students have the third-highest amount of average debt upon graduation in the country.

If you’re looking to borrow, it’s important to compare your options for student loans in Connecticut so that you find the best rates and terms. And if you already have Connecticut student loans, you might consider refinancing as a strategy for saving money on interest and getting out of debt more easily.

Whether you’re an in-state or out-of-state student, whether you’re starting college for the first time or have already graduated, read on for your options for taking out or refinancing student loans in Connecticut.

Connecticut student debt: At a glance
Average debt upon graduation in Connecticut $35,494
Percent of students who graduate with debt 60
National ranking for average debt 3
National average debt upon graduation (Class of 2017) $39,400
Info current as of the 2015-16 school year, unless otherwise noted
Source: The Institute for College Access & Success

How to get Connecticut student loans

Federal and state student loans in Connecticut

When it comes to borrowing student loans in Connecticut, you should first look into federal student loans from Federal Student Aid. Federal student loans typically come with the most competitive rates, as well as protections such as income-driven repayment (IDR) plans after you graduate.

If you have financial need, you might even qualify for subsidized loans, which don’t start accruing interest until after you graduate. To access federal student loans, you must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as FAFSA.

But since federal student loans don’t always cover the full cost of attendance, you might need extra funding. One option is for your parents to borrow a Parent PLUS Loan, which comes with a 7.60% interest rate.

Connecticut students might also qualify for a loan from the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority (CHESLA). CHESLA offers loans from $2,000 to $125,000, with fixed annual rates of 4.95% and a reserve fee of 3.00% (as of Sept. 5, 2018).

If you’re an undergraduate, you’ll make interest-only payments on your CHESLA loan while you’re in school and for six months after you graduate, after which you’ll begin making full payments. Graduate students can defer interest at these times.

Both Connecticut residents and nonresidents attending school in Connecticut can borrow from CHESLA. You can learn more on the CHESLA website, but you’ll ultimately apply with the loan servicer Firstmark.

Note that federal and state student loan options are almost always preferable to private ones, since they typically come with the lowest interest rates. But since federal loans also include borrowing limits, you might still need more funding in the form of a private student loan.

Private student loans

Once you’ve exhausted your federal and private options for student loans in Connecticut, you might consider a private student loan. Each private lender sets its own rates and terms. Some allow you to defer student loan repayment until after you’ve graduated, but others require you to start paying back your debt right away.

Each lender also sets its own eligibility, typically requiring that you have decent credit and a steady income to qualify. Since most undergraduates can’t fulfill these criteria on their own, they apply with a cosigner who can, such as a parent or guardian.

Once you qualify, you can often choose between a fixed and variable interest rate, as well as select a student loan repayment term, often between five and 15 years. Choose your term wisely since you don’t want to be stuck with high monthly bills you can’t afford.

Private loans rarely come with the same protections as federal loans. You typically won’t have access to IDR plans or loan forgiveness programs, and only a few lenders offer forbearance if you run into financial hardship.

Before borrowing a private loan, make sure you’re clear on how it differs from a federal student loan. If you (and, in most cases, your cosigner) decide it’s the right option for your education, you might consider the following lenders that provide student loans in Connecticut.

  • Webster Bank
    • Headquarters: Waterbury
    • Partners with Sallie Mae to provide the Smart Option Student Loan
    • Offers loans from $1,000 up to your school’s cost of attendance
    • Provides variable rates from 4.12% to 10.98% and fixed rates from 5.74% to 11.85%
  • CorePlus Credit Union
    • Headquarters: Norwich
    • Provides undergraduate and graduate business loans
    • Offers variable rates from 6.24% to 7.75% on its undergraduate student loans as of Sept. 5, 2018
    • Offers membership to those who live, work, or attend school in eligible counties or meet other criteria
  • Dutch Point Credit Union
    • Headquarters: Wethersfield
    • Offers an undergraduate line of credit with variable rates from 5.75% to 13.50% as of Sept. 5, 2018
    • Offers membership to anyone who lives, works, worships, goes to school, or conducts business in Hartford, New Haven, New London, or Middlesex counties, or who’s related to a member
  • Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union
    • Headquarters: Rocky Hill
    • Finances student loans of up to $75,000, with variable rates from 7.25% to 8.25% as of Sept. 5, 2018
    • Allows membership for anyone who lives, works, worships, attends school, or volunteers in Hartford, Middlesex, Tolland, or New Haven counties, or the towns of Shelton, Stratford or Bridgeport, or who’s married or related to a member
  • College Ave Student Loans
    • Provides loans from $1,000 up to school’s cost of attendance to students across the country
    • Offers repayment terms of five, eight, 10, or 15 years
    • Rates at 3.69% to 12.07%
  • Discover Student Loans
    • Provides student loans up to your school’s cost of attendance
    • Awards a one-time 1% cash reward when you get a GPA of 3.0 or higher
    • Rates from 4.34% to 13.99%
  • CommonBond
    • Offers student loans with repayment terms of five, 10, or 15 years
    • Rates from 3.72% to 9.82%

Before choosing a lender, make sure to shop around for the best deals. By researching your options, you can find a private student loan with the lowest costs of borrowing over the long term.

