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Best refinance student loans in June 2024

May 09, 2024
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Refinancing your student loans may land you a lower interest rate and a smaller monthly payment. It isn't always a good idea to refinance, however. If you have federal student loans, refinancing comes with downsides you should consider. You'll also need to research student loan companies and their terms to find the best deal.

Bankrate's ranking of the best student loan refinancing companies compares rates, terms and features to help you start your search for a lender. The resources below can also help you explore whether refinancing is right for you.

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Filters
Fixed APR from

5.24- 9.60%

Loan amount

$5k- $250K

Fixed APR from

5.48- 8.69%

Loan amount

$10k- No Max

Fixed APR from

5.85- 9.90%

Loan amount

$5k- $250K

Fixed APR from

6.00- 10.37%

Loan amount

$7.5k- $200K

Fixed APR from

6.20- 8.99%

Loan amount

$10k- No Max

Fixed APR from

6.34- 8.54%

Loan amount

$7.5k- $250K

Fixed APR from

6.49- 10.98%

Loan amount

$10k- $750K

Lender conversion and compensation impacts how, where and in what order products appear in the above table

Find out how much you could save

Use this calculator to quickly determine if refinancing is worth it for you.

What is student loan refinancing?

Student loan refinancing is the process of taking out a new loan to pay off your existing student loans. When you refinance your student loans, you may qualify for a lower interest rate and a different repayment timeline. That could help you save money on interest or lower your monthly payments.

Refinancing is a good idea for people with a large monthly payment or a high interest rate, since refinancing into new terms can make loans more affordable in both the short- and long term. Borrowers with good credit, in particular, will qualify for the best rates and terms. You can refinance both federal and private student loans, though it's usually best to avoid refinancing federal loans, since they come with a number of perks that aren't available through private lenders.

Compare refinance student loans in June 2024

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LENDER BEST FOR VARIABLE APR* FIXED APR* LOAN TERM LOAN AMOUNT
SoFi Overall refinancing 6.24%-9.99% 5.24%-9.99% 5 - 20 years $1,000 - full balance of education loans
Earnest Flexible repayment options 5.99%-9.74% 5.19%-9.74% 5 - 20 years $5,000 - $500,000
Laurel Road Students in health care 5.24%-9.70% 5.19%-9.50% 5 - 20 years $5,000 - full balance of education loans
Citizens Bank Available discounts 8.88%-11.50% 7.61%-10.06% 5 - 20 years $10,000 - $750,000
LendKey Comparing multiple lenders %-% 5.24%-9.60% 5 - 20 years Starting at $5,000**
College Ave No fees 6.99%-13.99% 6.99%-13.99% 5 - 15 years $1,000-$300,000($150,000 for some degrees)
Splash Financial Low rates 5.28%-9.99% 5.09%-9.99% 5 - 15 years Starting at $5,000
*Rates include autopay discount.

** Minimum $10,001 for AZ residents, $15,001 for CT residents, $6,000 for MA residents.

LENDER BEST FOR VARIABLE APR* FIXED APR* LOAN TERM LOAN AMOUNT
Earnest Flexible repayment options 5.99%-9.74% 5.19%-9.74% 5 - 20 years $5,000 - $500,000
LendKey Comparing multiple lenders %-% 5.24%-9.60% 5 - 20 years Starting at $5,000**
College Ave No fees 6.99%-13.99% 6.99%-13.99% 5 - 15 years $1,000-$300,000 ($150,000 for some degrees)
Splash Financial Low rates 5.28%-9.99% (with autopay) 5.09%-9.99% (with autopay) 5-15 years Starting at $5,000

*Rates include autopay discount.

** Minimum $10,001 for AZ residents, $15,001 for CT residents, $6,000 for MA residents.

LENDER BEST FOR VARIABLE APR* FIXED APR* LOAN TERM LOAN AMOUNT
SoFi Co-signer release 6.24%-9.99% 5.24%-9.99% 5 - 20 years $5,000 - full balance of education loans
Earnest Flexible repayment options 5.89%-8.94% 5.09%-8.99% 5 - 20 years $5,000 - $500,000
Education Loan Finance (ELFI) Few fees 5.28%-8.49% 5.48%-8.29% 5 - 10 years Starting at $10,000

*Rates include autopay discount.

