STUDENT LOAN CONSOLIDATION & REFINANCING LENDERS FOR 2017

student-loan-refinance-consolidation
Updated: 2/17/2017

Looking to refinance student loans? Want to consolidate student loans?

Today, the answer to that question is probably yes! 7 out of 10 graduates are now graduating with some form of student loan debt. With an average balance of $28,400, student debt is a big part of the average college graduate's life.


That being said, not all student loans are created equal. Interest rates on student loans usually vary by loan type, rate type, and credit worthiness. If you find yourself paying 4% to 10% in interest each year, you are paying too much.


Over the last couple years student loan refinancing has become a hot topic in the United States. As it sounds, refinancing allows undergraduate and graduate borrowers to refinance educational debt at a potentially lower interest rate.


Student debt refinance rates can be as low as 2.21%, refinancing with these lower rates can save some borrowers upwards of $20,000 over the life of their loan.

At LendEDU, we help borrowers compare all of the top student loan companies in on place. We put together this guide to help you get information on all of the top student loan refinance lenders without having to jump around multiple websites.


Below we've ranked the leading student loan refinancing companies. It is free to apply, and the process usually takes about 15 minutes. How much could you save? Find out today! In just 15 minutes you might be able to save $20,000.

Rank

Lender

Rates (APR)

Loan Types

Terms

Eligible

Loans

Eligible Degrees

#1

sofi student loan refinance

2.345% - 6.740%

Variable & Fixed

5, 7, 10, 15, 20

Private &

Federal

Undergrad &

Graduate

#2

college-ave-student-loans-logo

2.75% - 7.35%

Variable & Fixed

5 - 15

Private &

Federal

Undergrad &

Graduate

#3

LendKey logo

2.21% - 7.26%

Variable & Fixed

5, 7, 10, 15, 20

Private &

Federal

Undergrad &

Graduate

#4

earnest student loan refinance consolidation

2.55% - 6.74%

Variable & Fixed

5 - 20

Private &

Federal

Undergrad &

Graduate

#5

citizens-bank-logo

2.38% - 8.24%

Variable & Fixed

5, 10, 15, 20

Private &

Federal

Undergrad &

Graduate

#6

commonbond-student-loan-refinancing

2.32% - 7.74%

Variable, Fixed,

& Hybrid

5, 7, 10, 15, 20

Private &

Federal

Undergrad &

Graduate

*Citizens Bank Disclosure


Top 6 Companies for Student Loan Refinancing: In-Depth Reviews

1. SoFi

sofi refinance png logo

Reduce your payment and interest rate.

Members save $22,359 in 15 minutes!


    • Refinance and consolidate both federal and private student loans
    • Rates as low as 2.345% for variable rates
    • Rates as low as 3.375% for fixed rates
    • 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 year repayment terms 
    • No application fees, origination fees, or pre-payment fees
    • Unemployment protection is available
    • Easy application process

2. College Ave Student Loans

college ave student loans review

Slash your interest rate.

Apply in only 3 minutes!


    • Refinance and consolidate both federal and private student loans
    • Rates as low as 2.75% for variable rates
    • Rates as low as 4.75% for fixed rates
    • Apply in 3 minutes to get an instant credit decision
    • 5 - 15 year repayment terms 
    • Zero application fees, origination fees, or pre-payment fees
    • Refinance amounts as low as $5,000 (federal & private)
    • 2 year interest-only option available

3. LendKey

LendKey

You deserve a better student loan.

Average client saves $15,270.


    • Refinance and consolidate both federal and private student loans
    • 5, 10, 15, 20 year repayment terms
    • Variable rates as low as 2.21%
    • Fixed rates as low as 3.25%
    • Data-driven customer evaluation helps you get qualified 
    • Zero application, origination, or pre-payment fees

4. Earnest

earnest student loan refinance consolidation

You could save a boat load.

Customers save $17,936 per year.


    • Refinance and consolidate both federal and private student loans
    • 5 - 20 year repayment terms
    • Variable rates as low as 2.55%
    • Fix rates as low as 3.75%
    • Data-driven customer evaluation helps you get qualified 
    • Zero application fees, origination fees, or pre-payment fees

5. Citizens Bank

citizens-bank-logo

Reduce your payment and interest rate.

Customers Save $1,764 per year.


    • Refinance and consolidate both federal and private student loans
    • Rates as low as 2.38% for variable rates
    • Rates as low as 4.74% for fixed rates
    • 5, 10, 15, 20 year repayment terms 
    • Zero application fees, origination fees, or pre-payment fees
    • Must have at least $10,000 in student loan debt to refinance
    • Online application takes 10 minutes to complete

6. CommonBond

commonbond student loan refinancing

Rise above your student loans.

Average client saves $14,581.


