7 Best Companies to Refinance and Consolidate Student Loans in 2018


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Sign and Accept Your Loan Easily sign your loan documents and accept your loan terms online. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. The process of combining multiple loans into one new loan. Because Earnest uses many different factors to determine eligibility, there is more likely to be something on your application that causes you to be rejected compared to other student loan refinancing companies. Terms and Conditions Apply. Yes No Will I pay just one monthly bill?

Compare the Best Companies to Refinance Student Loans

Student loan consolidation vs. refinancing

A Direct Consolidation Loan allows you to consolidate (combine) multiple federal education loans into one loan. The result is a single monthly payment instead of multiple payments. The result is a single monthly payment instead of multiple payments. If you have multiple student loans you may be able to combine them into one loan with a fixed interest rate based on the average of the interest rates on the loans being consolidated. A Direct Consolidation Loan allows you to consolidate multiple federal education loans into one loan at no cost to you. Ready to take control of your student loans? Here are our top recommendations for student loan refinancing and consolidation. Disclosure: Student Loan Hero is a free website to help student loan borrowers. We only evaluate lenders and do not issue student loans. This report was not chartered by or created on behalf of any lender listed below.

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Federal student loan consolidation basics

The program launched at Stanford in and has quickly grown nationwide. SoFi is looking for well educated professionals with good income and requires applicants to have good credit and a strong repayment history. The SoFi student loan refinance and consolidation program is a great option for people who want:. Offered terms are subject to change.

If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. Earnest is one of the best student loan refinance and consolidation lenders that we have reviewed.

Located in San Francisco, Earnest stands out from most of the other student loan refinancing companies by using different types of data to determine eligibility for applicants who wish to refinance student loans. This data helps determine how likely individuals are to pay back their debt and the best options for all parties involved.

Because Earnest uses many different factors to determine eligibility, there is more likely to be something on your application that causes you to be rejected compared to other student loan refinancing companies. In addition, the application process is more extensive and takes a longer time due to the variety of data points that are analyzed.

Although the ELFI program is a relative newcomer to the student loan refinance and consolidation scene, its management has over 30 years of experience in the student lending industry. Though ELFI displays some of the lowest student loan refinancing rates in the industry, it does not necessarily mean you will receive a lower rate with them as compared to other lenders.

Each lender has a different eligibility criteria and underwriting process so your offered rate, if approved, may be higher than those from other lenders. Another great option to refinance and consolidate your student loans is LendKey. LendKey is more than just a single company.

LendKey is a collection of over not-for-profit credit unions and community banks from across the U. Local credit unions come together to help borrowers refinance student loans.

The participating lenders work together to compete against major banks and lenders. It has higher approval ratings because the company evaluates each borrower on a case-by-case basis. The first part of the application should only take a few minutes to complete.

If approved, applicants are expected to join the local credit union that will provide the financing. Credit unions usually require a small deposit for membership. Refinancing student loans with LendKey could be a good fit for people who want:. Variable interest rates range from 2. Lowest rates shown require application with a cosigner, are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.

The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan.

The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan. The borrower will be eligible for a 0. The following are qualifying accounts: Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved.

Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan. Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance.

If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount. Citizens Bank is one of the more well-known companies that refinances student loans. The company aims to make it easy to refinance and consolidate student loans. You can apply on the company's website in about 15 minutes. Once you apply, Citizens Bank will run an initial credit check to determine if you're eligible.

If you meet the initial requirements, you will be asked to upload certain documents that the underwriting team will use to determine if you qualify. Citizens Bank also offers great resources to help borrowers manage their debt.

Checking your rate may impact your credit score. Furthermore, applicants must have a or higher credit score, though if they do not, Splash Financial does allow applicants to add a cosigner to the loan.

Borrowers who feel more comfortable with a specific policy in place might not find Splash Financial to meet that desire. In , a few students from the University of Pennsylvania found themselves with overwhelming student debt and sought to help borrowers refinance student loans by starting CommonBond.

The company now serves over programs across the U. To be approved, you must have good credit, a well-paying job, and be able to afford your monthly payments. The application process is easy, and after creating an account and entering some basic information, you will be able to see if you qualify to refinance.

CommonBond also offers high-quality customer service. The company prides itself on helping it borrowers navigate the student loan refinance market and beyond.

The company even has a program to help borrowers who lose their jobs find a new one. Their student loan refinance and consolidation program is a great option to consider for people who want to:. We know the student loan refinancing process can seem complicated. That's why we put together the following information to help borrowers better understand the process. When you first hear about student loan refinancing, it may seem like a no-brainer.

