Earnest student loan refinancing review
Offers personally tailored repayment plans to fit your unique situation.
- Best if you have near-perfect finances and want repayments tailored to your exact needs.
- Pick something else if you were hoping to apply with a cosigner or never completed your degree.
1.99% to 5.64%
Max. Loan Amount
Min. Credit Score
|Product Name||Earnest Student Loan Refinancing Variable Rate (w/ autopay)|
|Minimum Loan Amount||$5,000|
|Max. Loan Amount||None|
|APR||1.99% to 5.64%|
|Interest Rate Type||Variable|
|Minimum Loan Term||5 years|
|Maximum Loan Term||20 years|
|Requirements||650+ credit score, employed or have a job offer within 6 months, not live in DE, KY, NV, enrolled less than half time or plan to graduate at the end of the semester, $5,000+ in student debt from Title IV school, loan account in good standing, current on all mortgage or rent payments, no bankruptcy or recent collection accounts on credit report, US citizen or permanent resident with 10-year green card, ages 18+|
Aliyyah Camp is a writer and personal finance blogger who helps readers compare personal, student, car and business loans. Aliyyah earned a BA in communication from the University of Pennsylvania and is based in New York, where she enjoys movies and running outdoors.
You might want to consider refinancing with Earnest if you have near-perfect credit and savings that grow each month. Rates start ridiculously low, and it tailors repayments to fit your exact budget. Plus, it offers both deferment and forbearance options if you face a financial rough patch or decide to go back to school.
But it has high financial standards. And you can’t apply with a cosigner to help you qualify. You also aren’t eligible if you never completed your degree.
Not sure Earnest is right for you? Compare other refinancing options below.
How much will it cost to refinance with Earnest?
Earnest prides itself on a technique called Precision Pricing to make your repayments fit your budget. The minimum loan balance you’ll need to refinance is $5,000, with Earnest.
Refinancing starts at a variable 1.99% APR or fixed 3.19% APR with autopay. Variable rates aren’t available in Alaska, Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas.
Terms range from 5 years to 20 years. Those terms can be broken down by month as part of Earnest’s Precision Pricing.
Use our calculator below to calculate how much it’ll cost you to refinance with Earnest monthly and overall.
Monthly repayments calculatorSee how much you'll pay
|Loan terms (in years)|
Pros and cons
Earnest might be able to help some borrowers save. But weigh the benefits and drawbacks before you apply.
- No origination, late or prepayment fees
- Offers refinance during your last semester
- Ability to skip a payment
- Offers deferment and forbearance
- Doesn’t accept cosigners
- Spending and savings habits could hurt you
- Variable rates not available in all states
- Can’t refinance an incomplete degree
Compare Earnest to other refinancing providers
Is Earnest student loan refinancing legit?
Yes, Earnest is a legitimate student loan refinancing company and servicer. It either issues the loans itself or through One American Bank, which is federally regulated. You can find a list of its state lending licenses on its website or look it up under its Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry (NMLS) number 1204917.
Am I eligible?
You’ve got your finances on lock, and you’re ready to apply. First, you’ll want to make sure you meet the following criteria:
- Minimum credit score of 650
- Employed or have a consistent source of income
- Not a resident of Delaware, Kentucky or Nevada
- Enrolled less than half time and in repayment or plan to graduate at the end of the semester
- At least $5,000 in student loan debt from a Title IV school
- Student loan account in good standing
- Primary borrower on student loans you’re refinancing
- Student loan debt is from your own education
- Current on all mortgage or rent payments
- No bankruptcy or recent collection accounts on credit report
- US citizen or permanent resident with 10-year green card
- At least 18 years old
Earnest provides guidelines on its website. They aren’t hard-and-fast rules but are heavily suggested if you want to improve your chances of application approval.
If you want to refinance an Earnest student loan, it must have at least six months of on-time repayments
What do I need to apply?
Getting your rate should take about two minutes. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Visit Earnest’s website by clicking Go to Earnest’s website or Check my rate.
- Choose either Student Loan Refinancing or Parent PLUS Refinancing.
- Complete the required forms with your education, finance, contact and personal information.
- Get your rate within moments.
To continue with your application after you get your range of potential rates:
- Connect your financial accounts through Earnest.
- Submit any extra documentation.
I got the Earnest student debt refinancing loan. Now what?
On agreement, you should have been able to set up autopay to ensure that your payments are on time and get the rate discount. If you didn’t sign up then, you can enroll through your Earnest online account.
Simply log in to your account and click Loan details. Sign up from there, shifting your pay schedule to biweekly at the same time, if you’d like.
If your finances start getting rocky and you think you might not be able to make a payment, call Earnest’s customer support team right away. They’ll may be able to work with you to find an alternative solution.
Who services Earnest student loans?
Earnest services its own student loans, so you won’t have to contact a different company when you have questions about repayments or forbearance. While Earnest was acquired by student loan servicer Navient in 2017, it still operates independently and handles all student loan repayments.
Don’t have the finances to qualify with Earnest? Compare your other options with our guide to student loan refinancing.