Student loans have been in the spotlight for the last few years, as the U.S. has enacted and then extended legislation that has put a moratorium on student loan repayment during the coronavirus pandemic. Those extensions are slated to ultimately come to an end, however, so it’s a prudent time for those with high-rate loans to look into refinancing to a lower rate.
This is particularly timely as interest rates have been ticking higher in 2022, making those with variable-rate loans liable to face higher payments. Here are a few of the best student loan refinancing companies that may be able to help you get out of a high-rate student loan.
SoFi, formerly known as Social Finance, is a booming fintech company that recently got approval for a federal bank charter. Although SoFi now offers a diverse range of financial services, the company began as a student loan refinance company, and it remains a primary focus. SoFi is an industry leader because it charges no application or origination fees, has no early prepayment fees, and its online application process is slick and simple. Rates are competitive as well, with fixed rates from 2.49% to 7.24% and variable rates from 1.74% to 7.24%.
The company has refinanced over $30 billion in student loans and only requires a 650 credit score to qualify, which is lower than many of its competitors. SoFi also offers a cash bonus if you refinance with them. Loans of $5,000 to $75,000 qualify for a $250 bonus, while a $500 bonus is provided for loans from $75,000 to $150,000. Loans larger than this qualify for a $1,000 bonus.
Discover Student Loans
Discover Student Loans is another online lender that uses its low overhead to pass on low interest rates and no fees to its customers. Variable rates range from just 1.99% to 5.74%, while fixed rates run from 2.99% to 6.74%. Discover has no origination, application or late fees, and you’ll receive a 0.25% rate reduction if you enroll in automatic payments. You aren’t required to have a cosigner, but you may be able to receive a lower interest rate if you do. Loan terms are restricted to between 10 and 20 years, however, making them slightly less flexible than with some other lenders. Discover has extensive student loan refinancing resources on its website and via its toll-free 800 number.
NaviRefi offers some of the same top features as other high-ranking student loan refinance companies, such as no origination fees, a 0.25% loan discount for using autopay, and repayment terms from 5 years to 20 years. The company also offers loans up to $500,000, with a minimum of $5,000. The relative newcomer to the scene was only founded in 2018 but already ranks as a top competitor, with fixed loan rates of 2.99% to 5.79% and variable APRs ranging from 2.44% to 5.64%. The company claims its easy-to-use online application can be completed in as little as three minutes, and a relatively low credit score of 650 is the minimum required to apply.
Credible is not a lender but it’s an invaluable resource for those looking to refinance their student loans. Credible is an online comparison site that pulls together quotes from numerous refinance companies without any fees, charges or effect on your credit score. By using Credible, you’re not limiting your options to the rates available at a single company. On a single webpage, you can compare all of the main features and benefits that participating lenders offer and choose the ones that are most important to you.
One of the main perks of working with Credible is their Best Rate Guarantee. If you find a better rate somewhere else and close a deal, Credible will pay you $200. You may also be able to find promotional deals through some of the lenders that respond to your request through Credible.
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