LENDER BEST FOR FIXED APR* VARIABLE APR* LOAN TERM LOAN AMOUNT
SoFi Overall refinancing 4.87%-9.99% 5.87%-9.99% 5 - 20 years $1,000 - full balance of education loans
Earnest Flexible repayment options 5.09%-8.99% 5.89%-8.94% 5 - 20 years $5,000 - $500,000
Laurel Road Students in health care 4.92%-9.21% 4.97%-9.41% 5 - 20 years $5,000 - full balance of education loans
Splash Financial Low rates 6.39%-9.84% (with autopay) 6.39%-9.84% (with autopay) 5-15 years Starting at $5,000

*Rates include autopay discount.

Best overall student loan refinance company

Min. credit score:
640
Fixed APR From:
5.24% –9.99%
Loan amount:
$1,000– $500,000
Term lengths:
5 to 20 years
Min. annual income:
Not disclosed

Overview: SoFi is one of the most popular lenders for student loan refinancing, and it’s easy to see why. This lender offers loans with competitive interest rates and no hidden fees, including no origination fees.

Why SoFi is the best overall student loan refinance company: SoFi's range of repayment terms, low rates and variety of online resources make it a good choice for many types of borrowers.

Best student loan refinance company for flexible repayment options

Min. credit score:
665
Fixed APR From:
5.09% –8.99%
Loan amount:
$5,000– $500,000
Term lengths:
5 to 20 years
Min. annual income:
$35,000

Overview: Earnest lets you refinance your student loans with the potential for a low APR and flexible repayment options. With repayment terms from five to 20 years, it's easy to find a repayment timeline that works for your budget.

Why Earnest is the best for flexible repayment options: Earnest lets you pick a payment that fits with your budget, meaning it will tinker with the length of your loan until you land on a monthly payment you can afford. You can also skip a payment once every 12 months if you need some breathing room.

Laurel Road: 2024 Bankrate Awards winner for best student loan for refinancing

Min. credit score:
Not disclosed
Fixed APR From:
5.44% –9.75%
Loan amount:
$5,000– $500,000
Term lengths:
3 to 20 years
Min. annual income:
Not disclosed

Overview: Laurel Road is a lender with low rates and a robust online experience. Borrowers can choose a term of five, seven, 10, 15 or 20 years.

You cannot apply for a loan from Laurel Road within our site. Read our Laurel Road review for more details about this lender's terms.

Why Laurel Road is the best for students in health care: Some student loan lenders don't refinance associate degree debt, but borrowers earning an associate degree in dental hygiene, nursing, occupational therapy and more can refinance with Laurel Road as soon as their final term. 

Best student loan refinance company for available discounts

Min. credit score:
620
Fixed APR From:
5.99% –14.00%
Loan amount:
$1,000– $350,000
Term lengths:
5 to 20 years
Min. annual income:
Not disclosed

Overview: Citizens Bank offers student loan refinancing for borrowers who need to refinance up to $750,000 in student loans, although maximums vary based on your degree type. Variable interest rates as low as 7.29 percent APR are available also based on your degree type, and you can choose a repayment option between five and 20 years.

Why Citizens Bank is the best for available discounts: You can qualify for several discounts that can reduce your interest rate, including a loyalty discount and an automatic payment discount. These discounts can knock 0.5 percent off your APR, saving you even more money over the long term.

Best student loan refinance company for comparing multiple lenders

Min. credit score:
Not disclosed
Fixed APR From:
5.49% –9.75%
Loan amount:
$5,000– $500,000
Term lengths:
5 to 20 years
Min. annual income:
Not disclosed

Overview: LendKey pairs with multiple student loan lenders to offer student loan refinancing; in other words, it doesn't lend money itself, but rather serves as a middleman to connect you with lenders you may qualify with. There are no origination fees.

Why LendKey is the best for comparing multiple lenders: LendKey partners with a network of credit unions and banks, combing through multiple lenders' offerings to customize your loan. This means that you need to apply only once to receive multiple offers.

