Earnest Student Loan Refinancing - Is It Right For You?

Earnest Student Loan Refinancing is one of the refinancing lenders which you should consider. Read about features one can avail of when refinancing.

Updated by Taskeen Fatema on 6th October 2020

Earnest is a San Francisco-based financial company that offers personal loans, private student loans, and refinancing of students loan. It grants personal loans including medical, moving, vacation, wedding, engagement ring loan, home improvement loan, and credit card consolidation loan. It not only serves the citizens but students as well, it also provides private student loans and earnest student loan refinancing. 

The company uses technologies such as algorithm software to evaluate a person’s full education, employment, and financial profile, beyond a person's traditional credit history or FICO score to obtain a complete financial profile of each applicant. It is merit-based lending. It was co-founded by Louis Beryl and Benjamin Hutchinson in 2013.  

Earnest built a modern financial institution that actually conveys on making clients’ lives satisfied by serving the fundamental role of a lender. It helps the client by providing them with low-cost lending and allows them to customize their repayment plan according to their needs and comfort. By combining technologies like data science, streamlined design, including exceptional service helps people get fast and low-cost hyper-personalized financial experience.

Its goal is to make credit more available by reducing the costs and barriers encountered by people. It operates online uses its own website earnest.com and also has launched mobile apps for Android as well as iOS.

Let us dive into refinancing student loans with Earnest and whether Earnest refinance is the right refinancing lender for you.

Learn more about Earnest student loan reviews

Table of contents

Earnest student loan refinance review

While applying for Earnest student loan refinance there is no applicable application fee, nor the origination fee, or the prepayment fee. There are no late fees even if you miss to pay on time with Earnest. After making 6 monthly payments it provides you with an option of skipping a payment and can be done once every 12 months towards your Earnest loans. It offers payment flexibility you can make prepayments to pay off faster and nothing extra would be charged. 

  1. According to your comfort, you can easily shift from fixed rate to variable rate or variable to fixed even without paying the fee for 6 months. The APR depends on the interest and financial profile that you chose at the time of requesting the Earnest loan. Under the Auto-payments discount, Earnest refinance offers you a discount of 0.25% on enrolling in auto payment.

  2. With a written job offer Earnest allows you refinance even if you are in the final semester at school. Helpful for those who want to pay back their loans.  Earnest also gives hardship assistance. In which in the case of financial hardship Earnest grants forbearance. Earnest allows you to delay your loan for three years. Earnest also gives a grace period,  it may be extended for a maximum of 9 months increasing the applied interest rate on the Earnest loan in the grace period.

  3. Earnest offers loans and refinances in few selected states of the U.S. the following states are Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia, or Texas. It also checks whether the client belongs to these states or not.  

Pros of Earnest student loans

Earnest student loans have been popularly known for the amazing features that it offers to its clients. It not only focuses on the transaction with the client but takes care of the client's demands. Here are some benefits that a borrower enjoys while applying for Earnest refinance and Earnest private student loans.

  • There is a wide range in the amount that can be borrowed from the Earnest. So, if a student looks forward to pursuing higher education which is expensive, now can easily apply for a higher loan amount (Min - $5,000 to Max - $500,000) 

  • It offers you a loan period starting from 5 years to 20 years

  • Even if you don't have a good credit score but a potential study and recover the loan

  • The variable rate is 2.5% and the fixed is 3.89%, you can also switch between a variable rate and fixed rate vice versa

  • With Earnest, federal student loans, consolidated and parent PLUS  student Loans by combining all the loans and merging it into one with low interest

  • The application and approval process is faster

Cons of Earnest students loan

  • The applicant can apply with a co-signer but cannot release the co-signer until the loan is paid

  • May not be approved if the individual does not have enough savings

  • Rates are not low as compared to the other lenders

  • There is no availability in every state. It only serves in the limited states in the U.S

Contact information

Contact the Earnest to get more details about their loan offers.

You can reach Earnest via Phone

Phone #: (888)601-2801

Email: Email

Address: 303 2nd Street,

Suite 401N,

San Francisco, 94107

Worried about your college tuition? Learn more about Best student loans

How does Earnest student loan refinancing work?

