8 Best Banks to Refinance and Consolidate Student Loans in 2020

Andy Josuweit

Andrew Josuweit Updated April 1, 2020

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Andy Josuweit

Andrew Josuweit Updated April 1, 2020


The situation for student loans has drastically changed due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, the government has suspended all federal student loan payments and halted all interest charges until the end of September.

As as result, Student Loan Hero recommends being very cautious as you consider refinancing you federal student loans, since you would no longer qualify for the payment suspension and other benefits. On the other hand, it may well be worth refinancing private student loans, now that interest rates have dropped to historically low levels — take a look at the information below (compiled before the coronavirus outbreak) and reach out to some of the lenders you’re interested in for more details.

In the meantime, you can visit the Student Loan Hero Coronavirus Information Center for new developments on how the crisis affects your student loans. Stay healthy and safe!

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If you’re ready to refinance your student loans, your search for the best lender is finally over.

We compared banks and lenders across the country to find ones with the best terms for student loan borrowers. The eight below could help you refinance and consolidate both private and federal student loans. With this move, you could snag a lower interest rate, decrease your monthly payment, or both.

You might even get out of student loan debt ahead of schedule.

To qualify for refinancing, you’ll need to meet requirements for credit score, annual income, savings, and college degree (or certificate of enrollment if you’re still in school). If you can’t yet qualify on your own, you could apply with a creditworthy cosigner to improve your chances.

Ready to take control of your student loans? Here are our top recommendations for student loan refinancing and consolidation.


Our top 8 picks for Student Loan Refinancing

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

Variable-rate student loans have interest rates that can change during the repayment period. Interest rates may increase or decrease at any time and typically do so based on changes to LIBOR. Often, the introductory rate on a variable-rate loan is lower than that of a fixed rate loan, though it has the potential to increase later. Learn more
Variable APR
Our partners refinance both private and federal student loans. Both types of loans can be consolidated to create a single payment.
Loan Types
"Term" refers to the length of the loan, typically in years. In general, the shorter the term, the lower the interest rate and the higher the monthly payments. Longer terms will typically result in lower monthly payments but at a higher interest rate. Borrowers may select any term offered by a lender regardless of the current loan term. Learn more
Terms
Our partners refinance student loans from both undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Eligible Degrees
Our partners refinance both private and federal student loans. Both types of loans can be consolidated to create a single payment.
Eligible Loans
 
3.50% to 8.72%
Variable & Fixed5 to 20Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal

Visit Earnest

1.99% to 6.65%
Variable & Fixed5, 7, 10, 15, 20Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal

Visit Laurel Road

2.49% to 8.72%
Variable & Fixed5, 7, 10, 15, 20Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal

Visit Citizens

3.50% to 8.70%
Variable & Fixed5, 7, 10, 15, 20Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal

Visit SoFi

1.76% to 5.84%
Variable & Fixed5, 7, 10, 15, 20Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal

Visit CommonBond

1.90% to 7.89%
Variable & Fixed5, 7, 10, 15, 20Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal

Visit Lendkey

3.50% to 6.01%
Variable & Fixed5, 7, 10, 15, 20Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal

Visit Elfi

3.64% to 6.74%
Variable & Fixed5 to 20Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal

Visit College Ave

DID YOU KNOW CHECKING YOUR RATE DOESN’T AFFECT YOUR CREDIT SCORE?

Our top 8 picks for Student Loan Refinancing

3.50% – 8.77%3.50% – 8.72%4.25% – 8.77%5 to 20
$5kNo MaxYes0.25%
(up to 12 months)
NoneNone
Any except AL, DE, KY, MS, NV, RI
Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal650No min
Yes(or signed job offer)No min< 3 minutes< 10 minutes
No2013

Visit Earnest

1.99% – 7.02%1.99% – 6.65%3.50% – 7.02%5, 7, 10, 15, 20
$5k$300000Yes0.25%
(up to 12 months)
NoneNone
Any
Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal660No min
Yes(or signed job offer)No min< 3 minutes< 5 minutes
No2006

