Student Loan Refinancing: Top 7 Lenders
Student loan refinancing has never been easier. We’ve got you covered when it comes to comparisons and finding the right lender.
There are just 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. If you only have federal student loans, it may be a good idea to hold off on refinancing since those could possibly be forgiven at some point in the near future. Refinancing would replace your federal loan with a private one that would not be eligible for forgiveness.
Now let’s take a look at those 7 top banks for refinancing student loans:
|Earnest||Fixed: 4.96% – 8.99%|
Variable: 5.32% – 8.94%
|SoFi||Fixed: 4.99% – 9.99% |
Variable: 5.99% – 9.99%
|Laurel Road||Fixed: 2.50% – 4.80%|
Variable: 1.89% – 4.70%
|Visit Laurel Road|
|Citizens Bank||Fixed: 2.59% – 8.23%|
Variable: 1.99% – 7.98%
|Visit Citizens Bank|
|Education Loan Finance|| Fixed: 2.47% – 5.99%|
Variable: 1.86% – 6.01%
Top 7 Lenders Compared
Please note: All rates listed on this page are current as of 6/6/2023. This College Life makes money from some of our partners listed below if you visit their site and buy their product or service. For more detail on that, take a look at how we make money here.
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 credit union lenders
- No impact on credit score getting your rates through their platform with a soft credit check
- 4.49%-10.68% Fixed APR (includes autopay)
- 5.02%-8.18% Variable APR (includes autopay)
- .25% autopay discount
- Lendkey services your loan
- Some lenders who partner with Lendkey offer a cosigner release.
- Terms between 5 and 20 years.
- Student loan refinancing available for private and/or federal student loans that were taken out in your name as the student borrower.
- Minimum loan amount: $5000
- We have Lendkey listed first because we want to support the use of local credit unions. Local CU’s typically give back to the community in various charitable ways and are always non-profit, member-owned (that’s you if you refinance with one). We are compensated by Lendkey if you use their services to refinance with a credit union.
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
- 4.96% – 8.99% APR Fixed (with autopay)
- 5.32% – 8.94% APR Variable (with autopay)
- Must be at least 18 years of age (or age of majority in the state which you reside in)
- Maximum loan amount $500,000
- Minimum credit score of 680
- Stable job required to qualify or verified consistent income
- Need to have attended a Title IV school
- Loan serviced by Earnest
- .25% autopay discount
- Must be within 6 months of graduation to qualify
Started by Stanford grad students, SoFi was designed to help other undergrad and graduate students get out of debt.
Overview of SoFi refinancing offerings:
- .25% ACH auto-pay discount
- 4.99% – 9.99% APR Fixed Interest Rates (with AutoPay)
- 5.99% – 9.99% APR Variable Interest Rates (with AutoPay)
- Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 13.95%.
- Conducts a soft credit check to show qualifying rates
- Unemployment Protection offered
- Borrowers typically have a six-figure income
- Forbearance offered
- Refinancing for loans from $5000+ (may be higher in certain states)
- Terms of 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years
Laurel Road Student Loan Refinancing
Laurel Road is one of the best refinancing companies out there for doctors and dentists. We have it in this place on the list because there just aren’t that many graduates from medical and dental school, so we don’t feel like it needs to be front and center where the refinancing companies are that can serve a larger number of students. It’s still an excellent choice. Also, these rates are based on a starting balance of $30,000 with 120 remaining payments at the time of refinancing.
Overview of Laurel Road refinancing offerings:
- Borrowers must have a minimum credit score of 660 or higher to qualify.
- Refinancing available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico
- Very flexible terms and limits, comparatively with others in the industry
- 4.99% – 10.74% APR Fixed (with .25% AutoPay discount)
- 4.74% – 10.64% APR Variable (with .25% AutoPay discount)
- Terms of 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years
- Student loan refinancing for select healthcare-focused associate degree programs
- Low payments during residency or fellowship
- Minimum loan amount for refinancing is $5000
- 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
- We are not compensated if you refinance through them.
Citizens Bank Student Loan Refinancing
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
- 5.40% – 10.65% Fixed APR (includes auto pay and loyalty discount)
- 6.67% – 12.02% Variable APR (includes auto pay and loyalty discount)
- Terms of 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years
- Soft credit pull to see your rate estimate without affecting your credit score
- Co-signer release available after making 36 consecutive payments on-time
- We are not compensated if you get refinancing through them.
Education Loan Finance (or ElFI) is offered through a special program from SouthEast bank.
Overview of ELFI refinancing offerings:
- Student loan refinancing for loan amounts of $15,000 or more
- No maximum for loan amounts
- 5.08% – 12.29% APR Fixed Interest Rates
- 2.03% – 12.54% APR Variable Interest Rates
- No application fees
- There are no origination fees
- No penalties for paying early
- Terms of 5, 7, 10, or 15 years
- Must be a U.S. citizen to qualify
- DACA borrowers are not eligible
- Minimum credit score of 680 to qualify
- A great option for those with financial stability
- We are compensated by ELFI if you use their services for refinancing.
Before you do any student loan refinancing:
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. We strive to keep rates and terms as accurate as possible. However, they could be different on the respective company websites.
Education Loan Finance terms.
Laurel Road terms.
Citizens Bank terms and conditions.
*Due to state limitations, residents of California must request a student loan refinance of at least $10,000 with Earnest, and residents of New Mexico must request a student loan refinance of at least $10,001 with Earnest.