How to Refinance Medical School Loans

By Mentor Staff | Edited By Mentor Staff

Updated On September 10, 2022

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How to refinance medical school loans may be a topic you’re considering, especially if you have significant student loan debt from medical school. For many medical school graduates, it’s possible that you have $200,000 of student loans or $300,000 of student loan debt. The good news is that you have several options to pay off medical school debt. That said, the decision to refinance medical school loans is one of the best options to pay off student loans faster.

Top Picks For Student Loan Refinancing

December 2022

Variable APR ?APR, or Annual Percentage Rate, is the price you pay to borrow money. Variable APR means that your interest rate can fluctuate over time, which can increase or decrease your monthly student loan payment. Typically, a variable-rate loan has a lower introductory rate than a fixed-loan rate loan. Variable APR includes a 0.25% discount when you enroll in autopay.
Fixed APR ?APR, or Annual Percentage Rate, is the price you pay to borrow money. Fixed APR means that your interest rate will always stay the same. Even if interest rates change, your interest rate or monthly payment will not. Fixed APR includes a 0.25% discount when you enroll in autopay.
APR
4.49% - 8.99%
4.49% - 8.99%
4.49% - 8.99%

View Details

on SoFi's website

Overview

Variable APR:
4.49% - 8.99%
Fixed APR:
4.49% - 8.99%
Minimum Credit Score:
650
Minimum Income:
None
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,000 ($10,000 in CA)

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Borrower Residency:
All states
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
Yes
3.99% - 8.29%
4.39% - 8.99%
3.99% - 8.99%

View Details

on Earnest's website

Overview

Variable APR:
3.99% - 8.29%
Fixed APR:
4.39% - 8.99%
Minimum Credit Score:
650
Minimum Income:
None
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,000

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5-20 years
Borrower Residency:
All States except NV
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
No
3.99% - 8.29%
4.39% - 8.99%
3.99% - 8.99%

View Details

on NaviRefi's website

Overview

Variable APR:
3.99% - 8.29%
Fixed APR:
4.39% - 8.99%
Minimum Credit Score:
650
Minimum Income:
None
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,001 ($10,001 in CA)

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5-20 years
Borrower Residency:
All States except NV
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
No
3.53% - 7.24%
4.48% - 7.29%
3.53% - 7.29%

View Details

on ELFI's website

Overview

Variable APR:
3.53% - 7.24%
Fixed APR:
4.48% - 7.29%
Minimum Credit Score:
680
Minimum Income:
$35,000
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$10,000

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Borrower Residency:
All States
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
Yes
2.50% - 8.65%
3.99% - 8.49%
2.50% - 8.65%

View Details

on Splash's website

Overview

Variable APR:
2.50% - 8.65%
Fixed APR:
3.99% - 8.49%
Minimum Credit Score:
640
Minimum Income:
None
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,000

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5 – 25 years
Borrower Residency:
All states
Hardship Deferment:
Varies
Co-signer Option:
No
5.09% - 11.67%
5.39% - 11.87%
5.09% - 11.87%

View Details

on Citizens' website

Overview

Variable APR:
5.09% - 11.67%
Fixed APR:
5.39% - 11.87%
Minimum Credit Score:
Not disclosed
Minimum Income:
$24,000
Fees:
No prepayment or origination fees
Minimum Loan Amount:
$10,000

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Borrower Residency:
All states
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
Yes
2.50% - 6.80%
4.49% - 6.90%
2.50% - 6.90%

View Details

on Laurel Road's website

Overview

Variable APR:
2.50% - 6.80%
Fixed APR:
4.49% - 6.90%
Minimum Credit Score:
660
Minimum Income:
None
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,000

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Borrower Residency:
All States
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
Yes
3.27% - 6.87%
3.99% - 10.68%
3.27% - 10.68%

View Details

on LendKey's website

Overview

Variable APR:
3.27% - 6.87%
Fixed APR:
3.99% - 10.68%
Minimum Credit Score:
680
Minimum Income:
$24,000
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,000

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Borrower Residency:
All states, except ME, ND, NV, RI, WV
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
Yes
-
3.94% - 9.08%
3.94% - 9.08%

View Details

on ISL's website

Overview

Variable APR:
-
Fixed APR:
3.94% - 9.08%
Minimum Credit Score:
670
Minimum Income:
None
Fees:
None
Minimum Loan Amount:
$5,000 ($10,000 in CA)

Details

Eligible Loans:
Private & Federal
Eligible Degrees:
Undergraduate & Graduate
Loan Terms:
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Borrower Residency:
All states, except OR and ME
Hardship Deferment:
Yes
Co-signer Option:
Yes

Here’s how to refinance medical school loans:

  1. What is student loan refinancing?
  2. Should I refinance student loans?
  3. Who should not refinance student loans?
  4. How much money can you save with student loan refinancing?
  5. How to refinance medical school loans
  6. When should I refinance medical school loans?
  7. How often you can refinance medical school loans?
  8. How do you get the lowest interest rate with student loan refinancing?
  9. Compare the latest rates for refinancing

What is student loan refinancing?

