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Refinance your student loan and save (a ton)

Graduate to a more affordable loan

Refinancing your student loans can save you thousands by shrinking your interest rates, and it can give you access to unique perks. This helps you pay off debt faster and can free up your money to meet other goals. So whether you want to set aside money for a down payment, aggressively contribute to your retirement or simply travel more, refinancing your student loans can help you get there faster.

Better yet, it’s free to refinance and you can get get personalized offers, in less than ten minutes. Check out our shortlist of standout partners:

Lender

Fixed APR

Variable APR

Min credit score

NerdWallet rating

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Fixed APR

3.89-8.07%

Fixed

Variable APR

2.55-7.12%

Variable

Min credit score

660

on CommonBond Student Loan Refinance's secure website

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NerdWallet rating

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Fixed APR

3.50-7.89%

Fixed

Variable APR

2.49-7.27%

Variable

Min credit score

650

on Earnest Student Loan Refinance's secure website

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NerdWallet rating

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Fixed APR

3.69-8.07%

Fixed

Variable APR

2.49-6.65%

Variable

Min credit score

650

on SoFi Student Loan Refinance's secure website

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NerdWallet rating

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Fixed APR

3.39-6.69%

Fixed

Variable APR

2.80-6.01%

Variable

Min credit score

680

on Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinance's secure website

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See why these lenders make the grade

  • Earnest: Borrowers can choose their own monthly payment amount and increase it at any time to become debt-free faster.
  • CommonBond: Lets borrowers temporarily pause payments for up to 24 months — longer than most other lenders.
  • SoFi: Offers borrowers extra perks like career coaching and no-fee investing.
  • Education Loan Finance: Assigns each applicant a dedicated loan advisor to help make the refinancing process easier.

The headache-free way to refi

When you know what to expect, refinancing your student loans is a surprisingly easy process.

Have everything you need

Refinance lenders will ask for proof of ID and income from you and your co-signer, if you're using one.

Compare offers

Submit multiple applications around the same time to get the lowest interest rate you qualify for.

Get your new loan

The refinance lender will replace your old loans with a new one. Keep repaying your old loans until the new lender says everything's set.

Haven't graduated yet?

If you're still in school, you may need a private student loan to fill a gap in your financial aid package. Compare rates from these top-rated lenders so you can go back to focusing on your degree.

Want to know more? We’ve got answers.

Refinancing is a good idea if you have private student loans, or if you have federal student loans and don’t plan to take advantage of a federal forgiveness program or an income-driven repayment plan. For the biggest savings, choose the shortest repayment term. Federal student loan borrowers with poor credit or who struggle to make payments should investigate government income-driven repayment plans. Others may wish to consider federal student loan consolidation, which could lower payments by extending the term of the loan.

Yes. You need strong credit and a steady income to qualify for refinancing. Most lenders look for a credit score in at least the high 600s, a low debt-to-income ratio and a steady paycheck. Almost all lenders accept co-signers to help you qualify. Some lenders also favorably consider a job with high earning potential in a profession like medicine or law.

Refinancing and consolidation describe the same thing: turning multiple loans into a single, new loan. If you go through a private lender, like the ones above, you may see a lower interest rate. If you consolidate your federal loans through the government, you won’t receive a lower interest rate, but you may qualify for loan forgiveness programs or income-driven repayment plans.

Most borrowers will want to go with the lowest interest rate they qualify for. But if rates are similar, look for lenders that offer options such as deferment, forbearance or flexible repayment in case of an unexpected financial hardship.

Refinancing student loans doesn’t cost money. Reputable private lenders do not charge origination fees or prepayment penalties. Consolidating federal loans through the Department of Education is also free. Some so-called debt relief companies charge fees to consolidate loans on your behalf, but it’s never necessary to pay for this service.

Start saving on your student loans today.

Potential Savings Methodology

MBA: Average savings for MBA degree assumes refinancing would reduce the interest rate from 6.25% to 3.5% on a $55,792 debt with a standard 10-year payment plan. Law: Average savings for law school assumes refinancing would reduce the interest rate from 6.25% to 3.5% on a $133,500 debt with a standard 10-year payment plan. Medical: Average savings for med school assumes refinancing would reduce the interest rate from 6.25% to 3.5% on a $228,523 debt with a standard 10-year payment plan. Dental: Average savings for dental school assumes refinancing would reduce the interest rate from 6.25% to 3.5% on a $274,120 debt with a standard 10-year payment plan.