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Financing one’s higher education is a struggle for many as the average student debt for the graduating class of 2014 exceeded $30,000. Even if you didn’t finish college though, you’re not necessarily stuck with your potentially high interest student loans.

If you would like to lower your interest rates or change your repayment terms, refinancing student loans may be a great option for you. As long as you can prove to a lender that you are a low risk candidate of defaulting on your loans, you will likely receive a refinancing offer.

Some lenders don’t require you to have a college degree in order to refinance your loans. An example is Citizens Bank:

LenderRates from (APR)
Loan Term (years)Degree Required? 
citizensFixed: 3.45%+¹
Variable: 2.34%+¹
5, 10, 15, 20¹NoGet Rates

All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | Citizens Bank Disclosures1

Key factors to consider when trying to refinance student loans without a college degree

  1. Debt to income: This is usually assessed as a ratio of your monthly debt to your monthly income, to help prove to a lender that you have the capital available to repay your loan each month. Minimizing this ratio will help you receive a better offer from a lender.
  2. Credit profile: Your credit profile is very important to lenders. This provides a context for lenders to understand whether or not you will have good payment history over the life of your loan. Credit scores above 640 have the best chance to receive competitive offers from refinancing lenders. The better your credit score, the likely better the interest rate. However, adding a cosigner is a great way to add credibility to your profile in order to receive the best offer possible.
  3. Work History: Lenders will often review your work history to assess your risk as a borrower. For graduates without degrees, lenders may require a more substantial work history to receive a refinancing offer. Employment for at least one to two years post exiting from your degree program will make you an ideal candidate.

Is refinancing worth your time?

It can be! The refinancing market has opened up with a variety of lenders on the market willing refinance your loans at a lower interest rate, even if you didn’t graduate. As competition in the market increases, lending institutions are pressured to find new ways to attract customers, and one way is by streamlining and making the process as simple as possible.

Is there a disadvantage to not having a degree?

Some lenders do require a college degree or a degree from a qualifying institution to be eligible for refinancing. Therefore, if you only contact one student loan refinancing lender, you may not be eligible and end your search prematurely. One resource to consider is Credible. We’ve created an easy way for people with student debt to check the refinancing rates they would receive from multiple lenders (just like you check flights on Kayak). It’s a simple and quick process which could potentially save you a lot of money in the long run or reduce your monthly payments.

With Credible, you can compare offers from a variety of vetted lenders, without having to share any sensitive information, or incurring a hard credit pull.

Check Your Rates Now

Credible is a multi-lender marketplace that allows borrowers to request competitive loan offers from vetted lenders, without affecting their credit scores.

Further Reading

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 September 1, 2019, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.14%. Variable interest rates range from 2.34%-9.33% (2.34%-9.33% 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 3.45%-9.49% (3.45%-9.49% 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.