Refinance your student loans.

Refinancing your student loans can save you thousands and reduce your monthly payments.

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Student loan refinancing saves you money by replacing your existing college debt with a new, lower-rate loan through a private lender. To qualify, you need credit scores at least in the high-600s — ideally higher — and a steady income. If you fall short on either, you might need a co-signer who qualifies.

If you have private loans only, refinancing is the best way to reduce your payments.

Federal student loan borrowers may refinance as well, but those with poor credit or who struggle to make payments should investigate government income-driven repayment plans.

Which companies refinance student loans?

These well-established student loan refinance lenders offer competitive fixed and variable rates and a variety of repayment options.

LenderFixed APRVariable APR
Education Loan Finance3.09-6.69%12.69-6.01%1
CommonBond3.18-7.25%22.57-7.07%2
Earnest3.25-6.32%32.57-5.87%3
SoFi3.25-7.25%42.58-7.07%4
Citizens One3.35-8.24%53.11-8.46%5
Laurel Road3.50-6.99%62.99-6.42%6
Purefy3.50-7.28%73.15-6.93%7

Frequently Asked Questions

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. Refinancing at a lower interest rate can reduce your payment or allow you to repay what you owe faster. For the biggest savings, choose the shortest repayment term.

Student loan refinancing calculator

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.

What if I don’t qualify to refinance my student loans?

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.

Federal student loan consolidation vs. private student loan refinancing

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.

Choose the best student loan refinancing offer

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.

Student loan relief companies cash in on confusion

Refinance lender details and reviews

Education Loan Finance
Some of the lowest rates around
  • Type of lenderOnline only
  • Loan servicerMohela
  • Deferment or forbearance availableYes
  • Co-signer release availableYes

Learn more about Education Loan Finance
CommonBond
Refinance a parent PLUS loan in your name
  • Type of lenderOnline only
  • Loan servicerFirstmark Services
  • Deferment or forbearance availableYes
  • Co-signer release availableYes

Learn more about CommonBond
Earnest
Interest rate is based on your preferred monthly payment
  • Type of lenderOnline only
  • Loan servicerEarnest
  • Deferment or forbearance availableYes
  • Co-signer release availableNo option to apply with a co-signer

Learn more about Earnest
SoFi
Access to career coaching services
  • Type of lenderOnline only
  • Loan servicerMohela
  • Deferment or forbearance availableYes
  • Co-signer release availableNo

Learn more about SoFi
Citizens One
Refinance even if you didn’t graduate
  • Type of lenderTraditional bank
  • Loan servicerFirstmark Services
  • Deferment or forbearance availableYes
  • Co-signer release availableYes

Learn more about Citizens One
Laurel Road
No limit on the loan balance you can refinance
  • Type of lenderTraditional bank
  • Loan servicerMohela
  • Deferment or forbearance availableYes
  • Co-signer release availableYes

Learn more about Laurel Road
Purefy
Married couples can refinance their loans together
  • Type of lenderOnline only
  • Loan servicerPenFed Credit Union
  • Deferment or forbearance availableYes
  • Co-signer release availableYes

Learn more about Purefy

More questions? Find the answers in NerdWallet's student loan refinancing FAQ

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.

1 Education Loan Finance

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

2 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.

3 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.

4 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 3.250% APR to 7.250% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.580% APR to 7.070% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. Lowest variable rate of 2.350% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 1.34% plus 1.26% 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.

5 Citizens One

Education Refinance Loan 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 January 1, 2018, the one-month LIBOR rate is 1.56%. Variable interest rates range from 3.11%- 8.46% (3.11%-8.46% 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. Fixed interest rates range from 3.35%-8.24% (3.35% - 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 include our Loyalty discount 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. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens One is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.

6 Laurel Road

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.

7 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.