Best student loan refinancing offers

Find a lender that can help you save, get ahead in your career or both.

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Finding the best student loan refinancing provider depends on what your priorities are. We narrowed down options for a wide range of borrowers — from saving month to month to finding career support. But if you really want to find the best option for your needs, prequalify with multiple lenders and compare offers.

Methodology: How we picked the best student loan refinancing providers

After writing hundreds of articles on how student loans work and reviewing over 25 student loan refinancing providers, we picked these top six. When making our selection, we considered the lender’s APRs, minimum and maximum refinancing amounts, loan terms and repayment plans, as well as eligibility requirements. To ensure our picks meet a wide range of needs, we also considered perks, discounts and other unique features that set lenders apart.

How 6 top student loan refinancing providers compare

While there is no one “best” student loan refinancing provider, you might find a fit in these six.

Discover: Best for flexible repayments

  • Loan amounts. $5,000 to $150,000
  • Loan terms. 10 years to 20 years
  • Fixed APRs. 3.99% to 6.99%
  • Variable APRs. 4.24% to 7.49%
  • Eligible loans. Federal and private student loans
  • Cosigner eligible? Yes

Refinancing with Discover could be a good choice if you’re about to switch gears in your career. You can defer repayments for a variety of reasons, from going back to school to working a low-paying public service job. There are also several options to reduce your repayments — or hold off on them entirely — as long as your loan is in good standing.

The downside is that its starting rates aren’t the most competitive. And you need to meet all requirements on your own, even if you bring on a cosigner.

    SoFi: Best for getting ahead in your career

    • Loan amounts. Starting $5,000
    • Loan terms. 5 years to 20 years
    • Fixed APRs. 3.46% to 7.36%
    • Variable APRs. 1.81% to 7.36%
    • Eligible loans. Federal and private student loans
    • Cosigner eligible? Yes

    SoFi is the biggest name in online student loan refinancing. And while it offers highly competitive starting rates, the main benefit of working with this lender is the perks. It offers a wide range of career and personal financial support with the goal of helping its members reach financial freedom.

    But it doesn’t offer cosigner release, so you’ll have to refinance again if you want to remove your cosigner from your loan. And it only considers individual income, making it less than ideal if you rely on your spouse’s income.

      Citizens Bank: Best for parent loans

      • Loan amounts. $10,000 to $350,000
      • Loan terms. 5 years to 20 years
      • Fixed APRs. 3.45% to 9.49%
      • Variable APRs. 2.34% to 9.33%
      • Eligible loans. Federal loans — excluding those on an income-driven repayment plan — and private student loans
      • Cosigner eligible? Yes

      Citizens Bank offers competitive rates and accepts one of the highest debt loads out there. It’s one of the few lenders that also accepts parent loans. Parent borrowers don’t need to wait until their child is out of school to qualify. And if you already have an account with this bank, you could be looking at some serious rate discounts.

      This might not be the best choice if you never finished school or want the option to pause repayments, however. You get higher rates if you don’t have a degree, and it only offers two weeks of financial hardship forbearance.

        Earnest: Best for fitting a budget

        • Loan amounts. $5,000 to $500,000
        • Loan terms. 5 years to 20 years
        • Fixed APRs.
        • Variable APRs. 1.81% to 6.49%
        • Eligible loans. Federal and private student loans
        • Cosigner eligible? No

        Earnest could be a good pick if you’re looking to reduce your monthly repayments. You start with how much you can afford to pay each month, and then it works from there to provide personalized rates and terms. Earnest also offers parent loan refinancing, several types of forbearance and lets you skip a payment every year.

        But you’ll need to look elsewhere if you were planning on refinancing with a cosigner or have debt from a program you never finished. It also doesn’t operate in all 50 states.

          Laurel Road: Best for doctors and health professionals

          • Loan amounts. Starting at $5,000
          • Loan terms. 5 years to 20 years
          • Fixed APRs. 2.25% to 6.65%
          • Variable APRs. 2.25% to 6.65%
          • Eligible loans. Federal and private student loans
          • Cosigner eligible? Yes

          This bank offers possibly the lowest rates out there and no limits on how much you can refinance. It also has a special refinancing program for medical student debt designed to fit the budget of medical residents. And it’s one of the few lenders that works with Parent PLUS Loans.

          However, its income requirements are higher than many others on this list — you might not be able to qualify if you work a public service job. It also doesn’t offer cosigner release.

            LendKey: Best for refinancing with a bank or credit union

            • Loan amounts. $7,500 to $300,000
            • Loan terms. 5 years to 20 years
            • Fixed APRs. Starting at 1.9%
            • Variable APRs. Starting at 1.9%
            • Eligible loans. Federal and private student loans
            • Cosigner eligible? Yes

            This platform can connect you with multiple refinancing offers from small financial institutions in your area if you want to keep it local. It streamlines the application process and makes it easy to compare offers from competing banks and credit unions.

            But you’ll need to look elsewhere if you never finished your degree — you must have completed your program to qualify with its network of lenders.

            Compare more student loan refinancing providers

            Updated November 21st, 2019
            Name Product Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR
            680
            $250,000
            3.49% to 6.99%
            Enjoy no fees, low rates and flexible terms — but only for borrowers with good credit.
            660
            None
            Starting at 1.99%
            Save on your student loans with this market-leading newcomer.
            Good to excellent credit
            None
            Starting at 1.81%
            Get prequalified offers from top student loan refinancing providers in one place.
            680
            None
            2.39% to 6.01%
            Lower your student debt costs with manageable payments, affordable rates and flexible terms.
            650
            None
            1.81% to 6.49%
            Get a tailored interest rate and repayment plan with no hidden fees.
            650
            Full balance of your qualified education loans
            1.81% to 7.36%
            A leader in student loan refinancing, SoFi can help you refinance your loans and pay them off sooner.
            620
            $300,000
            2.27% to 7.49%
            Refinance all types of student loans — including federal and parent PLUS loans.

            Compare up to 4 providers

            5 questions to ask when comparing refinancing offers

            Ask yourself these questions to make sure you’re picking the lender that best suits your needs:

            1. Which factors matter the most to me?

            Go into your comparison knowing exactly why you want to refinance. Is it lower rates? A lower monthly cost? More flexible repayments? This can help you figure out which factors to prioritize first when you’re comparing providers.

            2. How much will I save in the short and long term?

            Consider how much you’ll pay each month in addition to how much you’ll pay overall in interest and fees with each lender. Ideally, you can save in both. If not, decide which is most important to you and focus on that area of savings.

            3. Can I meet the requirements on my own?

            While you can refinance with a cosigner, many top lenders have minimum requirements the borrower must meet on their own as well. There’s also a chance you might want to take your cosigner off your loan down the road. Review each lender’s eligibility criteria and cosigner release requirements — if it’s even available.

            4. Will I lose anything by refinancing with this lender?

            Refinancing your federal student loans means you won’t be eligible for a wide range of deferment, forbearance, cancellation and forgiveness programs. And even private student loan providers might offer benefits you could lose if you refinance with another lender. Make sure you aren’t sacrificing any perks you’ve relied on.

            5. What servicer does the lender use?

            A student loan servicer is the company that handles your student loan repayments — often this is different than the lender you borrow from. You can usually find out what servicer a specific lender uses on its website or by calling customer service. Read up on your new potential servicer to learn what quality of customer service you’ll receive — and what problems other borrowers have faced.

            Bottom line

            Refinancing your student loans with another company can help you save or offer flexibility — especially with private student loans. To find the best option for you, go into it knowing your priorities and don’t be afraid to ask questions. You can learn more about how it works with our guide to student loan refinancing.

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