Leading student loan refinancing company looks to apply design thinking and cutting edge user experience to streamline and simplify student loans application process
SAN FRANCISCO, April 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Earnest, a leading financial technology company that has helped refinance over $4 billion in student loans, today announced that it's modernizing student loans with a new in-school student lending offering.
"Managing the costs of how to pay for school is a big decision for students and parents. After scholarships, grants, and federal student loans, we want to be there to help these deserving scholars earn their college degree," said CEO Susan Ehrlich. "Today, the process of applying for a student loan is woefully outdated. Our team conducted over 300 hours of user research with students, cosigners, and financial aid offices to re-engineer the student lending process from start to finish."
Earnest built new tools to simplify every step of the application and approval process and led with technology, data, and design to engineer a more human application experience. Built based on feedback from students and people with student debt, an Earnest student loan incorporates four unique differentiators:
- Innovative eligibility check – A quick two-minute eligibility check requires only basic personal information, school details, and an estimated credit score. It will also let a student know if they might benefit from adding a cosigner.
- Cosigner invite – Most private student loans require a cosigner, and asking someone to cosign on the loan can be the most awkward step for all involved. Earnest's application makes it simple and easy to invite a cosigner to the process.
- Checkout – Earnest is dedicated to transparency in our loans, so we designed a checkout process to provide a summary of each loan before signing. Clients can customize their loan according to their individual financial needs with easy-to-understand terms and a clear understanding of their monthly payments after graduation.
- 9-Month grace period - Earnest found through talking with recent graduates that they wanted the flexibility of a longer grace period after graduation to get settled. Earnest offers a 9-month grace period after graduation compared to the 6-month industry standard.
"We applied our skills in design and expertise in user experience to modernize a category that hasn't evolved in over a decade," said Chief Product Officer David Green.
Since its inception, Earnest has refinanced over $4 billion in student loans. Earnest was acquired by Navient in October 2017 and has grown to be the second-largest student loan refinancing company in the U.S.
Benefits of the Earnest student loan include:
- Easy mobile-friendly application and quick approval process.
- 9-month grace period (3 months more than most lenders).
- Covers up to 100% of school's certified cost of attendance.
- Competitive fixed and variable interest rates.
- No fees (origination, prepayment, return, or late payments).
- Skip a payment once per year (once repayment period has started).
- 0.25% rate discount for Auto Pay.
- Multiple repayment options while in school: $25 fixed, interest only, principal and interest, and deferred.
To check your eligibility and apply, go to https://www.earnest.com/student-loans
Independent Student Loan eligibility
Must live in a state that Earnest lends in (all but AK, CT, DE, HI, IL, KY, NH, NV, OH, TX, VA) and be at the age of majority as defined by the state in which they live. Must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident with a minimum FICO score of 650; at least 3 years of credit history; minimum income of US$35,000 per year; no bankruptcy on credit report or accounts currently in collection. Must have a history of on-time payments as the primary borrower on any revolving or installment account that is reported to a credit bureau (e.g. student loans, personal loans, car loans/leases, mortgages, credit cards or charge cards).
Cosigned Student Loan eligibility
Both primary and cosigner must live in a state that Earnest lends in (all but AK, CT, DE, HI, IL, KY, NH, NV, OH, TX, VA) but they do not need to both live in the same state. Both primary and cosigner must be age of majority in the state in which they live. Cosigner must be U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident (primary can but is not required to be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident). Cosigner must have a minimum FICO score of 650 (primary is not required to have minimum FICO score). Cosigner must have at least 3 years of credit history; minimum income of US$35,000 per year, and a history of on-time payments as the primary borrower on any revolving or installment account that is reported to a credit bureau (e.g. student loans, personal loans, car loans/leases, mortgages, credit cards or charge cards). Cosigner must not have a bankruptcy on credit report or any accounts currently in collection.
Earnest is a technology company using technology, data, and design and exceptional service to build more affordable financial products, deliver them to more people, and engage through more human experiences.
Founded in 2013 on the belief that financially responsible people deserve better options and access to credit, Earnest's lending products are built for a new generation seeking to reach life's milestones. The company's mission is to empower people with the financial capital they need to live better lives. Earnest is a wholly owned subsidiary of Navient. Learn more at earnest.com.
Navient (NAVI) is a leader in education loan management and business processing solutions for education, healthcare and government clients at the federal, state and local levels. The company helps its clients and millions of Americans achieve financial success through services and support. Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, Navient also employs team members in California, western New York, northeastern Pennsylvania, Indiana, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and other locations. Learn more at navient.com.