Your Earnest student loans and COVID-19

Your Earnest student loans and COVID-19 Learn more

REFINANCE STUDENT LOANS

Pay less interest, pick a payment that fits your budget

See why our clients love Earnest student loan refinancing. Get your rate estimate without affecting your credit score.

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Refinancing with Earnest

Why refinance with Earnest?

You deserve to be rewarded for good financial decisions. Imagine combining all of your student loans into one monthly payment with one low interest rate. 

Refinancing with Earnest also means: 

  • Customizing your new loan  
  • Choosing your loan term 
  • Removing a loan cosigner 
  • Combining many loans into one payment
  • Accessing a Client Happiness team

Let’s Talk Loans

Student Loan Consolidation vs. Refinancing

In this quick video, we cover how refinancing private and federal loans to a lower interest rate and more favorable repayment terms can impact your student debt repayment timeline.

Refinancing sound right for you? Get your new interest rate estimate in 2 minutes, with no effect on your credit score.
2 Min: Get My Rate

Find a low interest rate

Lower is better when it comes to interest rates. See your rate estimate if you refinance with Earnest today.

Check Your Rate
Starting at
1.99%
( including 0.25% Auto Pay discount )
variable rates
Are rates that have an interest rate that will fluctuate over time
Starting at
3.19%
( including 0.25% Auto Pay discount )
fixed rates
Are rates that have an interest rate that will not fluctuate over time
Starting at
1.99%
( including 0.25% Auto Pay discount )
variable rates
Are rates that have an interest rate that will fluctuate over time
Starting at
3.19%
( including 0.25% Auto Pay discount )
fixed rates
Are rates that have an interest rate that will not fluctuate over time

Variable rates not available in AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN, and TX.

Ready? Here’s how it works.

1

See Your Rate

Get an instant interest rate estimate with no impact on your credit score.

2

Apply

Fill out a simple application to see if Earnest is the right fit. Check our eligibility guide.

3

Pay Your Way

Pick a monthly payment from monthly or bi-weekly options. 

Shop for the best loan

Shop for the best loan

Go ahead. See how Earnest student loan refinancing compares to the competition.

Earnest Horizontal Logo
in-house servicing in-house servicing in-house servicing
customized loan terms customized loan terms customized loan terms
skip 1 payment a year skip 1 payment a year skip 1 payment a year
biweekly autopayments biweekly autopayments biweekly autopayments

Feature comparison current as of April 1, 2020

Feature comparison current as of April 1, 2020

Managing your student loans made easy

With payment flexibility, no fees, and smart design, we are a loan servicer focused on you.

  • Consolidate your private and federal loans
  • Select autopay to never miss a loan payment
  • Choose your preferred payment amount based on your budget
  • Select biweekly or monthly payments
  • Increase payment anytime to pay off loan faster
  • Adjust your payment date anytime with ease
  • Make extra or early payments without prepayment penalties
  • Skip a payment and make it up later

Credit is complicated—learn the basics here

We’ve put together a library of essential resources (like how-to guides, comparisons, and calculators) to help you make better choices when it comes to refinancing student loans and personal finance. Topics include building good credit, the right personal loan for a home improvement project, and managing credit card debt. And keep an eye out—we’re always adding more.

Get the FAQs on student loan refinancing

Should I refinance my student loans?

Refinancing student loans makes sense for people who are eligible for a lower interest rate. You could apply for refinancing after graduation, but most people wait until after their deferment period is over (especially for subsidized student loans where interest does not accrue during the deferment period). For starters, student loan consolidation (which is included in the student loan refinance process) simplifies the management of your monthly payments into a single loan. 

Student loan refinancing allows you to consolidate both your private and federal loans (including Parent Plus Loans), select a repayment term that makes sense for you, and often get a lower interest rate. In addition to possibly lowering your interest payment, student loan refinancing allows you to remove a cosigner, possibly lower your payment amount, and make student loan debt more manageable if the new loan terms are better than your current loan. 

Here at Earnest, the entire application process is online, and you could have your new low-interest rate loan in less than a week.

Borrowers who refinance federal student loans should be aware of the repayment options that they are giving up. For example, Earnest does not offer income-based repayment plans or Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

It’s possible to consolidate federal student loans (Federal Perkins, Direct subsidized, Direct unsubsidized, and Direct PLUS loans) with a Direct Consolidation Loan from the Department of Education, but this will not allow you to lower your interest rate or select a variable rate loan, and private student loans are not eligible. To learn more about federal student loans, you can visit: studentaid.gov.

What if I’m considering student loan refinancing during the current national emergency or have a pending application?

Due to recent events, including an executive order by the President to waive federal student loan interest during the COVID-19 crisis, we want Earnest clients to explore all their options before applying to refinance their federal student loans.

