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Updated: February 22, 2024

Best Student Loan Refinance Companies

Student loan refinancing requires careful consideration, which is why Saving for College has developed a methodology for rating private student loan refinancing companies based on a set of objective criteria.

Looking to refinance a student loan? It’s important to shop around for the best interest rate, fees, terms and conditions to suit your needs. Here are a few of our top picks for refinancing and consolidation.

Lender

Fixed APR
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While Savingforcollege.com strives to keep the information up to date, the lender rates, terms and other information are subject to change at any time. Interest rates listed include an autopay discount if available.

Variable APR
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While Savingforcollege.com strives to keep the information up to date, the lender rates, terms and other information are subject to change at any time. Interest rates listed include an autopay discount if available.

Repayment Terms

Pricing disclosure
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Fixed rates range from 5.24% APR to 9.99% APR with 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates range from 6.24% APR to 9.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates on 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms are capped at 13.95% APR; 15- and 20-year terms are capped at 13.95% APR. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 2/01/24 and are subject to change at any time. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR index increases. 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. This benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit lowers your interest rate but does not change the amount of your monthly payment. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. You may pay more interest over the life of the loan if you refinance with an extended term.

 
 

5.24% – 9.99%

6.24% – 9.99%

5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years

Fixed APR

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While Savingforcollege.com strives to keep the information up to date, the lender rates, terms and other information are subject to change at any time. Interest rates listed include an autopay discount if available.
5.24% – 9.99%

Var. APR

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While Savingforcollege.com strives to keep the information up to date, the lender rates, terms and other information are subject to change at any time. Interest rates listed include an autopay discount if available.
6.24% – 9.99%

Terms
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years

Fees
No fees

Offers
Autopay discount (0.25%), and Customizable payment due date

Refinance Student Loan Rating

Pricing disclosure
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Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 5.44APR to 9.99% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 5.97% APR to 9.99% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. The rate will not increase more than once per month. The maximum rate for your loan is 8.95% if your loan term is 10 years or less. For loan terms of more than 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%. Please note, we are not able to offer variable rate loans in AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN, and TX. Our lowest rates are only available for our most credit qualified borrowers and contain our .25% auto pay discount from a checking or savings account.
 
THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT. YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO MAKE ANY PAYMENT OR TAKE ANY OTHER ACTION IN RESPONSE TO THIS OFFER.
 

5.19% – 9.74%

5.72% – 9.74%

5, 10, 15, 20 years

Fixed APR

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While Savingforcollege.com strives to keep the information up to date, the lender rates, terms and other information are subject to change at any time. Interest rates listed include an autopay discount if available.
5.19% – 9.74%

Var. APR

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While Savingforcollege.com strives to keep the information up to date, the lender rates, terms and other information are subject to change at any time. Interest rates listed include an autopay discount if available.
5.72% – 9.74%

Terms
5, 10, 15, 20 years

Fees
No fees

Offers
Autopay discount (0.25%), Customizable payment due date, and option to skip 1 payment every 12 months

Refinance Student Loan Rating

Pricing disclosure
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While Savingforcollege.com strives to keep the information up to date, the lender rates, terms and other information are subject to change at any time.

See disclaimers at: https://www.splashfinancial.com/disclaimers/

Splash Financial, Inc. (NMLS #1630038), licensed by the DFPI under California Financing Law, license # 60DBO-102545

Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Products may not be available in all states. Rates and terms are subject to change at any point prior to application submission. The information you provide is an inquiry to determine whether Splash’s lending partners can make you a loan offer. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or other eligible status and meet lender underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers and require an autopay discount of 0.25%. Splash does not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, creditworthiness, income and other factors. This information is current as of June 5, 2023. You should review the benefits of your federal student loan; it may offer specific benefits that a private refinance/consolidation loan may not offer. If you work in the public sector, are in the military or taking advantage of a federal department of relief program, such as income-based repayment or public service forgiveness, you may not want to refinance, as these benefits do not transfer to private refinance/consolidation loans.

1Autopay Discount. Rates listed include a 0.25% autopay discount.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed APR options range from 4.96% (with autopay) to 11.24% (without autopay). Variable APR options range from 4.99% (with autopay) to 11.14% (without autopay). Variable rates are derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001).

2Payment DisclosureFixed loans feature repayment terms of 5 to 20 years. For example, the monthly payment for a sample $10,000 with an APR of 5.47% for a 12-year term would be $94.86. Variable loans feature repayment terms of 5 to 20 years. For example, the monthly payment for a sample $10,000 with an APR of 5.90% for a 15-year term would be $83.85.