    • Refinance and consolidate up to $500,000 in private and federal student loans
    • 5, 10, 15, 20 year repayment terms
    • Rates as low as 2.32% for variable rates
    • Rates as low as 3.37% for fixed rates
    • Rates as low as 3.85% for hybrid rates
    • Member protections including unemployment protection
    • Zero application, origination, or pre-payment fees


Our Top Lenders for Student Loan Refinancing & Consolidation

​Before you start an application, you should know that most lenders require a minimum FICO credit score of 660, 40% maximum monthly Debt-to-income, and $24,000 in yearly gross income. If the requirements above sound good, we think that you are a great applicant for student loan refinancing and consolidation. Each lender has its own specific underwriting criteria, so you may have a higher chance of approval at certain lenders. Read the detail lender reviews for more information regarding lender approval.

1) SoFi Review

sofi refinance png logo

Student loan refinance is a hot topic these days. Today, there are a number of new private consolidation companies looking to help borrowers improve their financial health. Our favorite, SoFi, aka Social Finance, has quickly positioned itself as the top student loan refinance lender on the market. SoFi was founded by a group of Stanford business students who wanted to help their peers escape from student loan debt with lower interest rates. The program launched at Stanford in 2011 and has quickly grown. Today, SoFi has expanded and now helps student debt borrowers nationwide.

The Basics

SoFi offers borrowers refinancing and consolidation services. Borrowers can select the loans they would like refinanced or consolidated, then SoFi pays them off, and then the borrowers pays off a new loan issued from SoFi. SoFi aims to help undergraduate and graduate borrowers lower their monthly payments and get lower interest rate loans.

SoFi offers borrowers a number of great options. SoFi offers both variable and fixed interest rate loans. Borrowers can select from 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 year repayment plans. The fixed rate loans start at 3.375% and have a maximum possible rate of 6.740%. The variable rate loans range from 2.355% to 6.280%, and they are tied to the LIBOR rate. If interest rates do happen to rise, variable interest rates will be capped at 8.95% to 9.95% APR. There are no penalties for paying off your loan early. Borrowers are expected to make payments on a monthly basis. The company offers an interest rate discount of 25 basis points if you sign up for auto-pay. Signing up for auto-pay is easy and SoFi’s customer service support staff can help you through the process if you run into any trouble.

SoFi Benefits

SoFi doesn’t charge origination fees! Origination fees are fees charged to borrowers for taking out a loan. These extra costs are usually added to the principal of the loan. SoFi has zero prepayment penalties! At any time you can pay off your loans early. Whether you are looking to pay $100 extra each month, or are using that year end bonus to pay off your loans, you can be sure that you won’t be charged any fees for paying early.

​SoFi makes refinancing student loans simple. The company claims that it only takes 15 minutes to start saving.

SoFi has a unique and proprietary approach to underwriting. SoFi takes a number of dimensions into consideration including alma mater, professional success, and income.​

SoFi has awesome customer service! If you run into any problems along the way give them a call. Unlike the big old banks, SoFi understands that customer service is an important piece of the equation.

To Consider

SoFi is looking for well educated professionals with good income. Like most other student loan refinance lenders, you should have good credit and low debt loads. According to American Banker, SoFi focuses primarily on prime and super-prime borrowers, with an average borrower FICO score of 780 and income of approximately $150,000.The SoFi student loan refinance and consolidation program is a great option for people who want:

  • Low interest rate options
  • Term length options
  • Great customer service
  • Quick application process

Bottom Line

At LendEDU, we give SoFi our stamp of approval. To get started you can start the application at SoFi!

  • Both federal and private student loans
  • Must have completed an eligible undergraduate or graduate degree program
  • Undergraduate and graduate student loans are both eligible
  • 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 year repayment terms
  • 2.345% APR to 6.270% APR (with autopay) variable rates, capped at 8.95% to 9.95% APR
  • 3.375% APR to 6.740% APR (with autopay) fixed rates
  • Auto-pay discount
  • Strong credit score, salary, and debt-to-income requirements
  • Zero prepayment penalties
  • Zero origination fees
  • Unemployment protection – loan payments are temporarily suspended
  • Career support for SoFi members
  • Entrepreneur program

2) College Ave Student Loans

college-ave-student-loans-logo

College Ave Student Loans is a leading provider of student loan refinancing. Founded in 2015, College Ave is leading the way with low interest rates and the fastest turnaround time in the industry, 

The Basics

There are two types of interest rates available to choose from: fixed or variable. Variable interest rates fall within a range of 2.75% to 6.00% APR while fixed interest rates vary between 4.75% and 7.35% APR. Keep in mind, these rates are the lowest possible rates after the application of the interest rate discount (0.25% reduction when making automatic debit payments).

Aside from flexibility, College Ave Student Loans makes the application process simple and easy. Applications are quick and to the point with no additional hidden fees throughout the process. Unlike the other companies, College Ave does not require applicants to upload identification and loan verification documentation during the application process. The College Ave application process takes only 3 minutes. Most other applications take 30 minutes to complete.

Multiple repayment terms are available to beneficiaries. The lowest term to choose from is five years; on the contrary, the longest repayment term is up to fifteen years. Different payment lengths can be chosen so long as they fall within the range that is specified.

After refinancing is completed, borrowers may choose between two different repayment options. Individuals have the option to make full principal and interest payments immediately after disbursement. If this is too much too soon, customers have the option to defer principal payments for two years while making interest payments.

Minimum loan amount of $5,000.

