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5 Lenders That Will Refinance Student Loans for Borrowers With No Degree

Anna HelhoskiJune 26, 2020

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If you have student loans but never received a degree, you have fewer options than borrowers with a degree.

Only a few lenders will refinance student loans if you haven’t earned a degree.

Compared with degree-holders, borrowers who drop out of college are more likely to default on their loans, according to federal data analyzed by the Center for American Progress, a public policy research organization.

But if you’re making payments on time and have a good credit score and a stable job, you may find that you can refinance your loans at a lower interest rate. That could reduce your payments or allow you to pay off the loans more quickly.

Summary of Lenders That Will Refinance Student Loans for Borrowers With No Degree

LenderNerdWallet Rating Fixed APRVariable APRMin. Credit ScoreLearn More
Discover Student Loan Refinance

Discover Student Loan Refinance

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Best for Borrowers who may need wiggle room on payments

3.99 - 7.74%

2.37 - 6.12%

Does not disclose

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Citizens One Student Loan Refinance

Citizens One Student Loan Refinance

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Best for Existing Citizens Bank customers

3.20 - 8.63%

2.49 - 8.38%

Does not disclose

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Wells Fargo Student Loan Refinance

Wells Fargo Student Loan Refinance

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Best for Existing Wells Fargo customers

3.74 - 9.74%

3.00 - 8.74%

Does not disclose

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RISLA Student Loan Refinance

RISLA Student Loan Refinance

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Best for Income-based repayment

3.49 - 8.14%

N/A

680

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Advantage Education Loan Student Loan Refinance

Advantage Education Loan Student Loan Refinance

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Best for Borrowers who want extra forbearance

3.99 - 7.78%

N/A

Does not disclose

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Discover Student Loan Refinance
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Discover Student Loan Refinance

Discover Student Loan Refinance

Fixed APR

3.99 - 7.74%

Variable APR

2.37 - 6.12%

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Variable APR

2.37 - 6.12%

Key facts

Best for borrowers who may need wiggle room on payments, or those who didn't graduate.

Pros

  • No late fees.

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

  • Can refinance without a degree.

Cons

  • Only 10- and 20-year repayment terms available.

  • No co-signer release available.

  • 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 or co-signers: Did not disclose.

  • Must have a degree: No.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $150,000.

Available Term Lengths

10 or 20 years

Disclaimer

Lowest APRs shown for Discover Student Loans are available for the most creditworthy applicants for the Discover Private Consolidation Loan and include an Auto Debit Reward. The fixed interest rate is set at the time of application and does not change during the life of the loan. The variable interest rate is calculated based on the 3-Month LIBOR index plus the applicable margin percentage. For variable interest rate loans, the 3-Month LIBOR is 0.375% as of July 1, 2020. Discover Student Loans may adjust the rate quarterly on each January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 (the “interest rate change date”), based on the 3-Month LIBOR Index, published in the Money Rates section of the Wall Street Journal 15 days prior to the interest rate change date, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of one percent (0.125% or 0.00125). This may cause the monthly payments to increase, the number of payments to increase or both. Our lowest APR is only available to customers with the best credit and other factors. Your APR will be determined after you apply. It will be based on your credit history, which repayment option you choose and other factors, including your cosigner’s credit history (if applicable). Learn more about Discover Student Loans interest rates at DiscoverStudentLoans.com/Rates.
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Citizens One Student Loan Refinance
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Citizens One Student Loan Refinance

Citizens One Student Loan Refinance

Fixed APR

3.20 - 8.63%

Variable APR

2.49 - 8.38%

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

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Variable APR

2.49 - 8.38%

Key facts

Best for existing Citizens Bank customers or borrowers who didn't graduate or aren't U.S. citizens.

Pros

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

  • You can refinance parent PLUS loans in your name.

  • Loyalty discount: Borrowers with a Citizens Bank account when they apply get an additional 0.25% interest rate discount.

Cons

  • No formal forbearance options.

Qualifications

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

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

  • Must have a degree: No.

Available Term Lengths

5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years

Disclaimer

Education Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 2.49%-8.38% (2.49%-8.38% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 3.20%-8.63% (3.20%-8.63% APR).
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Wells Fargo Student Loan Refinance
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Wells Fargo Student Loan Refinance

Wells Fargo Student Loan Refinance

Fixed APR

3.74 - 9.74%

Variable APR

3.00 - 8.74%

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

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Variable APR

3.00 - 8.74%

Key facts

Best for existing Wells Fargo customers who want to take advantage of payment reduction options.

Pros

  • You are assigned a dedicated student loan advisor.

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

Cons

  • Shorter length of hardship forbearance than most other lenders.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 748.

  • Loan amounts: $1,000 up to the total cost of attendance.

  • Must have a degree: No.

Available Term Lengths

5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years

Disclaimer

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RISLA Student Loan Refinance
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RISLA Student Loan Refinance

RISLA Student Loan Refinance

Fixed APR

3.49 - 8.14%

Variable APR

N/A

Min. Credit Score

680

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Variable APR

N/A

Key facts

Best for borrowers who want payment flexibility should they run into financial trouble.

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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Advantage Education Loan Student Loan Refinance
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Advantage Education Loan Student Loan Refinance

Advantage Education Loan Student Loan Refinance

Fixed APR

3.99 - 7.78%

Variable APR

N/A

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

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Variable APR

N/A

Key facts

Best for students who didn’t graduate or want to refinance loans from non-degree programs.

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, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington or Washington, DC.

  • 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 Lengths

10, 15 or 20 years

Disclaimer

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How refinancing can save you money

Refinancing can save you money by replacing your current debt with a new, lower-rate loan through a private lender.

For example, refinancing $30,000 in student debt from an annual percentage rate of 8% to 5% could drop a monthly payment from $364 to $318 and reduce interest paid by $3,500. Or you could keep payments the same as before and be debt-free 20 months sooner.

You can refinance both federal and private student loans.

If you have federal loans, there's a downside to refinancing with a private lender: You forfeit your rights to federal loan repayment options, such as income-driven repayment and public service loan forgiveness.

Qualifying for refinancing

Although some refinancing lenders don’t require you to have a degree, you still need to meet certain qualifications.

You usually have to have attended a school that offers federal student aid, known as a Title IV school, even if you didn’t graduate.

Lenders will assess your credit score, which will have to be in the high 600s or higher. They’ll also want to make sure you have a stable financial history and a healthy income. Borrowers with higher incomes have an easier time getting approved for refinancing and tend to get the best interest rates.

If you don’t meet these qualifications, you’ll need a co-signer who does. Consider lenders that offer a co-signer release, which allows your co-signer to get off the hook for your debt after a certain period of on-time payments.

If you don’t qualify for refinancing

If you can’t qualify for refinancing and are having trouble making payments on federal loans, apply for an income-driven repayment plan. These plans cap payments at a percentage of your income and extend repayment length.

To enroll in an income-driven plan, you may need to first consolidate your federal loans into one new federal direct loan. Consolidation won’t lower your interest rate like refinancing does. However, it could lower payment amounts by extending the repayment term.

If you have private loans that you can’t refinance, contact your lender to see what repayment options are available to struggling borrowers. You may be able to renegotiate the terms of your loan or lower payments for a period of time. Lenders also usually offer hardship forbearance, which halts payments on loans temporarily while interest continues to build.

Last updated on June 26, 2020

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Lenders That Will Refinance Student Loans for Borrowers With No Degree

Further reading.

What Happens to Student Loans When You Drop Out

By Devon Delfino & Anna Helhoski