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

Refinance Student Loans

Find & Apply for the Best Student Loan Refinance Option in Minutes

Student loan refinance has become very popular with college graduates looking to save money — and for good reason. Refinancing rewards professionals that have steady income and good credit with low rates and less interest.

There are plenty of lenders out there competing for your business. With Purefy’s free tools, you can find the best interest rate and apply for a student loan refinance in minutes — without having to fill out five different forms just to compare the best refinance companies.

Find & Apply for the Best Student Loan Refinance Option in Minutes

Student loan refinance has become very popular with college graduates looking to save money — and for good reason. Refinancing rewards professionals that have steady income and good credit with low rates and less interest.

There are plenty of lenders out there competing for your business. With Purefy’s free tools, you can find the best interest rate and apply for a student loan refinance in minutes — without having to fill out five different forms just to compare the best refinance companies.

Ready to Refinance Student Loans?

How Purefy Helps With Your Student Loan Refinance Options

Purefy helps find the best student loan refinance company for you. Through refinancing, you can:

Sound complicated? That’s where Purefy comes in.

We’ll help find out if refinancing and consolidating student loans can benefit you, in just a few minutes of your time — without giving away your personal info or affecting your credit score.

That’s why we built our rate comparison tool. Just answer a few simple questions, and our technology will provide you with estimated interest rates for each lender where you qualify.

Student Loan Refinance Comparison:
Interest Rates, Lenders, and Terms

Fixed Rate

4.48% – 7.29% APR 4

Term

5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years 4

Minimum Credit Score

680

Variable Rate

2.99% – 7.24% APR 4

Eligible Loans

Federal & Private

Purefy Rating

Fixed Rate

4.48% – 7.29% APR 4

Term (years)

5, 7, 10, 15, or 20

Minimum Credit Score

680

Variable Rate

2.99% – 7.24% APR 4

Eligible Loans

Federal & Private

Purefy Rating

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

3.99% – 8.24% APR 3

Term

5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years 3

Minimum Credit Score

650

Variable Rate

2.49% – 8.24% APR 3

Eligible Loans

Federal & Private

Purefy Rating

Fixed Rate

3.99% – 8.24% APR 3

Term (years)

5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years 3

Minimum Credit Score

650

Variable Rate

2.49% – 8.24% APR 3

Eligible Loans

Federal & Private

Purefy Rating

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

3.99% – 8.99% APR 2

Term

5 -20 years 2

Minimum Credit Score

650

Variable Rate

3.24% – 7.99% APR 2

Eligible Loans

Federal & Private

Purefy Rating

Fixed Rate

3.99% – 8.99% APR 2

Term (years)

5-20

Minimum Credit Score

650

Variable Rate

3.24% – 7.99% APR 2

Eligible Loans

Federal & Private

Purefy Rating

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

Fixed Rate

3.94% – 8.48% APR 5

Term

5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years 5

Minimum Credit Score

670

Variable Rate

Not Offered

Eligible Loans

Federal & Private

Purefy Rating

Fixed Rate

3.94% – 8.48% APR 5

Term (years)

5, 7, 10, 15, or 20

Minimum Credit Score

670

Variable Rate

Not Offered

Eligible Loans

Federal & Private

Purefy Rating

Loans available in all states except Maine and Oregon

Loan forgiveness if the borrower dies or becomes totally and permanently disabled
Options to postpone payments due to qualifying financial hardships

01

How to choose the best student loan refinancing options

Most people who are looking for the best student loan refinance and consolidation solution will choose the company offering the best interest rate on their preferred repayment term.

Purefy’s rate comparison tool is an easy way to compare lenders and find the best student loan refinance. You will be presented with real, prequalified rates from a selection of quality, vetted lenders — all based on your specific details, credit score, and borrower profile. There are no teaser rates to worry about, and checking rates on Purefy has no impact on your credit score.

This lets you make an informed decision by comparing rates, terms, and monthly payments all in one easy, sortable chart.

By finding a solution with a lower interest rate, more of your payment goes toward the loan principal rather than interest — allowing you to save a significant amount of money.

That said, there are other things to keep in mind. Besides the different eligibility criteria and loan limits each company has, many have unique benefits, some of which may be more valuable to you than simply choosing the best student loan rates.

For example, if you need a parent to cosign on your loan to qualify (or to get a better rate), you might be interested in a lender that offers a cosigner release program, so that you can remove your parents from the loan once your credit is more established. Some lenders also offer deferment options for borrowers who want to pursue graduate degrees — if this is something you plan on doing, that added flexibility may be a key decision factor in deciding where to refinance and consolidate student loans.