Student loan refinancing is the process of combining your current federal and private student loans into a new private student loan with a lower interest rate. With a lower interest rate, you can save money each month and pay off student loan debt faster.

Student loan refinancing provides flexibility both for your interest rates and repayment term. For example, you can select a fixed interest rate or variable rate. You can also choose a repayment term from 5 to 20 years.

Student loan refinance is a smart decision (assuming you’re not pursuing student loan forgiveness) because it can lower your interest rate and monthly payment. By refinancing your student loans, you can be on a quicker path to financial freedom.

There are several key advantages to student loan refinancing:

  • Save money: You can have significant money when you refinance student loans. This is especially true for doctors with large student loan balances. With a lower interest rate, it’s possible to save thousands or tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your student loan.
  • Flexibility. With different options for interest rates and monthly payments, you have more control over your monthly payment. Therefore, you can select a fixed or variable interest rate as well as the repayment term that fits your budget and financial situation.
  • Resident Student Loan Refinancing. As a medical resident, you can refinance student loans and start saving immediately. Your monthly payment can be as low as $75 a month.
  • Apply online. Student loan refinancing has a simple application with most lenders that takes about 10 to 15 minutes. You can upload documents directly online and check your new interest rate with no impact to your credit score before your apply.
  • Improve credit score: Paying off medical school loans also will improve your credit score and debt-to-income ratio.

Should I refinance medical school loans?

“Should you refinance medical school loans? There are many options for student loan repayment. However, student loan refinancing can get you a lower interest rate, lower student loan payment or both.

If you want to know whether you should refinance medical school loans, here is when it makes most sense:

  • High interest rate. Like many medical school graduates, you may have a high interest rate on your student loans. Or, you have a lower interest rate, but interest rates today are lower than your current rate. Student loan refinancing can help you get a lower interest rate, which can help you save money each month.
  • Large student loan payment. It’s not uncommon for medical school graduates to have $300,000 or $400,000 of student loans. If you have a high monthly student loan payment, student loan refinancing can help you get a lower student loan payment. For example, a shorter-term repayment period such as 5 years will have a higher monthly payment, but you will save significantly in interest over the life of your student loan. In contrast, a longer-term student loan repayment period such as 20 years will have a lower monthly payment. However, you will pay relatively more interest over the life of your loan.
  • Strong credit. To refinance medical school loans, lenders want you to have at least a 650 credit score. The rule of thumb is that the higher your credit score, the easier it is to get approved for student loan refinancing. In contrast, if you have bad credit or average credit, you can apply with a cosigner to get approved to refinance medical school loans and get a lower interest rate.
  • Private student loans. Unlike federal student loans, private student loans don’t offer any protections such as student loan forgiveness. Therefore, it’s typically a smart idea to refinance private student loans.
  • No student loan forgiveness: If you don’t plan to enroll in an income-driven repayment plan or pursue public service loan forgiveness, you should refinance your federal student loans too.
  • Refinance during residency. To start saving money after graduation, you can refinance medical school loans as a resident. With medical resident student loan refinancing, it’s possible to pay as low as $75 a month for your student loans and get a lower interest rate.

Check the latest rates for student loan refinancing.

Who should not refinance student loans

There are certain student loan borrowers who should not refinance medical student loans. For example:

  • Unemployed. Lenders want to make sure that you’re employed or have a signed job offer. Otherwise, it will be challenging to get approved to refinance medical school loans.
  • Unstable income. If you have unsteady or non-recurring income, it may be difficult to refinance medical school loans. For example, if you’re a physician who is self-employed or an independent contractor, lenders will prefer you have stable income. If that is not the case, apply for student loan refinancing with a cosigner.
  • Income-driven repayment plan. Will you need an income-driven repayment plans such as PAYE, REPAYE, IBR and ICR? If so, then you may want to refinance private student loans only. Income-driven repayment plans are best for borrowers who are struggling to pay federal student loans. When you refinance student loans, your resulting loan is private. This means it won’t be eligible for income-driven repayment or federal student loan forgiveness. That said, you may determine that you won’t get student loan forgiveness through an income-driven repayment plan and that refinancing may be a better alternative.

