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

If you have student loans but never received a degree, you still have options to refinance.

Cecilia ClarkJul 30, 2021

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

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

ISL Refinance Loan
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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
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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

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

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Advantage Education Loan Student Loan Refinance

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Fixed APR

3.99 - 7.78%

Variable APR

N/A
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Variable APR

N/A

Key facts

Best for students who didn’t graduate.

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

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Navient Student Loan Refinance
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Navient Student Loan Refinance

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Navient Student Loan Refinance

Min. Credit Score

650

Fixed APR

2.50 - 5.79%

Variable APR

1.88 - 5.64%
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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

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Discover Student Loan Refinance
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on Discover's website

Discover Student Loan Refinance

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Discover Student Loan Refinance

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Fixed APR

3.49 - 6.99%

Variable APR

1.74 - 5.74%
Check rate

on Discover's website


Variable APR

1.74 - 5.74%

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: Consolidate up to the aggregate amount of your education loan debt. Maximum limit of $150,000 applies.

Available Term Lengths

10 or 20 years

Disclaimer

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 0.125% as of October 1, 2021. 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 APRs are only available to applicants with the best credit. The APR will be determined after an application is submitted. It will be based on credit history, the selected repayment option and other factors, including a cosigner’s credit history (if applicable). If a student does not have an established credit history, the student may find it difficult to qualify for a private student loan on their own or receive the lowest advertised rate. Learn more about Discover Student Loans interest rates.

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Citizens Student Loan Refinance
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Citizens Student Loan Refinance

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Citizens Student Loan Refinance

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Fixed APR

2.39 - 9.15%

Variable APR

2.24 - 8.90%
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Variable APR

2.24 - 8.90%

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

  • Estate is still responsible for loans refinanced by parents if the borrower dies.

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 2.24%-8.90% (2.24%-8.90% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 2.39%-9.15% (2.39%-9.15% APR).

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RISLA Student Loan Refinance
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RISLA Student Loan Refinance

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
RISLA Student Loan Refinance

Min. Credit Score

680

Fixed APR

3.49 - 8.14%

Variable APR

N/A
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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.

  • 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

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MEFA Student Loan Refinance
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MEFA Student Loan Refinance

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
MEFA Student Loan Refinance

Min. Credit Score

670

Fixed APR

3.05 - 5.55%

Variable APR

3.05 - 5.55%
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Variable APR

3.05 - 5.55%

Key facts

Best for borrowers with a stable income who don’t have a degree.

Pros

  • No late fees.

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

Cons

  • No formal deferment/forbearance options.

  • No co-signer release.

Qualifications

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

  • Loan amounts: $10,000 minimum.

  • Must have a degree: No.

Available Term Lengths

7, 10 or 15 years.

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PNC Student Loan Refinance
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PNC Student Loan Refinance

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
PNC Student Loan Refinance

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Fixed APR

3.44 - 5.99%

Variable APR

1.12 - 3.92%
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Variable APR

1.12 - 3.92%

Key facts

Best for borrowers who don’t have a degree.

Pros

  • Interest rate discount for autopay is larger than most lenders offer.

  • Borrowers can refinance without a degree.

Cons

  • No flexible repayment options for struggling borrowers.

  • 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: Does not disclose.

  • Loan amounts: $10,000 to $75,000.

  • Must have a degree: No.

Available Term Lengths

5, 10 or 15 years.

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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 July 30, 2021

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