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Published: Nov 02, 2022 23 min read
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Best Student Loan Marketplace
Most Affordable Loan Payment Options for Medical StudentsBest Credit UnionBest Loan Consolidation for Medical StudentsBest for Customizing Loan Payment
CredibleSplash FinancialPenFed Student Loan Refinancing (powered by Purefy)Laurel RoadEarnest
Our PartnerOur PartnerOur PartnerOur PartnerOur Partner
Company Highlight

$200 Best Rate Reward guarantee if you find a better rate (terms and conditions apply)

No application fees, origination fees, or prepayment penalties

Allows you to combine your student loan debt with your spouse’s

Receive $400 for referring a friend

Choose your monthly payment and loan term length with “precision pricing”

Min. Credit Score

670

650

Unavailable

660

650

Fees

No prepayment penalties, origination, or application fees.

No application, origination, or disbursement fees.

No application, origination, or disbursement fees.

No application, origination, or disbursement fees.

No application or origination fees

Fixed APR

2.49%-10.11% APR with autopay

3.99%-8.24% APR with autopay

7.74%-9.93% APR

4.24%- 6.64% APR with autopay

3.99% APR - 8.49% APR with autopay

Variable APR

2.48%-10.07% APR with autopay

2.50%-8.65% APR with autopay

N/A

2.25%-6.55% APR with autopay

3.24% - 7.99% APR with autopay

Best Student Loan Marketplace
Credible
Our Partner
View Rates
Company Highlight

$200 Best Rate Reward guarantee if you find a better rate (terms and conditions apply)

Min. Credit Score

670

Fees

No prepayment penalties, origination, or application fees.

Fixed APR

2.49%-10.11% APR with autopay

Variable APR

2.48%-10.07% APR with autopay

Most Affordable Loan Payment Options for Medical Students
Splash Financial
Our Partner
View Rates
Company Highlight

No application fees, origination fees, or prepayment penalties

Min. Credit Score

650

Fees

No application, origination, or disbursement fees.

Fixed APR

3.99%-8.24% APR with autopay

Variable APR

2.50%-8.65% APR with autopay

Best Credit Union
PenFed Student Loan Refinancing (powered by Purefy)
Our Partner
View Rates
Company Highlight

Allows you to combine your student loan debt with your spouse’s

Min. Credit Score

Unavailable

Fees

No application, origination, or disbursement fees.

Fixed APR

7.74%-9.93% APR

Variable APR

N/A

Best Loan Consolidation for Medical Students
Laurel Road
Our Partner
View Rates
Company Highlight

Receive $400 for referring a friend

Min. Credit Score

660

Fees

No application, origination, or disbursement fees.

Fixed APR

4.24%- 6.64% APR with autopay

Variable APR

2.25%-6.55% APR with autopay

Best for Customizing Loan Payment
Earnest
Our Partner
View Rates
Company Highlight

Choose your monthly payment and loan term length with “precision pricing”

Min. Credit Score

650

Fees

No application or origination fees

Fixed APR

3.99% APR - 8.49% APR with autopay

Variable APR

3.24% - 7.99% APR with autopay

Refinancing your student loans can help you pay off debt quicker and save you money in the long run. Refinance rates have been slowly rising from their historic lows in 2021, albeit somewhat unevenly across different terms, so it might be a good idea to act before they go up any further.

Read on to learn more about our top picks for best student loan refinancing companies of 2022, along with industry insights and the latest information regarding student loan debt forgiveness.

As of this writing, the Biden administration's Education Department has extended the Covid forbearance pause on student loans until June 30, 2023, pending legal developments. Furthermore, the president announced an official federal student loan forgiveness plan: borrowers earning less than $125,000 will receive $10,000 in debt cancellation, while beneficiaries of need-based Pell Grants during college will be eligible for $20,000.