Credit Pull Disclosure. To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

4.96% – 10.99% 1

4.99% – 10.89% 1

5-20 years 2

Fixed APR

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While Savingforcollege.com strives to keep the information up to date, the lender rates, terms and other information are subject to change at any time. Interest rates listed include an autopay discount if available.
4.96% – 10.99%

Var. APR

i
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While Savingforcollege.com strives to keep the information up to date, the lender rates, terms and other information are subject to change at any time. Interest rates listed include an autopay discount if available.
4.99% – 10.89%

Terms
5-20 years

Fees
Late fees

Offers
Autopay discount (0.25%)

Refinance Student Loan Rating

Pricing disclosure
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Education Loan Finance is a nationwide student loan debt consolidation and refinance program offered by Tennessee based SouthEast Bank. ELFI is designed to assist borrowers through consolidating and refinancing loans into one single loan that effectively lowers your cost of education debt and/or makes repayment very simple. Subject to credit approval. See Terms & Conditions. Interest rates current as of 9-22-2022. The interest rate and monthly payment for a variable rate loan may increase after closing, but will never exceed 9.95% APR. Interest rates may be different from the rates shown above and will be based on the term of your loan, your financial history, and other factors, including your cosigner’s (if any) financial history.

5.48% – 8.94%

5.28% – 8.99%

5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years

Fixed APR

i
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While Savingforcollege.com strives to keep the information up to date, the lender rates, terms and other information are subject to change at any time. Interest rates listed include an autopay discount if available.
5.48% – 8.94%

Var. APR

i
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While Savingforcollege.com strives to keep the information up to date, the lender rates, terms and other information are subject to change at any time. Interest rates listed include an autopay discount if available.
5.28% – 8.99%

Terms
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years

Fees
Late fees

Offers
Reward of $400 for referring a friend that takes out a loan with ELFI

Refinance Student Loan Rating

Comparing Student Loan Refinancing Options

Be careful refinancing federal student loans into private student loans, since you will lose some of your federal benefits such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness and income-driven repayment options. Another option for federal student loans is a direct consolidation loan, which combines multiple loans into one loan. However, federal consolidation will not lower your interest rate.

It is important to understand these key aspects, as well as other pros and cons of a student loan refinance to determine whether it is the right option for you:

Minimum and Maximum Interest Rates

Your interest rate will be determined by current reference market rates (usually SOFR), your credit history, and the length of your repayment term. Fixed rates will not change over the life of the refinanced loan, while variable rates will fluctuate with the market rate.

When shopping to refinance your student loans, it is a best practice to check interest rates with lenders that allow you to get a quoted rate prior to a hard credit check, so you can see what rates and loan terms might be available before impacting your credit history. One of the primary benefits of refinancing student loans is getting a lower interest rate, so this is a key consideration for borrowers.

Repayment Terms

The length of time you will repay your refinanced student loan. While longer repayment terms may result in lower monthly payments, the overall amount paid on those loans is generally longer, and interest rates are usually higher.

It is also important to evaluate refinancing companies’ policies regarding hardship deferment, and death/disability discharges.

Cosigner Release

If refinancing with a cosigner, borrowers may want the opportunity to release the cosigner from responsibility for the student loan in the future. This is often the case when refinancing Parent PLUS loans, with students taking over responsibility for repayment from their parent borrowers.

Student Loan Refinance Rating Methodology Overview

As previously mentioned, we have developed a methodology for ranking private student loans. Our methodology takes into account the advantages and disadvantages of each student loan, relative to all other student loan options. We specifically rate each loan in four main categories:

  1. Cost: Focuses on variables such as interest rates and loan fees.
  2. Availability: Focuses on eligibility variables such as any minimum credit score requirements and income thresholds.
  3. Flexibility: Focuses on repayment terms and similar variables that include grace periods and deferments.
  4. Customer Service: Focuses on how the lender services their loans to borrowers with variables such as complaint rates and self-service options.

Each category is scored on a scale between 1 and 5 and the loans are rated on a weighted average of the scores of both individual and group variables.

FAQs

What does it mean to refinance a student loan?

Refinancing a student loan means you replace your existing federal or private loans with a new private loan. This new loan will have a new interest rate, loan term, lender and monthly payment, and will no longer offer any federal loan benefits.

Can I refinance federal student loans?

