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Last update: May 29, 2024

7 minute read

Best Student Loan Refinance Lenders of 2024

Our editors selected their top student loan refinancing options to help make finding the right lender easy.

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Thinking about refinancing your student loans? Our curated list of this year’s best student loans refinancing options is your go-to guide for revamping your financial health. These hand-picked options are aimed to give you sweeter interest rates, more manageable payments, and a quicker path to being debt-free. Trust me, this might just be the game-changing financial maneuver you've been waiting for. Let's dive right in!

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Our editors and writers follow strict editorial guidelines to make sure that our content is fair and accurate, so you can choose the products that work best for you and make financial decisions with confidence.

    Best student loan refinancing
    lenders of 2024

    Compare our top picks side-by-side so that you can quickly and easily see how they stack up against each other and which one works best with you!

    Our top pick

    Citizens

    Citizens
    Variable APR

    7.05% - 12.40%*

    Fixed APR

    6.79% - 10.99%*

    Disclosures

    Repayment Options
    • Forbearance
    Fees
    • No application fee
    • No prepayment penalty
    • No origination fee
    • No disbursement fee
    Discounts & Benefits
    Autopay discount: 0.25%
    Loyalty discount: 0.25%
    Loan Details
    Loan amount: $10,000 - $750,000
    Term lengths: 5, 7, 10, 15, 20-year

    Citizens

    Citizens

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    7.05% - 12.40%*

    Fixed APR

    6.79% - 10.99%*

    Repayment Options
    • Forbearance
    Fees
    • No application fee
    • No prepayment penalty
    • No origination fee
    • No disbursement fee
    Discounts & Benefits
    Autopay discount: 0.25%
    Loyalty discount: 0.25%
    Loan Details
    Loan amount: $10,000 - $750,000
    Term lengths: 5, 7, 10, 15, 20-year

    Citizens

    Citizens

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    7.05% - 12.40%*

    Fixed APR

    6.79% - 10.99%*

    Repayment Options
    • Forbearance
    Fees
    • No application fee
    • No prepayment penalty
    • No origination fee
    • No disbursement fee
    Discounts & Benefits
    Autopay discount: 0.25%
    Loyalty discount: 0.25%
    Loan Details
    Loan amount: $10,000 - $750,000
    Term lengths: 5, 7, 10, 15, 20-year

    CollegeAve

    CollegeAve
    Variable APR

    5.99% - 11.99%¹

    Fixed APR

    5.99% - 11.99%¹

    Disclosures

    CollegeAve

    CollegeAve

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    5.99% - 11.99%¹

    Fixed APR

    5.99% - 11.99%¹

    CollegeAve

    CollegeAve

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    5.99% - 11.99%¹

    Fixed APR

    5.99% - 11.99%¹

    Earnest

    Earnest
    Variable APR

    5.72% - 9.74%

    Fixed APR

    5.19% - 9.74%

    Disclosures

    Earnest

    Earnest

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    5.72% - 9.74%

    Fixed APR

    5.19% - 9.74%

    Earnest

    Earnest

    Disclosures

    Variable APR

    5.72% - 9.74%

    Fixed APR

    5.19% - 9.74%

    Ready to get started?

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    How we picked the best student loan refinancing lenders

    Our editors performed in-depth research to be able to compare all of the best available loan options. The top lenders listed below are selected based on factors such as APR, loan amounts, fees, repayment options, and credit requirements.

    Our goal is to help you make smart choices about your money and your future with honest and fair recommendations. To learn more, read our review methodology.

    Lender Breakdown

    Citizens

    Best for: Interest rate discount options

    Citizens

    Check My Rate
    VARIABLE APR

    7.05% - 12.40%*

    FIXED APR

    6.79% - 10.99%*

    LOAN AMOUNT

    $10,000 - $750,000

    TERM LENGTHS

    5, 7, 10, 15, 20-year

    MIN CREDIT SCORE

    Not disclosed

    VARIABLE APR

    7.05% - 12.40%*

    FIXED APR

    6.79% - 10.99%*

    LOAN AMOUNT

    $10,000 - $750,000


    TERM LENGTHS

    5, 7, 10, 15, 20-year

    MIN CREDIT SCORE

    Not disclosed

    WHAT WE LIKE

    • No application, origination, disbursement, or prepayment fees

    • Flexible repayment options, including deferred payments, interest-only payments, or partial payments

    • Large loan amounts, ranging from $10,000 to $750,000

    • Borrowers with a Citizens Bank account get an additional 0.25% interest rate discount

    WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

    • Mainly for students at four-year, Title IV accredited institutions

    • International students must have a creditworthy US co-signer

    • Autopay discount: Automatic payment discount of 0.25 percentage points.

