10 Best Companies to Refinance Student Loans

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Looking for the best companies to refinance student loans? We’ve got you covered.

Refinancing your student loans is one of the best options to help you become debt-free and save money with lower monthly payments and long-term interest savings.

There are several student loan companies that offer to refinance private student loans. If you’re comfortable forfeiting loan forgiveness benefits, you can refinance federal loans too.

Top Companies to Refinance Your Student Loans

Before applying, make sure to compare rates from several lenders. It’s free to compare rates and doesn’t hurt your credit score. If you decide to refinance, the official loan application results in a hard credit check.

The best lenders won’t charge any application fees, origination fees or early prepayment penalties.

For most lenders, it’s possible to refinance federal student loans and private student loans. Also, you can refinance undergraduate, graduate, medical and law school loans.

1. SoFi

SoFi home page

SoFi is a major player in the financial services industry with several personal finance options, including student loan refinancing.

In addition to the 0.25% autopay discount, you can get a 0.125% member discount on future SoFi loans.

The biggest factor to consider when refinancing with SoFi is your credit score. The minimum FICO credit score needed is 650.

The average income for a SoFi borrower is also $150,000 annually. While not everyone will meet these requirements, it’s a quick application process and you can get very low-interest rates if approved.

Private students need a minimum $5,000 balance to refinance. Medical student loans must have a minimum $10,001 balance.

New to refinancing? Here’s how to start refinancing your student loans and get out of debt sooner.

Key Details

  • Minimum fixed APR: 2.49%
  • Minimum variable APR: 2.24%
  • Loan terms: 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to no maximum
  • Autopay discount: 0.25%
  • Trustpilot score: 4.0 out of 5
  • Career guidance to help you advance in the workplace
  • Access to SoFi wealth advisors (no other competitor does this)

Should You Use SoFi?  

SoFi is a great option if you qualify for approval. The credit score and income are higher than most lenders require, but they have excellent benefits and perks.

Private student loan refinancing includes unemployment protection where your payments are temporarily suspended. SoFi can also help the unemployed receive career support or participate in the entrepreneur program.

These extra services are very rare as most lenders only offer refinancing.

All rates, member figures, estimates, terms, state availability, and savings calculations are current at the time this article was written. All of the above may update in the future. For the most up-to-date information, visit SoFi.com.

Related: Sofi Personal Loans Review

2. Splash Financial

Splash Financial home page

Splash Financial is a loan comparison marketplaces for student loans and medical student loan refinancing. Parents can refinance Parent PLUS loans too.

You can enter your student loan details and see the best offers from banks and credit unions.

According to the Splash Financial website, you can find a rate in less than 3 minutes and fill out the entire application in as little at 15 minutes online.

Key Details

  • Minimum fixed APR: 2.63%
  • Minimum variable APR: 1.89% APR
  • Loan terms: 5 to 15 years
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to no maximum
  • Autopay discount: 0.25%
  • Trustpilot score: 4.8 out of 5

The minimum credit score to be approved is 650.

Should you use Splash Financial?

Splash Financial can be a good option if you want to compare interest rates from multiple lenders with one search. Its minimum borrowing amount is competitive with other lenders.

Read our Splash Financial review to learn more.

3. LendKey

LendKey home page

LendKey is a great option for refinancing your student loans as you can compare rates from multiple lenders.

It’s possible to get loan offers from credit unions and banks. You can apply with a cosigner as well.

As LendKey is a marketplace, read the repayment terms that each lender offers. For instance, you will need to request deferment or forbearance with your loan from the lender instead of LendKey.

Key Details

  • Minimum fixed APR: 2.95%
  • Minimum variable APR: 1.92%
  • Loan terms: 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years
  • Loan amounts vary depending on your degree:  
    • $5,000 to $125,000 for undergraduate degree
    • Up to $250k for graduate degrees
    • Up to $300k for medical degrees
  • Autopay discount: 0.25%
  • Trustpilot score: 4.5 out of 5

Should You Use LendKey?

Lendkey is a great option for refinancing your student loans as you can compare rates from multiple lenders. With competitive rates, great customer service, and the ability to work with a credit union, it’s a great option.

Plus, if you need to use a cosigner you can help to qualify the loan and after 12 consecutive, on-time payments they can be removed from the loan.  

4. CommonBond

Common Bond home page

Similar to SoFi, Common Bond was formed by a group of students from the University of Pennsylvania to help fellow students get the best student loan rates available.

Seeking private loans to finish your undergraduate or graduate degree? CommonBond is one of the leading private lenders with competitive interest rates, and excellent repayment terms.

But, also like SoFi, the approval requirements are higher than other lenders.

CommonBond requires a good to excellent credit score (660+ FICO score) and a high paying job.

One positive is that they do allow co-signers if you aren’t able to secure the loan on your own.

After making three years (36 payments) of on-time payments, the co-signer can remove themselves from the loan.

