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Best Companies to Refinance Student Loans: Calculate With 2019 Rates

Jordan Beaumont
Financial Guru
Updated: 6/2019
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Best Companies to Refinance Student Loans Private FederalAttending college or graduate school can – and should be – a fulfilling and enjoyable experience. And after you leave school, you will hopefully have gotten the job of your dreams. However, it’s also quite likely that you will find yourself saddled with massive debt in paying off student loans.

Of course, the smart move when going to college and graduate school is to get as many grants, scholarships and paid assistantships as possible in order to finance your education. The less money you have to pay back later, the easier your new life and career will be once you leave your school with your diploma in hand.

But for most people these days, this isn’t really an option. Colleges and universities have been increasing their costs for tuition, dorms, food, parking, books and everything else. Particularly if you go to a pricey private school, it’s very difficult to avoid going into debt with student loans. And it’s easy for those loans to bog you down as you try to move on with your post-college life.

If you find yourself in this situation, then you may want to consider refinancing as a viable option – depending on the specific types of loans you have taken out in your college years. Student loan refinancing gives you the benefit of paying off the old loan and taking out a new one with better interest rates and terms.

For instance, your credit score may have improved significantly since you graduated, this could potentially allow you to qualify for a significantly reduced interest rate on a refinance loan, saving you a lot in the long run.

As an alternative, you could refinance your loan and choose to extend payments on your student loan in order to reduce your monthly payments. Yes, it is true that you will pay more in interest over time, but this is a way of reducing your short-term pressures and avoiding the possibility of defaulting on your loan – which could have a devastating impact on your personal life and your ability to use credit in the future. Use a student loan payoff calculator to see if this method makes sense for you.

After reviewing your situation in deciding whether or not you want to refinance your loan, if the answer is in the affirmative then you need to start reviewing all of your options. Every lender is going to have a different set of requirements when it comes to eligibility for a refinanced student loan. These requirements will include looking at your current credit, the balance on the loan you currently owe and your recent employment background history.

When you start researching this topic, you find that there are plenty of student loan refinances out there, with some being better and more reliable than others. Below you’ll find a selection of some of the best student loan refinancing companies so that you can consider which one you might want to use.

Carefully consider the pros and cons of each one to determine the one that best your particular needs. Once you’ve done this, you can make contact and begin the application process. The quicker you do this, the quicker you get all of the benefits of refinancing your student loan or loans.

Best Companies to Refinance Student Loans Private Federal

Table of Contents

2019’s Best Student Loan Refinance Companies

OUR TOP PICK

Credible

Why Credible?

  • Get to see multiple quotes in just a few minutes
  • No commitment or obligation
  • No origination fees for student loans
  • Option to add co-signer before contacting lenders
Try Credible

Credible

This one is a bit different from some of the other options offered below, since it offers you refinancing options from a number of different lenders. Essentially, Credible is an online marketplace specializing in refinancing and student loans. This makes it easier for you to compare one financing companies offer with another’s through one simple interface.

When you fill out the easy to do application, you’ll get a wide range of offers from many different lenders, which will let you quickly get the best fit for your situation. This company actually has an excellent track record, with the average person financing on this platform finding that may save over $18,000 during the life of their loan. That’s a significant amount of money that can be used for other things.

Another great thing about this service is that it’s free and it requires only a few minutes to fill out the application. It can’t be easier than that – especially given the benefits you can get by refinancing your student loan.

Pros

  • They give you access to many different lenders
  • The average person saves over $18,000 over the life of the loan
  • The entire process on the site of applying is entirely free

Cons

  • They are not themselves offering the loans, meaning you are dealing with a middleman
  • You may get a lot of offers that you have absolutely no interest in

Purefy

Purefy offers to refinance federal, parent plus and private loans you acquired during college, focusing on loans ranging between $7500-$150,000. In order to qualify for their refinancing program, you’ll need to have been working for the last 2 years and to have an average credit score of at least 770.

In addition to this, you must have an annual income at or above $24,000 per year. However, they do allow for a cosigner and also permit you – after some time – to apply for the cosigner to be released from the loan. Possible loan terms include 5, 8, 12 and 15 years.

