BEST OF

5 Best Law School Student Loan Refinance Options of May 2022

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

Jan 26, 2022

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Lawyers who work in the private sector are typically excellent candidates for student loan refinancing. That's because they generally have high incomes and don't qualify for federal loan benefits, like loan forgiveness programs.

The best lender to refinance law school loans will be the one that offers you the lowest interest rate. But you may want to consider additional criteria based on your career or loan repayment goals.

Here are our picks, as well as tips for determining if refinancing law school loans is right for you.

Best Law School Student Loan Refinance Options

Our picks for

Fast payoff

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

Earnest Student Loan Refinance
Check rate

on Earnest's website

Earnest Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Earnest Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

650

Fixed APR

2.74-7.99%

Variable APR

1.74-7.99%
Check rate

on Earnest's website


Variable APR

1.74-7.99%

Key facts

Best for borrowers who want to customize their repayment schedule to pay off debt fast.

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 Kentucky and Nevada.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 760.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $500,000.

  • Must have a degree: No, but must be within six months of graduation and have income or a job.

Available Term Lengths

5 to 20 years

Disclaimer

Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 2.99% APR to 8.24% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 1.99% APR to 8.24% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. The rate will not increase more than once per month. The maximum rate for your loan is 8.95% if your loan term is 10 years or less. For loan terms of more than 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95%. Please note, we are not able to offer variable rate loans in AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN, and TX.

Read Full Review
College Ave Student Loan Refinance
Check rate

on College Ave's website

College Ave Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
College Ave Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

Upper 600s

Fixed APR

3.49-6.74%

Variable APR

3.44-6.64%
Check rate

on College Ave's website


Variable APR

3.44-6.64%

Key facts

Best for borrowers who want a nonstandard loan term — six or nine years, for instance.

Pros

  • You can choose any loan term between 5 and 15 years.

  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Cons

  • No co-signer release available.

  • Students cannot refinance a parent PLUS loan in their name.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Mid-700s.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $300,000, depending on the highest degree earned.

  • Must have a degree: Yes, an associate degree or higher.

Available Term Lengths

5 to 15 years

Disclaimer

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through Firstrust Bank, member FDIC, First Citizens Community Bank, member FDIC, or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC.. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply. As certified by your school and less any other financial aid you might receive. Minimum $1,000. Rates shown are for the College Ave Undergraduate Loan product and include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation. This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Flat Repayment Option with an 8-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 7.78% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 54 monthly payments of $25 while in school, followed by 96 monthly payments of $176.21 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $18,266.38. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. Information advertised valid as of 5/19/2022. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Approved interest rate will depend on the creditworthiness of the applicant(s), lowest advertised rates only available to the most creditworthy applicants and require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.

Read Full Review
PenFed Student Loan Refinance
Check rate

on Purefy's website

PenFed Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
PenFed Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

670

Fixed APR

4.49-6.68%

Variable APR

N/A
Check rate

on Purefy's website


Variable APR

N/A

Key facts

Best for married couples who want to refinance their student loans into a single one.

Pros

  • Married couples can refinance student loans into a single loan.

  • 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

  • Estate is still responsible for the loan if the borrower dies.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 773.

  • Loan amounts: $7,500 to $300,000.

  • Must have a degree: Yes, at least a bachelor’s degree.

Available Term Lengths

5, 8, 12 or 15 years

Disclaimer

Rates and offers current as of May 13, 2022. Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 4.49% APR - 6.68% APR. Fixed Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are 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.

Read Full Review

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.

PenFed Student Loan Refinance
Check rate

on Purefy's website

PenFed Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
PenFed Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

670

Fixed APR

4.49-6.68%

Variable APR

N/A
Check rate

on Purefy's website


Variable APR

N/A

Key facts

Best for married couples who want to refinance their student loans into a single one.

Pros

  • Married couples can refinance student loans into a single loan.

  • 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

  • Estate is still responsible for the loan if the borrower dies.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 773.

  • Loan amounts: $7,500 to $300,000.

  • Must have a degree: Yes, at least a bachelor’s degree.

Available Term Lengths

5, 8, 12 or 15 years

Disclaimer

Rates and offers current as of May 13, 2022. Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 4.49% APR - 6.68% APR. Fixed Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are 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.

Read Full Review

Our pick for

Payment flexibility

INvestED Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
INvestED Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

670

Fixed APR

3.47-6.57%

Variable APR

2.45-6.09%

Variable APR

2.45-6.09%

Key facts

Best for Indiana residents or borrowers who attended school there.

Pros

  • You can refinance without a degree.

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

  • Interest-only repayment may be available if you can’t afford payments.

Cons

  • You can’t see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

  • You must be from Indiana or have attended school in the state to qualify.

Available Term Lengths

5,10,15 or 20 years

Read Full Review

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

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 are 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 $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 law school loans 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.

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 29 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 January 26, 2022

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Law School Student Loan Refinance Options of May 2022

Frequently asked questions