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First Republic Bank Student Loan Refinancing Review

First Republic offers low interest rates but has strict requirements for borrowers.
Sept. 13, 2019
Loans, Student Loans
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4.0 NerdWallet rating

Bottom line: Best for borrowers in good financial shape who bank with First Republic.

First Republic
Reviewed loanStudent loan refinancing
Interest ratesFixed: 1.95% - 4.2% APR
Loan terms5, 7, 10 or 15 years
Loan amountsMinimum: $25,000 with a graduate degree, $40,000 with an undergraduate degree.
Maximum: $300,000
Co-signer release availableNo
Can transfer a parent loan to the childYes

Pros & Cons

PROS

  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
  • You are assigned a dedicated relationship manager.
  • Interest rebate if you pay off your refinanced loan within four years.

CONS

  • You must have a First Republic Bank ATM Rebate Checking account to receive the advertised rates.
  • No option to pause payments through deferment or forbearance, unlike other lenders.
  • Only available to borrowers who live near a First Republic Bank branch.

Full Review

First Republic Bank offers low student loan refinancing rates if you have its ATM Rebate Checking account and meet specific account requirements — like having direct deposit set up. If you already bank with First Republic or want to, you may benefit from those low rates and personalized service from a dedicated relationship manager.

First Republic’s refinanced student loan is best for borrowers on solid financial footing. Unlike many refinance lenders, First Republic doesn’t offer any options to temporarily postpone repayment via deferment or forbearance. That means there’s no wiggle room if you get sick or lose your job, or if money is otherwise tight.

First Republic student loan refinancing at a glance

  • Must have a First Republic Bank ATM Rebate Checking account and meet account and deposit requirements to receive advertised rates.
  • Borrowers are paired with a dedicated relationship manager.
  • Offers personalized rate estimates via a soft credit check.

How First Republic could improve

First Republic Bank could improve its student loan refinance product by:

  • Providing deferment and forbearance programs.
  • Offering student loan refinancing for borrowers nationwide.
  • Letting borrowers without graduate degrees refinance less than $40,000.

How much can refinancing save?

» MORE: Banks that refinance student loans

First Republic student loan refinancing details

  • Soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get: Yes.
  • Loan terms: 5, 7, 10 or 15 years.
  • Loan amounts: Minimum: $25,000 with a graduate degree, $40,000 with an undergraduate degree. Maximum: $300,000.
  • Can transfer a parent loan to the child: Yes.
  • Application or origination fee: No.
  • Prepayment penalty: No.
  • Late fees: Yes; a fee equal to 5% of the overdue payment applies if your full payment isn’t received after 10 days.

Compare First Republic’s range of interest rates with other student loan refinance lenders. Your actual rate will depend on factors including your — or your co-signer’s — credit history and financial situation. To see what rate First Republic will offer you, apply on its website.

To receive First Republic’s lowest advertised interest rates, you are required to do the following:

  • Have a First Republic ATM Rebate Checking account, or open one with at least a $500 initial deposit. Closing this account after refinancing will increase your interest rate by 5.00%.
  • Use your ATM Rebate Checking account for direct deposit and to pay the refinanced student loan via auto-debit. Failing to do so will increase your rate by 2.00%.
  • Maintain a minimum balance in your ATM Rebate Checking account based on the amount you refinanced. There is also a $25 monthly fee if you don’t maintain a $3,500 average monthly loan balance in your account.

Financial

  • Minimum credit score: Did not disclose.
  • Minimum income: No minimum.
  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 770.
  • Typical income of approved borrowers: Did not disclose.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Did not disclose.
  • Can qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy: No.

Other

  • Citizenship: Non-U.S. citizens may qualify if they can prove permanent and sufficient ties to the United States.
  • Location: Only available to borrowers who live near a First Republic Bank branch. Most of the bank’s locations are in California, but it also has branches in other places, including New York City; Boston; Greenwich, Connecticut; Palm Beach, Florida; and Portland, Oregon.
  • Must have graduated: Yes.
  • Must have attended a school authorized to receive federal aid: Yes.
  • Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: Did not disclose.

  • Academic deferment: No.
  • Military deferment: No.
  • Forbearance: No.
  • Co-signer release available: No.
  • Death or disability discharge available: No.

Repayment preferences

  • Allows greater-than-minimum payments via autopay: Yes.
  • Allows biweekly payments via autopay: No.

  • Loan servicer: First Republic Bank.
  • In-house customer service team: Yes.
  • Process for escalating concerns: Yes.
  • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: Yes.
  • Average time from approval to payoff: Varies.

  • Prepayment rebate: If you repay your refinanced loan within four years, First Republic will give you back the interest you paid, up to 2% of the original loan balance. For example, if your loan was $60,000, you could get a rebate of up to $1,200.

How to refinance with First Republic

You can apply for First Republic student loan refinancing at its website. Before deciding on a student loan refinance lender, compare multiple student loan refinance options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, compare lenders’ repayment options and the flexibility they offer for borrowers who are struggling to make payments.

STUDENT LOANS RATINGS METHODOLOGY

NerdWallet believes the best student loan is one you can repay at the lowest interest rate you can get. That’s why NerdWallet’s student loan ratings reward lenders that offer a variety of loan terms, limit their fees and penalties, and extend borrowers multiple options to avoid default. Points are also awarded for soft credit checks, underwriting transparency and other consumer-friendly features. Use these ratings as a guide, but we encourage you to shop around for the lowest interest rate you can qualify for. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for its reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

5 stars out of 5 — Among the very best for consumer-friendly features

4.5 stars out of 5 — Excellent; offers most consumer-friendly features

4 stars out of 5 — Very good; offers many consumer-friendly features

3.5 stars out of 5 — Good; may not offer something important to you

3 stars out of 5 — Fair; missing important consumer-friendly features

2.5 stars out of 5 — Poor; proceed with great caution

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