Student loan ratings
Student loan refinancing
Private student loan
The bottom line: Brazos offers parent loans and refinancing loans to borrowers with student loans in Texas. Brazos refinancing is best for student loan borrowers who need a refinancing loan and live in Texas. Brazos parent loans are best for parents who live in Texas and want to finance undergraduate or graduate education for their children.
Student loan refinancing review
- You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
- Offers greater-than-minimum payments via autopay.
- Only available to borrowers in Texas.
- Does not offer co-signer release.
Brazos is best for student loan borrowers who need a refinancing loan and live in Texas.
Brazos Higher Education Service Corp., a nonprofit, offers refinancing student loans to borrowers in Texas. Borrowers can see what rate they would qualify for without a hard credit check.
You must have a minimum income of $60,000 and a 720 credit score to qualify. If you don’t meet those criteria, you’ll need a co-signer who does, as well as an income of $30,000 and a credit score of 690 on your own.
Brazos refinancing student loans at a glance
Available only to student loan borrowers in Texas.
Brazos, unlike most private lenders, is a nonprofit.
Borrowers must be employed even if applying with a co-signer.
How Brazos could improve
Brazos, like other five-star loans, isn't perfect. They could improve by offering additional programs such as:
Longer than 12 months of forbearance.
Academic deferment for borrowers who return to school.
How much can refinancing save?
Brazos student loan refinancing details
Before refinancing with Brazos
Before deciding on a student loan refinance lender, compare student loan refinance options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, compare lenders’ repayment options and the flexibility they offer for borrowers who are struggling to make payments.
If you aren’t eligible to refinance with Brazos
If Brazos denies your refinance application, the lender will let you know why. Depending on the reason, you may want to consider other lenders or need a co-signer.
NerdWallet recommends prequalifying with multiple refinance lenders before you apply. This will let you know which lenders you may be eligible with, without affecting your credit.
Private student loan review
- Borrowers can finance undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
- Students do not have to attend college in Texas to qualify.
- Available only to parent borrowers in Texas.
Brazos is best for parent loan borrowers who live in Texas and want to finance undergraduate or graduate education for their children.
Brazos Parent Loans are available to Texas residents whose children attend schools anywhere in the U.S. They can be used to finance the costs of undergraduate education, and unlike federal direct parent PLUS loans, can also pay for graduate and other professional degree costs.
Consider a parent loan only after your child has maxed out all federal student loan options and only if your own finances are strong. A parent loan will be your responsibility to pay unless your child refinances the debt with a private lender in their own name.
Brazos parent Loans private student loans at a glance
Available to Texas residents only.
Can finance undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
Children don't have to attend college in Texas.
How Brazos parent loans could improve
Brazos could improve by offering additional programs such as:
Longer than 12 months of forbearance.
Academic deferment for parents while their children are in school.
Brazos Parent Loans private student loan details
Before applying for a Brazos Parent Loan
Before taking out a Brazos Parent Loan or any other parent student loan, your child should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, and max out their federal loan options. And make sure the loan payments won't stop you from reaching other financial goals, like saving for retirement.
» MORE: NerdWallet’s FAFSA Guide
Compare federal and private parent student loans to make sure you’re choosing the right option and getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, look at lenders’ repayment alternatives and the flexibility they offer to borrowers who struggle to make payments. [h3] If you aren’t eligible for a [lender name] student loan
If Brazos denies your student loan application, the lender will let you know why. Depending on the reason, you may want to consider other parent loan options or, if you haven’t already, try applying with a co-signer.
Student loans ratings methodology
NerdWallet believes the best student loan is one you can repay at the lowest interest rate you can get. That’s why NerdWallet’s student loan ratings reward lenders that offer a variety of loan terms, limit their fees and penalties, and extend borrowers multiple options to avoid default. Points are also awarded for soft credit checks, underwriting transparency and other consumer-friendly features. Use these ratings as a guide, but we encourage you to shop around for the lowest interest rate you can qualify for. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for its reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.
Frequently asked questions
No. Only Texas residents are eligible.
The minimum amount to refinance is $10,000. The maximum is $150,000 for borrowers with a bachelor's degree; $250,000 with a graduate or professional degree (law, medical).
To refinance with Brazos you may need a co-signer. The lender says 14.30% of approved borrowers use a co-signer. With a co-signer you'll need at least a 690 credit score and your co-signer will need at least a 720 credit score. The minimum income to apply is $30,000 with a co-signer and your co-signer must have a minimum income of $60,000.