There are no application or origination fees at College Ave. The process to apply for is simple and easy: one of the most noted aspects of College Ave.

College Ave Benefits

College Ave offers an incredible amount of flexibility. College Ave offers multiple repayment terms with a wide range of interest rates. Whether you are looking for a fixed rate, a variable rate, or an interest only repayment plan, there are plenty of options to consider. College Ave is one of the only companies to offer an interest only payment option for 24 months.

One of the best benefits offered by College Ave is a 0.25% interest rate deduction with auto-pay. This interest discount is applied if automatic electronic payment deposits are being made on an account. Keep note that every interest rate stated in this article is after the application of this discount.

You can even consolidate federal and private loans together!​

To Consider

Anyone with student loans can consider consolidating through College Ave. There are some standard considerations such as repayment history and similar considerations, but the main requirement is to have a loan in need of different terms.

Bottom Line

College Ave is a great choice for undergraduates, graduates, and parents interested in:

  • Low interest rates
  • Flexible payment term options
  • An easy application process

More Details

  • Fast application process
  • Variable Interest rates: 2.75% – 6.00% APR (with discount)
  • Fixed Interest Rates: 4.75% – 7.35% APR (with discount)
  • Payment terms ranging from 5 to 15 years
  • Two different payment options
  • Full principal and interest payments made immediately
  • Interest only payments for two years
  • $0 in application and origination fees
  • Loan minimum: $5000

3) LendKey Review

LendKey

Finding the best refinancing or private consolidation company can be tough. Each lender has its own set of criteria, interest rates, and term lengths. Moreover, each lender brings something unique for borrowers. Cosigner requirements, credit score minimums, and customer service can vary at each lender. 

At LendEDU we work with only the top student debt companies. One company trying to help borrowers is LendKey! At the end of the day LendKey brings local credit unions to the table for borrowers. The result, great customer service and interest rate options for borrowers.

The Basics

LendKey is more than just a single company. LendKey is a collection of not-for-profit credit unions and community banks from across the U.S.A. The participating lenders work together to compete against major lenders. The result, great interest rates are available for borrowers. And, with over 320 credit unions participating in the program you can be sure that there is an option available for you! There are no geographical requirements!

The lowest interest rate that LendKey currently offers is 2.22% at a variable rate. Fixed rates, alternatively, start at 3.25%. They also require a yearly income in excess of $24,000. Today, the company allows borrowers to refinance and consolidate both federal and private debt. This is great for borrowers who are stuck paying high interest rates on their old federal and private debt.

LendKey charges NO origination fees which can help borrowers save money! Moreover, cosigner release is an option after 12 months.

As far as credit criteria goes, LendKey requires borrowers to have a decent credit score and an average debt-to-income. LendKey has good approval ratings, so definitely apply, even if you are on the fence. We found that many of our users were approved at LendKey. LendKey evaluates each borrower on a case-by-case basis.

LendKey offers term lengths of 5, 10, 15 and 20 years. There is no penalty for paying off your loan early, and borrowers can have up to four years of interest only payments. Borrowers are expected to make payments on a monthly basis. The company offers an interest rate discount of 25 basis points if you sign up for auto-pay.

The first part of the application should only take a few minutes to complete. If approved, applicants are expected to join the local credit union that will be providing the financing. Credit unions usually require a small deposit for membership. In most cases borrowers will need to deposit $1 to $20 to gain access to a credit union. A $5 deposit is a small price to pay for great customer service and interest rates. Don’t worry, the LendKey representatives can help you if you run into any trouble along the way!

LendKey Consolidation Benefits

LendKey Student Loan Refinance Benefits

LendKey offers borrowers a personal experience. Borrowers will receive a friendly credit union experience, vs. typical treatment from a big bank. Credit unions operate for their members(you!) and only the members. All earnings are redistributed back to the members so you can be sure that every lender on the LendKey platform has your back. The company doesn’t have any shareholders or investors so they can focus all of their attention on you!

LendKey has zero origination fees! Origination fees are fees charged to borrowers for taking out a loan. These extra costs are usually added to the principal of the loan. But with LendKey you can avoid these costs all together. By not having an origination fees, LendKey makes it easy to compare the value of a consolidated loans against the current loans that the borrower already has.

LendKey has zero prepayment penalties! For people working to pay off their student debt quickly, zero prepayment penalties are important. Some lenders charge borrowers when they pay off their loans early. LendKey puts the borrowers first and will never charge you if you pay off your debt early; so if you come into that year end bonus, you don’t need to fear paying off your loans early.

LendKey has cosigner release available! Meaning, cosigners can be released from the debt obligation after 12 months of on-time payments! This is a big deal. Not many lenders even offer cosigner release as an option to borrowers. Again, LendKey puts it borrowers first, and not corporate profits! This one year release is by far the shortest release on the market. With cosigner release you can positively influence your cosigner’s credit score too.

To Consider

​The major disadvantage is that LendKey is a newcomer in the student loan consolidation market.

