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6 Best Refinance Lenders for Paying Off Student Loans Fast

Ryan LaneSeptember 21, 2020

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Look for lenders that allow biweekly and greater-than-minimum payments via autopay, and offer repayment schedules that fit your debt payoff goal.

Some refinance lenders make it easier than others to pay off student loans fast. These top-rated refinancing lenders scored highest for features that help you pay off student loans more quickly.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for more tips about how to get rid of your college debt quickly.

Summary of Best Refinance Lenders for Paying Off Student Loans Fast

SoFi Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on SoFi's website

SoFi Student Loan Refinance

SoFi Student Loan Refinance

Fixed APR

2.99 - 6.28%

Variable APR

2.25 - 6.28%

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Check Rate

on SoFi's website


Variable APR

2.25 - 6.28%

Key facts

SoFi lets borrowers make biweekly payments and greater-than-minimum payments via autopay.

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 2.99% APR to 6.28% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.25% APR to 6.28% 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 2.25% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 0.18% plus 2.32% 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. See eligibility details. 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. The discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the interest savings are applied to the principal loan balance, which may help pay the loan down faster. Enrolling in autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. *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.
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Earnest Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on Earnest's website

Earnest Student Loan Refinance

Earnest Student Loan Refinance

Fixed APR

2.98 - 5.79%

Variable APR

1.99 - 5.64%

Min. Credit Score

650

Check Rate

on Earnest's website


Variable APR

1.99 - 5.64%

Key facts

Earnest lets borrowers increase their minimum monthly payment at any time, schedule multiple extra payments at once and make greater-than-minimum payments via autopay.

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.

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

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
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PenFed Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on Purefy's website

PenFed Student Loan Refinance

PenFed Student Loan Refinance

Fixed APR

3.23 - 5.53%

Variable APR

2.58 - 4.98%

Min. Credit Score

670

Check Rate

on Purefy's website


Variable APR

2.58 - 4.98%

Key facts

PenFed has one of the highest overall scores among refinancing lenders that offer all of the features NerdWallet experts agree help borrowers repay loans faster, including availability of shorter loan terms and the ability to make biweekly payments or greater-than-minimum payments via autopay.

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 August 1, 2020. 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 3.23% APR to 5.53% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.17% APR to 5.53% APR. Both Fixed and Variable 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. For Variable Rate student loans, the rate will never exceed 9.00% for 5 year and 8 year loans and 10.00% for 12 and 15 years loans (the maximum allowable for this loan). Minimum variable rate will be 2.00%. 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.
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College Ave Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on College Ave's website

College Ave Student Loan Refinance

College Ave Student Loan Refinance

Fixed APR

3.74 - 8.49%

Variable APR

3.64 - 8.49%

Min. Credit Score

Upper 600s

Check Rate

on College Ave's website


Variable APR

3.64 - 8.49%

Key facts

College Ave lets borrowers choose a repayment term between 5 and 20 years. That can help pay off loans faster by not extending your current repayment term.

Pros

  • You can choose any loan term between five and 20 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.

  • Loans aren’t available in Maine.

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 20 years

Disclaimer

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust 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. All rates shown include the autopay discount. (1)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. (2)This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower who selects the Full Principal & Interest Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. (3)$5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $250,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees.
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Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on Splash Financial's website

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance

Fixed APR

2.80 - 6.72%

Variable APR

1.89 - 6.77%

Min. Credit Score

660

Check Rate

on Splash Financial's website


Variable APR

1.89 - 6.77%

Key facts

Splash lets borrowers make greater-than-minimum payments via autopay and may allow biweekly payments, depending on which of its partner lenders funds your loan.

Pros

  • Married couples may be able to refinance student loans into a single loan.

  • You are assigned a dedicated account representative.

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

Cons

  • Loan features vary by lender.

  • Forbearance and death discharge may not be available.

  • You may need to become a member of a credit union to qualify.

Qualifications

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

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to no maximum.

  • Must have a degree: Yes, a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Available Term Lengths

5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 15 and 20 years; variable rate only, 25 years