Our Top Picks for the Best Student Loan Refinance Companies

  • Credible - Best Student Loan Marketplace
  • Splash Financial - Most Affordable Loan Payment Options for Medical Students
  • PenFed - Best Credit Union
  • Laurel Road - Best Student Loan Consolidation for Medical Students
  • Earnest - Best for Customizing Loan Repayment
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Best Student Loan Refinance Reviews

Why we chose it: We chose Credible as our best student loan marketplace because its prequalification tool allows borrowers to check rates from multiple lenders after filling out a single application.

Pros
  • Compare multiple lenders in one place
  • Check if you qualify without a hard credit check
Cons
  • Not itself a lender
  • You must research each lender individually before applying
HIGHLIGHTS
Minimum income requirements
No minimum income
Minimum credit score
Generally 670, but may vary by lender
Prepayment penalty
None of Credible's partners charge prepayment penalties
Cosigner release
Varies by lender
Loan amount
$5,000 minimum, no maximum
Loan types
Refinance federal, private, undergraduate, graduate and Parent PLUS loans
Fees
No origination fees, but some lending partners may charge late fees
Fixed interest rate
2.49%-10.11% APR with autopay
Variable interest rate
2.48%-10.07% APR with autopay

Credible is an online marketplace for private student loans and student loan refinancing that provides personalized quotes from banks, fintech companies and state loan authorities such as the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) and Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA).

The marketplace offers student loan refinancing through undergraduate, graduate and Parent PLUS loans. While not all of its partners may offer the lowest interest rates compared to other lenders on this list, Credible boasts:

  • High approval rates
  • Income-driven repayment plans (specific to RISLA)
  • No partnerships with lenders that charge prepayment fees, application fees, or origination fees

Other Credible partner lenders include Advantage Education Loan, Brazos, Citizens Bank, College Ave, EdvestinU, ELFI, INvestEd, ISL Education Lending and PenFed.

Be aware that as a marketplace, Credible doesn’t list all terms and conditions of each lender — that’s why we recommend you do your own research to find out more about specific forbearance policies, discounts and unemployment protection.

Why we chose it: We chose Splash Financial as having the most affordable repayment options for medical students due to its expertise in medical school debt.

Pros
  • One of the few companies that offer the option of refinancing with your spouse
  • Check if you qualify without a hard credit pull
Cons
  • Not a lender
  • You must research each lender individually before applying
HIGHLIGHTS
Minimum income requirements
Varies by lender
Minimum credit score
650
Prepayment penalty
None of Splash's partner lenders charge a prepayment penalty
Cosigner release
Varies by lender
Loan amount
Varies by lender, minimum of $5K
Loan types
Undergraduate, healthcare graduate and Parent PLUS
Fees
No origination and application fees
Fixed interest rate
3.99%-8.24% APR with autopay
Variable interest rate
2.50%-8.65% APR with autopay

Splash Financial is an online marketplace that partners with loan servicers to provide medical students with low student loan refinance rates and affordable repayment options. It also partners with lenders to refinance other student loans. While it is a marketplace, Splash Financial won’t show you multiple offers from the banks and credit unions in its network, and you’ll only know who it considers the best fit after filling out a full application.

Terms range from five to 25 years for variable-rate loans (and five to 20 years for fixed-rate loans). While there is no maximum loan amount, the minimum needed to refinance is $5,000. Conditions may apply.

For medical and dental residents:

  • Refinancing medical school loans with Splash could help you lower payments to as little as $100 a month for the duration of your residency, plus an additional six months after the end of the residency or fellowship.
  • Students with associate degrees in specific medical fields are allowed to refinance up to a maximum of $50,000 with Splash.

The company offers an easy loan application and pre-qualification process for undergraduate and Parent PLUS loans. Spouses can benefit from student loan consolidation and refinance their loans together, as the company offers the option to “take over” your spouse’s loans. Parent loans can also be transferred to the child.

Read full review>>

Why we chose it: We chose PenFed as the best credit union because of its spousal loan options and low interest rates.