Earnest Student Loan Refinance combines your existing federal and private education/student loans into a single loan. This new loan will usually carry a lower interest rate. This new loan comes with no origination fee. The borrowers can always choose between a fixed or variable rate loan when refinancing. And later they can also choose to switch from fixed to variable interest rates. 

One should consider Earnest refinancing as an option to tackle their student loan debt if they are looking - 

  • to customize their loan payment 

  • simplify the payments to be made by combining all their loans 

  • to choose a suitable loan term

  • to remove a co-signer once your loans have been paid off

Considering all the available options above, you can decide to refinance with Earnest. 

Features of refinancing with Earnest student loans

Earnest gives student loans and refinancing options to students as well as parents who have student loans and other college debt.  The terms and conditions, and features of earnest student loans and student loan refinance are almost similar. Earnest student loan refinance provides the following features

  • Variable and fixed interest rates. Variable-rate starting at 2.50% and fixed-rate starting at 3.89%

  • Auto-payment discount of 0.25%

  • The option to make customized payment (one can choose the time period and the amount of the payment to be paid)

  • Repayment terms of extending from 5 to 20 years (can be customized by the client)

  • Hardship assistance, deferment, and forbearance benefits for individuals fall into financial hardship

  • No additional origination fees or prepayment fines

  • The borrower should have a minimum credit score of 650

Earnest terms and features
Existing benefits of the terms
Variable-rate of interest 2.5% - 7.27%
The fixed rate of interest 3.89% - 7.89%
The auto-payment discount of 0.25 points added
Loan period
Minimum 5 years to a maximum of 20 years
Loan amount
$5,000 to $500,000
Co-signer availability
No co-signer added
Transfer Parent loan to child loan No

Earnest is a modern financial institution, the customized payment option provided by them to their borrowers is a standout feature. Here the borrower has the option to choose the amount and time period during the repayment of the loan to Earnest.

Online student loan application

Today many lenders are on online platforms in this Earnest gives a borrower a quick and easy way to apply for an online loan application for those who are interested in applying for a refinanced loan as the app only takes two minutes and will require basic information such as about borrower education, financial questions, and current residence.  

After the process, Earnest will send a quote to the borrower and will require information about their savings, earning potential, and more into account before accepting your application and offering you a refinanced loan.

Easy approval process

Earnest refinancing loan approval is possible even with a short or nonexistent credit history and that is the Earnest biggest advantage as Earnest could approve the student loan refinancing based on several other factors such as your checking, savings, and investments accounts — are considered during the process.

When you apply for student loans, your bank accounts get linked with your Earnest profile as they do for budgeting the cost. Earnest’s approval process is unique because it looks not just at borrower income and current debt, but also other aspects, like their job history and this, make it easy to get a loan from them as this alternative make convenient to those as well who are not having a good score history.

And one more benefit is that if students looking for refinancing the loan without a degree, Earnest also opens refinancing to current students who are within six months of graduating and hold a job offer.

Easy repayment options

Earnest is well known for its flexible repayment terms that you can customize before locking in your loan. In this you can choose your repayment term from abroad range of options automatically receiving an interest rate and monthly payment, you’re in control. And for those who have excellent credit, they can choose from one of 180 options spanning every month between five and 20 years.

In this, a borrower can also choose to skip one payment a year and make it up later. An additional advantage of choosing Earnest as it offers forbearance if unexpectedly he/she loses the job, as well as deferment if you’re returning to school or serving active duty in the military. These options can help you extend as they allow the borrower to temporarily pause her/his payments, making it a little easier to manage their student loan debt but note that interest will continue to accrue onto the balance while you’re away from repayment.

Eligibility for student loan refinancing

There are some requirements that a client should fulfill for applying for a loan

  • An applicant must be at least 18 years old or more

  • The applicant should be a citizen of the U.S. or should have a 10-year Permanent Resident Card (compulsory)

  • Takes account of your savings and the applicant must have at least 2 months of living expenses

  • The living expense should be less than what is earned by the applicant

  • The applicant must have a past of making payments on time

  • You should not be regularly charged on making late or overdraft fees

  • The applicant must show earning potential to pay off the loan

  • It is compulsory for a student to be in the final semester or should be a graduate

  • The borrower must be employed or have a written job offer is accepted

  • The applicant requires to have a credit score of at least 650 and credit history should be good

  • The applicant must be situated in one of the states in which Earnest offers loans

Earnest finds it important to consider your bank balance and to not have debt on your credit card, to know your creditworthiness to approve loans for you. 