Bottom Line

The LendKey refinancing and debt consolidation program is a great option for people who want:

  • Cosigner release after 12 months of on-time payments
  • Low interest rates
  • A personal approach to borrowing
  • Great customer service
  • A credit union experience

At LendEDU, we give LendKey our stamp of approval. To get started you can start the application at LendKey!

  • Must have completed an eligible undergraduate or graduate degree program
  • Undergraduate and graduate student loans are eligible
  • Variable rates as low as 2.22% (with autopay) 
  • Fixed rates as low as 3.25% (with autopay)
  • Interest only repayment option
  • 5, 10, 15, and 20 year repayment terms
  • No origination fees or prepayment penalties
  • Medium credit score, salary, and debt-to-income requirements
  • Not-for-profit lenders
  • Excellent customer service
  • Cosigner release available, if, the primary borrower is eligible even without a cosigner.


4) Earnest Review

earnest student loan refinance consolidation

​Earnest is one of the most unique student loan refinance and consolidation out of all of the lenders. Since the company's founding in 2013, it was expanded to over 160 employees and has grown into one of the top refinancing lenders. Located in San Francisco, Earnest offers both new personal loans and student loan refinancing. Unlike most of the other companies mentioned on this page, Earnest utilizes extensive data to determine eligibility and plans for applicants. This data helps them decide how likely individuals are to pay back their loans, and what the best options for all parties involved is. If you have student loans, definitely give Earnest a look.

​The Basics

​Borrowers can both refinance and consolidate their educational debt through Earnest. Like SoFi and Citizens Bank, both federal and private student loans are eligible. If you choose Earnest and are approved after applying, the company will send a payment to your old loan provider to pay off your old loans. You will then be issued a new loan with a new interest rate or repayment term. 

Earnest, along with SoFi, can say that it offers the lowest interest rates in the market. Variable rates, which vary as the LIBOR changes, start at 2.55%. Fixed rates, on the other hand, stay the same throughout the life of the loan, and may be as low as 3.75%. All of these rates include a 0.25% discount for enrolling in auto-pay. These are extremely low rates and give the potential for loads of savings. In fact, the average Earnest customer saves $17,936 through refinancing. One of the most unique benefits that Earnest offers is the option to choose a repayment length of anywhere between 5 and 20 years. Finally, the company charges no application, origination, and prepayment fees.

Earnest Benefits

​Earnest may have more benefits than any of the lenders. It has all of the typical benefits such as an auto-pay discount, no fees, and great customer service.

Besides those, Earnest offers an extremely unique application process. The company has its and your best interests in mind when considering whether you are eligible. The company uses thousands of data points to qualify you, ensuring that you will be able to repay your loan. 

​One benefit of Earnest that very few other lenders can claim is that it does not outsource you to a loan servicer. Earnest keeps all of its customers and sticks with them through the entire repayment process. The company's Client Happiness team is available around the clock to help you out with any problems that may arise. 

​Possibly the best benefit of choosing Earnest is that customers have the option to temporarily defer payments in the case of financial hardship, such as in the case of job loss. In addition, those who want to return to school can defer payments for up to 3 years. You can use these deferment and refinancing calculators to predict the costs of different repayment scenarios. Earnest also lets customers skip one payment a year after they have made on-time payments for 6 months, as long as they make up the missed payments with subsequent payments. 

Earnest allows users to switch between a variable and fixed rate once every 6 months after 6 months of on-time payments. ​Lastly, borrowers can make bi-weekly payments so less interest accrues, saving them significant amounts of money. 

To Consider

Because Earnest considers many different factors to determine eligibility, there is more likely to be something on your application that causes you to be rejected. In addition, the application process is more extensive and takes a longer time due to the variety of data points that are analyzed.

Bottom Line

​Earnest's student loan refinance and consolidation program is perfect for people who want:

  • To save money with a lower interest rate
  • A flexible repayment plan
  • A servicer who treats each customer as an individual
  • Want their eligibility to be based off more than credit score

​LendEDU gives Earnest our stamp of approval. Click below to see if you are eligible at Earnest!

  • ​Refinance and consolidate both federal and private student loans
  • Have completed school of are in the final semester of degree
  • Have at least $5,000 in student loan debt
  • Variable rates as low as 2.55% APR with auto-pay
  • Fixed rates as low as 3.75% APR with auto-pay
  • Data-driven eligibility requirements
  • No application, origination, or prepayment fees
  • Unique deferment options including job loss protection
  • Options to switch between variable and fixed interest rates
  • Bi-weekly payments

5) Citizens Bank

citizens-bank-logo

Navigating through the seemingly countless number of options for refinancing and consolidating your student loans can often be a daunting task. This is why we at LendEDU are trying to help borrowers navigate through the options to choose the one that will save them the most money. Citizens Bank is one of the most well-known companies that offer student loan refinancing - and they are also one of the best. As the 13th largest retail bank with over $130 billion in assets and over 1,200 branches, Citizens Bank offers many unique options and benefits for those looking to save money on their student loans. If you are one of these people, it would be in your best interest to strongly consider Citizens Bank.