Visit Laurel Road

2.49% – 8.90%2.49% – 8.72%3.39% – 8.90%5, 7, 10, 15, 20
$10k$300,000 (Bachelors degree or below), $500,000 (Graduate degree)Yes0.25%
(up to 12 months)
NoneNone
Any
Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal680$24,000
per year
YesNo min< 3 minutes< 20 minutes
No1828 / 2014for refi student loans

Visit Citizens

Apply by phone: 1-877-573-4829
3.50% – 8.77%3.50% – 8.70%4.25% – 8.77%5, 7, 10, 15, 20
$5kNo MaxYes0.25%
(up to 12 months)
NoneNone
Any
Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & FederalGood or Excellent score neededNo min
(or signed job offer)No min< 3 minutes< 10 minutes
No2011

Visit SoFi

1.76% – 6.15%1.76% – 5.84%3.12% – 6.15%5, 7, 10, 15, 20
$5k$500kYes0.25%
(up to 24 months)
NoneNone
Any except ID, LA, MS, NV, SD or VT
Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal660No min
Yes(or signed job offer)No min< 3 minutes< 10 minutes
No2011

Visit CommonBond

1.90% – 7.89%1.90% – 7.89%3.39% – 7.75%5, 7, 10, 15, 20
$2k$250,000Yes0.25%
(up to 18 months)
(up to 4 years)
NoneNone
Any except ME, ND, NV, RI, WV
Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal680$24,000
per year
YesNo min< 3 minutes< 10 minutes
No2007

Visit Lendkey

Start Application: 1-877-304-9306
3.50% – 6.69%3.50% – 6.01%4.25% – 6.69%5, 7, 10, 15, 20
$15kNo MaxYes0.25%
(up to 12 months)
NoneNone
Any
Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal680$35k
(or signed job offer)No min< 3 minutes< 10 minutes
No2015

Visit Elfi

3.64% – 6.99%3.64% – 6.74%4.64% – 6.99%5 to 20
$5k$300,000Yes0.25%
No
NoneNone
Any
Undergrad
& Graduate
Private & Federal680$65,000
per year
Yes(or signed job offer)No min3 minutes3 minutes
No2014

Visit College Ave

Check out the in-depth reviews!

Did you know checking your rate won’t affect your credit score?

  • APR Range
  • Variable APR
  • Fixed APR
  • Terms
  • Soft Credit Check
  • Min. Lending Amount
  • Max. Lending Amount
  • Auto-Pay Interest Rate Reduction
  • Unemployment Protection/Benefits
  • Interest-Only Payment Option
  • Discharge Due to Death
  • Transfer Parent PLUS From Parent to Child/Graduate
  • Origination Fees
  • Prepayment Penalty
  • Refi Parent PLUS Loans
  • State Residency
  • Previously Defaulted (Now Rehabilitated) Loans Eligible
  • Eligible Degrees
  • Eligible Loans
  • Min. Credit Score
  • Min. Annual Income
  • No Cosigner Required
  • Ability to Apply With a Cosigner
  • Cosigner Release Offered (Existing Loans)
  • Cosigner Release Offered (Refinanced Loans)
  • Borrower Can Be Delinquent on Current Student Loans
  • Borrower Can Apply While Still Enrolled in School
  • Borrower Must Currently Be Employed
  • Minimum GPA Required
  • Avg. Time to Check Rate
  • Avg. Time to Apply
  • Apply on Mobile Device
  • Interest Is Tax Deductible
  • Personal Reference Required
  • Year Established
Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.



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Earnest Disclosures

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.

Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 4.25% APR (with Auto Pay) to 8.77% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 3.50% APR (with Auto Pay) to 8.72% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of March 18, 2020, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.

Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.

The information provided on this page is updated as of 3/18/2020. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at hello@earnest.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.

© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

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Sara Hathaway – UBC

Not just another statistic

These are real people who actually care about my needs as a person; I'm not just another statistic to them, I'm a relationship.