Refinancing a federal student loan with a private lender means you will no longer have access to benefits of your federal loans, including the temporary 0% interest rate on federally held loans, and suspension of payments, which may last for a number of months.

Please carefully review your current and potential benefits with a federal loan servicer before refinancing.

Call us at 1-888-601-2801 if you have a pending refinancing and want to review your options or cancel your pending loan, as described below:

If you recently refinanced your student loans with us, you have a right to cancel this transaction, without penalty, by midnight of the third business day on which you received your Final Disclosures. Please see your Final Disclosures for the specific date and instructions on how to cancel. Your Final Disclosures were emailed to you with the subject line “Your Earnest Loan Agreement” on the day you finalized your loan. If you’re unable to locate your Final Disclosures, please reach out to our Client Happiness Team.

When should I refinance my student loans?

The sooner you refinance loans, the more you could save. The longer you hold your loan at a higher rate, the more interest you are accruing— depending on your loan type, even if you are in a grace period. That being said, you must be employed with certain income requirements to be eligible to refinance your existing loans with Earnest. The more your financial situation has improved since you took out the loans originally, the better your refinancing loan rates will be.

You may also want to refinance a loan if your current loan doesn’t have a cosigner release option. Refinancing with Earnest means the cosigner will no longer have this loan impacting their debt-to-income ratio.

Can I refinance only my high-interest loans?

Once you’re approved, you are automatically approved for the total eligible student loan amount listed on your credit report. When you’re ready to accept your loan, you can choose to refinance less than the requested amount (as long as it’s above $5,000) or up to 105% of your approved amount.

Because you’ll be accepting a new loan when you refinance,  you will get to choose either a fixed rate loan or a variable rate loan.

If you’re not certain about the difference, here’s the difference between variable and fixed interest rates: 

  • A fixed interest rate stays the same for the life of the loan. This means that once you refinance, your new loan interest will not change. 
  • A variable interest rate may fluctuate over the life of the loan.

Is it possible to refinance both federal and private student loans?

Absolutely. When considering refinancing your federal student loans, it is important to review the current protections and benefits you are granted with those loans and understand which of those you may be giving up when refinancing for an interest rate deduction or lower monthly payments with a private lender like Earnest. 

Once your education loans from the federal government are refinanced into private student loans, you will get a new interest rate. That rate might be lower (ideally, it would it) or in some cases, it may be higher. An interest rate reduction will mean you’ll pay less interest over time. 

Some lenders’ student loan refinancing products may include prepayment penalties or origination fees. Earnest will never punish you for paying off your loans early or make you pay for taking out a new loan. 

What credit score do I need to refinance my student loans?

Different lenders have different credit requirements, but for Earnest a minimum credit score of 650 is necessary for approval. Typically, the better your credit history, the lower rate a lender will be willing to offer after a credit check. 

However, at Earnest, your credit score isn’t the only factor in your loan application. We look at data other lenders don’t (like your savings, education, and earning potential) to offer our lowest rates that are customized to you. Your credit history is a combination of student debt, credit card debt, rent payments, and any other record of how you managed your credit lines. Good credit is built over time, by managing your debt and making your monthly payments.

Does refinancing student loans hurt your credit?

In short, refinancing student loans generally does not hurt your credit. When getting your initial rate estimate, all that’s required is a ’soft credit inquiry,’ which doesn’t affect your credit score. Once you determine which lender (bank, credit union, or online lender) has the best offer, you’ll complete a full application. This application does require a ‘hard credit inquiry,’ which can have a minor credit impact (typically a few points). 

In the months and years after refinancing, your credit score should see steady improvement as you make on-time payments and pay down your student debt. You can set up an automatic payment through our Auto Pay loan program to ensure you never miss a loan payment.

Do I have to be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident?

Yes, you need to be a U.S. Citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card. You currently reside in the District of Columbia or one of the 47 states we lend in (all but Delaware, Kentucky, and Nevada). *Please note, we are not able to offer variable rate loans in AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN, and TX

How do I refinance my student loans?

Like other forms of debt, you can refinance a student loan (both private loans and federal student loans are eligible for refinancing). With some lenders, you start with a rate estimate, which doesn’t require a hard credit inquiry. When comparing rates from different lenders, be sure to pay attention to additional key differences, such as origination fees or late payment fees before making a final decision. Earnest, for example, does not charge any fees. In fact, clients are so happy with Earnest student loan refinancing, we were granted the “Best Student Loan Refinancing” 2020 Award from NerdWallet

The next step is to submit a loan application and provide any additional required verification, such as IDs or pay stubs. Once you’re approved, you sign a few documents and indicate the loans you’d like to refinance. Your new lender will pay off these old loans, and you will have a new refinanced loan. 

The Earnest Blog

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