Minimum Credit Score Needed For Refinancing Student Loans

Refinancing your student loans is an excellent way to make them more manageable and affordable. What is the minimum credit score needed to refinance student loans? What can you do if your score is less? Learn more.

Updated by B Harshitha on 28th February 2020

Dealing with multiple, bulky student loans with terms, rates and conditions of their own can be quite difficult. Keeping up with all the specifications, deadlines and rules is certainly likely to be very challenging, especially since the consequences of not being up to date can be disastrous. Refinancing is an excellent way by which managing student loans can be made an easier task. Refinancing can help borrowers avail lower interest rates, better terms and conditions. Lesser interest rates can lead to borrowers saving up on money that they will spend on interest otherwise. 

But qualifying for refinancing is not quite simple. Getting approved for refinancing your student loans depends on the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio and credit score. Much like how credit scores needed to get student loans depend on the lender, the credit scores needed for student loan consolidation varies with companies.

We will discuss in detail the student loan refinancing credit requirements, refinancing your student loans with different lenders and ways by which you can improve your score. 

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Minimum Credit Scores Needed to Refinance Student Loans by Companies

Companies are very secretive about the credit scores that they accept to refinance student loans. We have presented information about the minimum and average scores accepted by a few companies here.

Lender

Minimum Credit Score Needed to Refinance

LendKey

660

Earnest

650

CommonBond

660

Education Loan Finance(ELFI)

680

College Ave

mid 600s

Splash Financial

700

The average scores that these companies accept to refinance are pretty high. However, their minimum scores are certainly achievable.

650 is a score that marks the beginning of most lenders’ approval range. About 70% of consumers have scores that fall in the acceptable range of student loan refinance credit scores.

A score above 800 is considered to be excellent. Very few people have scores so high and to achieve such a high score, a consumer must have an in-depth understanding of how the credit system works. Borrowers with very high credit scores tend to drive the average accepted credit scores for refinancing high. As more people with moderate to good credit scores become aware of the benefits that come with refinancing and start to pursue lower interest rates, the average credit scores are likely to drop.


Worried about your college tuition? Find the best student loans just for you.


Factors that can help improve your credit score

You do not have to worry if your credit score falls short of what is required by these companies. There are a number of factors that can help boost your score even in a short period of time. The factors are as follows:

  • Payment History – This factor makes up 35% of your credit score. But one piece of good news is that a borrower’s recent history is considered over their past history. So for as long as your recent payments have been consistent and timely, you are likely to be in good shape.
  • Credit Utilization – This factor compares the debt on your credit card to the amount of credit still available. Credit Utilization makes 30% of your credit score.  Credit utilization below 30% is said to be favourable. Your credit score will be better if your balance is low.
  • Length of Credit History – This factor accounts for 15% of your credit history. This is one factor that can not be helped by a borrower. 
  • Types of Credit Used – This makes up 10% of your credit score. Having some variety to display is a good thing.
  • New Credit/Inquiries– This factor makes up 10% of your credit score. Hard inquiries can have a negative impact on your credit score. Borrowers interested in refinancing should look out for soft checks and other enquiry methods on lenders.

If your credit score is low, learn about how to refinance student loans with bad credit.


Factors besides Credit Scores that can help you refinance

Whie rejections on applications for refinancing made by people with poor credit scores can be anticipated, it might be surprising to learn that quite a number of borrowers with excellent credit scores have also been rejected before. This is because another very important factor to qualify for student loan refinancing is a borrower’s debt-to-income ratio. If a major part of your paycheck gets devoted to credit card bills, student loans and mortgages, then this factor may be a hindrance to getting an approval for student loan refinance. 

Borrowers with credit scores near the acceptable margins with excellent debt-to-income ratio are more likely to get approved for refinancing than people with the alternative case. A borrower’s mere income could make the difference between an approval and a rejection.


Looking to refinance your student loans? Find the best companies to refinance your student loans.


In conclusion..

While borrowers are more than likely to get bummed out for getting rejected for low credit scores, it is important to realize that there are alternatives to going about this. Income-driven repayment plans and student loan forgiveness plans are just some of the many borrower protection plans that can be availed on federal student loans. These perks do not come on refinancing with private companies. Therefore, keeping federal student loans as they are, that is, without refinancing them may be the best option for people who are struggling to make payments.

The level of ease of difficulty prevalent in getting an approval for refinancing your student loans may differ from lender to lender. And the strategy that should be adopted will depend on the borrower. People with low credit scores are advised to apply with a number of companies and not just one. If despite your best efforts, you are unable to secure a refinance deal, try working on improving your credit score and debt-to-income ratio. Restart the application process after any changes appear.