— Sara Hathaway – UBC

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Laurel Road Disclosures

Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Mortgage lending is not offered in Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.

ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE (“APR”)
This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.

FEE INFORMATION

There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties associated with the loan. Lender may assess a late fee if any part of a payment is not received within 15 days of the payment due date. Any late fee assessed shall not exceed 5% of the late payment or $28, whichever is less. A borrower may be charged $20 for any payment (including a check or an electronic payment) that is returned unpaid due to non-sufficient funds (NSF) or a closed account.

LOAN AMOUNT

For bachelor’s degrees and higher, up to 100% of outstanding private and federal student loans (minimum $5,000) are eligible for refinancing. If you are refinancing greater than $300,000 in student loan debt, Lender may refinance the loans into 2 or more new loans.
For eligible Associates degrees in the healthcare field (see Eligibility & Eligible Loans section below), Lender will refinance up to $50,000 in loans for non-ParentPlus refinance loans. Note, parents who are refinancing loans taken out on behalf of a child who has obtained an associates degrees in an eligible healthcare field are not subject to the $50,000 loan maximum, refer to https://www.laurelroad.com/refinance-student-loans/refinance-parent-plus-loans/ for more information about refinancing ParentPlus loans.

ELIGIBILITY & ELIGIBLE LOANS

Borrower, and Co-signer if applicable, must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident with a valid I-551 card (which must show a minimum of 10 years between “Resident Since” date and “Card Expires” date or has no expiration date); state that they are of at least borrowing age in the state of residence at the time of application; and meet Lender underwriting criteria (including, for example, employment, debt-to-income, disposable income, and credit history requirements).

Graduates may refinance any unsubsidized or subsidized Federal or private student loan that was used exclusively for qualified higher education expenses (as defined in 26 USC Section 221) at an accredited U.S. undergraduate or graduate school. Any federal loans refinanced with Lender are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment.

All loans must be in grace or repayment status and cannot be in default. Borrower must have graduated or be enrolled in good standing in the final term preceding graduation from an accredited Title IV U.S. school and must be employed, or have an eligible offer of employment. Parents looking to refinance loans taken out on behalf of a child should refer to https://www.laurelroad.com/refinance-student-loans/refinance-parent-plus-loans/ for applicable terms and conditions.

For Associates Degrees: Only associates degrees earned in one of the following are eligible for refinancing: Cardiovascular Technologist (CVT); Dental Hygiene; Diagnostic Medical Sonography; EMT/Paramedics; Nuclear Technician; Nursing; Occupational Therapy Assistant; Pharmacy Technician; Physical Therapy Assistant; Radiation Therapy; Radiologic/MRI Technologist; Respiratory Therapy; or Surgical Technologist. To refinance an Associates degree, a borrower must also either be currently enrolled and in the final term of an associate degree program at a Title IV eligible school with an offer of employment in the same field in which they will receive an eligible associate degree OR have graduated from a school that is Title IV eligible with an eligible associate and have been employed, for a minimum of 12 months, in the same field of study of the associate degree earned.

INTEREST RATES

The interest rate you are offered will depend on your credit profile, income, and total debt payments as well as your choice of fixed or variable and choice of term. For applicants who are currently medical or dental residents, your rate offer may also vary depending on whether you have secured employment for after residency.

DISBURSEMENT OPTIONS

The repayment of any refinanced student loan will commence (1) immediately after disbursement by us, or (2) after any grace or in-school deferment period, existing prior to refinancing and/or consolidation with us, has expired.

POSTPONING OR REDUCING PAYMENTS

After loan disbursement, if a borrower documents a qualifying economic hardship, we may agree in our discretion to allow for full or partial forbearance of payments for one or more 3-month time periods (not to exceed 12 months in the aggregate during the term of your loan), provided that we receive acceptable documentation (including updating documentation) of the nature and expected duration of the borrower’s economic hardship.

