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Earnest student loan refinancing review

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Save on federal and private loans with rates and terms that fit your wallet.

finder.com’s rating: 4.1 / 5.0

★★★★★

  • 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%

APR

$500,000

Max. Loan Amount

650

Min. Credit Score

Details

Product NameEarnest Student Loan Refinancing
Minimum Loan Amount$5,000
Max. Loan Amount$500,000
APR1.99% to 5.64%
Interest Rate TypeVariable
Minimum Loan Term5 years
Maximum Loan Term20 years
Requirements650+ credit score, $5,000+ in student debt from a Title IV school, meet income and credit history requirements, live in an eligible state, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 18+
Go to Earnest's website

Expert review

Aliyyah Camp

Review by


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.

Expert review

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.
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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 calculator

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Fill out the form and click on “Calculate” to see your estimated monthly payment.

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Pros and cons

Earnest might be able to help some borrowers save. But weigh the benefits and drawbacks before you apply.

Pros

  • No origination, late or prepayment fees
  • Offers refinance during your last semester
  • Ability to skip a payment
  • Offers deferment and forbearance

Cons

  • 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

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR
SoFi Student Loan Refinancing Variable Rate (with Autopay)
650
Full balance of your qualified education loans
2.25% to 6.09%
A leader in student loan refinancing, SoFi can help you refinance your loans and pay them off sooner.
Purefy Student Loan Refinancing (Variable Rate)
620
$300,000
2.27% to 7.49%
Refinance all types of student loans — including federal and parent PLUS loans.
Credible Student Loan Refinancing
Good to excellent credit
None
1.99% to 9.24%
Get prequalified offers from top student loan refinancing providers in one place.
Splash Financial Student Loan Refinancing
650
None
1.89% to 6.66%
Save on your student loans with this market-leading newcomer.
Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinancing
680
None
2.39% to 6.01%
Lower your student debt costs with manageable payments, affordable rates and flexible terms.
Earnest Student Loan Refinancing
650
$500,000
1.99% to 5.64%
Get a tailored interest rate and repayment plan with no hidden fees.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Earnest reviews and complaints

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.

Frequently asked questions

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We rate student loan providers on a scale of 1 to 5 stars based on factors like transparency, costs and customer experience. We don’t take into account elements like eligibility criteria, state availability or payment frequency — we save that for our reviews.

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