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Refinancing your student loans can save you money and simplify repayment. We researched 18 lenders to find the best student loan refinance companies for borrowers. Having a good credit score or creditworthy cosigner can help you qualify for the lowest rates. You can also consolidate federal and private student loans together during the process.

Compare Student Loan Refinance Rates

Earnest

3.45%-7.49%

Fixed APR

2.14%-6.79%

Variable APR

5 - 20

Term (Years)

What we like

Option to skip one payment a year

Loan Minimum$5,000
Loan MaximumNo Max
Eligible DegreesUndergraduate & Graduate
Eligible LoansPrivate & Federal
Min. Annual IncomeNo Minimum
Min. Credit ScoreGood or Excellent
State RestrictionsNot available in AL, DE, KY, MS, NV, or RI
ELFi

3.29%-6.69%

Fixed APR

2.39%-6.01%

Variable APR

5, 7, 10, 15, 20

Term (Years)

What we like

Get $400 for referring a friend

Loan Minimum$15,000
Loan MaximumNo Max
Eligible DegreesUndergraduate & Graduate
Eligible LoansPrivate & Federal
Min. Annual Income$35,000
Min. Credit ScoreGood or Excellent
State RestrictionsAvailable in all 50 states
Figure

3.49%-6.99%

Fixed APR

2.21%-6.21%

Variable APR

5, 7, 10, 15, 20

Term (Years)

What we like

N/A

Loan Minimum$5,000
Loan Maximum$250,000
Eligible DegreesUndergraduate, & Graduate
Eligible LoansPrivate & Federal
Min. Annual IncomeNot provided
Min. Credit ScoreGood or Excellent
State RestrictionsNot available in MS
Splash Financial

3.48%-7.02%

Fixed APR

2.43%-7.60%

Variable APR

5 - 20

Term (Years)

What we like

Availability of customer support

Loan Minimum$5,000
Loan MaximumNo Max
Eligible DegreesUndergraduate & Graduate
Eligible LoansPrivate & Federal
Min. Annual IncomeNo Minimum
Min. Credit ScoreGood or Excellent
State RestrictionsAvailable in all 50 states
Credible

3.29%-9.62%

Fixed APR

2.14%-9.12%

Variable APR

5 - 20

Term (Years)

What we like

N/A

Loan Minimum$5,000
Loan MaximumNo Max
Eligible DegreesUndergraduate, Graduate, Associates, No Degree
Eligible LoansPrivate & Federal
Min. Annual IncomeNo Minimum
Min. Credit ScoreGood or Excellent
State RestrictionsAvailable in all 50 states
U-fi

3.60%-5.68%

Fixed APR

2.55%-6.32%

Variable APR

5, 10, 15, 20, 25

Term (Years)

What we like

Wide availability of loan terms

Loan Minimum$5,000
Loan Maximum$225,000
Eligible DegreesAssociate, Undergraduate, & Graduate
Eligible LoansPrivate & Federal
Min. Annual Income$36,000
Min. Credit ScoreGood or Excellent
State RestrictionsNot available in VT
LendKey

3.49%-8.36%

Fixed APR

2.01%-8.88%

Variable APR

5, 7, 10, 15, 20

Term (Years)

What we like

Short cosigner release on-time payment requirements

Loan Minimum$5,000
Loan Maximum$300,000
Eligible DegreesUndergraduate & Graduate
Eligible LoansPrivate & Federal
Min. Annual Income$24,000
Min. Credit ScoreGood or Excellent
State RestrictionsNot available in ME, ND, NV, RI, or WV
Citizens Bank

3.45%-9.49%2

Fixed APR

2.25%-9.24%2

Variable APR

5, 7, 10, 15, 202

Term (Years)

What we like

Possible interest rate reductions of 0.50%

Loan Minimum$10,000
Loan Maximum$500,000
Eligible DegreesAssociate, Undergraduate, & Graduate
Eligible LoansPrivate & Federal
Min. Annual Income$24,000
Min. Credit ScoreGood or Excellent
State RestrictionsAvailable in all 50 states
College Ave

3.54%-6.24%3

Fixed APR

2.74%-6.24%3

Variable APR

5 – 203

Term (Years)

What we like

Apply in 3 minutes and get an instant credit decision

Loan Minimum$5,0003
Loan Maximum$150,000 (Undergraduate/Graduate), $300,000 (Professional)3
Eligible DegreesUndergraduate & Graduate
Eligible LoansPrivate & Federal
Min. Annual Income$65,000
Min. Credit ScoreGood or Excellent
State RestrictionsAvailable in all 50 states

Best Student Loan Refinance Companies

Below you will find our choices for the best student loan refinance companies based on what features our team deemed the most important to consider when refinancing.

To determine which companies are the best, we analyzed over 20 data points from 23 lenders. You can learn more about our Editorial Ratings here.

Each student loan refinance lender has its own underwriting criteria, so your approval odds may be higher at one lender than another. Having a good credit score or creditworthy cosigner can help you qualify for the best rates.

