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5 Best Law School Student Loan Refinance Options of July 2024

Consider refinancing law school loans if you practice in the private sector.

Cecilia Clark
By
Last updated on July 1, 2024
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed
Karen Gaudette Brewer
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed

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Best Law School Student Loan Refinance Options

Lender
NerdWallet Rating
Min. credit score
Fixed APR
Variable APR
Learn more
Advantage Education Loan Student Loan Refinance

Advantage Education Loan Student Loan Refinance

Read review
Best for Fast payoff + Payment flexibility

670

5.95-9.99%

N/A

Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinance

Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinance

Check rate
on Education Loan Finance's website
on Education Loan Finance's website
COMPARE RATES
on Sparrow’s website
on Sparrow’s website
4.5
/5
Best for Customer service

680

5.48-8.69%

5.28-8.99%

Check rate
on Education Loan Finance's website
on Education Loan Finance's website
Navy Federal Student Loan Refinance

Navy Federal Student Loan Refinance

4.5
/5
Best for Payment flexibility

Does not disclose

N/A

N/A

LendKey Student Loan Refinance

LendKey Student Loan Refinance

Check rate
on LendKey's website
on LendKey's website
4.5
/5
Best for Payment flexibility

Not disclosed.

5.24-9.60%

5.53-8.70%

Check rate
on LendKey's website
on LendKey's website
RISLA Student Loan Refinance

RISLA Student Loan Refinance

5.0
/5
Best for Payment flexibility

680

6.34-8.29%

N/A

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.

Advantage Education Loan Student Loan Refinance
Read review
Advantage Education Loan Student Loan Refinance

Advantage Education Loan Student Loan Refinance

5.0
Min. credit score

670

Fixed APR

5.95-9.99%

Variable APR

N/A

Key factsBest for borrowers who didn’t graduate.
Pros
  • You can refinance without a degree.
  • Forbearance of 24 months is twice as long as most 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 Alaska, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Nevada, New Jersey, Maine, Maryland, Rhode Island, Washington, Washington D.C.
  • You cannot postpone repayment if you re-enroll in school.
Qualifications
  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers: Does not disclose.
  • Minimum income: Does not disclose.
  • Loan amounts: Minimum $7,500. Maximum depends on creditworthiness and debt-to-income ratio.
Available Term Lengths10, 15 or 20 years
Read Full Review

Our pick for

Customer service

Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinance

Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinance

4.5
Min. credit score

680

Fixed APR

5.48-8.69%

Variable APR

5.28-8.99%

Key factsBest for borrowers who value good customer service.
Pros
  • You are assigned a student loan advisor.
  • 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.
  • No co-signer release available.
Qualifications
  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 774.
  • Loan amounts: $10,000 up to your total outstanding loan balance.
  • Must have a degree: Yes, at least a bachelor’s degree.
Available Term Lengths5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years
DisclaimerSubject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply. https://www.elfi.com/terms/

Our pick for

Payment flexibility

Navy Federal Student Loan Refinance

Navy Federal Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

Does not disclose

Fixed APR

N/A

Variable APR

N/A

Key factsAn option for members of Navy Federal Credit Union, especially those who have an associate degree.
Pros
  • Forbearance of 18 months is longer than many lenders offer.
  • Greater-than-minimum payments allowed via autopay.
Cons
  • Available only to existing Navy Federal Credit Union customers
  • Students cannot refinance a parent PLUS loan in their name.
  • 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: Did not disclose.
  • $7,500 minimum to $125,000 for undergraduates, or $175,000 for graduate students.
  • Must have a degree: Yes, at least an associate degree.
Available Term Lengths5, 10 or 15 years
Advantage Education Loan Student Loan Refinance

