BEST OF

9 Best Medical School Student Loan Refinance Options of May 2022

Refinancing medical school loans is a no-brainer for physicians who won’t use federal loan benefits and have good enough credit to qualify for a lower interest rate.

Mar 1, 2022

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Doctors can refinance medical school loans during residency or wait until they become attending physicians. Refinancing early can make a big difference, provided you don't need federal student loan benefits like Public Service Loan Forgiveness or income-driven repayment.

Our picks for refinancing medical student loans during and after residency are below, as well as information that can help you decide which is right for you.

Best Medical School Student Loan Refinance Options

Our picks for

Refinancing during residency

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance
Check rate

on Splash Financial's website

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

650

Fixed APR

1.99-5.79%

Variable APR

N/A
Check rate

on Splash Financial's website


Variable APR

N/A

Key facts

Best for receiving offers from multiple lenders.

Pros

  • 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

  • Splash Financial currently does not offer variable rates or accept co-signers through NerdWallet.

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

  • Loan amounts: $10,000 to $500,000.

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

Available Term Lengths

5, 7, 10, 15 and 20 years

Disclaimer

Fixed rates range from 1.99% APR to 5.79% APR. Rates are current as of January 19, 2022 and reflect those offered by participating lending partners. Lending partners may vary and are displayed at the sole discretion of Splash. Not all lending partners are available for all application channels. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income, and other factors. Terms and conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice.

Read Full Review
Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance
Check rate

on Laurel Road's website

Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

660

Fixed APR

2.99-6.30%

Variable APR

1.89-6.20%
Check rate

on Laurel Road's website


Variable APR

1.89-6.20%

Key facts

Minimum payment during residency: $100/month.

Pros

  • You can refinance parent PLUS loans in your name.

  • Refinancing available for medical and dental residents.

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

Cons

  • Payment postponement isn’t available if borrowers return to school.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 up to your total outstanding loan balance.

  • Must have a degree: At least an associate degree for select professions. Borrowers in their last year of undergrad can refinance. For parent PLUS loans, the child does not need to have graduated to refinance.

Available Term Lengths

5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years

Disclaimer

All credit products are subject to credit approval. APRs shown include a 0.25% interest rate discount for AutoPay. If the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic fund transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the interest rate will decrease by 0.25% and will increase back if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the borrower’s bank account. The 0.25% AutoPay/EFT Discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the discount is applied to the principal to help pay the loan down faster. Variable APRs are subject to increase after consummation. The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) and changes in the SOFR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%. There is no limit on the amount your interest rate can increase at one time. The Index is currently published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (“New York Fed”). View payment examples here. KeyBank National Association reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice.

Read Full Review
SoFi Student Loan Refinance
Check rate

on SoFi's website

SoFi Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
SoFi Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

650

Fixed APR

3.49-7.99%

Variable APR

1.74-7.99%
Check rate

on SoFi's website


Variable APR

1.74-7.99%

Key facts

Minimum payment during residency: $100/month.

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 range from 3.49% APR to 7.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 1.74% APR to 7.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates on 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms are capped at 8.95% APR; 15- and 20-year terms are capped at 9.95% APR. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR 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. This benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit lowers your interest rate but does not change the amount of your monthly payment. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.

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ISL Refinance Loan

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
ISL Refinance Loan

Min. credit score

670

Fixed APR

2.55-7.63%

Variable APR

N/A

Variable APR

N/A

Key facts

Best for saving on interest before graduation and borrowers who didn’t finish school.

Pros

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

  • You can refinance without a degree.

  • You can refinance while in school or during a medical residency.

Cons

  • Interest rates vary by refi product.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Approximately 750.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $300,000. (Minimum for California residents is $10,000.)

  • Must have a degree: No.

Available Term Lengths

5, 7, 10, 15 or 20

Read Full Review

Our picks for

Refinancing after residency

You may want to wait to refinance medical school loans if you're unsure of your long-term career plans or can't get a lower rate during your residency.

SoFi Student Loan Refinance
Check rate

on SoFi's website

SoFi Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
SoFi Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

650

Fixed APR

3.49-7.99%

Variable APR

1.74-7.99%
Check rate

on SoFi's website


Variable APR

1.74-7.99%

Key facts

Minimum payment during residency: $100/month.

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 range from 3.49% APR to 7.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 1.74% APR to 7.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates on 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms are capped at 8.95% APR; 15- and 20-year terms are capped at 9.95% APR. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR 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. This benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit lowers your interest rate but does not change the amount of your monthly payment. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.

