Refinance your student loans

Refinancing your student loans

can save you thousands or lower your monthly payment.

Refinance your student loans

Lower your payments. Save money.

Compare custom offers now

Here's how to refinance student loans

When you refinance student loans, you can save money by replacing existing education debt with a new, lower-cost loan through a private lender.

To qualify, you’ll need:

  • Credit scores at least in the high 600s – ideally higher.

  • A steady income.

  • If you fall short on either, you might need a co-signer who qualifies.

You can refinance both federal loans and private loans. It doesn’t cost anything to refinance student loans, and you may be able to reduce your monthly payment or pay off your debt faster.

To decide if refinancing your student loans makes sense, you'll want to make sure your loans qualify, that you're not giving up payment options you might need, that you're getting a better interest rate, and that you've chosen the right company.

How to refinance your student loans through NerdWallet

  • Shop for lenders that serve your state.

  • Click “Details” to see requirements and available terms.

  • Review pros, cons and NerdWallet’s rating.

  • Click “Check Rates” to apply on the lender’s site.

  • Prequalifying won’t affect your credit score.

  • Supply basic information such as your school, income and loan amounts.

  • Choose an offer and complete your application on the lender's site.

  • You’ll typically need:

  1. Loan or payoff verification statements.

  2. Proof of employment (W-2 form, recent pay stubs, tax returns).

  3. Proof of residency.

  4. Proof of graduation.

  5. Government-issued ID.

  • A hard credit check will finalize your interest rate.

  • If you’re denied, your lender will let you know why.

  • Sign the final disclosure document.

  • You typically have 3 days to cancel the loan if you change your mind.

  • Your new lender will pay off your existing loan, usually within a few weeks.

  • Keep paying your existing lender until the process is completed.

Current student loan refinance rates

The NerdWallet team of student loans experts analyzed reported rates from 23 lenders over a period of 39 months. We considered four variables — average maximum fixed rates, average minimum fixed rates, average maximum variable rates and average minimum variable rates — for each lender on a month-over-month basis.  

The average rates as of Jan. 11, 2023, are:

  • Minimum fixed interest rate - 5.40%.

  • Maximum fixed interest rate - 9.92%.

  • Minimum variable interest rate - 4.68%.

  • Maximum variable interest rate - 9.47%.

Rates have generally followed an upward trend since January 2022. Borrowers may see this trend persist if Federal Reserve rate hikes continue.

Use this chart to gauge how your student loan refinance offer measures against average ranges.

Top lender interest rates

Lender

Terms

Fixed APR range

Variable APR range

5 to 20 years

4.39% - 8.99%

4.09% - 8.29%

5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years

4.49% - 8.99%

4.99% - 8.99%

5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years

4.49% - 10.68%

4.38% - 7.98%

5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years

4.83% - 7.64%

3.99% - 7.24%

Multiple term options

4.49% - 9.44%

6.81% - 13.47%

Ready to compare all your student loan refinancing options with the lenders above?

5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years

4.49% - 7%

4.74% - 7.65%

5 to 25 years

4.39% - 8.99%

3.99% - 8.99%

See lender disclosures below.

Calculate your potential savings

Refinance student loans: Your questions answered

Should you refinance student loans during the federal student loan forbearance?

If you have federal student loans, you probably should not refinance while the government forbearance is in effect. It's scheduled to expire no later than June 30, 2023. If you decide to proceed, you should have stable personal finances and emergency savings before taking that risk.

If you have private student loans and qualify for refinancing, the answer is almost certainly yes. Refinancing carries no fees or costs. For those who qualify for a lower interest rate, student loan refinancing may help you accomplish one or more of these goals:

  • Pay less interest over the life of the loan

  • Pay off education debt faster

  • Reduce monthly student loan payments

  • Release a co-signer

  • Refinance a parent loan in the child's name

Use a student loan refinance calculator to estimate your savings.

What happens when you refinance student loans?