Pros
  • Married borrowers can refinance their student loans into a single loan
  • Refinance parent PLUS loans under your name
Cons
  • Must become a PenFed member to apply ($5 deposit required
  • Sets a maximum loan amount
  • No autopay discount
HIGHLIGHTS
Minimum income requirements
Ranges from $42,000 to $50,000, depending on the loan amount and whether there is a cosigner
Minimum credit score
Unavailable
Prepayment penalty
None
Cosigner release
After 1 year of consecutive on-time payments
Loan amount
Up to $300,000
Loan types
Graduate, undergraduate and Parent PLUS
Fees
None
Fixed interest rate
7.74%-9.93% APR
Variable interest rate
Unavailable

Pentagon Federal Credit Union is the second-largest credit union in the nation that offers student loan refinancing. PenFed’s student loan products are provided exclusively by online lender Purefy.

The company offers fixed- and variable-rate options for borrowers — students, parents and couples — refinancing up to $300,000 in private or federal student loan debt, with loan payment terms ranging from five to 15 years.

With PenFed, married couples can file a loan application to refinance their student loans together. The spouse with the highest degree should apply as the primary applicant to ensure the best rates. Unlike traditional refinancing, only one person needs to have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher to refinance through PenFed’s Couple Loan.

The annual income requirement ranges from $42,000 to $50,000, depending on the loan amount and whether there is a cosigner or not. As a member of PenFed, you'll gain access to member rate discounts, an advice center and financial offers.

Why we chose it: We chose Laurel Road as the best student loan consolidation option for medical students because of its reduced student loan refinancing rates for optometrists, nurses, dentists, physicians, or physician's assistants.

Pros
  • Refinances Parent PLUS loans
  • No application, origination or disbursement fees
  • Can choose a term under 20 years
Cons
  • Shorter grace period (6 months) when compared to other lenders
  • Limits refinancing associate degree loans to borrowers in eligible healthcare fields
HIGHLIGHTS
Minimum income requirements
Varies per each applicant's financial profile.None
Minimum credit score
640, 650 or 660 depending on education level
Prepayment penalty
None
Cosigner release
No, you must reapply for a loan to remove a cosigner
Loan amount
Min: $5,000 for bachelor's degree and higher. Max: $50,000 for all non-parent PLUS refinance loans
Loan types
Undergraduate, healthcare graduate and Parent PLUS
Fees
None
Fixed interest rate
3.99%- 6.40% APR with autopay
Variable interest rate
2.50%-6.30% APR with autopay

Laurel Road’s medical school loan program is available for medical residents or fellows who want to consolidate their federal and private loans into a single loan payment.

Interest won’t compound during your residency, and the company allows you to reduce payments to as little as $100 per month for up to four years before you start standard repayments.

Your eligibility requirements as a resident are based on your:

  • Credit profile
  • Monthly debt payments
  • Income projections at the end of your training period

Laurel Road offers a refinancing option for up to $50,000 for medical residents with associate degrees in eligible healthcare fields. The $50,000 maximum doesn't apply to parents borrowing for children pursuing an associate degree.

We liked that the lender offers a handy calculator so that prospective borrowers can see what their potential savings might be like with a refinance.

Why we chose it: We chose Earnest as best for customizing loan repayment because of its interesting approach to underwriting based on earning potential and its precision pricing model.

Pros
  • Customizable payments and loan terms
  • Option to skip one payment every 12 months
  • Can refinance your full student loan amount
Cons
  • Doesn't allow cosigners
  • Variable-rate loans aren't available in Alaska, Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas
  • Not available for citizens of Kentucky and Nevada
HIGHLIGHTS
Minimum income requirements
Varies per each applicant's financial profile. The lender currently doesn't accept cosigners
Minimum credit score
650
Prepayment penalty
None
Cosigner release
Unavailable
Loan amount
$5,000-$500,000
Loan types
Undergraduate, graduate and Parent PLUS
Fees
None
Fixed interest rate
3.99%-8.49% APR with autopay
Variable interest rate
3.24%-7.99% APR with autopay

Backed by student loan giant Navient, Earnest offers multiple loan repayment options and refinance loans for students and parents at competitive rates. The company also features a unique underwriting approach, which factors in your earning potential to determine your interest rate and payments. Earning potential is based on your degree, your history of on-time payments and your credit score.

