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Last updatedNovember 2022

Best Student Loan Refinance Companies November 2022

How low can your rates be?

With lower interest rates, you can reduce your student loan payments and save big. Compare top refinance lenders and find the best rates for you.

Which refinance lender is right for you?

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Editorial Reviews

Splash Financial

Splash Financial

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Credible

Credible

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Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank

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Our Top Choice for Student Loan Refinance November 2022

 What is Student Loan Refinancing? 

A student loan refinance involves replacing one or more student loans with a new loan with better terms from a private lender. Both private and federal student loans can be refinanced. The purpose of refinancing is to get a lower interest rate and thereby reduce the monthly payments and lifetime costs. Many private lenders, including banks, online lenders, and credit unions offer student loan refinance loans. People with federal loans can also consolidate—rather than refinance—their debts. This involves combining multiple federal loans into a single loan with one simple monthly payment. 

The table below shows a sample of rates for student loan refinances compared to rates for first-time private and federal student loans. The Refinance column shows the lowest rates advertised by each lender. The First-Time Column shows fixed rates for federal government loans and lowest rates from private lenders.

Refinanced Student LoansFirst-Time Student Loans
 
2.48% - 11.27%* Variable /
2.94% - 11.27%* Fixed (Credible)
1.24% Variable / 3.75% fixed (Credible)
3.24% Variable /
3.99% Fixed (Earnest)
6.6% (Federal Stafford Unsubsidized)
4.49% to 8.99% APR (with autopay) Variable /
4.49% to 8.99% APR (with autopay) Fixed (SoFi)
5% (Federal Perkins Loan)
2.50% - 8.65% (with autopay) Variable /
3.99% - 8.24% (with autopay) Fixed (Splash Financial)
4.236% (Federal (PLUS Loan)
4.44% - 8.09% APR Variable /
4.49% - 7.74% APR Fixed (CommonBond)
1.44% Variable / 5.45% Fixed (CommonBond)
3.27% (with autopay) Variable /
3.99% w/ autopay Fixed (LendKey)
5.05% (Federal Stafford Subsidized Loan)

Should I Refinance my Student Loan?

As the above table shows, it is often worth refinancing a student loan. If you’ve graduated from college and have built a good credit score, then you can achieve a much lower interest rate by refinancing—and potentially save thousands of dollars in the long run. 

Things to take into consideration before refinancing:

  • Interest rate. Some lenders offer lower rates than others. Before you refinance, make sure your chosen lender can actually save you money.
  • Credit score. Holders of student debt can refinance at a significantly reduced rate, so long as they have a solid credit score along with steady income and employment. If your credit score is poor, you may find it more difficult to achieve a reduced rate.
  • Term duration. If you refinance at a lower rate but with a longer loan, then your monthly payments decrease, but you may end up paying more overall due to accruing interest.
  • Remaining debt. If you’re fresh out of college and tens of thousands of dollars in debt, then a refi could make sense. But if you’ve paid off most of your loan and only have a small amount of debt to pay off, it might not be worth refinancing. True, you could save a small amount. But on the other hand, applying for any type of loan or refi can affect your credit score—which could prove damaging if you’re also in the market for a mortgage or other loan.

The Pros and Cons of Student Loan Refinancing

ProsCons
Potential for major savings over life of loanWith longer term, potential to pay more over life of loan
Reduced monthly paymentsApplying for refinance can affect credit score
One single payment makes life easierBy refinancing federal loan, you waive rights to cancellation or forgiveness programs
More flexible repayment terms
Option of dropping previous co-signer from loan

Student Loan Refinancing Requirements

Eligibility can vary slightly between lenders, but the following are standard requirements for most refinance loans: 

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Aged 18 years or older.
  • Reside in a state where your chosen lender is authorized to lend.
  • Have employment, sufficient income from other sources, or have an offer of employment starting within the next 3 months.
  • Have graduated with an undergraduate degree or higher from a Title IV school that’s eligible to process federal student loans.

Lenders also look at the following:

  • Credit. This involves a hard credit inquiry which temporarily affects your credit score. Your credit history is the most important factor in determining your interest rate.
  • Income. Your lender will ask to see your pay slips or proof of other sources of income, in order to assess whether you have sufficient monthly cash flow to meet your monthly payments.
  • Savings. In addition to income, your level of savings will also help the lender assess your ability to make monthly payments.
  • Debt amount. The amount of remaining debt will help the lender determine the rate and term duration of your loan.

How to Refinance a Student Loan

A student loan refinance application is similar to other loan or refinance applications. It involves the following steps:

  • Checking your credit. The major credit agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) are legally obligated to share your credit history with you once every 12 months upon request, free of charge. As a general rule, credit of 700 or more is considered good, and 620-700 is average.
  • Comparing lenders. You can use loan marketplaces to see loan options from multiple lenders or get a quote from a direct lender.
  • Applying for your refinance. You’ll be asked to provide documentation, including: driver’s license or state ID, Social Security number, pay slips, and employment information.

