Best places for student loan refinancing

Got a bunch of loans with high interest rates? Looking for a way to lower your monthly loan repayments? Tired of the number of payments you need to make every month on your loans? Fret not, we’ve got you covered from the best refinancing options to the details of the banks offering them.

Updated by Sharan Kumar on 15th July 2019

Loan repayment can be a troublesome part of your post-schooling days, especially if you have multiple loans to handle. You may have to make payments regularly for different loans at different times, making sure they reach your banks. All the while you have to make sure that you have enough cash in your bank account to not default on a payment.

These hassles can be avoided by refinancing all your student loans together into one loan with one interest rate, only requiring one monthly payment. You also get the chance to lower your current interest rates and change your loan terms when you refinance your student loans.

However, refinancing can be tricky. You have to be cautious about the terms and conditions of your new loan. You may not always end up with a better result. You may end up paying more on the interest rates in your refinanced loan or lose benefits of your former loans when you refinance them.

In this article, we will provide all information on the Best places for student loan refinancing for your federal and private student loans, and focus on the top refinancing companies in the market.


List of contents


Basics of loan refinancing

With student loan refinancing, a private lender repays all of your student loans, which may include both private and federal loans. The lender issues you a new loan based on your creditworthiness with the old loan amount as the principal.

You may be able to save money and lower your monthly payments by refinancing your student loans with an interest rate reduction. However, when you refinance Federal Loans, they will become private loans and you will no longer be able to avail the benefits that come with the federal programs, including income-driven repayment plans and its forgiveness programs.

Federal Loans can be consolidated under the Federal Loan Consolidation Program or refinanced under a refinancing program with a private lender. While both the options involve combining multiple loans into one, consolidation is primarily used for Federal loans and the federal loan benefits will still be offered to you while refinancing is used for combining both Federal and private loans with private lenders.

Although similar in many ways, they have many differences in nature. You will refinance the student loan based on a variety of variables, including your income, debts, employment, and credit. By contrast, Federal Loan Consolidation would not change interest rates, and eligibility does not depend on your creditworthiness.

You can choose to consolidate your Federal student loans and refinance your private loans. Another way of doing it is to consolidate some of your Federal loans and refinance others.


How does it work?

Refinancing your loans under one bank can help you manage multiple loans by readjusting your loan interest rates, reduce or increase your term duration, and combine the multiple repayments into a single monthly payment for all your loans.

It can help you get out of your debt faster, with much lesser hassles, and at the same time, you pay less interest as your refinance rates are lesser now in comparison with your interest before the refinancing.

Beware that usually, you can only refinance your loans once or twice, so go through with a student loan refinance program only when you are sure that it is a great deal for your situation and it will save you money in the long run. It means you must only refinance to a new loan with a lower interest rate, not a higher one. You may still be able to find some private lenders that allow you to refinance multiple times.

Also, understand that refinancing is not on same as consolidating. When you consolidate, you effectively merge all your existing Federal loans into one Federal Consolidation Loan. When you refinance, you pay off your old federal and/or private loans and create a new loan with new loan terms and conditions to a private lender.

Factors to consider when Refinancing

The following factors will help you determine the effectiveness of your refinancing.

1 - Interest rate - The interest rate is the primary reason behind the loan costs. While refinancing, you may find both fixed-rate and variable-rate loans. Keep in mind that with a variable rate, your interest rate and payment can go up when market rates go higher.

With a fixed rate, it would not change for the lifetime of the loan. Variable rates are usually cheaper for short-term, but in a rising interest rate system, they can cost much more in the long run.

2 - Fees - Banks may charge an origination fee and other fees for servicing your loan. A fee-free student loan refinance is perfect if you qualify with a lender that offers such perk. Also, make sure you do not have any penalties for early repayment.

3 - Term - The term of the loan is the number of years within which you will make payments to clear your loan debt. A shorter loan usually saves you money by cutting down on interest, but that usually means a higher monthly payment. For your finances, a shorter term is better if you can afford to pay for it. Most student loan refinances options range from 5 to 20-year terms.

4 - Additional Benefits - Any additional benefits that the lender offers which would make a significant change for your situation should be considered important. For example, deferment and forbearance options are not offered by every lender but it may be a great option for you in the future. Other benefits that you may find are forgiveness, career coaches, financial advisors, community perks, etc..

