BEST OF

6 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.

Cecilia ClarkAug 19, 2021

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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.

Summary of 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

2.49 - 7.75%

Variable APR

1.90 - 5.25%
Check rate

on LendKey's website


Variable APR

1.90 - 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

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Our pick 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

2.50 - 6.00%

Variable APR

1.89 - 5.90%
Check rate

on Laurel Road's website


Variable APR

1.89 - 5.90%

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 picks 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

2.49 - 6.94%

Variable APR

1.99 - 6.59%
Check rate

on SoFi's website


Variable APR

1.99 - 6.59%

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 from 2.49% APR to 6.94% APR (with autopay). Variable rates from 1.99% APR to 6.59% APR (with autopay). All variable rates are based on the 1-month LIBOR and may increase after consummation if LIBOR increases; see more at SoFi.com/legal/#1. If approved for a loan your rate will depend on a variety of factors such as your credit profile, your application and your selected loan terms. Your rate will be within the ranges of rates listed above. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers, or may become available, such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license #6054612; NMLS #1121636 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org). Additional terms and conditions apply; see SoFi.com/eligibility for details. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

Read Full Review
Discover Student Loan Refinance
Check rate

on Discover's website

Discover Student Loan Refinance

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Discover Student Loan Refinance

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Fixed APR

3.49 - 6.99%

Variable APR

1.74 - 5.74%
Check rate

on Discover's website


Variable APR

1.74 - 5.74%

Key facts

Best for borrowers who may need wiggle room on payments, or those who didn't graduate.

Pros

  • No late fees.

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

  • Can refinance without a degree.

Cons

  • Only 10- and 20-year repayment terms available.

  • No co-signer release available.

  • 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: Did not disclose.

  • Must have a degree: No.

  • Loan amounts: Consolidate up to the aggregate amount of your education loan debt. Maximum limit of $150,000 applies.

Available Term Lengths

10 or 20 years

Disclaimer

The fixed interest rate is set at the time of application and does not change during the life of the loan. The variable interest rate is calculated based on the 3-Month LIBOR index plus the applicable margin percentage. For variable interest rate loans, the 3-Month LIBOR is 0.125% as of October 1, 2021. Discover Student Loans may adjust the rate quarterly on each January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 (the “interest rate change date”), based on the 3-Month LIBOR Index, published in the Money Rates section of the Wall Street Journal 15 days prior to the interest rate change date, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of one percent (0.125% or 0.00125). This may cause the monthly payments to increase, the number of payments to increase or both. Our lowest APRs are only available to applicants with the best credit. The APR will be determined after an application is submitted. It will be based on credit history, the selected repayment option and other factors, including a cosigner’s credit history (if applicable). If a student does not have an established credit history, the student may find it difficult to qualify for a private student loan on their own or receive the lowest advertised rate. Learn more about Discover Student Loans interest rates.

Read Full Review

Our picks for

Refinancing with a brick-and-mortar, national bank

PNC Student Loan Refinance
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

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%
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


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
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

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%
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


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).

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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 August 19, 2021

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Banks That Refinance Student Loans

Frequently asked questions