Refinancing Student Loans with a Co-signer

BenefitsRisks
Greater chance of approvalCo-signer takes on liability for debts
Reduced interest rate if co-signer has good creditDamage to co-signer’s credit score in event of missed payments
Flexibility to release co-signer at pre-determined date in futurePotential damage to relationship with co-signer over financial matters

A co-signer can be a:

  • Parent
  • Guardian
  • Spouse
  • Close friend
  • Relative
  • Anyone else who is in a strong financial position and is willing to share the liability for your debts. 
In many cases, recent graduates don’t have the credit history or income to be approved for a student loan refi unless they bring a co-signer. By bringing a co-signer with good credit and income, the lender is more likely to approve the refinance and to offer a low interest rate. Bringing on a co-signer involves more paperwork than applying alone. The lender will ask for documentation from both the primary borrower and their co-signer. A credit inquiry will be performed for both people.It might not be easy to find a co-signer. After all, not everyone would be open to sharing your financial liability. However, if a parent, relative, or close friend agrees to co-sign your refi, you may be able to sweeten the deal by agreeing to release them in the future. For example, student loans can last anywhere from 5 years to more than 20 years. If you’re taking out a 20-year loan but envision having stronger credit in 5 years, you could state in your loan agreement that the co-signer can be released after 5 years. When you reach the 5-year mark, you’ll need to show the lender that you have strong credit and sufficient income to maintain the loan on your own.

Alternatives to Refinancing

If you have private student loans or private and federal loans, refinancing could be the best way to save money. But if you only have federal loans, you may want to consider debt consolidation or any of the federal government’s loan forgiveness or cancellation programs.

If you’re unable to meet the minimum payments, these are just some of the programs for being forgiven all or a portion of your loan amount: 

  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness. For employees of federal, state, or local government organizations, and certain non-profits.
  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness.  For people who have taught full-time in a low-income school or education service agency for a minimum 5 consecutive years.
  • Perkins Loan Cancellation. For teachers serving low-income schools or children with disabilities. Also available to teachers of math, science, foreign languages, or other fields classified as having a shortage of qualified teachers. 
  • Special Circumstances. Student debt may also be canceled in the event of disability, death, bankruptcy, school closure, withdrawal from school, or if the school falsely certified the student’s eligibility for the loan. 

Summary

A student loan involves a great deal of risk and reward. For most students, the risk comes from taking out tens of thousands of dollars in loans when they are at their most vulnerable—young, not-yet employed, and with no credit history. On the flipside, the reward comes by graduating and finding a job in their chosen profession. In reality, many graduates find themselves unable to pay off all their student debt. Fortunately, there are ways to cancel or at least reduce your debt payments. Many students qualify for loan forgiveness or cancellation programs, but even those who don’t qualify for federal assistance can apply for a student loan refinance and save potentially thousands of dollars as a result.

Disclaimers 

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as the borrower or cosigner, if applicable, enrolls in auto-pay and authorizes our loan servicer to automatically deduct your monthly payments from a valid bank account via Automated Clearing House (“ACH”). The rate reduction applies for as long as the monthly payment amount is successfully deducted from the designated bank account and is suspended during periods of forbearance and certain deferments. Variable rates may increase after consummation. $5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees. This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. Information advertised valid as of 1/27/2021. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.

Splash Financial Disclaimer:

Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Products may not be available in all states. Rates and terms are subject to change at any point prior to application submission. The information you provide is an inquiry to determine whether Splash’s lending partners can make you a loan offer. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or other eligible status and meet lender underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers and may require an autopay discount of 0.25%. Splash does not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, creditworthiness, income and other factors. This information is current as of November 1, 2022. You should review the benefits of your federal student loan; it may offer specific benefits that a private refinance/consolidation loan may not offer. If you work in the public sector, are in the military or taking advantage of a federal department of relief program, such as income-based repayment or public service forgiveness, you may not want to refinance, as these benefits do not transfer to private refinance/consolidation loans.

Fixed APR: Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed rate options range from 3.99% (without autopay) to 8.49% (without autopay) and will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer.

Variable APR: Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Variable rate options range from 2.50% (with autopay) to 8.90% (without autopay) and will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer.

See additional disclaimers at: https://www.splashfinancial.com/disclaimers/ Splash Financial, Inc. (NMLS #1630038), licensed by the DFPI under California Financing Law, license # 60DBO-102545

*Earnest Disclaimer:

Earnest allows you to refinance incomplete bachelor's or associate's degrees if:

  • Your last attending date was over 6 years ago
  • Your credit score is 700+ 
  • The school you attended was not a for-profit school

Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 3.99% APR to 8.99% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 3.24% APR to 7.99% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. The rate will not increase more than once per month. The maximum rate for your loan is 8.95% if your loan term is 10 years or less. For loan terms of more than 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95%. Please note, we are not able to offer variable rate loans in AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN, and TX. Our lowest rates are only available for our most credit qualified borrowers and contain our .25% auto pay discount from a checking or savings account.


