Student Loan

How to Choose the Right Student Loan Refinance Lender?

Published On January 8, 2024

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Refinancing your student loan can lead to significant savings if you are doing it right. A private bank or private lender will pay off the student loan you choose to refinance.

You will then get a new interest rate with a new loan. In this article, we have listed the best student loan refinance lenders for you to make better financial decisions for your education loan.

You will get all the information about these lenders in this article. Also, note that none of these lenders charge prepayment fees, but some may have late payment charges.

Best Place to Consolidate Your Student Loans

Citizens  Student Loan Refinancing

It is a great choice for people who want to involve a cosigner in their student loan. They will give you the option to apply for the release of a cosigner when you have completed 36 consecutive on-time payments.

Another advantage is the opportunity to receive a rate discount of up to 0.50% when you start autopay, which is ultimately higher than the usual discount other lenders offer.

FeatureDetails
CostNo origination fees to refinance
Eligible LoansGraduate and undergraduate loans, Federal, private, Parent PLUS loans, medical and dental residency loans
Loan TypesVariable and fixed
Variable Rates (APR)7.07% – 12.41% APR
Fixed Rates (APR)6.80% – 10.99% APR
Loan Terms5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Loan AmountsMinimum of $10,000, up to $300,000 (bachelor’s degree or below) or $500,000 (graduate degree)
Minimum Credit ScoreNot disclosed
Minimum Income$24,000
Allow for a Co-signerYes

Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinancing

This is a good choice for people who want to consolidate private and parent-plus loans. Parents can have the option to refinance and transfer the student loan into their child’s name.

Education Loan Finance Student Loan provides the support of student loan advisors to assist borrowers in navigating the refinancing process.

FeatureDetails
CostNo origination fees to refinance
Eligible loansGraduate, and undergraduate loans, Federal, private, Parent PLUS loans
Loan typesVariable and fixed
Variable rates (APR)From 5.28%
Fixed rates (APR)From 5.48%
Loan terms5 to 20 years: student loan refinancing; 5, 7, or 10 years : parent loan refinancing
Loan amountsFrom $10,000
Minimum credit scoreN/A
Minimum incomeN/A
Allow for a co-signerYes

Rhode Island Student Loan Authority

RISLA is a good choice for students and parents who are looking for affordable student loans and loan servicing options. RISLA  has a long history of providing excellent customer service.

They are committed to helping students and their families achieve their higher educational goals.

FeatureDetails
Loan Terms10 or 15 years
Loan Amounts$1,500 to $45,000 per year ($150,000 aggregate per borrower)
EligibilityMinimum income of $40,000 per year and a minimum credit score of 680. Most undergraduates need a co-signer.
Forbearance OptionsAvailable for up to 24 months
Co-signer ReleaseAvailable after 24 months of payments

Earnest Student Loan Refinancing

Earnest student loan refinancing is a great choice for people with average credit scores. They accept applicants with a minimum credit score of 650.

A special benefit you will get with Earnest is that you will get the flexibility to skip one payment every year without facing any penalties. 

FeatureDetails
CostNo origination fees to refinance
Eligible loansFederal, private, graduate, and undergraduate loans
Loan typesVariable and fixed
Variable rates (APR)5.72% – 9.74% (rates include a 0.25% autopay discount)
Fixed rates (APR)4.96% – 9.79% (rates include a 0.25% autopay discount)
Loan termsFlexible terms anywhere between 5-20 years
Loan amountsMinimum of $5,000, up to $500,000 
Minimum credit score650
Minimum incomeNo income requirement
Allow for a co-signerNo

SoFi Student Loan Refinancing

Sofi is a popular lender in student loan refinancing. They offer various benefits to its users. If you join SoFi, you can enjoy benefits like referral bonuses, discounts on other loans from Sofi, special travel offers, tailored career advice, financial guidance from experts, and an unemployment protection program.

FeatureDetails
CostNo origination fees to refinance
Eligible loansGraduate and undergraduate loans, Federal, private, Parent PLUS loans, medical and dental residency loans
Loan typesVariable and fixed
Variable rates (APR)6.24% – 9.99% (rates include a 0.25% autopay discount)
Fixed rates (APR)5.24% – 9.99% (rates include a 0.25% autopay discount)
Loan terms5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Loan amountsFrom $5,000; over $10,000 for medical or dental residency loans
Minimum credit scoreN/A
Minimum incomeN/A
Allow for a co-signerYes

Conclusion

Refinancing student loans is the best choice if you have a stable income and a strong credit score. By this, you can save money in the long run. The main task for you is you choose the right loan term for your financial needs. You also need to research the lender options available out there. After choosing and applying for refinancing, don’t forget to repay your loan amount on time so that you won’t get any penalties.

FAQs for Best Student Loan Refinance Lenders

Is refinancing student loans a good idea?

Refinancing student loans can be a smart move for individuals with stable incomes and good credit scores. It has the potential to lead to significant savings in the long term. It’s crucial to carefully consider factors such as interest rates, repayment terms, and the reputation of the lender before deciding to refinance.

What are the advantages of involving a cosigner in student loan refinancing?

Involving a cosigner in student loan refinancing, as offered by lenders like Citizens, can have several benefits. It may increase the likelihood of approval, result in a lower interest rate, and provide the option to apply for a cosigner release after meeting specific criteria, such as making consecutive on-time payments.

What should I consider before refinancing my student loans?

Consider factors such as interest rates, loan terms, eligibility criteria, and additional benefits offered by the lender. It’s important to assess your financial situation, compare rates from different lenders, and understand the terms and conditions, including any potential penalties or fees.

How exactly do student loan payments function?

With the Standard Plan, you’ll be paying off your loan(s) over a period of 10 years. Your monthly payments follow a schedule designed for a 10-year duration, and they’re not influenced by your income or how much you can afford. Keep in mind, though, that your monthly payment under the Standard Plan will probably be higher compared to a plan based on your income, like the IDR plan.

How can I figure out the ideal student loan plan for myself?

Choosing a repayment option tied to your income is a clever move to reduce your payments. Take the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan, for instance; your monthly payments will never exceed 10% of your discretionary income. If you earn less or have a bigger family, your monthly payments will be even lower.

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