Refinance student loans

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How Does LendingTree Get Paid?
How Does LendingTree Get Paid?
5, 7, 10, 15 years
5.24% - 9.60%
5.54% - 9.12%
$5000 - $250000
Fair & Good & Excellent Credit Needed
What's my score?
5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20 years
5.48% - 8.69%
5.28% - 8.99%
$10000 - Total Loan Balance
Fair & Good & Excellent Credit Needed
What's my score?


  • Must be at least 18 years or older
  • Must be a U.S. citizen/permanent resident
  • Minimum refinancing amount of $10,000
  • Must have earned a bachelors degree or higher from one of their approved post secondary institution
  • Must have a debt-to-income ratio that proved you will have the ability to repay the loan.

Lender review

Not available at this time

Who are they?

Education Loan Finance is a refinancing program offered through SouthEast Bank. They strive to provide manageable payments, affordable rates, and flexible terms for students looking to refinance their student loans.

What can they offer?

  • Offer some of the lowest interest rates in the refinancing market
  • No hidden application and origination fees
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Deferment & forbearance options available
  • Referral Program: $400 for every customer you refer
  • Available for private, federal, undergrad, and graduate school student loans
5, 10, 15, 20 years
6.00% - 10.37%
8.06% - 9.81%
$7500 - $200000
Fair & Good & Excellent Credit Needed
What's my score?


  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are at least 18 years old
  • Reside in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, or Wisconsin
  • Borrowers must have obtained federal or private student loans which were used to attend an eligible institution
  • For loans below $100,000, the borrower or cosigner must earn at least $30,000 annually. For loans above $100,000, the borrower or cosigner must earn at least $50,000.
  • Minimum refinance amount of $7,500

Lender review

Not available at this time

Who are they?

Nonprofit EDvestinU is part of the New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation (NHHEAF) Network and offers affordable rates for refinance loans. Borrowers can refinance federal and private loans, and fixed and variable rate loans are available.

What can they offer?

  • No degree is required to refinance
  • You can refinance while still in school
  • 0.25% autopay discount
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Prequalification is available
5, 10, 15, 20 years
6.15% - 10.14%
8.50% - 12.39%
$5000 - $250000
Fair & Good & Excellent Credit Needed
What's my score?


  • Must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible
  • Borrowers must meet minimum requirements including a FICO score of 670 or higher, annual income of $36,000, a debt-to-income ratio below 40% to 50%, a year of continuous employment, and no defaults or serious collection activities in recent years
  • Debt must be in repayment at time of refinance
  • Minimum refinance amount of $5,000

Lender review

Not available at this time

Who are they?

INvested is an Indiana-based nonprofit lender that provides refinanced student loans nationwide. As a nonprofit, INvested offers competitive rates as well as an autopay discount. Cosigner release is also available after 12 on-time payments, which is less than many competitors.

What can they offer?

  • No degree is required to refinance
  • Cosigner release available after just 12 on-time payments
  • 0.25% autopay discount
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Deferment options for school enrollment, military service, or financial hardship
7, 10, 15 years
6.20% - 8.99%
$10000 - Total Loan Balance
Fair & Good & Excellent Credit Needed
What's my score?


  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who is the primary borrower on the debt
  • Must have used the loan to attend an eligible college or university
  • Must have made six on-time loan payments over the most recent six months
  • Must have no history of default or delinquency on education debt for the past 12 months and no history of bankruptcy or foreclosure in the past 5 years
  • Minimum refinance amount of $10,000

Lender review

Not available at this time

Who are they?

Not-for-profit lender Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) offers refinancing loans nationally to student borrowers, and unlike many other lenders, you don’t need to have earned your degree to qualify. Only fixed-rate loans are available, but the rates are competitive and may be lower than what other lenders can offer. MEFA also doesn’t charge any fees or penalties.

What can they offer?

