Loans
February 19, 2018

Best Student Loan Refinancing Companies

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Student loan refinancing can potentially give you access to several benefits. Some of those benefits include lowering your overall debt, lowering your monthly payments and reducing the number of payments that you make each month. If you have student loans from several sources, then you might want to refinance so you only need to make one monthly payment instead of worrying about sending payments to multiple lenders. The best online loan sites let you do that.

SoFi Loans Review

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SoFi Loans Review image
  • Best For: Refinancing student loans. SoFi offers refinancing to those with lower credit scores (650 and above), which makes it easier for people to get financing.
  • Interest rates: These depend on the kind of loan you are applying for, but student loan refinancing rates are generally: Fixed: 4.25 percent to 7.75 percent APR. Variable: 2.97 percent to 6.15 percent APR.
  • Loan types: SoFi is best known for student loan refinancing, but it also offers actual student loans for your (or your child’s) education. In addition, it also offers mortgages and personal loans.
  • Unemployment protection: SoFi offers up to 12 months of protection from paying on your loan if you become unemployed. This is a great feature, although some lenders offer a longer period.
  • Customer Service: SoFi is best known for its customer service skills and making loans accessible to a wider range of people.

SoFi has been providing mortgages, personal loans and student loan refinancing services online since 2011. So many years of experience means that the company has had time to streamline its process, build a network of reliable lenders and develop features that appeal to consumers.

SoFi gets rated as the best overall option for student loan refinancing because it offers excellent services and affordable interest rates. The company has the resources to work with a wide variety of student loans, which also helps make it one of the best options for student loan refinancing.

Who It’s Good For

College graduates with excellent credit scores who want to consolidate their student loans to save money. SoFi is also a good option for graduates with fair credit scores.

Product Features

SoFi offers eight products: personal loans, mortgage refinancing, mortgage loans, student loan refinancing, parent loans, Parent PLUS refinancing, term life insurance and wealth management.

Pricing

SoFi doesn’t always have the lowest interest rates, but it does give you straight-forward information that will help you choose an offer that matches your needs. If you have a great credit rating and earn a large income, then you can get a fixed interest rate as low as 3.25% APR. Clients who choose variable rates may qualify for a 2.58% interest rate. The highest rate that SoFi charges for student loan refinancing is 7.25%.

Regardless of the interest rate you get from SoFi, you immediately save money by avoiding the origination fees and prepayment fees that some companies charge. SoFi also offers free personal-check processing.

If you make a late payment, SoFi will charge you $5 or 4% of your payment, whichever is the lower option. You only get charged a late fee if you go over the 15-day grace period.

Is SoFi Good? Is It Safe?

SoFi is one of the best resources for student loan refinancing, especially if you earn a high income and have an excellent credit score. SoFi uses 256-bit SSL encryption to keep your information safe. You should feel confident using SoFi’s website and apps.

Platform, Tools and Resources

You can access your SoFi account through apps available from Google Play and the App Store. Of course, you can also access your account through an internet browser on practically any device.

Credible Review

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Credible Review image
  • Best for: College students who need help paying for school and graduate who want to refinance their student loans.
  • Interest Rates: The interest rate of your loan will depend on several factors, including your credit score and income. Fixed rates start at 3.5 percent. Variable rates start at 2.14 percent.
  • Loan Length: Credible offers five- to 20-year term loans.
  • Loan Amount: You can borrow as little as $5,000. Credible doesn’t advertise a maximum loan amount.
  • Criteria: Credible provides student loans to part-time and full-time college students. If you’re under 18 years old, then you’ll need a co-signer before you can get a loan. Once you fill out Credible’s online form, you will know within a few minutes whether you qualify.

Credible was founded in 2012 as a way for consumers to compare loan offers from several financial institutions. Credible acts as an online brokerage firm that distributes your information to lenders within its network.

Credible has a Client Success Team that will help you understand your loan offers. This makes Credible a great option for people who don’t have much experience borrowing money. Having an expert on your side the entire time makes it much easier to compare loan offers, decide which one matches your needs best and finalizing your student loan refinance.

Who It’s Good For

Recent graduates who don’t have much experience choosing loan options. If refinancing your student loans makes you feel intimidated, then you will probably want to use Credible over other lenders and brokers. The Client Success Team makes a huge difference for inexperienced borrowers who don’t want to get taken advantage of.

