For this guide, we’ll cover the best student loan refinance offers and providers. We compared banks and lenders across the United States to find the best ones with the best bonuses and the best terms. Our picks could help you save money when you refinance your education loans.
To qualify, you’ll need to meet certain specifications – credit score, annual income, savings – and most will require a college degree. If you don’t think you’ll qualify on your own, some lenders will let you apply with a creditworthy cosigner to improve your chances for approval and lower interest rates.
Best Student Loan Refinancing Promotions
Many student loan refinance providers offer a sign-up bonus to urge you to do business with them. To qualify, you most likely have to complete the following:
- Apply with a unique referral link.
- Meet approval standards.
- Finalize the refinancing process within the required deadline, if any.
Without further ado, below are our picks for the best student loan refinance promotions.
|SoFi||Get $300 after your loan is funded|
|Splash Financial||Get $300 after you refinance $50k or more|
|Education Loan Finance (ELFI)||Up to $1000 bonus|
|LendKey||Get $200 after your loan is funded|
|Credible||Get $200 after you refinance $30k or more|
|Earnest||Get $200 after you sign your loan|
|Laurel Road||Up to $400 for referrals|
|Citizens One||Get a 0.25% interest rate discount with a qualifying Citizens Bank account.|
Some lenders may also reward you with prepayment bonuses, autopay discounts, referral rewards, and other additional perks.
Best Student Loan Refinancing Providers
Here’s our list of the best lenders for student loan refinancing.
CommonBond: Best Overall
CommonBond provides refinancing for federal, private, Parent PLUS and previously consolidated loans. The lender could offer you a lower interest rate on student debt, which will save you a good deal of money in the long run.
Its best feature, however, is CommonBond’s long forbearance period – 24 months instead of the usual 12 – which is very attractive if you’re not as certain about your financial future.
What we love: excellent customer service, hybrid loan option, borrower protections including long forbearance period and death/disability discharge, PLUS loan refinancing, PLUS loan transfer to child, career counseling, referral bonus, social promise.
Earnest: Best Overall, Runner-Up
If you want to refinance your college debt, and you want to pay it off quickly, then you should look into doing it with Earnest. You’ll get customizable repayment options that make it super easy to increase your monthly payment. Plus, make extra payments with no penalties.
While other lenders might just look at your credit score, Earnest will also examine your earning potential and various data from your financial accounts to determine eligibility. If you save money regularly, make payments on time, and you don’t have a lot of credit card or personal loan debt, chances are, you’ll be approved.
What we love: easy-to-reach customer support, customized monthly payments, adjustable payment date and amount, unique underwriting criteria.
SoFi: Best Benefits
SoFi, short for Social Finance, is worth a once-over if you’re looking for a better deal on your student loans. The lender specifically focuses on high-earning young professionals with less than stellar credit, approving them when other lenders won’t.
Straying from the norm, SoFi offers career support and wealth management services to its members on top of refinancing their education loans.
What we love: strong customer service, deferment options, unemployment protection, career coaching, wealth management services, parent loan refinancing, reduced payments for medical residents, member networking, referral bonus.
Discover: Best For Borrower Protections
Discover has several safeguards in place to help borrowers, in the event of a life change or hardship that complicates repayment. Their deferment can pause your payments for up to five years, forbearance can suspend payments for up to 12 months and you can opt for reduced payment for up to six months. Plus, Discover does not charge any fees, including application, origination, prepayment penalty and late fees.
What we love: no fees, refinance while you’re still in school, multiple deferment options offered, reduced payment option.
LendKey: Best For Multiple Quotes
LendKey’s marketplace platform connects borrowers with credit unions and community banks to refinance your student loans. The application process is the same as any lender. You’ll fill out basic loan information and authorize a credit check. However, instead of getting just one quote, you’ll be matched with several lenders who don’t have the same name recognition as big banks.
What we love: compare multiple offers at once, cosigner release, 30-day money-back guarantee.
College Ave: Best For Flexible Repayment Options
Although a relatively new company in the student loans industry, College Ave has already taken a spot on our best lenders list. What sets them apart from the competition is their range of loan terms – anywhere from five to 20 years – so you can find the closest match to your budget and payment goals.
What we love: prequalification, 16 loan term options, higher refinance limit for medical, dental, pharmacy and veterinary degrees, no application, origination or prepayment penalty fees.
PenFed Credit Union: Best For Parents & Cosigners
PenFed’s student loan refinancing product stands out for several reasons. It’s powered by Purefy, a fintech firm that specializes in student loans. It provides refinancing of Parent PLUS loans, and it lets you release a cosigner after 12 timely payments. You’ll have to be a PenFed member to apply, but that only requires opening a savings account with an initial deposit of $5.
What we love: prequalification, couples refinancing, parent PLUS loan refinancing, generous cosigner release, in-house loan servicing, member discounts, no application, origination or prepayment penalty fees.
Splash Financial: Best For Married Couples
Splash Financial has a unique feature that can be helpful to married couples looking to manage their student debt together. Either combine your and your spouse’s loans into one refinanced student loan, or opt to transfer ownership of student debt from one spouse to the other.
What we love: couples refinancing, medical residency repayment program, cosigner release, referral bonus.
Laurel Road: Best For Parent, Medical School & Dental School Loan Refinancing
From small-town financing to a national online lending giant, Laurel Road refinances both federal and private student loans. They cater to health professionals with a special medical school repayment plan. Parents who have taken out loans for their children can also refinance with Laurel Road.
The company will let you refinance 100% of your student loans, regardless of how much they add up to. Instead of a cookie cutter approach, Laurel Road provides a tailored solution with flexible terms and limits to fit your financial your needs.
What we love: high loan amounts, cosigners welcome, borrower protections, reduced payments for medical & dental residents, referral bonus.
Citizens One: Best For No Degree
Refinancing with Citizens One is a great option, especially if you didn’t graduate. The lender can help lower your rate, extend your repayment term and reduce your monthly payment for both federal and private loans.
What we love: degree not required, cosigners accepted, cosigner release, parent loan refinancing, rate discounts.