02

How to apply for a student loan refinance

Once you have compared rates and selected your best student loan refinance option, you will be taken to the lender’s application, which generally takes less than 15 minutes to complete.

On the application you will have to include personal information, employment details, and information about your current student loans. It’s a good idea to get your student loan statements together before you apply, to speed up the process.

Once you apply to refinance student loans and are preapproved, the lender will ask you for documents to verify the information on your application — this usually includes an ID, paystub, and loan statements, but may include other documentation, depending on the lender’s guidelines.

When you get approval and finalize your student loan refinance, your new lender will pay off your old loans, and set up a new loan in your name with your new rate and term.

 

03

Why you should consider refinancing student loans

The main reason that people refinance is to get a lower interest rate, a more favorable repayment term, or both. But there are other great reasons to choose student loan refinancing, too.

Save More Money with a Lower Interest Rate
If you have high interest federal student loans or private student loans, getting a lower rate through a student loan refinance will reduce the total interest you pay (all else being equal).

With more money in your pocket, you’ll have more available funds to take care of your other financial needs and life goals — or pay off your student loans even faster.

Not only would a lower rate save you money on interest costs, but it can also lower your monthly payment to make it more affordable.

Reduce Your Monthly Payment
with a Longer Repayment Term
Obtaining a lower interest rate can decrease your monthly payments, but so could refinancing to a longer repayment term.

By selecting a longer term, you can ensure that your monthly payment is as low as possible to provide some relief to your monthly budget. Plus, you’ll have more expendable cash for other necessary expenses.

Pay Off Debt Faster with a Shorter Repayment Term
When refinancing your student loans, you can also choose a quicker repayment term than the Standard Repayment Plan of 10 years.

By choosing a shorter term, you can pay off your loans sooner and get rid of them for good — while maximizing your savings on costly interest.

Change to Only One Monthly Payment
Another big benefit of refinancing student loans is that it consolidates your loan payments into one.

All your existing student loans that are refinanced will be consolidated into one new loan — with only one monthly payment and one loan servicer to worry about. If you hate the hassle of keeping track of multiple payments, potentially with multiple loan servicers, then student loan consolidation can be a smart way to simplify your finances.

Drop a Cosigner from Your Loan
Did you apply for a private student loan in college with a cosigner? If your credit is good enough, refinancing student loans solely in your own name releases your cosigner from their duties of being equally responsible for your monthly payments until the debt is paid in full.

Get a Variable Interest Rate
Do you currently have a fixed interest rate with your student loans? Many private lenders offer both fixed and variable rates, which can be an attractive change for some borrowers.

Unlike a fixed rate, which stays the same for the entire life of the loan, variable rates fluctuate based on the current market rates.

Variable rates tend to start out lower than fixed rates, so it can be a smart decision to gain extra savings while your rate is reduced, if you’re planning to pay off your debt in the next couple of years.

Choose a Lender with Better Service
With federal loans, you don’t get a say in who your student loan servicer is. By refinancing your loans, you’ll have the opportunity to choose a lender based on their service and benefits to make your life and money management a little easier.

04

Deciding to refinance federal student loans

When you apply to refinance student loans, you can choose which of your federal student loans and private student loans to include. If some of your federal loans have great rates already, you don’t have to include those — you can decide to only refinance the ones with higher interest.

But keep in mind — your federal student loans come with valuable benefits that you will lose by refinancing including:
• Access to Income-Driven Repayment plans
• The chance to enter into federal forbearance or deferment
• The ability to qualify for loan forgiveness programs

It’s important to keep these in mind when considering whether to refinance your student loans.

If you don’t want to give up the federal benefits, but still want to take advantage of a student loan consolidation, your best option may be a federal Direct Consolidation Loan rather than refinancing. You apply for this student loan consolidation with the federal government, and all your federal student loans are combined into one new loan. Your interest rate will be based on the weighted average of your previous loans.

This is different from student loan refinancing, in which you can get a lower rate, if you qualify. Ultimately, a federal student loan consolidation will help simplify your finances, but is unlikely to save any money, compared to refinancing.

05

Getting approved for student loan refinancing

Each student loan refinance lender has basic eligibility requirements. For instance, different lenders have different citizenship requirements. While one may require both the borrower and cosigner to be U.S. Citizens, another may only require you to be a permanent resident. While comparing your refinance options, you can also compare basic requirements and see special program features for each lender.