We may agree under certain circumstances to allow a borrower to make $100/month payments for a period of time immediately after loan disbursement if the borrower is employed full-time as an intern, resident, or similar postgraduate trainee at the time of loan disbursement. These payments may not be enough to cover all of the interest that accrues on the loan. Unpaid accrued interest will be added to your loan and monthly payments of principal and interest will begin when the post-graduate training program ends.

We may agree under certain circumstances to allow postponement (deferral) of monthly payments of principal and interest for a period of time immediately following loan disbursement (not to exceed 6 months after the borrower’s graduation with an eligible degree), if the borrower is an eligible student in the borrower’s final term at the time of loan disbursement or graduated less than 6 months before loan disbursement, and has accepted an offer of (or has already begun) full-time employment.

If Lender agrees (in its sole discretion) to postpone or reduce any monthly payment(s) for a period of time, interest on the loan will continue to accrue for each day principal is owed. Although the borrower might not be required to make payments during such a period, the borrower may continue to make payments during such a period. Making payments, or paying some of the interest, will reduce the total amount that will be required to be paid over the life of the loan. Interest not paid during any period when Lender has agreed to postpone or reduce any monthly payment will be added to the principal balance through capitalization (compounding) at the end of such a period, one month before the borrower is required to resume making regular monthly payments.

KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

This information is current as of March 4, 2020 and is subject to change.

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Bethany Whittier, DDS – Dentist

I will save over $20,000!

Refinancing my student loans through Laurel Road is the best thing that could have happened for my personal finances. The online application was very straightforward and I was approved within a week of applying. The customer service has been nothing but professional, promptly answering any questions I have about my account. Throughout the lifetime of my loan I will save over $20,000!

— Bethany Whittier, DDS – Dentist

Dr. Bryce Peterson – Medical Doctor

The customer service was very efficient!

I have refinanced other loans, but never as easily as with Laurel Road. The online services they offered made this refi a snap, and their rates were lower than other banks, too. The customer service through email and telephone was also very efficient.

— Dr. Bryce Peterson – Medical Doctor

Dr. Chandy Randall – Medical Doctor

The interest rate was great!

Applying to refinance my loan with Laurel Road was so easy! I only needed to collect a few documents and upload them to the website. The documents were reviewed and accepted quickly. The communication was easy. The interest rate was great! I am very happy that I decided to refinance with Laurel Road!

— Dr. Chandy Randall – Medical Doctor

Bethany Hammons – Registered Nurse

I would recommend them to anyone!

After spending weeks communicating with other companies I had about given up on refinancing my loans. I decided to give one more company a try. Laurel Road (formerly DRB Student Loan) was such an easy online process I almost didn’t believe. I would recommend them to anyone. Student loans are stressful so it’s so nice knowing there’s a company out there to make the process as pain free as possible!

— Bethany Hammons – Registered Nurse

Brandi Brock – Finance Manager

Fast and easy!

Working with Laurel Road was fast and easy! I searched for the right refinance company, and no one had better rates or service. I would recommend refinancing with Laurel Road to any of my friends with student loan debt to consolidate!

— Brandi Brock – Finance Manager

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Citizens Bank Disclosures

Education Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of March 1, 2020, the one-month LIBOR rate is 1.62%. Variable interest rates range from 2.49%-8.72% (2.49%-8.72% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Fixed interest rates range from 3.39%-8.90% (3.39%-8.90% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Lowest rates shown are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan. 

Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer with the Education Refinance Loan for Parents. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are considering possible loan forgiveness options, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. The Education Refinance Loan for Parents does not offer co-signer release or death forgiveness. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans and replace those with the benefits of the Education Refinance Loan. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision at http://www.citizensbank.com/EdRefinance, including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review. 

Citizens Bank Student Loan Eligibility: Borrowers must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program at an eligible institution. Borrowers must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident or an international borrower/eligible non-citizen with a creditworthy U.S. citizen or permanent resident co-signer. For borrowers who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer is required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Citizens Bank private student loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, and if applicable, self-certification form, school certification of the loan amount, and student’s enrollment at a Citizens Bank- participating school. 