Product Features

Credible gives you rates from up to nine lenders. You can use your loan to refinance federal, private and Parent PLUS loans.

Pricing

Fixed rates start at 3.5% APR. Variable rates start at 2.14% APR. One of the great things about Credible, however, is that it requires its lenders to give you specific quotes. When you use Credible, you know exactly how much interest you will pay after you choose a loan.

Is Credible Good? Is It Safe?

Credible is a good, reliable way to refinance your student loans. The company uses several security features to keep your information safe. Some of the most important steps that Credible takes to protect your information include 256-bit encryption and SSL security. The website has a Timeout feature that will automatically log you off after a period of inactivity. In other words, Credible will log out for you if you forget to.

Platform, Tools and Resources

Credible doesn’t have a smartphone app, so you have to access your account through a website browser. Using a browser, however, will let you access your account from practically any computer or mobile device.

Lendkey Review

Lendkey website

Lendkey Review image
  • Best for: Those with average credit looking for a slew of options when it comes to student loans or refinancing.
  • Interest Rates: Your interest rate will depend heavily on several factors, including credit score, income and other financial information. Fixed rates start at 2.9 percent. Variable rates start at 3.15 percent.
  • Loan Length: Credible offers five- to 15-year term loans.
  • Loan Amount: You can borrow as little as $5,000 and as much as $200,000.
  • Criteria: Anyone hoping to borrow money should have at least an average credit score and proof of a steady income. If you’re under 18 years old, then you’ll need a co-signer before you can get a loan. To find out if you qualify, fill out Lendkey’s information questionnaire to find loans and rates that fit you.

Much like Credible, LendKey acts as an online brokerage that connects you to financial institutions. LendKey doesn’t lend money to you directly, but it can help you explore several student loan refinancing offers from multiple lenders.

LendKey got started earlier than most of the lenders and brokers on this list. The company was founded in 2009 at the peak of the Great Recession. At the time, many financial institutions had stopped lending money to people who didn’t have perfect credit scores. The founders of LendKey knew that reliable people deserved opportunities to lower their student loan payments, especially during a time when most Americans were struggling.

LendKey’s approach helped rejuvenate a competitive spirit among its network of lenders. As a result, lenders got to access reliable borrowers, and borrowers got to take advantage of low interest rates.

You can still benefit from using LendKey’s network of lenders. The more institutions that send you offers, the more options you have to save money by refinancing your student loans.

Who It’s Good For

LendKey is a good option for college graduates with fair credit scores. As long as you have a credit score of 660 or higher, there is a good chance that LendKey can help you refinance your student loans.

Of course, LendKey also works well for graduates with excellent credit scores. The better your credit score is, the more likely it is that a lender will give you a low interest rate.

Product Features

Student loan refinancing options from LendKey typically include low interest rates and flexible payment options. LendKey’s website also has useful information that will help you choose between variable and fixed rate loans, a calculator that will show you how much you save by choosing a certain refinancing offer and a guide to maximizing the benefits of student loan refinancing.

Pricing

If you have a great credit score, then you may qualify for a 2.9% variable interest rate or a 3.15% fixed interest rate. Depending on your credit history and income, though, you may have to pay a considerably higher rate. LendKey doesn’t charge origination fees like many online lenders and brokers.

Is LendKey Good? Is It Safe?

LendKey gets overwhelmingly positive reviews from graduates who have used the company’s services. LendKey uses SSL to encrypt data transmitted between your computer and the website.

Platform, Tools and Resources

You can explore loan offers and make payments through LendKey’s online portal. At this time, the company does not have any mobile apps.

Upstart Loans Review

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Upstart Loans Review image
  • Best for: Those who can’t get approved for a personal loan. Upstart looks a wide range of factors to approve you, and is known for approving those with 40 percent to 50 percent debt-to-income ratio, which is very uncommon for a loan company.
  • Price: Interest rates for loans from Upstart range from 8.36 percent to 29.99 percent, which is pretty standard for a loan.
  • Loan length: Upstart has a shorter loan length period than many banks, at 3-5 years, although that is still a good amount of time to pay off your loan.
  • Loan amount: Your loan amount will depend on your financial history and what you are using your loan for. Loans for paying off credit card bills will tend to be lower, while business loans will tend to be higher. Upstart’s loan amounts range from $1,000 to $50,000.
  • Criteria: An Upstart loan review determines who is eligible for a loan using a range of criteria, which include your credit score, years of credit, education, area of study and employment history.

