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Best Refinance Lenders for Paying Off Student Loans Fast

Teddy NykielAugust 7, 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.

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

Earnest Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on Earnest's website

Fixed APR

3.45-7.49%

Variable APR

2.14-6.79%

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 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.

SoFi Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on SoFi's website

Fixed APR

3.48-7.94%

Variable APR

2.14-7.71%

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

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 3.48% APR to 7.94% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.14% APR to 7.71% 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 2.14% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.14% minus 0.15% 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. *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.

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on CommonBond's website

Fixed APR

3.46-8.24%

Variable APR

2.14-8.01%

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 2.19% effective August 10, 2019.

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Fixed APR

3.48-7.02%

Variable APR

2.43-7.60%

Min. Credit Score

670

Pros

  • Married couples can refinance student loans into a single loan.
  • You are assigned a dedicated banker.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Cons

  • No formal deferment/forbearance options.
  • Must become a member of Pentagon Federal Credit Union to qualify.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 778.
  • 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

Disclaimer: 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 rates are 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 April 01, 2019, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.48%. Variable interest rates range from 3.11% - 7.85% (3.11% - 7.85% 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. The maximum variable rate on the student refinance loan is 9.00% for 5-year and 8-year terms, and 10.00% for 12-year and 15-year terms. The floor rate is 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. Variable APRs and amounts subject to increase or decrease. Variable rates are indexed to the one-month LIBOR rate and assume a one-month LIBOR rate of 2.48%. Your actual interest rate may be different than the student loan interest rates in these examples and will be based on term of loan, your financial history, and other factors, including your cosigner's (if any) financial history. State restrictions may apply.

RISLA Student Loan Refinance
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Fixed APR

3.49-8.14%

Min. Credit Score

680

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.
Read full review

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
First Republic Student Loan Refinance
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Fixed APR

1.95-4.45%

Min. Credit Score

Did not disclose.

Pros

  • You are assigned a dedicated relationship manager.
  • Interest rebate if you pay off your refinanced loan within four years.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

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.
  • Only available to borrowers who live near a First Republic Bank branch.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 770.
  • Loan amounts: $25,000 to $300,000, depending on the highest degree earned.
  • 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.

Summary of Best Refinance Lenders for Paying Off Student Loans Fast

LenderFixed APRVariable APRMin. Credit ScoreLearn More
Earnest Student Loan Refinance

Earnest Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on Earnest's website

3.45-7.49%

2.14-6.79%

650

Check Rate

on Earnest's website

SoFi Student Loan Refinance

SoFi Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on SoFi's website

3.48-7.94%

2.14-7.71%

Does not disclose

Check Rate

on SoFi's website

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on CommonBond's website

3.46-8.24%

2.14-8.01%

660

Check Rate

on CommonBond's website

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

3.48-7.02%

2.43-7.60%

670

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

RISLA Student Loan Refinance

RISLA Student Loan Refinance

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

3.49-8.14%

N/A

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

1.95-4.45%

N/A

Did not disclose.

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

LenderFixed APRVariable APRMin. Credit ScoreLearn More
Earnest Student Loan Refinance

Earnest Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on Earnest's website

3.45-7.49%

2.14-6.79%

650

Check Rate

on Earnest's website

SoFi Student Loan Refinance

SoFi Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on SoFi's website

3.48-7.94%

2.14-7.71%

Does not disclose

Check Rate

on SoFi's website

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on CommonBond's website

3.46-8.24%

2.14-8.01%

660

Check Rate

on CommonBond's website

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

3.48-7.02%

2.43-7.60%

670

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

RISLA Student Loan Refinance

RISLA Student Loan Refinance

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

3.49-8.14%

N/A

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

1.95-4.45%

N/A

Did not disclose.

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

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.

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 August 7, 2019