Earnest Undergraduate Student Loan Review
Undergraduate Private Student Loans
By giving you a lot of options when it comes to repayment and avoiding fees altogether, Earnest can best be characterized as one of the most flexible private student loan lenders. Though they do not provide a cosigner release option and are not available in 7 states, they do rank as one of the best lenders for graduate students.
How does this loan compare?
When it comes to flexibility in repaying your student loans, Earnest really stands out from the pack. Borrowers are allowed to customize their payment due date, skip a payment every 12 months, select a biweekly payment schedule as opposed to a monthly one, and even get a 9-month grace period after graduation (as opposed to the standard 6 months). For borrowers in distress, they offer a partial forbearance option, not just a full forbearance, which really helps when it comes to avoiding debt spiraling out of control.
Earnest also charges below-average interest rates. When you combine that with their auto-debit discount, graduation reward, and no fees (not even on late payments), their loan is one of the most cost-effective.
On the downside, Earnest requires that you be enrolled full-time in school to borrow with them. They also don’t offer a cosigner release option, so make sure your cosigner (if you have one) knows that they’ll be responsible for this loan as long as it is outstanding. Lastly, Earnest student loans are not available to residents of seven states including Texas and Ohio.
Earnest - Private Student Loan Details
- Credit Check: Soft to check rates, hard to process application
- Repayment Terms: Up to 15 years
- Minimum Borrowing Limit: $1,000
- Yearly Borrowing Limit: 100% of Cost of Attendance
- Aggregate Borrowing Limit: None
- Application Fee: None
- Origination Fee: None
- Prepayment Penalty: None
- Late Fee: None
- Minimum Credit Score: 650
- Minimum Annual Income: $35,000
- Citizenship Restriction: Citizens or Residents
- Minimum Enrollment Restriction: Full-Time
- List of States where Loan is Not Available: AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN, and TX
- Approved Schools Include: Title IV
- Immediate Principal and Interest Repayment: Yes
- Fixed Monthly Repayment: Yes, 25
- Interest-Only Repayment: Yes
- Full Deferment: Yes
- Length of Grace Period: 9 months
- Maximum Deferment Period: 36 months
- Maximum Forbearance Period: 12 months
- Cosigner Release Option: None
- Death Discharge: Yes
- Disability Discharge: Yes
- US-Based Call Center: Yes
- Hours of Operation (in addition to weekdays): No Evenings or Weekends
- Application Timeline: Rate estimate in 2 minutes
- Scholarship Search Tool: None
- Sponsors a Scholarship: Yes
- Job and Career Assistance: Yes
- Financial Literacy Training: Yes