The Basics

​Like many of the other lenders, borrowers can refinance and consolidate their student loans in order to reduce their interest rates or monthly payments. If you end up choosing Citizens Bank, they will pay off whichever of your student loans that choose and issue you a new one. This new loan will either save you money over the life or make your monthly payment more manageable depending on the structure that you choose. On average, the average Citizens Bank customer saves $1,764 per year!

Citizens Bank offers a variety of attractive options for customers. ​To start, the company offers both variable and fixed interest rates. Variable rates start at 2.38% while fixed rates may be as low as 4.74% - some of the lowest in the industry. Fixed rates stay the same over the life of the loan but variable rates fluctuate according to the LIBOR. Citizens Bank also offers repayment plans of 5, 10, 15, and 20 years. The minimum amount of student loans to refinance is $10,000. As with SoFi, Citizens Bank charges no application, origination, or prepayment fees, and borrowers can save 0.25% on their interest if they sign up for auto-pay.

Citizens Bank Benefits

​As mentioned above, there are no fees associated with refinancing and consolidating your student loans through Citizens Bank. This means that you can apply for free and, if approved, you will not be charged anything for accepting the company's offer. Finally, if you happen to have some extra cash to put towards your student loan payment, you will not be penalized for doing so. 

If you are interested in working with Citizens Bank, you can apply on the company's website in about 15 minutes. The process if fairly straightforward and easy to do. Once you apply, Citizens Bank will run an initial credit check to determine if you may be eligible. ​If you meet the initial requirements, you will be asked to upload certain documents that help Citizens Bank's underwriting team to determine if you actually qualify. 

One of the greatest things about Citizens Bank is its 24/7 customer service. The company has people standing by to help you at any point along the process, whether you are just applying or already have a loan with it.

In addition, Citizens Bank offers some great resources to help borrowers determine what they should do. On the Student Services section of the website there is an Education Refinance Loan Calculator, a College Savings Goal Calculator, and even a calendar to track student loan payments. ​

To Consider​

​Though Citizens Bank offers competitive rates, some other companies have lower minimums. This, however, does not mean that you will automatically receive a lower rate elsewhere. Each lender has its own eligibility criteria and you may actually receive your lowest rate at Citizens Bank.

Bottom Line

The Citizens Bank student loan consolidation and refinance program is one of the best options for people who want:

  • ​A wide variety of term length options
  • ​A lower interest rate
  • Unparalleled customer service
  • A quick and easy application process

​Here at LendEDU, we give Citizens Bank our highest recommendation. To get started, apply at Citizens Bank today!

  • ​Refinance and consolidate both federal and private student loans
  • Are no longer in school
  • 5, 10, 15, and 20 year repayment plans
  • 2.38% APR (with autopay) for variable interest rates
  • 4.74% APR (with autopay) for fixed interest rates
  • Strong credit score, secure job, lower debt-to-income requirements
  • Zero application, origination, or prepayment fees
  • 24/7 customer service

6) CommonBond Refinancing Review

commonbond-student-loan-refinancing

CommonBond Full Review

So you just graduated from a great school and you're stuck with a mountain of student loan debt. Well join the club. In 2012, a few students from the University of Pennsylvania sought out to help borrowers.

These MBA students were tired of high interest rates on their student loans and sought out to change the student loan industry. They founded CommonBond. 

Today, CommonBond has raised over $100 million in funding with the goal of making student debt more affordable and now serves over 700 graduate programs across the U.S. Finding the best student loan company can be a difficult job.

The Basics

CommonBond allows borrowers to consolidate and refinance both federal and private student loans. The company offers borrowers an array of options to consider. CommonBond offers borrowers 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 year terms with both variable, hybrid, and fixed interest rate options.

The range of interest rates for Common Bond start as low as 2.32% for their 5-year variable rate product and start at 3.37% for their fixed rate product. At LendEDU we only work with lenders who have the student’s best interest in mind.

Like most student loan lenders lenders, CommonBond does not charge an origination fee and there is no pre-payment penalty for paying off your debts early. At this time borrowers can apply to consolidate up to $500,000 in student loans.

CommonBond works with anyone with a minimum 4-year undergraduate degree from over 2,100 schools nationwide, as well as those with grad school debt. In addition, they work with parents who took out PLUS loans for their children's education.

CommonBond Benefits

CommonBond offers some of the lowest student loan refinance and consolidation interest rates on the market. Without origination fees and prepayment penalties, it is easy for borrowers to compare CommonBond alongside their current loans.

CommonBond offers four different length repayment plans. Having the option of 5, 10, 15, and 20 year plans allows borrowers to tailor monthly payments to their specific needs and better plan for the future. Whether you are looking to pay off your loans quickly, or you are trying to take your time, CommonBond has a product offering for you!

Out of all the student loan refinance lenders we work with, CommonBond has the best customer service. The company prides itself on helping it borrowers navigate the student loan market and beyond. The company even has a program help borrowers who lose their job find a new one.

CommonBond is building an incredible reputation for itself. CommonBond cares about its borrowers unlike any other company we’ve seen. Give them a call. I bet you a human answers the phone on the first ring.

The Bad

In general, CommonBond looks for applicants with very strong incomes and low debt. To be approved by CommonBond you must have good credit, a well paying job, and be able to keep your debt load low.

