Student Loan Refinancing: Top 7 Lenders

Student loan refinancing has never been easier and we’ve got you covered when it comes to comparisons.

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.

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

LenderInterest RatesVisit
LendKeyFixed: 2.99%-8.77%
Variable: 1.97%-8.57%
Visit Lendkey
CommonbondFixed: 2.78% – 5.59%
Variable: 1.99% – 5.41
Hybrid: 3.85% – 5.35%
Visit Commonbond
EarnestFixed: 2.98% – 5.79%
Variable: 1.99% – 5.64%
Visit Earnest
SoFiFixed: 2.99% – 6.09%
Variable: 2.25% – 6.09%
  Visit SoFi
Laurel RoadFixed: 2.80% – 6.00%
Variable: 1.89% – 5.90%
  Visit Laurel Road
Citizens BankFixed: 2.99% – 8.49%
Variable: 1.99% – 8.24%
  Visit Citizens Bank
Education Loan Finance Fixed: 2.79% – 5.99%
Variable: 2.39% – 6.01%
Visit ELFi

Top 7 Lenders Compared 

Please note: All rates listed on this page should be current as of 09/12/2020. 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
  • 2.99%-8.77% Fixed APR (includes autopay)
  • 1.97%-8.57% 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
  • Student loan refinancing available for undergraduate, graduate, medical, dental and veterinary degrees
  • Minimum refinancing amount: $7500
  • Maximum refinancing amount: $300,000
  • 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.
Visit Lendkey

Commondbond

The team at Commonbond has been offering student loan refinancing since 2012.

Overview of Commonbond refinancing offerings:

  • Offers a unique hybrid loan option, although, you should make sure if that’s right for you.
  • 2.78% – 5.59% APR Fixed Interest Rates
  • 1.99% – 5.41% APR Variable Rates
  • 3.85% – 5.35% 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
  • There aren’t any origination fees
  • .25% auto pay discount
  • Over 2000 Title IV schools are eligible to refinance with Commonbond
  • We have Commonbond at this point in the list because of what they do to give back to the community, their different variety of potential loans, and the lengthy amount of forbearance they offer. We are not compensated by Commonbond if you use their services for refinancing.
Visit Commonbond

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
  • 2.98% – 5.79% APR Fixed (with autopay)
  • 1.99% – 5.64% APR Variable (with autopay)
  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Maximum loan amount $500,000
  • Minimum credit score of 650
  • 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
  • We have Earnest at this point in the list because of how flexible they are with getting students refinancing (whether there’s a job or not, just as long as there’s stable income). We are compensated by Earnest if you use their services for refinancing.
Visit Earnest

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
  • 2.99% – 6.09% APR Fixed Interest Rates (with AutoPay)
  • 2.25% – 6.09% 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
  • We are not compensated by SoFi if you use their services for refinancing.
Visit SoFi

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.

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, comparatively with others in the industry
  • 2.80% – 6.00% APR Fixed (with .25% AutoPay discount)
  • 1.89% – 5.90% 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
  • 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
  • We are not compensated if you refinance through them.
Visit Laurel Road

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
  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers: 700
  • 2.99% – 8.49% Fixed APR (includes auto pay and loyalty discount)
  • 1.99% – 8.24% 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
  • We are not compensated if you get refinancing through them.
Visit Citizens Bank

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
  • 2.79% – 5.99% APR Fixed Interest Rates
  • 2.39% – 6.01% APR Variable Interest Rates
  • No application fees
  • There are 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
  • We are compensated by ELFI if you use their services for refinancing.
Visit ELFi

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 as accurate as possible. However, they could be different on the respective company websites.

Commonbond disclaimer.

Education Loan Finance terms.

SoFi disclaimer.

Laurel Road terms.

Earnest terms.

Citizens Bank terms and conditions.

Lendkey disclaimer.

About the Author

Bob Buckley
Bob Buckley
Bob Buckley is an account executive and writer with an emphasis on sales and product development. Since studying accounting in school, he has worked at major financial and media companies in various roles. He's also the founder of This College Life. In his free time, he cooks a lot and occasionally blogs a recipe.