Documentation required for refinancing

Refinancing is a great way to go about tackling your student loan debt but it is not for everyone. And Earnest is a great tool for refinancing. There are situations where a borrower would have been better off without refinancing. It is crucial to be well aware of all the options available before jumping to a conclusion. So be well aware of the options out there and pick one which is best suited for you. Before are the documents needed to refinance with Earnest. 

  • Applicant’s name, address, and phone number

  • The highest qualification achieved by the students in college or school

  • The total credit that one earns annually, including monthly rent and mortgage payments. All the accounts, including retirement and investment accounts

  • The pending student loan balance

  • The email address for creating an account

  • The applicant’s address proof of the client to check the client is U.S. citizens or not and is a resident of the state in which Earnest provides its service

  • SSN, Social security number

  • Approval for Earnest refinancing conducts a soft credit inquiry

For other options, choose from the Best student loan refinancing lenders

What to keep in mind with Earnest student loans

While Earnest offers many benefits some of the things  that should be taken care of when proceeding with the application such as the company didn’t operate in  Delaware, Kentucky, and Nevada while other factors to keep in mind include:

Minimum credit score

Earnest considers the other factors as well for the application eligibility but still, a borrower needs a minimum credit score in fact to get approval for the application you need a score of 650 or above. The earnest loan might be not a good option then for you if you had financial problems in the past and chances may be that you won’t qualify but these situations can be with any lenders so it’s better to improve the financial situation before applying anywhere else. They find it important to check your credit history and your bank balance to be sure that you can make your repayment on time. 

No cosigner option

Earnest student loans, however, don’t have a cosigner option for refinancing. Like any other lender, Earnest does not provide cosigner options though you can have a cosigner while borrowing private loans directly from Earnest. Even then, the cosigner release option is not available until your loans have been paid off for a considerable period of time. And for refinancing since you do not have a cosigner option, you must have a good credit score, bank balance, credit history, and clear all their eligibility criteria to refinance with them. 

No changing ownership of a Parent PLUS loan

Earnest provides lower interest rates than parent PLUS loans. They offer 2.13% as variable and 3.50% as fixed interest which can be beneficial for many parents with parent PLUS loans to save money. They also offer customization for new loan terms and repayment options based on a budget that suits your financial conditions. While Earnest offers parents the ability to refinance parent PLUS loans borrowed from the federal government, but you can’t refinance under your child’s name. Therefore before refinancing be aware of these factors before you can conclude. You can always reach Earnest or login to their web portal to find more details. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1.Can Earnest refinance Sallie Mae loans?

    Yes. Although earlier few restrictions were placed later in the year 2019 it was declared that refinancing loans with Sallie Mae is possible as long as you meet their eligibility criteria.

  • 2.What are the benefits of refinancing with Earnest?

    Refinancing combines all your student loans into a single loan with lower interest. Refinancing with Earnest also allows you to customize your new loan and you can also choose your loan term with lower interest rates and the refinancing process is faster than other lenders like SoFi  

  • 3.How long does it take for Earnest to review the application?

    It does not take much time to review the application and usually, it takes around five to ten business days. Once it approves the loan, it gives seven days for applicants to review their application. 

  • 4.Does Earnest allow cosigner for refinancing? 

    No. At present Earnest does not offer an option of applying with a cosigner for all the loans. However, other private student loan lenders provide loans with cosigner and cosigner release options.  

  • 5. How to cancel an auto payment with Earnest?

    Within your earnest profile, you should find an option called ->My loans-> loan details->summary -> within the details column click on cancel autopay option .  Within three business days, you have to request for cancellation. If Earnest does not cancel your payment, you can contact your bank to stop payment.   

  • 6.Does Earnest charge any fees?

    Unlike other lenders, Earnest does not charge any fees, even for prepayment, early payment, or extra payments. When most private lenders charge on late payments, earnest does not charge on late payments

  • 7.Can Earnest refinance student loans from the associate degree?   

    Yes, Earnest refinancing your student loans as long as you obtain your education from an authorized school and meet their other eligibility criteria.