To qualify for refinancing, you will have to fulfill the requirements for a credit score, annual income, savings, and a college degree (or certificate of enrollment if you’re still in school) set by the lenders. If you do not qualify on your own yet, you could still apply with a creditworthy cosigner to increase your chances.


Best Student Loan Refinancing Options

The following are the companies offering refinancing options for both Federal and Private student loans. The term for the same is from 5 - 20 years. The loan may have fixed and variable interest rates.

Rank Lender Variable rates Eligible degrees
1 Earnest 2.43% - 11.95% Undergraduate and Graduate
2 SoFi 2.44% - 9.95% Undergraduate and Graduate
3 CommonBond 2.69% - 7.43% Undergraduate and Graduate
4 LendKey 2.44% - 8.96% Undergraduate and Graduate
5 Laurel Road 2.43% - 10.0% Undergraduate and Graduate
6 Citizens One 2.80% -9.95% Undergraduate and Graduate
7 ELFi 2.80% - 6.01% Undergraduate and Graduate
8 iHELP LIBOR+2.5 to 7.5% Undergraduate and Graduate
9 Splash Financial 3.05% - 7.79% Graduate

Rates are calculated based on your credit profile, annual income and other factors that each company deems relevant for the refinancing programs they offer.

The caps for the variable rates are based on the term you choose for the refinancing program. Each cap mentioned in the above table is the highest cap for the longest term offered by the corresponding company.


Top companies offering student loan refinancing

1 - Earnest

Earnest offers so much flexibility to its borrowers with their student loan refinancing. The company has a non-traditional approach to underwriting, which also takes your money management skills into account. If you have a separate savings account or a good expense to income ratio, you may have a good chance of getting a low interest rate.

Best features

Although your credit history matters, Earnest takes into consideration merit-based factors when reviewing applicants. For example, your history of making retirement account savings and saving for an emergency fund will also benefit your application. Your job and career aspects are also taken into consideration.

Earnest gives borrowers multiple options when it comes to repaying their loans, such as choosing your monthly payment and the option to make multiple payments each month or the ability to skip a payment every 12 months without a penalty as long as you are in good standing with your payments.

Earnest has earned a Trustpilot excellence rating and an A+ Better Business Bureau rating.

Things to take notice

Applicants cannot apply with a co-signer, which could make it a bit difficult for some people who are trying to qualify for refinancing.

Best for the people who -

  • Are financially fit, even if they do not have a long credit history

  • Desire flexibility in their loan terms and repayment plans

Credit eligibility

  • Minimum credit score of 650 or above

  • Without a bankruptcy on credit report or accounts in the collection recently

Employment requirements

You must be employed, have income from other sources or have a job offer to begin within 6 months.

Student eligibility

  • U.S citizens or permanent resident with a minimum validity of 10-years

  • Only for graduates or people who are graduating in six months

  • Eligible degrees from Title IV-accredited school graduates and undergraduates

  • Students with private and/or federal loans

  • State restrictions -  Offers to 47 states plus District of Columbia

Interest rates

Rate types - Fixed and variable.

Autopay discount of 0.25% off of interest rate.

Loan and refinancing terms

Loan Amount - Minumum - $5,000

Loan Period - Minimum - 5 years; Maximum - 20 years.

Repayment and hardship options

There are no prepayment penalties.

Deferment can be availed on request.

Forbearance - Yes, it is available during the period of economic difficulties and hardships.

Fees

There are no origination, late payment or additional fee charges.

Additional features

It is possible to make biweekly payments which will result in paying comparatively less interest amount. If you’re in good credit standing, you can skip one payment every 12 months.

You can choose to customize your rate and term based on how much you can afford to pay each month, which can save you some money compared with traditional financing terms.

Parent PLUS Loans Refinancing

Refinancing option for parents on their Parent PLUS Loans is also available and eligibility is as follows.

  • U.S. citizens or holder of Permanent Resident Card of 18 years and above

  • Reside in the eligible states

  • A minimum loan amount of $5,000

  • A minimum credit score of 650

  • Employed with consistent income or having a job offer to start within the next 6 months

  • No bankruptcy report or accounts in collection.


2 - SoFi

SoFi is one of the largest student loan refinance companies and was one of the first organizations to allow borrowers to refinance their federal and private student loans. Their refinancing program focuses more on graduates who have a high income and a good credit history. 

Best features

SoFi offers student loan refinancing with no maximum loan amount.

