Best of

10 Top Lenders to Lower Your Student Loan Payment

Pre-qualify with multiple lenders to see which one will help you lower your student loan payment the most.

By
Cecilia Clark
Jul 14, 2023

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Top Lenders to Lower Your Student Loan Payment

Lender
NerdWallet Rating
Min. credit score
Fixed APR
Variable APR
Learn more
Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance

Check rateon Splash Financial's website
on Splash Financial's website
COMPARE RATESon Credible’s website
on Credible’s website

650

5.34-8.73%

7.35-7.35%

Check rateon Splash Financial's website
on Splash Financial's website
Earnest Student Loan Refinance

Earnest Student Loan Refinance

5.0
/5
Best for Borrowers who want a nonstandard loan term

680

4.96-9.79%

5.49-9.74%

SoFi Parent PLUS Refinancing

SoFi Parent PLUS Refinancing

5.0
/5
Best for Repayment flexibility

None

5.24-9.99%

6.24-9.99%

Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance

Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance

Check rateon Laurel Road's website
on Laurel Road's website
5.0
/5
Best for Medical professionals

660

5.24-10.99%

4.99-10.89%

Check rateon Laurel Road's website
on Laurel Road's website
Nelnet Bank Student Loan Refinance

Nelnet Bank Student Loan Refinance

Check rateon Nelnet Bank's website
on Nelnet Bank's website
5.0
/5
Best for Repayment flexibility

Mid to High 600s

5.34-10.79%

7.58-14.48%

Check rateon Nelnet Bank's website
on Nelnet Bank's website

Our pick for

Getting multiple offers at once

This marketplace gives you multiple offers at once.

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance
Check rateon Splash Financial's website
on Splash Financial's website
Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance

5.0
Min. credit score

650

Fixed APR

5.34-8.73%

Variable APR

7.35-7.35%

Key factsBest for receiving offers from multiple lenders.
Pros
  • Select from multiple repayment options between 5 and 25 years.
  • 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 Lengths5 to 25 years
DisclaimerSplash Financial, Inc. (NMLS # 1630038) reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. The information you provide is an inquiry to determine whether Splash’s lending partners can make you a loan offer, but does not guarantee you will receive any loan offers. Terms and conditions apply. Products may not be available in all states. These rates are subject to change at any time. If you do not use the specific link included on this website, offers on the Splash website may include other offers from lending partners that may have a higher rate. Fixed Rate options range from 5.34% (with autopay) to 8.73% (with autopay). Variable rate options range from 7.35% (with autopay) to 7.35% (without autopay). Some of the rates are based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) index and some are 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). Fixed loans feature repayment terms of 5 to 20 years. For example, the monthly payment for a sample $10,000 with an APR of 5.47% for a 12-year term would be $94.86. Variable loans feature repayment terms of 5 to 25 years. For example, the monthly payment for a sample $10,000 with an APR of 5.90% for a 15-year term would be $83.85.
Read Full Review

Our pick for

Borrowers who want a nonstandard loan term

Earnest Student Loan Refinance

Earnest Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

680

Fixed APR

4.96-9.79%

Variable APR

5.49-9.74%

Key factsBest 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
  • Loans aren't available in 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 Lengths5 to 20 years
DisclaimerActual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 5.21% APR to 10.04% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 5.74% APR to 9.99% 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. Our lowest rates are only available for our most credit qualified borrowers and contain our .25% auto pay discount from a checking or savings account.
College Ave Student Loan Refinance
Check rateon College Ave's website
on College Ave's website
College Ave Student Loan Refinance

College Ave Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

Mid-600s

Fixed APR

6.99-11.99%

Variable APR

6.99-11.99%

Key factsBest 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 Lengths5 to 15 years
DisclaimerCollege 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. If a payment is returned, you will lose this benefit. 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 09/01/2023. 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.

Our pick for

Repayment flexibility

SoFi Parent PLUS Refinancing

SoFi Parent PLUS Refinancing

Min. credit score

None

Fixed APR

5.24-9.99%

Variable APR

6.24-9.99%

Key factsBest for borrowers who want plenty of benefits with their refinanced student loan.
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 Lengths5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years
DisclaimerFixed rates range from 5.24% APR to 9.99% APR with 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates range from 6.24% APR to 9.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates will never exceed 13.95% (the maximum rate for these loans). SoFi rate ranges are current as of 9/08/2023 and are subject to change at any time. 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. You may pay more interest over the life of the loan if you refinance with an extended term. Notice: SoFi’s Refinance Loan is a private student loan. Understand that when you refinance federal loans, you forfeit all flexible federal repayment options that are or may become available to federal student loan borrowers. If you expect to incur financial hardship that would affect your ability to repay, you should consider federal consolidation loan options. Notice: Though SoFi offers an Unemployment Protection Program and career services, SoFi’s Refinance loan is a private loan. Understand that when you refinance federal loans, you forfeit certain flexible repayment options that are or may become available. If you expect to incur financial hardship that would affect your ability to repay, you should consider federal consolidation loan options. *NOTICE: If you are a federal student loan borrower you should take time now to prepare for your payments to restart, including the opportunity to refinance your student loan debt at a lower APR or to extend your term to achieve a lower monthly payment. Please note that once you refinance federal student loans you will no longer be eligible for current or future flexible payment options available to federal loan borrowers, including but not limited to income-based repayment plans or extended repayment plans. Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
Nelnet Bank Student Loan Refinance
Check rateon Nelnet Bank's website
on Nelnet Bank's website
Nelnet Bank Student Loan Refinance