Another feature that makes CommonBond unique is that they offer a “hybrid interest rate.” However, you may apply for a fixed interest rate to pay the same rate for the loan term.

If you have an economic hardship, you can request loan forbearance for up to 24 months.

Key Details

  • Minimum fixed rates starting at 4.49% APR
  • Minimum variable start at 4.44% APR
  • Flexible repayment terms
  • Loan Amounts: $5,000 – $500,000
  • Autopay discount: 0.25%
  • Trustpilot score: 3.2 out of 5

Should You Use CommonBond?

CommonBond is another great option if you are a well-qualified borrower.  Applying with a cosigner can improve the approval odds or have a lower interest rate.

Being able to access the CommonBond Community provides perks like networking and career tips. These tools can help you succeed in your financial future.

5. Citizens Bank

Citizens home page

Citizens Bank is a very reputable company that can help you refinance your student loans.

Parents can refinance student loans as well. Not all lenders offer parent student loan refinancing.

If you currently bank with Citizens Bank, you can qualify for a 0.50% loyalty discount. You get a 0.25% autopay discount plus a 0.25% discount for having a banking account.

Either you or your cosigner must have an active Citizens Bank account when you apply for refinancing to get the full loyalty discount.

One downside of Citizens Bank is the minimum $10,000 balance to refinance. Most lenders only require a $5,000 balance.

Key Details

  • Minimum fixed APR: 2.97%
  • Minimum variable APR: 1.99%
  • Loan terms: 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years
  • Loan amounts:  
    • $10,000 – $90,000 for undergraduates
    • Up to $350,000 for graduates  
  • Autopay discount: up to 0.50%
  • Trustpilot score: 1.2 out of 5 (due to complaints about local branches)

Should You Use Citizens Bank?  

Citizens Bank can be a good option if you qualify for the 0.50% loyalty discount. The interest rates are competitive but you need a minimum $10,000 balance.

6. ELFI

ELFI home page

ELFI (Education Loan Finance) is a division of SouthEast Bank based in Tennessee.

You can refinance undergraduate, graduate and parent private loans. There is a 0.25% autopay discount.

Applicants only need a minimum $35,000 annual income to qualify. However, they also need a minimum 680 credit score and at least $15,000 in loans to refinance.

This minimum credit score is higher than many lenders but the income requirements are lower.

If you need to boost your credit score, consider getting a credit builder loan from Self.

A creditworthy cosigner with a minimum 680 credit score can also help you apply. They can be released from the loan once your credit profile qualifies for a standalone loan.

Key Details

  • Minimum fixed APR: 2.79%
  • Minimum variable APR: 2.39%
  • Loan terms: 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years 
  • Loan Amounts: $15,000 – no max
  • Autopay discount: 0.25%
  • Trustpilot: 4.9 out of 5

Should You Use ELFI?

ELFi is a great option if you have a qualifying credit score but a small income. The repayment terms are flexible with competitive interest rates.

7. Earnest

Earnest home page

Earnest is one of the best student loan refinancing companies on this list as they have flexible minimum qualifications.

You will need a minimum 650 credit score and a clean credit history. Interest rates are competitive and Earnest offers a 0.25% autopay discount.

Unlike most lenders, evaluates how likely borrowers are to repay their loan and look beyond the credit score.

Earnest analyzes your spending habits, career field and debt history to assign an interest rate.

Being a well-qualified buyer lets you customize repayment terms. It’s even possible to skip one payment per year penalty-free. You will need to make up the payment later in the year. 

Key Details

  • Minimum fixed APR: 2.44%
  • Minimum variable APR: 1.74%
  • Loan terms: 5 to 20 years
  • Loan Amounts: $5,000 – unlimited
  • Trustpilot: 4.7 out of 5

Should You Use Earnest?

If you can qualify for a loan with Earnest it is worth getting a free quote. The customizable repayment terms and competitive repayment terms are the best reason to consider Earnest.

8. Laurel Road

Laurel Road home page

Laurel Road refinances federal and private student loans with a combined minimum balance of $5,000.

The minimum credit score is 700, which is above-average, but they offer competitive rates.

In addition to the undergraduate and graduate loans, Laurel Road refinances select associate degrees.

Some of the qualifying associate degree programs include:

  • Cardiovascular technologist (CVT)
  • Dental hygiene
  • EMT/paramedic
  • Nursing
  • Pharmacy technician

Parents can refinance Parent PLUS loans when their child is actively employed.

All refinanced loans can qualify for a 0.25% autopay discount.

Key Details

  • Minimum fixed APR: 2.80%
  • Minimum variable APR: 3.40%
  • Loan terms: 5, 7, 10, 15 and 20 years
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $300,000
  • Trustpilot: 3.8 out of 5

Should You Use Laurel Road?

