Have federal student loans? Think before you refinance

Weigh the payment pause and potential loan forgiveness in your decision. Keep up with the latest.

Compare your student loan refi optionsforcredit in

Written by NerdWallet
May 2, 2022


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Here are 5 options for you

SoFi Student Refinancing

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

on SoFi

Fixed APR 
5.24-9.99% 
Variable APR 
6.24-9.99% 
MIN. Credit 
650 

on SoFi

Rating and review

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 700+.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000, up to your total outstanding loan balance.

  • Must have a degree: Yes, an associate degree or higher.

Available Term Lengths

5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years

Pros

  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

  • Dedicated Student Loan Debt Specialist available for borrowers.

  • Additional perks like career planning, job search assistance and entrepreneurship support available.

Cons

  • No co-signer release available.

  • Loan size minimum is higher than most lenders.

Earnest Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

on Earnest

Fixed APR 
5.19-9.74% 
Variable APR 
5.99-9.74% 
MIN. Credit 
650 

on Earnest

Rating and review

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 760.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $500,000.

  • Must have a degree: No, but must be within six months of graduation and have income or a job.

Available Term Lengths

5 to 20 years

Pros

  • Customizable payments and loan terms.

  • Option to skip one payment every 12 months.

  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Cons

  • Loans aren't available in Nevada.

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

on Splash Financial

Fixed APR 
5.34-8.73% 
Variable APR 
7.35% 
MIN. Credit 
650 

on Splash Financial

Rating and review

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

Qualifications

  • Splash Financial currently does not offer variable rates or accept co-signers through NerdWallet.

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 700+.

  • Loan amounts: $10,000 to $500,000.

  • Must have a degree: Yes, a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Available Term Lengths

5 to 25 years

Pros

  • Select from multiple repayment options between 5 and 25 years.

  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Cons

  • Loan features vary by lender.

  • Forbearance and death discharge may not be available.

  • You may need to become a member of a credit union to qualify.

LendKey Student Loan Refinance

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

on LendKey

Fixed APR 
5.49-12.18% 
Variable APR 
5.52-8.70% 
MIN. Credit 
660 

on LendKey

Rating and review

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 751.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $300,000, depending on the higest degree earned.

  • Must have a degree: Yes, at least an associate degree.

Available Term Lengths

5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years

Pros

  • Forbearance of 18 months for 15- and 20-year loan terms is longer than many lenders.

  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Cons

  • Loans aren't available in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island or West Virginia.

  • No payment postponement available if borrowers return to school or serve in the military.

Education Loan Finance Refinance

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

on Education Loan Finance

Fixed APR 
5.48-8.94% 
Variable APR 
5.28-8.99% 
MIN. Credit 
680 

on Education Loan Finance

Rating and review

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 774.

  • Loan amounts: $10,000 up to your total outstanding loan balance.

  • Must have a degree: Yes, at least a bachelor’s degree.

Available Term Lengths

5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years

Pros

  • You are assigned a student loan advisor.

  • You can refinance parent PLUS loans in your name.

Cons

  • Payment postponement isn’t available for borrowers who return to school.

  • The minimum amount to refinance is more than many lenders require.

  • No co-signer release available.

Disclaimers

Annual Percentage Rates (APR), loan term and monthly payments are estimated based on analysis of information provided by you, data provided by lenders, and publicly available information. All loan information is presented without warranty, and the estimated APR and other terms are not binding in any way. Lenders provide loans with a range of APRs depending on borrowers' credit and other factors. Keep in mind that only borrowers with excellent credit will qualify for the lowest rate available. Your actual APR will depend on factors like credit score, requested loan amount, loan term, and credit history. All loans are subject to credit review and approval.

1SoFi Student Refinancing

Fixed rates range from 5.24% APR to 9.99% APR with 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates range from 6.24% APR to 9.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates on 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms are capped at 13.95% APR; 15- and 20- year terms are capped at 13.95% APR. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 02/01/24 and are subject to change at any time. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR 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. This benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit lowers your interest rate but does not change the amount of your monthly payment. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. You may pay more interest over the life of the loan if you refinance with an extended term.

2Earnest Student Loan Refinance

Earnest Loans are made by Earnest Operations LLC or One American Bank, Member FDIC. or FinWise Bank, Member FDIC. Earnest Operations LLC, NMLS #1204917. 535 Mission St., Suite 1663, San Francisco, CA 94105. California Financing Law License 6054788. Visit http://www.earnest.com/licenses for a full list of licensed states. For California residents: Loans will be arranged or made pursuant to a California Financing Law License. One American Bank, 515 S. Minnesota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104. FinWise Bank, 756 East Winchester, Suite 100, Murray, UT 84107. Earnest loans are serviced by Earnest Operations LLC with support from Navient Solutions LLC (NMLS #212430). One American Bank, FinWise Bank, and Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by agencies of the United States of America.

3Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance

Splash Financial, Inc. (NMLS # 1630038) reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. The information you provide is an inquiry to determine whether Splash’s lending partners can make you a loan offer, but does not guarantee you will receive any loan offers. Terms and conditions apply. Products may not be available in all states. These rates are subject to change at any time. If you do not use the specific link included on this website, offers on the Splash website may include other offers from lending partners that may have a higher rate. Fixed Rate options range from 5.34% (with autopay) to 8.73% (with autopay). Variable rate options range from 7.35% (with autopay) to 7.35% (without autopay). Some of the rates are based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) index and some are derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). Fixed loans feature repayment terms of 5 to 20 years. For example, the monthly payment for a sample $10,000 with an APR of 5.47% for a 12-year term would be $94.86. Variable loans feature repayment terms of 5 to 25 years. For example, the monthly payment for a sample $10,000 with an APR of 5.90% for a 15-year term would be $83.85.

4LendKey Student Loan Refinance

See LendKey's full terms and conditions at https://www.lendkey.com/disclaimers

5Education Loan Finance Refinance

Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply. https://www.elfi.com/terms/