    • Loyalty discount: Loyalty discount of .25 percentage points for Citizens customers

    CollegeAve

    Best for: Graduates with a steady income

    CollegeAve

    Check My Rate
    VARIABLE APR

    5.99% - 11.99%¹

    FIXED APR

    5.99% - 11.99%¹

    LOAN AMOUNT

    $5,000 - $300,000

    TERM LENGTHS

    5 to 15-year

    MIN CREDIT SCORE

    Not disclosed

    VARIABLE APR

    5.99% - 11.99%¹

    FIXED APR

    5.99% - 11.99%¹

    LOAN AMOUNT

    $5,000 - $300,000


    TERM LENGTHS

    5 to 15-year

    MIN CREDIT SCORE

    Not disclosed

    WHAT WE LIKE

    • Offers a 0.25% discount for setting up autopay

    • Cosigner release is available

    • No pre-payment penalties

    • No origination fees

    • Many repayment options available

    WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

    • Degree required to refinance

    • Late fees apply

    • Refinancing is not available in the state of Maine

    • Long wait for cosigner release eligibility

    • Autopay discount: 0.25% interest rate reduction when you make required payments by automatic debit.

    Earnest

    Best for: Those with a credit score over 650

    Earnest

    Check My Rate
    VARIABLE APR

    5.72% - 9.74%

    FIXED APR

    5.19% - 9.74%

    LOAN AMOUNT

    $5,000 - $500,000

    TERM LENGTHS

    5 to 20-year

    MIN CREDIT SCORE

    650

    VARIABLE APR

    5.72% - 9.74%

    FIXED APR

    5.19% - 9.74%

    LOAN AMOUNT

    $5,000 - $500,000


    TERM LENGTHS

    5 to 20-year

    MIN CREDIT SCORE

    650

    WHAT WE LIKE

    • 0.25% discount for enrolling in auto-pay

    • No origination fees

    • No late payment fees

    • No prepayment penalties

    • Can skip one payment every 12 months

    • Soft credit-pull for rate check

    WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

    • Earnest does not offer cosigner release

    • Unavailable in Nevada

    • Autopay discount: Earnest offers a .25% Auto Pay discount on all of their student loans.

    • Added benefit: Skip a payment once per year if conditions are met

    What to consider before refinancing a student loan?

    There are several factors you should consider when refinancing a student loan. Let's break down a few of the most important elements so that you can make an informed decision about your financial future. To learn about even more factors, be sure to check out our complete guide to student loan refinancing.

    1. Interest rates

    Interest rates are the cost of borrowing money, expressed as a percentage of the principal loan amount. They come in two flavors: fixed and variable.

    Fixed interest rates are predictable, as they stay the same throughout the life of the loan. Federal student loans only come with fixed rates. These rates can change for new loans each year, but your rate remains the same once you take out a loan.

    Variable interest rates can change over time based on market conditions. Private student loans can have either fixed or variable interest rates, which are determined by the lender. These rates are often based on your creditworthiness, term length, and repayment options.

    2. Term lengths

    Some loans require immediate repayment, while others offer a “grace period” that allows you to wait until after graduating to start making payments. A grace period can be extremely helpful because it gives you time to find a steady job and figure out your finances before beginning repayment. If you can afford to have a shorter loan term (less time to pay back), you will have to make larger monthly payments, but you will owe less interest by paying off your loan quicker.

    3. Total costs

    It's essential to calculate the total cost of the loan before deciding to take it on. This includes not just the principal amount, but also the interest, origination fees, or any additional charges. Take a look at the annual percentage rate (APR) to get an idea of the total cost of the loan for a year, including interest and fees. Keep in mind that you may be able to reduce your loan costs by making extra payments or paying off the loan early.

