Advertiser Disclosure

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinancing Review

May 4, 2018
Loans, Student Loans
At NerdWallet, we adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.
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.

Splash Financial medical resident refinancing review
Splash Financial student loan refinancing review

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.

Refinancing with Splash Financial during your medical residency or fellowship may be right for you if you:

  • Want to free up cash during your medical training by essentially deferring your student loan payments until you become an attending physician — even if it means paying more in interest in the long run
  • Have good credit, or a co-signer who does
  • Have private loans, or have federal 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

If you’re able to make monthly payments and are looking for the lowest possible student loan interest rate, shop around. You may qualify for lower rates than Splash offers by refinancing with another lender.

If you’re still unsure whether refinancing is a good move, Splash Financial’s loan assessment tool can help. 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
Type of loanStudent loan refinancing for medical residents
NerdWallet rating4.5 stars out of 5
4.5 out of 5.0 stars
Interest rates (APR)Fixed: 3.25% - 6.69%
Loan terms5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years
Loan amounts$25,001 - $346,000
Check Rates At Splash Financial

Can you qualify?

You’ll likely qualify if you:

  • Are employed in a medical residency or fellowship program. Borrowers must have attended a medical school that’s Title IV-eligible and accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education or American Osteopathic Association.
  • Have good credit. Borrowers — or their co-signers — must have a FICO score that’s 700 or higher.
  • Are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and live in one of the 40 eligible states. Borrowers aren’t eligible if they live in Connecticut, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont or West Virginia.

» SIGN UP: Check your credit score for free

How to refinance medical school loans with Splash

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 flexibility they offer for borrowers who are struggling to make payments.

If you’re ready to refinance with Splash Financial, you can apply on Splash’s website. You’ll be assigned a dedicated account manager to help you through the process. Here’s how to apply:

1. Check your eligibility. Enter your estimated credit score and a few basic details about your medical education to confirm that you’re eligible to refinance with Splash Financial. The rate you get with Splash will depend solely on the length of your residency or fellowship — not your credit, unlike other lenders.

2. Complete an application. You’ll need to create an account and provide information including your Social Security number, employment details, housing payment, annual salary and loan details.

3. Add a co-signer (optional). Enter your co-signer’s name and contact information — they’ll receive an email with details about how to complete their portion of the application.

4. Authorize a hard credit check. When you — and your co-signer, if you have one — complete the application, Splash will perform a hard credit check on both you and your co-signer. This may slightly hurt your credit score, but it’s routine for lenders to check applicants’ credit histories before approval.

5. Upload the necessary documents. You’ll need screenshots or photos of the following:

  • Income verification, such as your most recent pay stub
  • Identify verification, such as a driver’s license, passport or state ID
  • A loan payoff statement from your existing lender or servicer for each of the loans you want to refinance
  • Diploma or transcript
  • Match day letter or employment contract to verify your residency or fellowship
  • National Provider Identifier of your employer

6. Payoff. After you’re approved, it typically takes about 30 days for Splash to successfully pay off your old lender or servicer. Continue making payments to your original lender or servicer until you receive confirmation that the payoff is complete.

Splash Financial medical resident refinancing details

  • Loan servicer: University Accounting Service (UAS)
  • 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
  • Co-signer release option: No

Repayment options

As you work long hours for relatively low pay during your residency or fellowship — and even after you’re an attending — you may need some temporary breathing room on loan payments. Splash Financial offers the following options:

  • Pay $1 a month during residency or fellowship. You can pay just $1 a month for the duration of your residency or fellowship, up to seven years. 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.
  • Fellowship forbearance. If you decide to continue medical training beyond what you indicated on your application, you can apply to pay just $500 per month instead of full monthly payments. To qualify, you must prove that you’re in a medical fellowship by providing a letter from your program director.
  • Hardship forbearance. You may be able to postpone loan payments for three months at a time, for up to 18 months total, if you demonstrate an economic hardship.

Splash Financial extras

Borrowers who refinance with Splash get the following perks:

  • Referral bonus: Get $500 for each person you successfully refer to Splash Financial. More details.

FAQs

  • 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? Yes; after 7 years.
  • Can I qualify if I didn’t go to a Title IV-accredited school? No.
  • Can I qualify if I didn’t graduate? No.

» MORE: Read more student loan refinancing FAQs

Contact Splash Financial

Call: 800-349-3938
Email: customers@splashfinancial.com

Splash Financial student loan refinancing

Splash Financial offers refinancing for undergraduate and graduate student loans, and federal PLUS loans that parents borrowed to help their children pay for college. These loans are 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.