  • No graduation requirement to refinance
  • No fees whatsoever
  • Prequalification available
5, 10, 15 years
6.34% - 8.54%
$7500 - $250000
Fair & Good & Excellent Credit Needed
What's my score?


  • Borrower or cosigner must have a minimum income of $40,000 and meet other credit requirements
  • Student must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
    Original student loans must have been used to attend an eligible degree-granting institution
  • Minimum refinance amount of $7,500

Lender review

Not available at this time

Who are they?

Founded in 1981, Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA) is a nonprofit lender that offers refinance loans to borrowers in all 50 states. Though most private lenders require borrowers to have graduated to qualify for refinancing, RISLA also serves borrowers who didn’t complete their degree.

What can they offer?

  • Income-based repayment options for borrowers experiencing financial hardship
  • Up to 24 months of forbearance
  • Up to 36 months of graduate school deferment
  • No degree required to refinance
  • Rate discounts available
  • No prepayment penalties
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
6.49% - 10.99%*
7.03% - 12.43%*
$10000 - $750000*
Fair & Good & Excellent Credit Needed
What's my score?


  • You’re no longer enrolled in school
  • You must have at least $10,000 in student loans to refinance
  • You have a history of paying your current student loans on time
  • No degree required

Lender review

Not available at this time

Who are they?

Citizens Bank, one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, provides an integrated experience that includes mobile, online banking and lending solutions, a 24/7 customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 3,200 ATMs and approximately 1,200 branches. Citizens Bank is a leader in Student Loan solutions, offering lending solutions for parents, students and former students. The Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan is a leading solution helping graduates and former students to better manage their student debt. Citizens Bank helps its customers reach their potential by listening to them and by understanding their needs in order to offer tailored advice, ideas and solutions.

What can they offer?

  • One convenient monthly payment for your undergraduate and graduate, private and federal student loans*
  • Choose the repayment term that fits you best
  • No pre-payment penalty, and no application, origination, or disbursement fees
  • Get your personalized rate in under 2 minutes

How does student loan refinancing work?

You can refinance both your federal student loans and your private student loans through a private lender, such as a bank or one of the lenders offered by LendingTree. Refinancing your loans will combine all of them into one loan with one monthly payment. Your interest rate will be based off of your credit score, so if it’s higher than when you first applied, you should score an incredibly low rate.

If you’re planning on taking advantage of federal loan forgiveness programs, you may not want to refinance your federal loans. Refinancing your federal student loans will disqualify you from any forgiveness programs. However, if you are ineligible for loan forgiveness, a refinance is the best way to lower your payments. To help determine if refinancing is right for you use our student loan refinancing calculator below.

How to refinance your student loans in 4 steps

1. Check rates

How long does it take? 5-10 minutes
  Shop around with multiple lenders
  Provide some basic info to get rate quotes

With our recommended lenders, this can be done online and in a few minutes without affecting your credit.


2. Consider your options

How long does it take? 5 minutes
  Make sure that refinancing is right for you
  Review FAQs about refinancing below

Be certain you won’t need any of the federal student loan programs that you’ll lose access to after refinancing.


3. Choose a loan

How long does it take? Take your time with this step
  Pick your best offer
  Base your pick on rates and other features (such as repayment protections)


4. Apply

How long does it take? 2-3 weeks
  Upload your documents (and those of your cosigner, if any)
  Sit back and wait for approval
  Keep making payments on your loans until the refinance process is complete

Estimate your savings with our student loan refinance calculator

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Is refinancing right for you?

When to consider

  • If you are financially secure with stable employment
  • If you currently have a high interest rate (especially for private student loans)
  • If you can lower the amount of interest paid over the life of the loan
  • If you are looking to eliminate debt as soon as possible

When to avoid

  • If you have an unstable income and/or employment situation
  • If you plan to utilize an income-driven repayment plan in the future
  • If you intend to take advantage of federal loan forgiveness
  • If you are nearing the end of repayment

Why refinance student loans?