Bottom Line

The CommonBond student loan refinance and consolidation program is a great option for people who want:

At LendEDU, we give CommonBond our stamp of approval. To get started you can start the application at CommonBond!

  • Refinancing and consolidation for private and federal debt
  • Must have a minimum Bachelor's degree from any of the over 2,100 schools that comprise the CommonBond school network
  • 2.32% – 6.18% APR variable rate financing (with autopay)
  • 3.37% – 7.74% APR fixed rate financing (with autopay)
  • 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 Year Repayment Terms
  • 0.25% interest rate discount with auto-pay from a checking account
  • Moderate credit score, salary, debt-to-income and other criteria
  • Unemployment protection – loan payments are paused temporarily 
  • Access to CommonBond Community – Networking events and other perks
  • Social good – each and every fully funded degree through CommonBond, the education of an abroad student in need is funded too!




Darien Rowayton Bank Review

drb-student-loan-refinancing

Darien Rowayton Bank Full Review

With so many new student loan lenders now offering student loan refinance loans, it is tough to find the best lenders in the industry.

Navigating through the array of Google ads can be difficult. It gets even harder when each lender has its own set of criteria, interest rates, and term lengths options available.

Moreover, each lenders brings something unique for borrowers. Who is the best? With so many new student loan lenders now offering student loan refinance loans, it is tough to find the best lenders in the industry. Navigating through the array of Google ads can be difficult.

It gets even harder when each lender has its own set of criteria, interest rates, and term lengths options available. Moreover, each lenders brings something unique for borrowers. Who is the best?

At LendEDU we work with only the top student loan refinance and student loan consolidation companies. One company trying to help student loan borrowers is Darien Rowayton Bank, also know as DRB! At the end of the day Darien Rowayton Bank has some of the lowest interest rates available. Most student loan borrowers can save by refinancing through Darien Rowayton Bank.

The Basics

Based out of Darien, Connecticut, Darien Rowayton Bank is known for its incredibly low rates and tight interest rate ranges. The company offers its customers a number of term lengths with variable and fixed interest rate options. Today, the company allows borrowers to refinance and consolidate both federal and private student loans together into one new loan. This is great for borrowers who are stuck making payments on multiple loans each month. Darien Rowayton Bank charges NO origination fees which can help borrowers save money! As far as credit criteria goes, Darien Rowayton Bank requires borrowers to have an excellent credit profile and good income. DRB evaluates each applicant on an individual basis so it is worth applying even if you are afraid you won’t qualify. To improve your chances of approval we suggest you apply with a cosigner. DRB offers a term length of 5, 10, 15, and 20 years. The company offers both variable and fixed interest rate options. There is no penalty for paying off your loan early. Borrowers are expected to make payments on a monthly basis. The company offers an interest rate discount of 25 basis points if you sign up for auto-pay. To sign up for auto-pay you must have a DRB checking account.

DRB Consolidation Benefits

Darien Rowayton Bank offers borrowers eight great options to refinance and consolidation student loans. Out of all the student loans refinance and student loan consolidation lenders on the market, Darien Rowayton Bank offers borrowers the most options. We are sure that every borrower will be able to find an option that meets their financial objectives. Darien Rowayton Bank has zero origination fees! Origination fees are charged to borrowers for taking out a loan. Usually, origination fees are quoted as a percentage of the loan. These fees are added to the principal of the loan. But with DRB you can avoid these costs all together. By not having an origination fees, DRB makes it easy to compare the value of a consolidated loans against the current loans that the borrower already has. Darien Rowayton Bank has zero prepayment penalties! For those working to pay off their student loans quickly, zero prepayment penalties are important. That being said paying off your student loans early may not be a primary goal for some borrowers.

To Consider

In general, DRB looks for applicants with very strong incomes and low debt. To be approved by DRB you must have good credit, a well paying job, and be able to keep your debt load low. Having a cosigner can greatly improve you chances of being approved.

Bottom Line

The Darien Rowayton Bank student loan refinance and consolidation program is a great option for people who want:
  • To lower their monthly payment
  • Lock in low interest rates
  • Choose from a variety of term lengths
  • Consolidate federal and private student loans
At LendEDU, we give Darien Rowayton Bank our stamp of approval. To get started you can start the application at Darien Rowayton Bank!
  • Refinancing and consolidation for graduate and undergraduate, private and federal college debt
  • Must have achieved a Bachelors or Graduate degree.
  • PLUS loans have become an extremely popular options for parents with college students. DRB allows parents of degree holders to get lower interest rates on PLUS loans after the child is working and has received their degree. The parent can choose to apply in their name, or their child's name.
  • 5, 10, 15, 20 year repayment terms
  • Moderate credit score, salary, and debt-to-income requirements
  • No origination fees
  • No prepayment penalties
  • .25% Interest Rate Reduction with automatic payments via ACH. Please note, the automatic payments are a free service for borrowers.

Education Success Loans

education-success-loans

Finding the best college debt consolidation company can be tough. Each lender has its own set of criteria, interest rates, and term lengths.

