2021 NerdWallet Best-of Awards Winner for Best Student Loan Refinancing Overall
2021 NerdWallet Best-Of Awards Winner

The 5 Best Student Loan Refinance Companies of 2021

213,000+ people have compared rates with Purefy. How much can you save?

Find the best student loan refinance company for you in minutes. Check rates from our favorite lenders with no impact on your credit score and zero fees.

Top Lenders

Purefy’s experts have decades of experience in student loans and have identified the best companies for student loan refinancing. In addition to competitive interest rates, we’ve evaluated them on the following attributes: reputation/trust, security, transparency, fees (or lack thereof), flexible repayment terms, and forbearance options.

Our Comparison of the Best Student Loan Refinance Companies

Fixed Rate

2.44% – 5.79% APR

Term

5 -20 years

Minimum Credit Score

650

Variable Rate

1.88% – 5.64% APR

Eligible Loans

Federal & Private

Purefy Rating

five-stars

Fixed Rate

2.44% – 5.79% APR

Term (years)

5-20

Minimum Credit Score

650

Variable Rate

1.88% – 5.64% APR

Eligible Loans

Federal & Private

Purefy Rating

five-stars
Lightning-fast loan processing
Up to 12 months financial hardship deferment
Doesn’t offer cosigned loans

Fixed Rate

2.89% – 4.98% APR​

Term

5, 8, 12, or 15 years

Minimum Credit Score

670

Variable Rate

Not Offered

Eligible Loans

Federal & Private

Purefy Rating

five-stars

Fixed Rate

2.89% – 4.98% APR​

Term (years)

5, 8, 12, or 15

Minimum Credit Score

670

Variable Rate

Not Offered

Eligible Loans

Federal & Private

Purefy Rating

five-stars
Spouse couples can refinance together using combined income
Become a member of the credit union at no cost when you refinance
Temporary and permanent financial hardship assistance available

Fixed Rate

2.49% – 6.94% APR with autopay

Term

5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years

Minimum Credit Score

650

Variable Rate

1.99% – 6.59% APR with autopay

Eligible Loans

Federal & Private

Purefy Rating

five-stars

Fixed Rate

2.49% – 6.94% APR with autopay

Term (years)

5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years

Minimum Credit Score

650

Variable Rate

1.99% – 6.59% APR with autopay

Eligible Loans

Federal & Private

Purefy Rating

five-stars
Free career planning, job search, and entrepreneurship support
Forbearance options for financial hardship, natural disasters, and military service
98% of surveyed customers would recommend SoFi to a friend

Fixed Rate

2.47% – 5.99% APR

Term

5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years

Minimum Credit Score

680

Variable Rate

1.86% – 6.01% APR

Eligible Loans

Federal & Private

Purefy Rating

five-stars

Fixed Rate

2.47% – 5.99% APR

Term (years)

5, 7, 10, 15, or 20

Minimum Credit Score

680

Variable Rate

1.86% – 6.01% APR

Eligible Loans

Federal & Private

Purefy Rating

five-stars

No maximum loan amount

Up to 12 months of forbearance if you experience financial hardship

Borrowers can refinance Parent PLUS loans in their own name

Fixed Rate

2.44% – 5.97% APR

Term

5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years

Minimum Credit Score

670

Variable Rate

Not Offered

Eligible Loans

Federal & Private

Purefy Rating

five-stars

Fixed Rate

2.44% – 5.97% APR

Term (years)

5, 7, 10, 15, or 20

Minimum Credit Score

670

Variable Rate

Not Offered

Eligible Loans

Federal & Private

Purefy Rating

five-stars
Loans available in all states except Maine
Loan forgiveness if the borrower dies or becomes totally and permanently disabled
Options to postpone payments due to qualifying financial hardships

How Student Loan Refinancing Has Helped Our Customers

It has been a long financial journey for me getting to this point but I now have such an enormous sense of relief with the approval of this consolidation loan. I can finally take control of my finances and stop living paycheck to paycheck. THANK YOU!

– Michael Pazi

My loans were all at a weighted average of 7.5% and you guys were offering me 4.15% after the discounts. 4.15% versus 7.5%, that’s a big deal.

