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Student Loans Student Loan Repayment

BECU Student Loans Review

Private student loans and student loan refinancing

  • BECU is a credit union that serves Boeing employees and eligible borrowers in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon.
  • A 10-year repayment plan is offered for its student loans.
  • Student loan and refinancing options have a cosigner release after 24 consecutive on-time payments.

Founded in 1935, Boeing Employees Credit Union (BECU) initially served Boeing employees, lending them money to purchase tools to do their jobs. The credit union now serves over 1 million members, which consist of Boeing employees, residents, students, churchgoers, and business owners in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon.

BECU offers a variety of banking and loan products, including checking and savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages, student loans, and investment services. As you’re researching the best loan options, read our BECU student loans review to help you decide.

Our take on BECU’s private student loans

BECU private student loans offer more limited options than many of its competitors. For one, only a 10-year private student loan term is available, which may not be sufficient for those seeking shorter or longer terms. Borrowers are also required to make payments while still in school—not all lenders have this requirement. 

A six-month grace period applies upon graduation when you’re not required to make principal-and-interest payments. This is in line with many lenders’ offers. BECU’s students don’t necessarily have the lowest rates out there, but those who opt into autopay may qualify for 0.25% rate discount.   

One of the main advantages for borrowers who have a limited credit history or want a better rate is to apply with a cosigner. BECU allows this, as well as cosigner release after making consecutive payments for 24 months. 

However, the restrictive credit union requirements may limit who can take out loans. As of March 2024, you must be a resident, student, employee, business owner, or other qualified individual in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon to become a member. If you meet these membership requirements and find that these loans offer the best rates, it may be worth a look. 

Rates, terms, and more

Rates for BECU student loan rates at the time of writing are higher than other popular student loan lenders. Only one repayment term is available, but you can choose interest-only payments or a $25 monthly payment while in school. Below, you can review BECU student loans rates, terms, and other notable features. 

Rates8.47% – 13.24%* APR
Loan amounts$2,000 – $100,000
Repayment terms10 years
Grace period6 months
Cosigner releaseAfter 24 months of consecutive on-time loan payments
FeesNo origination fees or prepayment penalties
Unique features2 in-school payment options; Rate discount for autopay
Rates in March 2024.

How do you repay private student loans from BECU?

BECU partners with Lendkey to service its student loans. Its student loans have a 10-year repayment term, and borrowers have two in-school repayment options

  1. Fixed $25 monthly payment
  2. Interest-only payments at a $25 minimum

Each payment option comes with different starting APRs—the $25 monthly payment option has a lower rate. The in-school payments are on par with what other lenders offer, but most offer more choices in repayment terms. BECU, on the other hand, offers no choice. Everyone is limited to the 10-year term. 

Once you graduate from your school program or are no longer enrolled half-time, BECU gives you a six-month grace period before starting full principal-and-interest loan payments. Otherwise, your full repayment period will start 60 months after your loan is disbursed for an undergraduate program or 48 months for a graduate program (if earlier than your graduation date). 

During the full repayment period, your minimum payment is $50 per month. A 10-year repayment period could mean paying more in interest than loans with shorter terms because you’ll make more interest payments. If you prefer a shorter repayment term, you’ll have to go elsewhere.

One benefit with BECU student loans is the credit union offers 0.25% off your interest rate if you opt in to autopay. Some lenders also offer this type of discount. 

Our take on BECU’s refinance student loans

BECU’s student loan refinancing options are on par with many other lenders’ refinance product. Rates are competitive, but your exact rate depends on factors including your credit score and income. You could apply with a cosigner to increase your odds of qualifying for a loan. Unlike some lenders, with BECU, you can release your cosigner after 24 months of on-time and consecutive payments. 

The maximum amount you can refinance will depend on the type of loans you have. BECU only allows refinancing for undergraduate loans up to $100,000. The maximum for graduate loans or those parents took out is $125,000. The minimum refinancing amount is higher than we’ve seen with other competitors. 

Even if you want to refinance with BECU, you may not be able to if you can’t meet its credit union membership requirements. You mustbe a resident or student in Washington state, reside in select counties in Idaho or Oregon, or have an affiliation to BECU partners to qualify for membership. If not, other options will be more suitable. 

