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This Is a Tried-And-True Student Loan Refinancing Strategy for Teachers

Andrew Zoeller
Student-Loan-Refinancing-Strategy-for-Teachers
Student-Loan-Refinancing-Strategy-for-Teachers

Before You Read, Lower Your Student Loan Payment

It’s that quick & easy — really. Our free tool checks a network of top refinance lenders and shows you options in one easy chart.
Checking rates takes 2 minutes with no impact on your credit
Federal & private loans are eligible
No maximum loan amount

Before You Read, Lower Your Student Payment

It’s that quick & easy — really. Our free tool checks a network of top refinance lenders and shows you options in one easy chart.

Checking rates takes 2 minutes with no impact on your credit
Federal & private loans are eligible
No maximum loan amount

According to recent student loan refinancing data gathered by Purefy, teachers are successfully refinancing their student debt quite often — and in large numbers.

Throughout 2019, teachers were consistently one of the most popular professions to refinance student loans, even compared to traditionally better paid professions like physicians, attorneys, and engineers.

So how are so many teachers able to qualify for a refinance?

Here’s a tried-and-true method many teachers are using to get a student loan refinance.

First, why are so many teachers refinancing their student loans?

Teachers are particularly well-suited for a refinance for a couple key reasons:

  • They have a master’s degree — which means they may have a lot of student loan debt from continuing their education. Plus, with some lenders, people with an advanced degree are more likely to get approved and be offered lower rates.
  • They generally don’t work in a high paying field — so they may be looking for more ways to save money and cut costs. And saving on student loans is often a top priority for people stuck with a big balance.

For those who qualify, there’s a lot to like about student loan refinancing — making it a very popular solution to better manage student loan debt. With a refinance, teachers can:

  • Consolidate all their student loans into one new loan with just one simple monthly payment. This can include both private and federal student loans — unless the federal loans are already being repaid through another valuable program like Public Service Loan Forgiveness or Teacher Loan Forgiveness. (If that’s the case, it would probably only be beneficial to refinance the private loans.)
  • Get a lower rate to save money on interest both month-to-month and over the life of the refinanced loan.
  • Extend their repayment term — some lenders offer terms up to 20 years — to lower their monthly student loan bills substantially. (Alternatively, terms can always be shortened too to pay off loans much earlier while saving big on interest.)

The 2 Best Companies to Refinance Student Loans

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Fixed Rate

5.48% – 8.94% APR 4

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5.28% – 8.99% APR 4
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Fixed Rate

5.19% – 9.74% APR 2

Variable Rate

5.72% – 9.74% APR 2

Here’s how many teachers are refinancing student loans

Based on refinancing data, here are some comsteps teachers are taking to be approved for a student loan refinance.

1. Get teaching experience

A significant number of teachers are refinancing at an average age of 35 to 36, with average job experience totaling six to seven years.

By gaining experience in their careers before pursing a refinance, teachers can increase their income over time. Total income is a major factor in qualifying for a refinance and getting better rates, and lenders tend to be pretty strict when it comes to income requirements.

That’s because lenders want to be sure you have sufficient, steady income to be able to pay back your loan. With low or inconsistent income, lenders will view you as a riskier candidate — and either decline your application or offer higher rates to balance the risk.

In addition to income, gaining more years of experience helps demonstrate the stability of your career — which some lenders may consider when reviewing your application.

2. Improve credit history

While you are getting more work experience, it’s also essential to use that time to improve your credit score. Refinancing data from 2019 shows the average FICO for teachers is 765.

Having a strong credit history is one of the most crucial aspects of being approved for a refinance. It also plays a large role in which rates you’ll qualify for.

By taking the necessary steps to increase your credit score, you can get the best interest rates and the most lenders to choose from. Here are five comcredit factors that you can address to get a better score and lower rates:

  • Payment history
  • Credit usage
  • Length of credit history
  • Types of credit
  • Recent credit inquiries

3. Pay down debt

Paying down your debt goes hand in hand with improving your credit. Paying all your bills and other obligations — on time — helps your payment history which is often considered the most important credit-scoring factor.