For one, student loan refinancing is a form of debt relief and can help ease the burden of your debt load and provide solutions to several issues that make it difficult to pay off your loans. If you feel bogged down by your student loan debt and finances are tight, there are several factors that might motivate you to refinance student loans.

If you have several student loans with different interest rates, you can consolidate everything into a single new loan with one interest rate. Juggling multiple loan payments can be difficult to keep up with, especially when you have multiple lenders. Not to mention, some student loan servicers buy and sell loans, so you could wind up paying different lenders than the original servicer that you used.

This will allow you to have all your student loans in one place so you can be more organized and track your progress better.

One of the best solutions refinancing can provide is a lower rate on your student loans. If you have good credit and a stable monthly income, you can apply to refinance in an attempt to get a much lower interest rate than the one you currently have. This is a wise option, especially if you have high-interest private student loans. With a lower interest rate, you can pay less on your loans overall since more of your payment will go toward the principal balance.

When you consider refinancing your student loans, it’s important to run the numbers beforehand and compare your options to make sure this solution will actually help you pay off your loans faster and/or save more money over the life of your term.

If your minimum student loan payment is too high, it could have a negative effect on your current lifestyle, making it difficult to pay your rent, pay for food, or cover other living expenses. Refinancing provides you with the opportunity to lower your interest rate, which in turn will lower your monthly payment.

You may also have the opportunity to extend your loan term and lower your monthly payments. However, with this option, you may be paying more interest over the life of the loan if you don’t pay it off early since you’ll have a longer term.

The sooner you are able to relieve yourself of student loan debt, the better, right? If you’re able to secure a lower interest rate by refinancing, you may be able to shorten your term and pay off your loans sooner. However, keep in mind that shortening your student loan term often means your monthly payments will increase.

Paying off your student loans faster saves you more money now and in the future because you can cut out thousands of dollars in interest payments that you would have paid for with a longer loan term.

Ready to get started?

If you feel trapped to your student loan payments and your high monthly payments are preventing you from living your life, refinancing can be a great way to lower your interest rate and reduce your monthly payment.

Let us help! Our lenders offer a variety of options aimed at saving you most money they can.

Required Documents Checklist

  • A picture of your driver’s license
  • A pay stub
  • A screenshot of your current student loans

Compare Rates For Free

Borrower Profile

If you have a Bachelors, Masters, or PhD, you are eligible to refinance student loans. Lenders generally work with individuals with good credit and who are currently employed.

Frequently asked questions

When you refinance student loans, you take out a new loan from a private lender to pay off one or more of your old loans. If you qualify, you could snag a lower interest rate on this new loan. You can also choose new repayment terms to pay off your debt faster, or lower your monthly bills.

Both private and federal student loans that were used at a qualifying institution are eligible for refinancing. A qualifying institution typically means a Title IV-accredited school in the United States.


You must be the primary borrower on any loans you wish to refinance. A lender might also require that you’ve already earned your degree, or are close to earning your degree. Some lenders also state a minimum loan amount for refinancing.

You can refinance one or more federal and/or private student loans, but you must meet a lender’s requirements for credit and income. Most lenders look for a credit score of 650 or higher, along with a steady source of income or an offer of employment. If you can’t meet these criteria on your own, you could qualify by applying with a creditworthy cosigner, such as a parent.


Along with your credit score and annual income, some lenders also look at your savings and debt-to-income ratio. Finally, some lenders require proof of graduation, as they’ll only approve borrowers who have obtained their degree. If you left school before graduating, there are relatively few student loan refinance providers that will work with you.

Although refinancing can simplify your debt by combining multiple loans into one, it’s different from federal student loan consolidation. You refinance student loans with a private lender, but you consolidate loans by taking out a direct consolidation loan from the federal government.


Federal consolidation combines federal student loans into one new loan, and it lets you choose new repayment terms. But it doesn’t lower your interest rate, so you won’t save money on interest-only student loan refinancing helps you lower your rate, if you qualify.

