- LendKey does not underwrite its own loans—it pairs you with a lender.
- Both in-school loans and student loan refinancing are available through LendKey.
- Applicants with cosigners are allowed.
- You can apply easily and quickly online.
LendKey entered the student loan market in 2009 to offer a new way of shopping for, applying for, and selecting private and refinanced student loans.
Instead of acting as the bank or lender itself, LendKey connects borrowers with lenders through its network of community banks and credit unions that offer student loan solutions. That way, borrowers can compare student loan products to choose the best fit for their loan or refinancing needs.
LendKey vets its partners with a bias toward not-for-profit lenders like credit unions, as well as lenders that offer the most competitive rates. This LendKey review will examine what the company has to offer for student loan borrowers.
On this page:
- LendKey Private Student Loans
- LendKey Student Loan Refinancing
- LendKey eligibility & application requirements
LendKey Private Student Loans
What we like:
Low interest rates
|Fixed APR||5.36% – 9.07%|
|Variable APR||4.40% – 9.37%|
|Loan Terms||10 years|
|Loan Amounts||$2,000 to $160,000|
LendKey offers private student loans to borrowers who are pursuing a degree at an accredited Title IV institution.
|LendKey private student loans|
|Loan amount||$1,000 – $160,000|
|Loan term||5, 10, or 15 years|
|Fixed rates||4.74% – 11.85%|
|Variable rates||1.25% – 9.44%|
Pros & cons of LendKey private student loans
- Choose from Multiple Lenders: The main advantage of using a LendKey private student loan is the access borrowers have to multiple lenders through a single platform which may mean you have a higher chance of meeting eligibility requirements or securing a low rate.
- No Initial Fees: There are also no origination fees or application fees with LendKey Private student loans.
- Autopay Discount: Borrowers also have access to an interest rate discount of 0.25% when they enroll in automatic payments.
- Cosigner Release Available: Cosigners may be released with most lenders through LendKey after 24 months of consecutive monthly payments.
- May Be Difficult to Qualify Without a Cosigner: The most noticeable caveat to a LendKey private student loan is that LendKey requires a strong credit score and income to qualify. Without this, borrowers need to have a cosigner to get a private student loan with one of the platform’s lenders.
- Rates May Be Higher Than Competitors: Interest rates on a LendKey private student loan may be higher than comparable lenders offering similar loan options, or federal student loan options.
LendKey private student loans may be a good option for borrowers who can qualify either on their own or with the help of a cosigner. The interest rates on both the variable- and fixed-rate loans are competitive, so long as borrowers have strong credit and income.
If you’d like to compare LendKey in-school loans to other options, you can check out our picks for the best private student loans.
LendKey Student Loan Refinancing
What we like:
Short cosigner release on-time payment requirements
|Fixed APR||3.64% – 7.50%|
|Variable APR||2.38% – 6.81%|
|Loan Terms||5, 7, 10, 15, 20|
|Loan Amounts||$5,000 – $300,000|
LendKey student loan refinancing gives borrowers an opportunity to take out a new loan to pay off an existing federal or private student loan.
|LendKey Student Loan Refinancing|
|Loan amount||$5,000 – $300,000|
|Loan term||5 – 20 years|
|Fixed rates||3.39% – 7.75%|
|Variable rates||2.70% – 5.25%|
|Min credit score||660*|
Pros & cons of LendKey refinance loans
- Easy Application Process: The first is the streamlined application process that takes minimal time to complete. Once a loan application is submitted, LendKey then connects borrowers with lenders that offer suitable refinance loan options based on the information provided.
- Compare Multiple Lenders: LendKey connects borrowers with multiple lenders that offer competitive rates, no origination or application fees, and in some cases, fast approval.
- Pre-Qualify with a Soft Credit Check: You can check LendKey to see if you qualify for better rates using a soft credit pull rather than a full credit check, so it won’t ding your credit.
- Autopay Discount: Borrowers also have access to a discount of 0.25% off their interest rate when signing up for autopay.
- Many Online Resources: Several online resources are available to help borrowers understand if refinancing is the right solution for them, and how much they could save through a refinanced student loan.
- No Initial Fees: You’ll pay no origination or application fees with LendKey.
- Some Borrowers May Not Qualify: Lenders want to minimize risk when refinancing loans. LendKey requires applicants to have a credit score of 660 and an income of $24,000 if applying without a cosigner.
- Not All Partner Lenders Offer Cosigner Release: While some lenders through LendKey may offer an option for a cosigner to help boost an applicant’s approval chances, not all lenders make this available.
- Lose Access to Federal Benefits: As with refinancing with any private lender, borrowers who plan to refinance federal student loans will lose valuable protections when doing so with LendKey. This includes the loss of income-driven repayment plans, forbearance and deferment options, and loan forgiveness.
LendKey’s student loan refinancing option may be a strong choice for borrowers who currently have federal or private student loans with a higher interest rate than what the lenders through LendKey have to offer.
Because of the streamlined application process, access to multiple lenders, and variety of repayment term options, LendKey refinanced student loans may be a beneficial option for borrowers who can qualify.
To compare other options, you can check out our picks for the best student loan refinance companies.
LendKey eligibility & application requirements
LendKey makes the loan application process easy, as it is completed online in a matter of minutes. Individuals who are not sure if refinancing is best for their situation may use our student loan refinance calculator to see if it makes sense for them.
Since you could be paired with one of several lenders, LendKey doesn’t have concrete application requirements. That said, if your credit score and income haven’t improved since you took out your loans, you might not be able to qualify for a better rate than you’re already paying.
To apply, go to LendKey’s site and click Apply Now. You’ll be prompted to input some information about yourself, where you live, your school, how much money you make, and what degree you earned or are earning. Then you’ll see what rates you could qualify for.
Checking your rates won’t affect your credit score, so there’s no harm in getting a quote to compare rates.
Bottom Line: Is a LendKey loan right for you?
LendKey is a good choice for both refinanced student loans and private student loans for borrowers who want access to multiple lenders through a single platform. However, like other private student loan companies, LendKey’s lenders require borrowers to have a strong financial foundation before they can qualify on their own.
Applying for a refinanced student loan or private student loan with LendKey is an easy process, done online, that takes only a few minutes to complete. Once the application is submitted, borrowers will know which lenders may be able to offer a loan, along with the interest rate, repayment term, and loan amount available to them.
If you’re not satisfied with LendKey, you can also compare other student loan companies right here on LendEDU. Check out our list of the best student loan companies, and see our picks for the best student loan refinancing companies.
Additionally, you can see how LendKey compares to another student loan company in our SoFi vs. LendKey student loan refinancing comparison.
If you’re ready to take out a loan with LendKey, check out its website.