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Federal loan forgiveness plans and payment pause have been extended into 2023. Read our guide

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How to Refinance Your Student Loans Through Credible

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  • Federal Student Loans

    Our lenders can refinance some or all of your federal student loans into a private loan.

  • Private Student Loans

    Lenders also refinance private student loans from banks, credit unions or schools.

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    If you took out Parent PLUS loans for a student, you can refinance them through Credible.

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Student Loan Refinance FAQs

By Jamie Young

Written by

Jamie Young

Student Loans Editor

Jamie Young is a Credible authority on personal finance. Her work has appeared on some of the best-known media outlets including Time, CBS News, Huffington Post, Business Insider, AOL, MSN, and more.

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& Matt Carter

Written by

Matt Carter

Student Loans Editor

Matt Carter is a writer and editor for Credible. His work has been featured by CNBC, CNN Money, Consumer Reports, Money, USA Today, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and more.

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Updated March 26, 2023

Reviewed by Dennis Wentworth

Written by

Dennis Wentworth

Student Loans Editor

Dennis Wentworth is a Credible student loan expert with more than 30 years experience in the industry. Prior to joining Credible, he headed up national sales teams for Sallie Mae, Next Generation Insurance and Ascent Student Loans.

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Editorial disclosure: Our goal is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we receive compensation from our partner lenders, whom we will always identify, all opinions are our own. Credible Operations, Inc. NMLS # 1681276, is referred to here as "Credible."

This mainly depends on what type of student loans you have.

  • If you have private student loans, refinancing might get you a lower interest rate or reduced monthly payment (or both), which could help you more easily manage your loans during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can check rates and potentially prequalify for a much lower rate than what you have right now.

  • If you have federal student loans, it’s likely better to wait for updates on the CARES Act and forgiveness plans before consolidating with a private lender. Due to the pandemic, federals student loan payments and interest accrual have been suspended during the pandemic into 2023. If you refinance your federal student loans, you’ll lose access to this suspension as well as other federal benefits and protections, such as income-driven repayment plans and student loan forgiveness programs.

Learn more: Federal Student Loans and COVID-19: What You Need to Know

Refinancing your student loans is when you take out a new loan to pay off your old loans, leaving you with just one loan and payment to manage. Depending on your credit, you might be able to lower your interest rate through refinancing — which could save you money on interest and even help you pay off your loan faster.

Or you could opt to extend your repayment term through refinancing, which could reduce your monthly payments and lessen the strain on your budget. Just keep in mind that choosing a longer repayment term means you’ll pay more in interest over time.

There are several types of student loans that are eligible for refinancing, including loans for undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies. These loan types include:

  • Federal student loans are offered by the U.S. Department of Education and have their interest rates set by Congress. They also provide benefits and protections that don’t come with private loans, such as access to federal deferment and forbearance, income-driven repayment plans, and student loan forgiveness programs.

  • Private student loans are offered by private lenders, including traditional banks and credit unions as well as online lenders. The interest rates on these loans vary by lender and are determined by market conditions. While private loans don’t offer federal protections, they do offer benefits like potentially higher loan amounts and the ability to apply at any time with no deadline to worry about.

  • Medical school loans are available to help students pay for medical school. You might be able to get a general student loan for this purpose or a specialized medical school loan from a private lender. Some lenders also allow students to defer payments until after residency.

  • MBA loans can be used to cover your expenses while attending business school. While you can use a general student loan for this, there are also private lenders that offer specialized MBA student loans.

  • Law school loans can be used to pay for a law degree. You can take out general student loans for this or apply for a specialized law school loan from a private lender. There are also lenders that offer bar study loans to help you cover your expenses while studying for the bar exam.

Keep in mind that while you can refinance both federal and private student loans, refinancing federal student loans will cost you federal benefits and protections — such as access to income-driven repayment plans and student loan forgiveness programs. You’ll also no longer be eligible for the payment and interest suspension under the CARES Act.

Refinancing offers several potential benefits. Here are a few to keep in mind if you’re considering whether refinancing is a good idea for your situation:

  • Might get a lower interest rate: Depending on your credit, you could lower your student loan interest rate through refinancing. This could save you money on interest charges and might even help you pay off your loan faster.

  • Could reduce your monthly payments: