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Banks That Refinance Student Loans

Feb. 27, 2019
Loans, Student Loans
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There are a handful of brick-and-mortar banks that refinance student loans, including:

  • Citizens Bank.
  • Wells Fargo.
  • First Republic Bank.
  • PNC.

With student loan refinancing, you don’t need a brick-and-mortar bank. Your priority should be finding the lowest possible rate you qualify for. Many of the best student loan refinance companies are online lenders, like SoFi and CommonBond, or credit unions, like PenFed.

But if you already have an account with a bank that refinances student loans, you could get discounts or lower rates by refinancing with that lender.

Banks that refinance student loans

Lender
Details
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4.5 NerdWallet rating
0.25 percentage point interest rate discount available for existing Citizen Bank customers.


4.5 NerdWallet rating
Loyalty discounts available for existing Wells Fargo customers.


4.0 NerdWallet rating
Must meet the bank's checking account requirements.


3.5 NerdWallet rating
No discount for existing customers.

Some community banks also offer student loan refinancing — find them through LendKey, a marketplace that connects borrowers with community banks and credit unions.

Additionally, some online-only banks refinance student loans, including Discover.

In other cases, online student loan refinance lenders are backed by banks. For example, Education Loan Finance is the student loan refinancing division of Tennessee-based SouthEast Bank. Laurel Road loans are funded by Laurel Road Bank, formerly a division of Darien Rowayton Bank. Loans refinanced through College Ave Student Loans are funded by Firstrust Bank or Safra Bank.

Bank student loan refinance details

Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank’s national lending division, Citizens One, offers student loans and student loan refinancing. You’ll either see “Citizens Bank” or “Citizens One” on the company’s website, depending on where you live.

Borrowers with a Citizens Bank account — like a checking account or auto loan — at the time of application get a 0.25 percentage point interest rate discount. Citizens Bank checking and savings accounts are available only in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Citizens One review

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo refers to its product as private consolidation, which is the same as student loan refinancing. It offers three interest rate discounts for Wells Fargo customers. You can qualify for only one of the following:

  • 0.25% interest rate discount for borrowers with a qualifying Wells Fargo consumer checking account.
  • 0.25% interest rate discount for having a prior federal or private student loan made by Wells Fargo.
  • 0.50% interest rate discount for having Portfolio by Wells Fargo, which links all your Wells Fargo accounts.

Wells Fargo review

First Republic Bank

San Francisco-based First Republic Bank offers some of the lowest student loan refinance rates in the industry to customers who meet its checking account requirements.

To qualify for First Republic’s lowest rates, you must have the bank’s ATM Rebate Checking account and meet the following requirements:

  • Set up and maintain direct deposit and automatic loan payments for the refinanced loan.
  • Maintain an account balance of 20% of the approved loan amount or $10,000, whichever is greater.

You must live near a First Republic location to have a checking account and refinance student loans. Most of the bank’s locations are in California, but it also has branches in New York City; Boston; Greenwich, Connecticut; Palm Beach and Jupiter, Florida; Portland, Oregon; and Jackson, Wyoming.

First Republic review

PNC

PNC has branches in 19 states. Unlike the other brick-and-mortar banks that refinance student loans, it doesn’t offer a loyalty discount for existing customers.

PNC does offer a 0.50% rate discount for any student loan refinance borrowers who set up automated payments from a checking or savings account — larger than the 0.25% autopay discount that other student loan refinance lenders offer.

PNC review

Banks that don’t refinance student loans

A few national brick-and-mortar banks don’t refinance student loans:

  • Chase.
  • Bank of America.
  • U.S. Bank.

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