7 Top Banks for Refinancing Student Loans in 2019

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When it comes to reviewing the best banks for refinancing student loans, we’ve got you covered.

Below, our team found the best best banks and lenders for students by comparing important factors like eligibility & terms. The 7 listed below may be able to help you consolidate & refinance either federal or private student loans. By doing that, you could lower monthly payments, pay debt faster, lower your interest rate or even all three!

There are a few requirements that need to be met for eligibility. These include whether you have a college degree, annual income, what your credit score is and your savings.

Now let’s take a look at those 7 top banks for refinancing student loans:

LenderLoan TypesInterest RatesTermsVisit/More Info
Earnest
Variable & Fixed
Fixed: 3.36% – 7.89%
Variable: 2.41% – 7.27%
 5 to 20 years Visit Earnest
Lendkey
Variable & Fixed
Fixed: 3.64%-7.5%
Variable: 2.38%-6.81%
5 to 20 yearsVisit Lendkey
Education Loan Finance
Variable & Fixed

Fixed: 3.29% – 6.69%
Variable: 2.8% – 6.01%

 
5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years
 Visit ELFi
SoFi
Variable & Fixed
Fixed: 3.690% – 8.074%
Variable: 2.490% – 6.710%

5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years  
 Visit SoFi
Laurel Road
Variable & Fixed
Fixed: 3.50% – 7.02%
Variable: 2.55% – 6.63%
 
5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years  
 Visit Laurel Road
Citizens Bank
Variable & Fixed
Fixed: 3.89% – 9.99%
Variable: 2.93% – 9.67%
 
5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years
 Visit Citizens Bank
Commonbond
Variable & Fixed
Fixed: 3.69% – 8.07%
Variable: 2.46% – 7.08%
Hybrid: 4.28% – 7.02%
5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years Visit Commonbond

Top 7 Banks Compared 

Please note: All variable rates are current as of 7/01/2019.  See how This College Life makes money here.

1. Earnest

Earnest gives you some of the best options for customizing terms along with very competitive starting variable rates.

Overview of Earnest refinancing offerings:

  • Extremely transparent on rates, terms & eligibility requirements
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or have a 10-year Permanent Resident Card
  • No variable rate loans offered in Alaska, Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Tennessee or Texas
  • Minimum amount that can be refinanced is a $5000 loan
  • 3.36% – 7.89% APR Fixed (with auto pay)
  • 2.41% – 7.27% APR Variable (with auto pay)
  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Maximum loan amount $500,000
  • Minimum credit score 650
  • Stable job required to qualify or verified consistent income
  • Need to have attended a Title IV school
  • Loan serviced by Earnest
  • .25% auto pay discount
  • Must be within 6 months of graduation to qualify

Check your rate with Earnest here.

2. Lendkey

Lendkey is the best option for those who want refinancing through a local bank or credit union

Overview of Lendkey

  • A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau
  • Over 87,000 people have benefited from LendKey’s financing partners
  • Lendkey does not actually offer refinancing, they connect people with lenders
  • No impact on credit score getting your rates through their platform with soft credit check
  • 3.64%-7.5% Fixed APR (includes autopay)
  • 2.38%-6.81% Variable APR (includes autopay)
  • .25% autopay discount
  • Some lenders who partner with Lendkey offer a cosigner release
  • Loan servicer: Lendkey
  • Terms between 5 and 20 years
  • Refinancing available for undergraduate, graduate, medical, dental and veterinary degrees
  • Minimum refinancing amount: $7500
  • Maximum refinancing amount: $300,000

Check your rate with Lendkey here.

3. Education Loan Finance

Education Loan Finance (or ElFI) is offered through a special program from SouthEast bank.