Yes, you can refinance federal student loans into a private loan, but you will then lose all of the perks of federal loans. This includes (depending on your loans) possibly being able to enroll in a payment plan based on your annual income and family size, an option to postpone payments (with an economic hardship deferment or unemployment deferment) and the potential to have your loans forgiven with Public Service Loan Forgiveness or other loan forgiveness options.

What are the requirements for student loan refinancing?

The requirements for approval for student loan refinancing vary between each lender. Generally, a lender would like to see a debt-to-income ratio under 50%, a minimum credit score of 650 or more, a steady job and consistent income, a minimum loan balance to refinance, loans not currently in default, and that you have completed your degree program. While many lenders require a bachelor’s degree, some allow refinancing with an associate degree or without completing a degree. Some lenders have minimum income requirements as well. Many lenders require the borrower to be either a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to be eligible.

What is the difference between a fixed and variable interest rate?

A fixed interest rate means that your interest rate will stay the same for the entire life of the loan until you pay it back. A variable-rate loan means your interest rate can change and increase, as often as monthly.

What are the benefits of refinancing loans?

If you are able to reduce your interest rate, refinancing could potentially save money on what you will overall pay for your loans – assuming you don’t extend your payment term to try to reduce your monthly payment. Use our student loan refinance calculator to compare your current loan with a new loan to evaluate. Refinancing a private loan also means you can release a cosigner from the obligation to repay your existing loan. Some private student loan lenders offer a cosigner release, but for those that don’t, refinancing the loan without a cosigner means the cosigner is no longer tied to the loan.

What are the cons of refinancing loans?

Refinancing federal loans means losing out on federal benefits – income-driven repayment plans, deferments if you’re unemployed or facing an economic hardship, subsidized loans, and the potential for loan forgiveness. If you refinance right out of college, you’ll lose your grace period. As with any new loan application, your credit score may drop by a few points as each lender will perform a credit check as part of the application process.

What is the difference between federal student loan consolidation and refinancing?

Refinancing is through a private lender with a new loan term and a new interest rate. Federal loan consolidation combines all of your loans together, and the interest rate is based on the current rates on your federal loans, not a new interest rate. Unlike refinancing, federal loan consolidation allows you to keep the federal benefits, such as income-driven repayment plans and the potential for loan forgiveness. However, keep in mind that if you consolidate your federal loans, it does reset the clock on any forgiveness for income-driven repayment plans or Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Will I save money if I refinance?

There are many factors that determine whether you will save money, including loan amounts, credit history, interest rates, and other factors. If your new interest rate is lower than your old interest rate, you might save over the life of the loan. If you are extending your payment term, it could mean a lower monthly payment but paying more on your loan overall. Use our student loan refinance calculator to estimate.

Can I use a cosigner to refinance?

Most lenders will allow you to refinance your loan with a cosigner. Having a responsible cosigner with good credit can increase your chances of approval as well as securing a lower interest rate. However, there are many risks and things the cosigner should consider. A cosigner is equally responsible for repaying the debt. That loan will impact the cosigner’s debt-to-income ratio and appear on their credit report, potentially making it more difficult for them to get approved for other loans.

How can I get the best rates?

Lenders typically offer the lowest interest rates to borrowers with the highest income and best credit profiles. Before you apply, check your credit report to address any errors. If possible, pay down any other high-interest debt, such as a credit card. Increasing your income can also help. A cosigner with excellent credit can help you secure a lower interest rate, but there are many risks involved for the

Do student loan refinancing lenders charge origination, prepayment, or other fees?

Student loan refinancing lenders do not generally charge origination fees or have prepayment penalties. Some charge fees for late payments. Be sure to review the fees charged by each lender before refinancing your loans.

Important Disclaimers

Savingforcollege.com provides our readers with free access to objective information, articles and tools to help them make informed decisions about saving and paying for education. We are able to do this because we are compensated by our partners, including some private student lenders. Some, though not all, of the products featured here are offered by partners who may pay us a sales commission. Our partnerships do not influence our ratings or reviews, which are based on in-depth research and objective methodologies, though they may influence which products we write about and where those products appear on our site. Our opinions are our own.

While Savingforcollege.com strives to keep our information up to date, the lender rates, terms and other information are subject to change at any time.

Exhaust all other resources, such as scholarships and grants, before borrowing student loans. If you need to borrow loans, federal student loans offer many benefits that private student loans do not. Read the fine print and disclaimer from any potential lender and understand how student loans work before borrowing.

Savingforcollege.com is an independent publisher. We do not provide legal, financial, accounting or tax advice. The information and tools published on this website are general in nature and may not apply to your specific circumstances. You should seek specific guidance from a qualified legal, financial, accounting or tax professional.

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