Moreover, each lender brings something unique for borrowers. Cosigner requirements, credit score minimums, and customer service can vary at each lender. At LendEDU we work with only the top student debt financing and student loan consolidation companies.

One company trying working to help student loan borrowers is Education Success Loans! Education Success Loans was started for the sole purpose of lending to student loan borrowers.

The Basics

The lowest interest rate that Education Success Loans currently offers is 4.99% at a mixed rate. What is a mixed rate? A mixed interest rate starts at fixed, then adjusts to variable later on. Mixed rates are great for borrowers who want to lock in low interest rates today and believe that interest rates will stay low in the future. The highest interest rate offered is 7.99%. Today, Education Success Loans allows borrowers to refinance and consolidate both federal and private student loans. If you are a borrower stuck paying high interest rates on old federal and private student loans, Education Success Loans is a great option. Education Success Loans charges NO origination fees which can help borrowers save money from the beginning. As far as credit criteria goes, Education Success Loans requires borrowers to have a good credit score and an average debt-to-income. Education Success Loans has good approval ratings, so definitely apply even if you may think you are not qualified. Many borrowers have told us that Education Success Loans approved them even with only alright credit. Education Success Loans works with each borrower on a case by case basis to determine eligibility and approval. Education Success Loans offers a term length of 25 years. There is no penalty for paying off your loan early, and borrowers can pay as much as they would like each month on top of their minimum monthly payment. Borrowers are expected to make payments on a monthly basis. The company offers an interest rate discount of 25 basis points if you sign up for auto-pay. Auto-pay is easy to setup and convenient for borrowers. No longer will you need to worry about sending in checks to pay for your student loans.

Education Success Loans Benefits

Education Success Loans offers borrowers three great options to refinance and consolidate student loans. Out of all the student loan refinance and student loan consolidation lenders on the market, Education Success Loans is the only lender to offer 25 year term lengths. If you are looking to lower your monthly payment, you can bet that a 25 year term will do the trick. By spreading your student loan repayment out of 25 years you will be required to pay much less each month. Education Success Loans has zero origination fees! Origination fees are fees charged to borrowers for taking out a loan. Usually, origination fees are quoted as a percentage of the loan. These fees are added to the principal of the loan. But with Education Success Loans you can avoid these costs all together. By not having an origination fees, Education Success Loans makes it easy to compare the value of a consolidated loan against the current loans that the borrower already has. Education Success Loans has zero prepayment penalties! For people working to pay off their student loans quickly, zero prepayment penalties are important. Some lenders charge borrowers when they pay off their loans early. So if you come into that year end bonus, you don’t need to fear paying off your loans early. You may be fearful to extend your student loans out to 25 years, but with zero prepayment penalties you can easily pay off your student loans early if you so choose.

To Consider

The biggest disadvantage of Education Success is that they are a smaller lender in the industry. As a result, the company has only one 25 year term length available for borrowers. That being said, you can choose to pay back your funds without a prepayment penalty if you would like. The other disadvantage is that Education Success only offers mixed interest rates. This could be an issue for some borrowers looking to lock in low interest rates today. If you are worried that interest rates will rise in the short term, you should select an option with a longer fixed interest rate period.

Bottom Line

The Education Success college debt refinancing and consolidation program is a great option for people who want:
  • To lower their monthly payment
  • Zero prepayment penalties
  • A longer 25 year term length
  • Consolidate federal and private college debt
  • Want a personalize customer service experience
At LendEDU, we give Education Success our stamp of approval. To get started you can start the application at Education Success!
  • Private consolidation for Private and Federal Scholar Debt
  • 25 Year Repayment Term
  • 1 Year Fixed 4.99% then variable rate for the term of the loan
  • 5 Year Fixed 5.99% then variable rate for the term of the loan
  • 10 Year Fixed 7.99% then variable rate for the term of the loan
  • Auto-Pay: 0.25% Interest Rate Reduction with automatic payments via ACH
  • No Origination Fees
  • No Prepayment Penalties
  • Must have graduated at least 30 months prior to application date
  • Have a minimum of $5,000 ($15,001 if in Kentucky) in private student loans to consolidate
  • Supply acceptable proof of income of at least $24,000 annually
  • Be a US Citizen or Permanent Resident and continue to be a Permanent resident of DC or any state in the continental United States other than AZ, IA, IL or WI


iHelp Loans Review

ihelp student loan consolidation

iHelp Student Loans is a smaller student loan organization working to help graduates best manage their student loans. iHelp recently launched a student loan consolidation service in partnership with its lender partners. iHelp is a middleman of sorts. In short, iHelp matches student debt borrowers with smaller and community banks. Community banks, like credit unions, usually focus in on one particular geographical area. Community banks are eager to help customers manage their student loans. With iHelp’s undergraduate Loan Consolidation program more community banks can get into the undergraduate loan market.

At LendEDU we like to work with as many lenders as possible. Why? Well the more lenders we have on our graduate debt financing platform the better. Community banks are known to offer some great interest rates and even better customer service.

