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Splash Financial Reviews: Medical Resident Refinancing and Student Loan Refinancing

Medical residents and fellows can refinance student loans through Splash Financial and pay $1 during their training.
Oct. 9, 2018
Loans, Student Loans
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We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

Founded with physicians in mind, Splash Financial refinances student loans and allows medical residents and fellows to pay just $1 a month until they become an attending physician.

The Cleveland-based lender is relatively new: It started refinancing student loans for medical residents and fellows in July 2017. In March 2018, it began refinancing college loans for any qualifying borrowers, regardless of their professions. We review both products here.

Review of Splash Financial student loan refinancing

Splash Financial medical resident refinancing

Physicians can refinance their medical school and undergraduate student loans through Splash Financial as soon as they are officially employed in a residency or fellowship. They’ll owe just $1 a month throughout their medical training and begin making full monthly payments 90 days after their training ends, or after seven years — whichever comes first.

Splash Financial’s loan assessment tool can help you decide whether refinancing during residency is a good move for you. Enter your loan information to see comparisons of your monthly payment during and after residency if you refinance versus if you’re on a federal income-driven repayment plan.

Splash Financial medical resident refinancing at a glance:

  • Pay $1 per month throughout your residency and fellowship, for up to 84 months.
  • Up to 18 months of hardship forbearance available.
  • Not available to borrowers in Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont and West Viriginia.
Splash Financial
Reviewed loanStudent loan refinancing for medical residents
Interest ratesFixed: 3.25% - 6.69%
Loan terms3, 5, 7, 10 and 15 years after your training period.
Loan amounts$25,001 to $346,000
Co-signer release availableNo
Can transfer a parent loan to the childYes

Splash Financial medical resident refinancing details

  • Soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get: No.
  • Application or origination fee: No.
  • Prepayment penalty: No.
  • Late fees: Yes; a fee equal to 5% of the unpaid amount or $10 — whichever is less — applies after the payment is more than 15 days late.

Compare Splash Financial’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 Splash Financial will offer you, apply on its website.

Financial

  • Minimum credit score: 700.
  • Minimum income: None, but you must be employed in a medical residency or fellowship.
  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose.
  • Typical income of approved borrowers: Did not disclose.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Did not disclose.
  • Can qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy: Yes; after 7 years.

Other

  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent residents.
  • Location: Not available to borrowers in Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont and West Virginia.
  • Must have graduated: Yes, borrowers must have graduated medical school with either an MD or DO degree.
  • Must have attended a Title IV-accredited school: Yes.
  • Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: 5%.

You owe $1 a month for the duration of your residency or fellowship, up to 84 months. Full loan payments will kick in 90 days after you complete your training or after seven years, whichever comes first.

Interest will accrue on your refinanced student loans while you’re paying $1 a month. The unpaid interest will be capitalized, or added to your principal balance, at the end of each month, which means you’ll pay extra interest. You can choose to pay more than a buck a month, though — like most refinance lenders, Splash doesn’t charge a prepayment penalty. Consider paying off the monthly interest as it accrues to keep interest costs at bay.

  • Academic deferment: No.
  • Military deferment: No.
  • Forbearance: Yes, borrowers experiencing an economic hardship can postpone payments in three-month increments for up to 18 months total.
  • Are loans discharged in the event of death/disability of borrower? Yes.
  • Allows greater-than-minimum payments via autopay: Yes.
  • Allows biweekly payments via autopay: No.

  • Loan servicer: University Accounting Service (UAS).
  • In-house customer service team: Yes.
  • Process for escalating concerns: Yes.
  • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: Yes.

  • Referral bonus: Get $250 for each person you successfully refer to Splash Financial. More details.

How to refinance with Splash Financial

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 borrowers who are struggling to make payments.

If you’re ready to borrow, you can apply on Splash Financial’s website.

Splash Financial student loan refinancing

5.0 NerdWallet rating

Splash Financial also offers general student loan refinance loans, which are available to any qualifying borrower, regardless of their profession. They’re originated by Pentagon Federal Credit Union, known as PenFed. You’ll need to become a PenFed member to qualify, but you can do so after you’re preapproved.

