Chances are, the idea of refinancing student loans may have crossed your mind once or twice. So if you’re looking into that, you’ll want to check out some of the best student loan refinance companies and services. Here are a few to consider.
(As always, we work hard to keep this information up-to-date, but since things can change in an instant be sure to check the individual websites to make sure you understand the exact terms and offers before applying. We strive to provide you with valuable information and resources. Opinions are from the author alone, not from any advertiser or partner. Many or all products featured here are from partners, and we earn from qualifying purchases/signups.)
Note that if you refinance federal student loans, you’ll give up benefits like public service forgiveness and economic hardship programs, so it may not be a good idea to do that.
With that said, here are some of the best student loan refinance companies and services!
What they do:
Credible is a rate comparison marketplace that connects you with competitive, personalized, prequalified student loan refinancing offers from up to 10 lenders in about 2 minutes. (They do this for several other types of loans as well, such as mortgages and personal loans.) You can refinance federal, private and ParentPLUS loans.
It’s an easy way to compare student loan refinancing rates from multiple lenders without affecting your credit score. You can see a list of their partner lenders on their site. They have a best rate guarantee as well.
Credible is free to use. (They get paid by their partner lenders, but that does not impact the terms of your loan or the amount you pay the lender.) When you use their service, Credible or its lender partners will do a soft inquiry on your credit. If you choose a loan product and decide to move forward with a particular lender, that lender will perform a hard credit inquiry.
Who can use Credible:
Anyone can check to see if they are eligible by filling out their form, which takes less than two minutes. (Each lender has their own eligibility requirements.) If you don’t have good credit, adding a creditworthy co-signer may help.
What they do:
Earnest offers student loan refinancing for both private and federal student loans. They have fixed and variable rate options. They’ll refinance anywhere from $5,000 ($10,000 if you’re in California) to $500,000 of eligible student loans. They also offer private student loans and Parent PLUS loans.
They use a “data-driven evaluation of your full financial profile…to offer qualified borrowers lower, more personalized rates than traditional lenders can.” They also state that “a limited credit history won’t prevent financially responsible applicants from accessing a low interest rate loan.”
They offer in-house loan servicing, customized loan terms, the ability to skip one payment a year, and biweekly autopayments.
Earnest doesn’t charge origination, prepayment, early payment, or extra payment fees. They will do a soft inquiry if you use their rate check tool to get a rate estimate, but soft inquiries do not affect your credit score. If you submit an application they may do a hard inquiry, which may affect your credit score.
Who can use Earnest:
US citizens or non-conditional permanent residents who are 18 years or older that live in DC or any US state except Delaware, Kentucky, or Nevada, that graduated or are about to graduate from a Title IV-accredited not-for-profit school, who have enough income, a credit score of 650 or higher, a good monthly cash flow, enough savings to cover two months of expenses, a responsible financial history, and not a lot of credit card or personal loan debt. (See their website for information on their loan and consigner requirements.)
What they do:
LendKey is a marketplace that matches you with community banks and non-profit credit unions. They help you find low-cost borrowing options online for refinancing federal and private student loans, including graduate loans. Over 300 banks and credit unions have partnered with LendKey.
They lenders they match you with have both fixed and variable options, and the minimum loan amount is $5,000 in most states. (It’s $6,000 for MA, $10,001 for AZ, and $15,001 for CT.) The maximum varies by the type of degree you have: $125,000 for undergraduate, $175,000 for graduate, and $300,000 for select medical degrees.
As the servicer of all loans on its platform, LendKey takes consumers not just to loan origination but to successful loan repayment with no sharing of personal information and no hand-offs to third parties.
There are no application fees, origination fees, or prepayment penalties when using LendKey, and checking rates won’t affect your credit score. If you decide to apply, a hard credit inquiry will be done.
Who can use LendKey:
US citizens or permanent residents that graduated with at least an associate degree from a Title-IV participating school, who meet other eligibility requirements such as credit history and income, and whose education loans are in their name as the student primary borrower.
What they do:
SoFi includes student loan refinancing offerings for unsubsidized Direct Loans, Graduate PLUS loans, private loans, medical resident refinancing, Parent PLUS refinancing, private student loans, and federal student loans. Over 300,000 people have used them to refinance their student loans. SoFi’s loans are serviced by MOHELA.
SoFi also offers many other types of loans, other financial products, and insurance products. Their minimum loan amount is $5,000, except in certain states where it may be higher.
If you sign up for automatic monthly payments, you may qualify for a 0.25% interest rate reduction. Student loans you refinance with SoFi are still considered student loans for state and federal tax purposes. Finally, SoFi offers member benefits too. These include deals, community events, career advice, swag, etc.
There are no application fees, origination fees, or prepayment penalties when refinancing your student loan with SoFi. You can use their Find my rate button to find out the rates and terms you qualify for. Doing so will not affect your credit score, because it’ll be a soft credit inquiry. They will only do a hard credit inquiry — which may affect it — if you continue applying for one of their products.
Who can use SoFi:
US citizens or permanent residents that graduated from selected Title IV accredited universities or graduate programs, a responsible financial history, and a job, sufficient income, or a job offer to start within the next 90 days. Non-permanent resident aliens (or DACA recipients) can apply with a creditworthy cosigner who is a US citizen or permanent resident. Student loan refinancing is offered in all 50 states plus DC. Medical resident student loan refinancing has slightly different requirements, higher minimum loan amounts, and is only offered in 48 states (Mississippi, Montana, and DC are not included.)
What they do:
Splash Financial offers student loan refinancing and medical and dental school student loan refinancing. This includes federal, private, and Parent PLUS student loans. Splash works with lending partner credit unions and banks to provide the lowest possible student loan refinance rates to the borrower, and consolidates all your loans into one. They allow spouses to refinance their loans together as well, and for one partner to take over their spouse’s loan. (Note: Think about the potential impact of doing those last two should something happen down the road.) Their minimum loan amount is $5,000. There is no maximum amount.
Splash allows you to easily get quotes from more than one lender. If your best quote happens to come from a credit union, you’ll need to become a member first — which you can do for free right from the Splash dashboard. (And if you join a credit union as part of the process, they often have benefits of their own you would be eligible for too.)
There are no application or origination fees, and no prepayment penalties. Checking rates with Splash takes about 3 minutes, and will not affect your credit score. The rates shown will include any autopay discounts, but you can also view them without the discount. They only do a hard inquiry if you apply. They have fixed and variable rate options, and a variety of terms.
Who can use Splash Financial:
US citizens or permanent residents who have graduated from a Title IV accredited institution with a four-year degree, or professionals with an associate degree, or in some cases people who are still pursuing an associate degree. (See their website for specific details.) Parents who took out loans for their child’s college education are also eligible, even if their child has not graduated.
We hope these resources have been helpful. Good luck in your student loan refinance journey!