Click on a lender’s name to jump down to that section:

  • Best Overall: Earnest
  • Best for Long Repayment Terms: U-fi
  • Best for High Loan Amounts: Laurel Road
  • Best for Short Cosigner Release: U-fi
  • Best for Member Benefits: SoFi
  • Best with Physical Branches: Citizens Bank
  • Best for Credit Union Refinancing: LendKey
  • Best for Transferring Parent PLUS Loans to Child: U-fi

Best Overall: Earnest

Earnest offers loans with competitive rates and a lot of repayment flexibility for borrowers—making it our top choice for refinancing student loans. You can choose from many repayment terms, borrow more than most lenders offer, and can pause payments by putting loans into forbearance in times of hardship. You also have the option to skip one payment annually, make biweekly auto-payments, and even change your repayment date.


Best for Long Repayment Terms: U-fi

U-fi has the longest repayment term of any refinance lender that we analyzed, with borrowers being able to pay off their loans over as long as . Although such a long repayment timeline adds interest cost, U-fi loans remain affordable for most borrowers. The lender offers competitive rates starting at just 2.65% for variable-rate loans.


Best for High Loan Amounts: Laurel Road

While many lenders cap the total amount you can borrow, Laurel Road has no maximum borrowing limit. Borrowers with large loan balances can benefit more from refinancing, as more interest typically accrues with higher balances. Borrowers also benefit from a choice of repayment terms, fee-free loans, and low rates starting at just %.


Best for Short Cosigner Release: U-fi

For borrowers who need a cosigner to qualify for a refinance loan, U-fi is a great choice. The lender offers the option for cosigner release after just 24 months of on-time payments. Cosigners can help borrowers without the income or credit history to qualify for a loan independently to qualify for lower rates, while only holding a cosigner responsible for the debt for a limited period.


Best for Member Benefits: SoFi

SoFi offers more than just competitive rates on its refinance loans. Borrowers also get exclusive access to member benefits including career coaching, in-person networking events, discounted rates on other SoFi loans, and financial planning help from credentialed advisors. You'll even continue to enjoy the perks of membership after you repay your loan.


Best with Physical Branches: Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank has more than 1,100 branches across 11 states. Local branches are concentrated in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and New England regions and provide an in-person touch for customers who want extra support when refinancing student loans. Loans are available for up to and rates start at just %.


Best for Credit Union Refinancing: LendKey

Credit unions are known for top-notch customer service. As member-owned nonprofits, they often provide financing at low interest rates. LendKey connects borrowers looking to refinance with credit unions and community banks. The company makes it easy to compare loan options, including interest rates and repayment terms, from many credit unions with one quick application.


Best for Transferring Parent PLUS Loans to Child: U-fi

Children who want to assume responsibility for loans their parents took on their behalf can use a U-fi refinance loan to do so. While refinancing federal Parent PLUS Loans into any private loan means giving up important borrower protections, including income-driven repayment options, U-fi offers competitive rates and a choice of repayment terms, so you can retain some flexibility.

How to Choose the Best Student Loan Refinance Company

With so many student loan refinance companies available, it can be difficult to choose one.

Typically, the best lender is whichever offers you the lowest interest rate. This is the main reason why most borrowers refinance, and the lower your rate, the more you will save.

Note that just because one lender might advertise the lowest rates, it doesn’t mean you will receive the best offer there. This is why it’s important to shop around and compare rates from multiple lenders before making your decision.

Aside from interest rates, there are also some other important things to consider, including the following:

  • Soft Credit Pull Availability: Most lenders let you check your rates through a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. When shopping around, be sure that lenders offer this (as opposed to a hard credit pull) before applying so your score won’t be impacted just for checking rates.
  • Interest Rate Discounts: Most lenders offer at least a 0.25% interest rate discount for making automatic payments. While this may not seem like a lot, it can make a big difference over the life of your loan. Some lenders offer additional discounts for things like having a bank account with them as well.
  • Available Repayment Terms: Your repayment term determines how long you have to make payments for. Shorter terms equal higher monthly payments but more savings, while longer terms equal lower monthly payments but less savings. Be sure to choose a lender that offers a repayment term that results in monthly payments that fit your budget.
  • Deferment & Forbearance Options: Some lenders allow you to temporarily stop making payments on your loans if you go back to school, are deployed in the military, enter into a medical residency, or are facing financial hardship. This can help you avoid defaulting on your loans if you can’t afford your payments. Just be aware that interest may still accrue during this time which would increase the total cost of your loan.
  • Fees: Most lenders don’t charge any fees during the entire refinancing process, but it’s always smart to double check before applying. Make sure the lenders you are considering don’t charge application fees, origination fees, or prepayment penalties.
  • If Cosigners Are Allowed: If you don’t have a great credit score or high income, a creditworthy cosigner may help you become eligible for a refinance loan that you wouldn’t have otherwise been eligible for. They can also help you qualify for lower rates. If you are planning to apply with a cosigner, check to see if the lender offers cosigner release. This allows you to remove the cosigner from their shared responsibility of the loan after a certain amount of on-time monthly payments.
  • Transferring Parent PLUS Loans to a Child: If your parent or guardian took out a Parent PLUS Loan to help pay for your education, you may be able to transfer the loan into your own name through refinancing. If this is something you are interested in, make sure the lender you apply with offers this feature. Be aware that refinancing federal student loans with a private lender will remove certain benefits such as having access to income-driven repayment plans and being eligible for student loan forgiveness.
  • Other Benefits Offered: Aside from those already mentioned, there are many other benefits that refinance companies offer. Check out lenders’ websites and chat with their representatives to see what else they offer that could help you out.