Student loan refinancing means replacing one or more student loans with a single lower-rate loan. Refinancing with Splash Financial may be right for you if you:

  • Have private loans, or have federal 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 good credit and enough income to afford loan payments, or a co-signer who does
  • Want to consolidate your student loans with your spouse’s — Splash Financial is one of the few lenders that allows this
  • Want to refinance your parent’s federal PLUS loans in your name

Refinancing isn’t for you if you have poor credit, an insecure job situation or have federal loans and want to pursue an income-driven repayment plan or loan forgiveness program.

Splash Financial
Type of loanStudent loan refinancing
NerdWallet rating4.5 stars out of 5
4.5 out of 5.0 stars
Interest rates (APR)Fixed: 3.25% - 7.03%
Variable: 2.70% - 7.44%
Loan terms5, 8, 12 and 15 years
Loan amounts$7,500 to $300,000
Check Rates At Splash Financial

 

» SIGN UP: Check your credit score for free

Can you qualify?

You’ll likely qualify if you:

  • Have good credit. Borrowers applying with a co-signer need a credit score that’s at least 670, and the co-signer must have a score of at least 720. Borrowers applying without a co-signer need a score that’s at least 700. For couples applying together, one spouse must have a score of at least 700.
  • Earn enough to afford your expenses. Borrowers applying with a co-signer must have an annual income of at least $25,000, and the co-signer must have an annual income of at least $50,000. Borrowers applying without a co-signer must have an annual income of at least $42,000. Spouses applying together must have a combined income of at least $42,000.
  • Graduated from an approved school. Borrowers must have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a school that Splash Financial has approved.
  • Are a U.S. citizen.

How to refinance student loans with Splash Financial

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 flexibility they offer for borrowers who are struggling to make payments.

If you’re ready to refinance with Splash Financial, you can apply on Splash’s website. Here’s how:

1. Estimate your rate. Enter your estimated credit score, education background and details about the loans you want to refinance to see the rates you could qualify for. Splash’s software will show you how much you’ll save — or pay — per month and throughout the life of your loan with rates and term lengths.

2. Choose a term length and interest rate type. You’ll save the most money by choosing the shortest loan term you can manage. You’ll also need to choose either a fixed or variable rate. Fixed rates stay the same throughout the life of the loan. Variable rates are subject to change each month and are based on economic conditions.

3. Complete the application. Provide your Social Security number; driver’s license, passport or state ID number; information about your housing payment, education and employment; contact information for a reference; and details about the loans you want to refinance.

Your reference must have a different address than you and your co-signer. You cannot use your co-signer as a reference, and you and your co-signer cannot use the same reference.

4. Add a co-signer (optional). You don’t have to add one, but it could help you qualify for a lower rate. To add a co-signer, enter their name and email — Splash will send them details about how to complete their portion of the application.

5. Authorize a hard credit pull. When you submit the application, PenFed will check your credit report, which could slightly hurt your credit. It’s routine for lenders to do this before offering applicants a loan.

6. Upload the necessary documents. You’ll need the following:

  • Paystub or tax return
  • Photo ID
  • Payoff verification statements
  • Copy of diploma or transcripts
  • PenFed membership — Included in the application after preapproval

7. Payoff. It typically takes three to 14 business days for PenFed to complete the process of paying off your existing loans. Continue making payments to your original lender or servicer until you receive confirmation that the payoff is complete. Then you’ll begin making monthly payments to PenFed.

Splash Financial student loan refinancing details

  • Loan servicer: Pentagon Federal Credit Union, known as PenFed
  • 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.
  • Co-signer release option: Yes, after the primary borrower makes 12 consecutive on-time payments. Not available for couples who refinance together.

Repayment options for struggling borrowers

At some point in your loan term, it’s possible that you’ll need some breathing room on payments. Splash Financial offers the following options:

  • Forbearance: Splash Financial may let borrowers temporarily postpone loan payments if they’re experiencing a financial hardship such as a job loss or illness. The lender will consider this on a case-by-case basis.

Shop around and consider other refinance lenders if you anticipate needing more flexible repayment options — many other lenders offer at least 12 months of forbearance, academic deferment for borrowers going back to school, and other ways to temporarily lower your monthly payment.

Splash Financial extras

Borrowers who refinance with Splash get the following perks:

  • Referral bonus: Get $500 for each person you successfully refer to Splash Financial. More details.

FAQs

  • Can I apply with a co-signer? Yes.
  • Is there a co-signer release option? Yes, after the primary borrower makes 12 consecutive on-time payments. Not available for couples who refinance together.
  • 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? Splash would not disclose.
  • Can I qualify if I didn’t graduate? No.

» MORE: Read more student loan refinancing FAQs

Contact Splash Financial

Call: 800-491-9310
Email: splashfinancial@purefy.com

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.

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

About the author