When you refinance your student loans with SoFi, you also become a member of the organization. As a member, you are eligible for additional services which include a career coach, a free financial advisor, waived fees for wealth management products and also discounts on the other loans from SoFi. Members also get exclusive invitations to social events, such as cooking classes and happy hours, in major cities around the country.

If you lose your job and it was not your fault, SoFi will put your loans in forbearance for up to 12 months in 3 months increment and assist you in finding a new job.

Drawbacks

SoFi chooses to lend to creditworthy borrowers with a good credit score and consistent income only. They have very strict eligibility criteria and if you do not meet the criteria, you may not qualify to refinance with them.

If you have a co-signer to qualify for refinancing, your co-signer will be tied to your loan until it is completely paid off. Some other refinancers will release your cosigner after you establish a history of regular on-time payments for a considerable period.

Employment requirements

You must be employed, have an offer to start work in less than 90 days or have income from other sources

Student eligibility

  • SoFi only accepts graduate students

  • Degrees from Title IV-accredited school graduates and undergraduates

  • Students with Private and/or Federal Loans

  • Having a good credit score and income or addition of a cosigner who has such

  • No state restrictions - available in all 50 states.

Interest rates

Fixed and variable rates are available.

Autopay discount rate is 0.25% off of your interest rate.

Loan and refinancing terms

Loan Amount -  Minimum amount of $5,000, no maximum amount is mentioned.

Loan Period - Minimum term of 5 years, maximum is 20 years.

Repayment and hardship options

Biweekly payments are available to help you pay off your loan faster.

Deferment - It respects your existing grace periods and applies it to your new refinanced loans too. Deferment is also available for up to six months for borrowers in school with at least half time school attendance, active-duty service members, those undergoing disability rehabilitation and those taking part in SoFi’s Entrepreneurship Program.

Forbearance - Yes, in three-month increments for up to 12 months total if you lose a job through no fault of your own.

Fees

There are no origination fees charged on the refinanced loans.

Additional features

SoFi’s Entrepreneurship Program can connect you with peers, mentors, and investors who can help turn your idea into reality.

Parent PLUS Loans Refinancing

Refinancing option for parents on their Parent PLUS Loans is also available. The fixed rates start at 3.490% APR and variable rates start at 2.430% APR.


3 - CommonBond

CommonBond started out by lending student loans mostly to graduates, especially doctors with more than $100,000 in debt. Now, they have diversified their refinancing services into other streams including undergraduate student loans.

There are no fees for origination, application or disbursement when refinancing with CommonBond.

Best features

  • Refinancing of private and/or federal student loans are offered

  • Hybrid interest rate options-  the rate remains fixed for the first 5 years and variable for the next 5 years

  • Social promise- funds the education of students of Ghana for every loan that closes

  • Common bridge- unemployment program where they pause payments and help you find a job

  • No prepayment penalty

  • 24 months forbearance within the life of the loan

Drawbacks

It does not offer to refinance in the following states - Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, South Dakota, and Vermont.

Employment requirements

  • No annual income requirements.

  • Requires you to be employed or have an offer letter at the time of application.

Student eligibility

Eligible degrees from Title IV-accredited school.

Interest rates

2.46 - 7.08% APR variable rate refinancing (with autopay)

3.69 - 8.07% APR fixed rate refinancing (with autopay)

4.28 - 7.02% APR hybrid rate refinancing (with autopay)

These rates may be subjected to changes in the future.

Loan and refinancing terms

5, 7, 10, 15, 20 Year Repayment Terms

Repayment and hardship options

0.25% Interest Rate Reduction with automatic debts via ACH

Unemployment protection – loan payments are paused and it helps eligible graduates find new jobs and also hire them for short-term consulting projects.

Fees

There are no application, origination or disbursement fees

Additional features

Access to CommonBond Community, for example, the Borrowers are exclusively invited to events in their cities, networking opportunities, and lifestyle complimentary perks.

Social good – for every fully funded degree that goes through CommonBond, it will fund the education of students from Ghana who are in need through Pencils of Promise.


4 - LendKey

LendKey is not a lender by itself but a platform with a network of hundreds of community-based banks, private lenders and credit unions that will fund your student loan refinancing. LendKey unifies and manages the application process, also offers customer support to applicants and services the loans.

Best features

Instead of individually researching and comparing small banks and credit unions, LendKey allows you to see a list of potential good fits for you and their loan offerings. This makes it easier to quickly compare a variety of refinancing options.