Pros

  • They do allow you to use a cosigner
  • The cosigner can later be released from the loan

Cons

  • You need a credit score of at least 770
  • You must have been working for the last 2 years

College Ave

This financing company offers you a great deal of flexibility when it comes to refinancing your student loans. To start with, you can choose whether you would like to begin making your full payments immediately or whether you would rather wait two years before paying on the interest.

The term of the loan can range anywhere from 5-15 years, with you being able to refinance amounts ranging from $5000-$250,000. This refinancing company is entirely online, and once you start making your payments on your refinance loan they will be through Navient – a well-known student loan servicer. The average borrower through College Ave as a credit score of over 750.

Pros

  • The refinancing process is done entirely online
  • You can decide whether you want to make full payments or put off the interest for 2 years

Cons

  • A credit score of 750 is required
  • Refinancing is limited to a maximum of $250,000

Citizens Bank

Citizens bank operates both online and at traditional brick and mortar branches. But even so, you are still able to apply for any student loan financing you need using just their online site and interface. You’ll find you can get a loan rate quote in under two minutes.

They also provide rate discounts, writing savings of as much as .25% for customers – or cosigners – who already have an account with their bank. You can save an additional .25% when you enroll in their autopay service. This means payments will automatically be taken each month from the account for card you specify.

Another important advantage you get you turn to citizens bank to refinance your student loans is that you can do so even if you didn’t complete your college degree – many lenders will not refinance loans for those who didn’t complete their education. Undergrads can refinance $10,000-$150,000 and graduate students can refinance up to a limit of $170,000.

Pros

  • Has both online presence and brick and mortar branches
  • You have the option to set up auto pay through their auto pay service
  • Existing account holders can get discounts on rates
  • Will refinance loans for students who have not yet completed their education

Cons

  • Will not refinance less than $10,000 in student loans
  • Limit of $150,000 for undergraduates and $250,000 for graduate students
Best Companies to Refinance Student Loans Private Federal

Earnest

For recent graduates who have a massive debt in student loans but who still have high credit scores, Earnest can be an excellent option. With this lender, the average credit score is over 700, which means borrowers need to be in the “good credit” category – at the very least. You’ll find that Earnest will be willing to refinance between $5000-$500,000 in student loans. Plus, can choose between variable and fixed interest rates so that you can select the one that’s best for you.

As a matter of fact, the company provides a handy tool on their site to help you decide just what the perfect monthly payment amount would be, as well as a term and rate that’s suitable to your monthly budget. One drawback with this particular loan refinance or is that they do not allow for cosigners. You’ll either have to do an individual application or look somewhere else.

Pros

  • Willing to do $5000-$500,000 student loan refinancing
  • You can choose between variable and fixed interest rate
  • Provides a handy tool for calculating loan amounts, interest rates and payments

Cons

  • Must have very good credit
  • Does not allow for cosigners

ELFi

The competitive terms and rates offered by ELFi are enhanced by the fact borrowers can earn a $100 fast track bonus when they apply and get accepted for a loan in the specified 30 day window. Refinancing your student loan with this company will require that you have a credit score of at least 680 and earn $35,000 or more a year.

If you can’t meet these requirements alone, you can bring in a cosigner to help you meet them. At a later point, you will be able to requested that the cosigner be released from this loan agreement. Also note that you can refinance either federal or private student loans through ELFi.

Pros

  • Borrowers can earn $100 fast-track bonus when they apply
  • A slightly lower credit score of 680 is acceptable
  • Cosigners are allowed
  • You can later request that the cosigner be released from the loan agreement

Cons

  • You must be earning $35,000 a year or more

iHelp

If you choose to use iHelp, you’ll find that you’ll be able to refinance anywhere between $1000-$150,000. The limit of $150,000 applies to those with graduate school loans, while the undergraduate loan refinancing limit is $100,000. If you choose to use a cosigner when doing your refinancing with this company, you’ll be able to release the cosigner from any obligation for loan after paying on time for 2 years.