Splash Financial stands out because it’s one of the few lenders to let married couples refinance student loans together. But unlike most refinance lenders, it doesn’t offer a structured deferment or forbearance program, which would let borrowers pause payments if their finances get squeezed.

Splash Financial student loan refinancing at a glance:

  • Married couples can refinance together.
  • Borrowers are assigned a dedicated banker.
  • No specific forbearance policy for borrowers facing a financial hardship.
Splash Financial
Reviewed loanStudent loan refinancing
Interest ratesFixed: 3.75% - 7.03%
Variable: 2.85% - 7.59%
includes autopay discount of 0.25%
Loan terms5, 8, 12 and 15 years
Loan amounts$7,500 to $300,000
Co-signer release availableYes
Can transfer a parent loan to the childYes

How Splash Financial scores

NerdWallet student loan experts evaluated more than 50 data points across five categories to see whether Splash Financial ranks below average, average or above average compared with other student loan refinance lenders.

Enables faster repayment:
Above average
Lenders score highly if they offer a variety of term lengths and make extra payments easy.

Discloses requirements, limits costs:
Average
Lenders score highly if they limit fees and interest rates, are transparent about their underwriting criteria and allow borrowers to get personalized rate estimates before applying.

Serves range of borrowers:
Average
Lenders score highly if they cater to customers in varying locations, in different financial situations, and with varying citizenship statuses.

Offers payment flexibility:
Below average
Lenders score highly if they offer longer than 12-month forbearance periods, in-school and military deferment, and any other flexible policies that help borrowers during tough times.

Supports customers:
Above average
Lenders score highly if they assign borrowers an advisor, offer multiple ways to get in touch, and have in-house customer service. Websites should display full APR ranges, fees and forbearance policies.

How Splash Financial could improve

Splash Financial, like other five-star lenders, isn’t perfect. Splash could improve by:

  • Offering a specific forbearance policy for borrowers facing a financial hardship.
  • Providing academic deferment for borrowers returning to school.
  • Conducting soft credit checks to give borrowers personalized rate estimates without affecting their credit.

Splash Financial general student loan refinancing details

  • Soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get: No.
  • Application or origination fee: No.
  • Prepayment penalty: No.
  • Late fees: Yes; a fee equal to 20% of the interest portion of the monthly payment applies after the payment is five days late. The minimum late fee is $5 and the maximum is $25.

Compare Splash Financial’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 Splash Financial will offer you, apply on its website.

Financial

  • Minimum credit score: 670 if you’re applying with a co-signer, 700 if you’re applying without one.
  • Minimum income: $42,000.
  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 778.
  • Typical income of approved borrowers: $104,000.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Generally, 35% for applicants with undergraduate degrees and 40% for applicants with graduate degrees.
  • Can qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy: No.

Other

  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen. Unlike many other lenders, Splash Financial doesn’t refinance college debt for permanent residents.
  • Location: Available in all 50 U.S. states.
  • Must have graduated: Yes, borrowers must have graduated with a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • Must have attended a Title IV-accredited school: Yes.
  • Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: 23%.

  • Academic deferment: No.
  • Military deferment: No.
  • Forbearance: Splash Financial doesn’t have a structured deferment or forbearance program, unlike many other lenders. If you lose your job or experience an illness or death in the family, the lender may offer temporarily payment relief on a case-by-case basis.
  • Are loans discharged in the event of death/disability of borrower? No.
  • Allows greater-than-minimum payments via autopay: Yes.
  • Allows biweekly payments via autopay: Yes if you use a PenFed share account. No, if you’re using a separate checking account.

  • Loan servicer: Pentagon Federal Credit Union, known as PenFed.
  • In-house customer service team: Yes.
  • Process for escalating concerns: Yes.
  • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: Yes.

  • Referral bonus: Get $250 for each person you successfully refer to Splash Financial. More details.

How to refinance with Splash Financial

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 borrowers who are struggling to make payments.

If you’re ready to borrow, you can apply on Splash Financial’s website.

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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