Many student loan refinance companies offer the option to borrow at fixed and variable rates. It’s important to understand the differences between these rate types before you choose your ultimate loan.

  • Fixed: Your rate might start out higher than a variable rate, but it will remain static — or fixed — throughout your repayment, giving you consistency in your monthly budget.
  • Variable: Your rate might start out lower than a variable rate, but it could change — or vary — over time, according to market conditions, bringing some level of uncertainty to your budget.

Yes, there’s no hard-and-fast rule on the amount of times you can refinance student loans — you might decide to refinance with your current lender, or switch to another.


Refinancing a second time could make sense if your financial situation has improved to the point where you could score a significantly lower interest rate. If you extend your loan term as part of refinancing again, though, you’re likely to lose — not save — money until your balance hits zero.


Compare your current loan to your potential refinanced loan using our student loan refinancing calculator.

Refinancing student loans with bad credit is difficult but not impossible. One way to circumvent the underwriting criteria of lenders is to attach a cosigner to your refinancing application. If your cosigner has a good enough credit score, debt-to-income (DTI) ratio and other characteristics, it could be enough to net you a stamp of approval. Just keep in mind that cosigning is a big responsibility, as you and your cosigner would be held equally responsible for repayment.


If you have bad credit but can’t find a cosigner, it could take longer to qualify for student loan refinancing. You might decide to build a positive credit history, improve your cash flow and reapply for refinancing down the road, when you’re more likely to meet lender requirements.

Before refinancing your student loans, make sure you’re in a financially secure position to pay them back on time, and have the credit score (or a creditworthy cosigner) to qualify for competitive rates.
It can also be a good time to refinance when interest rates are low. Note that if interest rates drop, you can consider refinancing again for better terms.


Finally, make sure you don’t need any federal plans or protections before you refinance. Once you refinance federal loans with a private lender, you’ll no longer have access to federal plans, such as income-driven repayment or federal forgiveness programs.

The lowest student loan refinance rates advertised by lenders are awarded to the most creditworthy applicants. Your creditworthiness is determined by your credit history and score, DTI ratio and other financial factors. If you fall short in any of these underwriting categories, you could lean on a cosigner to help you qualify and secure a lower APR.


Besides improving your application, another way to net the lowest possible interest rate is to make sure you’re shopping around with reputable lenders. Not all banks, credit unions and online companies start their fixed and variable rate ranges as low as industry leaders. So be sure to narrow your list of potential lenders to those that offer competitive APRs.

Usually no. Many lenders do not charge origination, application or disbursement fees for refinancing student loans. If you’re not sure, ask your lender about its fee structure before you refinance.


Note that when you refinance student loans, you can choose to extend your repayment terms. Opting for a long term can result in higher interest costs over the life of your loan. If you want to reduce the amount you pay in interest, consider selecting a shorter repayment term.

Applying for any new loan can knock a few points off your credit score, but on-time payments will improve your score over time. New credit applications only account for about 10% of your FICO Score, whereas your payment history makes up 35%.


Many refinancing lenders let you shop around with no impact on your credit score. With prequalification, you can compare rates before submitting a full application and consenting to a hard credit inquiry.


Since you’ll be refinancing your current loans rather than taking on new debt, your DTI ratio should not be affected.

You should consider refinancing if your finances are stable and you’re able to qualify (or have a qualifying cosigner). Refinancing is best for borrowers who are looking to lower their interest rate, restructure their debt or combine multiple loans into one. Since refinancing is typically done through a private institution, you should only refinance federal loans if you don’t need federal repayment plans or programs.


If you’re looking to combine several federal student loans into one loan, consider direct loan consolidation. This federal option helps you simplify repayment, and apply for a new repayment plan, but it won’t result in a lower interest rate. Also check out direct loan consolidation if you want to combine your federal loans while maintaining access to federal repayment plans.