Best Student Loan Refinance Lenders of March 2022
Updated On March 3, 2022
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Student loan refinancing is the process of combining federal student loans, private student loans or both into a new private student loan with a lower interest rate, lower monthly payment or both.
Top Picks For Student Loan Refinancing
In this article, you can learn about the best student loan refinance lenders:
- How to compare student loan refinance lenders
- Should you refinance student loans?
- How to refinance student loans
- Student loan refinancing: FAQ
How to compare student loan refinance lenders
There are many student loan refinance lenders from which to choose. To find the best student loan refinance lenders, you will want to evaluate at least the following features:
The main goal of student loan refinancing is to save money. The best way to save money on student loans is to get a lower interest rate. Make sure to compare student loan refinancing interest rates so that you can find the lowest student loan interest rates for which you qualify. With student loan refinancing, you can choose either a fixed interest rate or variable interest rate. A fixed interest rate means that your interest rate will never change over the life on your student loan. A variable interest rate means that your interest rate can increase or decrease over the life of your student loan.
While interest rates are important, there are also other student loan terms to consider. For example, student loan refinancing enables you to choose a student loan repayment term typically between five and 20 years. Compare lenders to find the best lenders that offer flexible student loan repayment terms.
Student loan repayment benefits
When you refinance student loans, your resulting student loans will be a private student loan. If you think you might need to pause paying your student loans, then make sure your lender has a flexible forbearance and deferment policy. Unlike federal student loans, you won’t have access to federal student loan forbearance, deferment or income-driven repayment after you refinance. That said, the best lenders offer flexible student loan repayment policies, so make sure to check the policies of each lender.
The best student loan refinance lenders don’t charge any application, origination or prepayment fees. That said, a lender may charge a late fee if you don’t make your student loan payment on-time.
A cosigner can help you get approved for student loan refinancing and get a lower interest rate. A qualified cosigner such as a parent or spouse typically has stable income and good to excellent credit. A cosigner assumes equal financial responsibility for your student loans. If you plan to refinance student loans again in the future, check to determine if your lender offers a cosigner release option to release your cosigner after certain requirements are met.
Should you refinance student loans?
The decision to refinance student loans is based on your individual financial circumstances and goals. Here are some factors to consider to determine whether you should refinance student loans:
1. Do you qualify for student loan refinancing?
First, determine whether you qualify for student loan refinancing. The best candidates to refinance student loans must meet several requirements. For example, most student loan refinance lenders require a minimum credit score of 650. You must be employed or have a signed job offer and have steady monthly income. Lenders want borrowers with a history of financial responsibility. The best lenders also prefer a borrower with a low debt-to-income ratio with enough monthly cash flow to pay debt and other living expenses.
2. What interest rates do you qualify for?
The primary reason to refinance student loans is that you can qualify for a lower interest rate. There are several factors that can determine whether you qualify for a lower interest rate and what that interest rate will be. These factors include, but are not limited to, your income, credit, whether you choose a fixed or variable interest rate and your student loan repayment period. If you can qualify for a lower interest rate, then it may make sense for you to refinance student loans so that you can save money.
3. Which student loans should you refinance?
You can refinance federal student loans, private student loans or both. Your unique financial circumstances and goals will determine which student loans you choose to do. If you can get a lower interest rate, then refinancing private student loans is a popular strategy. For federal student loans, it can depend on your goals. If your top priority is to save money, then refinancing federal student loans can make sense. If you think that you may need access to an income-driven repayment plan, student loan forgiveness or other federal benefits, then you may choose not to refinance federal student loans.
How to refinance student loans
The process how to refinance student loans is relatively simple.
- Compare lenders and interest rates.
- Use a student loan refinancing calculator.
- Check your new interest rate for free with each lender.
- Choose your student loan terms.
- Complete an application.
- Upload documentation.
- Get approved.
Once you are approved and your new student loan is funded, the proceeds will be used to pay off your old student loans. You should keep making monthly payments on your old student loans until your new lender or student loan servicer instructs you that your old student loans have been paid off.