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Splash Financial Review: Student Loan Refinancing

Splash Financial stands out because it’s one of the few lenders to let married couples refinance student loans together.
March 21, 2019
Loans, Student Loans
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5.0 NerdWallet rating

Splash Financial offers student loan refinance loans 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: 3.87% - 7.03%
Variable: 3.02% - 7.76%
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
Check rates at Splash Financial

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:
Above 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:
Above 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.

Splash Financial student loan refinancing details

  • Soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get: Yes.
  • 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.

Check rates at Splash 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.


  • 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.

Check rates at Splash Financial


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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