The requirements for getting loan refinancing through iHelp include a minimum 3 years of documented credit history and earnings of at least $18,000 per year for 2 years. And if you happen to still be in school when you want to refinance your loans, there are a number of options available that will make for easier payments until after you have completed your education and moved on to a good paying job.

Pros

  • Can provide smaller student loan financing of as little as $1000
  • Cosigners are permitted
  • The cosigner can be released after 2 years of payments

Cons

  • Need 3 years of documented credit history
  • Need income of $18,000 a year for 2 years

    ALSO GREAT

    LendKey

    Why LendKey?

    • Compare multiple loan offers with ease
    • No application or origination fees
    • Multiple repayment plan options
    • Online process is a quick and easy
    Try LendKey

    LendKey

    LendKey is great for those who want to refinance their student loans despite having a slightly lower credit rating. The average credit score of a borrower at LendKey is about 680, which means they are a little more lenient and flexible than some of the lenders mentioned above. The minimum amount that LendKey will refinance is $5000, with a maximum of $125,000 for undergraduates. Graduate students have a limit of $250,000.

    LendKey does not directly lend money for refinancing student loans. Instead, it offers refinance options from various credit unions and banks from across the nation. They have networked with over 300 partners in the financing industry, which significantly increases your chance of finding the right loan with the right terms.

    With a large customer base of over 400,000 borrowers, LendKey enjoys a 97% satisfaction rate. On average, borrowers can expect to save $191 on their student loan monthly payments when they refinance through one of LendKey’s various partners.

    Pros

    • You get access to hundreds of banks and credit unions across the nation
    • Lender enjoys a 97% satisfaction rate
    • Average borrower can expect to save $191 on monthly payments

    Cons

    • You may receive many more offers than you actually want
    • You are dealing with a middleman

    SoFi

    The refinancing loans provided by SoFi offer a number of valuable, standout features. To begin with, the company claims that the average borrower will save over $22,000 by refinancing their student loans with them. The company not only refinance is both private and federal student loans, it also offers career guidance services.

    While the minimum amount that you can refinance is $5000, SoFi Loans currently doesn’t have an upper limit on how much student loan debt can be refinanced. The credit score of the average borrower is about 774, which means you’ll need to have a long, reliable credit history in order to qualify. Assuming that you do, can get extremely competitive rates from by refinancing the this company, as well as a discount if you choose to sign up with their auto pay service.

    Pros

    • There is no maximum limit on how much student loan debt can be refinanced
    • The average borrower saves over $22,000 over the life of their refinanced loan
    • Extremely competitive interest rates
    • Offers career guidance services

    Cons

    • An average high credit score of 774
    Best Companies to Refinance Student Loans Private Federal

    CommonBond

    On average, borrowers will save just over $24,000 when they refinance their student loans through CommonBond. The maximum amount that you can refinance through this company is $500,000. Your credit score needs to be around 750 or better, but one nice things about this finance company is that you may be able to get forbearance if you happen to run into financial problems in the future.

    The loans offered by CommonBond will be serviced through Firstmark Services, and can be used for federal parent plus loans or student private loans. With any of their loans, you will be able to choose between a fixed rate, I variable rate or a hybrid rate. Hybrid rates are ones in which it begins at a fixed rate and later becomes variable – in this case 5 years later.

    Pros

    • You will save on average $24,000 when refinancing
    • Maximum amount you can borrow is $500,000
    • Forbearance possible if you run into financial problems

    Cons

    • Relatively high credit score of 750 or better is required

    MEFA

    While MEFA is an acronym for the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority is not necessary to be a citizen or resident of Massachusetts in order to refinance your student loans through MEFA. On average, MEFA claims that it can save the average person $191 on their student loans. In addition to this, it you’re not going to pay an origination fee. If you happen to have more credit or unestablished credit, you can choose to use a cosigner.

    In order to qualify, you will have to be in good standing on your various student loans. This means you should have made all of your payments over the previous 12 months on time. The minimum amount that you can refinance is $10,000, but you can refinance the full amount of student loan debt that you owe.

