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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.

Ryan LaneOctober 19, 2020
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Brick-and-mortar banks may offer benefits like in-person customer service and relationship discounts. If you value such features, these banks refinance student loans:

  • Citizens Bank.

  • PNC Bank.

  • Wells Fargo Bank.

  • Laurel Road (via Key Bank).

  • LendKey (via community banks).

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 SoFi and CommonBond, or credit unions, like PenFed.

Summary of Banks That Refinance Student Loans

Our picks for

Refinancing with a national bank

Citizens One Student Loan Refinance
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Citizens One Student Loan Refinance

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Citizens One Student Loan Refinance

Fixed APR

2.99 - 8.49%

Variable APR

1.99 - 8.24%

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

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Variable APR

1.99 - 8.24%

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 1.99%-8.24% (1.99%-8.24% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 2.99%-8.49% (2.99%-8.49% APR).
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Wells Fargo Student Loan Refinance
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Wells Fargo Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Wells Fargo Student Loan Refinance

Fixed APR

3.74 - 9.74%

Variable APR

3.00 - 8.74%

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

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Variable APR

3.00 - 8.74%

Key facts

Wells Fargo offers interest rate discounts for borrowers with a qualifying Wells Fargo consumer checking account, a prior federal or private student loan made by Wells Fargo, or Portfolio by Wells Fargo.

Pros

  • You are assigned a dedicated student loan advisor.

  • More flexible repayment options for struggling borrowers than other lenders.

Cons

  • Shorter length of hardship forbearance than most other lenders.

  • Only borrowers with existing Wells Fargo student loans are eligible.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 748.

  • Loan amounts: $1,000 up to the total cost of attendance.

  • Must have a degree: No.

Available Term Lengths

5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years
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PNC Student Loan Refinance
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PNC Student Loan Refinance

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
PNC Student Loan Refinance

Fixed APR

3.44 - 6.24%

Variable APR

2.79 - 5.59%

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

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Variable APR

2.79 - 5.59%

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.
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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

Fixed APR

2.99 - 6.20%

Variable APR

1.99 - 6.10%

Min. Credit Score

700

Check Rate

on Laurel Road's website


Variable APR

1.99 - 6.10%

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

FIXED APR Fixed rate options consist of a range from 3.00% per year to 5.00% per year for a 5-year term, 3.60% per year to 5.30% per year for a 7-year term, 4.10% per year to 5.60% per year for a 10-year term, 4.50% per year to 5.65% per year for a 15-year term, or 4.60% per year to 6.20% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. The fixed interest rate will apply until the loan is paid in full (whether before or after default, and whether before or after the scheduled maturity date of the loan). The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 3.75% per year to 5.80% per year for a 5-year term would be from $183.04 to $192.40. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.14% per year to 6.25% per year for a 7-year term would be from $142.00 to $147.29. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.24% per year to 6.65% per year for a 10-year term would be from $107.24 to $114.31. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.30% per year to 7.05% per year for a 15-year term would be from $80.65 to $90.16. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.61% per year to 7.27% per year for a 20-year term would be from $69.41 to $79.16. However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account. VARIABLE APR Variable rate options consist of a range from 1.99% per year to 6.05% per year for a 5-year term, 3.75% per year to 6.10% per year for a 7-year term, 4.00% per year to 6.15% per year for a 10-year term, 4.25% per year to 6.40% per year for a 15-year term, or 4.50% per year to 6.65% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rate will change on the first day of every month (“Change Date”) if the Current Index changes. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes. The variable interest rates are calculated by adding a margin ranging from 0.98% to 3.80% for the 5-year term loan, 2.35% to 3.85% for the 7-year term loan, 2.40% to 3.90% for the 10-year term loan, 2.65% to 4.15% for the 15-year term loan, and 2.90% to 4.40% for the 20-year term loan, respectively, to the 1-month LIBOR index published on the 25th day of each month immediately preceding each “Change Date,” as defined above, rounded to two decimal places, with no origination fees. If the 25th day of the month is not a business day or is a US federal holiday, the reference date will be the most recent date preceding the 25th day of the month that is a business day. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 3.49% per year to 6.31% per year for a 5-year term would be from $181.87 to $194.77. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.86% per year to 6.36% per year for a 7-year term would be from $140.68 to $147.82. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.91% per year to 6.41% per year for a 10-year term would be from $105.63 to $113.09. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.16% per year to 6.66% per year for a 15-year term would be from $79.92 to $87.99. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.41% per year to 6.91% per year for a 20-year term would be from $68.28 to $76.99. However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
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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
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LendKey Student Loan Refinance

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
LendKey Student Loan Refinance

Fixed APR

2.95 - 8.77%

Variable APR

1.97 - 8.54%

Min. Credit Score

680

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Variable APR

1.97 - 8.54%

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
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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:

Last updated on October 19, 2020

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Banks That Refinance Student Loans

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