Since your loan comes from small banks and credit unions, you may receive better terms or more lenient repayment options. For example, some of the lenders may let you make interest-only payments, which could decrease your monthly payments but adversely increase the cost of your loan.

It provides the option to have a cosigner in case a borrower does not have a good credit score. You might be able to release the co-signer after making 12 to 36 consecutive on-time payments.

Drawbacks

You may be needed to join a credit union if you want it to refinance your loan through one of these lenders. Eligibility can vary depending on the credit union but may be limited to people who live in a certain region or work at particular companies.

The terms and conditions can vary depending on the lender. Read your refinancing terms carefully to understand your new loan before agreeing to go through with the refinance.

You need to have completed an undergraduate degree, a graduate degree, an associate degree, or a doctorate degree from any title IV eligible schools.

Best for people who -

  • Want to refinance their loans through multiple small lenders

  • Want to keep their money local but get good customer service from a bigger company

  • Might not qualify for refinancing from other lenders due to low income

  • Are interested repayment plans from a private lender

Credit requirements

  • Minimum credit score varies - typically 600+

  • Maximum DTI varies

  • Minimum credit history of 36 months

Employment requirements

Minimum employment eligibility is a minimum income of $24,000 annually

Student eligibility

  • Completed an eligible degree from an eligible school

  • Students with private and/or federal loans

  • No State restrictions but some of the lenders in the network may be regional

Interest rates

Rate types - Fixed and variable.

Autopay discount 0.25% off of your interest rate.

Loan and refinancing terms

Loan Amount -  varies from lenders to lenders.

Loan Period - Minimum of 10 years, Maximum of 25 years.

Repayment and hardship options

Repayment options - In-school payments are available

Deferment and Forbearance options are available for borrowers with genuine financial hardship.

Fees

There is no origination fee.

Late payment - depends on the lender.

Additional fees - depends on the lender.


5 - Laurel Road

Laurel Road is a digital lending platform that was started under the Laurel Road Bank. It has become a part of the KeyBank since 2013. They also provide graduate school loans, mortgages and personal loans.

Best features

One of the other benefits that Laurel Road offers, that many lenders do not, is their unemployment protection. If a borrower loses his or her job or any other form of economic hardship, Laurel Road will allow for partial or up to full forbearance of payments for up to a period of 12 months. Furthermore, Laurel Road will forgive the loans of borrowers who pass away or become permanently disabled.

They also allow you to refinance your federal and private loans up to 100% of their value with no origination fee or prepayment penalty.

Laurel Road Bank allows medical and dental students to pay only $100 per month throughout their residency or fellowship program and up to six months after training. It is important for borrowers to keep in mind that the interest that accumulates during this time will be added on to the principal of the loan if not paid off before going into standard repayment

The last benefit, that many lenders also provide, is a discount for auto-debits. Laurel Road will provide you with a discount of 0.25% off of your interest rate if you automatically make your payments every month through any type of checking account.

No maximum amount for refinancing.

They provide their services in all the 50 states of America.

Drawbacks

  • They do not offer more than 12 months of forbearance.

  • They have no academic deferment for borrowers returning to school

  • They do not let you make amount greater than monthly payment when paid via autopay

  • While not specific to Laurel Road Bank, it is important to remember that you will give up certain protections when refinancing federal loans with any private lender

Eligibility

  • U.S. citizens or green card holders

  • A minimum loan of $5,000

  • Borrowers with a bachelor’s degree or higher under eligible Type IV accredited school

  • Associate degrees are acceptable for selected professions

To determine if you are eligible for refinancing, and to determine your personal interest rate, Laurel Road will do a soft credit check.

If you do not possess a good credit or have a little credit history, you may still be approved for Laurel Road’s refinancing if you have someone to cosign on your loan. A cosigner shares the repayment responsibilities of the main borrower, reducing the risk for Laurel Road and making them more likely to work with you.

Interest rates

2.43% – 6.65% (with autopay) for variable rates

3.50% – 7.02% (with autopay) for fixed rates

Loan and refinancing terms

Any term which is not more than 20 years can be chosen subjected to conditions under Laurel Road.

Max variable rates capped at 9% for 5-10 year terms and at 10% APR for terms greater than 10 years.

Repayment and hardship options

No academic deferment is offered.

Laurel Road offers economic hardship forbearance for those on military leave.

Medical residents and dental fellows can pay $100 a month until 6 months after their residency or fellowship ends. Interest will accumulate during this time, and any unpaid interest will be capitalized at the end of the reduced payment period.

