Splash Financial Review: Student Loan Refinancing

Splash Financial is a marketplace that offers refinance loans from PenFed, Nelnet Bank and Laurel Road.

Ryan LaneNovember 5, 2020
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.

Our Take

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: Splash Financial is an online marketplace founded in 2013 that offers student loan refinance loans from multiple partner lenders. It's best for borrowers who want quotes from more than one lender.

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on Splash Financial's website

Fixed APR

2.63 - 5.49%

Min. Credit Score

650

Pros & Cons

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.

Compare to Other Lenders

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance
PenFed Student Loan Refinance
Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Fixed APR

2.63 - 5.49%

Fixed APR

2.99 - 5.15%

Fixed APR

2.99 - 6.20%

Variable APR

N/A

Variable APR

2.25 - 4.49%

Rates and offers current as October 1, 2020. Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 2.99% APR to 5.15% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.25% APR to 4.49% APR. Both Fixed and Variable Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. For Variable Rate student loans, the rate will never exceed 9.00% for 5 year and 8 year loans and 10.00% for 12 and 15 years loans (the maximum allowable for this loan). Minimum variable rate will be 2.00%. These rates are 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.

Variable APR

1.99 - 6.10%

FIXED APR Fixed rate options consist of a range from 3.00% per year to 5.00% per year for a 5-year term, 3.60% per year to 5.30% per year for a 7-year term, 4.10% per year to 5.60% per year for a 10-year term, 4.50% per year to 5.65% per year for a 15-year term, or 4.60% per year to 6.20% 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). The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 3.75% per year to 5.80% per year for a 5-year term would be from $183.04 to $192.40. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.14% per year to 6.25% per year for a 7-year term would be from $142.00 to $147.29. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.24% per year to 6.65% per year for a 10-year term would be from $107.24 to $114.31. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.30% per year to 7.05% per year for a 15-year term would be from $80.65 to $90.16. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.61% per year to 7.27% per year for a 20-year term would be from $69.41 to $79.16. However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account. VARIABLE APR Variable rate options consist of a range from 1.99% per year to 6.05% per year for a 5-year term, 3.75% per year to 6.10% per year for a 7-year term, 4.00% per year to 6.15% per year for a 10-year term, 4.25% per year to 6.40% per year for a 15-year term, or 4.50% per year to 6.65% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rate will change on the first day of every month (“Change Date”) if the Current Index changes. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes. The variable interest rates are calculated by adding a margin ranging from 0.98% to 3.80% for the 5-year term loan, 2.35% to 3.85% for the 7-year term loan, 2.40% to 3.90% for the 10-year term loan, 2.65% to 4.15% for the 15-year term loan, and 2.90% to 4.40% for the 20-year term loan, respectively, to the 1-month LIBOR index published on the 25th day of each month immediately preceding each “Change Date,” as defined above, rounded to two decimal places, with no origination fees. If the 25th day of the month is not a business day or is a US federal holiday, the reference date will be the most recent date preceding the 25th day of the month that is a business day. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 3.49% per year to 6.31% per year for a 5-year term would be from $181.87 to $194.77. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.86% per year to 6.36% per year for a 7-year term would be from $140.68 to $147.82. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.91% per year to 6.41% per year for a 10-year term would be from $105.63 to $113.09. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.16% per year to 6.66% per year for a 15-year term would be from $79.92 to $87.99. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.41% per year to 6.91% per year for a 20-year term would be from $68.28 to $76.99. However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.

Min. Credit Score

650

Min. Credit Score

670

Min. Credit Score

700

Full Review

Splash Financial offers student loan refinance loans originated by Nelnet Bank, Laurel Road and Pentagon Federal Credit Union, known as PenFed. You can receive offers from these lenders by completing a single application on the Splash Financial website. This is similar to Credible and other sites with online loan marketplaces, including NerdWallet.

Splash Financial loan details vary by partner lender and application channel. This review outlines features that are available to Splash customers who prequalify via NerdWallet. If you want a specific benefit from one of Splash's partners — like PenFed combining your loans with your spouse's — contact the lender or Splash directly.

Splash Financial student loan refinancing at a glance

  • Complete one application to get offers from multiple refinance lenders.

  • Loans originated by Nelnet Bank, Laurel Road and PenFed.

  • Loan features and policies vary by lender and application channel.

How Splash Financial could improve

Splash Financial could improve by:

  • Offering consistent policies on forbearance, co-signing loans and other features that all partner lenders must adhere to.

  • Providing details borrowers need to choose among lender offers earlier in the application process.

  • Offering deferment to all borrowers who return to school.

Splash Financial student loan refinancing details

Splash Financial was founded in 2013 and offers loans from multiple lenders. The details below include all features you could receive by refinancing with Splash via NerdWallet. Check our reviews of Nelnet Bank, Laurel Road and PenFed to determine if a specific lender offers the features you want.

  • Soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get: Yes.

  • Loan terms: 5, 7, 10 or 15 years.

  • Loan amounts: $25,000 to $500,000.

  • Can transfer a parent loan to a child: Yes.

  • Application or origination fee: No.

  • Prepayment penalty: No.

  • Late fees: Yes; a fee equal to 20% of the interest portion of the monthly payment applies after the payment is five days late. The minimum late fee is $5 and the maximum is $25.

Compare Splash Financial’s range of interest rates with other student loan refinance lenders. Your actual rate will depend on factors including your — or your co-signer’s — credit history and financial situation. To see what rate Splash Financial will offer you, apply on its website.

Financial

  • Minimum credit score: 680.

  • Minimum income: $55,000.

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

  • Typical income of approved borrowers: $125,000.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Ranges from 35% to 50% depending on your income, highest degree earned and loan amount.

  • Can qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy: Yes, but you'll need a co-signer who has not previously filed for bankruptcy.

Other

  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

  • Location: Available in all 50 U.S. states.

  • Must have graduated: Yes, borrowers typically must have graduated with an bachelor's degree or higher, though associate degrees are accepted in some health care fields.

  • Must have attended a school authorized to receive federal aid: Yes.

  • Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: 34%; however, no co-signer option if you apply via NerdWallet.

Many lenders are offering relief related to COVID-19. Check this list of private loan relief options to see what this lender offers.

  • Academic deferment: No.

  • Military deferment: No.

  • Forbearance: Depends on the lender. Some offer 12 to 18 months of forbearance in 3-month increments while others evaluate hardship on a case-by-case basis.

  • Co-signer release available: Yes, after 12 consecutive on-time payments; however, no co-signer option if you apply via NerdWallet.

  • Death or disability discharge: No.

  • Loan discharge if co-signer dies or becomes disabled: No.

Repayment Preferences

  • Allows greater-than-minimum payments via autopay: Yes.

  • Allows biweekly payments via autopay: Yes if you use a PenFed share account. No if you're using a separate checking account.

  • Loan servicer: MOHELA, Nelnet or Pentagon Federal Credit Union, known as PenFed, depending on which lender finances your loan.

  • In-house customer service team: Yes.

  • Process for escalating concerns: Yes.

  • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: Yes.

  • Average time from approval to payoff: 15 days.

  • Couples refinancing: Married couples typically can refinance their loans into a one new loan via PenFed. Spouses also can transfer debt to their partners, though this requires a signed affidavit.

  • Referral bonus: Get $250 for each person you successfully refer to Splash Financial. Your referral will receive $250 as well. More details.

Before refinancing with Splash Financial

You can apply for a Splash Financial refinanced student loan on its website. Before deciding on a student loan refinance lender, compare multiple 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 borrowers who are struggling to make payments.

If you aren’t eligible to refinance with Splash Financial

If Splash Financial 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.

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