Laurel Road isn’t as well known as some of the others on this list but they have great rates and flexible repayment terms. The parent PLUS loan refinancing is another huge perk.

9. College Ave

College Ave home page

College Ave can be easy to overlook when it comes to saving money on your student loans.

They offer competitive rates and a 0.25% autopsy discount. They also have above-average flexible payment terms.

Compared to others, College Ave has more repayment terms than most lenders. The repayment term is between 5 and 20 years instead of either 5, 7 or 10 years, for instance.

Being able to choose a specific number of years to repay your loan lets you find the best interest rate and monthly payment amount.

Benefits of Using College Ave

  • Minimum fixed APR: 3.34%
  • Minimum variable APR: 3.24%
  • Loan terms: Between 5 and 20 years
  • Loan amount: $5,000 to $300,000
  • Autopay discount: 0.25%
  • Trustpilot: 2.3 out of 5 

Should You Use College Ave?

College Ave is a great way to save money with refinancing as they offer more loan repayment options than most lenders.

However, the minimum interest rates are higher than other lenders for well-qualified borrowers.

10. ZuntaFi

Zuntafi home page

ZuntaFi (previously iHelp) offers fixed, variable and hybrid rate loans.

The variable rate can adjust each quarter and isn’t a good option if you need several years to pay off your loan.

A couple other lenders on this list offer “hybrid student loans.” The ZuntaFi hybrid loan has a fixed APR for the first five years. Then, the rate adjusts every five years.

To apply, the borrower or a cosigner must have a minimum annual income of $24,000 for the past two years. Also, the debt-to-income ratio must be below 45%.

Cosigners can be released after 24 months of consecutive payments. This isn’t the shortest waiting period, but some require a three-year waiting period.

Key Details:

  • Minimum fixed APR: 4.12%
  • Minimum variable APR: 2.09%
  • Loan terms: 5, 8, 12 or 20 years
  • Loan amounts: $10,000 to $250,000
  • Autopay discount: 0.25%
  • Trustpilot: 4.5 out of 5

Should You Use ZuntaFi?

The ZuntaFi interest rates are competitive with other lenders and its annual income requirements are lower than other platforms.

You might consider the hybrid fixed loan if you need more than five years and think interest rates will be the same or lower than today’s student loan rates.

FAQs of Refinancing Student Loans

What will student loan refinancing cost me?

Refinancing your student loans is free. Any reputable lender won’t charge application or origination fees.

Nor will they charge prepayment penalties if you pay off your loans early.

If you have federal loans, you can consolidate through the Department of Education for free as well.

Avoid companies claiming that you need to pay to refinance with them. They are most likely a scam.

There are tons of student loan scams out there so make sure you aren’t paying anything for refinancing.

Which is the best lender to refinance my student loans with?

The best lender can offer your the lowest interest rate at the longest loan term.

Most lenders only offer the lowest rates for the shortest loan terms. But if you can get the same rate for a longer term, consider this option.

You have more time to repay your loan if you have economic hardship. But your total interest costs can be higher due to the longer repayment term.

If rates are similar, you need to compare the major differences with each lender.

Look for flexible repayment plans, deferment and forbearance in case something bad happens in your financial future.

When should I refinance my student loans?

It’s best to refinance your student loans as soon as possible after graduation when the loan balance is highest. Qualifying for a lower interest rate sooner has the most potential interest savings.

Refinancing your student loans is a great idea if you have federal student loans and don’t intend to use a federal forgiveness program or an income-driven repayment type of plan.

Also, refinancing is a great idea if you have private student loans.

When you do choose, remember that shorter loan terms can save you more money. However, your monthly payment is higher than a longer repayment period.

If you’re struggling financially check out government income-driven repayment plans or student loan consolidation as well.

Is refinancing my student loans better than consolidating them?

Essentially, refinancing and consolidating is the same thing with a private lender.

With either option, you are turning several loans into one new loan.

Consolidation is technically combining all of your existing loans into one loan with one monthly payment. For private consolidation loans, you can reduce your interest rate.

You can also refinance individual private student loans that benefit from lower interest payments.

The main goal of refinancing or consolidating is receiving a lower interest payment or finding an income-driven repayment plan.

Can I even refinance my student loans?

It depends on your loan amount and current credit profile.

To refinance student loans you must show lenders that you are trustworthy by having a high credit score and proof of consistent income.

If you’re not as high in either of those categories you can also elect to have a creditworthy co-signer help you secure the loan. 

Often times, a lot of the lenders will let the co-signer get released from the loan if specific loan requirements are met. This can help give your cosigner assurance they won’t be on the hook and help you secure a new low-interest loan.

Summary

If you have a good credit score and a low debt to income ratio what is stopping you from refinancing? It’s free to check your rates and doesn’t hurt your credit score.

If refinancing your student loans can save you money, there are no fees to apply and get a new loan. As your credit improves, you can refinance again for better rates.

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