– Nick Timmons

After residency, the federal rate was at 6.7%. I knew I had to do something to lower my rate. Through refinancing, I was able to pay off my credit card debt quickly, start saving for a house, and am now more financially stable

– Carlos Garcia

Student Loan Refinance - How It Works in 5 Easy Steps

01

Compare Rates

Student loan refinancing is all about saving money, and that starts with getting a lower interest rate. Check out our favorite lenders above or get a customized rate comparison in seconds with our free Compare Rates tool. See your real, pre-qualified rates from the lenders you qualify for, all in one easy-to-sort chart.

select a lender

02

Learn If Refinancing Is Right for You

Refinancing can be a great way to save money, but it’s not for everyone. For instance, if you refinance federal student loans, you’ll lose access to certain federal benefits like loan forgiveness programs. Need help? Visit our blog for tips from our team of expert personal finance writers, who go over all of refinancing’s benefits, drawbacks, whys, and hows.

is-refinancing0right-for-you

03

Decide on Your Rate and Term

When you refinance, you often have a choice between fixed and variable rates. Fixed rates stay the same, while variable rates – and your monthly payment – can change on a monthly basis as the market fluctuates. You also get to choose your new repayment term, usually between 5 years (most lifetime savings) and 20 years (low monthly payment). Can’t decide? Schedule a free consultation with our award-winning team of Student Loan Advisors and get your questions answered.

decide-rate-and-term

04

Apply Online and Submit Documents

Once you’ve decided on a lender, you can complete their online loan application. This process usually takes about 15 minutes. After you submit your application, you may be asked to upload documents like a paystub and loan statement for your existing loans. The documents needed can vary from lender to lender, and are used to verify the details on your loan application.

05

E-Sign and Enjoy Your Savings

Once your loan is approved by the lender, you can sign your documents electronically – no paper necessary with any of our top lenders! From there, your new lender will pay off your old student loans and set up the new refinance loan in your name. All that’s left is for you to enjoy your savings – whether it be a little extra room in your monthly budget, or getting out of debt faster.

esign-and-enjoy

Student Loan Refinance FAQs

Student loan refinancing is a process where you take out a new student loan with a lender who pays off your old student loans. This essentially combines your existing student loans into one, with a new interest rate and the repayment term of your choice. Qualifying borrowers may be able to save significant amounts of money by lowering their interest rate.

Yes, it can – and in more than one way. If you get a lower interest rate and/or shorten your repayment term, you save on interest over the life of the loan. On the other hand, if you choose a longer repayment term, you get a lower monthly payment, which can free up room for other monthly expenses.

You can refinance federal student loans and you can also refinance private student loans. One big plus of student loan refinancing is that you can combine your federal and private loans into one, making your monthly finances easier to keep track of. With certain lenders, like PenFed Credit Union, you can also refinance loans that are currently in the name of a spouse, parent, or child.

Even if you can save money by refinancing, there are some situations where it might not be the best move. For instance, if you have federal student loans and refinance them, your loans will become private and you will lose access to federal benefits like forbearance and loan forgiveness. Some borrowers may want to keep access to these benefits, while others may prefer the benefits of refinancing.

A student loan refinance is generally something you should consider if you are an established professional with stable employment and good credit. This is important to make sure you qualify for a low student loan refinance interest rate. Stable employment also makes it less likely that you would need federal student loan benefits like forbearance and deferment. That said, all of Purefy’s best student loan refinance picks have options for financial hardship assistance, should the worst happen.

Did you refinance already, only to see interest rates go down further? Good news: you can refinance as often as you like, as long as your loans are in good standing and you still qualify to refinance.

Student loan consolidation usually refers to the federal Direct Consolidation Loan, which can be used to combine all your federal loans into one. Your loan remains federal, and your new interest rate is based on the weighted average of your old rates, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of a percent. Student loan refinancing includes the same consolidation aspect – combining many loans into one – but also gives borrowers a chance to lower their interest rate, which is not an option with the federal student loan consolidation program.

Not with any of Purefy’s recommended lenders. All of Purefy’s best student loan refinance picks charge no origination fees or prepayment penalties.

All of our top lenders have quick & easy loan applications, which generally takes 15 minutes to complete. You can also get a rate quote online in about 2 minutes, with no impact to your credit score.

Fixed rates, as the name suggests, will not change over the life of the loan – and neither will your monthly payment. Variable rates usually start off lower than fixed rates, but will fluctuate over time as market rates change, usually on a monthly basis – this will result in changes to your monthly payment. It’s up to you which to choose – fixed rates are usually recommended for longer repayment terms and for borrowers who are risk averse. Variable rates can be an attractive option if you plan on paying your student loan refinance off quickly and want to take advantage of the lower initial interest rate.

To qualify to refinance student loans on your own, you generally need good credit (650+ FICO), steady income, and a good debt-to-income ratio. If you don’t meet the lenders criteria, you may be able to qualify by adding a cosigner to your loan. A good cosigner is someone like a parent or spouse who has good credit and income, and who is willing to take equal responsibility for your debt and have it appear on their credit report – even if you are the one making the payments. As a bonus, a cosigner with excellent credit could help you get a super-low interest rate – it can be worth adding one, even if you do qualify on your own!

Checking rates using Purefy’s rate comparison tool or on the websites of our lender partners requires only a soft pull of credit, which has no impact on your credit score. When you submit your student loan refinance application, you will undergo a hard credit inquiry, which can temporarily lower your credit score a few points. Besides that, refinancing generally doesn’t have a significant effect on your credit.