Postpone loan payments for 3 months at a time, for up to a total of 12 months, if you have proof of a qualified economic hardship such as involuntary job loss or unpaid maternity leave.

Laurel Road will forgive all or part of the loan in the event of the death of a borrower or proved permanent disability.

They do not Allow greater-than-minimum payments via autopay

Fees

No application, origination fees or prepayment penalties.

Additional features

In-house customer service teams are present.

Concerns are escalated through complaints and disputes to the customer service managers.

A bonus of $500 for each successful referral is given.

Parent PLUS Loans Refinancing

Refinancing option for parents on their Parent PLUS Loans is also available. The fixed rates start at 3.50% APR and variable rates start at 2.430% APR. They also provide the option to pass the PLUS loan to your child if they are now a working professional.


6- Citizens One

Citizens One offers student loan refinancing for both private and federal loans through its Education Refinance Loans program.

Since Citizens One is a traditional bank its loan application process is very thorough. You will have to fill out the application along with the requested documentation before hearing back. Just like other private lenders, Citizens One has a rate quote tool that uses a soft credit check to show users what rate they would qualify for without affecting their credit.

Best features

  • Borrowers without degrees are also able to refinance

  • Personalized rate estimates are obtained through a soft credit pull

  • Co-signer release is available after a period of 36 months of on-time payments

  • No need to have attended a Title IV-accredited school

  • Available in all 50 U.S. states for borrowers

  • Non-citizens can qualify if they can add an eligible U.S. citizen or permanent resident as a co-signer

Drawbacks

  • It does not offer more than 12 months of forbearance with no more than 2 months at a time

  • It does not disclose a minimum credit score and income requirements

  • No biweekly payments via autopay

  • Cannot transfer Parent PLUS loans to Child

Requirements

Citizens One does not disclose specific details about what it takes to qualify for student loan refinancing. Lenders typically look for borrowers who have good credit and enough income to afford to pay off their debts and expenses.

Financially

  • No Minimum credit score disclosed

  • No Minimum income disclosed

  • No disclosure of Maximum debt-to-income ratio

  • No disclosure of whether you will qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy

  • A minimum household income of $24,000 from the borrower or the cosigner

Interest rates

Its fixed-rate loans range from 3.89% – 9.99% APR.

Its variable interest rate loans range from 2.93% – 9.67% APR.

Loan and refinancing terms

A minimum amount of $10,000 is required.

A maximum amount of $300,000 for a Bachelor's degree or below and $500,000 for Graduate Degree.

You can refinance on a term of 5, 10, 15, or 20 years.

Repayment and hardship options

You may postpone payments if you return to school at least half-time academically.

You may also postpone payments if you’re on active military duty.

Postponement of payments for up to 12 months in 2-month increments is offered to borrowers experiencing economic hardship.

Loans can be discharged in the event of the death of borrowers or permanent disability.

Fees

You don't have to worry about an application, origination, or disbursement fee, and there’s no prepayment penalty, either.

Additional features

Borrowers with a Citizens One account like a checking account or auto loan at the time of applying will get an additional discount of 0.25% off of the interest rate.

Parent PLUS Loans Refinancing

Refinancing option for parents on their Parent PLUS Loans is also available. The fixed rates start at 3.50% APR and variable rates start at 2.430%. The minimum amount of the loan eligible is $10,000 and the maximum amount is $500,000. Parent PLUS Loans, private loans or any loan that a parent has borrowed or co-signed for the education of their child is eligible for refinancing.


7 - Education Loan Finance

Education Loan Finance has been offering student loan refinancing since 2015. As a division of SouthEast Bank, the management team has more than 30 years of extensive experience in student loans. The requirement in terms of minimum annual income is a little bit on the higher side when compared with other lenders.

Best features

Borrowers are assigned a separate dedicated personal loan advisor who is a single point of contact from the time of application until pay off. Personal loan advisors are four-year college graduates who are trained and tested in student loan programs and refinancing.

Education Loan Finance gives borrowers the opportunity to save extra money with their special referral programs. If you refer a friend who ends up refinancing a loan, you’ll get $400 and your friend will get $100.

There is no prepayment penalty.

Drawbacks

Borrowers must have a minimum of 680 in credit score, at least 3 years of credit history and a minimum annual income of $36,000.

Deferment and forbearance may be granted for up to 12 months but at the discretion of the bank. Discharge due to death or disability is reviewed on a case-to-case.

