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Refinance International Student Loans: Compare Options for 2019

Anna HelhoskiMay 28, 2019

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To refinance international student loans you must build U.S. credit, get a co-signer or qualify for a niche loan.

SoFi Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on SoFi's website

Check Rate

on SoFi's website

Fixed APR

3.49-8.07%

Variable APR

2.43-6.59%

Min. Credit Score

650

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.
Read full review

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 3.69% APR to 8.074% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.43% APR to 6.65% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.43% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.43% plus 0.04% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR 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. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on CommonBond's website

Check Rate

on CommonBond's website

Fixed APR

3.69-8.07%

Variable APR

2.49-7.11%

Min. Credit Score

660

Pros

  • Forbearance of 24 months is longer than many lenders offer.
  • 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.

Cons

  • Loans aren’t available in Mississippi, Nevada or Vermont.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose.
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $500,000.
  • Must have a degree: Yes.

Available Term Lengths

5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years

Disclaimer: Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.5% effective February 10, 2019.

Discover Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on Discover's website

Check Rate

on Discover's website

Fixed APR

5.74-8.49%

Variable APR

4.74-7.74%

Min. Credit Score

Does Not Disclose

Pros

  • No late fees.
  • More flexible repayment options for struggling borrowers than other lenders.

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.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose.
  • Must have a degree: No.
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $150,000.

Available Term Lengths

10 or 20 years

Disclaimer: Get a variable interest rate from 4.74% APR to 7.74% APR (3-Month LIBOR + 2.12% to 3-Month LIBOR + 5.12%) for either a 10-year or 20-year repayment term. Or lock in a fixed interest rate from 5.74% APR to 8.49% APR for a 10-year repayment term or from 5.99% APR to 8.49% APR for a 20-year repayment term. 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. The margin is based on your credit evaluation at the time of application and does not change. For variable interest rate loans, the 3-Month LIBOR is 2.63% as of April 1, 2019. 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. The lowest listed APRs include a 0.25% rate reduction for automatic payments. Visit discover.com/student-loans/consolidation for more information, including up-to-date interest rates and APRs.

Citizens One Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on Citizens Bank's website

Check Rate

on Citizens Bank's website

Fixed APR

3.59-9.99%

Variable APR

2.63-9.67%

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

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

  • No flexible repayment options for struggling borrowers.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 690 or higher.
  • Loan amounts: $10,000 to $500,000.
  • Must have a degree: No.

Available Term Lengths

5, 10, 15 or 20 years

Disclaimer: Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate ("LIBOR") published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of June 1, 2019, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.43%. Variable interest rates range from 2.63%- 9.67% (2.63%-9.67% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower's loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Fixed interest rates range from 3.59%-9.99% (3.59% - 9.99% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Lowest rates shown are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens One is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.

U-fi Student Loan Refinance
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Fixed APR

3.70-6.06%

Variable APR

2.55-6.23%

Min. Credit Score

680

Pros

  • No option to temporarily pause payments through forbearance.

Cons

  • Below-average customer support compared with other lenders.
  • You can't see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
  • Loans aren’t available in Vermont.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose.
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 - $225,000.
  • Must have a degree: No.

Available Term Lengths

5, 10, 15 or 20 years

First Republic Student Loan Refinance
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Fixed APR

1.95-4.70%

Min. Credit Score

750

Pros

  • Low rates for meeting the checking account requirements.
  • You are assigned a dedicated banker.
  • Interest rebate if you pay off your refinanced loan within four years.

Cons

  • You must have a First Republic Bank ATM Rebate Checking account to receive the advertised rates.
  • No option to pause payments through deferment or forbearance, unlike other lenders.
  • You can't see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 774.
  • Loan amounts: $15,000 up to your total outstanding loan balance.
  • Must have a degree: Yes, at least a bachelor’s degree.

Available Term Lengths

5, 7, 10 or 15 years

Disclaimer: Annual Percentage Rate. Rates effective as of February 15, 2019, and are subject to change. Borrower must open a First Republic ATM Rebate Checking account ("Account"). Terms and conditions apply to the Account. If the Account is closed, the rate will increase by 5.00%. Rates shown include relationship-based pricing adjustments of: (1) 2.00% for maintaining automatic payments and direct deposit with the Account; (2) 0.50% for depositing and maintaining a deposit balance equal to the greater of 10% of the approved loan amount or $5,000 into the Account; and (3) an additional 0.25% for depositing and maintaining a deposit balance equal to the greater of 20% of the approved loan amount or $10,000 into the Account. Payment example for a loan amount of $100,000. 5-year/60 monthly payments of $1750.59 at 1.95% APR. 7-year/84 monthly payments of $1310.10 at 2.75% APR. 10-year/120 payments of $991.21 at 3.55% APR. 15-year/180 payments of $737.19 at 3.95% APR. Assumes an original loan amount of $147,000, 10-year term, and a rate of 7.21% APR, refinanced to 3.55% APR. Total savings over the 10-year term would be $31,882. Loan amount reflects all customers who refinanced their student loans with First Republic Bank between 1/1/2015 and 9/1/2017. 7.21% was the Direct Plus Student Loan Program rate effective 7/1/2014 to 6/30/2015. Actual savings may vary based on the interest rates, balances and remaining repayment term of the loans being refinanced.

