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Even if you didn’t complete your degree, a growing number of lenders will refinance your student loans — as long as you’ve got the income and credit history they’re looking for. Here’s a roundup of some of the best lenders that will refinance student loans without a degree.
In this post:
- Lenders that will refinance student loans without a degree
- How refinancing can save you money
- How to qualify when you don’t have a degree
- What to do if you don’t qualify
Lenders that will refinance student loans without a degree
|Lender||Fixed rates from (APR)||Variable rates from (APR)|
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 April 1, 2020, the one-month LIBOR rate is 0.92%. Variable interest rates range from 2.72%-9.05% (2.72%-9.05% 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 3.79% - 9.30% (3.79% - 9.30% 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.
If you’ve left school and landed a job or have another steady source of income, you can apply to refinance your student loans with Citizens Bank even if you didn’t earn your degree or are not a U.S. Citizen.
If you need a cosigner to get approved, Citizens will accept applications to have your cosigner released from their obligation after you’ve made 36 monthly payments.
Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA)
You don’t have to live in Massachusetts or have earned a degree to get help refinancing your student loans from the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) — residents from any state are welcome to apply.
If you do need to apply with a cosigner, keep in mind they’ll be along for the ride until you pay off your loan. MEFA does not offer cosigner release.
- Fixed APR: 5.45%+
- Variable APR: 5.45%+
Loan details and eligibility
- Loan minimum: $10,000 (no max)
- Min credit score: 670
- Loan terms: 7, 10, 15
Learn More: MEFA student loan refinance review
Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA)
RISLA is another state student loan authority that provides refinancing to borrowers nationwide, even if you have no degree.
If you need a cosigner to refinance, you can apply to have them released from their obligation after you’ve made 24 consecutive on-time payments. RISLA is also one of the few lenders that offers income-based repayment to borrowers who experience unexpected financial hardship.
- Fixed APR: 3.49%+
Loan details and eligibility
- Loan amounts: $7,500 – $250,000 (depends on degree type)
- Min credit score: 350
- Loan terms: 5, 8, 12, 15
Learn More: RISLA student loan refinance review
How refinancing can save you money
Refinancing student loans is a lot like refinancing a mortgage or auto loan. Refinancing can help you:
- Save money: Typically, refinancing can secure you a lower interest rate, which could save you thousands in interest.
- Lower your monthly payment: If you’re mainly interested in lowering your monthly payment, you can refinance your student loans into a single loan with a longer repayment term. Just keep in mind that spreading out your payments over a longer period of time may mean that you end up paying more interest.
A few refinancing tips:
- There are no prepayment penalties when paying off student loan debt, so you can refinance them as often as it makes financial sense.
- You don’t have to refinance all your loans — consider the interest rate when deciding which student loans to pay off first.
- A student loan payoff calculator can help you estimate your savings.
Learn More: Can You Refinance Federal Student Loans?
How to qualify when you don’t have a degree
If you want to refinance your student loans without a degree, the first step is to find lenders who will work with you. Some lenders require that borrowers have a degree because that reduces the odds that they’ll default on their loans.
But a growing number of lenders will help you refinance student loan debt without a degree — as long as you can meet the rest of their underwriting standards.
You might think your credit score is the most important factor in getting approved. But the most common reason why borrowers are turned down for refinancing is that their debt-to-income ratio is too high. Your debt-to-income ratio is how much of your monthly paycheck goes to paying off all of your existing obligations.
What to do if you don’t qualify
Just because one lender says no, that doesn’t mean you can’t qualify for refinancing. But if you want to increase your chances of qualifying, there are a couple ways to do this.
If you’re carrying balances on your credit cards, you can often improve your odds of getting approved by paying them down. Paying down existing debt improves your debt-to-income ratio, and can also boost your credit score. If you get a raise at work, that can also be a good time to look into refinancing, since it will improve your debt-to-income ratio.
The companies above are some of Credible’s approved partner lenders. Because they compete for your business through Credible, you can request rates from 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. Credible receives compensation if you close a loan with one of our partner lenders. The rates you receive and the fees you pay (if any) are not impacted by this compensation.