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BestMoney.com
Earnest Review
Reviews 5,682
Earnest
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Earnest
Earnest
Excellent
Reviews 5,682
Sally Herigstad
Jan. 26, 2023
2 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.
Pros
  • All loans are serviced in house
  • Get your interest rate in two minutes
  • Ability to skip one payment per year
Cons
  • Not available in Kentucky or Nevada
  • Strict credit score requirement

Earnest at a glance

4.6
Editorial score

Online experience

Has learning resources, access to rates, mobile app
5.0

Customer services and support

Multiple ways of reaching lender, wide range of hours
4.0

Repayment flexibility

Offers flexible repayment plans & the option for special repayment programs
5.0

Loan Types Covered

Covers most student loan types
4.0

Eligibility

Loans available to all credit types, income levels, and loan types
5.0

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 4.47% APR with AutoPay
  • Variable-rates from 4.47% 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 680 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 700+
    • 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 4.47% APR, and variable rate loans start from 4.47% 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

Summary

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

Disclaimers

Interest Rate Disclosure:

Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 4.64% APR to 9.24% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 4.64% APR to 9.19% 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. Earnest Operations LLC, NMLS #1204917. 535 Mission St., Suite 1663, San Francisco, CA 94105. California Financing Law License 6054788. Visit earnest.com/licenses for a full list of licensed states.

One American Bank, 515 S. Minnesota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104. Earnest loans are serviced by Earnest Operations LLC with support from Navient Solutions LLC (NMLS #212430). One American Bank and Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

© 2021 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved.

THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT. YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO MAKE ANY PAYMENT OR TAKE ANY OTHER ACTION IN RESPONSE TO THIS OFFER.

