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Total Principal + Interest The total value of the principal plus the interest across all your loans.

Loan Balances

APR

Mo. Payment

Interest

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Student Loan Consolidation Basics

Consolidating student loans is a common way to simplify your bills and streamline your payments. It’s often, but not always, done in tandem with refinancing student loans, which lowers your rate. Read below to learn more about student loan consolidation, and how combining loans produces a weighted average interest rate.
Principal
Can refer to the original amount of money you borrowed, or the outstanding balance still owed on a loan, aside from the interest accrued.
APR (ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE)
An annual percentage rate refers to the comprehensive annual cost of credit, including the interest rate plus any fees or additional costs associated with the transaction.
Weighted Average Interest Rate
A single rate that represents the average of several loans with varying balances and interest rates. Loans with a higher balance have more ‘weight’ on the final rate. Minimum Monthly Payment
Minimum Monthly Payment
The payment required by your loan servicer in order to pay off the loan by the contracted term, found on your monthly statement.
What is the difference between student loan consolidation and refinancing?

Consolidation simply combines multiple student loans into one. That means one monthly payment instead of having to juggle many different ones, sometimes with multiple servicers. When you consolidate, your interest rate will be a weighted average of the interest rates on the loans you combine. You won’t save money on interest rates — but it can make life easier by reducing the amount of time you spend managing different payments.

Refinancing can be done with one loan or several, and involves getting a new loan with a different (usually lower) rate than before, due to changes in your financial situation. When you refinance, you typically work with a company to pay off the original loan(s) and get a new unified loan at a lower rate.

Can my spouse and I refinance and consolidate our loans together?

While we are not able to combine loans from two different individuals, we would be happy to consider two separate refinancing applications. For each application we would consider only individual income, but we can factor in any joint assets that you might share.

Who should consider refinancing with Earnest?

Refinancing is a great solution for employed or soon-to-be-employed graduates who have high-interest, unsubsidized Direct Loans, Graduate PLUS loans, and/or private loans.

We look for clients who have a strong history of financial responsibility, which can show itself in many ways. For example, some clients may have a limited credit history, but present healthy savings patterns and a career with strong earning potential. We also look for clients who have an income that supports both the life of the Earnest loan and their everyday living expenses. Positive payment history is another key part of our review process, as this demonstrates you are committed to making your payments in full for all of your existing debts.

You must also meet the following requirements:

  • You are at least 18 years old
  • You are a United States citizen or permanent resident
  • You reside in a state in which we lend
  • Your student loans were used to pay for a completed degree from a college or university that is accredited under Title IV. If you are unsure whether your school is accredited, you can consult this list.
  • You graduated or are in your final semester
  • You are employed or have a written job offer
Can I refinance loans that have been consolidated or refinanced previously?

Yes. Previous refinancing or consolidation does not affect the eligibility of your application. As long as the completed degree you have received was obtained at a school under the Title IV accredited list, we are able to refinance your existing loan.

Have More Questions? Check out our Help Center.