While there are certainly benefits to refinancing, there are some things to consider. In this section, we'll go over the benefits and downsides of student loan refinancing. When you apply for refinancing, you'll be able to see if you qualify for an interest rate that is lower than what you currently have.

If you do, then you may be able to save money depending on the repayment term you select. When you have a lower interest rate, less money will be charged on your principal balance each month. As mentioned above, when you refinance student loans, you will have the option to choose a new repayment term. Lenders typically offer term lengths anywhere from 5 to 20 years.

This means you have the following options:. When you think about which lender you want to refinance your student loans with, you should consider which servicer your new lender works with to make sure they have received positive customer reviews. If you have a private student loan with a cosigner, you may be able to remove them after your student loan refinance. This will release them from their shared responsibility on the loan. The main downside of refinancing is that your federal student loan will turn into a private student loan.

This means that you will lose access to federal benefits, protections, and repayment plans, including income-driven repayment plans, student loan forgiveness, and discharge benefits. There are many things lenders consider when deciding if you are a good candidate for refinancing. The following are requirements that the best refinance and student loan consolidation companies typically consider.

Certain lenders may have other requirements as well. Typically, lenders will refinance both federal and private student loans from undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Some lenders may have specific criteria for which schools and degrees are eligible. A common requirement we have seen is that the borrower must have graduated from a Title IV school. To refinance student loans, you have to have a good to excellent credit score.

This is because your credit score shows how much of a risk you are to the lender. Typically, you will need at least a credit score, though we have seen applicants get approved with lower scores and rejected with higher scores. Though this goes hand-in-hand with credit score, you will also need to have a solid repayment history on your current student loans.

But unlike the federal government, they can consolidate both federal and private loans. The goal with this process is not only to get the ease of a single payment, but to receive a lower interest rate based on your financial history. NerdWallet adheres to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence.

Some of the products we feature are from partners. We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners.

Student loan consolidation Student loan refinancing What does it do? No Yes Can I save money? Consolidation may lower your payments by extending the loan term, but your interest cost will increase Yes Can I use federal loan protections, repayment options and forgiveness programs?

Yes No Will I pay just one monthly bill? You can choose to consolidate one, some or all of your eligible student loans. We recommend you compare your current loan terms against the consolidation loan terms. For example, you may not want to include loans with a lower interest rate than the consolidation loan. Find out if student loan consolidation is right for you.

You will have 30 days, from Approval Disclosure, to accept the loan terms and a three-day right-to-cancel period, following Final Disclosure, before the consolidation is complete. However, once your loan is disbursed, and we pay off your existing loans, the process cannot be reversed. Once you've received the Approval Disclosure and accepted the loan terms, no additional loan s can be added. If you need to add a loan, you can cancel your existing application and reapply with the additional loan s.

Once you apply, it can take from 30 to 45 days to process. During that time, we complete the credit review process, you and your cosigner, if applicable will sign the loan documents and we will ask you to obtain payoff statements from your current loan servicers. If you prefer, we can schedule a call with you and your current loan servicer s to verify the loans you want to consolidate. Once these steps are complete, we will notify you when your loan s are consolidated and provide your new minimum monthly payment amount and due date.

Please continue making your monthly payments until we notify you that your consolidation loan has disbursed. Students may have the option to apply with a creditworthy cosigner. By applying with a creditworthy cosigner, you may receive a lower interest rate. Your interest rate will be based on your credit history, your choice of a fixed or variable interest rate, and your cosigner's credit history if applicable. To enroll for automatic payments, complete the enrollment form online or call us at STUDENT to request a copy of the enrollment form, complete it and mail it back to the address on the form.

You can choose to consolidate while you are still in school, during your grace period or after your grace period expires. If you choose to consolidate while you are still in school or during your grace period, you will lose any remaining grace period on the loans that you are consolidating, and you will begin making payments approximately days after your loan is disbursed.

A repayment period is the period of time during which scheduled payments are required to be made to repay the principal balance and interest on a loan. Your repayment period can be 10 or 20 years, based on your creditworthiness. Your first payment will be due approximately days after your consolidation is complete and the loan is disbursed. There is no pre-payment penalty.

Making additional payments can help you lower the total cost of your loan. If you go back to school and are enrolled at least half-time, you may be eligible for an in-school deferment.

In addition, you can also defer payments while:.

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