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Anna Serio is a staff writer untangling everything you need to know about personal loans, including student, car and business loans. She spent five years living in Beirut, where she was a news editor for The Daily Star and hung out with a lot of cats. She loves to eat, travel and save money.
First, am I eligible?
To qualify for student loan refinancing with Splash, you must meet eligibility requirements that include:
A credit score of at least 670 with a cosigner or 700 on your own.
US citizenship or permanent residency.
Salary of at least $25,000 a year with a cosigner or $42,000 on your own.
A willingness to join PenFed Credit Union.
Qualified cosigners must have a credit score of 720 and an annual income of at least $50,000.
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 borrower navigate the refinancing process. PenFed Credit Union ultimately funds its loans and repayment services.
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:
Starting at 3.75%
APR 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, ranging from 2.70% to 7.44%.
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 1.58% and 5.36%. 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 1.58% margin, then you’ll always get the lowest rate offered.
To protect borrowers from high LIBOR rates, Splash caps interest rates at 9% for five- and eight-year terms and 10% for 12 – and 15-year terms.
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.
Deferment and forbearance
Splash offers no official deferment or forbearance program on its refinancing loans. However, in extreme cases of economic hardship — like unemployment, temporary injury or illness — you may qualify for forbearance.
If you have a general refinancing loan, reach out to PenFed, which handles your repayments, to discuss your situation and ask about your options.
Compare other student loan refinancing providers
Updated September 18th, 2019
Top reasons to consider Splash
Competitive rates. The highest fixed rate on Splash loans is where some private student loans start.
Parent loan refinancing. Splash offers a refinancing option for parents looking to pay off their child’s student debt.
Referral bonuses. Earn $250 simply by referring a friend who qualifies for refinancing or signing up through a friend’s link.
Risk-free rate check. Unlike other student loan refinancers, Splash offers an estimate of loan rates and terms with a soft credit pull.
Cosigner release on general refinancing. Apply to remove your cosigner from your loan after 12 consecutive on-time repayments, as long as you meet credit requirements on your own. Cosigner release isn’t available if they’re your spouse.
Why you might want to look elsewhere
Restrictions on schools. Not all schools are eligible for refinancing, and Splash doesn’t offer a list to check against. You’ll have to reach out to customer service or preapply to find out.
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.
Strong credit required, even with a cosigner. You need to have a credit score of at least 670 to qualify with a cosigner.
Does Splash offer medical residency refinancing?
No, at this time Splash doesn’t offer medical residency refinancing. It used to offer a program for medical professionals but stopped after reaching its lending capacity — it was too popular.
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 students 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or through Facebook and Twitter. If you live in Ohio, see if there’s a Splash office near you.
Splash’s competitive rates can help young professionals with strong credit save on student debt. It doesn’t do all of this work on its own, however, which means it could be hard to keep track of who has your personal information.
No. Both types of Splash loans require proof of graduation when you apply.
No. PenFed Credit Union services Splash’s general student loans. Splash works with loan servicers to handle residency loan repayments, though it provides customer service.
No, but you may have to pay income tax if you earn more than $600 in referral bonuses in one year.
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