Please Note: International Students are not eligible for the multi-year approval feature.

Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Eligibility: Eligible applicants may not be currently enrolled. Applicants with an Associate’s degree or with no degree must have made at least 12 qualifying payments after leaving school. Qualifying payments are the most recent on time and consecutive payments of principal and interest on the loans being refinanced. Primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The co-signer (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer will be required.  Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Education Refinance Loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned.

Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan and Education Refinance Loan for Parents Eligibility: For the Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan and Education Refinance Loan for Parents, primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The co-signer (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not reached the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer will be required and may not be eligible for co-signer release. For the Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan, applicants may not be currently enrolled in school and applicants with an Associate’s degree, or with no degree, must have made at least 12 qualifying payments after leaving school. Qualifying payments are the most recent on time and consecutive payments of principal and interest on the loans being refinanced.  Citizens Bank observes the right to modify or discontinue these benefits at any time. Both Education Refinance Loans and Education Refinance Loan for Parents are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned or affordability, as applicable. The minimum student loan refinance amount is $10,000. Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer with the Education Refinance Loan. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. Resources are available to help the borrower make a decision, including a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits, at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/federal-vs-private.

Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan. 

Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

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You truly helped change my life!

Thank you so much for all your help Citizens! You've truly helped change my life!

— David C

I had an overwhelmingly positive experience

After hearing about the student loan refinance options at Citizens Bank, I was interested to learn more and submit an application. However, I was unaware of what the process required. I was very fortunate to be assisted by your phone agent during the application process. He was extremely patient, professional and knowledgeable. He was able to clearly answer my many questions and provide guidance as I put together the required information for the application. I had an overwhelmingly positive experience and because of it, will be referring my sister for this product as well. I look forward to finishing the process and having a better student loan finance option. Thank you!

— Derek F

I appreciate everything Citizens has done

The loan department emailed me last night and I finished up all the docs. It's so sweet to finally get out of the clutches of my old loans.  I feel like I just walked out of prison. Take care!

— Chad B

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SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: Fixed rates from 4.25% APR to 8.774% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 3.5% APR to 8.7% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 3.5% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 1.62% plus 0.94% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. See eligibility details. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

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Chiara McPhee – Stanford

Lowest rates without a cosigner!

I was looking for the lowest rates I could find without a cosigner. SoFi was by far the best.

— Chiara McPhee – Stanford

Ali Kahn – Ross University

Tens of thousands saved!

It's almost mind-boggling how much money I'll save through refinancing my student loans with SoFi - I'd literally be paying tens of thousands more with my original loans. Now that I’ve refinanced my student loans with SoFi, I see a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m able to put away a little bit more, think about long term goals, save for a house - and I know this burden isn’t going to be over my head for the rest of my life.

— Ali Kahn – Ross University

Barry Malinowski Jr. – Harvard

Significantly lower rate!

With SoFi, I was able to significantly lower my rate, saving me thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. Plus, now I belong to a support group of borrowers and lenders, turning debt that was once only a liability into an assets of sorts. I’m grateful that a friend told me about SoFi.

— Barry Malinowski Jr. – Harvard

Taryn B. – New York

Amazing customer service!

Not only does SoFi provide low interest rates, but they have a seamless process, a tech savvy website and amazing customer service. They actually make me feel good about borrowing money from them.

— Taryn B. – New York

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CommonBond Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 1.67% effective February 10, 2020.

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Chan – Binghamton, NY

Very easy application!

It was very easy to go through the CommonBond website and apply for the loan.

— Chan – Binghamton, NY

Grace – Detroit, MI

Tailored, one on one service

Looking at the math and the rates, it was an easy choice for me. It's just a very personal, tailored, one on one service.

— Grace – Detroit, MI

Andrew – Grand Forks, ND

Save Thousands of Dollars

I am going to save thousands of dollars and some portion of that is going to help other people involved in education right now.

— Andrew – Grand Forks, ND

Mariana – Lansing, MI

How could I live without this?