    Pros

    • Saves the average person $191 on their student loans
    • You can refinance the full amount of your student loan debt

    Cons

    • You cannot refinance less than $10,000 in student loans
    • You must be in good standing on your various student loans

    Just When Should You Choose to Refinance Student Loans?

    There were actually quite a few reasons why you might want to think about refinancing student loans. Usually, the reason for doing this is to reduce the cost of the existing loan. This could be because you want to reduce the monthly payments or reduce the total amount you will ultimately have to pay.

    You can accomplish this in several different ways, in which one you choose will depend on the specific situation you happen to be in. Generally, you’re going to want to change a high interest rate you currently pay with your existing loan – or loans – to a lower rate you’ll get with a refinance, consolidated loan. This should give you a lower, single monthly payment.

    How might this be possible? Well it could be that interest rates have dropped significantly since the date on which you took out student loans originally. You may have also obtained a good paying job and significantly improve your credit history and raised your credit score. This would provide you with the opportunity to get a refinance loan with a much better rate. This means your payment would go down and the overall amount you would ultimately pay would be less.

    On the other hand, if you have been struggling to pay your debt and meet your other financial obligations, you might also choose to refinance student loans so that you would be able to repay them more slowly over a longer period. While this does mean that you will be paying less per month on these loans, you will also pay more in interest in the years to come.

    You can also simplify your finances and payments through refinancing. Refinancing student loans will allow you to turn several different payments on multiple loans into a single, easy payment. However, keep in mind that you want to look into any potential implications for your taxes if you do choose to refinance your student loans.

    For instance, it may be that they I arrest will not view your refinance loan as a student loan, which means you would probably not be able to include the interest you pay on the loan among your tax deductions. So, before you commit yourself, make sure you ask the lender about this particular detail.

    Also keep in mind that once you refinance a federal loan and converted into a private loan, you will be losing any benefits that were associated with that federal loan. These benefits can include things such as loan forgiveness based on public service or income-based repayments. You need to carefully weigh all of the pros and cons prior to committing yourself to refinancing student loans. However, for many people the choice to refinance can benefit them tremendously in a number of ways.

    Best Companies to Refinance Student Loans Private Federal

    FAQ

    Student loans are stressful, but you’ll be pleased to see that refinancing your student loans can relieve some of that stress. This section focuses on answering all of your questions about student loan refinancing and how it can be right for you.

    General Student Loan Refinancing FAQ

    You’re likely bursting with questions now that you’re considering refinancing your student loans. Read on to learn a little more about what student loan refinancing is.

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    How to refinance student loans?

    You can refinance your student loans by going to the bank of your choice and seeing if you qualify for student loan refinancing.

    Should I refinance my student loans?

    Refinancing your student loans can be a great choice, especially considering your interest rates can go down and you can renegotiate your student loan terms.

    Can you refinance student loans?

    Student loans can be refinanced just like other types of loans. It doesn’t matter if your loan is a federal student loan or a private one; it can still be refinanced.

    Can you refinance federal student loans?

    Yes, you can refinance federal student loans. Your private student loan will simply pay off your federal student loan, and you’ll then be paying off your private student loan.

    When to refinance student loans?

    You should refinance your student loans when your credit score has gone up since you originally applied for the loan. You can be eligible for lower interest rates.

    Can you refinance federal student loans?

    Yes, you can refinance federal student loans. Your private student loan will simply pay off your federal student loan, and you’ll then be paying off your private student loan.

    When to refinance student loans?

    You should refinance your student loans when your credit score has gone up since you originally applied for the loan. You can be eligible for lower interest rates.

    Can you refinance private student loans?

    It doesn’t matter if you have federal or private student loans – they can all be refinanced. This is because you essentially pay back your previous student loan (while getting a new student loan).

    How to refinance private student loans?

    You can refinance private student loans by going to the lender of your choice for refinancing. Your lender will tell you what’s required and how you can begin the process.

    How can I refinance my federal student loans?

    Even federal student loans can be refinanced. The only downside of refinancing federal student loans is that you’ll lose all of the benefits that a federal loan brings, like income-driven payment.

    Can you refinance a refinanced student loan?