No cosigner release option for the lifetime of the loan. However, you can apply for a new loan with no cosigner at all.

Best for people who

  • Inclined to work with a personal loan advisor

  • Can take advantage of bonus programs

Credit requirements

Minimum credit score - 680 or above

Minimum credit history - 36 months

Employment requirements

Minimum annual income - $35,000

Student eligibility

  • Eligible degrees - Undergraduate, graduate and other advanced degrees

  • Eligible loans - Private and federal loans

  • With a good credit score and credit history or with the addition of a co-signer who does

  • From all 50 states of America

Interest rates

Rate types - Fixed and variable.

An autopay discount is automatically applied to electronic payments for all the borrowers.

Loan and refinancing terms

Loan Amount -  Minimum of $15,000, Maximum amount not mentioned.

Loan Period - Minimum of 5 years, Maximum of 20 years for students and 10 years for parents.

Repayment and hardship options

  • No prepayment penalties

  • Deference and Forbearance may be granted for up to a period of 12 months

Fees

There is no origination fee.

There is a late payment fee of 5% of the past due amount or $50, whichever is lesser after a 10-day grace period

Additional features

You can earn a $400 bonus for every successful referral.

Parent PLUS Loans Refinancing

Refinancing option for parents on their Parent PLUS Loans is also available. The fixed rates start at 3.39% APR and variable rates start at 2.80%. The minimum amount of the loan eligible is $15,000 with a term ranging from 5 to 10 years.


8 - iHELP

iHelp services private student loans from its network of community banks. These partnerships allow iHELP to give eligible student borrowers the vast options to refinance their loans.

Best Features

The wide reach of iHelp gives student loan borrowers many options when it comes to borrowing money for their education.

They provide an option to transfer Parent PLUS Loans to the student.

No origination fees.

No prepayment penalty.

Release option for cosigner after 24 monthly on-time payments.

Drawbacks

Types of interest rates offered are restricted based on the terms of the loans. The 10-year and 15-year terms are only available with fixed interest rates while the 20-year terms may be chosen with variable interest rates or hybrid interest rates.

The interest rates on refinanced private student loans are a bit higher than other private lenders. This means that over the life of the loan, an iHelp borrower might pay more. However, because there are no origination or supplemental fees charged this makes it more cost-effective.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident

  • Need not have completed the undergraduate

  • No restriction in terms of the school attended

  • Have 2 years of positive credit history

  • Have an annual income of at least $24,000 for the previous two years

  • If required annual income is not met, must apply with an eligible cosigner

  • Be of legal age in the residing state

Loan amount

Minimum Loan amount - $10,000

Maximum Loan amount - $250,000

Interest rates

Fixed APR Range of 4.00%–5.55% (10 years), 4.50%–8.00% (15 years)

Variable APR Range of LIBOR + 2.50% to LIBOR + 7.50% (20 years)

Repayment and hardship options

Payment Options for borrowers while in school

  • Interest-only payments

  • No payments

  • Full principal and interest payments

For refinanced student loans with iHelp, borrowers have the choice between

  • Standard Payment

  • Graduated payments

  • Income-Sensitive Payments

There are no prepayment liabilities for either in-school or out f school options.

Options of deferment and forbearance are offered after graduation or after dropping down below part-time status in school.

Loan payments might be deferred for students in school, and forbearance may be requested in case of financial hardship, military service, or natural disasters.

Fees

  • No origination fees

  • No application fees

  • No prepayment penalties

Additional features

Before securing a student or refinance loan with iHelp, borrowers should take the time to think about the total cost of borrowing by way of the interest rate, as the current rates may be lesser in cost than what other private student loan lenders offer.


9 - Splash Financial

Splash Financial started as a refinancing company for medical students. They have since expanded to refinance college graduates of all fields. They have a unique feature where they allow couples to refinance their student loans together.

Best features

With a very easy-to-use online loan calculator and competitive interest rates for the purpose of the refinancing of student loans, Splash Financial is a highly reputable company whose products can save graduates thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

Targeted primarily towards medical school graduates, Splash Financial is a great choice for any graduate who wants to simplify their payments and have some money saved in the process.

Married couples may refinance their loans together or transfer the loans by refinancing from one spouse to another.

Parent PLUS Loans may also be refinanced and transferred to their children.

Best for people who

Are Medical graduates and parents of Graduates who want to pass their PLUS Loans to their children.