Commonly Asked Student Loan Refinance Questions

We know student loan refinancing can seem complicated. That's why we decided to answer some of the most commonly asked questions to help borrowers better understand the process.

Refinancing student loans is a student loan repayment strategy for both private and/or federal student loan borrowers looking to reduce the overall cost of their loans.

It is important to know, however, that borrowers with federal student loans ensure that they don’t plan on taking advantage of income-driven repayment plans or federal forgiveness programs as they will lose access to these and other federal benefits. It’s also worth noting that federal student loans may be forgiven upon the borrower’s death, whereas private loans are not.

You can also consolidate your federal student loans with the government, but it will not save you money. If you are unsure whether you should refinance and consolidate your student loans with a private lender or consolidate with the government, our Student Loan Consolidation guide may be able to help you decide.

>> Read More: How to Pay Off Student Loans Fast

Borrowers can refinance student loans for multiple reasons, including the following:

  • To save money on their loans with lower interest rates
  • To choose new repayment terms (the scenarios below assume a lower rate)
    • Shorter repayment terms mean a higher monthly payment, but save you money on the total cost of your loan due to reduced interest accrual
    • Longer repayment terms mean a lower monthly payment, but possibly increase the total cost of your loan due to added interest accrual
  • To switch to a more helpful servicer
  • To remove a cosigner from your loan
  • To combine multiple loans into a single loan, with a single monthly payment

>> Read More: Should I Refinance My Student Loans?

There are many things that lenders consider when deciding if you are a good candidate for student loan refinancing. Here are what companies typically consider:

  • Eligible Loans: Most lenders refinance both federal and private student loans for undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. There may be additional criteria towards eligible degrees and schools.
  • Credit History: Most lenders look for a credit score of at least 660.
  • Repayment History: You will need to have a solid repayment history on your current student loans.
  • Employment History: You will need to demonstrate a stable employment history with an income sufficient enough to afford your new monthly payment.
  • Debt-to-Income Ratio: Some lenders may look at your debt-to-income ratio to gauge your ability to afford the monthly payments on your new loan. Ideally, your debt-to-income ratio should be 40% or less.
  • U.S. Citizenship: Most lenders require that you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, or have a cosigner that is.
  • State Requirements: Some banks and lenders may only accept applicants from certain states.

If you can’t meet some of the criteria above, you may want to consider applying with a creditworthy cosigner. A cosigner can help you become eligible and give you access to lower student loan refinance rates.

Cosigning does come with some risks. Cosigners share equal responsibility for repayment and their credit will be affected if the borrower misses payments. If the primary borrower does not make payments, the cosigner will be responsible. However, many lenders do offer cosigner release after making a certain number of consecutive on-time payments.

If you have decided to refinance your student loans, the first thing to do is shop around and compare your options. Many student loan refinance lenders allow you to see your expected interest rate with a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score.

Once you review your offered student loan refinance rates, you can then finish the process by filling out a full application with the lender you choose. Submitting the full application may require a hard credit check and could affect your credit slightly.

It is free to refinance student loans. None of the lenders on this page that made the list of the best student loan refinance companies charge prepayment, application, or origination fees.

Yes, you can refinance student loans multiple times. Before doing so, carefully consider whether it makes financial sense to refinance the loan an additional time. You should only do this if you can receive a lower interest rate or want to consolidate another loan with your already refinanced loan.

Yes, parents may be able to transfer their Parent PLUS loan to their children through refinancing. Some of the best student loan refinance companies listed above offer this option. You can check the bulleted list within each lender review to find a company to work with.

>> Read More: Best Lenders to Refinance Parent PLUS Loans

There is no right answer for whether to choose a variable or fixed interest rate. Variable rates typically start out lower but will fluctuate with the market (meaning they may end up increasing to more than the offered fixed rate) while fixed rates remain the same throughout the life of the loan.

A general rule of thumb is that if we’re experiencing a rising interest-rate market, a fixed-rate loan may be a better choice. If we’re in a falling interest-rate market, a variable-rate loan may make more sense. However, this may be a conversation to have with a financial planner or CPA.

Student Loan Refinancing Resources