You know that moment when you find out about something you didn't know existed, and you think how could I ever live without this?

— Mariana – Lansing, MI

Dan M – San Francisco, CA

Very innovative

It's a very innovative approach to student financing.

— Dan M – San Francisco, CA

Tom – Seekonk, MA

Commitment to financial literacy

Their committment to financial literacy education is also very important.

— Tom – Seekonk, MA

Dan S – East Hampton, CT

Support a great organization

It's an opportunity to support an organization with a really great message about the community and people.

— Dan S – East Hampton, CT

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LendKey Disclosures

Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it  endorse,  any educational institution.

Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of  5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.

As of 03/26/2020 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.90% to 7.89% Variable APR with AutoPay and 3.39% to 7.75% Fixed APR with AutoPay.

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Megan – Wartburg College

I feel like I can breathe again!

I have been very impressed with my application process with LendKey! Their customer service team is prompt in responding to any inquiries via email and very helpful on the phone! The application process was easy to follow and very user friendly! With LendKey's help, I'll be saving nearly $400 per month on my student loans! I'm absolutely thrilled and feel like I can breathe again knowing how much this is going to help me financially and the ability to pay my loans off faster. Thank you LendKey!

— Megan – Wartburg College

Tyler – Grand Valley State University

Thanks LendKey!

I checked multiple companies for student loan refinancing and LendKey was by far the easiest and had best rates. Save yourself time and just go with LendKey.

— Tyler – Grand Valley State University

Michelle – San Jose State University

Easy, friendly, and approved!!

I found the application process easy, the customer service when I called always friendly and helpful (minimal automated phone assistance!) and I was approved quickly! Highly recommend refinancing your student loan with Lendkey!

— Michelle – San Jose State University

Tyler – Harvard

Customized repayment plans

I liked the repayment program that was offered. Lower payments in the beginning and as I moved along in my career and earned more, I could pay more.

— Tyler – Harvard

Gregory – Rutgers

Fantastic customer service!

The customer service was fantastic and the network of credit unions was incredible. At the time when I was looking to consolidate my loans, I could not find many other opportunities like the one presented by you guys.

— Gregory – Rutgers

Abigail – Western Michigan University

Much easier than the alternatives!

I had outstanding loans from Sallie Mae with an extremely high interest rate. It would have taken me over 30 years to pay my college debt. You guys were the only program that allowed me to consolidate my private student loans for one easy payment. They are much easier and nicer to work with then Sallie Mae.

— Abigail – Western Michigan University

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Lance S. – Virginia Tech

ELFI was a breeze to deal with. All I had to do was complete some simple forms and upload a few documents. Anytime I had a question or issue they went above and beyond to either answer or even take care of the issue for me. I will now save over $24,000 over the life of the loan and I plan to use the savings to pay off my house faster. The best thing is, it cost us nothing. I wish I had refinanced with ELFI years ago.

— Lance S. – Virginia Tech

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College Ave Disclosures

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.

1College Ave Refi Education loans are not currently available to residents of Maine.

2All rates shown include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.

3$5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees.

4This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.

Information advertised valid as of 3/20/2020. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.

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Highly recommended

Staff was really responsive and answered all my questions promptly. Would definitely recommend College Ave to anyone!

— Dora F. – Pennsylvania

Easy process, great communication

You made getting our loan very easy, from the quick online application to the constant communication via email. We really appreciate knowing where we are at in the process. Thank you!

— Kris D. – Delaware

Recap: The Top 8 Student Loan Refinancing Companies

  • Earnest
  • Laurel Road
  • Citizens Bank
  • SoFi
  • CommonBond
  • LendKey
  • Education Loan Finance
  • College Ave

Refinancing has some big potential benefits, including the possibility of lowering your interest rate to save you money on accruing interest. Alternatively, it might reduce your payments to a more affordable level, if you’re willing to shell out more interest over time. A student loan refinancing calculator can calculate your potential savings (or cost).