    Refinancing a student loan doesn’t have to be a one-time thing. You can refinance your student loans as much as you’d like to save yourself as much money as possible.

    Can you refinance part of your student loans?

    If you have many student loans at different rates, you could refinance only the ones with the highest rates. Although ideally, it’s simpler to refinance it all to only deal with one company.

    Where to refinance student loans?

    You can refinance your student loans at any lender that offers it. Shop around and see which lenders will give you the best rates to get the best deal.

    What does it mean to refinance a student loan?

    When you refinance a student loan, you’re basically taking out another loan to pay for your existing loan. The benefits are you can get better rates and longer terms to pay it off.

    Does it cost money to refinance student loans?

    No, there is no cost to refinance your student loans. This is because the interest rates you pay your lender will be your “payment” to them.

    Can I refinance my student loan after consolidation?

    Yes, you can refinance your student loan after consolidation. Or even better, you can simply use your refinanced student loan to consolidate all of your current student loans.

    How to refinance a consolidated student loan?

    A consolidated student loan can be refinanced like any other student loan. The interest rate can still be lower than the consolidated loan.

    Why you should refinance student loans?

    Student loans can have high interests, and you may be able to get new lower interest rates if you qualify. Refinancing can get you these lower interest rates.

    How does refinancing student loans work?

    When you refinance student loans, you’re basically paying off your old student loans with a new student loan. This new student loan will have new interest rates (hopefully lower) and can save you money.

    Does refinancing student loans hurt credit?

    The only part of refinancing that can hurt your credit is when your credit is checked when you apply, but it should be minimal. Other than that, keep making payments on time to maintain your credit score.

    Does refinancing student loans save money?

    Yes, you can save quite a bit of money if you refinance your student loans. If your financial situation has changed, you can qualify for lower interest rates, which amount to a lot of saved money.

    Is student loan refinancing a good idea?

    Refinancing your student loans can be a good idea depending on your situation. Often times, your financial situation will improve from when you first applied for the loan, and you can save a lot of money by refinancing.

    What to know about refinancing student loans?

    When refinancing student loans, take special consideration if you currently have federal student loans. This is because many special benefits from federal loans are lost when you refinance.

    How does refinancing work on multiple student loans?

    When you have multiple student loans, you use your new refinanced student loan to pay off your previous loans, and you end up with only one loan to pay off.

    What is required for student loan refinancing?

    To be eligible for student loan refinancing, you’ll have to have a low debt-to-income ratio and have a good credit score. Most lenders also require that you already have a degree.

    Do you have to consolidate before refinancing student loans?

    No, you don’t have to consolidate. Instead, you can simply apply for student loan refinancing and use your new loan to pay off your previous loans. This way, your loans are consolidated and refinanced.

    Does refinancing student loans end grace period?

    The grace period is the time frame you have after you graduate before you begin paying off your student loan. When refinancing, the lender you choose will determine if the grace period ends or continues.

    Will refinancing a student loan lower monthly payments?

    It does depend on your current situation, but typically it will. This is because when you refinance your student loans, you can renegotiate your payment term and lower your monthly payments.

    How much could I save by refinancing my student loans?

    The amount you could save depends on your current situation. When you refinance your student loans, you can enjoy lower interest rates, longer payment terms and lower monthly payments.

    Am I eligible for refinancing student loans?

    Your personal situation will have to be evaluated to determine if you’re eligible. Banks will decide if your eligible based on your debt-to-income ratio, how stable your job is, and your credit score.

    What Are the Best Student Loan Refinancing Lenders?

    The lender you go with will determine your rates and terms. This section focuses on answering your questions about specific lenders and how you can find the best one.

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    Is DRB student loan refinancing safe?

    DRB, now known as Laurel Road, is considered one of the top lenders for student loan refinancing. Laurel Road is known for its flexible refinancing options and its low rates.

    How does SoFi student loan refinancing work?

    You can refinance both your federal and private student loans through SoFi. You can get started by heading to the SoFi website and speaking with a representative.

    Does USAA do student loan refinancing?