Student eligibility

  • US Citizen is necessary

  • Verified income is a must

  • Have a minimum loan amount of $7,500
  • A degree is required from a Title IV accredited school

  • A minimum credit score of 670 or having an eligible cosigner

Interest rates

Fixed APR Range - 3.85% - 4.95% APR.

Variable APR Range - 3.10% - 7.84% APR.

Loan and refinancing terms

Splash Financial offers loan refinancing for college graduates who have earned income after graduation.

The application is open to either the graduate or parent of the graduate with payment terms of 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 15 or 20 years. Splash loan refinancing is offered through a larger credit union called PenFed, the nation's third-largest federal credit union.

Repayment and hardship options

One Full Repayment Option - Principle and Interest with Fixed Monthly Repayment.

In case borrowers face hardships deferment and forbearance are offered on a case-to-case basis.

Fees

  • No application fee

  • No origination fee

  • No prepayment penalties

Additional features

Splash Financial has earned an A+ rating from the BBB.

Although Splash Financial themselves have only been in the loan refinancing business for about 5 years, they have partnered with PenFed, an 80-year-old federal credit union with over 1.6 million members on its books and also rated A+ from the BBB.


Conclusion

The best student loan refinancing company for you will ultimately be the one that offers you a loan which will save you the most over the life of the loan. In case the additional benefits of the company make a huge difference for you, it may also be a factor for making your decision.

Narrow your choices down and apply to the best choices depending on your financial as well as personal situations. When researching for a refinancing company, do keep in mind that each program works differently for every individual depending on their situations. So the program that works for someone may not work for you equally and vice versa. Take customers reviews with a pinch of salt and you may even consult a financial adviser if you have to.

**All the information mentioned above may be subjected to changes by the servicers and lenders without any prior notice.**


FAQ's

  What credit score do I need to refinance student loans?


In order to be eligible for student loan refinancing, you need a good credit score. But what is considered good? Most lenders want to see a score of about 680 or higher. Popular refinancing lender SoFi is willing to consider applicants with a score of 650 or above.

  Is there a downside to refinancing student loans?


Refinancing student loans can either be beneficial to you or may end up hurting you financially. If you only have private student loans, then a refinance can assist you in saving money in the long run with a lower interest rate, or it can help you financially stay afloat when your monthly payments are too high

  When should you refinance student loans?


For federal student loans, you can have anywhere between 10 to 30 years (for consolidated loans) to repay your loans. Refinancing companies usually offer repayment terms ranging from 5 to 20 years. Also, note that federal loans are fixed-rate loans that are guaranteed to maintain the same interest rate during repayment and throughout the term of the loan.

  Do student loans ever get written off?


Graduates only begin to repay their debts when they reach a certain income threshold (currently $21,000 for students taking out a loan since 2012) and have their debts written off if they're not repaid after a period of 30 years (or after 25 years for students who started courses between 2006 and 2012.

  Can a student loan be forgiven?


While this isn't a forgiveness program in the general sense, you can get your loans forgiven through the Income-Based Repayment program or IBR for short. Through IBR, your student loan payments are limited to 10% to 15% of your discretionary income.

  How do I fight a student loan garnishment?


One of the easiest ways to get out of default is to consolidate one or more federal loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan.

Another option is to rehabilitate your loans.

Pay off your debt in full.

  How much can the IRS take out of your paycheck?


When the IRS moves forward with your wage garnishment, your employer has no choice but to comply with the IRS and transfer a portion of your wages to the IRS to pay your tax bill. The IRS has more garnishment power than ordinary creditors as concerned as it is not subject to the limitations of the state and federal garnishment laws, which means it may leave you with very little money every week to live on. However, the amount of your garnishment will depend on how much tax you usually pay.

  Can a creditor seize your bank account?


Federal and state exemptions may let you protect money in your bank account from levy/garnishment by a judgment creditor. If and when a creditor obtains a judgment against you, it may attempt to seize funds in your bank account. This is called a levy.

  Can a spouse's bank account be garnished?


The ability of a creditor to garnish a spouse's bank account depends on the type of the debt and the state you live in. Joint accounts may be a different story, however, and creditors can sometimes persuade a judge to allow them access to a spouse's account.

  How long does a garnishment stay on your credit report?


Even after your defaulted debts are paid off completely, they may still remain on your credit report. Some stay on there for up to 7 years to 10 years. A tax lien can sometimes stay on your credit report for 15 years.