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Compare student loan lenders and choose your best refinancing option
Whether you want a new student loan or are refinancing, comparing options is the number one way to save money. Purefy’s tools let you easily narrow down your options, find the lender that fits your needs, and dial in your savings.
See your student loan savings before applying
With your monthly savings and total cost for each option displayed with total transparency all in one, easy tool, you will never be left guessing if you made the right decision on your student loans. Whether you are looking to lower your monthly payment or minimize your interest costs, Purefy could help you save.
Student Loan Refinancing, Rate, & Comparison Basics
What is student loan refinancing?
Student loan refinancing is a process where you take out a new loan through a private lender for the amount of your current debt. You then use the new refinanced loan — which has a different interest rate, monthly payment, and length of repayment than your old loans — to pay off your remaining college debt.
What are the pros of student loan refinancing?
When you refinance, you may qualify for a lower interest rate. With a lower rate, more of your payment goes toward the loan principal rather than interest, allowing you to save a significant amount of money over the life of your new loan.
Reduce Your Monthly Payment
Refinancing allows you to lengthen your repayment term, in addition to the possibility of qualifying for a lower interest rate. Either way, you could be eligible for a lower monthly payment, freeing up more money in your budget to pursue other financial goals.
Pay Off Your Debt Faster
With more of your loan payment going toward the principal rather than interest, refinancing can help you pay off your debt ahead of schedule. You’ll save money while getting out of debt much more quickly.
In addition, you can always choose to shorten your repayment term. This method increases your monthly payment, but puts you on track to pay off your debt faster — while reducing the amount of time for interest costs to accrue.
Get One Easy Payment
Did you take out more than just one student loan? Or maybe you have a mix of both federal and private student loans? Juggling multiple loans, monthly payments, and due dates can be confusing.
Refinancing can help streamline things for you by consolidating your student loans together. After refinancing, you will have just one loan to manage through one lender, and one easy monthly payment going forward.
What are the cons of student loan refinancing?
Lose Access to Income-Driven Repayment Plans
Income-driven repayment (IDR) plans extend your repayment term and cap your monthly payments at a percentage of your discretionary income — dramatically reducing your payments. However, once you refinance your loans, you can no longer qualify for IDR plans.
If you’re in a low-paying field or your income fluctuates from year-to-year, refinancing may not be a smart option compared to keeping your federal loans with an IDR plan.
Lose Chance to Enter Loans into Deferment or Forbearance
With federal loans, you can enter into deferment or forbearance if you experience a financial hardship like an illness or job loss. Under these programs, you can postpone making payments without entering into default which gives you time to get back on your feet.
Once you refinance, you typically lose out on this federal benefit, although many private lenders do offer some degree of protection. If you work in a volatile field or have recurring health issues, it could be wise to maintain the option of placing your loans into deferment or forbearance if needed.
Lose Ability to Qualify for Federal Student Loan Forgiveness
Some federal student loans are eligible for loan forgiveness programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness. But after refinancing, you can no longer qualify for loan forgiveness.
If you work for a non-profit organization or government agency and plan to do so for the next ten years, it may be a smart financial decision to pursue loan forgiveness rather than student loan refinancing.
What are the benefits of comparing student loan refinance rates?
Considering refinancing your student loans? Your best chance of getting the best loan available is to first shop around. By using Purefy’s student loan refinance rate comparison tool, you can compare multiple interest rates from a variety of lenders in one place with one simple form.
The tool also allows you to calculate how your monthly payments and the total cost of your current loans compare to what you may qualify for through refinancing.
As you begin comparing your refinancing options, make sure to review more than just the rates. Also look at other features each lender offers such as the repayment terms, option to release your co-signer from the loan, deferment and forbearance terms, and autopay discounts.
With this holistic approach, you can ensure that you’ll apply for the best loan for your unique needs with the lowest possible interest rate — allowing you to save the most money in the long term.
How do I choose the best student loan refinance option?
If you’re thinking of refinancing student loans, use Purefy’s rate comparison tool to view rates and terms from the best lenders, all in one place with one convenient form.
Simply share a few details about yourself and your debt, and you’ll be able to shop around without needing to visit each individual lender’s website and fill out multiple cumbersome applications.
It’s an easy way to compare lenders and find the best student loan refinance option for you. You’ll be presented with real, prequalified rates from a selection of quality, vetted lenders. These rates are based on your credit score and borrower profile — no teaser rates to worry about. Plus, comparing rates with Purefy has no impact on your credit score.
This lets you make an informed decision. You can compare rates, terms, and monthly payments all in one easy, sortable chart. You can also try adding a cosigner, to see if that helps you qualify for an even lower rate.
If you like what you see and select a lender, you will be taken to their specific loan application. It takes just seconds to find your rates, and a student loan refinance loan application generally takes less than 15 minutes to complete.
Is refinancing student loans better than consolidation?
If you’re looking for ways to simplify your student loan repayment strategy or pay off your debt more quickly, you may be considering student loan refinancing or consolidation.
Neither option is inherently better, so it’s important to know your needs and goals before pursuing one.
Consolidation is usually best for people who don’t have a stable income or have low income, and may need access to an income-driven repayment plan. It can also be a smart option to consider if you already have low interest rates and just want to simplify your monthly payments into one.
Refinancing student loans, on the other hand, is typically a better choice if you have high interest rates or want more flexibility with payments — and don’t need federal loan benefits. More specifically, it tends to be a smart decision if you have a strong credit history and steady income — or if you can find a co-signer with those attributes — so that you can qualify for the lowest interest rate possible.
To decide which option makes more sense for your needs, think about what your goals are with your student loans. Then consider your current financial situation and check your credit score to see what your chances are of qualifying for refinancing.
If you want to refinance student loans but aren’t eligible on your own or with a co-signer, work on boosting your credit and income to improve your chances of qualifying.
Is it worth it to refinance student loans?
Student loan refinancing is an effective way to manage your debt, helping you save money, reduce your payment, and streamline your loans. However, refinancing has some significant drawbacks you should consider before applying for a loan.
Refinancing is a smart choice for those with good credit, a stable income, and who don’t plan on using federal loan benefits. By doing your homework, you can ensure you make the right decision for you.
What credit score do I need to refinance student loans?
Your credit score is a numeric value, ranging from 300 to 850, which is determined by your credit history. Your score is calculated using various factors, such as payment history, length of credit history, amounts owed, types of credit, and applications for new credit. Yes, simply applying for a new loan will slightly lower your credit score. You can earn those points back, though.
Refinancing companies generally require a solid credit score in order to qualify and an excellent credit score to get the best rates. If you are unsure what your credit score is, there are several free credit check websites, such as Credit Karma.
How do lenders determine your interest rate?
If you’re specifically looking to refinance student loans in order to reduce your interest rate, there are many factors that lenders will consider when deciding which rate to offer you.
Private student lenders use a risk-based pricing model to decide which interest rate and other terms to give you. This means that if you’re considered a risky borrower, you’ll be offered a higher interest rate versus someone who’s viewed as a lower risk.
Some of the factors that lenders use to determine your interest rate include:
- Your credit score
- Information on your credit report
- Your income and employment status
- How much total debt you have
In other words, just having a high credit score may not be enough. For example, if your credit history is limited or you have a high debt-to-income ratio (a large percentage of your monthly gross income goes toward debt payments), it could lead to a higher interest rate than you expected.