    For people who served in the military, USAA offers student loans. USAA does offer student loan consolidation, which will essentially refinance your student loans.

    Does Wells Fargo refinance student loans?

    Yes, Wells Fargo offers refinancing and consolidation on student loans. To get started, you can go to the Wells Fargo website or talk to a Student Loan Consultant in person.

    Can I refinance my Navient student loan?

    Navient student loans can be refinanced with the lender of your choice. Navient can’t prevent you from refinancing since you’re still technically paying back their loan.

    Can you refinance your Sallie Mae student loans?

    Sallie Mae has now rebranded as Navient, and yes, you can refinance any loans you have from Navient, no matter if it’s a private or federal loan.

    Should I refinance my student loans with SoFi?

    With SoFi, you can refinance your private or federal student loans. Compared to its competitors, SoFi offers low interest rates and can be a great option.

    How to refinance student loans with Nelnet?

    Nelnet offers student loan consolidation and refinancing. You can refinance your student loans with Nelnet by going to their website and contacting a Nelnet representative.

    Does Chase refinance student loans?

    Chase no longer refinances or consolidates student loans, or even student loans in general. Chase Student Loans has been sold to Navient.

    Does Sallie Mae refinance student loans?

    Sallie Mae, now known as Navient, does offer student loan refinancing. However, Navient has earned a bad reputation amongst customers and you should consider other options.

    Do credit unions refinance student loans?

    Credit unions do offer student loan refinancing. And since credit unions are not-for-profit, you can find some of the best deals with credit unions.

    Other Student Loan Refinancing FAQ

    There are many other questions that come to mind when it comes to student loan refinancing. You might wonder about refinancing a defaulted student loan, refinancing without a degree or refinancing with a low income. Read on.

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    Can you file bankruptcy on a refinanced student loan?

    Normally, you can’t file for bankruptcy on a refinanced student loan. If, however, you are able to prove in court that your college debt poses an “undue hardship”, you can file for bankruptcy.

    Can a cosigner refinance a student loan?

    In most cases, a cosigner isn’t able to refinance a student loan. The primary borrower would have to refinance the student loan, and the cosigner can be a cosigner on this new loan too.

    Should I refinance my home to pay off student loans?

    Refinancing your home can come with many initial fees, such as fees for appraisal. Instead, you can look into refinancing your student loans to see if you can get lower interest rates and monthly payments.

    Can you refinance a defaulted student loan?

    Refinancing a defaulted student loan is nearly impossible, the main reason being your damaged credit score. If you rehabilitate your loan, however, you may be able to refinance later.

    Can I refinance my student loans with bad credit?

    Typically, lenders won’t work with individuals with bad credit. This is because your lender wants to be certain you’ll pay back the loan. Instead, work on improving your credit before looking into refinancing.

    Should I refinance my house to pay off student loans?

    Refinancing your home is one option, but you can also refinance your student loans. This way, you’ll be able to lower your monthly payments and interest rates to make it more affordable.

    Can parents refinance student loans?

    If you’re a parent who took out student loans for your child, you can refinance your student loans as well to save yourself some money.

    Can you refinance student loans without a degree?

    Most lenders required that you first receive your degree before you refinance. If you don’t, you may still be able to find lenders without a degree, like Citizens Bank.

    How to refinance student loans with low income?

    When checking if you qualify, lenders look into your income (and current debt) to see if you can afford paying your refinanced student loans. If it’s too low, you can consider getting a co-signer.

    How often can I refinance student loans?

    Student loans can be refinanced as much as you’d like. If you find a lender offering lower interest rates, you can refinance your already refinanced student loans again.

    Can you refinance private student loans while in school?

    If you’re still in school and haven’t yet earned a degree, it can be hard to refinance your student loans (as most lenders require a degree). However, while difficult, you can still find a lender.

    Jordan Beaumont

    Jordan Beaumont

    Financial Guru

    Jordan's work focuses on helping people reach their financial goals so they can spend more time with family and friends and less time worrying about their budget. After finishing college with a degree in Accounting and Communication, he realized that these are the most important things in life and that people shouldn’t miss out because of money.

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