Nelnet Bank Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

Mid to High 600s

Fixed APR

5.34-10.79%

Variable APR

7.58-14.48%

Key factsBest for borrowers with strong finances.
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
  • Does not discharge loans in cases of death or permanent disability.
  • 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 LengthsMultiple term options
DisclaimerFixed interest rates range from 5.34% APR (with auto debit discount) to 10.79% 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 7.58% APR (with auto debit discount) to 14.48% APR (without auto debit discount). Variable rates for Nelnet Bank Refinance Loans are calculated using either (a) the One-Month SOFR; (b) the 30-day Average SOFR; or (c) the forward-looking term rate based on 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 reprice and 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 5.30% as of September 1, 2023.
Navient Student Loan Refinance

Navient Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

680

Fixed APR

5.21-9.74%

Variable APR

5.40-9.19%

Key factsBest 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 Lengths5 to 20 years

Our pick for

Medical professionals

These loans have special features for medical professionals.

Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance
Check rateon Laurel Road's website
on Laurel Road's website
Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance

Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

660

Fixed APR

5.24-10.99%

Variable APR

4.99-10.89%

Key factsBest for borrowers who want to refinance during their medical or dental residency.
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 bachelor's degree. For parent PLUS loans, the child does not need to have graduated to refinance.
Available Term Lengths5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years
DisclaimerFull Laurel Road Disclaimers. Rates as of 6/01/23, rates subject to change. Terms and Conditions Apply. All products subject to credit approval. IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Please note that if you refinance qualifying federal student loans with Laurel Road, you may no longer be eligible for certain federal benefits or programs and waive your right to future benefits or programs offered on those loans. Examples of benefits or programs you may not receive include, but are not limited to, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Income-driven Repayment plans, forbearance, or loan forgiveness. Please carefully consider your options when refinancing federal student loans and consult http://studentaid.gov/ for the most current information. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association. All products offered by KeyBank N.A. ©2022 STUDENT LOANS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED OR GUARANTEED. KeyCorp® All Rights Reserved. Laurel Road is a federally registered service mark of KeyCorp. 3 Corporate Drive, 4th fl, Shelton, CT 06484.

Our pick for

Borrowers who didn’t graduate

These lenders refinance student loans even if you haven't graduated.

Advantage Education Loan Student Loan Refinance

Advantage Education Loan Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

Does not disclose

Fixed APR

4.95-7.74%

Variable APR

N/A

Key factsBest for borrowers 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, Illinois, Iowa, Nevada, New Jersey, Maine, Maryland, Rhode Island, Washington, Washington D.C.
  • 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 Lengths10, 15 or 20 years
ISL Refinance Loan

ISL Refinance Loan

Min. credit score

660

Fixed APR

6.81-11.83%

Variable APR

N/A

Key factsBest 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 Lengths5, 7, 10, 15 or 20

Our pick for

Income-based repayment

RISLA Student Loan Refinance

RISLA Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

680

Fixed APR

5.79-8.24%

Variable APR

N/A

Key factsBest 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 Lengths5, 10 or 15 years

Steps to refinance for the lowest payment

Get your finances in order. To qualify for a student loan refinance, you’ll likely need a credit score in the high 600s, a DTI below 50% and a stable income. The stronger your credit profile is on these fronts, the lower the interest rate you can qualify for. While the interest rate isn’t the only factor that can affect your loan payment amount — loan term is the other — it has a big influence. It also helps determine how much you’ll pay in total costs over the life of your loan.

Pre-qualify with multiple lenders. Don’t jump at the first offer you get. Just because a lender offers a low rate, doesn't mean you won’t get a better offer elsewhere. Pre-qualify with several lenders. That means getting your personal rate and monthly payment information without a hard credit check. This way, you can compare monthly payment amounts and total repayment amounts without taking hits to your credit score.

Choose a lender. After you know what you qualify for, consider the details of the offers to see which is best for you. You could be offered a shorter loan term. A shorter repayment period can save you money overall, but your monthly payment could be higher. If you choose a longer term to keep your payment low, just know that you may be paying more in total repayment costs.

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 July 14, 2023

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Top Lenders to Lower Your Student Loan Payment

NerdWallet Pixel