Updated: November 23, 2021

Earnest Student Loan Refinancing Review

Student Loan Refinancing

Advertising disclosure
Refinance
Student Loan Rating
4 of 5
Fixed APR i x 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.
2.44% - 5.79%
Variable APR i x 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.
1.88% - 5.64%
Repayment Terms
5, 10, 15, 20 years
Important Information

Rewards:  0.25% interest rate autopay discount

Eligibility: Cannot apply with cosigner

Flexibility: Multiple options for repayment plans and hardship assistance 

Overall Limits: $500,000 (maximum)

 

The bottom line:

Earnest is another private student loan lender that you might want to consider for refinancing your student loan debt. This lender is highly flexible, making it especially great for those looking to fast-track their debt repayment and pay off their student loans more quickly as well as those that might need extra time to make payments. Earnest does offer federal student loan Parent PLUS refinancing as well.

Pros

  • High maximum loan size ($500,000)
  • Multiple types of repayment assistance for borrowers facing financial hardship
  • Can refinance student loans while still enrolled in school
  • No origination, application or prepayment fees

Cons

  • No option for having a cosigner
  • Loans not available in Delaware, Kentucky or Nevada
Earnest LendKey SoFi
Rates from (APR) i x 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.
Fixed:
2.44% - 5.79%
Variable:
1.88% - 5.64%
Fixed:
2.95% - 7.63%
Variable:
1.90% - 5.25%
Fixed:
2.49% - 6.94%
Variable:
2.25% - 6.59%
Loan repayment terms (Years) 5, 10, 15, 20 years 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Cosigner release? Not specified Yes, after 12 months on-time payments None

Earnest offers more flexible repayment options and borrower protections compared to other private lenders. If you refinance your student loans with Earnest, you have the option of skipping one of your payments every 12 months without being penalized (though your monthly payment and total loan amount will be adjusted and increase after). Earnest offers the option to defer your payments as well. Even further, you have the ability to customize your payment due dates when you borrow with Earnest. And if you’re still struggling to make your payments, you can have them reduced or paused through forbearance of up to 12 months. For these reasons, Earnest is one of the most flexible lenders offering student loan refinancing.

Borrowers who want to refinance with Earnest typically need at least a decent credit history to qualify. If you don’t meet the eligibility requirements for income and credit scores (650+) to refinance on your own, you’re out of luck: this lender does not offer the option of applying with a cosigner at this time. But if you do qualify, you’ll have access to very competitive interest rates, with both fixed and variable rates available. As with most lenders, borrowers with a solid credit report and high credit scores qualify for the best rates. 

Choose from 5, 10, 15 and 20-year loan terms. To be eligible to borrow, you need to either be a college graduate or be an enrolled student who is less than one semester away from graduating.

You must refinance at least $5,000 in student loan debt or $10,000 if you are a California resident. You can borrow up to $500,000. Earnest is known for moving quickly through the loan application process and telling you what your interest rate will be in a matter of minutes. They also have great customer service, though there are no evening or weekend call hours.

 

Earnest - Private Student Loan Details

Interest Rates, Fees and Terms
  • Credit Check: Soft for Rate Check, Hard for Application
  • Repayment Terms: 5, 10, 15, 20 years
  • Minimum Borrowing Limit: $5,000
  • Aggregate Borrowing Limit: $500,000
  • Application Fee: None
  • Origination Fee: None
  • Prepayment Penalty: None
  • Late Fee: None
Requirements to Qualify
  • Minimum Credit Score: 650
  • Minimum Annual Income: Not specified by lender
  • Citizenship Restriction: Available to Citizens, Permanent Residents, DACA students, and International Students with a credit-worthy Citizen or Permanent Resident cosigner
  • List of States where Loan is Not Available: DE, KY, NV
  • Approved Schools Include: Title IV
Repayment Options
Repayment Details
  • Maximum Deferment Period: 36 months
  • Maximum Forbearance Period: 12 months
  • Cosigner Release Option: Not specified by lender
  • Death Discharge: Yes
  • Disability Discharge: Yes
Customer Service
  • US-Based Call Center: Yes
  • Hours of Operation (in addition to weekdays): No Evenings or Weekends
  • Application Timeline: Rate estimate in 2 mintues
Extras
  • Scholarship Search Tool: None
  • Sponsors a Scholarship: Yes
  • Job and Career Assistance: Yes
  • Financial Literacy Training: Yes
Wondering how much that loan is going to cost you? Check out our free Loan Calculator!
Input your loan terms and we’ll tell you how much you can expect to pay monthly and in total