How to refinance your Connecticut student loans

Even if you shopped around for the best rate when you took out student loans, that doesn’t mean you can’t snag an even lower rate after graduation. Student loan refinancing could get you that lower rate, possibly saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.

When you choose to refinance student loans, you can completely restructure your debt as well. You might select a shorter repayment term to get out of debt faster. Or you could lengthen your term to decrease your payments and take some of the pressure off your monthly budget.

Finally, refinancing could simplify your payments by consolidating multiple student loans into a single loan. Instead of keeping track of several bills and due dates each month, you would only have to remember one.

Before you refinance student loans, though, make sure you understand the consequences of this move. If you refinance federal loans with a private lender, you essentially turn them into a single private loan. As a result, you lose access to federal programs, including IDR plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Refinancing is also different from federal consolidation, which refers to combining your federal loans into one with a Direct Consolidation Loan. Note that this process simplifies your debt, but unlike refinancing it doesn’t get you a lower interest rate.

Make sure you’re not mixing up the two processes before you pursue refinancing. If you’ve thought through the pros and cons of refinancing and decided it’s right for you, then take a look at these local and national refinancing lenders.

  • CorePlus Credit Union
    • Refinances student loans from $5,000 to $125,000
    • Offers variable rates from 5.00% to 6.00% and fixed rates from 5.25% to 6.25% as of Sept. 5, 2018
    • Provides repayment terms of five, 10, or 15 years
  • Dutch Point Credit Union
    • Refinances student loans from $5,000 to $50,000
    • Offers variable and fixed rates from 4.75% to 10.00% as of Sept. 5, 2018
    • Has repayment terms of five, 10, and 15 years
  • Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union
    • Refinances student loans from $5,000 to $75,000
    • Offers variable rates from 7.00% to 8.00% as of Sept. 5, 2018
    • Allows for a 15-year repayment term
  • SoFi
    • Refinances student loans starting at $5,000
    • Rates from 2.57% to 8.18%
  • Laurel Road
    • Offers terms of five, seven, 10, 15, or 20 years
    • Rates from 2.80% to 7.02%
  • Citizens Bank
    • Refinances student loans starting at $10,000
    • Offers terms of five, 10, 15, or 20 years
    • Rates from 2.57% to 8.69%

Just as you should shop around before borrowing a private student loan, you should also compare your offers before you refinance student loans. Several refinancing lenders make it easy to get an instant rate quote with no impact on your credit score.

Although a rate quote will only show you a preliminary offer, it could give you a good sense of your offers. If you’re struggling to qualify or want even lower rates, you might consider applying for refinancing with a cosigner.

Whatever you choose, research multiple providers to find a refinanced student loan with the best offer.

The bottom line: Student loans in Connecticut

With tuition costs higher than ever these days, Connecticut students are feeling the squeeze as 60% of them leave college with student loan debt. If you’re attending school in the Constitution State, make sure to do your due diligence before borrowing or refinancing student loans.

Even with your best efforts, paying off student loan debt can take time. Be patient as you chip away at your loans, and keep your eyes on the prize: a financially independent life free of student debt.

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: 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 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% 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, email us at, 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

  1. VARIABLE APR – APR is subject to increase after consummation. 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.

3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: Fixed rates from 3.899% APR to 8.179% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.570% APR to 6.980% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. SoFi rate ranges are current as of September 14, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.570% APR assumes the current index rate derived from the 1-month LIBOR of 2.08% plus 0.740% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay 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. (

4 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.

5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

  1. Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). The following table displays the estimated monthly payment, total interest, and Annual Percentage Rates (APR) for a $10,000 loan. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) shown for each in-school loan product reflects the accruing interest, the effect of one-time capitalization of interest at the end of a deferment period, a 2% origination fee, and the applicable Repayment Plan. All loans are eligible for a 0.25% reduction in interest rate by agreeing to automatic payment withdrawals once in repayment, which is reflected in the interest rates and APRs displayed. Variable rates may increase after consummation. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.08% effective July 25, 2018.

6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Education Refinance Loan Rate DisclosureVariable 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 August 1, 2018, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.07%. Variable interest rates range from 2.57%-8.17% (2.57%-8.17% 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 We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision at, 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, must be in repayment of their existing student loan(s) and must make the minimum number of payments after leaving school. 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 co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The co-signer (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 co-signer 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.
  7. Estimated average savings amount is based on 14,659 Education Refinance Loan customers who saved on loans between August 1, 2017 and July 31, 2018. The calculation is derived by averaging monthly savings across Education Refinance Loan customers whose payment amounts decreased after refinancing, calculated by taking the monthly payment prior to refinancing minus the monthly payment after refinancing. We excluded monthly savings from customers that exceeded $4,375 and were lower than $20 to minimize risk of data error skewing the savings amounts. Savings will vary based on interest rates, balances and remaining repayment term of loans to be refinanced. Borrower’s overall repayment amount may be higher than the loans they are refinancing even if monthly payments are lower.

2.57% – 6.98%3Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit SoFi
2.47% – 5.87%1Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Earnest
2.47% – 8.03%4Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Lendkey
2.80% – 6.22%2Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Laurel Road
2.48% – 6.25%5Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit CommonBond
2.57% – 8.17%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.