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Student Loans Student Loan Repayment

Best Medical School Loan Refinance Options

Updated Nov 21, 2023   |   7-min read

Refinancing medical school loans can unlock savings and provide flexibility tailored to your  professional path. Whether you’re a medical resident seeking immediate relief or a seasoned professional looking to optimize your repayment plan, choosing the right lender is essential. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the best medical school and dental school loan refinance options, examining six leading lenders that stand out for various benefits. From personalized support to extended term lengths, you’ll find insights to help you make an informed decision and take the next step toward financial wellness.

After our comprehensive research, we’ve determined SoFi is the best overall lender for medical school loan refinancing

In this guide:

Compare the best medical school loan refinance options

LenderBest forRatesOur rating
SoFiBest overall4.24%9.99% APR4.9View rates
CredibleBest marketplace4.40%14.25% APR4.8View rates
EarnestBest skip-a-payment benefitStarting at 4.96% APR4.8View rates
ELFIBest personalized supportStarting at 5.08% APR4.8View rates
RISLABest hardship protections5.79%8.24% APR4.4View rates
Nelnet BankBest term lengths5.34%14.00% APR4.2View rates

Best medical school loan refinance options


Our top-rated online lender

  • Editorial rating: 4.9
  • Refinancing for medical professionals and refinancing for medical residents
  • Unemployment protection in case of job loss

SoFi has established itself as a leader in the online lending space, including for those looking to refinance medical school loans. With a strong focus on customer support and ease of use, it has earned our highest rating among online lenders.

Medical professionals can benefit from two specialized programs: refinancing for medical professionals or refinancing for medical residents. Medical and dental residents, for example, can pay just $100 per month during their residency. The variety of term lengths, competitive rates, and valuable member benefits, such as unemployment protection, make SoFi a standout choice.

Loan terms:

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 – Total outstanding loan balance 
  • Term lengths: 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years
  • Rates: 4.24%9.99% APR
  • Autopay rate reduction: 0.25%
  • Fees: None


Our highest-rated marketplace

  • Editorial rating: 4.8
  • Compare several quotes at once
  • Featured lenders: Brazos, Citizens Bank, ELFI, EDvestinU, INvestEd, ISL Education Lending, MEFA, Nelnet Bank, and RISLA

Credible is our top choice for those seeking a marketplace to refinance medical school loans. By providing access to a diverse range of lenders, Credible offers the flexibility and variety borrowers need to find the best possible terms for their individual situations.

Unlike other platforms, Credible allows you to compare offers from different lenders, including the loan terms and rates, all in one place.

Source: Credible

Whether you’re looking for specific term lengths or unique benefits, you’ll likely find a lender that meets your needs through Credible’s platform. 

Loan terms (may vary by lender):

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 – Total outstanding loan balance 
  • Term lengths: 5 – 20 years
  • Rates: 4.40%14.25% APR
  • Autopay rate reduction: Depends on lender
  • Fees: Depend on lender


Best skip-a-payment benefit

  • Editorial rating: 4.8
  • The only lender we reviewed that allows for 1 skipped payment each year
  • Options for biweekly automatic payments, rate match guarantee with a $100 bonus, and the ability to adjust your term down to the day

Earnest distinguishes itself in the crowded field of lenders that refinance medical school loans with its skip-a-payment benefit. It’s the only lender that allows you to skip a payment once per year, offering unparalleled flexibility for borrowers who might need it.

Additional standout features include the option to sign up for biweekly automatic payments and a rate-match guarantee that even comes with a $100 bonus. Earnest’s flexible approach allows borrowers to adjust their term length to the exact day to get the ideal monthly payment. 

Loan terms:

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 – Total outstanding loan balance 
  • Term lengths: 5 – 20 years
  • Rates: Starting at 4.96% APR
  • Autopay rate reduction: 0.25%
  • Fees: None


Best personalized support

  • Editorial rating: 4.8
  • Assigns applicants a Student Loan Advisor to assist throughout the process
  • $400 referral program and the ability for parents to transfer Parent PLUS loans to the student

If personalized support is a priority in your quest to refinance medical school loans, ELFI could be the right lender for you. With a designated Student Loan Advisor to assist throughout the application process, ELFI ensures tailored guidance and support for every borrower.

This personalized approach sets ELFI apart from many competitors. In addition to the Student Loan Advisor, ELFI offers a lucrative $400 referral program and the option for parents to transfer Parent PLUS loans to the student. 

