Many or all companies we feature compensate us. Compensation and editorial
research influence how products appear on a page.
Student Loans Student Loan Repayment

Best Medical School Loan Refinance Options

As a medical school graduate, you may be juggling six figures in student loan debt. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, medical school borrowers leave school with a median debt of $200,000. 

Refinancing could offer a solution if you’re looking for ways to manage your education debt better. You might be able to lower your interest rate, adjust your repayment terms, and get a more affordable monthly payment.

Some lenders let you postpone or make lower payments during residency, offering much-needed relief during lower-income years. In this guide, we’ll explore the best medical school and dental school loan refinance options.

Compare the best medical school loan refinance options

The table below features several of our top student loan refinance lenders. Click the lender’s name to jump to our review of its medical school loan refinance program.

LenderBest for
SoFiOverallView rates
CredibleMarketplaceView rates
EarnestSkip-a-payment benefitView rates
ELFIPersonalized supportView rates
RISLAHardship protectionsView rates
Nelnet BankTerm lengthsView rates

Best medical school loan refinance options


Our top-rated online lender

  • Editorial rating: 4.9 out of 5
  • 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 medical school loan refinance. 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 residency. 

The variety of term lengths, competitive rates, and valuable member benefits, such as unemployment protection, make SoFi a standout choice.


Our highest-rated marketplace

  • Editorial rating: 4.8 out of 5
  • 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.

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. 


Best skip-a-payment benefit

  • Editorial rating: 4.8 out of 5
  • The only lender we reviewed that allows for 1 skipped payment each year
  • Options for biweekly automatic payments, a 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. This may be especially useful for medical residents, whose average yearly stipend of $63,800 could make it challenging to afford hefty student loan payments every month. 

Additional standout features include the option to sign up for biweekly automatic payments and a rate-match guarantee 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. 


Best personalized support

  • Editorial rating: 4.8 out of 5
  • 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. 

Given the unique financial situation many medical school students find themselves in—with high debt loads and lower starting salaries as residents—this personalized support may be just what you need to manage your student loan debt. 

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. 


Powered by Credible

Best hardship protections

  • Editorial rating: 4.4 out of 5
  • Offers income-based repayment plan for short-term assistance, military benefits, unfortunate incident benefits, and payment forbearance
  • In-school refinance option with deferred repayment

RISLA stands out in 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 offers an in-school refinance option with deferred repayment. You can postpone payments while in school and up to six months after graduation, giving you time to get into residency. 

RISLA is also one of the few private lenders that offer income-based repayment. As a medical graduate, your salary may be low in residency before increasing when you become a full-fledged doctor or other healthcare professional, making this income-based plan a helpful option.   

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.

Nelnet Bank

Powered by Credible

Best term lengths

  • Editorial rating: 4.2 out of 5
  • 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. A 20-year term could be helpful for medical school loan borrowers, who may need to minimize payments as much as possible following graduation. Nelnet’s deferment options provide another layer of flexibility for borrowers.

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

How to select a lender: Our expert weighs in

Erin Kinkade


When refinancing medical student loans, consider lower interest rates, longer or shorter terms (depending on what you need), the maximum consolidation or refinance available, and an amount that fits your budget to help meet short-, mid-, and long-term goals.

How to choose a lender for medical school loan refinance

If you’re considering refinancing your graduate student loans after medical school, follow these steps to find the best option for your financial situation. 

  1. Check your credit: Before applying for a new loan, it’s wise to review your credit score. The stronger your credit, the better your chances of qualifying for refinancing and accessing a competitive rate. You can also get copies of your credit reports to see whether they contain errors you need to dispute. 
  2. Prequalify with several lenders: Shopping around with multiple lenders can help you find a medical school loan refinancing offer with the best rates and terms. Many lenders let you prequalify online, which only takes a minute or two and won’t harm your credit. Just provide a few personal details, and the lender will show you offers you prequalify for. 
  3. Compare your refinancing offers: As you compare offers, look for a loan with the lowest borrowing costs (i.e., a low interest rate and no fees) and repayment terms that work for your budget. Consider whether the lender offers any valuable benefits or the option to defer or reduce payments while you’re in residency. Don’t hesitate to explore our guide to refinancing student loans for a more detailed step-by-step walkthrough.
  4. Pick a loan and apply: Once you’ve found an offer that works for you, it’s time to submit an official application with your personal information and any required documentation. Most lenders offer streamlined online applications and may even provide personalized support. Your new lender will pay off your old loans and issue the refinanced loan in their place. Consider setting up automatic payments from your bank account so you don’t miss any bills. 

Our expert’s advice

Erin Kinkade


I always recommend medical professionals keep an eye out for transfer or other administrative fees wrapped up in the refinance or consolidation. In addition, be sure to weigh the pros and cons of relinquishing the benefits of federal loans if you refinance into private student loans. The best way to solve this is by considering your current financial condition, asking questions, reading the fine print, and consulting a financial professional.

Remember, refinancing medical school loans is an individual decision. Researching and comparing options ensures you make an informed choice that aligns with your financial goals.

Should I refinance during or after residency?

For some borrowers, refinancing student loans during residency could be beneficial. For others, it’s better to wait until after residency—or not refinance. 

If you owe federal student loans, you’ll lose the benefits that accompany those loans if you refinance them with a private lender. That means saying goodbye to income-driven repayment, deferment, forbearance, and loan forgiveness programs. These can be crucial lifelines for reducing or postponing monthly payments while in residency. 

However, if you’re carrying high-interest private student loans, it could be beneficial to refinance them during residency. If you can snag a lower interest rate or lengthen your repayment terms, you could save money on your loans and make your monthly payments more affordable. 

But if you can’t get a better rate than you have now, it might be better to wait until after residency. You’ll likely have a higher income and stronger credit score in the future, which could lead to better rates and terms. Consider your loan types, current financial needs, expected future earnings, and repayment terms to decide the best timing for you.


How do I know whether I can refinance my medical school loans?

To be eligible to refinance medical school loans, you must meet a lender’s credit score, income, and debt-to-income ratio requirements, among other 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 deciding 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. Refinancing may also help you reduce your interest rate, which could also lower your monthly payments. 

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 affect your credit score, so weigh the benefits against potential downsides before applying to refinance again.