    4. Repayment options

    You should consider all the repayment options available for your loan, such as income-driven repayment plans, graduated repayment plans, and extended repayment plans. It’s important to note that federal and private loans have different repayment options. Choose whatever repayment plan that best fits your financial situation and future goals.

    5. Lenders reputation

    Don’t forget to research the lender's reputation and track record for customer service and support. Read reviews, ask for recommendations, and check with the Better Business Bureau to ensure that the lender is trustworthy and reliable.

    TuitionHero Tip

    Our detailed lender reviews make it fast and easy to find student loan refinancing lenders that you can trust.

    Final thoughts

    These are all excellent choices for student loan refinancing in 2024; you can’t go wrong with any of them. Whichever lender you choose to go with may just depend on which one best fits your individual situation.

    If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out some more educational resources by TuitionHero. Our goal is to help you understand all your options so that you can make smart and confident financial decisions.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Confused about how things work? Check out our FAQ below for quick answers to all your burning questions.

    While the exact requirements vary by lender, you typically need to have:

    • A degree: You should be able to find a lender willing to refinance your student loans if you have a degree from an accredited university

    • A good credit score: A strong credit score will likely allow you to get a lower interest rate, which will save you money over the life of your loan

    • A steady income: You’ll probably qualify for a lower monthly payment with a stable income, which will make it easier to afford your loan payments

    Most student loans will offer you the choice between a fixed- or variable-rate loan. The difference between them is:

    • A fixed-rate loan has an interest rate that remains the same over the entirety of the loan. This means that your monthly payments won’t change either, leading to predictable payments.

    • A variable-rate loan has an interest rate that can go up or down with the market. As a result, your monthly payments could increase, but they also have the potential to decrease.

    Your credit score is one of the key factors that lenders look at when considering your application for a refinance loan. A higher credit score indicates to lenders that you're a lower-risk borrower, which could lead to a lower interest rate on your loan. Generally, you'll need a credit score of at least 650 to qualify for student loan refinancing.

    When you refinance, there will be a hard credit inquiry the moment you apply for the new loan. A hard inquiry is when a lender looks into your credit history to make a loan approval decision. The good news is that any hard inquiry will have only a small and temporary impact on your credit score. Typically your score will drop by five points or less, and it will affect your credit report for two years at most.

    There are a few options available to those looking to refinance their student loans with bad credit.

    The fastest and simplest option is to apply with a cosigner who has good credit. This can increase your chances of getting approved for a lower interest rate.

    Another option is to work on building your own credit by setting reminders and budgeting so that you can consistently pay bills on time. Lenders also consider how much money you're borrowing relative to how much you're making. If you can find a way to earn more, then you'll be more likely to qualify.

    Whether you should consolidate or refinance depends on the kind of loan that you have.

    • When to consolidate: If you have one or more federal loans, you may want to consolidate those loans so that you can make a single payment and still maintain your federal loan benefits. There is no option to consolidate private student loans.

    • When to refinance: If you have one or more private student loans, you'll want to refinance any time your financial situation improves or interest rates go down so that you save money. While you could refinance your federal loans to get a lower rate, it would mean losing your federal loan benefits, so there's a trade-off.


    Author

    Yerain Abreu avatar

    Yerain Abreu is a Content Strategist with over 7 years of experience. He earned a Master's degree in digital marketing from Zicklin School of Business. He focuses on college finance, a niche carved out of his journey through the complexities of academic finance. These firsthand experiences provide him with a unique perspective, enabling him to create content that's informative and relatable to students and their families grappling with the intricacies of college financing.

    Editor

    Derick Rodriguez avatar

    Derick Rodriguez is a seasoned editor and digital marketing strategist specializing in demystifying college finance. With over half a decade of experience in the digital realm, Derick has honed a unique skill set that bridges the gap between complex financial concepts and accessible, user-friendly communication. His approach is deeply rooted in leveraging personal experiences and insights to illuminate the nuances of college finance, making it more approachable for students and families.

    At TuitionHero, we're not just passionate about our work - we take immense pride in it. Our dedicated team of writers diligently follows strict editorial standards, ensuring that every piece of content we publish is accurate, current, and highly valuable. We don't just strive for quality; we aim for excellence.


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