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There are a few types of lenders that offer student loan refinancing, including online lenders, credit unions, and banks.
Because credit unions are nonprofit organizations, they sometimes provide better rates and terms compared to banks — however, some banks offer benefits of their own, like a discount if you already have an account with them.
Here’s what you should know about bank student loan refinancing:
- 4 banks for refinancing student loans
- How to refinance student loans with a bank
- How banks are different from other lenders
- Compare multiple lenders to get the best student loan refinancing rate
4 banks for refinancing student loans
Refinancing your student loans might help you save money and potentially pay back your student loans faster. Depending on your credit, you could get a lower interest rate, which will reduce the overall amount of interest you’ll pay.
Or you might opt to extend your repayment term to get a lower monthly payment — though this means you’ll pay more in interest over time.
If you’re thinking about refinancing your student loans with a bank, here are a few options to consider. Note that Citizens is a Credible partner while the other lenders in the table are not.
|Bank||Fixed rates (APR)||Variable Rates from (APR)||Terms||Eligibility||Discounts|
|Citizens*||2.89%+¹||2.19%+¹||5 to 20 years||
|Discover||Check with lender||Check with lender||10 or 20 years||Autopay discount: 0.25%|
|Laurel Road||Check with lender||Check with lender||5 to 20 years||Autopay discount: 0.25%|
|PNC Bank||Check with lender||Check with lender||5 to 15 years||Autopay discount: 0.50%|
|* Credible partner lender|
Citizens: Best for borrowers who didn’t graduate
Unlike some other lenders, Citizens doesn’t require you to have graduated to be eligible for refinancing. With Citizens, you can refinance $10,000 to $500,000 — depending on your degree and loan type — with a term ranging from five to 20 years.
You can also get 0.25% off your rate if you sign up for automatic payments, plus another 0.25% off if you already have an account with Citizens.
Discover: Best for smaller loan amounts
The minimum loan amount for Discover refinancing is $5,000, which could make it a good option if you only have a small amount of student loans you want to consolidate. You can also qualify for a 0.25% rate discount if you sign up for autopay.
Laurel Road: Best for referral rewards
With Laurel Road — a product of KeyBank — you can refinance $3,000 up to $300,000 (up to $50,000 for associate degree loans taken out for an eligible healthcare program).
Additionally, if you refer a friend who also refinances their loans with Laurel Road, you could get a $400 referral reward. You can also get 0.25% off your rate if you sign up for autopay.
PNC Bank: Best for discounts
If you refinance with PNC Bank and sign up for automatic payments, you can get 0.50% off your rate — more than the typical autopay discount offered by many other banks.
You’ll also have access to 2,300 locations across the U.S. along with 18,000 ATMs, which could be helpful if you prefer to do your banking in person.
Learn More: When to Refinance Student Loans
How to refinance student loans with a bank
If you’re ready to refinance your loans with a bank, follow these four steps:
- Check your credit. Before you apply, it’s a good idea to check your credit first to make sure it’s in as good of shape as possible. You can use a site like AnnualCreditReport.com to review your credit reports for free. If you find any errors, dispute them with the appropriate bureau to potentially boost your credit score.
- Compare lenders and pick your loan option. Be sure to compare as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for you. Consider not only interest rates but also repayment terms and any fees charged by the lender. After comparing lenders, choose the loan option that best suits your needs.
- Complete the application. After deciding on a lender, you’ll need to fill out a full application and submit any required documentation, such as tax returns or pay stubs.
- Manage your payments. If you’re approved for refinancing, the lender will have you sign for the loan. Be sure to continue making payments on your old loans until the refinance is processed. Once this is complete, consider signing up for autopay so you won’t miss any due dates in the future — you might even get a rate discount for it.
Depending on your credit, refinancing could get you a lower interest student loan rate, which could help you save money over the life of your loan. You might even be able to pay off your loan faster.
