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Earnest Review

Reviews 6,372
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Reviews 6,372
Sally Herigstad
Apr. 04, 2024
4 min read
Sally Herigstad
Earnest Summary
With Earnest, you can apply and see student refinancing rates you qualify for in as little as 2 minutes. They are a direct lender, so your loan is funded by Earnest as well as serviced by them. Earnest also has programs to help you manage student loan repayments, such as the ability to skip one payment per year.


  • All loans are serviced in house
  • Get your interest rate in two minutes
  • Ability to skip one payment per year


  • Not available in Kentucky or Nevada
  • Strict credit score requirement

Earnest at a glance

Editorial score

Online experience

Has learning resources, access to rates, mobile app

Customer services and support

Multiple ways of reaching lender, wide range of hours

Repayment flexibility

Offers flexible repayment plans & the option for special repayment programs

Loan Types Covered

Covers most student loan types


Loans available to all credit types, income levels, and loan types

Earnest Earnest View Rates

Suitable For?

Earnest student loan refinancing is suitable for borrowers who have higher interest rates on their student loans and want to take advantage of current low rates. Some borrowers with federally held loans may choose not to refinance in order to remain eligible for  benefits applicable to federally held loans.

Loan Features

Earnest offers student loan refinancing with the following features:

  • Fixed-rates from 5.19% APR with AutoPay
  • Variable-rates from 5.99% APR with AutoPay
  • Loans with minimum size of $5,000 and up ($10,000 and up in California)

The Application Process

Click the “Get Started” button and answer a few questions about your student loan needs. You’ll get an interest rate estimate in minutes, without impacting your credit score.

If you like the rate you see, you can complete the application, upload documentation, and finalize your loan. You’ll be able to choose between making your payments monthly or bi-weekly.

Loan Eligibility Requirements

The main eligibility requirements for obtaining a loan from Earnest are:

  • Age 18 or older
  • Resident of one of 48 states or the District of Columbia (all but Kentucky and Nevada)
  • Adequate income to cover expenses
  • Minimum credit score of 650 and a good financial history
  • Enrolled less than half-time and your loans are in repayment, or you will complete your degree at the end of the coming semester OR meet all of the following criteria:
    • The degree is incomplete
    • The last attending date was over 6 years ago
    • Your credit score is 650+
    • The school you attended was not a for-profit school
  • Be a U.S. citizen or have a 10-year Permanent Resident Card

If you don’t meet the income, credit score, or U.S. citizen or residency status requirements, you may still qualify if you have a cosigner who meets these requirements.

Repayment Terms

Unlike most lenders who offer fixed loan terms, Earnest lets you choose the length of your loan. You decide how quickly you want to pay off your loan, and choose a loan length to the month. For example, you may decide you can afford to pay off your loan in 9 years and 8 months, or that may be the amount of time you had left on your previous loan. You can generally get a loan for that length of time.

The APR you pay depends on factors including your credit score. Fixed rate loans start 5.19% APR, and variable rate loans start from 5.99% APR.

How Safe Is It?

The data you enter on the Earnest site is encrypted using industry-standard SSL technology. It is sent to servers in an off-site data center, where data is protected by firewalls, private subnets, and multi-factor authentication.

Help & Support

You can get help in three ways:

  • Submit a request using the online form
  • Use online chat
  • Call 1-(888)-601-2801 Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM PT, excluding holidays


Earnest works with you to meet your goals for refinancing your student loans. Whether it’s consolidating multiple loans, getting a better interest rate, removing a co-signer, or choosing a custom loan term to pay off your loan sooner, Earnest is there to help. They even have a Client Happiness team to help with your loan experience.

Physical Address

535 Mission St., Suite1663

San Francisco, CA 94105

Earnest Earnest View Rates


Interest Rate Disclosure:

Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 5.19% APR to 9.74% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 5.99% APR to 9.74% 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.

AutoPay Discount Disclosure:

You can take advantage of the AutoPay interest rate reduction by setting up and maintaining active and automatic ACH withdrawal of your loan payment. The interest rate reduction for Auto Pay will be available only while your loan is enrolled in AutoPay. Interest rate incentives for utilizing Auto Pay may not be combined with certain private student loan repayment programs that also offer an interest rate reduction. For multi-party loans, only one party may enroll in AutoPay.

Lender Identification Footnote:

Earnest Loans are made by Earnest Operations LLC or One American Bank, Member FDIC. or FinWise Bank, Member FDIC. Earnest Operations LLC, NMLS #1204917. 535 Mission St., Suite 1663, San Francisco, CA 94105. California Financing Law License 6054788. Visit Lending Licenses | Earnest for a full list of licensed states. For California residents: Loans will be arranged or made pursuant to a California Financing Law License.

One American Bank, 515 S. Minnesota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104. FinWise Bank, 756 East Winchester, Suite 100, Murray, UT 84107. Earnest loans are serviced by Earnest Operations LLC with support from Navient Solutions LLC (NMLS #212430). One American Bank, FinWise Bank, and Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by agencies of the United States of America.


© 2024 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved.

Sally Herigstad
Written by
Sally Herigstad
Sally has been writing about personal finance since 1998 and is the author of “Help! I Can’t Pay My Bills” (St. Martin’s Griffin). She is a licensed real estate broker in Washington state and a retired certified public accountant. She writes for BestMoney and enjoys helping readers make sense of the options on the market.‎
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Trustpilot reviews
See what some customers are saying about Earnest
Excellent • Reviews 6,372
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Satya Susmitha
13 hours ago
They are very responsive and…
They are very responsive and responsible. They are the best in providing loans with good interest ❤️❤️everyone who chose earnest you guys for the deal!
Bill Beddow
1 day ago
Great service.
Quick, fast and simple.
Akash Kelar
1 day ago
Process is easy & fast.
Process is easy & fast.
L Panda
1 day ago
Seamless easy experience!
Seamless easy experience loading up documents. Kept us informed on progress through entire process. Very prompt support through entire process and decision making. Would highly recommend.
Daniel Kriebel
5 days ago
Quick and easy process.
Quick and easy process.