NaviRefi Student Loans: 2021 Review

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NaviRefi is a student loan refinance product that’s available exclusively to borrowers who already have at least one loan serviced by Navient. You must receive an invitation code to apply.

Clearing that first hurdle is just the first step in the process, though, as you’ll also need to meet the lender’s other requirements. For borrowers who pass muster, NaviRefi offers low interest rates, high borrowing limits and flexible repayment options for those who are struggling. If you’ve been invited to apply, here’s what you should know about refinancing with a NaviRefi loan.

NaviRefi features

NaviRefi loans are available to select borrowers who already have a federally guaranteed loan under the Federal Family Education Loan Program or a private student loan through Navient.

You may refinance undergraduate, graduate and professional student loans. It’s a good option if you qualify and like your existing benefits, as Navient offers several programs for borrowers who are financially struggling. And depending on your financial profile, you might be eligible for an interest rate that’s lower than the rate on federal student loans.

But because you work with the loan servicer for several years while paying off your debt, it’s good to know who’s managing your student loans. Navient is facing multiple lawsuits alleging harmful and deceptive practices, so you may need to take extra steps to make sure that the company is handling your loan correctly.

NaviRefi student loan snapshot

Loan types
Refinancing
Loan amounts
$5,001 to $250,000
Interest rates
1.86% to 4.32% variable APR, 2.75% to 5.35% fixed APR (with autopay)
Repayment terms
5 to 20 years
Grace period
25 to 60 days after the disbursement date
Co-signer required?
No

Pros and cons of NaviRefi student loans

NaviRefi may not be the right choice for everyone. Below are some of its most significant benefits and drawbacks.

Pros

  • Flexible repayment options: Borrowers who are struggling to afford payments have several repayment options.
  • No fees: Borrowers won’t have to worry about origination fees, prepayment penalties or late fees.
  • Low interest rates: NaviRefi offers competitive rates that make borrowing cheaper compared to other lenders.

Cons

  • By invite only: You can apply for a NaviRefi loan only if at least one of your student loans is already serviced through Navient.
  • Hard credit inquiry: When you apply, the lender performs a hard credit pull to provide you an interest rate quote. Other lenders offer prequalification, which involves a soft inquiry and won’t impact your credit.
  • You may lose borrower benefits: If you refinance a federal student loan, you lose the benefits that go along with it — such as income-driven repayment plans, student loan forgiveness and generous forbearance and deferment options.
  • Potential problems with the servicer: NaviRefi loans are serviced by Navient, which is facing multiple lawsuits alleging that the company harmed borrowers.

NaviRefi student loan requirements

If you’ve received an invitation to apply for a NaviRefi loan, you’ll also need to meet other requirements:

  • Strong financial standing. Navient will review your credit history, employment experience and income.
  • Age. You must be at least the “age of majority” — which is 18 in every state except Nebraska and Alabama, where it’s 19 — to apply for one of these loans.
  • Citizenship status. You must be a U.S. citizen or a noncitizen permanent resident.
  • Loan amount. You must refinance at least $5,001 in qualified education loans, or $10,001 if you live in California. Borrowers with undergraduate or master’s degree debt can refinance up to $150,000, while borrowers with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate program debt can refinance up to $250,000.
  • Location. NaviRefi loans are available to borrowers who live in Washington, D.C., and every state except Nevada. In certain states, variable interest rates are not available.

Who is this loan good for?

A NaviRefi loan is a good option if you already have a loan serviced by Navient, you’ve been invited to apply and your rates are more competitive than what you’d get with other lenders.

It also helps if you’ve already graduated and you’re employed, as Navient will partly base your qualification and loan terms on your employment status and income.

If you’re a current Navient customer but haven’t received an invitation to apply for a NaviRefi loan, call the company and ask about eligibility.

Interest rates and terms

NaviRefi loans come with competitive interest rates that can make borrowing cheaper. And as with most lenders, setting up automatic payments with your bank account can help you score a 0.25 percent interest rate discount.

If you qualify for a lower rate than what you have now — and you aren’t increasing the loan term — you could save money in the long run. Your APR will be based on factors such as your credit history and the length of your loan term. According to a NaviRefi representative, here are the rates you can expect, including the autopay discount:

Loan product Variable rate Fixed rate
Student loan refinancing 1.86% to 4.32% 2.75% to 5.35%

Fees and penalties

NaviRefi doesn’t charge origination fees or late fees, and there are no prepayment penalties for paying off your loan early.

What are repayment terms and grace period for NaviRefi?

When you refinance with a NaviRefi loan, you’ll need to start making payments within 25 to 60 days of disbursement. If you hit a financial snag later on, Navient has several ways to help make your loan payments more affordable until you’re back on your feet. Check out these options:

  • Forbearance allows you to temporarily reduce or suspend payments.
  • The rate reduction program temporarily reduces your interest rate (and therefore your monthly payment) for increments of six months.
  • The term and rate modification program reduces your interest rate and extends your repayment term.

Navient also offers deferment options, which allow you to temporarily postpone payments while you’re:

  • Enrolled in school at least half time.
  • Receiving training through an internship, residency or fellowship program.
  • Serving in the military.

Customer service

NaviRefi loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC and serviced by Navient Solutions LLC. You can contact NaviRefi’s customer service at 844-381-6621, Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET and Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. If you’re living abroad, call 317-598-4024.

How to apply for a loan with NaviRefi

Applying for a NaviRefi loan starts with getting an invitation through the postal mail or via email. The invitation will include a code that’s good for 60 days. If you’re invited, head to the NaviRefi website and hit the “get my rate” button to apply. You’ll enter the code and your name and email address. The lender will do a hard credit pull to confirm if you qualify and show you the terms of your refinance loan.

If you’re approved, follow the prompts to complete your application. You’ll need your Social Security number, employer name and total annual income.

What to do if your application gets turned down

If NaviRefi rejects your loan application, the lender will tell you why. For example, your credit score or income might not meet requirements.

But you might qualify with another student loan lender, so it’s a good idea to get rate quotes and compare your options. Look for lenders that offer prequalification, which can help you check rates without impacting your credit. Compare interest rates, loan terms, loan amounts and repayment options before making your decision.

How Bankrate rates NaviRefi

Overall Score 3.9
Repayment Options 3.0
Affordability 4.8
Customer Experience 4.0

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.

Written by
Kim Porter
Contributing writer
Kim Porter is a personal finance expert who loves talking budgets, credit cards and student loans. In addition to serving as a contributing writer for Bankrate, Porter also writes for publications such as U.S. News & World Report, Credit Karma and Reviewed.com. When she's not writing or reading, you can usually find her planning a trip or training for her next race.