Lendkey Student Loan Refinance : All You Need To Know

LendKey refinance is a great way to help manage your debt. Find out how LendKey can improve and the pros/cons associated with LendKey.

Updated by Harshitha B on 13th October 2020

Refinancing is a great way to make your debt manageable. With refinancing you may qualify for a lower interest rate and a better repayment term. Several companies offer refinancing options and services, it is advised to have in-depth knowledge on what the private lender can offer. LendKey Refinance helps you manage your student loan repayments effectively. 

LendKey loans are one of the refinancing lenders out there. This is an overview of what you can expect to avail of LendKey. Before we break down how LendKey student loans work to refinance your loans, let us have a quick look at what Refinancing is, what the buzz surrounding it is all about, and how it is supposed to help you pay off your loans in a better way.


Ideally, “refinancing” is supposed to simplify the process of repayments. Refinancing your student loans can do this for you in one or many ways. If you have an existing difficult student loan (or multiple such student loans) whose demands are hard to meet either in terms of time constraints or financial constraints, refinancing it could be a good idea.

Let us now have an in-depth look at how refinances student loans help.

Table of contents

What is LendKey?

LendKey is a cloud-based, comparison-oriented platform that enables borrowers to receive student loans from credit unions and community banks.

Borrowers who satisfy certain criteria required are matched its partner lenders who come forward to offer loans. Once you borrow a loan, make sure you understand that partner lender’s specific terms and conditions.

One of LendKey’s main aims is to help borrowers save money on their student loans. Since community banks and credit unions offer some of the lowest interest rates and customer service practices that cater well to student loan borrowers, LendKey has collaborated with thousands of such banks and unions to collect their student loan refinance offers.


These small banks and credit unions often don’t extend their reach beyond a small level. They place very little emphasis on advertising or offering online amenities. Fortunately for them, LendKey steps in and expedites these processes for them, thereby also offering a plethora of lending products to clients seeking competitive rates. LendKey partners with a lot of nonprofit credit unions and banks since their focus is primarily on people and not on profits.

Is LendKey a lender?

It is, however, important to note that LendKey is NOT a lender. Once a loan is chosen, it moves with the bank or credit union you choose. LendKey merely services the loans and manages much of the loan application process, ensuring that you only see offers from lenders that operate in your area.

LendKey lets consumers explore a range of services such as refinancing, private student loans, and home improvement loans.

LendKey works to offer the best of both the two main types of lenders: startups with low-interest rates but the subdued presence or limited reputation and established banks and lenders with comparatively higher interest rates. Borrowers are permitted to compare these rates, weigh the pros and cons involved, and go ahead with choosing a particular lender.


Pros and cons

LendKey offers numerous perks. Here are some of the factors that borrowers need to know

Advantages

  1. Low-interest rates: LendKey’s partners offer low-interest rates. Even though these interest rates seem competitive with the offerings of big banks and online lenders, you are required to have a strong credit score and income to be eligible for the lowest rates. Applying with a suitable cosigner works too.

    Variable-rate - 1.98% - 8.59%

    Fixed-rate - 2.99% - 7.75%

  2. Easy comparison of multiple offers: The LendKey’s platform for student loan refinancing makes the selection process easy and painless. It is easy to use, and it allows you to compare rates with multiple lenders at once.

  3. Provides unique offers: Most local or small-scale setups that could provide you with comparatively lower rates and personalized customer service go unnoticed. LendKey gives us a chance to connect with these lenders.

  4. Good unemployment protection: They offer 18 months of paused payments if you become uneventfully unemployed. It’s always a perk to have considered if your future job stability is unknown.

  5. No fees: No origination or prepayment fee is charged by LendKey for its loans.

  6. Offers death and disability protection: So far, LendKey has forgiven loans where the borrower uneventfully became disabled or passed away.

  7. Offers death and disability protection: So far, LendKey has forgiven loans where the borrower uneventfully became disabled or passed away.

  8. autopay discount: They provide a 0.25% interest rate reduction for clients who enroll for automatic debiting of their loan payments.Quality customer service: LendKey’s customer service reps will serve you from the time you start browsing until the last payment on your loans.LendKey also advertises an interest: only repayment option for the first four years of the loan. While not recommended for most circumstances, if you are a resident physician or someone likely to have a relatively low salary initially, it could be a good option.

  9. Flexible terms: Borrowers can choose from five, seven, 10, 15, and 20-year repayment terms.

  10. Soft credit pull: LendKey allows customers to check interest rate offers without affecting their credit score.

  11. Cosigners welcome: Borrowers can apply with an eligible cosigner to improve their chances of availing a loan approval and to possibly get lower interest rates.