After determining that you meet the basic eligibility requirements, you’ll want to consider if you’ll qualify for the interest rate you want. Although each lender has different methods for determining creditworthiness, below is what lenders typically look for in a student loan refinance applicant:
• Credit Score
• Income
• Debt-to-income ratio
• Employment history
• Degree and school
• Repayment history and negative public records

06

What should I do after getting approved?

One you have found the best company to refinance student loans and been approved, you will need to e-sign your loan documents on your lender’s online application portal. Be sure to take a close look at all the documents, particularly the promissory note, which is the agreement you are entering with your new lender, and the disclosures they provide, which help you understand the new loan that you are taking out.

Once you have signed your loan, there will be a brief waiting period, called the “Right to Cancel” period. This is usually 3 days and is also referred to as a “cooling period” by some lenders. During this period, you are allowed to cancel the loan if you so desire. Once the period is over, your loan will disburse and close.

Your new lender will pay off your old loans electronically, or by mailing a check to your old lender. Please keep an eye on your old loans until they show as paid off. If you have payments due during this time, it is highly recommended you continue to make them, so that your old loans don’t show up as delinquent on your credit report.

Your new lender will also set up the new loan in your name. Please take a note of when your first payment is due, and take some time to set up autopay, if that is your preference. Most (but not all) lenders offer a 0.25% discount on your interest rate if you elect to use autopay.

07

Which is the best student refinance lender for you?

Student loan refinancing is an effective way to manage your debt — helping you to save money, reduce your payment, and streamline your loans.

Refinancing is a smart choice for those with good credit, a stable income, and who don’t plan on using their federal loan benefits. By doing your homework and comparing your refinancing options, you can ensure you make the right decision for your financial needs.

And by using Purefy’s rate comparison tool, you can quickly and easily view interest rates, terms, and more from the best lenders — all in one place.

Just share a few details about yourself and your student loan debt with one simple form. You’ll then be able to shop around — without needing to visit each lender’s website while filling out multiple cumbersome applications. Simply choose your best refinancing solution, and apply.

08

What’s the difference between student loans consolidation and refinance?

Student Loan Consolidation
Student loan consolidation is available for federal student loans through the Direct Consolidation Loan offered by the U.S. Department of Education. This combines multiple loans into one new loan with a single monthly payment. This program is only available for federal student loans, and cannot be used to consolidate private student loans.

The benefits of consolidating student loans are that you get one new loan with one monthly payment, which can be easier to keep track of than multiple loans with different balances and rates. The interest rate on your consolidation will be determined by the weighted average of your current loans’ rates, rounded up to the nearest 1/8th of a percent. As such, it can actually increase the amount of interest you will have to pay. You can’t lower your rate with consolidation as opposed to a student loan refinance, which gets you a new rate and term. This is one reason why many people with a good credit history decide to refinance student loans with a private lender.

Student Loan Refinancing
Like a student loan consolidation, a student loan refinance combines multiple loans into one — but, this new loan gets a new interest rate, and if you want, a shorter or longer repayment term. While Direct Consolidation Loans are only available for federal loans, with a student loan refinance you can combine both private and federal loans together.

If you refinance your school loans, you’ll still have just one monthly payment and one loan. But unlike Direct Consolidation Loans, the new refinance student loan is completely different from your old loans. You’ll have a new fixed or variable interest rate, repayment term, and monthly payment. It’s important to consider, however, that with a refinance you also lose the federal benefits that come with federal student loans, such as forbearance, loan forgiveness, and income-driven repayment. Please review your federal benefits before deciding to refinance federal student loans.

09

How much can I refinance?

Most student loan refinance companies have a minimum loan amount between $5,000 and $10,000. This does vary from lender to lender, so if you’re shopping around, make sure the minimum fits your loan size before you decide to apply and refinance college loans.

If you go through Purefy’s rate comparison tool, we’ll do the hard work for you, and only show you lenders who are able to refinance the loan amount that you enter.

Got a large loan size? Is your student debt $200,000, $400,000, or even higher? Here’s some good news. In recent years, many banks that refinance student loans have raised maximum loan sizes to $500,000, or even gone so far as to remove the limit altogether. These large loans are becoming increasingly common due to the cost of education, and are typically held by medical professionals or people with other advanced degrees who have a strong ability to repay the loan.