Best student loan refinance company for no fees

Min. credit score:
Not disclosed
Fixed APR From:
4.29% –16.69%
Loan amount:
$1,000– $500,000
Term lengths:
5 to 15 years
Min. annual income:
Not disclosed

Overview: If you want to refinance your student loans and you don’t want to pay any fees, College Ave is worth checking out. This lender offers variable and fixed rates as low as 6.99 percent APR, and you can refinance up to $300,000 in student debt if you have a medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degree. The loan limit is $150,000 for all other degrees.

Why College Ave is the best for no fees: This lender doesn’t charge any upfront fees for its loans; the only fee you may have to pay is a late fee.

Best student loan refinance company for low rates

Min. credit score:
Not disclosed
Fixed APR From:
4.99% –9.99%
Loan amount:
From $5,000
Term lengths:
5 to 25 years
Min. annual income:
Not disclosed

Overview: Splash Financial is a lending marketplace that lets you refinance from $5,000 to the full amount of your loans. It doesn't lend money itself, but it partners with lenders to match you with one that meets your requirements and financial situation.

Why Splash Financial is the best for low rates: Because Splash works with a variety of lenders, it advertises some of the lowest rates for student loan refinancing for borrowers with good credit.

Should I refinance my student loans?

Refinancing your student loans makes financial sense only if the loan you apply for has a lower interest rate than the current interest rate of your student loans. You can use a loan calculator to determine your current monthly payment versus that of the loan you're considering. 

While you may decide to refinance to a longer term to lower your monthly payments, keep in mind that this means you'll likely increase the overall cost of your loan through interest accrual.

Whether you should refinance also depends on what type of loans you have. Refinancing could be smart if you have private loans, but you'll lose benefits if you refinance federal loans. These benefits include:

Pros and cons of refinancing student loans

Before choosing a lender, consider whether refinancing your student loans is the best move for your current situation.

Green circle with a checkmark inside

Pros

  • You can consolidate several student loans into one, which means you can make just one payment each month.
  • You may be able to secure a lower interest rate.
  • Refinancing to a longer repayment period gives you a lower monthly payment.
Red circle with an X inside

Cons

  • Private lenders usually require good or excellent credit (or a co-signer) to qualify for a new loan with their best rates and terms.
  • You give up federal protections like deferment, forbearance and income-driven repayment plans when you refinance federal loans with a private lender.
  • You're locking yourself into another repayment plan.

What are the requirements to refinance student loans?

Once you find a lender that best suits your financial situation, check the specific refinancing requirements. These can vary from lender to lender, but here are a few general criteria to be aware of:

  • Debt-to-income ratio: Your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is a measurement of how much debt you've accumulated compared to your monthly earnings. You have a better chance of getting approved if your debt-to-income ratio is below 50 percent.
  • Credit score: When you apply for any loan, your credit score matters. Check your lender's credit score requirements before applying. If your credit score is in the mid-600s or lower, you may need to add a co-signer to your loan to qualify.
  • Income: Lenders may impose a minimum income threshold, and they will likely want to see proof of employment — this tells them that you have the cash to make your monthly payments. Come prepared with recent paystubs, W2 forms or recent bank statements, as most lenders require documentation. 
  • Refinancing amount: You will likely need to owe a minimum of $5,000 in student loans if you'd like to refinance. If you have less than that, most lenders won't work with you.
  • Degree: You'll typically need a completed college degree to be eligible for student loan refinancing, though some lenders accept borrowers regardless of degree status.

If the lender you're considering offers a prequalification tool, you can see your estimated rate based on your general financial history with a soft credit inquiry, which won't hurt your credit score.

Frequently asked questions

Methodology

To find the best student loan refinancing companies, we selected lenders based on the following criteria:

  • Broad availability.
  • Wide range of loan amounts and repayment options.
  • Low starting interest rates.

From there, we evaluated lender fees, APR ranges and eligibility requirements to see which lenders kept costs low and catered to a variety of borrowers. We also looked for unique features that set lenders apart — for instance, good forbearance options or benefits for students in healthcare fields — to determine our final rankings and recommendations.