First Republic Bank offers some of the lowest student loan refinancing rates in the industry to people who use its ATM Rebate Checking account. If you already have an account or are willing to open one, you may benefit from those low rates and personalized service from a dedicated banker.
You should have excellent credit and solid finances if you refinance student loans with First Republic. Unlike many refinance lenders, it doesn’t have any deferment or forbearance policies, so there’s no wiggle room if you get sick or lose your job, or if money is otherwise tight.
Student loan refinancing means replacing one or more student loans with a single, lower-rate loan. Refinancing with First Republic may be a good option if you:
- Have at least $40,000 in student loans.
- Have private student loans, or have federal student loans and don’t plan to use federal benefits such as income-driven repayment and loan forgiveness. You’ll lose access to those programs if you refinance.
- Have a First Republic checking account with at least $500, maintain a $3,500 average monthly balance and set up automatic loan payments and direct deposit. (This is required to qualify for First Republic’s low rates.)
- Have excellent credit, a stable income and a history of paying your debt on time.
If you don’t have a First Republic checking account and it doesn’t make sense for you to switch, you may still be able to refinance student loans with another lender. Switching may be worth if you can meet First Republic’s checking account requirements and can get a meaningfully lower rate — use a student loan refinance calculator to see how much you could save.
|Type of loan||Student loan refinancing|
3.0 out of 5.0 stars
|Good for||Borrowers with excellent credit|
|Interest rates (APR)||Fixed: 1.95% - 4.45%
|Loan terms||5, 7, 10 or 15 years|
|Loan amounts||$40,000 to $300,000|
You’ll save the most money by choosing the shortest repayment term you can qualify for. First Republic encourages fast loan payoffs with its prepayment rebate: Repay the refinanced loan within four years and get back the interest you paid, up to 2% of the original loan balance.
Can you qualify?
First Republic has strict qualification requirements compared with many refinance lenders, but meet them and you’ll reap the rewards of the lender’s low rates. To qualify for student loan refinancing through First Republic, you must:
- Live near a First Republic Bank branch. Most of the bank’s locations are in California, but it also has branches in New York City; Boston; Greenwich, Connecticut; Palm Beach, Florida; and Portland, Oregon.
- Use First Republic for your checking account. You must set up direct deposit and automatic payments for your refinanced loan and maintain a $3,500 average monthly balance. First Republic may add five percentage points to your interest rate if you don’t meet these requirements.
- Have excellent credit. You need a credit score of at least 750, according to First Republic’s website. Additionally, your credit report should show a history of paying debts on time.
- Have completed a postsecondary degree and owe at least $40,000 in student loans. You can refinance any qualified education loans through First Republic, including parent PLUS loans. Parents can transfer PLUS loans to their child if the child refinances the loans in their own name.
First Republic checking account requirements
To refinance student loans with First Republic, you need to have the bank’s ATM Rebate Checking account and meet the following requirements:
- Deposit at least $500 when you open the account
- Set up direct deposit of your main income and automatic loan payments for the refinanced student loan. First Republic may add five percentage points to your interest rate if you don’t.
- Maintain a $3,500 average monthly loan balance — there’s a $25 monthly fee for dipping below that minimum
How to refinance with First Republic
Before deciding on a student loan refinance lender, compare multiple options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, compare lenders’ repayment options and the flexibilities they offer for borrowers who are struggling to make payments.
If you’re ready to refinance with First Republic, you can get started on First Republic’s student loan refinancing website. Here’s how:
1. Estimate your interest rate. Provide your name, contact information, student loan balance and estimated credit score range to see a monthly payment estimate and potential interest savings. Your rate will be based on the term you choose. You’ll save the most money by choosing the five-year term.
2. Talk with a First Republic banker. Every applicant who submits the rate estimate form is paired with a First Republic banker. That person will reach out shortly after you submit the form and set up a time to discuss your financial situation and ensure you’re ready to apply.
3. Fill out an application. If you decide refinancing with First Republic is a good fit, your banker will send you an electronic application to complete. You can apply with a co-signer if that person is a First Republic Bank customer — or becomes one — and meets the checking account requirements.
4. Provide the necessary documents. You’ll need:
- A driver’s license, passport or military ID
- Statements from savings, investment and retirement accounts
- Your two most recent pay stubs, or profit and loss statements if you’re self-employed
- Your W-2 or tax return from the prior year
5. Find out whether you’re approved. If you’re approved, you’ll need to meet with your banker to sign the loan agreement and open an ATM Rebate Checking account. You’ll also need to provide a payoff statement for the loans you’re refinancing. First Republic will pay off your existing loans through your lender or servicer. Going forward, you’ll make student loan payments to First Republic.
- Loan servicer: First Republic Bank
- 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.
- Co-signer release option: No
First Republic extras
Borrowers who refinance with First Republic get a 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.
- Can I apply with a co-signer? Yes
- Is there a co-signer release option? No
- Can I qualify if I’ve filed for bankruptcy in the past? No
- Can I qualify if I didn’t go to a Title IV-accredited school? Yes
- Can I qualify if I didn’t graduate? No
Contact First Republic
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 private student loans 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.
— Among the very best for consumer-friendly features
— Excellent; offers most consumer-friendly features
— Very good; offers many consumer-friendly features
— Good; may not offer something important to you
— Fair; missing important consumer-friendly features
— Poor; proceed with great caution