When you refinance student loans, a private lender pays off your existing loans and replaces them with one loan with a new interest rate and repayment schedule. Going forward, you’ll make monthly payments to the new lender.

What credit score do I need to refinance student loans?

You — or your co-signer— typically need credit scores that are at least in the high 600s. Many refinance lenders seek borrowers with scores in the mid-700s. The better your (or your co-signer’s) credit, the better the rate you’ll likely qualify for. Additionally, you need enough income to comfortably cover your expenses, student loan payments and other debts.

Is it a good idea to refinance a student loan?

Refinancing is a good idea if you qualify for a lower rate and you’re comfortable giving up the benefits that come with federal student loans. When you refinance federal loans, you lose access to income-driven repayment plans, loan forgiveness programs and other federal loan perks.

Is refinancing student loans better than consolidation?

It depends on your situation and goals. If you have the credit and income requirements to qualify for a lower rate, refinancing can save you money and help you become debt-free faster.

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 won’t save you money. In fact, it may extend your loan repayment schedule, increasing the amount of interest you pay long term.

Which is the best lender to refinance with?

Most borrowers will want to go with the lowest interest rate they qualify for. But if rates are similar, look for lenders offering other features you value, such as the ability to refinance parent PLUS loans in the child’s name or flexible repayment options in case of an unexpected financial hardship.

Best student loan refinance companies for:

Get rid of debt more quickly

Most lenders require a qualified co-signer

Find a lower rate or refi in your child's name

Co-signers can strengthen your application

Options for students who didn't graduate

NerdWallet student loan refinance ratings and reviews

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Earnest Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on Earnest's website

Earnest Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Check Rate

on Earnest's website

Fixed APR

4.39-8.99%

Variable APR

4.09-8.29%

Min. credit score

680

Best for borrowers who want to customize their repayment schedule to pay off debt fast.

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

  • You can’t apply with a co-signer.
  • Loans aren't available in Nevada.
Read full review

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

Disclaimer: Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 4.64% APR to 9.24% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 4.09% APR to 8.54% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. The rate will not increase more than once per month. The maximum rate for your loan is 8.95% if your loan term is 10 years or less. For loan terms of more than 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95%. Please note, we are not able to offer variable rate loans in AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN, and TX. Our lowest rates are only available for our most credit qualified borrowers and contain our .25% auto pay discount from a checking or savings account.

SoFi Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on SoFi's website

SoFi Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Check Rate

on SoFi's website

Fixed APR

4.49-8.99%

Variable APR

4.99-8.99%

Min. credit score

650

Best for borrowers who want plenty of benefits with their refinanced student loan.

Pros

  • You can refinance parent PLUS loans in your name.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
  • 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.
Read full review

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

Disclaimer: Fixed rates range from 4.49% APR to 8.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 4.99% APR to 8.99% 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 8.95% APR; 15- and 20-year terms are capped at 9.95% APR. 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.

LendKey Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on LendKey's website

LendKey Student Loan Refinance

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Check Rate

on LendKey's website

Fixed APR

4.49-10.68%

Variable APR

4.38-7.98%

Min. credit score

660

Best for borrowers who prefer to work with a community bank or credit union, rather than a big bank.

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.
Read full review

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

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

Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on Education Loan Finance's website

Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinance

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Check Rate

on Education Loan Finance's website

Fixed APR

4.83-7.64%

Variable APR

3.99-7.24%

Min. credit score

680

Best for borrowers who value good customer service.

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.
Read full review

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

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

Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on Laurel Road's website

Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Check Rate

on Laurel Road's website

Fixed APR

4.49-7.00%

Variable APR

4.74-7.65%

Min. credit score

660

Best for borrowers who want to refinance during their medical or dental residency.

Pros

  • You can refinance parent PLUS loans in your name.
  • Refinancing available for medical and dental residents.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Cons

  • Payment postponement isn’t available if borrowers return to school.
Read full review

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose.
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 up to your total outstanding loan balance.
  • Must have a degree: At least an associate degree for select professions. Borrowers in their last year of undergrad can refinance. For parent PLUS loans, the child does not need to have graduated to refinance.