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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See what some costumers are saying about Earnest
Earnest
Excellent
Reviews 5,682
on
Excellent
85%
Great
9%
Average
2%
Poor
1%
Bad
3%
J
jen t.
4 days ago
Best rates, and super easy to get everything switched…
Super easy to get everything switched over, no penalties and easy ways to pay extra to pay it all off sooner! Plus I’m not a Navient customer anymore.
K
keisha
4 days ago
The loan process was easy and timely
The loan process was easy and timely
J
john d
4 days ago
Quick to answer and worked to finalize…
Quick to answer and worked to finalize the school loan
M
mohammad ashraful huq
5 days ago
Thanks for your honest support and…
Thanks for your honest support and communication regarding my student loan with my University.
M
mikka kabugo
5 days ago
Smooth process
Decently smooth application process and response time
J
jaime spears
6 days ago
The only company to actually take the…
The only company to actually take the time to review and offer me a loan that changed my life.
P
penelope townsend
6 days ago
Thanks for removing the hard inquiry…
Thanks for removing the hard inquiry when I had to cancelmmy loan application, meant the world to me. Penelope Townsend
S
susan smith
6 days ago
It was super simple and quick!
It was super simple and quick!
L
l. rowe
6 days ago
Excellent Service!
Excellent, superb service and work!! Went out the way to help and give much needed assistance, especially in rough situations with schooling. Thanks again for everything! And God bless you ALL.
D
donald garrett
6 days ago
Awesome
Awesome. Simple application and quick results.
K
kelly
6 days ago
Good communication
Good communication
C
casey guerra
7 days ago
Really came through in a time of need.
The process was quick and easy to apply. I got my funds in a respectable amount of time. Constant emails to keep me informed of the whole process.
J
jim hague
7 days ago
Best financial place
The nicest people to work with
K
kimberly butler
7 days ago
Earnest was great
The application process was quick and painless. The customer support team is very helpful and my loan was disbursed quickly!
P
pao
8 days ago
Quick & Easy
It was quick and easy. The company follows up with you regularly and was helpful
D
dakyf
8 days ago
Great for International Students
I appreciate the fact that I was able to get a loan as an international student and that my cosigner didnt need the perfect credit score as proof that I would really pay back. All I needed was an opportunity and Earnest granted me that, I am grateful!
F
frederick van alstyne
9 days ago
The loan process was very simple and…
The loan process was very simple and painless.
M
melissa hyatt
9 days ago
The process was easy
The process was easy. I disagree with the interest rate I received. I have a great credit score so I feel it should've been lower. I still have no instructions on how to set up autonpay for my monthly payments.
M
martin alemajoh
10 days ago
It was a seamless and convenient…
It was a seamless and convenient process. Would highly recommend it
M
martin alemajoh
10 days ago
It was seamless and very fast
It was seamless and very fast. My funds got to school on time. Great service.
K
karleen prince
11 days ago
This experience was amazing
This experience was amazing, easy application, process was quick and everything expedited
V
vicki peters
12 days ago
Very knowledgeable
Very knowledgeable, professional and pleasant staff. Loan was quite executed in a timely manner. This was my second time cosigning on a loan from Earnest.
C
cody campson
12 days ago
Didn’t get approved with others but did with Earnest
Was a seamless experience, kept it simple and got approved the same day.
R
rafael villamizar
13 days ago
the application was qualified well and…
the application was qualified well and turnaround approval was great with reasonable loan interest and terms
W
william garci
15 days ago
The application process was easy and…
The application process was easy and the results were quickly known. Great experience.
C
carlos diaz
15 days ago
Easy
Easy, they made everything so easy, kept me informed of what was going on so there was no confusion. I would choose earnest again, if I absolutely needed a private student loan.
W
william heath watkins
15 days ago
Applying for a college loan for my…
Applying for a college loan for my daughter was fast, quick and easy. Quick responses and quick payment to the college.
L
lee-ruth robinson
17 days ago
Application process was easy and loan…
Application process was easy and loan processing was timely.
D
david gilbert
18 days ago
Earnest, the best lender for Student loaners
Great customer service, Best rates available for student loans on the market. Very easy to apply and approval process is quick. Staff was very knowledgeable and thorough giving options for the borrower. I am very pleased with Earnest as a lender.
S
steven houghton
18 days ago
This was our 2nd time with earnest
This was our 2nd time with earnest. The process is by far the simplest of all their peers. The response and follow up were excellent
M
mark
18 days ago
Low rates
Low rates, simple process and very helpful customer service!
P
phorvath
19 days ago
This process was smooth
This process was smooth, and fast. Took 14 days from start to finish to get my student loans paid off and consolidated with Earnest. Highly recommend
C
chris sr. franks
19 days ago
It's fairly easy.
It's fairly easy.
S
susan chipman
19 days ago
Very easy!
It was so easy to do everything online. It did not take very long to do.
B
bianca c
19 days ago
Fast and Easy
The process was easy and the turn around time has been very prompt.
L
lauryn hulett
21 days ago
Super user friendly and explained the…
Super user friendly and explained the process very clearly. Thank you!
E
edward raikowski
21 days ago
Worthy
Had no issues for reapplying for another semester for my daughter. They kept us informed and any issues that had risen. Went very smooth.
J
jayne maranhas
21 days ago
Quick process
Quick process easy to follow instructions Quick response
M
melissa arcos
21 days ago
Quick and easy to apply
Easy process, quick approval, and great timing in disbursing funds to the university.
M
monique f.
21 days ago
They respond swiftly
The site is easy to navigate and the agent respond to your chat quickly. I will like them to work on their phone number. Tried reaching out but couldn't.
A
aa
21 days ago
Excellent and fast customer service