  12. Deferment options: Borrowers are permitted to temporarily suspend their payments during times of financial hardship.

  13. Long loan forbearance: You can delay payments for up to 18 months, in six-month increments, if you become unemployed.

  14. Return Policy: LendKey agrees on a 30-day no-fee return policy that permits you to cancel the loan within 30 days of issuance without fees or interest.

Disadvantages

  1. Not available to all states: Borrowers who live in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, and West Virginia are not eligible to avail loans.  

  2. Easy comparison of multiple offers: The LendKey’s platform for student loan refinancing makes the selection process easy and painless. It is easy to use, and it allows you to compare rates with multiple lenders at once.  

  3. Excludes offers from other banks and online lenders: You may miss out on a better interest rate if they aren’t LendKey’s partner lender.  

  4. Payment postponement is unavailable if borrowers return to school or serve in the military.  

  5. You may have to join a credit union and open a checking or savings account if they provide your loan.  

  6. Rates may vary depending on where you live. Due to this, even if you have good credit and little debt, you may not get the low rate. The published rate on LendKey is the least possible but some lenders are only available to residents of specific areas.  

  7. Lack of filters when comparing offers: It is only possible to filter the loans based on annual percentage rate, monthly payment, term, and type of rate.  

To compare other important features of comparison, such as a graduated repayment plan, co-signer release, forbearance options, you’ll need to select a loan offer to see the lender and contact the lender directly.

  • Refinancing of parent loans or test-prep loans is not possible. LendKey may allow you to combine your federal and private student loans, but you can’t include parent loans.

  • You must earn your degree to qualify. If you leave before earning a degree after taking out a student loan, you won’t be able to refinance through LendKey.

While LendKey does have its list of perks, yet still can work on:

  • A degree is a must: completion of associates, undergraduate, graduate, or doctorate from an eligible school makes one eligible for refinancing.

  • Good credit required for low-interest rates: the best rates are reserved for clients with exceptionally good credit scores of 830 or higher and only to those requesting a five-year loan term.

  • No interest rate range stated: LendKey does not specify a high and low bound on the interest rate offered by lenders.


Interest rate, fees, and terms

Let’s first have a look at the figures that LendKey offers

Features Factors
Soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get No
Loan terms 5, 10, or 15 years
Loan amounts $1,000 up to the total cost of attendance, minus other aid received
Application or origination fee No
Prepayment penalty/
LendKey early payoff penalty
No
 With all the information above you can decide if LendKey is the right choice for you. 


Eligibility criteria


To refinance your loans with any private lenders you have to go through an eligibility criteria check, pass it only then refinancing will be offered to you. Below is the list of what LendKey considers important. 

Financial Requirements

Features Factors
Minimum credit score 660
Minimum income $24,000 per year. $12,000 per year with a co-signer
A typical credit score of approved borrowers or their co-signers 754
Typical income of approved borrowers $63,000 per year
Maximum debt-to-income ratio 50%
Can qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy Yes, after five years

Other requirements

Features Factors
Citizenship U.S. citizen or permanent resident
Location
No loans available in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, or West Virginia
Graduation Status Graduated with at least an associate degree
Must have attended an authorized school to receive federal aid Yes
Percentage of borrowers with a cosigner 18%
Once you pass and qualify, it might take time to refinance till then keep making your payments towards loans. 


Application process

Follow the following steps to apply for refinancing your loan with LendKey.

Fill out the application

Share the following details:

  • Name, address, email address, and phone number

  • Citizenship status

  • Total annual income

  • School you graduated from and the type of degree you earned

  • The expected total loan amount you want to refinance and the loan types

You may need to include a co-signer information.

There is no need for your Social Security number, although it is required that you be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Compare loan offers and choose a lender

The number of results you’ll get depends on the information in your application, including your location and the types of loans you are eligible for.

You can filter the results by searching for an interesting range, monthly payment range, loan terms, or interest rate type, and sort the results based on desired factors. Make your choices accordingly that is manageable to have a modest lifestyle. Before concluding to settle with one refinance lender, you can search for the best options out there. 

You will be shown which banks or credit unions can refinance your loans with preferred terms. Confirm once you’ve decided on the terms and picked your lender.

Submit an application

Submit your application and permit the lender to do an inquiry. You may have to enter your Social Security number and date of birth. Also create an account, which will allow you to log in and submit the required documents or check your loan status later.

Review the loan disclosure form before submission of the application. Opt for a graduated repayment plan if you might want to release a co-signer. You may want to contact the specific lender to check if it offers other benefits.

Review the conditional loan offer

After submission, LendKey will review your credit and approve it for a loan. Review the terms before proceeding.