Prodigy Student Loan Refinance
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Variable APR

4.74-7.74%

Pros

  • The only lender that offers non-co-signed student loan refinancing for international graduates.
  • No late fees.
  • No cosigner or U.S. credit history needed.

Cons

  • No fixed interest rates.
  • No formal deferment/forbearance options.
  • Available only to borrowers in Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: No credit history requirements.
  • Loan amounts: $35,000 to $250,000.
  • Must have a degree: Yes.

Available Term Lengths

7, 10, 15 or 20 years

Summary of Refinance International Student Loans: Compare Options for 2019

LenderFixed APRVariable APRMin. Credit ScoreLearn More
SoFi Student Loan Refinance

SoFi Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on SoFi's website

3.49-8.07%

2.43-6.59%

650

Check Rate

on SoFi's website

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on CommonBond's website

3.69-8.07%

2.49-7.11%

660

Check Rate

on CommonBond's website

Discover Student Loan Refinance

Discover Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on Discover's website

5.74-8.49%

4.74-7.74%

Does Not Disclose

Check Rate

on Discover's website

Citizens One Student Loan Refinance

Citizens One Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on Citizens Bank's website

3.59-9.99%

2.63-9.67%

Does not disclose

Check Rate

on Citizens Bank's website

U-fi Student Loan Refinance

U-fi Student Loan Refinance

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

3.70-6.06%

2.55-6.23%

680

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

First Republic Student Loan Refinance

First Republic Student Loan Refinance

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

1.95-4.70%

N/A

750

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Prodigy Student Loan Refinance

Prodigy Student Loan Refinance

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

N/A

4.74-7.74%

N/ASee my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

LenderFixed APRVariable APRMin. Credit ScoreLearn More
SoFi Student Loan Refinance

SoFi Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on SoFi's website

3.49-8.07%

2.43-6.59%

650

Check Rate

on SoFi's website

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on CommonBond's website

3.69-8.07%

2.49-7.11%

660

Check Rate

on CommonBond's website

Discover Student Loan Refinance

Discover Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on Discover's website

5.74-8.49%

4.74-7.74%

Does Not Disclose

Check Rate

on Discover's website

Citizens One Student Loan Refinance

Citizens One Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on Citizens Bank's website

3.59-9.99%

2.63-9.67%

Does not disclose

Check Rate

on Citizens Bank's website

U-fi Student Loan Refinance

U-fi Student Loan Refinance

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

3.70-6.06%

2.55-6.23%

680

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

First Republic Student Loan Refinance

First Republic Student Loan Refinance

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

1.95-4.70%

N/A

750

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Prodigy Student Loan Refinance

Prodigy Student Loan Refinance

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

N/A

4.74-7.74%

N/ASee my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

3 ways to refinance international student loans

Building a U.S. credit history

U.S. credit bureaus don't take into consideration credit history from other countries, so you’ll have to start from scratch. But as you live and work in the U.S. you can grow your credit profile.

Start building U.S. credit history. If you attended college in the U.S. and have student loans in repayment with a U.S. lender, you may already have some credit built. You can find out an existing credit history for free from one of the three major credit reporting bureaus — TransUnion, Experian or Equifax.

If you don't have a history or you want to continue building credit, apply for a credit card. Typically, credit lenders will want you to have a permanent address, a taxpayer ID number, income and a bank account. You might have to start with a secured credit card, which requires a cash security deposit.

» MORE: How international students and immigrant workers can get a credit card

Once you have a line of credit established, make payments each month, on-time and in full. Over time, you can build enough credit history to get your loans approved for refinancing by private lenders. Refinancing lenders look for borrowers with credit in at least the high 600s, a history of on-time loan payments and an income that is high enough to pay off the debt.

Refinancing if you have a visa

Some lenders may allow you to refinance, even if you have a working visa, as long as you have a co-signer who can meet credit history, income and payment history qualifications. Your co-signer will have to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, as well.

Applying for a niche refinancing loan

If you don't have U.S. credit history or a qualifying co-signer, your only option to refinance is with Prodigy Finance. It is the only private lender that offers student loan refinancing to international working graduates in the U.S. Prodigy’s loan doesn't require a U.S. credit history or a Social Security number, but to qualify you’ll need a high income — the average approved income among borrowers is $139,140 — and a graduate degree.

Last updated on May 28, 2019