Disclaimer

FIXED APR Fixed APR: Annual Percentage Rate [APR] is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rate options range from 2.88% (without autopay) to 7.27% (without autopay) and will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. Rates are subject to change without notice. Fixed rate options without an autopay discount consist of a range from 2.88% per year to 5.80% per year for a 5-year term, 3.30% per year to 6.25% per year for a 7-year term, 3.45% to 5.08% for a 8-year term, 3.69% per year to 6.65% per year for a 10-year term, 4.18% per year to 5.11% per year for a 12-year term, 3.94% per year to 7.05% per year for a 15-year term, or 4.37% per year to 7.27% 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 Rate will not change during the term. Repayment examples are for illustrative purposes only. The following Fixed Rate examples are based on a $10,000 loan amount using the lowest APR for each application term listed above. All student loan rates used in calculating the examples are shown without the autopay discount (.25%). There are no application or origination fees, and no prepayment penalties. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan with an APR of 2.88% per year for a 5-year term would be $179.15. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan with an APR of 3.30% for a 7-year term would be $133.49. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan with an APR of 3.45% for a 8-year term would be $119.35. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 with an APR of 3.69% for a 10-year term would be $99.78. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 with an APR of 4.18% for a 12-year term would be $88.43. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan with an APR of 3.94% for a 15-year term would be $73.67. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan with an APR of 4.37% for a 20-year term would be from $62.57. Variable APR: Annual Percentage Rate [APR] is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Variable rate options range from 1.98% (with autopay) to 6.90% (without autopay) and will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. Our lowest rate option is shown with a 0.25% autopay discount. Our highest rate option does not include an autopay discount. The variable rates are based on the Variable rate index, is 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 July 28th, 2020, the one-month LIBOR rate is 0.16625%. The interest rate on a variable rate loan is comprised of an index and margin added together. The margin is a fixed amount (disclosed at the time of your loan application) added each month to the index to determine the next month’s variable rate. Variable rate options without an autopay discount consist of a range from 2.23% per year to 6.30% per year for a 5-year term, 3.83% per year to 6.35% per year for a 7-year term, 2.18% per year to 4.15% per year for a 8-year term, 3.97% per year to 6.40% per year for a 10-year term, 2.84% per year to 4.29% per year for a 12-year term, 2.97% per year to 6.65% per year for a 15-year term, 4.35% per year to 6.90% per year for a 20-year term, or 4.28% per year to 6.86% for a 25-year term, with no origination fees. APR is subject to increase after consummation. Variable interest rates 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. The maximum variable rate may be between 9.00% and 16.00%, depending on loan term. The floor rate may be between 0.54% and 4.21%, depending on loan term. 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. Variable APRs and amounts subject to increase or decrease. Variable rates are indexed to the one-month LIBOR rate. The following Variable Rate examples are based on a $10,000 loan amount. Repayment examples are for illustrative purposes only. All student loan rates below are shown without the autopay discount (.25%). There are no application or origination fees, and no prepayment penalties. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan with an APR of 2.23% per year for a 5-year term would be $176.29. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan with an APR of 3.83% for a 7-year term would be $135.91. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan with an APR of 2.18% for a 8-year term would be $113.61. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 with an APR of 3.97% for a 10-year term would be $101.10. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 with an APR of 2.84% for a 12-year term would be $82.03. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan with an APR of 2.97% for a 15-year term would be $68.91. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan with an APR of 4.35% for a 20-year term would be from $62.46. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan with an APR of 4.28% for a 25-year term would be from $54.34.
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RISLA Student Loan Refinance
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

RISLA Student Loan Refinance

RISLA Student Loan Refinance

Fixed APR

3.49 - 8.14%

Variable APR

N/A

Min. Credit Score

680

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Variable APR

N/A

Key facts

RISLA lets borrowers make greater-than-minimum payments via autopay. You can't schedule biweekly payments, but you can set up recurring weekly payments.

Pros

  • Income-based repayment plan available, with forgiveness after 25 years.

Cons

  • No co-signer release available.

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

  • 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 Lengths

5, 10 or 15 years

Disclaimer

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The fastest way to pay off student loans

Refinancing is one of the fastest ways to pay off student loans. With a lower interest rate, the same monthly payment goes further toward the loan principal.

Here's how to prioritize fast student loan payoff during every step of the refinancing process.

  • Find the right refinance lender. You can pay off your refinanced student loan early regardless of which lender you choose, because student loan refinance lenders don’t charge prepayment penalties.But not all lenders go the extra mile to make quick payoff convenient. Look for lenders that let you make biweekly (every two weeks) and greater-than-minimum payments via autopay, so you can set it and forget it. (Most lenders offer a quarter-point interest rate discount for using autopay.)

  • Choose the shortest repayment timeline you can afford. Also look for lenders that offer repayment schedules that fit with your debt payoff goal; some offer shorter terms that others. If you want to be debt-free in seven years, for instance, it’s helpful to have a seven-year loan term. That way, you’ll meet your goal just by making the minimum payments — any extra payments will be gravy.

  • Refinance with the lender that offers you the lowest rate. Above are top-rated lenders that offer all or most of these fast payoff features. Get rate estimates from each and go with the lender that offers you the lowest interest rate.

  • Make extra and biweekly payments. Once you’ve refinanced, you can accelerate repayment by paying extra when you can and making biweekly student loan payments instead of monthly ones.

Last updated on September 21, 2020

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Refinance Lenders for Paying Off Student Loans Fast