Student Loans

Earnest Private Student Loan Review

Earnest private student loan can give borrowers more opportunity and flexibility to pay for school.

Please note: All variable rates are current as of 2/23/2022. We are not compensated by Earnest if you take out a new, private student loan with them through this article.  See how This College Life makes money here.


  • Co-signer invite available in the application
  • 9-month grace period offered
  • No origination, pre-payment, return, or late payment fees
  • Skip 1 payment per year during the repayment period
  • Deferred payment option
  • Fixed-rate range 2.94% – 12.78% APR (with autopay)
  • Variable-rate range .94% – 11.44% APR (with autopay)
  • Available in all states except NV (also available in District of Columbia)
  • Fixed $25 payment option
  • Interest-only payment option (co-signed loans only)
  • Must be attending or enrolled to attend a Title IV institution to be eligible
  • The loan amount is at least $1000 or more
  • .25% autopay discount

Check Rate Here.

Overview of Earnest Private Student Loan

What makes the Earnest private student loan unique?

Their 9 month grace period is 3 more months than many lenders.

To Qualify

In order to qualify, applicants need to match up in three different areas for student loan eligibility. Those are financial background, personal information and loan information.


You will need a minimum FICO score of 650 with at least three years of credit history (how to start building credit). Your income must be at least $35,000 per year in USD without any bankruptcy on your credit report.

You have a history of on-time payments with any type of account that would be reported to the credit bureaus. This means anything like a car loan/lease, other student loans, or credit cards. Lastly, you have no accounts currently in collections.

In other words, if you have been on top of your different financial commitments in the past and have at least 35K USD/year income, you’re likely to qualify.


You will need to reside in a state that Earnest lends in. That means any (including the District of Columbia) except for Nevada. If you are not a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year Permanent Resident Card, you will need to have a cosigner who is.

Cosigner must be the age of majority in your state of residence. That means the threshold of adulthood as viewed by law. You (primary borrower) are required to have a social security number.


Your school is a Title IV, not-for-profit 4 year institution and you are pursuing a bachelor’s or graduate degree there. Enrollment must be full time with a minimum loan amount of $1000 (unless specified by your state of residence).

Repayment Options on Earnest Private Student Loan

In school

  • Interest-only payment: Just pay the interest while in school
  • Fixed $25 payment: pay only $25/month while in school
  • Deferred payment: Make no payments while in school + the first 9 months after graduation
  • Full principal & interest payment (available for co-signed loans only): Pay the entire cost of the loan payments while in school and following graduation


  • Military deferment: Yes
  • 9-month grace period
  • Skip a payment once per year (every 12 months)

Additional Points on Earnest Private Student Loan

Earnest keeps customer service in-house and loans given by them are serviced by them. You must be enrolled full-time as a freshman, sophomore, or junior for the independent undergraduate student loan.

You must be at least half-time or more to be eligible as a college senior. There are also no fees for origination, prepayments, early payments, or extra payments.

Any drawbacks?

Residents of Nevada are out of luck since Earnest can’t lend there.

What People Are Saying

Out of 2,962 reviews on TrustPilot, Earnest scores “Excellent”

Their BBB rating is an A+ but has 1.56/5 stars

On Glassdoor, Earnest scores a 3.9/5 stars with 78% approval of CEO Susan Ehrlich

Sound like an Earnest private student loan is the right fit for you? Check your rate with them here.

Information from This College Life on financial services products should be used for educational purposes only. Consult a licensed financial professional before making any major decisions. Nothing in this article is meant to be financial advice.

Bob Buckley

Bob Buckley writes about food and business.