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Sparrow Student Loan Refinance Review

Sparrow
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Emma Street
Jul. 19, 2023
3 min read
Emma Street
Sparrow Summary
Launched in 2020 as a marketplace for student loans, Sparrow exclusively focuses on student finance. It’s vetted by universities across the United States, including Boise State University and Chapman University. Sparrow’s website enables you to compare rates for which you’ve already prequalified, helping you secure better terms and save money. In addition to refinancing, Sparrow offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree loans.

Pros

  • Free to use
  • Receiving pre-qualified offers doesn’t affect your credit score
  • Exclusive focus on students and vetted by schools across the US

Cons

  • No mobile app
  • Personalized rates only available via pre-qualification process

Sparrow at a glance

9.2
Editorial score

Online experience

Good online resources, no mobile app
8.0

Customer services and support

Multiple ways of reaching lender, wide range of hours
8.0

Repayment flexibility

Offers flexible repayment plans & the option for special repayment programs
10.0

Loan Types Covered

Covers all student loan types
10.0

Eligibility

Loans available to all credit types, income levels, and loan types
10.0

Sparrow Sparrow Visit Sparrow

Suitable For?

As Sparrow is a marketplace rather than a lender, there are loan refinance options available for almost every kind of student. Sparrow will direct you to the student loan companies that are most suitable for your requirements and for which you already prequalify.

This is especially helpful for those who might find securing student loan refinance challenging, such as students with low credit ratings or applicants who didn’t complete their degrees. Some of Sparrow’s partners specialize in providing loans specifically for international students, while other lenders can provide financing if applicants have a qualified co-signer.

Minimum credit score requirements are generally between the mid-600s and 700, depending on the lender. However, at least one partner lender—Mpower—has no minimum credit score requirement.

Loan Features

Sparrow is a marketplace rather than a loan originator, so loan features will depend on the refinance options offered by its partner companies at the time of your pre-qualification request.

Overall, Sparrow is committed to providing the following:

  • Loan limits: $1,000-$500,000

  • Flexible repayment plans

  • No prepayment penalties

You can access personalized rates and repayment options based on your circumstances via Sparrow’s online pre-qualification process.

The Pre-Qualification Process

To pre-qualify, you first need to set up an account with Sparrow by providing your name, phone number, and email address. You'll receive a verification code by email. 

You’ll then need to select “‘Refinance student debt” from its loan options, enter how much you need to refinance, and state whether you are a US citizen. Estimated refinance amounts can be between $1,000 and $500,000. 

Sparrow requires details of your degree, including school, degree type, major, and graduation date. You also need to provide information about your housing situation, employment, and income. 

To submit your request to prequalify, you must give your date of birth and social security number. These requirements may be different for international applicants. Sparrow needs this information to verify your identity and perform a soft credit check. This won’t affect your credit score, and you’ll receive details of your prequalified refinance options in just a few minutes.

If you decide to move forward with one of the options provided, Sparrow will redirect you to the lender's website. From that point, you’ll be dealing with the lender directly. Typically the lender will require you to complete an official application and will run a hard credit check. 

If the lender approves your loan, it will pay off your existing loan directly, and you’ll begin making payments on your new loan. The time it takes to complete this process will vary depending on your provider.

Loan Terms

Refinancing student loans is a way to secure better terms on your existing loan, so it’s important that you fully understand the terms of your new loan. Sparrow’s online pre-qualification lets you compare refinance options and the loan terms on offer. Note that Sparrow is a marketplace rather than a lender, so its partner lenders set the loan terms. 

Sparrow publishes the latest rates from its partners on its website. As of June 27, 2023, there were 14 partner lenders, including Nelnet Bank, Earnest, and SoFi. Fixed APRs vary between 1.00% and 12.95% and depend on your loan amount, loan term, credit score, income and employment history, debt-to-income ratio, and current market interest rates. Having a co-signer with strong credit and financial stability can improve your rates.

Repayment Terms

Sparrow enables you to compare different repayment plans from a variety of lenders. Typical repayment options include the following:

  • Standard repayment: Make fixed monthly payments over a set term.

  • Graduated repayment: Start with lower monthly payments that gradually increase over time. 

  • Extended repayment: Extend the repayment term beyond the standard plan to lower the monthly payments. This increases the overall amount of interest paid over time.

  • Interest-only repayment: Make payments that only cover the accrued interest on the loan. This usually covers a set period, after which you will resume full payments.

Not all repayment options will be available and will depend on the lender, loan type, and your individual circumstances. 

How Safe Is It? 

Sparrow employs various security measures. The company uses SSL encryption to protect customer data, which it stores in secure web servers with multiple layers of protection, including firewalls. Sparrow also encrypts sensitive information during transmission and storage to prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing the data.

Help and Support

You can contact Sparrow customer support by phone or email. The support team is available on 646-980-4056, from 9am to 7pm (ET), Monday-Friday. There’s also an online chat function that will either direct you to the relevant section of the website or send your question to a customer support agent who will email you back. The team generally replies promptly during business hours.

The website has a thorough FAQs section and a comprehensive collection of articles covering all aspects of student loan financing.

Summary

Overall, Sparrow offers a good service to those looking to refinance student loans. The ability to compare personalized refinance terms quickly from multiple lenders is attractive, and there are no fees associated with the service. 

Sparrow provides a secure platform to apply online, and its partnership with multiple lenders gives you access to competitive rates and favorable terms. The customer service team is quick to respond and helpful, although its limited opening hours are a drawback.

Physical Address

Sparrow Labs Inc.

169 Madison Ave #2313

New York, NY 10016

Visit Sparrow

Methodology

This review was created with information from Sparrow’s company website, including its blog, FAQs, and privacy statement. Customer services were contacted by email for further information. Trustpilot was also consulted.

Emma Street
Written by
Emma Street
Emma holds a BSc in Computer Science and has worked in software development for 15+ years as a support analyst, developer, and technical writer. Emma currently specializes in low-code software and web development, and has extensive experience in the fields of InsureTech and FinTech, with a keen understand—and enthusiasm for!—the intersection of personal and corporate finance and technology.
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