Earnest also offers a “precision pricing” option, which:

  • Allows you to choose a loan repayment term based on your ideal monthly payment amount
  • Offers term lengths at 1- to 3-month intervals between 5 to 20 years
  • Benefits recent graduates or borrowers that may not have sufficient credit history to qualify for refinancing elsewhere

To refinance your student loan through Earnest, you must have a minimum loan balance of $5,000, or $10,000 if you reside in California. The company states that once you are approved, you're automatically approved for your entire loan amount, but you can choose to refinance less.

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Other student loan refinance companies we considered

Navy Federal Credit Union

HIGHLIGHTS
Minimum income requirement

No cosigner: $24,000 annually and established credit history

With cosigner: $1,200 annually. The cosigner must have an annual income of $24,000

Minimum credit score
Depends on each member's financial profile
Prepayment penalty
No prepayment penalties
Cosigner release
Available after 12 consecutive, on-time principal and interest payments
Loan amount
Minimum: $7,500-$125,000 for Maximum: $125,000 for undergraduate debt and $175,000 for graduate or combined debt
Loan types
Undergraduate, graduate and Parent PLUS
Fees

No application or origination fees

Late fee: $20 (except in Wisconsin, where the charge is the lesser of $10 or 5% of late payment)

Fixed interest rate
Starting at 3.44% with autopay
Variable interest rate
Starting at 4.66% with autopay

Navy Federal is the largest credit union in the world and specializes in banking and financial services for members of the military. Students with any type of student loan with Navy Federal are eligible to use the Career Assistance Program, an online job training tool that provides tips on interviewing, resume building and more. Parents that have taken out loans for multiple children can refinance and benefit from student loan consolidation.

Why it didn't make the cut:

  • Limited membership: The credit union only services members of the military or those who have family or household members in the armed forces.

Citizens Bank

HIGHLIGHTS
Minimum income requirements
Unavailable
Minimum credit score
Unavailable
Prepayment penalty
No prepayment penalties
Cosigner release
May be requested after 36 consecutive on-time principal payments on principal and interest
Loan amount
Minimum of $10,000. Maximum of $300,000 (Undergraduate degree), $500,000 (Graduate degree) and $750,000 (Professional degree)
Loan types
Undergraduate, graduate and Parent PLUS
Fees
No application or origination fees
Fixed interest rate
4.49%-10.12% APR with autopay
Variable interest rate
3.84%-10.08% APR with autopay

Citizens Bank combines the stability of a traditional bank with the flexibility of online lending and offers refinancing options for both students and parents.

Loan refinancing is available to permanent resident aliens and non-U.S. citizens (with a qualified cosigner), something that most other loan servicers don’t offer.

Why it didn't make the cut:

  • Citizens Bank has a history of complaints. This eventually resulted in regulatory action by the CFPB in 2015. The issue seems to have improved within the past few years, as there are currently only 43 complaints against the company's student loan refinance products at this time.

SoFi

HIGHLIGHTS
Minimum income requirements
Does not disclose
Minimum credit score
650
Prepayment penalty
None
Cosigner release
Available for in-school private loans, not for student loan refinancing
Loan amount
$5,000 up to your total outstanding loan balance
Loan types
Undergraduate, graduate and Parent PLUS
Fees
No application, origination or disbursement fee
Fixed interest rate
3.99%-8.24% APR with autopay
Variable interest rate
3.24%-8.24% APR with autopay

SoFi is a leading online loan servicer that offers student loan consolidation and refinancing for undergraduate, graduate, medical student and Parent Plus loans.