Advantage Education Loan Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

670

Fixed APR

5.95-9.99%

Variable APR

N/A

Key factsBest for borrowers who didn’t graduate.
Pros
  • You can refinance without a degree.
  • Forbearance of 24 months is twice as long as most 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 Alaska, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Nevada, New Jersey, Maine, Maryland, Rhode Island, Washington, Washington D.C.
  • You cannot postpone repayment if you re-enroll in school.
Qualifications
  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers: Does not disclose.
  • Minimum income: Does not disclose.
  • Loan amounts: Minimum $7,500. Maximum depends on creditworthiness and debt-to-income ratio.
Available Term Lengths10, 15 or 20 years
LendKey Student Loan Refinance
Check rate
on LendKey's website
on LendKey's website
LendKey Student Loan Refinance

LendKey Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

Not disclosed.

Fixed APR

5.24-9.60%

Variable APR

5.53-8.70%

Key factsBest for borrowers who prefer to work with a community bank or credit union, rather than a big bank.
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.
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 Lengths5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years
DisclaimerSee LendKey's full terms and conditions at https://www.lendkey.com/disclaimers
RISLA Student Loan Refinance

RISLA Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

680

Fixed APR

6.34-8.29%

Variable APR

N/A

Key factsBest for borrowers who want payment flexibility should they run into financial trouble.
Pros
  • Income-based repayment plan available, with forgiveness after 25 years.
  • Co-signer release available after 24 months.
Cons
  • Students cannot refinance a parent PLUS loan in their name.
Qualifications
  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers: 748.
  • Loan amounts: $7,500 to $250,000, depending on the highest degree earned.
  • Must have a degree: No.
Available Term Lengths5, 10 or 15 years

Should you refinance law school loans?

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

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

  • You have a high salary. The median lawyer starting salary at private-sector firms was $155,000 in 2019, according to the National Association of Law Placement. Borrowers with solid earnings like that may not need federal options that reduce payments based on income. If you work at a Big Law firm or other private-sector employer — and have excellent credit and a history of on-time debt payments — you may qualify for a low refinance rate.

  • 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.

You generally can’t refinance bar exam loans with your student loans. If you have these, prioritize paying them off fast, since their interest rates can be high.

How much could refinancing student loans save lawyers?

According to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the average law school debt is $140,870. That would lead to a total repayment amount of $205,097, based on a 10-year repayment plan and an interest rate of 8%.

Refinancing law school loans at an interest rate of 5% would drop that total to $179,297 — a difference of $25,800. Use a student loan refinancing calculator to see how much you might save.

Law school student loan consolidation

Consolidation combines your existing federal loans into a single loan, but it doesn't decrease your interest rate like refinancing can. Consider consolidating law school student loans if you want to make one monthly payment or need to consolidate to qualify for a repayment program, like Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Some private lenders advertise their refinancing loans as "consolidation" loans. But only the government lets you consolidate law school loans into a new federal loan. You can complete this process at studentaid.gov.

STUDENT LOAN REFINANCE RATINGS METHODOLOGY

Our survey of more than 26 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 July 1, 2024

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Law School Student Loan Refinance Options of July 2024

  • Advantage Education Loan Student Loan Refinance: Best for Fast payoff + Payment flexibility
  • Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinance: Best for Customer service
  • Navy Federal Student Loan Refinance: Best for Payment flexibility
  • LendKey Student Loan Refinance: Best for Payment flexibility
  • RISLA Student Loan Refinance: Best for Payment flexibility

Frequently asked questions

  • Refinancing law school loans can make sense if you're a private sector lawyer. That's because you may have strong income and not qualify for federal benefits like Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

  • Savings will vary based on your debt. But if you owed $140,870 — the average total debt for law students — refinancing from 8.08% to 5% APR would save you $26,515 over a 10-year repayment term.

  • You typically can't refinance loans for bar exam expenses, at least with your student loans. But you may be able to lower a bar loan's interest rate through other methods, like debt consolidation.

  • The best lender is the one that offers you the lowest interest rate. If multiple lenders are comparable, look for benefits that enable your repayment goals — like paying off loans faster or payment flexibility.

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