At the same time, paying your debt improves your credit usage and lowers your debt-to-income ratio (DTI). DTI is another aspect of your personal information that lenders use to decide whether to approve your refinance application. For reference, Purefy’s data shows the average DTI is 39% for teachers who refinance.

4. Consider a cosigner or spouse loan consolidation

If you can’t qualify for a refinance on your own, or you’re not happy with the refinancing options you’re offered, you can try applying with a cosigner. A cosigner is someone close to you — typically a spouse, parent, or other loved one — who agrees to sign your loan application with you.

By adding a cosigner, a lender views your application as less risky because there is someone attached to the loan who would take over the payments if you can’t make them.

A creditworthy cosigner can help improve your odds of getting approved with lower rates — especially if your credit, income, or DTI aren’t in the best shape.

If you’re married, another option is a spousal loan consolidation — a unique loan type only offered by PenFed Credit Union. Like adding a cosigner, refinancing with a spouse can greatly help your chances of qualification.

That’s because a spousal loan consolidation looks at your combined household income and debt — rather than just yours alone.

This feature can be especially useful for teachers who may not have the highest income by themselves.

5. Compare rates and refinancing options

Shopping around for the best refinancing offers is essential to get the right option for your needs.

By using Purefy’s Compare Rates tool, you can see which rates and terms you qualify for from multiple well-known lenders — all with one easy form. Plus, checking your rates has no impact on your credit score whatsoever.

If you’re a teacher with significant student loans, refinancing could be an excellent way to pay off your debt more easily, more quickly, or both.

By following the steps above, you can increase your chances of being an ideal refinancing candidate to the most lenders — giving you the best odds of scoring the lowest rates and best offers.

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Today’s Rates Starting From 4.49% APR1

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Before you go, let’s make sure is offering you the best rate.

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Ascent Rate Disclosure

Ascent’s undergraduate and graduate student loans are funded by Bank of Lake Mills or DR Bank, Member FDIC. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. For Ascent Terms and Conditions please visit: www.AscentStudentLoans.com/Ts&Cs.

Rates are effective as of 12/1/2023 and reflect an automatic payment discount of either 0.25% (for credit-based loans) OR 1.00% (for undergraduate outcomes-based loans). Automatic Payment Discount is available if the borrower is enrolled in automatic payments from their personal checking account and the amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized back account each month. For Ascent rates and repayment examples please visit: www.AscentStudentLoans.com/Rates.

1% Cash Back Graduation Reward subject to terms and conditions. Click here for details.

SoFi Rate Disclosure

3 SoFi Rate Disclosure:

Fixed rates range from 4.49% APR to 8.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 5.09% APR to 8.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates on 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms are capped at 8.95% APR; 15- and 20-year terms are capped at 9.95% APR. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. This benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit lowers your interest rate but does not change the amount of your monthly payment. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.

ISL Rate Disclosure

Earnest Rate Disclosure

2 Earnest Rate Disclosure:


Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 5.44% APR to 9.99% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 5.97% APR to 9.99% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. The rate will not increase more than once per month. The maximum rate for your loan is 8.95% if your loan term is 10 years or less. For loan terms of more than 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95%. Please note, we are not able to offer variable rate loans in AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN, and TX. Our lowest rates are only available for our most credit qualified borrowers and contain our .25% auto pay discount from a checking or savings account.

Advertiser Disclosure:

THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT. YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO MAKE ANY PAYMENT OR TAKE ANY OTHER ACTION IN RESPONSE TO THIS OFFER.

Earnest Rate Disclosure

Rates displayed include the 0.25% Auto Pay discount. You can take advantage of the Auto Pay interest rate reduction by setting up and maintaining active and automatic ACH withdrawal of your loan payment from a checking or savings account. The interest rate reduction for Auto Pay will be available only while your loan is enrolled in Auto Pay. Interest rate incentives for utilizing Auto Pay may not be combined with certain private student loan repayment programs that also offer an interest rate reduction. For multi-party loans, only one party may enroll in Auto Pay. It is important to note that the 0.25% Auto Pay discount is not available while loan payments are deferred.

Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 4.67% APR to 16.15% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 5.64% APR to 16.45% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan origination loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Although the rate will vary after you are approved, it will never exceed 36% (the maximum allowable for this loan). Please note, Earnest Private Student Loans are not available in Nevada. Our lowest rates are only available for our most credit qualified borrowers and contain our .25% auto pay discount from a checking or savings account. It is important to note that the 0.25% Auto Pay discount is not available while loan payments are deferred.

Nine-month grace period is not available for borrowers who choose our Principal and Interest Repayment plan while in school.

Earnest clients may skip one payment every 12 months. Your first request to skip a payment can be made once you’ve made at least 6 months of consecutive on-time payments, and your loan is in good standing. The interest accrued during the skipped month will result in an increase in your remaining minimum payment. The final payoff date on your loan will be extended by the length of the skipped payment periods. Please be aware that a skipped payment does count toward the forbearance limits. Please note that skipping a payment is not guaranteed and is at Earnest’s discretion. Your monthly payment and total loan cost may increase as a result of postponing your payment and extending your term.

Loan Eligibility criteria: Eligible students must: 1) For college Freshmen, Sophomores and Juniors, attend, or be enrolled to attend, a Title IV school full-time. For college Seniors and Graduate students, attend, or be enrolled to attend, a Title IV school at least half-time; and 2) be pursuing a Bachelor’s or Graduate degree. Earnest private student loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application, verification of application information, self-certification of loan amount, and school certification.

Responsible borrowing tip: Explore all scholarship, grant and federal options before applying for a private loan.

Earnest Private Student Loans are made by One American Bank, Member FDIC. One American Bank, 515 S. Minnesota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104.

Earnest loans are serviced by Earnest Operations LLC, 535 Mission St., Suite 1663 San Francisco, CA 94105, NMLS #1204917, with support From Navient Solutions, LLC (NMLS #212430). One American Bank and Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by agencies of the United States of America.

Advertiser Disclosure:

THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT. YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO MAKE ANY PAYMENT OR TAKE ANY OTHER ACTION IN RESPONSE TO THIS OFFER.

ELFI Rate Disclosure

4 ELFI Rate Disclosure:

Education Loan Finance is a nationwide student loan debt consolidation and refinance program offered by Tennessee based SouthEast Bank. ELFI is designed to assist borrowers through consolidating and refinancing loans into one single loan that effectively lowers your cost of education debt and/or makes repayment very simple. Subject to credit approval. See Terms & Conditions. Interest rates current as of 10/13/2023. The interest rate and monthly payment for a variable rate loan may increase after closing, but will never exceed 9.95% APR. Interest rates may be different from the rates shown above and will be based on the term of your loan, your financial history, and other factors, including your cosigner’s (if any) financial history. For example, a 10-year loan with a fixed rate of 6% would have 120 payments of $11.00 per $1,000 borrowed. Rates are subject to change.

ELFI Rate Disclosure

Education Loan Finance is a nationwide student loan provider offered by Tennessee based SouthEast Bank. ELFI is designed to assist students financially with receiving their education. Subject to credit approval. See Terms & Conditions. Interest rates current as of 12/11/2023. Variable interest rates may increase after closing but will never exceed 18.00%. Interest rates may also differ from the rates shown above. The term of your loan, financial history, and other factors, including your cosigner’s (if any) financial history can affect the interest rate. For example, a 10-year loan with a fixed rate of 7% would have 120 payments of $11.61 per $1,000 borrowed. Rates are subject to change.

College Ave Rate Disclosure

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through Firstrust Bank, member FDIC, First Citizens Community Bank, member FDIC, or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC.. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
Rates shown include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. If a payment is returned, you will lose this benefit. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
Minimum loan amount $1,000, as certified by your school and less any other financial aid you might receive.
This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.
Information advertised valid as of 1/1/2024. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Approved interest rate will depend on the creditworthiness of the applicant(s), lowest advertised rates only available to the most creditworthy applicants and require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.

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