Excellent and fast customer service. Very responsive even over the holidays.
S
shannon simonds
21 days ago
Super easy to apply and quick decision
Super easy to apply and quick decision. Getting my masters degree wouldn't be possible without your help
C
christopher staaf
22 days ago
Scam
Don't do it. Not worth it.
Z
zibriana davis
22 days ago
Great response time
Great response time. Keep up the good work.
S
stephanie
25 days ago
What a relief
Nothing was confusing about the application process and it was easy to see interest rate up front with no surprise changes after the process was completed. Comparing with other refinance options Earnest offered me the best rate and was the most transparent. My student loan servicer suddenly increased my interest rate by a ridiculous amount and it kept getting higher. What a relief to have this option for refinancing.
F
frances cozza
25 days ago
Prompt and easy service
The website was very intuitive and the service to process my loan was quick. I greatly appreciated your promptness and ease in processing my loan and how it was quickly sent to the university in Italy. Had I know of your lending institution sooner, I would have started the process sooner. Thank you!
Y
yvonne director
25 days ago
The two young men I spoke to Customer…
The two young men I spoke to Customer Service very polite and extremely helpful
M
mary jean fabian
a month ago
Easy application and quick
Easy application and quick
A
ali sadeghinia
a month ago
Very smooth and easy with acceptable rate
Very smooth and easy! Great rate compared to other private loans. Easy and smooth communication on earnest side with university as well
K
k.p.
a month ago
Low rates
Low rates, but when I went to add money to my initial loan for books that I didn’t know I couldn’t afford, they said I could only increase the loan by 5% which didn’t cover even close. Not good for nursing students who have to buy expensive books. Otherwise good customer service
M
mckenna lee
a month ago
Easy
Easy, responsive and great communication
J
jesse johnson
a month ago
The easy process and got approved for…
The easy process and got approved for what I requested
Y
yelena
a month ago
Easy and prompt
Easy and prompt
M
martina
a month ago
It takes a very long time compared to…
It takes a very long time compared to Sallie Mae. I am frustrated because we had issues with the certification for school and I never had any issues with that with other private student loans.
S
sharon watson
a month ago
Co-signor form question/answer.
Is almost very easy to complete form as to being a co-signer. I have filed the form out, I believe, 5 times so knew what to expect. I did question and called about having to provide my accounts open to analysis. Most areas on form are no problem but being a co-signer, some of the questions cannot be answered with answers supplied. When I had to give an incorrect answer I filled in another answer with an explanation of what I said. I would feel much better answering “Other” as I would not have to give a wrong answer. Sharon Watson, Mary P. Watson’s grandmother.
E
elisabeth m
a month ago
I really appreciated the prompt…
I really appreciated the prompt communication and quick payment to my son’s college. Earnest also had better internet rates and better payment options than I found elsewhere. Thank you!
T
twanna bell
a month ago
Really easy to work with
Really easy to work with. It initially said to expect a response within 48 hours. I had my approval literally within an hour of submitting the application.
K
k petersen
a month ago
Applying for the loan was quick and eeasy
Applying for the loan was quick and effortless. Customer service is always helpful and speedy. I have co-signed two loans with them and I am very pleased with their service
J
juan galindo
a month ago
Someone to trust with your son's education
Earnest has been there for my son and I. They have given my son an opportunity to continue his education at the college level
C
carlyle herman
a month ago
No help for people who cannot afford…
No help for people who cannot afford their payments
M
michelle m
2 months ago
I went through Earnest for two of my student loans
I went through Earnest for two of my student loans this school year. Yes, two. My student loan experience has been quite the hassle only because of the way my university handled both throughout the entire process. Earnest made each of these processes much easier. I went through Earnest for my first and second loan because they offer rate matching, no late fees, 9 month’s grace period after I graduate, they offer lower finance charges and their customer service is far superior to any other company I spoke with. My school certified my first loan for a much lower amount than my budget, so I submitted a request for an increase in my personal budget to my university. My school sat on my budget increase for 2 months and by that time my first loan had expired, making my loan amount unable to be increased. The only way I could receive the additional amount was to take out a second loan. I used Earnest for my second student loan for the same reasons. Earnest handled both of the student loans professionally and with grace. Their customer service is amazing: excellent communication, they explain the process well, emailed me personally with issues I had with my university certifying my loans. I also received an Amazon gift card for each of my student loans. I would highly recommend using Earnest for your student loans.
A
amenyo doe
2 months ago
Earnest was fast
Earnest was fast, they keep me waiting.
C
cleon martin
2 months ago
Easy to apply
Easy to apply, quick responses.
J
jeffrey speiden
2 months ago
Earnest is timely and instructive and…
Earnest is timely and instructive and not overly burdensome in the loan process.
A
apoorva singh
2 months ago
It's fast
It's fast, and easy! It's my third time with earnest!
L
lisandra wilmott
2 months ago
Quick & Easy
The entire process was very efficient and quick. Rates were good. No complaints at all.
C
casey patten
2 months ago
The process to consolidate my loans…
The process to consolidate my loans went smoothly. I had a difficult time consolidating my loans in the past. So far, I have had a great experience.
Y
yeoun bae
2 months ago
Easy and fast
Easy and fast
H
hayley bernard
2 months ago
The amount given in the loan doesn’t…
The amount given in the loan doesn’t cover even a 3rd of what I still owe for this term or year. And I requested to cancel it because it was embarrassingly small and I got confirmation it was being canceled. However today I got an emailing confirming that the funds were sent to my school anyways.
