While Chase Bank once offered private student loans and serviced federal loans, it sold its portfolio to Navient in 2013. It no longer offers student loans or student loan refinancing. If you took out student loans prior to 2013, here’s what to know.

What happened to my Chase student loans?

Chase once had a robust student loan arm among its products, but this major player in the banking industry exited the student loan space back in 2013. All of Chase’s loans have now been sold to Navient — one of the leading student loan servicers in the United States.

When loans change servicers, the loan details themselves don’t change; the loan amount, interest rate and repayment term all stay the same. The main change is that a different company takes care of payments, customer service and repayment options.

Former Chase borrowers can reach out to Navient to inquire about their student loan status. Navient offers quite a few ways to reach out on its contact page, including email forms and several toll-free numbers that vary depending on the type of student loans you have.

How to find the best student loan refinance lender

If you took out your student loans when interest rates were high, or if you’re looking for ways to adjust your monthly payment, refinancing can be a good option. Even though Chase doesn’t offer student loan refinancing, there are plenty of other lenders that do offer this service.

To find the best student loan refinance lender, consider these tips:

  • Get prequalified. Getting prequalified for student loan refinancing can help you gauge your ability to qualify for loans with the terms and new payment you want. You can also get prequalified online without a hard inquiry on your credit report, which puts you in a good spot to make an informed decision before you fill out a full loan application.
  • Compare interest rates and loan terms. You should also take the time to compare multiple offers in terms of their interest rates and loan terms. At this stage, you can decide whether you’d like a fixed or variable interest rate and what repayment term will give you the best monthly payment for your situation.
  • Read lender reviews. Deep dives of student loan lenders can help you gain a sense of how each private student loan company operates, as well as their major pros and cons. While you’re researching lenders, you can also find reviews based on user experiences with third-party websites like Trustpilot.

When should I refinance my student loans?

There are a few factors to consider before you refinance student loans with a private lender. This is especially true if you’re planning to refinance federal student loans, since switching them to a private lender would mean giving up federal loan protections, income-driven repayment plans and programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

Additionally, you should keep in mind that federal student loan payments are currently suspended through Jan. 31, 2022. During this forbearance, interest rates are set at 0 percent for most federal loans, so you shouldn’t rush out to refinance. If anything, you can continue making payments on your loans at the 0 percent rate to knock down your balances and look into refinancing options later in the year.

With this being said, it could make sense to refinance your student loans if:

  • Your credit score has improved or rates have gone down substantially.
  • You want to switch your private student loans from a variable rate to a fixed interest rate.
  • You need to lower your monthly payment by lengthening your repayment term.
  • You have a plan to repay your debt and you know you’ll never need to access income-driven repayment plans or forgiveness options.

The bottom line

Chase student loans may be a thing of the past, but keep in mind that there are plenty of other loan servicers that have picked up the helm. In fact, many of the best private student loan companies offer incredibly low rates and flexible terms for people with great credit, but you will also find student loan options for bad credit if you look hard enough.

If you do want to refinance, don’t settle for the first company you come across. Instead, compare providers’ interest rates and loan terms and make sure that your new payment fits with your budget and lifestyle.

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