Rates, terms, and more

BECU’s student loan refinancing rates are similar to what many competitors offer, but your offer will depend on your credit profile and other factors. The minimum refinance amount at $10,000 is higher than many other lenders, and the maximum amount is lower. Unlike its private student loans, BECU’s refinance loan offers several repayment term options but no grace period

Rates6.99% – 11.49%* APR
Loan amounts$10,000 – $125,000
Repayment terms5, 10, or 15 years
Cosigner releaseAfter 24 months of consecutive on-time loan payments
FeesNo origination fees or prepayment penalties
Unique featuresAutopay rate discount
Rates in March 2024.

How do you repay refinance student loans from BECU?

BECU’s student loan refinancing is also serviced through Lendkey. The lender will work with you on which loans you want to refinance, whether one or multiple loans. You must log in to your account online through Lendkey to manage your loan or call 866-291-6868 to speak with a representative.

When refinancing, you can choose between three repayment terms: five, 10, or 15 years. BECU allows applicants to refinance the following types of student loans:

Loan terms and refinancing options are on par with other student loan lenders that offer refinancing. You get flexibility as to how soon you want to pay off your loans. 

For example, if you want to refinance to pay off your loan faster, you can opt for the five-year term. Those wanting to lower their monthly payments may choose to extend their repayment term to 15 years. The longer the term, the more you could pay in interest.    

Who’s eligible for BECU private and refinance student loans? 

Only BECU members are eligible for in-school and refinance student loans. The lender recommends cosigners if you think it will increase your chances of getting approved. Borrowers must be at the legal age in their state of residence and be enrolled in an eligible school or graduated from one for refinancing. 

Parents who are BECU members with a valid Social Security number can also refinance Parent PLUS or qualifying private student loans. The credit union doesn’t mention minimum credit or income requirements. Check with BECU to see what you may qualify for. 

CitizenshipU.S. citizen or resident with a valid Social Security number
State of residenceMust meet credit union membership requirements, which include being a student in one of three qualifying states (Washington, Idaho, and Oregon)
Minimum age18 or legal adult in your state of residence
Enrolled schoolMust be in a qualifying educational institution
Enrollment/graduation statusEnrolled at least half-time (student loan) or graduated from a qualifying school (refinance)

Pros and cons of BECU’s student loans and refinance loans

Here are several benefits and drawbacks of this credit union’s student loan and refinance options.


  • Autopay available

    BECU’s student loan and refinancing options offer a 0.25% on interest rates if you choose automatic payments. 

  • Choose in-school repayment and refinance options

    Borrowers can choose between two options for in-school payments for their student loans and can choose from three loan terms on refinance loans.

  • Cosigner option available

    Applicants can enlist a cosigner on their loan application, which can increase chances of getting approved for a student loan, especially if the cosigner has excellent credit. 

  • Cosigner release available

    Not all lenders let borrowers remove cosigners without refinancing to a new loan. As long as you can make 24 months of on-time consecutive payments to BECU, you can request to release your cosigner. 


  • High minimum loan amount

    At $10,000, this minimum loan amount is higher than other lenders, such as SoFi and Sallie Mae. If you only need several thousand to fill in funding gaps, BECU may not be for you. 

  • Credit union membership required

    Borrowers need to become a member of the credit union to apply for a loan. You can bypass these requirements by applying with a credit union with fewer restrictions, a bank, or an online lender, such as College Ave. 

  • Not available nationwide

    Student loans and refinancing are only available to credit union members who reside in certain states or are employees of Boeing. 

  • Limited repayment options

    BECU only offers a 10-year repayment term for student loans, unlike other lenders, which generally offer several choices. 

Not sure BECU is the right lender for you? Check out our reviews of several top-rated lenders:

LenderBest forRates (APR)
College AveBest overall4.07%16.69%
Sallie MaeCosigners4.50% – 16.70%
EarnestNo fees4.11%16.20%
Based on each lender’s undergraduate student loan.

Best refinance loans:

LenderBest forRates (APR)
SoFiBest online lender3.99% – 9.99%
ELFIBest personalized support5.28% – 8.99%
EarnestSkip-a-payment benefitStarting at 5.19%