Aside from speeding up or slowing down your repayment, refinancing accomplishes the same feats for every borrower — putting the power back in your hands. It allows you to choose your new lender, consolidate your federal and private loan debt into one monthly payment and possibly release your original loan cosigner/s.

To qualify for refinancing, you’ll need a strong credit score and steady income, among other criteria. Banks, credit unions and online lenders offer their lowest fixed and variable rates to the most creditworthy applicants.

Lenders may perform a soft credit check a quoted rate within minutes. Your credit report wouldn’t be affected until the hard check of your formal loan application. We recommend pre-qualifying with multiple lenders that meet your unique needs to see whose overall loan offering is best.

Of all the questions to ask before refinancing, this one might be most paramount: Should you refinance federal loans and lose the exclusive benefits they come with? Keep in mind that refinancing is irreversible and strips your government debt of safeguards like income-driven repayment options and access to loan forgiveness and cancellation.

If these benefits could prove useful down the road, you could be better off transitioning some or all of your original federal loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan, combining your federal loans into a single monthly payment. You could even choose a new loan servicer if you’re unhappy with your current one.

Unlike private refinancing, however, federal consolidation won’t lower your overall interest rate or let you lump any private loans into your newly consolidated debt. Also, consolidating could reset your progress in programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness. These are just some the reasons consolidation could be a bad idea.

Moving your loans to a private lender or grouping your government debt with a new federal loan servicer could be the turning point of your repayment. If you’re unsure which route to take, consider scenarios when refinancing makes sense or whether consolidation would be wise in your case. In the end, the best decision is the one that’s best for you.


Frequently Asked Questions About Refinancing

What is student loan refinancing?

When you refinance student loans, you take out a new loan from a private lender to pay off one or more of your old loans. If you qualify, you could snag a lower interest rate on this new loan. You can also choose new repayment terms to pay off your debt faster or lower your monthly bills.

Eligible borrowers can refinance student loans to achieve a number of objectives, such as:

  • Saving money on interest with a lower rate
  • Adjusting your monthly payments to match your goals
  • Combining multiple loans into one, simple repayment
  • Removing a cosigner from your debt
  • Switching to a new loan servicer with better customer service

Whatever your goals, refinancing can be a savvy strategy for managing your student loan debt.

Are there any downsides to refinancing student loans?

Refinancing federal student loans means you turn them private. As a result, you lose access to federal programs, such as income-driven repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Some private lenders offer help if you run into financial hardship, but this varies by lender. If you’re relying on federal protections, then you should not refinance your federal student loans. But if you’re comfortable sacrificing these programs, refinancing could be a smart strategy for paying off your loans.

What’s the difference between private refinancing and federal consolidation?

Although refinancing can simplify your debt by combining multiple loans into one, it’s different from federal student loan consolidation. You refinance student loans with a private lender, but you consolidate loans by taking out a direct consolidation loan from the federal government.

Federal consolidation combines federal student loans into one new loan, and it lets you choose new repayment terms. But it doesn’t lower your interest rate, so you won’t save money on interest — only student loan refinancing helps you lower your rate, if you qualify.

How do I refinance my student loans?

Many lenders offer student loan refinancing, from traditional banks, to credit unions to online lenders. Before choosing one, shop around and compare your offers. Several lenders make it easy to get an instant rate quote online with no impact on your credit score. By checking your rates with a variety of providers, you can find a refinanced student loan with the best possible terms.

Am I eligible for student loan refinancing?

You can refinance one or more federal and/or private student loans, but you must meet a lender’s requirements for credit and income. Most lenders look for a credit score of 650 or higher, along with a steady source of income or an offer of employment. If you can’t meet these criteria on your own, you could qualify by applying with a creditworthy cosigner, such as a parent.

Along with your credit score and annual income, some lenders also look at your savings and debt-to-income ratio. Finally, some lenders require proof of graduation, as they’ll only approve borrowers who have obtained their degree. If you left school before graduating, there are relatively few student loan refinance providers that will work with you.