11 Best Companies to Refinance Your Student Loans in 2017

Updated April 7, 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 on Credible

NerdWallet has partnered with Credible, a student loan refinancing marketplace. On Credible, you’ll fill out one application for multiple lenders, all of which are listed in the chart below.

LenderAPR ranges*Average credit
score
Eligible loan balancesNerdWallet review
*All APR ranges include a 0.25% autopay discount if available
Citizens Bank

Fixed:
3.74% to 8.24%

Variable:
2.60% to 8.39%
781Undergrads: $10,000 to $150,000

Graduate students: Up to $170,000
Citizens Bank review
CollegeAve

Fixed:
4.75% to 7.35%

Variable:
3.00% to 6.25%
750+$5,000 to $250,000College Ave review
Earnest logo

Fixed:
3.75% to 6.64%

Variable:
2.76% to 6.24%
700+$5,000 to $500,000Earnest review
iHelp

Fixed:
4.65% to 8.84%

Variable:
3.58% to 9.47%
700+Undergrads: $10,000 to $150,000

Graduate students: $10,000 to $250,000
iHelp review
MEFA

Fixed:
4.95% to 6.95%

Variable:
3.79% to 7.14%
746$10,000 up to the full balance of your student loansMEFA review
RISLA

Fixed:
3.49% to 7.64%
778$7,500 to $140,000RISLA review

Additional student loan refinance options

Some refinancing lenders aren’t available on Credible’s platform, but they might be good matches for you. Visit their websites to fill out an application.

LenderAPR ranges*Average
credit
score
Eligible loan balancesNerdWallet review
*All APR ranges include a 0.25% autopay discount if available
CommonBond

Fixed:
3.37% to 6.74%

Variable:
2.56% to 6.48%

Hybrid:
3.80% to 6.36%
750+$10,000 to $500,000CommonBond 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 loansDRB review
LendKey logo

Fixed:
3.25% to 7.26%

Variable:
2.43% to 5.97%
680Undergrads:
$7,500 to $125,000

Graduate students:
$7,500 to $175,000
LendKey review


Fixed:
3.50% to 8.24%

Variable:
2.11% to 7.40%
770$7,500 to $150,000
Purefy review
SoFi logo

Fixed:
3.38% to 6.74%

Variable:
2.58% to 6.50%
774$5,000 up to the full balance of your student loansSoFi review

Refinance lender details and reviews:

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

College Ave Student Loans

  • Type of lender: Online only
  • Loan servicer: Navient
  • Deferment or forbearance available: Yes
  • Co-signer release available: Yes
  • Why it stands out: You can opt to make interest-only payments for the first 2 years; repayment term can be between 5 and 15 years
  • Read more about College Ave

Earnest

  • Type of lender: Online only
  • Loan servicer: Earnest
  • Deferment or forbearance available: Yes
  • Co-signer release available: No option to apply with a co-signer
  • Why it stands out: The interest rate is customized based on your preferred monthly payment
  • Read more about Earnest

iHelp

  • Type of lender: Online only
  • Loan servicer: iHelp
  • Deferment or forbearance available: Yes
  • Co-signer release available: Yes
  • Why it stands out: You have access to multiple flexible repayment options
  • Read more about iHelp

MEFA

  • Type of lender: Online only
  • Loan servicer: ACS Education Services
  • Deferment or forbearance available: No
  • Co-signer release available: No
  • Why it stands out: You can temporarily lower your payments depending on your circumstances
  • Read more about MEFA

RISLA

  • Type of lender: Online only
  • Loan servicer: RISLA
  • Deferment or forbearance available: Yes
  • Co-signer release available: No
  • Why it stands out: It offers an income-based repayment plan and lets you refinance even if you didn’t graduate
  • Read more about RISLA

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

DRB

  • 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 DRB

LendKey

  • Type of lender: Marketplace that provides offers from multiple lenders
  • Loan servicer: LendKey
  • Deferment or forbearance available: Yes
  • Co-signer release available: Yes
  • Why it stands out: You can compare refinance offers from more than 300 community banks and credit unions
  • Read more about LendKey

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

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

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