Read Full Review
Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance
Check rate

on Laurel Road's website

Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

660

Fixed APR

2.99-6.30%

Variable APR

1.89-6.20%
Check rate

on Laurel Road's website


Variable APR

1.89-6.20%

Key facts

Minimum payment during residency: $100/month.

Pros

  • You can refinance parent PLUS loans in your name.

  • Refinancing available for medical and dental residents.

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

Cons

  • Payment postponement isn’t available if borrowers return to school.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 up to your total outstanding loan balance.

  • Must have a degree: At least an associate degree for select professions. Borrowers in their last year of undergrad can refinance. For parent PLUS loans, the child does not need to have graduated to refinance.

Available Term Lengths

5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years

Disclaimer

All credit products are subject to credit approval. APRs shown include a 0.25% interest rate discount for AutoPay. If the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic fund transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the interest rate will decrease by 0.25% and will increase back if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the borrower’s bank account. The 0.25% AutoPay/EFT Discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the discount is applied to the principal to help pay the loan down faster. Variable APRs are subject to increase after consummation. The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) and changes in the SOFR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%. There is no limit on the amount your interest rate can increase at one time. The Index is currently published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (“New York Fed”). View payment examples here. KeyBank National Association reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice.

Read Full Review
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.

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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
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 4/19/2022. 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
Nelnet Bank Student Loan Refinance
Check rate

on Nelnet Bank's website

Nelnet Bank Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Nelnet Bank Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

640

Fixed APR

3.49-7.44%

Variable APR

2.69-9.20%
Check rate

on Nelnet Bank's website


Variable APR

2.69-9.20%

Key facts

Best for borrowers who may need wiggle room on payments.

Pros

  • International students can apply with a co-signer who is a qualified U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

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

Cons

  • Below-average customer support compared with other lenders.

  • Doesn't allow biweekly payments via autopay.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 - $225,000.

  • Must have a degree: No.

Available Term Lengths

Multiple term options

Disclaimer

Fixed interest rates range from 3.49% APR (with auto debit discount) to 7.44% APR (without auto debit discount). Your interest rate will depend on your (and if applicable, your cosigner's) credit qualifications. The fixed interest rate will remain the same for the life of the loan. Variable interest rates range from 2.69% APR (with auto debit discount) to 9.20% APR (without auto debit discount). Your interest rate will depend on your (and if applicable, your cosigner's) credit qualifications. Variable rates may increase after consummation. Variable rates for Nelnet Bank Refinance Loans are calculated as the One-Month SOFR plus the applicable Margin percentage. Variable rates will be based on the highest One-Month SOFR as published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and/or the Wall Street Journal "Money Rates" table on the twenty-fifth day (or the next business day) of the immediately preceding calendar month. The variable rate may change on the first day of each month if the SOFR index changes. This may result in higher monthly payments. The current One-Month SOFR index is 0.30% as of May 1, 2022. The lowest rate for each loan type requires automatically withdrawn ("auto debit") payment. The lowest rate is available only to the most creditworthy applicants. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rate. The interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) may be higher depending upon (1) the credit history of the borrower and, if applicable, the cosigner, (2) the repayment option and loan term selected, (3) the loan type selected, and (4) the highest level of education attained. If approved, applicants will be notified of the rate qualified for within the stated range.

Read Full Review

ISL Refinance Loan

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
ISL Refinance Loan

Min. credit score

670

Fixed APR

2.55-7.63%

Variable APR

N/A

Variable APR

N/A

Key facts

Best for saving on interest before graduation and borrowers who didn’t finish school.

Pros

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

  • You can refinance without a degree.

  • You can refinance while in school or during a medical residency.

Cons

  • Interest rates vary by refi product.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Approximately 750.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $300,000. (Minimum for California residents is $10,000.)

  • Must have a degree: No.

Available Term Lengths

5, 7, 10, 15 or 20

Read Full Review

Navient Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Navient Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

650

Fixed APR

2.50-5.79%

Variable APR

1.88-5.64%

Variable APR

1.88-5.64%

Key facts

Best for borrowers whose loans are already serviced by Navient.

Pros

  • More flexible repayment options for struggling borrowers than other lenders.

  • No late fees.

  • You can refinance without a degree.

Cons

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

  • No option to make greater-than-minimum payments via autopay.