Loan terms:

  • Loan amounts: Starting at $10,000 
  • Term lengths: 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years
  • Rates: Starting at 5.08% APR
  • Autopay rate reduction: Yes (integrated into your approved APR)
  • Fees: No upfront fees (Late fee and returned payment fee might apply)


Best hardship protections

  • Editorial rating: 4.4
  • Offers income-based repayment plan for short-term assistance, military benefits, unfortunate incident benefit, and payment forbearance
  • In-school refinance option with deferred repayment

RISLA stands out in the realm of medical school loan refinance with its comprehensive hardship protections. If you encounter financial difficulties, RISLA provides a safety net through an income-based repayment plan for short-term assistance, military benefits, unfortunate incident benefits, and payment forbearance.

Besides hardship protections, RISLA also offers an in-school refinance option with deferred repayment. This combination of benefits makes RISLA a solid choice if you’re seeking peace of mind and security while you repay your refinanced medical student loans.

Loan terms:

  • Loan amounts: $7,500 – $250,000
  • Term lengths: 5, 10, or 15 years
  • Rates: 5.79%8.24% APR
  • Autopay rate reduction: 0.25%
  • Fees: No upfront fees

Nelnet Bank

Best term lengths

  • Editorial rating: 4.2
  • Most term lengths to choose from of any individual lender
  • Deferment options if needed

Nelnet Bank earns recognition for providing the most flexible term lengths among individual lenders for medical school loan refinance. With options ranging from five to 20 years, you can select a plan that aligns with your financial goals and repayment capabilities. Nelnet also offers deferment options, providing another layer of flexibility for borrowers.

These features contribute to Nelnet’s position as a top lender for those looking to refinance medical school loans, especially if you’re seeking various repayment terms and adaptable solutions.

Loan terms:

  • Loan amounts: $1,000 – $500,000
  • Term lengths: 5 – 20 years
  • Rates: 5.34%14.00% APR
  • Autopay rate reduction: 0.25%
  • Fees: No upfront fees

How to choose a lender for medical school loan refinance

If you’re considering refinancing your medical school loans, the next steps are straightforward yet crucial to finding the best option for your financial situation. 

  1. Begin by prequalifying with several lenders, including those highlighted in this article. (Prequalifying is beneficial because you can see what rate you might be eligible for without a hard credit pull, which means it won’t hurt your credit score.)
  2. Compare these offers allows you to gauge the terms and benefits that fit your unique needs. Don’t hesitate to explore our detailed guide on how to refinance student loans for a step-by-step walkthrough.

Once you’ve chosen the best refinance lender, apply with that lender. This is typically a simple online process. Most lenders offer streamlined applications and may even provide personalized support. 

Remember, refinancing medical school loans is an individual decision, and taking the time to research and compare options ensures you make an informed choice that aligns with your financial goals.


Can I refinance during residency?

Some lenders, such as SoFi, offer specific refinancing programs for medical residents. These programs may allow you to pay less during residency, providing financial flexibility. Review each lender’s terms to find the best fit for your situation during residency.

Should I refinance during or after residency?

Refinancing during residency may offer immediate financial relief, but it might lead to higher interest over the loan’s life. Refinancing after residency, when income is generally higher, can lead to better rates and terms. 

Consider factors such as your current financial needs, expected future earnings, and loan terms to decide the best timing for you.

How do I know whether I’m eligible to refinance my medical school loans?

Eligibility for refinancing medical student loans typically depends on factors including credit score, income, debt-to-income ratio, and your chosen lender’s specific criteria. Most lenders provide clear guidelines on their websites or offer personalized quotes without affecting your credit score.

Can I still benefit from federal loan protections if I refinance?

No, refinancing federal loans with a private lender means you’ll lose federal loan protections, such as income-driven repayment plans, forgiveness programs, and options for forbearance or deferment. It’s essential to weigh these factors before making a decision to refinance federal loans.

How does refinancing affect my loan term and monthly payment?

Refinancing allows you to choose new loan terms that might reduce your monthly payment or save on interest over the life of the loan. Shorter terms can mean higher monthly payments but less interest overall. Longer terms often mean lower monthly payments but more interest over time.

Can I refinance more than once, and what’s the benefit of doing so?

Yes, you can refinance more than once. Doing so might be beneficial if your credit improves or interest rates drop, allowing you to qualify for a better rate or more favorable terms. 

Keep in mind each refinance application might impact your credit score, so weigh the benefits against potential downsides before applying to refinance again.

Ask the expert

Erin Kinkade, CFP®

How do medical professionals typically approach refinancing their loans, and what unique considerations should they account for given their specific career trajectory?

Once they approach repayment status, they will look for better repayment options. The main considerations are lower interest rates, longer or shorter terms, maximum consolidation or refinance available, and an amount that fits their budget to help meet short-, mid-, and long-term goals.

Can you shed light on common misconceptions or pitfalls medical professionals might encounter when looking to refinance their student loans, and how can they best navigate these challenges? 

I always recommend medical professionals keep an eye out for transfer or other administrative fees wrapped up in the refinance or consolidation. The best way to solve this is by asking questions, reading the fine print, and consulting a financial professional.