Splash Financial student loan refinancing review
Save on your student loans with this market-leading newcomer.
- Best for graduates looking for low rates or long terms.
- Pick something else if you don't have good credit — you won't qualify, even with a cosigner.
Starting at 1.99%
Max. Loan Amount
Min. Credit Score
Anna Serio is a trusted loans expert who's published more than 800 articles on Finder to help Americans strengthen their financial literacy. A former editor of a newspaper in Beirut, Anna writes about personal, student, business and car loans. Today, digital publications like CNBC, Business Insider and The Simple Dollar feature her professional commentary, and she earned an Expert Contributor in Finance badge from review site Best Company in 2020.
Splash Financial offers refinancing that may be able to shave money off your current loans. Boasting competitive rates, a wide range of loan terms and unlimited loan amounts, this lender is ideal for graduates who want to bundle all of their student loans into one and potentially save money in the process. Unlike many providers, you can even refinance parent loans.
However, you’ll need good credit and a relatively high income to qualify — even if you apply with a cosigner. And it’s only open to graduates who completed their degree or are in their final semester.
Still not sold? Compare other refinancing providers that might be a better fit.
First, am I eligible?
To qualify for student loan refinancing with Splash, you need to meet the following criteria:
- Minimum credit score of 660
- US citizen or permanent resident
- Salary of at least $34,000 a year with a cosigner or $42,000 on your own
Qualified cosigners must have an annual income of at least $50,000. While there’s no minimum credit score required for cosigners, most have a score over 700.
If you’re cosigning a loan with your spouse, one spouse must have a credit score of at least 670 and another of at least 700. Your combined income must be at least $42,000 — and one spouse can be unemployed.
How does refinancing with Splash work?
To refinance your student loans with Splash, you apply to take out a new loan to replace your existing student loans or combine multiple loans into one, ideally with more favorable rates and terms.
Splash isn’t a direct lender. Instead, it helps borrowers navigate the refinancing process by connecting you with one of its lending partners, which consists of banks and credit unions.
Splash allows borrowers to refinance both federal and private student loans through a fully online application. If you’re not ready to commit, you can prequalify online for a risk-free estimate of your rates.
What happens if I refinance my federal loans with Splash?
If you refinance your federal loans, you’ll lose key benefits that Splash can’t offer, like income-driven repayment plans and loan forgiveness programs for public service.
Before you refinance your federal loans, carefully consider the benefits you’ll lose against any savings you’ll gain.
How much will I pay to refinance my loans?
Splash doesn’t charge fees for applying, so your main cost is the interest you’ll pay on the amount you borrow. Splash offers both fixed and variable interest rate options for general student loan refinancing:
- Fixed rates. APRs range from 3.48% to 7.27% and stay the same over the life of your loan, making it easy to predict your monthly repayments.
- Variable rates. Rates go up and down over the life of your loan, starting from 1.99%.
If you choose a variable rate option, you won’t necessarily end up with a rate within the stated range the entire time you’re paying off your loan. To understand why, you need to know how Splash calculates your variable rate.
First, Splash assigns you a small fixed margin rate between 0.54% and 4.21%. It then adds your margin rate to the one-month LIBOR rate, which is set by a third party and fluctuates depending on the lending market. If you qualify for the 0.54% margin, then you’ll always get the lowest rate offered.
To protect borrowers from high LIBOR rates, Splash caps interest rates between 9% and 16% depending on the loan term.
Does Splash offer any discounts?
Yes. Splash offers bonuses for people at both end of a referral. If you refer a friend, you can qualify for a bonus of $250. Or apply through another borrower’s referral link for a $250 welcome bonus.
Does Splash charge late or returned check fees?
Yes. If you’re late on repayments for general refinancing, you’ll pay a fee equal to 20% of your interest payment — starting at $5 and capped at $25 — if you’re more than five days late. If your payment bounces, you’ll pay a $30 returned check fee.
What are my repayment options?