You can use our calculator below to see how much you can save by refinancing your student loans.
Step 1. Enter your loan balance
Step 2. Enter current loan information
Step 3. Enter your new loan information to start calculating your savings
If you refinance your student loan at % interest rate, you can save will pay an additional $ monthly and pay off your loan by . The total cost of the new loan will be $.
Does refinancing make sense for you?
Compare offers from top refinancing lenders to determine your actual savings.
Checking rates won’t affect your credit score.
Check Out: How to Refinance Your Student Loans
How banks are different from other lenders
While banks are quite similar to online lenders and credit unions, they also come with a few differences. Here are some important points to keep in mind as you compare banks to other lenders:
|Banks||Credit unions||Online lenders|
|Physical branches available||Usually yes||Yes||No|
|Location||Local or nationwide||Local or nationwide||Nationwide|
|How to apply||Can only apply online|
|Membership or previous account required||Depends on the bank||Yes||Typically no|
Pros of refinancing with a bank
- Might offer loyalty discounts: If you already have an account with a bank, you might get a rate discount if you refinance your loans with them. Many banks also offer rate discounts if you sign up for autopay.
- Competitive rates: Depending on your credit, you might qualify for competitive rates from a bank.
- In-person experience: If you prefer doing your banking in person, refinancing with a bank could be a good choice.
Cons of refinancing with a bank
- Fewer options if you have poor or fair credit: Banks often require good to excellent credit to qualify for refinancing. This might make it difficult if you’re looking to refinance student loans with bad credit.
- Might charge fees: Banks sometimes charge substantial fees in comparison to online lenders and credit unions. Be sure to read the fine print so you don’t have any surprises down the road.
- Will lose federal benefits: If you refinance federal student loans, you’ll lose access to federal protections, such as access to income-driven repayment plans and student loan forgiveness programs as well as the temporary pause on payments and interest accrual under the CARES Act. And unfortunately, private student loan forgiveness doesn’t exist.
Check Out: Private Student Loan Consolidation
Compare multiple lenders to get the best student loan refinancing rate
Whether you ultimately decide to refinance with a bank, credit union, or online lender, be sure to compare as many lender options as you can to find the best rate for you. Also consider repayment terms and any fees charged by the lender.
Credible makes this easy — you can compare your prequalified rates from our refinancing partner lenders in the table below in just two minutes.
|Lender||Fixed rates from (APR)||Variable rates from (APR)||Loan terms (years)||Loan amounts|
|4.54%+||N/A||10, 15, 20||$7,500 up to up to $200,000
(larger balances require special approval)
|2.95%+||1.89%+||5, 7, 10, 15, 20||$10,000 up to $250,000
(depending on degree)
|2.89%+¹||2.19%+¹||5, 7, 10, 15, 20||$10,000 to $500,000
(depending on degree and loan type)
|3.34%+2||3.24%+2||5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20||$5,000 to $300,000
(depending on degree type)
|4.41%+5||2.03%+5||10, 15, 20||$7,500 to $200,000|
|2.79%+3||2.39%+3||5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20||Minimum of $15,000|
|3.47%+4||2.47%+4||5, 10, 15, 20||$5,000 - $250,000|
|3.05%+||3.05%+||7, 10, 15||$10,000 up to the total amount of qualified education debt|
|2.99%+||2.15%+||5, 8, 12, 15||$7,500 to $300,000|
|3.19%+||N/A||5, 10, 15||$7,500 up to $250,000
(depending on highest degree earned)
|2.99%+6||2.85%+6||5, 7, 10, 15, 20||$5,000 up to the full balance of your qualified education loans|
|Compare personalized rates from multiple lenders without affecting your credit score. 100% free!
All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | 1Citizens Disclosures | 2College Ave Disclosures | 3 ELFI Disclosures | 4INvestEd Disclosures | 5Iowa Student Loan Disclosures | 6SoFi Disclosures