Overview of ELFI refinancing offerings:

  • Refinancing for loan amounts of $15,000 or more
  • No maximum for loan amounts
  • 3.29% – 6.69% APR Fixed Interest Rates
  • 2.8% – 6.01% APR Variable Interest Rates
  • No application fees
  • No origination fees
  • No penalties for paying early
  • Terms of 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years
  • Slightly less payment flexibility than competitors
  • Must be a U.S. citizen to qualify
  • A great option for those with financial stability
  • Must attend a school on their approved list to qualify

Check your rate with ElFI here.

4. SoFi

Started by Stanford grad students, SoFi was designed to help other undergrad and graduate students get out of debt.

Overview of SoFi refinancing offerings:

  • Borrowers must have a credit score of 650 or higher to qualify
  • .25% ACH auto-pay discount
  • 3.690% – 8.074% APR Fixed Interest Rates (with AutoPay)
  • 2.490% – 6.710% APR Variable Interest Rates (with AutoPay)
  • Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% 
  • Conducts a soft credit check to show qualifying rates
  • Unemployment Protection offered
  • Borrowers typically have a six figure income
  • Up to 12 months of forbearance
  • Refinancing for loans from $5000+
  • Terms of 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years

Check your rate at Sofi here.

5. Laurel Road

Laurel Road is one of the best refinancing companies out there for doctors and dentists.

Overview of Laurel Road refinancing offerings:

  • Borrowers must have a credit score of 660 or higher to qualify
  • Refinancing available in all 50 states
  • Very flexible terms and limits compared to others in the industry
  • 3.50% – 7.02% APR Fixed (with .25% AutoPay discount)
  • 2.55% – 6.63% APR Variable (with .25% AutoPay discount)
  • Terms of 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years
  • Refinancing for select healthcare-focused associate degree programs
  • Low payments during residency or fellowship
  • Minimum loan amount for refinancing is $5000
  • Two loans are required for refinancing in excess of $300,000
  • Up to 12 months of total forbearance time, allowed in 3 month periods
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid I-551 card

Check your rate at Laurel Road here.

6. Citizens Bank

Not a U.S. citizen or current graduate? Citizens Bank might have your back.

Overview of Citizens Bank refinancing offerings:

  • Minimum loan of $10,000 to refinance
  • Valid Social Security Number, whether a US Citizen, resident alien or permanent resident
  • Up to a .5 percentage point discount on APR
  • .25 percent auto pay discount is part of the potential .5% APR discount
  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers: 700
  • 3.89% – 9.99% Fixed APR (includes auto pay and loyalty discount)
  • 2.93% – 9.67% Variable APR (includes auto pay and loyalty discount)
  • Terms of 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years
  • Soft credit pull to see your rate without affecting credit score
  • Forbearance available in 2 month increments, up to 12 months total
  • Co-signer release available after making 36 consecutive payments of principle and interest on-time
  • Loan serviced by Firstmark Services
  • No bi-weekly payments on auto pay
  • No degree required to qualify

Check your rate with Citizens Bank here.

7. Commonbond

The team at Commonbond has been offering students opportunities for refinancing their loans since 2012.

Overview of Commonbond refinancing offerings:

  • Offers a unique hybrid loan option – although you should make sure if that’s right for you.
  • 3.69% – 8.07% APR Fixed Interest Rates
  • 2.46% – 7.08% APR Variable Rates
  • 4.28% – 7.02% APR Hybrid Interest Rates
  • Up to 24 months of forbearance
  • No penalties for prepayment
  • 1:1 social promise – for each loan funded, they also fund the education of a child in need
  • Terms of 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years
  • No origination fees
  • .25% auto pay discount
  • Over 2000 Title IV schools are eligible to refinance with Commonbond

Check your rate with Commonbond here.

Before you do anything:

In any major financial decision making process, be sure to evaluate multiple sources, reviews and any available news on the companies you plan to deal with. This information is provided solely for educational purposes and is not meant to be taken as financial advisory services.

Commonbond disclaimer.

Education Loan Finance terms.

SoFi disclaimer.

Laurel Road terms.

Earnest terms.

Citizens Bank terms and conditions.

Lendkey disclaimer.