Upstart was founded by former Google employees who had backgrounds in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Upstart uses these technologies to evaluate potential borrowers and decide whether to give them loan offers.

Upstart looks at much more than your FICO score before making decisions. By using non-conventional variables, the company can identify reliable borrowers that don’t match the industry’s standard. For some borrowers, this approach means that they can access low-interest student refinancing loans even if they don’t have perfect credit.

Upstart also stands out because it relies on individual investors to fund student loan refinances. When you choose a refinance option, you’re actually selecting an offer from an investor who has dedicated his or her money to Upstart.

Who It’s Good For

Upstart can work well for practically any responsible person. The great thing about Upstart is that you may qualify for a loan even if you have a short credit history or don’t have a FICO score. Instead of looking at those factors, Upstart will consider things like your level of education, your area of study and your job history.

Product Features

Upstart takes an interesting approach to peer-to-peer lending. Anyone can invest in the company’s lending services. Their investments go into the pool of money that Upstart lends to borrowers. In many cases, Upstart’s unique approach to lending has made it possible for borrowers to save money while investors earn solid returns.

Pricing

Typical interest rates from Upstart fall between 9.48% and 29.99%. This makes Upstart a little more expensive than the other lenders on this list. The benefit of using Upstart, though, is that you can often qualify for student loan refinancing even if you have a sub-par credit rating. Be aware, though, that Upstart may charge an origination fee between 0% and 8%. Upstart provides loans ranging from $1,000 to $50,000.

Is Upstart Good? Is It Safe?

Upstart hasn’t been operating for very long, but it has a solid business model and a proven record of success. Upstart doesn’t provide much information about how it protects its borrowers and lenders. The company uses a secured website, which hints that Upscale understands the importance of online security.

Platform, Tools and Resources

Upstart doesn’t offer a mobile app, but you can access your account through any web browser.

Prosper Review

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  • Interest rates: Prosper’s rates fluctuate depending on your credit and other factors that it uses to determine your eligibility for a loan. The APR ranges between 6.73 percent and 35.97 percent. There is also an origination fee, which ranges between 1 percent and 5 percent. Prosper’s late fee is $15 or 5 percent, whichever is greater, and the check-processing fee is $15.
  • Loan qualifications: Unlike some other online loan services we review, you need at least a good credit score (instead of average), proof of income and a low (30 percent or below) debt-to-income ratio to get approved for a loan by Prosper.
  • Loan amounts: The maximum loan amount for Prosper is $35,000, which is in line with most other online loan providers, while the minimum loan amount is $2,000, which is not the lowest minimum among online person loan providers, but still makes Prosper a good option for those who are just looking for a quick, low-cost loan.
  • Partial loans: Prosper does offer partial loans. If your loan is at least 70 percent funded before the 14 days are up, you can choose to take the 70 percent of your loan or cancel the loan and apply again.

Prosper takes a crowdfunding approach to student loan refinancing. When you submit a debt consolidation loan application, your information gets sent to investors who might want to lend you the money. If Upstart and a lender decide to extend an offer, then you will get a notification. In most cases, someone with good credit can expect to get multiple offers, which makes it possible to choose the most competitive option.

Prosper says that its marketplace lending platform has already funded more than $10 billion in loans. The company has managed to amass such a large amount of money within a couple of years because it has attracted so many investors who want to earn money through crowdfunded loans.

Who It’s Good For

Graduates with established credit histories. The company will work with borrowers who have two-year credit histories, but it prefers people with 11-year histories.

Product Features

You can choose between fixed term loans with three-year to five-year terms.

Pricing

Interest rates from Prosper can fall anywhere from 5.99% to 35.99%. You also have to pay an origination fee that costs 1% to 5% of your loan amount. If you miss a payment, Prosper will charge you $15 or 5% of the payment amount, whichever is larger.

Is Prosper Good? Is It Safe?

Prosper is a good option for most people who want to consolidate their student loan debts. Unfortunately, the company doesn’t share much information about how it protects borrowers. Prosper does claim that your name gets removed from your application, which means that individuals lenders don’t know who you are. The company also uses a secured website that encrypts information sent between your computer and the Prosper’s server.

Platform, Tools and Resources

Prosper does not have a mobile app, so you can only access your account through the website.

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Advertising Disclaimer: Simple. Thrifty. Living. does receive compensation for some of the services that we recommend, although we only recommend services that we truly believe are the best.