Qualifications

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

  • Loan amounts: $5,001 minimum, maximum $150,000 for undergraduate and graduate programs, $250,000 for professional degree programs.

  • Must have a degree: No.

Available Term Lengths

5 to 20 years

Read Full Review
Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance
Check rate

on Splash Financial's website

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

650

Fixed APR

1.99-5.79%

Variable APR

N/A
Check rate

on Splash Financial's website


Variable APR

N/A

Key facts

Best for receiving offers from multiple lenders.

Pros

  • 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

  • Splash Financial currently does not offer variable rates or accept co-signers through NerdWallet.

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

  • Loan amounts: $10,000 to $500,000.

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

Available Term Lengths

5, 7, 10, 15 and 20 years

Disclaimer

Fixed rates range from 1.99% APR to 5.79% APR. Rates are current as of January 19, 2022 and reflect those offered by participating lending partners. Lending partners may vary and are displayed at the sole discretion of Splash. Not all lending partners are available for all application channels. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income, and other factors. Terms and conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice.

Read Full Review

Should you refinance medical school loans?

Refinancing is one of several strategies for paying off medical school debt. The best option for you will depend on factors like the type of loans you have — federal or private — and your career goals.

If you have federal loans, consider refinancing if you won’t need an income-driven repayment plan and don’t plan to pursue medical school loan forgiveness. While there are several forgiveness programs, only federal loans qualify for the widest available one: Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

If you borrowed private medical school loans, there’s little downside to refinancing if you can qualify for a lower interest rate. That may be during your residency, when you become an attending physician or both.

Refinancing medical school loans during residency

Student loans can be a financial burden while you’re making less money as a resident. You have two primary options to help manage those payments:

  1. Use a federal income-driven repayment plan. This could shrink your federal loan payments to as little as $0 during residency, depending on your income. Opting for income-driven repayment can make sense if you want to keep your options open post-graduation — to pursue nonprofit work or a lower-paying career, for example — or you can’t meet a refinance lender’s financial criteria.

  2. Refinance during your residency. A few lenders have specific refinancing programs for medical residents. These let you pay as little as $100 a month before full payments start once your residency ends. Consider this option if refinancing medical school loans fits your long-term career goals and you can qualify for a lower interest rate while you’re a resident — you may need a co-signer to do that.

No matter which strategy you choose, interest will likely accrue faster than you can pay it — so you may end up with a balance at the end of your residency that's bigger than what you started with. Making larger-than-minimum payments can help keep the interest at bay.

Refinancing medical school loans after residency

If you choose not to refinance during your residency, use that time to work on building your credit so you can get the best possible rate in the future. Refinance as soon as you can qualify to save the most money.

For example, refinancing $201,490 — the average medical school debt in 2019 — from a 7% APR to a 5% APR would save about $200 a month and more than $24,200 total. But that assumes you have 10 years left on your loan term. If you waited a couple years, your potential savings will shrink.

As your income continues to grow, you'll likely have more refinancing options and be eligible for lower interest rates. It can make sense to refinance medical school loans multiple times because lenders typically don’t charge fees to do so, meaning you start saving right away.

How to refinance medical school loans

  1. Confirm that refinancing is right for you. Before refinancing federal student loans, triple-check that you are comfortable giving up federal loan benefits including access to Public Service Loan Forgiveness and income-driven repayment plans. If you have a mix of federal and private student loans and want to maintain access to those programs, refinance just the private loans.

  2. Check if you qualify. You generally need a credit score that's at least in the high 600s to qualify for student loan refinancing. The higher your score, the lower the rate you'll likely get. Some lenders have pre-qualification processes that allow you to see a personalized rate before you officially apply — they'll do a soft credit pull, which won't hurt your credit score, to determine your rate.

  3. Shop around and apply. Get rate estimates from multiple lenders and choose the one that offers you the lowest rate.

Consolidating medical school loans

Refinancing at a lower interest rate is only possible with private lenders. Some may refer to their products as med school consolidation loans, but private consolidation loans and refinancing are the same thing.

Federal consolidation, like refinancing, can combine your loans into a single loan. But you can only consolidate your med school debt with the government if you have federal student loans.

Medical student debt consolidation won’t save you money; your interest rate will be the weighted average of your original loans. But consolidation can make sense as a loan management strategy. For example, you may want to take this step before pursuing Public Service Loan Forgiveness — that way you’ll only have to track a single loan payment.

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 March 1, 2022

To recap our selections...

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

Frequently asked questions