Member perks include career coaching, free access to a college cost comparison tool, free access to personalized financial planning advice and a referral program that pays you and the person you referred $300 for refinancing with SoFi.

Why it didn't make the cut:

  • While SoFi offers competitive rates and provides members with various cost-free benefits, the lender barely missed making our list of top student loan refinance servicers. It currently has 53 complaints against it with CFPB, mainly relating to its loan process.

Student Loan Refinance Guide

In this guide, you will find information on what refinancing your student loans entails, when the best time to refinance is and what you need to qualify.

Table of Contents:

How does refinancing student loans work?

When you refinance your student loan you are replacing your current loan with a new loan with new terms from a private lender. Generally, borrowers refinance student loans to extend their repayment period, obtain a low interest rate (and therefore lower monthly payments) or consolidate multiple student loans into one single payment.

You can only refinance student loans through a private lender, not the federal government. If you have federal student loans, keep in mind that you will be giving up federal benefits that come with government loans such as student loan forgiveness programs and certain loan repayment programs should you choose to refinance. If your student loan is from a private lender you can refinance with your current lender or choose a different lender.

When to refinance student loans

Refinancing your student loans — whether federal or private — may save you money if you have high interest rates and a large monthly payment. However, it’s not always the best financial move, especially for borrowers with federal loans.

Refinancing a federal loan means losing valuable benefits and protections, such as income-based loan repayment plans, public service loan forgiveness, interest subsidies and student loan tax deductions.

Student loan refinance pros and cons

Take a look at the following to determine if refinancing your student loan is the right choice:

Pros
  • Take advantage of market fluctuations to reduce your rate
  • Shorten your loan repayment term
  • Increase or lower your monthly payment
  • Consolidate federal and private student loans and have a single monthly payment
  • Option to remove your cosigner
  • Multiple repayment terms are available, often 5 to 20-years
Cons
  • No federal repayment protections
  • No federal student loan forgiveness
  • Subject to the private lender's repayment terms
  • No flexibility to alter the repayment plan without refinancing
  • No income-based repayment option
  • Irreversible: private loans can't be converted back to federal loans

How to refinance student loans

Check your credit

Student loan refinance lenders will take into account your creditworthiness. Generally, borrowers with credit scores in the high 600s, typically around 650 to 680, are more likely to qualify for a refinance loan.

If you have a low score or bad credit, a good first step is to check your credit reports for any incorrect information that may be affecting your score. Then take the appropriate steps to remove negative items from your credit history and work to improve your financial situation.

Consider the types of loans you have

Refinancing a federal loan means you lose exclusive benefits provided by the U.S. Department of Education, including public service loan forgiveness (PSLF), income-driven repayment plans, forbearance options and deferment. Private student loans generally have a limited disaster or emergency forbearance period compared to federal loans.

Shop around

When comparing refinancing lenders, look at the credit score and annual income requirements, the annual percentage rate (APR) offered and debt-to-income ratio (DTI) requirements. Take the time to check the lender’s history with customer complaints or whether they’ve had any recent lawsuits related to their student loan products within the last 5 years.

Evaluate cosigner release options

Some private lenders may offer cosigner release options if the primary borrower meets specific repayment qualifying criteria. With a cosigner release, the cosigner’s credit will be cleared of debt, but the loan will remain in their credit history.

Research lender’s financial hardship relief options

Some online lenders offer student loan unemployment deferment and forbearance, relief options that allow you to temporarily pause loan payments until you get back on your feet. A typical forbearance period with a private lender can be two to three months.

To learn more, check out our full guide on how to refinance student loans.

Student loan refinance application requirements

A successful application process depends on the following:

Good credit

Most lenders require credit scores above 650, though you’ll need a higher score to qualify for the lowest advertised rates. If your credit is too low or you have a short credit history, you’ll likely have to apply with a cosigner that has excellent credit and a stable income.

