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Refinance Law School Loans: Best Lenders for 2019

Ryan LaneJune 18, 2019

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Student loan refinancing makes sense for private-sector lawyers with high incomes, excellent credit and a history of on-time debt payments.

Our pick for

Fast payoff

Earning a six-figure salary? Consider lenders that help you pay loans as quickly as possible to minimize interest costs.

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.

Our pick for

Customer service

Working 80-hour weeks mean you probably don’t have the time to deal with student loans. Look for lenders whose service makes it easy to refinance and manage your debt.

Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinance
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Fixed APR

3.29-6.69%

Variable APR

2.80-6.01%

Min. Credit Score

680

Pros

  • Above-average customer support compared with other lenders.
  • You are assigned a dedicated banker.
  • You can refinance parent PLUS loans in your name.

Cons

  • Payment postponement isn’t available for borrowers who return to school.
  • The minimum amount to refinance is more than many lenders require.
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, 15 or 20 years

Disclaimer: Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply. http://www.elfi.com/terms/

Our pick for

Refinancing before graduation

If you turned a summer associate position into a post-grad job offer, refinancing before completing law school could save you even more on interest.

Earnest Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on Earnest's website

Check Rate

on Earnest's website

Fixed APR

3.36-7.82%

Variable APR

2.41-6.99%

Min. Credit Score

650

Pros

  • Customizable payments and loan terms.
  • Option to skip one payment every 12 months.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Cons

  • You can’t apply with a co-signer.
  • Loans aren't available in Delaware, Kentucky, and Nevada.
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: No, but must be within six months of graduation.

Available Term Lengths

  • 5 to 20 years

Disclaimer: Specific Annual Percentage Rate (APRs) offered within these ranges will depend on a variety of factors including your creditworthiness and other application details. Annual percentage rates (APRs) reflect 0.25% discount for optional enrollment in autopay. Your approval for an Earnest Loan is subject to the full underwriting of your loan application. Read more about qualifying for a loan with Earnest here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility.

Our pick for

Payment flexibility

You may start your career in Big Law, but only stay a couple years. If you’re unsure of your long-term plans, you may want a lender that has more flexibility with payments.

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on CommonBond's website

Check Rate

on CommonBond's website

Fixed APR

3.48-8.22%

Variable APR

2.41-7.95%

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 and Nevada.
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 2.41% effective June 10, 2019.

Want to compare more options? Here are our other top picks:

Summary of Refinance Law School Loans: Best Lenders 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

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

3.87-7.03%

3.02-7.76%

670

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinance

Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinance

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

3.29-6.69%

2.80-6.01%

680

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

PenFed Student Loan Refinance

PenFed Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on Purefy's website

3.87-7.03%

3.02-7.76%

670

Check Rate

on Purefy's website

Earnest Student Loan Refinance

Earnest Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on Earnest's website

3.36-7.82%

2.41-6.99%

650

Check Rate

on Earnest's website

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on CommonBond's website

3.48-8.22%

2.41-7.95%

660

Check Rate

on CommonBond's 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

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

3.87-7.03%

3.02-7.76%

670

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinance

Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinance

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

3.29-6.69%

2.80-6.01%

680

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

PenFed Student Loan Refinance

PenFed Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on Purefy's website

3.87-7.03%

3.02-7.76%

670

Check Rate

on Purefy's website

Earnest Student Loan Refinance

Earnest Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on Earnest's website

3.36-7.82%

2.41-6.99%

650

Check Rate

on Earnest's website

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on CommonBond's website

3.48-8.22%

2.41-7.95%

660

Check Rate

on CommonBond's website

How much could lawyers save from student loan refinancing?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, law school students graduate with an average total debt of $145,500. That would lead to a total repayment amount of $202,726, based on a 10-year repayment plan and an interest rate of 7%.

Refinancing at an interest rate of 5% would drop that total to $185,190 — a difference of $17,536. Use a student loan refinancing calculator to see how much you might save.

» MORE: How to pay for law school

Should you refinance law school loans?

It can make sense for you to refinance law school loans in the following instances:

  • You work in the private sector. Private-sector lawyers with high incomes, excellent credit and a history of on-time debt payments will likely receive low interest rates, making them ideal candidates for student loan refinancing.
  • You already have private student loans. Whether you took out private loans for law school or your undergraduate degree, it makes sense to refinance them if you’ll qualify for a lower interest rate — even if you work in the public sector. Private loans won't qualify for federal repayment programs.
  • You previously refinanced your loans. You can refinance student loans as often as you want. For example, you may want to refinance right after finishing law school and again after making partner, if you're on that track. You may get a lower rate as you earn more money or raise your credit score.

Avoid refinancing federal student loans if you work in public service or might want to. Public interest lawyers may be eligible for better repayment options than refinancing, including Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Loan Repayment Assistance Programs.

» MORE: Law school loan forgiveness and repayment programs

Also, you generally can’t refinance bar exam loans. If you have these, prioritize paying them off fast, since their interest rates are high.

Last updated on June 18, 2019

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Refinance Law School Loans: Best Lenders for 2019