How much money can you save with student loan refinancing?

Student loan refinancing is a pathway to a lower interest rate, a lower monthly payment, and potentially tens of thousands of dollars of savings over the life of your student loan.

This student loan refinancing calculator shows you how much you can save when you refinance medical school loans.

For example, let’s assume that you have $300,000 of student loans at an 8% interest rate and a 10-year repayment term. Let’s assume you refinance student loans at a 3% interest rate and a 10-year repayment term. You would save $743 each month and $89,161 overall.

What determines how much you can save through refinancing?

  • Interest rate
  • Student loan balance
  • Repayment term

The lowest interest rate is a 5-year variable interest rate. A variable interest rate means your interest rate can increase or decrease over the life of your loan. In contrast, a fixed interest rate will never change. Generally, a shorter repayment terms such as 5 years will have a lower interest rate than a longer repayment term such as 20 years.

Learn more about how to refinance medical school loans:

Explore: the top lenders to refinance medical school student loans.

Compare: the latest rates for medical school student loan refinancing.

Read: the difference between student loan refinancing and student loan consolidation.

How to refinance medical school loans

Here are several steps you can take to refinance medical school loans:

Compare refinance lenders

Start by comparing the best lenders to refinance medical school loans. Evaluate interest rates, loan terms, repayment options, and minimum credit score requirements. If you want to refinance your medical loans during residency, make sure to choose a lender that offers medical resident refinancing. Once you’re comfortable with various lenders, then choose the lender that offers the lowest interest rate.

Check your interest rate

You can check your interest rate before you apply for student loan refinancing. This process takes a few minutes, is known as a soft credit check, and it won’t impact your credit score.

Choose your student loan terms

First, you can choose either a fixed interest rate or variable interest rate. A fixed interest rate means your interest rate will never change. In contrast, a variable interest rate means your interest rate can increase or decrease during the life of your student loans.

Second, you can choose your repayment term, which ranges from 5 to 20 years. Your repayment term can be based on your current financial situation and financial goals. A shorter student loan repayment period means you’ll have a higher monthly student loan payment. In contrast, a longer repayment term means a lower monthly payment, but more total interest over the life of your student loan.

When should I refinance medical school loans?

If you’re wondering when to refinance medical school loans, there are several options depending where you are in your career as a physician. The bottom line is that you should refinance medical school loans as soon as possible. Some lenders will enable you to refinance during residency. With medical resident refinancing, you’ll pay as low as $75 a month for your student loans during residency. You can also lock in a lower interest rate.

If you didn’t refinance your medical school loans during residency, you can still refinance now. If you can qualify for a lower interest rate, it generally makes sense to refinance your medical school loans. However, if you’re pursuing student loan forgiveness or need income-driven repayment, then you may not want to refinance federal student loans. Why? You won’t have access to these benefits after you refinance federal student loans. You can always refinance private student loans because they don’t offer these federal benefits.

How often you can refinance medical school loans?

There is no limit to how often you can refinance medical school debt. If you can get a lower interest rate, you should strongly consider refinancing. Even if you refinanced previously, you can refinance again. Student loan refinancing has no application fees, no origination fees and no prepayment penalties.

Therefore, you’re not penalized if you want to refinance again and get a lower interest rate. Alternatively, you may want to switch from a variable to fixed interest rate, or vice versa. Or, you may prefer a different student loan servicer. These are all reasons why you may want to refinance again.

How to get the lowest interest rate with student loan refinancing?

When you refinance your medical school loans, here are some helpful steps to consider to get the lower interest rate:

  • Compare lenders. Always compare lenders when you refinance medical school loans. You should compare loan terms, application process, eligibility, underwriting requirements, customer service and reputation.
  • Choose the lowest interest rate. Find the best interest rate for you based on your financial situation. Evaluate both fixed and variable interest rates. If you want the lowest interest rate, for example, choose a 5-year repayment term, for example.
  • Build credit. Lenders prefer borrowers with strong 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, which compares your monthly income to your monthly debt. Lenders want borrowers with a low risk of student loan default. To increase your chances of approval, consider paying off debt such as credit card debt. This can lower your debt-to-income ratio and default risk.

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