Proof of Income

Stable annual income is essential. Lenders will evaluate your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), meaning the percentage of your gross income that goes toward paying debts each month. Most companies require you to have a low DTI to qualify, but some may accept written job offers as sufficient evidence.

Cosigner

Applicants with insufficient credit history, low income or a low credit score will benefit from a cosigner. A cosigner can be a parent or relative that applies for the loan with you and takes on the responsibility of paying it back if you can’t. Cosigners must have sufficient income and strong credit.

College degree

A college degree isn’t always necessary to refinance your student loans, but having a degree gives you more options. Most lenders require a bachelor’s degree to qualify for refinancing, and a few accept borrowers with associate degrees.

U.S. citizenship or permanent residency status

Most, if not all, lenders require you to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to be eligible to refinance your student loans. If your student loans are foreign, it’s recommended that you build sufficient credit in the United States to qualify for refinancing.

Student loan refinancing vs. Student loan consolidation

One of the benefits of refinancing through a private student loan lender is that borrowers can consolidate multiple loans into one loan and have a single monthly payment under one servicer.

Here are the key differences between student loan consolidation and refinance:

Private Loan Refinance Direct Consolidation Loans
Replaces one or more existing loans — federal or private — with a new private loan. Combines your existing federal student loans into one federal student loan.
Available for federal and private loans, depending on the lender. Available for federal student loans only.
Interest rates are determined by your credit history and potential market trends. This may result in a lower interest rate. Your new interest rate will be the result of the weighted average of the interest rates on the loans you're consolidating, so this option does not reduce the amount of interest you’re paying each month.
Credit history will be verified. Does not require a credit check for approval.
Fixed- or variable-interest-rate loans. Can consolidate variable rate loans into fixed-rate loans.
Multiple repayment terms are available, often 5 to 20 years. Consolidation loans offer several repayment options besides the standard 10-year repayment plan and can extend the term of the loan by 12 to 30 years.
Parent PLUS loans can be refinanced under the adult child's name, relieving parents of debt. Parent Plus loans cannot be consolidated under the adult child’s name.
You lose all benefits associated with federal student loans. You retain all benefits and protections available to federal student loans.

Student Loan Refinance and COVID-19

CARES Act

The Biden administration announced a further extension on the current suspension of federal student loan payments, interest and collections to June 30, 2023. That relief also applies to defaulted loans, as collections and garnishments have been suspended until that date.

Private student loan forbearance and relief options

PenFed
Borrowers encountering financial concerns with their accounts are encouraged to contact
PenFed’s Financial Hardship Center for further assistance or call 1-800-246-5626
Laurel Road
Full or partial forbearance of 3 monthly payments. Interest will continue to accrue.
For more information on financial assistance, contact the lender’s servicing partner MOHELA at 1-877-292-6845
Splash Financial
Lower rates in response to the economic crisis
Splash Financial encourages clients to reach out directly at (800) 349-3938 so they can negotiate accommodations like forbearance or waiving fees.
Earnest
Short-term interest-only program that allows clients to make lower (interest only) payments for up to 90 days. Borrowers may use this program for a maximum of 18 months
For more information, please refer to the lender’s Repayment Options guide.
Navy Federal Credit Union
Eligible members are eligible for a 3-month forbearance on their student loan payments
The company encourages borrowers to contact their Student Loan Center at 1-877-304-9302 for more information.
For more information, please consult the lender’s Pandemic Relief FAQs section..
Citizens Bank
Discretionary loan payment forbearance. Interest will still accrue.
For more information, please refer to the lender’s Forbearance FAQ.
SoFi
• Payment deferral.
• Unemployment protection
• The option to request a forbearance period for up to 12 months in 3-month increments (interest will still accrue, and the life of the loan will extend).
For more information, go to the lender’s Unemployment Protection Program guide.
Credible is excluded from this section because it’s a loan marketplace and does not issue loans. As it does not have its own payment relief policy in place, we recommend you refer to the specific loan servicer's platforms for further information.

