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Student Loan Refinancing Companies : The Best for 2023

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To be a private student loan borrower is not easy. You probably needed a co-signer or had less-than-ideal credit when you took out your loans, which isn’t the case with most people. The longer you’ve been making payments on the loan, the more likely you’ll be able to get better rates and terms on future loans without involving your co-signer. Nonetheless, the question of which lender is ideal for refinancing student loans. Read to know more about our best picks on student loan refinancing companies. 

Best student loan refinancing companies 


When compared to other lenders, Earnest has two major advantages. First, it allows you to skip one payment annually so long as you’ve been current on all other payments. You still have to pay interest on the amount added to your loan’s end.  

You have a maximum of 12 months of forbearance available to you, and each time you use it, that number decreases by one month. Nonetheless, it can give you more leeway in your budget if you need it. 

The variety of loan programs provided by Earnest is another perk. Earnest gives you the freedom to choose from up to 180 different term lengths at intervals of as little as one month rather than being limited to a handful of alternatives at five-year intervals.  

That opens up the possibility of negotiating a more reasonable repayment plan. In fact, you may acquire a rate quote from Earnest by informing the company how much monthly payment you can afford to make. 


Although it may sound like a bank, Credible is actually a marketplace where you can compare interest rates from multiple lenders all in one spot. In other words, it’s a matchmaking service specializing in student loan refinancing but also assists in securing other sorts of loans.  

Credible’s refreshing openness regarding its lender network allows you to quickly eliminate unreliable options. With its network of 10 participating lenders, comparing rates is a breeze. If you find a better offer from a lender that is not a Credible partner, they will refund you the difference, up to $200.  

The disadvantage of using a loan marketplace is that you will still need to dig deep into each matching firm to determine whether or not it provides the services you require, above and beyond the interest rate.  

Splash Financial 

It is another online marketplace for student loans, like Credible. Splash Financial, on the other hand, is tailored to those in search of loan refinancing and works only with a select group of lenders to whom you would otherwise not have access.  

As a result, you may easily compare rates from multiple lenders all at once. However, the lender’s identity will be in the dark. There aren’t many drawbacks to Splash Finance because it just acts as a middleman between you and other lenders. Yet, none of its lenders provide student loan refinancing options for those who have not finished their degree. 


When compared to federal student loans, private student loans have a poor image for their lack of benefits. Yet, SoFi stands out from the crowd by providing perks to its borrowers, such as an unemployment aid program, career coaching, financial planning, exclusive events, access to the SoFi Stadium club in Los Angeles, and more. 

Also, unlike many other lenders, SoFi will let college grads take on personal responsibility for repaying their parents’ student loans by refinancing them in their own names. But know that applying with a co-signer can extend the loan approval process by a week or two. And once a co-signer is added to a loan, they can’t be removed unless the loan is refinanced and made out to just one person.  


Discover is a wonderful option if you want to refinance your student loans but are concerned about fees. There are no costs associated with making a late payment. Discover might still record it on your credit report, and this could lower your credit score. 

If you want more customer-focused aid initiatives than your average lender provides, Discover is a great option. Deferment and forbearance are available from Discover in a few different forms. You’ll be out of luck if you want to refinance your loan with Discover but can’t commit to paying it off in less than ten years. As Discover does not provide loan pre-qualification like most lenders, you should be ready to submit a full loan application. 

Citizens Bank 

If you want to refinance your student loans, you’ll need to show proof that you graduated from college. Citizens Bank is one of the few lenders that doesn’t demand it, but if you don’t have a co-signer, you still have to meet one other requirement: you need to have made your past 12 student loan payments on time. 

For the long haul, too, if you need a co-signer for a loan: After three years of on-time payments, your co-signer will be released from their obligation to the loan. It’s not exactly cheap, but it’s not outrageously expensive.  

Autopay users receive a discount of 0.25%, which is standard among lenders. If you or your co-signer already have an active Citizens account at the time of loan application, Citizens Bank will reduce your interest rate by an additional 0.25 percent. 

PenFed Credit Union 

When refinancing a private student loan, PenFed Credit Union is one of the few lenders that will enable spouses to combine their individual student debts into a single loan. This is helpful if you and your partner are trying to consolidate private student loans into one loan at a reduced interest rate.  

If you don’t refinance your loans together, you’ll need to apply for them individually, which will weigh your joint debts against you twice. If you need a co-signer and are refinancing a loan on your own, PenFed may be a viable option. PenFed has a lenient co-signer release policy, wherein your co-signer liability can be discharged after as few as 12 on-time payments, provided you meet all other eligibility requirements.  

ISL Lending 

Although the moniker “Iowa Student Loan” might lead you to believe otherwise, this nonprofit lender is available everywhere in the U.S. outside of Maine and Oregon. Its competitive interest rates make it a wonderful choice for anyone, especially borrowers with parental loan support. 

Secondly, if you are in the midst of a career change and are concerned about making loan payments, a graduated repayment plan may be an option for you. Active-duty military personnel are also eligible for a lower interest rate on their loan. 

Finally, if you become chronically incapacitated or pass away, ISL, unlike other private student loan lenders, offers a loan discharge option similar to government student loans. Although it’s unpleasant to consider, parents really have a larger risk of experiencing a tragedy than recent college grads. With these features, you and your loved ones are better protected when you go for a loan. 

Laurel Road 

Some careers, like those in law and medicine, are notoriously expensive. Among the few financial institutions, Laurel Road prioritizes serving high-balance borrowers, particularly those in the medical field.  

You may qualify for Laurel Road’s reduced interest rates, $100 per month payback plans for medical residents and fellows, and broader refinancing choices for people with only an associate’s degree. 

It also provides several opportunities for others to cut costs. You may be able to get even better rates on your student loan to refinance if you sign up for Laurel Road’s full suite of banking services and complete some prerequisites. 


Company Best for Interest Rate  Loan Terms  Maximum Loan Amount  Minimum Credit Score  
Earnest Overall 4.47%–8.99% 5–20 years $500,000 680 
Credible Refinancing Marketplace 4.40%–11.97% See Terms* 5–20 years  $575,000 640 
Splash Financial  Rates 4.49%–8.99% 5–25 years  None 640  
SoFi Benefits 4.99%–8.99% 5–20 years  None 650 
Discover No Fees 5.99%–10.49%  10–20 years  $150,000 Not disclosed  
Citizens Bank  Students Who Didn’t Graduate 5.39%–11.98% 5–20 years $750,000 Not disclosed 
PenFed Credit Union  Spousal Loans 7.74%–9.93% 5–15 years  $300,000  Not disclosed  
ISL Lending  Parent Loans 6.93%–11.83% 7–20 years $300,000 670 
Laurel Road Best for Large Balances 4.74%–8.95%  5–20 years  None Not disclosed 

How to refinance student loans 

  • Evaluate your finances 
  • Consider your goals and decide if refinancing is reasonable 
  • Compare rates 
  • Choose a lender, and complete the application. 
  • Sign the final documents, and wait for the loan payoff.  

Methodology Disclaimer: The order of these “best” lists does not imply that one brand is better. Using a mix of public and internal data, we analyzed millions of rate averages across U.S. ZIP codes. These lists were curated using rate averages from insurer filings to guide drivers in their research and should be used for comparative purposes. Only every car owner’s quotes will differ based on a number of factors. Given this, it’s important to go through our refinance steps form to find out how much you can save with Way.com.


student refinancing companies | Refinancing with Way.com

Bottom line 

Several factors go into deciding whether or not to refinance student loans, and some cases favor certain lenders over others. ISL Lending is a great option if you want to help pay off your parent’s student loans so they don’t have to worry about your education. PenFed is one of the few lenders who would allow you to refinance your student loans with your spouse. 

Nonetheless, Earnest is a terrific all-around alternative for most consumers to add to any rate-shopping list. It gives you the most leeway in tailoring your experience to your needs and preferences, increasing the likelihood that you’ll find the optimal solution for your budget. If you take advantage of this strategy, you can have your loan paid off sooner and possibly, incur fewer interest costs overall. 


  • Which student loans should I refinance? 

The safest thing to do is to refinance private loans with high-interest rates. This is because you won’t lose any federal repayment options that could be helpful, like deferment or forbearance for up to three years. You don’t have to choose to refinance all of your loans, so think about leaving out any federal loans. You can refinance federal loans if you don’t plan to use any of the benefits that come with them or if you want to pay off your loans very quickly.  

  • When should you refinance your student loans? 

Most lenders want you to have a degree to refinance, so it’s best to wait until you’ve graduated. Some lenders have less strict degree requirements, but they may want to see that you have paid your student loans on time for a while (say, 12 months). Most of the time, you also need to be out of school before you can refinance. 

You can use a co-signer if you don’t meet the credit and income requirements but still want to refinance. Because the co-credit signer’s score is at risk, it’s best to wait to refinance until you have enough money to qualify as the only borrower. You can give yourself time to improve your credit score and then refinance. 

  • What is a ‘co-signer release?’ 

Some refinance lenders will let the co-signer off the loan after making a certain number of payments. This can keep the co-credit signer’s score from going down because the main borrower didn’t pay on time. If you want to use a co-signer release, look at your loan documents to see when it will be possible (for example, in 36 months) and what else you might need to do. 

  • How often can you refinance student loans? 

Technically, you can refinance your student loans as many times as you want. However, after you’ve done it a few times, it’s likely that it won’t help you anymore. The main reason to refinance debt is to get a lower interest rate, but you may already have the lowest rate possible at some point. 

  • How good must your credit be to refinance student loans? 

Different lenders have different minimum credit scores for refinancing student loans, but as a general rule, you’ll probably need a score of about 650 to qualify. However, a credit score of 720 or higher is often used as a standard to get the best interest rates. If your credit score is low, you might want to wait to refinance until you can improve it. 

  • If I have bad credit, can I refinance my student loans? 

Some lenders will let you refinance your student loans if you have bad credit, but it’s often not worth it. If you have bad credit or a shaky history with money, you’ll probably only be able to get the highest interest rates. Most people refinance to get a lower rate, so if you have bad credit, refinance probably doesn’t make sense. 

But you might be able to get a loan if you have someone else sign it with you. Even if your credit score is low, you could get better rates if you have good credit and a steady income. But adding a co-signer brings its own risks and benefits, so make sure you know what they are before you use this strategy. 

  • Is refinancing student loans better than consolidation? 

Both refinancing and consolidating student loans are similar, but they are also very different. With a refinancing, you combine all your old loans into new debt. Your credit score will determine the interest rate on the refinanced loan. You could save a lot of money by getting a lower rate if you have good credit. Refinancing is only possible through private lenders, so your new debt will be a private student loan. 

Most of the time, though, a direct consolidation loan is what is meant by “student loan consolidation.” This federal program lets people with more than one federal student loan combine them into a single loan. It is still federal debt, so all the same protections apply. But the new interest rate on your consolidated loan is just an average of your previous rates. That means that consolidating your debts won’t save you money. 

If you wish to save on your monthly payments, try refinancing. With Way.com, you get the best refinance options. Use our refinance loan calculator, compare the loan rates, prequalify, and save up to $1850 a year on your refinanced auto loan!

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