Commonbond Disclaimer

Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.  If you choose to complete an application, we will conduct a hard credit pull, which may affect your credit score. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.15% effective Oct 1, 2020 and may increase after consummation.


SoFi Student Loan Refinance Disclaimer:

Fixed rates range from 4.49% APR to 8.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 4.49% APR to 8.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates on 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms are capped at 8.95% APR; 15- and 20-year terms are capped at 9.95% APR. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. This benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit lowers your interest rate but does not change the amount of your monthly payment. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.

† Credible Terms and Conditions:

Credible is so confident in the personal loan rates you’ll find on Credible, we’ll give you $200 if you find and close with a better rate elsewhere. See full terms and conditions.


Nelnet Disclaimer:

Lowest rates listed include an interest rate reduction for eligible applications, enrollment in auto debit, and are available only to the most creditworthy applicants. Advertised variable rates reflect the starting range of rates and may increase over the life of the loan.

Fixed interest rates range from 4.49% APR (with auto debit discount) to 9.44% APR (without auto debit discount). Your interest rate will depend on your (and if applicable, your cosigner’s) credit qualifications. The fixed interest rate will remain the same for the life of the loan.

Variable interest rates range from 5.92% APR (with auto debit discount) to 12.58% APR (without auto debit discount). Your interest rate will depend on your (and if applicable, your cosigner’s) credit qualifications. Variable rates may increase after consummation. Variable rates for Nelnet Bank Refinance Loans are calculated as the One-Month SOFR plus the applicable Margin percentage. Variable rates will be based on the highest One-Month SOFR as published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and/or the Wall Street Journal “Money Rates” table on the twenty-fifth day (or the next business day) of the immediately preceding calendar month. The variable rate may change on the first day of each month if the SOFR index changes. This may result in higher monthly payments. The current One-Month SOFR index is 3.65% as of Novermber 1, 2022.

The lowest rate for each loan type requires automatically withdrawn (“auto debit”) payment. The lowest rate is available only to the most creditworthy applicants. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rate. The interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) may be higher depending upon (1) the credit history of the borrower and, if applicable, the cosigner, (2) the repayment option and loan term selected, (3) the loan type selected, and (4) the highest level of education attained. If approved, applicants will be notified of the rate qualified for within the stated range.

Citizens Disclaimer:

Education Refinance Loan Rate: Variable interest rates range from 5.09%-11.67% (5.09%-11.67% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 5.39%-11.87% (5.39%-11.87% APR).

Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DC, DE, FL, MA, MD, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VA, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.

Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. when our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply. Borrowers whose loans were funded prior to reaching the age of majority may not be eligible for co-signer release. Note: co-signer release is not available on the Student Loan for Parents or Education Refinance Loan for Parents.

Education Refinance Loan Eligibility: Applicants must have attained a bachelor’s degree to refinance while enrolled in school. Applicants with an Associate’s degree or with no degree must have made at least 12 qualifying payments after leaving school. Qualifying payments are the most recent on time and consecutive payments of principal and interest on the loans being refinanced.

Education Refinance Loan for Parents: Eligibility The primary applicant must be the primary borrower or co-signer on the loan to be refinanced.

Medical Residency Refinance Loan Repayment Example: Based on a 48 month residency, a fixed rate 5 year loan for $10,000 at 5.00% APR results in 54 monthly payments of $100 during grace and residency periods, followed by 60 monthly payments of $123.61.

Get My Rate: Selecting “Get My Rate” only requires a "soft credit pull" which does not affect your credit score. Submitting a full application will result in an inquiry on your credit report.


NaviRefi Dislaimer:

You can choose between fixed and variable rates. Fixed interest rates are 4.24% - 9.24% APR (3.99% - 8.99% APR with Auto Pay discount). Starting variable interest rates are 3.49% - 8.24% APR (3.24% - 7.99% APR with Auto Pay discount). Variable rates are based on an index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) plus a margin. Variable rates are reset monthly based on the fluctuation of the index. We do not currently offer variable rate loans in AK, CO, CT, HI, IL, KY, MA, MN, MS, NH, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, and VA.

Loan cost examples: These examples provide estimates based on payments beginning immediately upon loan disbursement. Variable APR: A $10,000 loan with a 20-year term (240 monthly payments of $85) and a 8.24% APR would result in a total estimated payment amount of $20,434. For a variable loan, after your starting rate is set, your rate will then vary with the market. Fixed APR: A $10,000 loan with a 20-year term (240 monthly payments of $85) and a 8.24% APR would result in a total estimated payment amount of $20,434. Your actual repayment terms may vary.