You can save money on your student loans by consolidating or refinancing. And you can save yourself some frustration by working with one of the best student loan refinancing companies.
To help you choose the best student loan refinance lender, we’ve researched interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirements, loan features and level of service offered by 20+ student loan refinancing and consolidation lenders.
Compare Credible’s partner lenders
The student loan consolidation companies in the table below are Credible’s partner lenders. Because they compete for your business through Credible, you can request rates from all of them by filling out a single form. Then, you can compare your available options side-by-side. Requesting rates is free, doesn’t affect your credit score, and your personal information is not shared with our partner lenders unless you see an option you like.
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Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure:
Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate ("LIBOR") published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of March 1, 2019, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.48%. Variable interest rates range from 2.98%-9.72% (2.98%-9.72% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower's loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Fixed interest rates range from 3.89%-9.99% (3.89%-9.99% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Lowest rates shown are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.
Get to know the best student loan refinancing companies in 2019
Every student loan refinancing company has unique benefits, rates, terms, eligibility requirements, loan limits, and other loan features. And that’s a good thing — a consolidation loan isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor. That’s why Credible did all of the research for you. We want to make sure you have the information you need to make an informed choice.
These are Credible’s best companies to refinance or consolidate student loans:
- Advantage Education Loan
- Citizens Bank
1. Advantage Education Loan
Advantage Education Loan offers Advantage Refinance Loans to borrowers who reside in Kentucky. They also allow borrowers to apply for cosigner release after 36 months of consecutive on‐time payments. They also offer death and disability discharge and has standard and graduated repayment plans available.
Check out our Advantage Education Loan review for more information.
Brazos offers refinancing to borrowers who reside in Texas. They also offer economic hardship forbearance, which allows borrowers to defer payment for three months at a time, with a cumulative maximum of 12 months.
Check out our Brazos review for more information.
3. Citizens Bank
Citizens Bank offers refinancing to all U.S. residents and permanent residents, as well as resident aliens (with an eligible cosigner). They also allow borrowers to apply for cosigner release after 36 monthly payments. They also offer economic hardship forbearance, which allows borrowers to defer payment for two months at a time, with a cumulative maximum of 12 months.
Check out our Citizens Bank review for more information.
EDvestinU is a nonprofit loan program offered by the New Hampshire Higher Education Loan Corporation, but residents from any state can apply. They allow borrowers to apply for cosigner release after 36 on-time monthly payments or in the event of the borrower’s death.
Check out our EDvestinU review for more information.
Education Loan Finance (ELFI) is a student loan debt consolidation program offered by SouthEast Bank. They offer temporary forbearance of up to 12 months for financial hardship. If facing a medical difficulty, borrowers may be granted forbearance at the discretion of SouthEast Bank, as well.
Check out our ELFI review for more information.
Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) doesn’t just offer private loans to those in Massachusetts; residents from any state can apply. Borrowers who take out a MEFA Education Refinancing Loan get convenient online account access for loan payments as well as access to helpful videos and documentation.
Check out our MEFA review for more information.
You’ll need to become a member in order to refinance your private and federal loans with Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed). PenFed allows borrowers to apply for cosigner release after 12 months of consecutive on-time payments. They also allow the transfer of loan amounts to a spouse or parent, or from parent to child.
Check out our PenFed review for more information.
Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA) doesn’t just offer loans to those in Rhode Island; residents from any state can apply. They also allow borrowers to apply for cosigner release after 24 months of consecutive on-time payments. They also offer income-based repayment options to borrowers who demonstrate financial hardship.
Check out our RISLA review for more information.[ Jump to top ]
Student loan refinancing FAQ
- How is student loan consolidation different from refinancing?
- When is the best time to refinance my student loans?
- How can I qualify for refinancing or consolidation?
- Who is the best lender to refinance with?
- How can I consolidate or refinance my student loans?
- How much can I save by refinancing my student loans?
How is student loan consolidation different from refinancing?
As a borrower, it’s important you understand the differences between student loan refinancing and student loan consolidation.
Student loan consolidation: Consolidation is the process of combining your loans so that you can make a single monthly payment, also known as a direct consolidation loan. You can also extend the term of your loan at the same interest rate.
If you’re concerned about lowering your monthly loan payments, consolidation could be a good option for you. But remember, lowering your monthly payments could mean that you end up paying more in interest overall.
Student loan refinancing: Refinancing is when a private lender buys out your existing loans and gives you a single new loan with a potentially lower interest rate. So if you feel like your interest rate is too high, refinancing could help.
This process will also combine all the loans you refinance into one convenient payment. While a lower interest rate is good news, your new loan may not come with all the borrower benefits associated with federal student loans.
If you’re still confused, think about it like this: Consolidation is like getting your house cleaned up and organized, whereas, refinancing is like getting a whole new house.Jump back to FAQ ]
When is the best time to refinance my student loans?
Typically, the best time to refinance student loans is once you’ve got a job and are relatively stable financially. This means having a steady job and income as well as good credit and established credit history.
The biggest perk to refinancing is lowering your interest rate. If you can get a lower rate, more of your money can be used to reduce your debt, instead of making interest payments. Refinancing doesn’t guarantee lower payments, but it could help you get a lower interest rate and help you pay off your loans faster.
Learn More: When to Refinance your Student Loans[ Jump back to FAQ ]
How can I qualify for refinancing or consolidation?
Each student loan refinancing lender has different criteria as far as qualifying for a loan goes. However, some things many lenders look for are good to excellent credit, steady income (some have minimum requirements), and that you’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
If you think you’ll have trouble qualifying on your own, you can consider a cosigner. Even if you will qualify on your own, using a creditworthy cosigner could help you get an even better interest rate.[ Jump back to FAQ ]
Who is the best lender to refinance with?
The best student loan refinancing lender for you will depend on your situation. But one of the main things to look out for is a low interest rate. When refinancing, you want to at least get a lower rate than your current loans.
Each refinancing lender determines the rate they’ll offer a borrower on a case-by-case basis. So if you want to take advantage of the lowest interest rate available, it’s best to compare your options across a variety of different lenders.[ Jump back to FAQ ]
How can I consolidate or refinance my student loans?
Finding the best companies to help you refinance student loans doesn’t have to be difficult. You can use the Credible platform to check your prequalified rates from many of the best student loan refinancing lenders listed with a single form.
Learn More: How to Consolidate Student Loans[ Jump back to FAQ ]
How much can I save by refinancing my student loans?
The money you save by refinancing your student loan debt will depend on your goals and the strategy you choose. Find out how much borrowers who use Credible can save over the life of the loan.Jump back to FAQ ]
Other student loan consolidation and refinancing companies
The lenders below aren’t available through the Credible platform, but may be good alternatives for those who want to consider other options for refinancing or consolidating student loans:
- Alliant Credit Union
- College Ave
- First Republic Bank
- Laurel Road
- Navy Federal Credit Union
- Splash Financial
- Wells Fargo
Methodology: Credible evaluated loan and lender data points in 10 categories to identify the "best companies" for refinancing and consolidating student loans. We looked at interest rates, repayment terms, repayment options, fees, discounts, and maximum loan balances offered by lenders. We also considered each company's willingness to refinance parent loans, the level of customer service provided, their willingness to participate in a marketplace, and whether consumers could request rates with a soft credit check. Because every lender has its own system for evaluating borrowers, the best loan or lender will depend on an individual's unique circumstance, the loan features that are most important to them, and the interest rate and terms they qualify for.