The Basics

iHelp offers competitive student debt refinancing and consolidation rates and terms to prospective borrowers. The company has two different rates depending on if you apply with or without a cosigner. If you apply with a cosigner, undergraduate loan consolidation and post-graduate rates start at 6.00%, or 6.22% APR. If you apply without a cosigner, your starting rate could be as low as 7.00%, or 7.21% APR. All of iHelp’s student loan consolidation rates are fixed rates. Meaning, all of the interest rates will not change over the life of the loan. Your monthly payment and total loan cost will not change with iHelp’s student loan consolidation program.

iHelp does charge its borrowers a supplemental fee at the time of the loan disbursement. iHelp charges 2% on top of the loan balance as a fee for processing the new student loan consolidation. Most lenders these days do not charge disbursement fees. iHelp is unique in this area.

iHelp only allows borrowers from only certain schools to apply for its program to consolidate student debt. The approved school list is fairly large. Know that the participating schools are in the following states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The reason that iHelp only allows certain schools is that the community bank partners tend to only focus on certain geographical regions.

In order to qualify you must be creditworthy. According to iHelp’s website, creditworthy means:

  • Has not had open collections or charge offs in the past 2 years.

  • Does not have bankruptcies, foreclosures or repossessions during the past 5 years.

  • Has not defaulted on a federal or private undergraduate loans.

  • Meets the minimum credit score.

  • Has at least 2 years of credit history.

  • The borrower or cosigner must have an annual income of $24,000 or greater for the past 2 years to qualify for the iHELP Consolidation Fixed Rate Program.

  • Does not exceed the debt to income threshold of 45%.

You should know that additional credit criteria may apply.

iHelp's student loan consolidation loan is administered by the Student Loan Finance Corporation (SLFC) and sponsored by the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA). Loans are funded by an iHELP originating lender.

icba student loan consolidation
slfc student loan consolidation

iHelp Benefits

iHelp offers a number of benefits to its student loan consolidation customers.

Our favorite benefit offered by iHelp is its cosigner release benefit. Having a creditworthy cosigner can really help you get approved for the iHelp Student Loan Consolidation program. After 24 month, you have the ability to release your cosigner from the consolidation loan. You must have made all 24 monthly payments on time. You must also meet iHelp’s credit requirements in order to qualify for cosigner release. Even so, cosigner release is an awesome benefit to offer!

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ihelp parent

If you refinance with iHelp, you will have the choice of three different repayment options. Of course you can just choose the standard repayment, but there are a couple unique options to consider. iHelp offers interest only payments. Meaning, the borrowers has the option to pay only interest for 24 months. This is a great option for borrowers looking to temporarily lower their monthly payment. iHelp also offers graduated repayment. This option allows borrowers to make interest only payments for a set period of time and then gradually overtime the payment amount increases until the borrower is making the full principal and interest payments.

iHelp even offers forbearance options to borrowers. If you fall into a financial rut, iHelp has your back and can help you delay your monthly payments with forbearance.

The Not So Good Stuff

If you are a very qualified candidate for student debt consolidation, iHelp is probably not your best option. iHelp’s student loan consolidation interest rates tend to be a little high. If you are a very qualified candidate, you can probably get lower interest rates at another one of the student loan refinance lenders.

Moreover, the supplemental fee charge by iHelp is expensive. The supplement fee is currently set at 2% of the loan balance. You need to factor in the costs of the supplement fee when considering iHelp’s interest rates. The APR rate will include the supplemental fee.

The Bottom Line

The iHelp Student Loan Consolidation program is a good option for some borrowers who:

  • Want to consolidate college debt

  • Are interested in cosigner release

  • Want interest only payment plans

  • Want a community bank lender

At LendEDU, we give iHelp a stamp of approval. Check out their website for more information and to get started.
  • Student loan consolidation rates start at 6.00%, or 6.22% APR
  • 15 year term length
  • Only fixed rate options
  • Cosigner release is available after 24 months
  • Interest only payments are available for 24 months
  • Graduated payments available
  • Community bank lenders
  • School must be on accepted school list

Direct Student Loan Consolidation

You can consolidate student loans without a new private student loan lender. In fact, the Department of Education allows you to consolidate federal student loans through the Direct Consolidation Loan program. The Direct Student Loan Consolidation program is allows you to consolidate federal student loans into one new federal student loan. 

You will not need to pay any fees to consolidate federal student loans through this program. In fact, you can consolidate your federal student loans for free online. Do not pay to consolidate student loans!

When you consolidate federal student loans you will no longer have to deal with multiple federal student loan payments. After consolidation, you will only have one loan, one interest rate, and one monthly payment. The interest rate you pay will be calculated as a weighted average of your previous federal student loan interest rates. Private student loans cannot be consolidated through the Direct Consolidation Loan program.

Most federal student loans are eligible for consolidation. You can consolidate Stafford, Perkins, PLUS, and other popular types of federal student loans. ​To consolidate federal and private student loans together, you must go through a private lender. 

If you have questions about federal student loan consolidation, you can contact the Loan Consolidation Information Center at 1-800-557-7392. LendEDU does not represent the Department of Education in any way. Please consult a financial adviser before consolidating federal student loans. ​