7 Best Companies to Refinance Your Student Loans in 2017


Updated May 30, 2017

If you’re tired of making sky-high interest rate payments, student loan refinancing may be a good option for you. Refinancing saves you money by replacing your existing student loans with a new, lower-rate loan.

To qualify, you need credit in the mid-600s or higher and a steady income, or access to a co-signer. Student loan refinancing is not the same as federal consolidation. Learn more on our refinance FAQ page.

The best refinance lender for you depends on your priorities. Borrowers often look for the lowest interest rate possible, but it’s worth checking out the various features each lender offers. See our reviews for the full details.

Student loan refinance options

LenderAPR ranges*Average
credit
score
Eligible loan balancesNerdWallet review
*All APR ranges include a 0.25% autopay discount if available. See additional offer disclosures below.
SoFi logo

Fixed:
3.35% to 6.74

Variable:
2.62% to 6.54%
750+$5,000 up to the full balance of your student loansSoFi review
CommonBond

Fixed:
3.35% to 6.74%

Variable:
2.61% to 6.54%

Hybrid:
3.82% to 6.37%
750+$5,000 to $500,000CommonBond review
Earnest logo

Fixed:
3.37% to 6.49%

Variable:
2.80% to 6.28%
700+$5,000 to $500,000Earnest review


Fixed:
3.50% to 7.28
770$7,500 to $150,000
Purefy review
Citizens Bank

Fixed:
3.74% to 8.24%

Variable:
2.58% to 8.43%
781Undergrads: $10,000 to $150,000Citizens Bank review
DRB logo


Fixed:
4.20% to 7.20%

Variable:
3.64% to 6.29%
750+$5,000 up to the full balance of your student loansLaurel Road review
Elfi logo

Fixed:
3.35% to 6.69%

Variable:2.10-6.01%
$15,000 to $250,000Elfi review

Refinance lender details and reviews:

Elfi

  • Type of lender: Online only
  • Loan servicer: Mohela
  • Deferment or forbearance available: Yes
  • Co-signer release available: No
  • Why it stands out: Elfi offers some of the lowest rates in the market
  • Read more about Elfi

Earnest

  • Type of lender: Online only
  • Loan servicer: Earnest
  • Deferment or forbearance available: Yes
  • Co-signer release available: Yes
  • Why it stands out: The interest rate is customized based on your preferred monthly payment
  • Read more about Earnest

CommonBond

  • Type of lender: Online only
  • Loan servicer: Firstmark Services
  • Deferment or forbearance available: Yes
  • Co-signer release available: Yes
  • Why it stands out: You can refinance a parent PLUS loan in your name
  • Read more about CommonBond

SoFi

  • Type of lender: Online only
  • Loan servicer: Mohela
  • Deferment or forbearance available: Yes
  • Co-signer release available: No
  • Why it stands out: You can get access to career coaching services
  • Read more about SoFi

Purefy

  • Type of lender: Online only
  • Loan servicer: PenFed Credit Union
  • Deferment or forbearance available: Yes
  • Co-signer release available: Yes
  • Why it stands out: Married couples can refinance their loans together
  • Read more about Purefy

Laurel Road

  • Type of lender: Traditional bank
  • Loan servicer: Mohela
  • Deferment or forbearance available: Yes
  • Co-signer release available: Yes
  • Why it stands out: There’s no limit on the loan balance you can refinance
  • Read more about Laurel Road

Citizens Bank

  • Type of lender: Traditional bank
  • Loan servicer: Firstmark Services
  • Deferment or forbearance available: Yes
  • Co-signer release available: Yes
  • Why it stands out: You can refinance even if you didn’t graduate
  • Read more about Citizens Bank

When to consider student loan refinance alternatives

You’ll use federal loan repayment programs

When you refinance a federal student loan, a lender pays it off and issues you a new, private loan. That means you can’t repay the refinanced loan on an income-driven repayment plan, postpone payments using deferment or forbearance, or get loan forgiveness for working in public service. Only refinance your federal loans if you don’t plan to take advantage of these programs.

You don’t meet the requirements

At a minimum, lenders want to see that you have a stable job and a steady income, that you use credit responsibly and that you’ve been in the workforce for a little while. Some lenders also prefer customers who have graduate degrees, especially if you have a lot of debt. This means refinancing isn’t an option for graduates who are struggling to pay their student loan bills.

More on student loan refinance

Refinance calculator
Refinance vs. consolidation
Refinance FAQs

 

 

 

DISCLOSURES

1. CommonBond – Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.  All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.99% as of May 10, 2017.

2. SoFi – Terms and Conditions Apply. See SoFi.com/legal for more details. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Finance Lender Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. Fixed rates from 3.375% APR to 6.740% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.565% APR to 6.490% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.565% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 0.99% plus 1.825% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score.  Information presented is current as of 6/1/2017.   The offer that appears on this site is from a third-party advertiser from which NerdWallet receives compensation.

3. Purefy – Rates range from 3.50% to 7.28% APR [low to high range]. The range of rates is expressed as an APR. Since there are no fees associated with this loan, the APR is the same percentage as the actual interest rate of the loan. Fixed Rate Loan Terms: 5 years/60 monthly payments, 8 years/96 monthly payments, 12 years/144 monthly payments or 15 years/180 monthly payments. Fixed Rate APR: the Rate will not change during the term. All loans are subject to credit approval, and rates are subject to change without notice. Information is current as of 6/5/2017.

4. Laurel Road (Division of Darien Rowayton Bank) – FIXED APR: Fixed rate options consist of a range from 4.45% per year to 6.15% per year for a 5-year term, 4.55% per year to 6.74% per year for a 7-year term, 4.75% per year to 7.00% per year for a 10-year term, 5.15% per year to 7.24% per year for a 15-year term, or 5.40% per year to 7.45% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. The fixed interest rate will apply until the loan is paid in full (whether before or after default, and whether before or after the scheduled maturity date of the loan).VARIABLE APR: Variable rate options consist of a range from 3.89% per year to 5.54% per year for a 5-year term, 3.94% per year to 5.74% per year for a 7-year term, 3.99% per year to 5.94% per year for a 10-year term, 4.09% per year to 6.29% per year for a 15-year term, and 4.19% per year to 6.54% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 3-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), as published in the “Money Rates” section of The Wall Street Journal (Eastern Edition). The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease with the 3-month LIBOR index changes.

5. Citizens Bank – Graduate/Undergraduate Rate Disclosure: Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of May 1, 2017,the one-month LIBOR rate is 0.99%. Variable interest rates range from 2.54% – 8.39% (2.54% – 8.39% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. For borrowers with a verified graduate degree, fixed interest rates range from 3.74% – 8.24% (3.74% – 8.24% APR). For borrowers with a bachelor’s degree or below, fixed interest rates range from 4.74% – 8.24% (4.74% – 8.24% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Lowest rates shown are for eligible applicants, require a 5-year repayment term and includes our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.

Earnest – Specific Annual Percentage Rate (APRs) offered within these ranges will depend on a variety of factors including your creditworthiness and other application details. Annual percentage rates (APRs) reflect 0.25% discount for optional enrollment in autopay. Your approval for an Earnest Loan is subject to the full underwriting of your loan application. Read more about qualifying for a loan with Earnest here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility.