How to Refinance Law School Loans
Updated On February 2, 2022
Editorial Note: This content is based solely on the author's opinions and is not provided, approved, endorsed or reviewed by any financial institution or partner.
If you want to know how to refinance law school student loans, the process is relatively easy. Before you refinance, it’s important to make sure that student loan refinancing is right for you. If you have more than $100,000 of student loan debt from law school, then you’re not alone. The average debt for a law school student is more than $186,000. The good news is that you have several options to pay off law school student loans.
Top Picks For Student Loan Refinancing
Here’s how to refinance law school loans:
- Should you refinance law school student loans?
- How to refinance law school loans
- How much money can you save from refinancing law school loans?
- How often you can refinance law school loans?
- How to get the lowest interest rate when you refinance law school loans
- Compare student loan refinance rates
Should you refinance law school loans?
You may be wondering if you should refinance law school student loans. Student loan refinancing is the process of combining your existing federal student loans, private student loans or both into a new private student loan. When you refinance student loans, you can get a lower interest rate, lower student loan payment or both. Therefore, refinancing student loans helps you save money and pay off student loans faster.
Who should refinance student loans
Student loan refinance is best for student loan borrowers who:
- You have a high interest rate. One of the best reasons to refinance law school loans is that you have a high interest rate. Student loan refinancing can help you get a lower interest rate, which can save you significant money each month. A lower interest rate can help you pay off your law school loans faster.
- You have a large student loan payment. If you have a large monthly student loan payment, you may be able to get a lower student loan payment. Student loan refinancing allows you to choose a repayment term from 5 to 20 years, which gives you flexibility to choose your monthly payment.
- You have excellent credit. When you refinance student loans, lenders will want you to have a credit score of at least 650. If you have bad credit or average credit, consider refinancing your law school loans with a qualified cosigner.
- You have private student loans. You can refinance both federal student loans and private student loans. You should refinance law school loans especially if you have private student loans. Why? Private student loans don’t have federal benefits such as student loan forgiveness or income-driven repayment. Therefore, refinancing private loans is generally advantageous.
- You work for a private company. Lenders will evaluate your monthly income when you apply to refinance law school loans. They prefer borrowers with recurring monthly income. Also, lenders want to ensure you have sufficient income to pay law school loans and other living expenses. Generally, you can earn more income at a private firm.
Who should not refinance student loans
Student loan refinance may not be best for these student loan borrowers:
- You are unemployed. If you are unemployed, it’s challenging to get approved to refinance law school loans. Lender require that you’re employed or have a signed job offer to get approved to refinance law school loans.
- Your income is unstable. If you have unstable or unpredictable income, it may be hard to refinance law school loans. Lender prefer that you have stable, recurring income. Why? Recurring income reduces the risk that you will default on your student loans. For example, if you are self-employed or an independent contractor, you may want to apply for student loan refinancing with a cosigner. A qualified with strong credit and stable income can help you get approved for student loan refinancing and get a lower interest rate.
- You work for the government or non-profit. If you work for the government or a non-profit, you may want to consider student loan forgiveness. For example, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program offers student loan forgiveness for your federal student loans. That said, you may still choose to refinance federal student loans and your private student loans.
- You need an income-driven repayment plan. If you plan to use an income-driven repayment plan for your federal student loans, refinancing your law school loans may not be best for you. Income-driven repayment plans such as PAYE, REPAYE, IBR and ICR are especially helpful if you are struggling to pay federal student loans.
How to refinance law school loans
If you want to know how to refinance law school loans, here’s what you should do.
First, compare the best lenders to refinance law school loans. Compare interest rates, loan terms, student loan repayment options, residency requirements, minimum credit score, and other terms. To save the most money, choose the best lender that offers that lowest interest rate.
Check your interest rate
Before you apply for student loan refinancing, most lenders let you check your new interest rate for free with no impact to your credit score. This is called a soft credit check. You can check your interest rate with multiple lenders, and then you can apply to each lender.
Choose your student loan terms
Once you determine which lenders you prefer, it’s time to choose student loan terms. When you refinance law school student loans, you can choose either a fixed interest rate or a variable interest rate. A fixed interest rate means your interest rate will never change. A variable interest rate means that you interest rate can increase or decrease over time. Typically, variable interest rates offer lower interest rates than fixed interest rates. However, variable interest rates could increase over time, whereas fixed interest rates will stay the same.
Student loan refinancing also helps you choose a student loan repayment term. For example, when you refinance law school loans, you can choose a repayment term between 5 and 20 years. A shorter student loan repayment period such as 5 years means a higher monthly student loan payment. However, a 5-year repayment period means you will save more money in interest over time.
In contrast, a longer repayment term such as 20 years means you can get a lower monthly student loan payment. However, you would pay more total interest over the life of your student loan.
How much money can you save from refinancing law school loans?
The primary goal of refinancing law school loans is to save money. How much money can you save when you refinance law school loans?
This student loan refinancing calculator shows you how much you can save when you refinance law school student loans.
For example, let’s assume that you have $200,000 of student loans at 8% interest rate and a 10-year repayment term. Let’s assume you refinance at a 3% interest rate and a 10-year repayment term. You would save $495 each month and $59,440 overall.
Learn more about how to refinance student loans:
- 7 reasons why you should refinance student loans now
- Top 30 questions about student loan refinancing
- Why refinance student loans
Compare: the top lenders to refinance student loans.
View: the latest rates for student loan refinancing.
How often you can refinance law school loans?
You might wonder when you should refinance law school loans.
When it comes to refinancing law school loans, there is no limit to how often you can refinance. With student loan refinancing, there are no application fees, no origination fees and no prepayment penalties.
Therefore, you can refinance whenever you find a lower interest rate. So, if you refinanced your law school loans previously, you can refinance again to save more money.
How to get the lowest interest rate when you refinance law school loans
There are several steps to take to get the lowest interest rate when you refinance law school loans.
- Compare lenders. Make sure to compare lenders when you refinance law school loans.
- Evaluate interest rates. Examine both fixed and variable interest rates. Your loan repayment term also can determine your interest rate. For example, if you want the lowest interest rate, choose a 5-year loan repayment term.
- Build credit. If you have an excellent credit score, you’re more likely to get a low interest rate. (How to raise your credit score)
- Pay off debt. Lenders will evaluate your debt-to-income ratio. To increase your chances of approval, consider paying off debt such as credit card debt. This can result in a lower debt-to-income ratio, which reduces your chances of student loan default.
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