Available Term Lengths

  • 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years

Disclaimer: Laurel Road; Rates as of 1/30/23. Rates Subject to Change. Terms and Conditions Apply. All products subject to credit approval All credit products are subject to credit approval. APRs shown include a 0.25% interest rate discount for AutoPay. If the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic fund transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the interest rate will decrease by 0.25% and will increase back if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the borrower’s bank account. The 0.25% AutoPay/EFT Discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the discount is applied to the principal to help pay the loan down faster. Variable APRs are subject to increase after consummation. The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) and changes in the SOFR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%. There is no limit on the amount your interest rate can increase at one time. The Index is currently published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (“New York Fed”). View payment examples here. KeyBank National Association reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice.

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on Splash Financial's website

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Check Rate

on Splash Financial's website

Fixed APR

4.39-8.99%

Variable APR

3.99-8.99%

Min. credit score

650

Best for receiving offers from multiple lenders.

Pros

  • You are assigned a dedicated account representative.
  • 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.
Read full review

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

Disclaimer: 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 4.49% (with autopay) to 8.00% (with autopay). Variable rate options range from 5.92% (with autopay) to 8.65% (with 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.

Disclaimers

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

Earnest

Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 4.64% APR to 9.24% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 4.09% APR to 8.54% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. The rate will not increase more than once per month. The maximum rate for your loan is 8.95% if your loan term is 10 years or less. For loan terms of more than 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95%. Please note, we are not able to offer variable rate loans in AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN, and TX. Our lowest rates are only available for our most credit qualified borrowers and contain our .25% auto pay discount from a checking or savings account.

SoFi

Fixed rates range from 4.49% APR to 8.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 4.99% APR to 8.99% 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 8.95% APR; 15- and 20-year terms are capped at 9.95% APR. 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.

LendKey

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

Laurel Road

Laurel Road; Rates as of 1/30/23. Rates Subject to Change. Terms and Conditions Apply. All products subject to credit approval All credit products are subject to credit approval. APRs shown include a 0.25% interest rate discount for AutoPay. If the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic fund transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the interest rate will decrease by 0.25% and will increase back if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the borrower’s bank account. The 0.25% AutoPay/EFT Discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the discount is applied to the principal to help pay the loan down faster. Variable APRs are subject to increase after consummation. The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) and changes in the SOFR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%. There is no limit on the amount your interest rate can increase at one time. The Index is currently published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (“New York Fed”). View payment examples here. KeyBank National Association reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice.

Splash Financial 

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 4.49% (with autopay) to 8.00% (with autopay). Variable rate options range from 5.92% (with autopay) to 8.65% (with 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.

Nelnet Bank 

Fixed interest rates range from 4.49% APR (with auto debit discount) to 9.44% APR (without auto debit discount). Your interest rate will depend on your (and if applicable, your cosigner’s) credit qualifications. The fixed interest rate will remain the same for the life of the loan. Variable interest rates range from 6.81% APR (with auto debit discount) to 13.47% APR (without auto debit discount). Your interest rate will depend on your (and if applicable, your cosigner’s) credit qualifications. Variable rates may increase after consummation. Variable rates for Nelnet Bank Student Loans are calculated as the One-Month SOFR plus the applicable Margin percentage. Variable rates will be based on the highest One-Month SOFR as published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on the twenty-fifth day (or the next business day) of the immediately preceding calendar month. The variable rate may change on the first day of each month if the SOFR index changes. This may result in higher monthly payments. The current One-Month SOFR index is 4.54% as of February 1, 2023. The lowest interest rate for each loan type requires automatically withdrawn (“auto debit”) payments. The lowest rate is available only to the most creditworthy applicants. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rate., The interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) may be higher depending upon (1) the credit history of the borrower and, if applicable, the cosigner, (2) the repayment option and loan term selected, and (3) the loan type selected. If approved, applicants will be notified of the rate qualified for within the stated range.