BEST OF

5 Banks That Refinance Student Loans

If you already have an account with a bank that refinances student loans, you could get discounts or lower rates by refinancing with that lender.

Feb 4, 2022

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. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Banks may offer increased personalized customer service and relationship discounts for student loan refinance borrowers who also have another account with them. If you value such features, consider these banks:

  • SoFi.

  • Discover.

  • Citizens Bank.

  • LendKey (via community banks).

  • Laurel Road.

  • PNC.

But with student loan refinancing, your priority should be finding the lowest possible rate — even if that means straying from your current bank. Many of the best student loan refinance companies are online lenders, like CommonBond, or credit unions, like PenFed.

Banks That Refinance Student Loans

Our pick for

Refinancing with a community bank

LendKey partners with community banks, as well as credit unions, to refinance student loans.

LendKey Student Loan Refinance
Check rate

on LendKey's website

LendKey Student Loan Refinance

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
LendKey Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

660

Fixed APR

2.69-7.93%

Variable APR

2.05-5.25%
Check rate

on LendKey's website


Variable APR

2.05-5.25%

Key facts

Community banks and credit unions originate LendKey loans, but LendKey acts as the servicer.

Pros

  • Forbearance of 18 months for 15- and 20-year loan terms is longer than many lenders.

  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Cons

  • Loans aren't available in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island or West Virginia.

  • No payment postponement available if borrowers return to school or serve in the military.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 751.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $300,000, depending on the higest degree earned.

  • Must have a degree: Yes, at least an associate degree.

Available Term Lengths

5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years

Disclaimer

See LendKey's full terms and conditions at https://www.lendkey.com/disclaimers

Read Full Review

Our pick for

Refinancing with an online bank

SoFi Student Loan Refinance
Check rate

on SoFi's website

SoFi Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
SoFi Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

650

Fixed APR

3.49-7.99%

Variable APR

1.74-7.99%
Check rate

on SoFi's website


Variable APR

1.74-7.99%

Key facts

Best for borrowers who want plenty of benefits with their refinanced student loan.

Pros

  • You can refinance parent PLUS loans in your name.

  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

  • Additional perks like career planning, job search assistance and entrepreneurship support available.

Cons

  • No co-signer release available.

  • Loan size minimum is higher than most lenders.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 700+.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000, up to your total outstanding loan balance.

  • Must have a degree: Yes, an associate degree or higher.

Available Term Lengths

5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years

Disclaimer

Fixed rates range from 3.49% APR to 7.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 1.74% APR to 7.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates on 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms are capped at 8.95% APR; 15- and 20-year terms are capped at 9.95% APR. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. This benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit lowers your interest rate but does not change the amount of your monthly payment. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.

Read Full Review

Our picks for

Refinancing with a brick-and-mortar, national bank

Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance
Check rate

on Laurel Road's website

Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

660

Fixed APR

2.99-6.30%

Variable APR

1.89-6.20%
Check rate

on Laurel Road's website


Variable APR

1.89-6.20%

Key facts

Laurel Road is a division of Key Bank. Existing Key Bank customers can receive a 0.25% interest rate discount by applying via the Key Bank website.

Pros

  • You can refinance parent PLUS loans in your name.

  • Refinancing available for medical and dental residents.

  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Cons

  • Payment postponement isn’t available if borrowers return to school.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 up to your total outstanding loan balance.

  • Must have a degree: At least an associate degree for select professions. Borrowers in their last year of undergrad can refinance. For parent PLUS loans, the child does not need to have graduated to refinance.

Available Term Lengths

5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years

Disclaimer

All credit products are subject to credit approval. APRs shown include a 0.25% interest rate discount for AutoPay. If the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic fund transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the interest rate will decrease by 0.25% and will increase back if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the borrower’s bank account. The 0.25% AutoPay/EFT Discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the discount is applied to the principal to help pay the loan down faster. Variable APRs are subject to increase after consummation. The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) and changes in the SOFR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%. There is no limit on the amount your interest rate can increase at one time. The Index is currently published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (“New York Fed”). View payment examples here. KeyBank National Association reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice.

Read Full Review

PNC Student Loan Refinance

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
PNC Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

Does not disclose

Fixed APR

3.44-5.99%

Variable APR

1.12-3.92%

Variable APR

1.12-3.92%

Key facts

PNC has branches in 19 states. Unlike the other brick-and-mortar banks that refinance student loans, it doesn’t offer a loyalty discount for existing customers. It does offer a 0.50% rate discount for any student loan refinance borrowers who set up automated payments from a checking or savings account — larger than the 0.25% autopay discount that other student loan refinance lenders offer.

Pros

  • Interest rate discount for autopay is larger than most lenders offer.

  • Borrowers can refinance without a degree.

Cons

  • No flexible repayment options for struggling borrowers.

  • You can't see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Does not disclose.

  • Loan amounts: $10,000 to $75,000.

  • Must have a degree: No.

Available Term Lengths

5, 10 or 15 years.

Read Full Review

Citizens Student Loan Refinance

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Citizens Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

Does not disclose

Fixed APR

2.39-9.15%

Variable APR

2.24-8.90%

Variable APR

2.24-8.90%

Key facts

Borrowers with a Citizens Bank account — like a checking account or auto loan — at the time of application get a 0.25 percentage point interest rate discount.

Pros

  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

  • You can refinance parent PLUS loans in your name.

  • Loyalty discount: Borrowers with a Citizens Bank account when they apply get an additional 0.25% interest rate discount.

Cons

  • Estate is still responsible for loans refinanced by parents if the borrower dies.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Does not disclose.

  • Loan amounts: $10,000 to $500,000.

  • Must have a degree: No.

Available Term Lengths

5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years

Disclaimer

Education Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 2.24%-8.90% (2.24%-8.90% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 2.39%-9.15% (2.39%-9.15% APR).

Read Full Review

Banks that refinance student loans

Some community banks also offer student loan refinancing — find them through LendKey, a marketplace that connects borrowers with community banks and credit unions.

Additionally, some online-only banks refinance student loans, including Discover.

In other cases, online student loan refinance lenders are backed by banks. For example, Education Loan Finance is the student loan refinancing division of Tennessee-based SouthEast Bank, and loans refinanced through College Ave Student Loans are funded by Firstrust Bank or Safra Bank.

Banks that don’t refinance student loans

Most big-name, national brick-and-mortar banks don’t refinance student loans, including:

STUDENT LOAN REFINANCE RATINGS METHODOLOGY

Our survey of more than 29 banks, credit unions and online lenders offering student loans and student loan refinancing includes the top 10 lenders by market share and the top 10 lenders by online search volume, as well as lenders that serve specialty or nontraditional markets.

We consider 41 features and data points for each financial institution. Depending on the category, these include the availability of biweekly payments through autopay, minimum credit score and income requirement disclosures, availability to borrowers in all states, extended grace periods and in-house customer service.

The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

Last updated on February 4, 2022

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Banks That Refinance Student Loans

Frequently asked questions