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How often can you refinance student loans?

The sky's the limit — just make sure you're getting a good deal.

Updated

Refinancing your student loans more than once can be a great way to save on interest, lower your monthly repayments or change up your servicer. But it can also come with hidden costs, such as more interest payments on a longer-term loan. Weigh all the factors to make sure refinancing really can give you a better deal before you sign up.

Is there a limit to the number of times I can refinance my student loans?

No, you can refinance your student loans as often as you like. Refinancing can help you readjust your personal finances to make room for other goals, such as buying a home, getting a car — or eliminating your debt. But it might not always be a solution, especially if you can’t qualify for a better deal.

6 benefits of refinancing more than once

There are several benefits of refinancing your student debt — even if you’ve already switched lenders:

Lower your total loan cost

You can save on interest by shortening your loan term or qualifying for a lower rate with a lender. You might even be able to do both if you have stronger credit, a higher income or lenders are offering lower rates. This can help you save on the total cost of your loan or allow you to lower your monthly costs.

Lower your monthly cost

Extending your term or qualifying for a lower rate can help you save on the month-to-month cost of your loan. This can be particularly helpful if you’re looking to lower your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), which can help you get a better deal on other types of credit, such as a mortgage or car loan.

Change your interest rate type

Variable rates can give you a better deal than fixed rates if the Federal Reserve keeps interest rates low. But they can give you monthly repayments that are hard to predict and might cost you more if interest rates increase. Most refinancing providers offer both and let you choose which works best for your budget.

Get more flexibility

Planning on going back to school or thinking of making another big change? Refinancing with a new lender that offers more flexible deferment and forbearance options can help you avoid defaulting on your loans if you have a temporary dip in income.

Take a cosigner off your loan

If you had to bring on a cosigner to refinance, one way to take them off when you’re ready to go solo is to refinance with another lender — especially if your current lender doesn’t offer cosigner release.

Change your servicer

If you refinanced and are less than pleased with the new company handling your loan repayments, refinancing again is the only way you can change up your servicer.

Compare student loan refinancing offers

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR
Discover Private Consolidation Loan
Good to excellent credit
$150,000
2.80% to 12.49%
Splash Financial Student Loan Refinancing
660
None
Starting at 1.89%
Save on your student loans with this market-leading newcomer.
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.
Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinancing
680
None
2.39% to 5.99%
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.
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.
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Compare up to 4 providers

5 reasons to avoid refinancing too often

While there’s technically no limit to how often you refinance, it’s not always the right move. Here are a few drawbacks of refinancing too often:

Longer terms increase the total cost

Lowering your monthly repayment might benefit you in the short run. But refinancing to lengthen your term multiple times means you’ll make more interest payments and increase the cost of your loan. It’ll also keep you in debt longer.

Too many inquiries hurts your credit

Take a breather before you decide to refinance again. Each time you apply, the lender runs a hard credit check. These show up on your credit report and can lower your score. If you’re comparing lenders and really want to know which offers a better deal, keep your applications to a two-week timeframe. Credit bureaus recognize this as rate shopping and count all those credit checks as one.

Refinancing can come with fees

Most student loan providers and refinancing companies don’t charge any fees. But in some cases, you might have to pay an application or origination fee when you apply. In even rarer cases, you might also have to pay a prepayment penalty if you don’t see your loan through to the end of the term.

Not all lenders offer the same benefits

Consider what benefits you stand to lose before you decide to go with another lender. These might include:

  • Autopay or loyalty rate discounts
  • Deferment and forbearance options
  • Networking and career support
  • Financial advice

It’s possible to get a higher rate

There’s a chance you won’t qualify for a lower rate if your financial situation has taken a turn for the worse. And even if it has improved, you might not get a better rate if lenders are charging higher rates across the board.

Avoid refinancing with a personal loan provider

While it’s possible to refinance your student loans with other types of debt, it’s not always the best idea. That’s because student loan refinancing companies offer significantly more benefits than most personal loan providers. These include longer terms, lower rates and fewer fees.

Once you refinance with a personal loan provider, you won’t be able to refinance your debt with a student loan provider ever again.

4 steps to take before refinancing

Before you decide to pull the trigger and refinance your student debt again, take these four steps to ensure it’s the right move:

  1. Check your credit. Look at your credit report for mistakes and check your credit score to make sure both are accurate and high enough to help you get a better deal.
  2. Assess your financial goals. Think about how refinancing might help you meet your financial goals — or hurt them.
  3. Prequalify with multiple lenders. Find out if you can actually qualify for a better deal and search for the best option by filling out a prequalification form with more than one lender.
  4. Read the terms and conditions. The best way to avoid hidden fees and make sure you aren’t losing any prized benefits is to actually read the disclosures before you sign your loan documents.

Bottom line

You can refinance your student loans as many times as you want. But it’s not always going to be the right choice. Make sure you consider the total cost of your new loan before signing on with another lender.

You can learn more about how it all works with our guide to student loan refinancing.

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