Juno Reviews: Private Student Loans and Student Loan Refinancing

Juno partners with private lenders to offer discounted student loans and student loan refinancing.

Ryan LaneSeptember 25, 2020
LeverEdge Reviews: Private Student Loans and Student Loan Refinancing

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

The bottom line: Juno negotiates special pricing with lenders. It’s best for students who can qualify with a participating lender and will save money by using this service.

Juno logo

Product

Special pricing on private student loans and student loan refinancing.

Cost

Free.

Discount

Earnest undergraduate student loans: Set discount not disclosed.

Earnest graduate student loans: Rates lowered from 0.8 to 4 percentage points.

Student loan refinancing: Up to $1,000 cash back by using Earnest; up to $800 cash back with First Republic; up to $600 cash back with Splash Financial; 0.25 percentage point discount for health professionals with Laurel Road.

Loan terms

Vary by lender.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Potential interest rate reductions available.

  • Minimum income requirement removed for Earnest graduate loans.

  • Cash-back bonus available for some refinance products.

Cons

  • You can’t see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get via Juno.

  • Few lenders to choose from.

  • Participating lenders may not offer features you want.

Full Review

Juno began in 2018, under the name LeverEdge, as a way to negotiate lower rates on private graduate student loans. Interested students signed up with Juno, and the company shopped exclusive access to its financing group in exchange for a break in pricing.

Juno now works with multiple lenders across multiple products. It currently offers special pricing from:

  • Earnest: for undergraduate loans, graduate loans and student loan refinancing.

  • First Republic: for student loan refinancing.

  • Laurel Road: for student loan refinancing.

  • Splash Financial: for student loan refinancing.

To unlock those discounts, you need to sign up for a free Juno membership.

Juno is similar to other sites that match borrowers with student loan providers, including Credible and NerdWallet. But unlike those options, you can’t prequalify with Juno. You need to provide information on Juno's website as well as a lender’s website before finding out if you’re eligible for a loan.

The trade-off is a potentially better price, but you may get a lower rate from a lender not on Juno's platform. Compare multiple offers before using Juno. If their partner does have the best deal, research the lender that will fund the loan to ensure it has all the features you want — for instance, Earnest doesn’t offer co-signer release.

Juno private student loans review

Juno members have access to undergraduate and graduate student loans from the private lender Earnest. Juno doesn’t publicly disclose the discount its undergraduate members receive, but says it is a set amount.

Grad student interest rate discounts can be anywhere from 0.8 to 4 percentage points. Juno says Earnest caps its members’ rates at 6.21% to match the overall costs (interest and fees) of a federal graduate PLUS loan. But don’t borrow a private loan if it won’t be less expensive than what the government offers.

If you don’t qualify for federal loans or a private loan will save you money, using Juno can make sense — even if your rate slides down by less than 1 percentage point. For example, on a $20,000 student loan, reducing your interest rate from 5% to 4.2% would only decrease your monthly payments by roughly $8, but you’d cut your interest costs by more than $900 over 10 years.

Eligibility criteria is largely the same for borrowers who use Juno and those who don’t. One notable difference is that Juno members don’t need to meet Earnest’s minimum income requirements for graduate student loans. That may help you qualify if you don’t have an eligible co-signer. Undergraduate students must meet Earnest’s standard underwriting criteria.

Compare private student loans

Earnest Private Student Loan
Sallie Mae Private Student Loan
College Ave Private Student Loan
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Check RateCheck RateCheck Rate
Fixed APR

3.49 - 12.78%

Fixed APR

4.25 - 12.35%

Fixed APR

3.49 - 12.99%

Variable APR

1.24 - 11.44%

Variable APR

1.25 - 11.15%

Variable APR

1.24 - 11.98%

Min. Credit Score

650

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Min. Credit Score

Mid-600s

Juno student loan refinancing review

Juno has partnerships with multiple student loan refinancing companies. Discounts vary by partner, with Earnest, First Republic and Splash Financial offering cash-back bonuses. As with other student loan refinance bonuses, don’t opt for a more expensive loan overall in exchange for upfront savings. Compare lenders to get the best offer possible.

Juno members who are health professionals can get a 0.25 percentage point discount from Laurel Road. That rate reduction is on top of Laurel Road’s special pricing for physicians, dentists, nurses and physician assistants, making Juno a good add-on for health professionals who already planned to refinance with Laurel Road.

learn more about Juno partners

Earnest Student Loan Refinance
Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Check RateCheck Rate
Fixed APR

2.98 - 5.79%

Fixed APR

2.99 - 6.20%

Variable APR

1.99 - 5.64%

Variable APR

1.99 - 6.10%

Min. Credit Score

650

Min. Credit Score

700

Before applying for a Juno student loan

Before taking out any private student loan, exhaust your federal student loan options first. Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, to apply.

Compare private student loan and student loan refinance options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, look at lenders’ repayment alternatives and the flexibility they offer to borrowers who struggle to make payments.

If you aren’t eligible for a Juno student loan

If Juno's partner lender denies your student loan application, it will let you know why. Depending on the reason, you may want to consider other lenders or, if you haven’t already, try applying with a co-signer.

If you’re interested in an undergraduate or graduate loan and don’t have access to a co-signer — or still aren’t eligible with one — consider lenders that don’t require co-signers or specialize in bad or no credit student loans.

If you’re looking to refinance, NerdWallet recommends prequalifying with multiple lenders before you apply. This will let you know which lenders you may be eligible with, without affecting your credit.

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