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

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Refinancing Federal Student Loans 101: What It Means and How to Save Money

Kathryn Morstad
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All through college, you have taken out federal student loans to bridge the gap in financing for your tuition and other expenses. It makes sense — they are easy to get, have great interest rates, and don’t require a credit check.

Now that you’ve graduated, you’re juggling multiple due dates, payment amounts, and repayment terms. How can you simplify and organize this sometimes overwhelming mound of paperwork?

That’s a question a lot of people are asking today. Student loan debt is at an all-time high that’s estimated to be about $1.56 trillion in 2020. With an average debt of $29,650, it’s no wonder that people are looking for solutions to harness their student loans and create something more manageable.

What is student loan refinancing?

In simple terms, refinancing is the process of working with a qualified lender to pay your existing loans in full and provide you with a single comprehensive loan for the total amount. You decide how many of your loans (including other private student loans) you want to include in this new refinanced loan.

Today, the refinancing process has been simplified by Purefy to bring together multiple lenders who compete for your business with you only needing to provide a few simple pieces of personal information.

Why refinance federal student loans?

Most people refinance because they are looking for cost savings as well as a more streamlined payment process. By refinancing federal student loans, you are often able to reduce your interest rate and chose more favorable repayment terms that meet your individual needs.

While you do need to have a good credit history and a stable income, there are no fees to generate a new loan.

Can you also refinance private student loans?

Absolutely. As long as you meet the credit requirements and the debt-to-income ratio parameters, private lenders will work with you to find the most advantageous loan program that puts both your federal and private student loans in one neat package.

As a gauge, most private lenders require a credit score in the high 600s at a minimum, with a debt-to-income ratio of 50% or less.

Is Student Loan Refinancing Right for You?

Find out how much you can save with these top lenders

Precision Pricing: Pick Any Term Between 5—20 Years

Fixed Rate:

2.98% - 5.79% APR

Variable Rate:

1.99% - 5.64% APR

Term:

5 - 20 years

Minimum Income:

No minimum

Loan Limits:

$5,000 - $500,000

Refinance Student Loans With Your Spouse

Fixed Rate:

2.89% - 4.78% APR​

Variable Rate:

2.15% - 4.42% APR​

Term:

5, 8, 12, or 15 years

Minimum Income:

No minimum

Loan Limits:

$7,500 - $300,000

Loans Available Nationwide — Not Just for Iowans

Fixed Rate:

2.55% - 6.42% APR​

Variable Rate:

Not offered

Term:

5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years

Minimum Income:

No minimum

Loan Limits:

$5,000 - $300,000

Reasons to refinance student loans

  • Save money with a lower rate — By obtaining a lower interest rate on your loan, you can save significant money over the life of the loan.  For instance, for a $30,000 loan with a 10-year repayment schedule, the difference between 4% and 6% interest rate could save you over $5,000.
  • Shorten the repayment term — When you shorten your repayment term during the refinance process, you pay off that loan more quickly and free your finances up to pursue other goals like buying a home or taking that dream vacation.
  • Lengthen the repayment term — Maybe you are getting swallowed up by loan payments. By refinancing to a longer repayment term, you lower your monthly payment and give yourself some breathing room.  No one says you can’t change it later or double up on payments when you are able.
  • Choose fixed or variable rate — You have the ability to choose either a fixed rate, with one stable amount, or a variable rate, that tends to be lower in the beginning when you may just be starting out and need the break.
  • Add or drop a cosigner — Depending on your credit history, you may want a cosigner to guarantee your loan so that you can build your credit score.  Or you may have a cosigner currently but are at a place in your life where you want to relieve that person of the responsibility and build your own credit profile.
  • Combine and simplify payments — Refinancing allows you to consolidate all of your student loan amounts into one easy monthly payment with one due date to remember.

How to find your best student loan refinance options

The best way to find the refinance package that works for you is to shop around and compare rates. The problem is that process can be time consuming and confusing with information presented in a variety of forms that makes comparison difficult.

Purefy understands this problem and has created our rate comparison tool to guide you through the process.

At Purefy, we work with some lending industry lenders and have created a tool to help you determine the best loan package for you and your lifestyle. Our simple-to-use tool returns lender pre-approval offers in a format that is both easy to understand and comprehensive in its detail.

If you are trying to decide when to refinance student loans, remember that there are plenty of lenders out there ready to compete for your business. With a rate comparison, you can determine the best loan program for you without affecting your credit score.

When you use Purefy’s rate comparison tool, you have access to our thoroughly vetted lender team. We give you access to them all in one place and you don’t have to shop around to different websites where you need to fill out lengthy applications. 

You’re in a place to choose your own solution. Do you want to continue to struggle with the various federal student loans that you have accumulated over your academic career or consider a refinance option that gives you some freedom and control? If refinancing sounds like an idea that interests you, Purefy is here to provide answers.

Check out what our best lenders have to offer at Purefy and with a few simple easy-to-answer pieces of information, you can start to take charge of your financial future.

Find savings from the best lenders with Purefy

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