For general student loan refinancing, Splash offers one standard repayment plan. You pay the same amount each month if you have a fixed rate and varying amounts each month if you have a variable rate.
You can adjust your monthly repayments through the loan term you choose. Splash offers loan terms from 60% to . When choosing a long term, consider that you’ll pay less interest over a shorter term, but with higher monthly repayments. Whereas with longer terms, you’ll likely pay less each monthly but more in interest over the long term.
Longer terms also tend to come with higher rates than shorter terms. To find the right balance, look for a term that gives you the highest monthly repayments you can comfortably afford.
Deferment and forbearance
Some of Splash’s lending partners offer formal forbearance programs that allow you to pause repayments due to economic hard, like unemployment, temporary injury or illness. Others might review forbearance requests on a case-by-case basis. Review your loan agreement to see what options your specific lender offers.
Compare other student loan refinancing providers
Top reasons to consider Splash
- Competitive rates. The highest fixed rate on Splash loans is where some private student loans start.
- No cap on how much you can refinance. Unlike some student loan refinancing providers, the lenders in Splash’s network don’t have a cap on how much you can refinance — making this ideal for graduates with high debt loads.
- Parent loan refinancing. Splash offers a refinancing option for parents looking to pay off their child’s student debt.
- Cosigner release may be available. Depending on the lender you’re connected with, you might be able to remove your cosigner from your loan after so many months of on-time repayments, as long as you meet credit requirements on your own.
Why you might want to look elsewhere
- Multiple companies. Splash doesn’t fund your loan or handle repayments. If you’re concerned about sensitive information trading too many hands, you might want to look at other providers.
- Good credit required, even with a cosigner. You need to have a credit score of at least 660 to qualify with a cosigner.
- Must finish your degree to qualify. You need to either have graduated or be in your final term of school if pursuing an associate degree to qualify for refinancing.
Does Splash offer medical residency refinancing?
Yes, Splash offers student loan refinancing specifically for medical and dental residents. You might be able to pay just $100 a month toward your student loans while in your residency, with terms as high as 20 years.
What do borrowers say about Splash?
We weren’t able to find online customer reviews or comments about Splash. The company earns an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) based on factors like advertising practices and how it handles customer complaints. It isn’t accredited by the BBB, and it doesn’t have a page on Trustpilot.
To get an idea of what to expect, look at customer reviews for the actual lender, PenFed. The credit union’s online reputation is mixed. While customers in forums generally agree that its rates are low, its BBB reviews are nearly all negative, mostly due to mix-ups with repayments.
What to expect when signing up
Splash requires borrowers to prequalify before completing a loan application. Get started at Splash’s site, selecting Get My Rate. Select your highest degree and hit Continue.
- Fill out the required fields before clicking Find My Rate. If you aren’t able to select your school, reach out to Splash — there’s a chance it isn’t eligible.
- Enter your current loan amounts, whether you’re applying with a cosigner and your estimated credit score, among other required info. Review the offers you might be eligible for, and click Apply next to the offer that makes the most sense for your financial situation.
- Create an account and follow the directions to complete the application, uploading any necessary documents. Carefully read your loan’s disclosures before submitting your application. At this point, PenFed will pull a hard check of your credit, which could drop your credit score by a few points temporarily.
- If you’re qualified to continue, PenFed reaches out for additional documents. These can include recent pay stubs, tax returns, a copy of your diploma or transcript and statements from your loan servicers.
- Review and sign your final offer.
- Wait up to 14 days for PenFed to pay off your existing student loans.
More about Splash
Based in Cleveland, Splash Financial was founded to ease the burden of student debt on graduates just starting their careers. Its board of directors is made up of finance and health professionals who have been in the same position many of its clients are in now.
Reach out to Splash for assistance by calling 800-349-3938, chatting live with a rep on its site, emailing email@example.com or through Facebook and Twitter. If you live in Ohio, see if there’s a Splash office near you.
To learn more about how it all works, read our guide to student loan refinancing.