Verify your information. You could upload relevant documents and details for the same. It is important that you read all terms and conditions, and agree to comply before confirming the refinancing process. Do not forget to make your payments to your old lender till your loans are refinanced, else your student loans can go to default state. Once the loans move to default refinancing can be near to impossible, therefore keep a track of your monthly payments. 

Final approval and loan disbursement

LendKey will send through your information to the lender, who will reply with the official loan document for you to sign. After you sign, the lender will pay the student loans that you’re refinancing and you’ll start making payments toward the new loan.

Continue paying your loans until completion of the process.


Repayment options

You have several repayment options helping you throughout your repayment journey, understand the benefits of postponing your loan payments during a financial crisis, and what happens in case of permanent disability, and so on. 

In-School Repayment Options

Features Factors
Flat-fee Pay a fee of $25 a month when you’re in school for up to 5 years. Complete payments are due after that point.
Interest-only Pay monthly interest when you’re in school for up to 5 years. complete payments are due after that point.

Post-School Repayment options

Features Factors
Grace period 6 months
In-school deferment No, borrowers are prohibited from requesting deferment of payments when returning to school.
Military deferment No.
Forbearance Borrowers are eligible for 1.5 years of forbearance, in six-month increments, throughout the loan.
Co-signer release available Yes, after 2 years.
Death or disability discharge Loan agreements do not guarantee it, but automatic discharge has been a common practice among lenders.

Repayment preferences

Allows greater-than-minimum payments via autopay Yes

Allows biweekly payments via autopay No

With the above choices provided by LendKey, you can make use of these benefits at times of need. 


When is refinancing with LendKey a good idea?


Here are the following factors when refinancing with LendKey is a good idea 

  • You got your degree

  • You have excellent credit. Student-loan refinancing is always a good idea if your income or credit situation is very good

  • You’d favor doing business with a community bank or credit union. LendKey allows you to compare rates offered by various lenders

  • You are looking to save money on origination fees

  • You have multiple loans and wish to consolidate them into one with lower interest for efficient handling given that you satisfy the other mentioned factors. This could even end up saving a good amount of money on your repayment

Consider all these options and sure make it is fruitful before your refinance with them. 


                                Looking to refinance? Pick from our list of best student loan refinance lenders


When is refinancing with LendKey a bad idea?

When is it not favorable to not refinance with LendKey? below are a few lists 

  • LendKey might not be a good option if you have federal student debt. Government benefits such as a range of repayment and forgiveness plans, prolonged or delayed repayment periods, income-based repayment plans, and some forgiveness plans would be eliminated with LendKey

  • LendKey doesn’t offer exhaustive and transparent information about the banks and credit unions, including their reputation or any other fine details that are part of the loan. Depending on your interest in detail, LendKey might not be the best pick for you

  • Keep an eye out for your long term expenditure throughout the loan

  • Location-based loan offerings by LendKey is another con. So do look for other options if you are looking for the absolute best fit for your needs, regardless of your location

Know the terms and consider of LendKey student loan refinance before to say yes to them. 


                                                  Worried about your college tuition? Find the best student loans


A brief comparison with others

Although LendKey is one amongst many leading student loan providing platforms in the market currently, many others are dominating the market. Let us see how LendKey sizes up against them.

  LendKey

Citizens Bank

PenFed Credit Union

Loan repayment terms in years

5, 7, 10, 15, 20

5, 7, 10, 15, 20

5, 8, 12, 15


Loan amount

$7,500 to $175,000

$10,000 to $350,000 (depending on your level of education)

$7,500 to $300,000

Cosigner release

Check with your lender

Yes, applications accepted after 3 years of continuous payments(36 months)

Yes, applications accepted after 1 year of continuous payments(12 months)

Transfer of parent loan to a child

No

Yes

Yes

Servicer of loan

LendKey Technologies Inc.

Firstmark Services

Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed)

Apt for

Graduates with exceptional credit

Those who wish to reduce their monthly payment

With a cosigner

With the above table, we get to know what LendKey has to offer when compared to other refinancing lenders. It is advised to have an in-depth understanding of what a refinancing lender has to offer before you go ahead with them. Be well aware of all the options available to you before you go ahead with a decision.


Contact information

Any queries you have regarding LendKey you can contact, email, or reach them out with the information below. LendKey customer service has "A" rating feedback from its customers, any complaints can be raised at BBB to find a solution. 

Address information: 104 W. 27th. St.
New York, NY 10001

9999 Carver Rd, Suite 400
Cincinnati, OH 45242

Ph number: 888-549-9050


Email: Customer service - customer.care@lendkey.com

Fax: (800) 583-1416