Latest News on Student Loan Refinance

News coverage on student loans ramped up in light of President Joe Biden’s debt relief program announcement. The basics: borrowers who earn less that $125,000 may qualify for up to $10,000 in loan forgiveness, while borrowers who received a need-based Pell Grant may be eligible for up to $20,000. Here’s what our newsroom has covered so far:

After running a beta version, the Biden administration officially launched the student loan forgiveness application on Monday, Oct.17. If you’re not one of the 8 million borrowers who qualify for automatic relief, you’ll need to fill out the online application. Fortunately, it’s quick and easy to submit. Read You Can Now Officially Apply for Student Loan Forgiveness. Here’s How to know what information you need to apply and whether you are eligible for automatic relief.

Borrowers eager to erase their debt may fall prey for scammers who are offering early approval or demanding payment to access the free debt relief program. In Student Loan Forgiveness Scams Soar as Borrowers Wait on Debt Relief, we gather input from fraud experts and government officials. You’ll learn why there’s an uptick in debt relief scams and how to tell these scams apart from legitimate sources.

The government is officially accepting applications but it may be a while before borrowers actually see their loans discharged. Biden’s forgiveness program is facing several legal challenges that could delay its execution significantly or stop it altogether. Currently, there are seven key dates to mark in your calendar after you’ve submitted the application. That said, the timeline may change as the lawsuits play out in court.

Best student loan refinance FAQ

Can you refinance federal student loans?

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Yes, even though federal loans can be consolidated, you can choose to refinance them instead. However, note that you will lose federal student loan benefits, including repayment options.

How to refinance a student loan?

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First, decide if refinancing is the right option for you, as opting to refinance your federal loan will eliminate various federal loan benefits, including low interest rates, repayment grace periods and deferment/forbearance options. Once you've made up your mind, you can shop for rates online and pick the best offer for you.

How often can you refinance student loans?

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You can refinance your student loan as many times as you want. Student loans typically don't carry any origination or prepayment fees. If you've already refinanced your student loan but have improved your credit score or found a better rate, you can refinance again.

Why refinance student loans?

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Refinancing your federal student loan isn't the best option for everyone. Federal loans usually have favorable terms and benefits you would lose by refinancing with a private lender. Before opting to refinance, look into the benefits of consolidating your federal student loans. Refinancing can be worth it only if it considerably lowers your interest rate and saves you money in the long run.

What is the best student loan refinance company?

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The simple answer is that the best student loan refinance company for you is just that: the best for your situation. If you want a customizable payment option, maybe Splash Financial may offer better terms. In any case our best student loan refinance list can help narrow down your options.

How We Chose the Best Student Loan Refinance Companies

Loan refinance selection

Some lenders didn’t make our cut because they didn’t offer a full range of refinancing options, such as for ParentPLUS student loans, which was a non-negotiable point in our criteria.

Payment options and fees

We favored companies with flexible payback policies, such as cosigner release and financial hardship relief options for qualified applicants. We also looked for financial institutions that offered refinance loans without charging application or origination fees or even prepayment penalties. Additionally, we favored lenders who offered interest rate reductions for signing up for automatic payments, or autopay programs.

Customer experience

When we researched each company on our shortlist, it was important for us to evaluate whether lenders had an inordinate number of complaints or any ongoing actions with regulatory agencies such as the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.

Summary of Money’s Best Student Loan Refinance Companies of November 2022

  • Credible - Best Student Loan Marketplace
  • Splash Financial - Most Affordable Loan Payment Options for Medical Students
  • PenFed - Best Credit Union
  • Laurel Road - Best Student Loan Consolidation for Medical Students
  • Earnest - Best for Customizing Loan Repayment