S
sudershan gupta
2 months ago
No hassle college Loans
They have an easy and smooth process for loans. I looked at others few and the process was so cumbersome for one where it took approx. 1 month with various documents uploads, while Earnest was quick and approved in few hours. Their support team is also easy to reach anytime, and they take care of the process. Would do business again.
A
anthony
2 months ago
Disappointed, but Appreciate the Loan
Disappointed that my credit score, which is good and my dad who has excellent credit couldn't offer a better interest rate. My rate doubled from last semester, so really bummed. Also, the electronic application process wasn't easy and somehow, I withdrew my dad's application, had to reapply, and then Earnest will just leave it on my account anyway. The live reps I talked to in order to figure out what was happening made things easier. I appreciate you funding my sophomore year, so I gave a higher review.
L
larry moore
2 months ago
It was a very easy process.
It was a very easy process. The customer service was outstanding and friendly. Their website was extremely easy to use and their policies are student friendly compared to other lenders.
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guy e lovell
2 months ago
Guy Lovell
This company assisted me in securing my financial woes on getting my degree paid for. No issues and fast service. I was very pleased.
B
bryan mulletman n.
2 months ago
Repeat customer here if I need student loans in the future,
Fast, straightforward, easy to use. I appreciated the depth of information presented for my loan and terms but I also appreciate even more how I was able to review everything quickly and review the terms and conditions without having to check through all the other parts of a financial agreement I have seen plenty of times before.
J
jose guzman
2 months ago
Incredible agile process!!
Incredible agile process!!! Wow
K
ki kim
2 months ago
So great 👍
It was great service.
D
desmond agudey
2 months ago
The way the explained the loan offers.
The way the explained the loan offers.
Z
zibriana davis
2 months ago
Application process was very…
Application process was very understandable.
S
steve deschon
2 months ago
Terrible Customer Service
Struggling with finances currently. Not their problem I know. But I reach out to make my payments bi-weekly instead of monthly. They tell me it’s impossible to move the payment date back 2 days and change it to a bi-weekly payment due to “system limitations.”
H
heather dring
2 months ago
It was easy
It was easy, clear, and straight to the point. I do wish the loan would be sent out to the schools faster but that’s also on me for applying a few weeks before tuition is due.
M
marcus king
3 months ago
The website is easy to understand and…
The website is easy to understand and all of the information is right there. Earnest staff always replies to my questions in a timely manner.
J
janene dotts
3 months ago
Easy process
Easy process, straightforward documentation. Thanks for letting me finish school with less stress!
D
david c
3 months ago
Waste of time, not beneficial
Waste of time. No reason I should have been denied for a refinance. They do a hard inquiry on your credit and if anything have negative affects on your finances. Do not apply it’s a waste of time
Y
yesenia ortiz
3 months ago
Great customer service,always helpful!
Great customer service,always helpful! Funds are proveded to the school quickly.
T
tad's dad
3 months ago
Very quick and relaiable
Very quick and relaiable
R
rebekah soltero
3 months ago
Run From This Company
I followed the prompts for the loan I should apply for, which I did. The loan said I should apply for an undergraduate which I did and got approved for. Three months later an earnest rep reaches out via email and says I applied for a graduate loan, and my school could not certify, so I will have to re-apply which means they will pull another hard credit pull lowering my chances of approval now. This company is a joke!
M
matthew talaga
3 months ago
The overall experience was great
The overall experience was great, phone calls were answered quickly and information given was clear and straight forward. However, information pertaining to refinancing for those who attended school, but did not graduate could be more straight forward.
K
kelley graham
3 months ago
It was easy to do and i liked the way…
It was easy to do and i liked the way the system helped my son and i work together
B
bhagath kondepati
3 months ago
Quick and easy
The Loan application process is very easy, easy to understand, very fast and very helpful.
K
khadija franklin
3 months ago
Easy Peasy to apply!
The process to apply and get approved was fast and easy. I wish I would've refinanced sooner!
F
frankie o.
3 months ago
My experience with Earnest was exceptional
My experience with Earnest was captivating from my very first call. They are professional, courteous, attentive, and very accommodating.
G
graham emmett
3 months ago
Great & expedient service
Great & expedient service , did what they said said what they did. Is this enough characters?
J
jeff voll
3 months ago
Fast response
We applied and it said it could take a week, we got approved same day, verified documents and everything went smooth, all info was sent to school and the longest part is just waiting for the school to verify all the information . Overall great experience.
J
jacob davis
3 months ago
Very informative and helpful staff
Very informative and helpful staff
A
amy haefs
3 months ago
good customer care
good customer care
P
peter sengelmann
3 months ago
Quick efficient service
Quick efficient service
A
andrew yarber
3 months ago
Great experience
Great experience. Perfect technology experience.
N
nicole acosta
3 months ago
They misinform you
They misinform you. They don't tell you if you are or aren't eligible and they make a hard inquiry on your credit report before they're supposed to. I have contacted them and they have shown a complete lack of integrity. I wouldn't trust them with anything because they try to fool you with their eligibility check.
T
talyn
4 months ago
Easy online application
Easy online application. And decision within minutes
A
aaron slough
4 months ago
Process was quick and easy to get…
Process was quick and easy to get through. The site is sleek and easy to navigate. Good experience all around!