Looking to lower your payments?

Student Loan Refinance Calculator

This student loan refinancing calculator estimates how much you could lower your total and monthly loan payments by refinancing your student loans.

Loan Comparison


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YEARS
info icon vector Number of years you are currently taking to pay off the loan

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YEARS
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Refinancing student loans means that you trade your current student loan debt for an entirely new private student loan. The new loan pays off the old loans. Refinancing your student loans might provide a lower interest rate, which saves you money and could eliminate your debt sooner. Refinancing yields a completely new lender. You need to apply and be approved just like any other loan. The terms of your new loan and any perks from federal student loans will not apply to this new loan.

The difference between consolidation and a refinance depends on how the interest rate is determined. You can consolidate most federal loans, which combines multiple loans into one payment. Consolidating loans does not give you a lower interest rate like refinancing potentially can. If you consolidate your student loans, your interest rate is based on the weighted average of your current interest rates. If you consolidate federal student loans into a federal consolidation loan, you can still have most federal student loan benefits, unlike refinancing to a private lender. Refinancing your student loans also combines your loans into a single loan, but the interest rate is based on your current credit score and not the current interest rates on your loans.

Requirements for refinancing student loans depends on the lender. In many cases, lenders want to see a debt-to-income ratio under 50%, a minimum credit score of 650, steady income, a minimum amount to refinance (usually $5,000), loans that aren’t in default, and degree completion.

Refinancing a student loan can lower your interest rate, which reduces the amount you will pay over the life of the loan. Lowering the interest rate also means that more of your loan payments are applied to your principal balance, paying off your loan faster. If you choose to have a longer payment term, it could lower your monthly payment. Combining multiple loans into one new one means it’s easier to keep track of your loan, make payments, and reduce the chance of late payments. Many private lenders offer optional perks, including skipping a payment, choosing your due date, and pausing payments. Other benefits of refinancing include releasing a cosigner from responsibility of your loan and getting a new loan servicer if you’re dissatisfied with your current one.

If you’re a new graduate, you may lose your grace period (unless you refinance with SoFi or Earnest, which honor your grace period). If you refinance federal student loans into private student loans, you will lose many federal benefits. These include the possibility for student loan forgiveness, enrolling in an income-driven repayment plan and more generous deferment options in times of unemployment and economic hardship.

Refinancing student loans offers many pros and cons. Before you decide to refinance, really take time to understand your current loans. Are they private, federal, or a mix? If you have federal loans, will you likely take advantage of student loan forgiveness or an income-driven repayment plan? If yes, then refinancing isn’t right for you. If you have private student loans and want to lower your interest rate, it is worth exploring further.

Refinancing federal student loans means you will lose the perks that come along with federal loans. These include the option for income-driven repayment plans, the possibility of student loan forgiveness and the opportunity for more generous deferment options in times of unemployment and economic hardship.

When choosing a lender, consider the interest rate and repayment term they offer you. When researching a lender, there are many other questions to ask. What do they require for refinancing? Do they offer any type of deferment option if you have trouble making payments? If you’re applying with a cosigner, do they offer a cosigner release? Are there any other perks that come along with it, such as choosing your payment day or skipping a payment?

Yes, you can use a cosigner when applying to refinance your student loans. If you don’t have great credit or are lacking in another area, a cosigner can help you get approved. Even if you have solid credit, having a cosigner with good credit could mean an even lower interest rate. Keep in mind, as with any other loan, your cosigner is completely responsible for repaying this loan as well.

Yes, you can refinance your loan multiple times to get a lower interest rate. Some lenders, such as Earnest, even allow you to refinance while you’re still in school.