LendKey Student Loan Refinance Review

Updated on March 9, 2022
By Sara Lindberg

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If you're thinking about refinancing your student loan, you might be wondering which lender offers the best options for you. 

With so many choices, this decision can feel overwhelming. That's where LendKey comes in.

LendKey is not like the other lenders. Instead of directly disbursing funds, they operate as a portal to connect you with a wide variety of smaller, local lenders and credit unions that offer extremely competitive rates. Then, once you select your refinancing offer, LendKey will service the loan for you. 

What are the advantages of refinancing your student loans with LendKey?

LendKey uses a single platform that allows you to find, customize, and refinance your student loans through their network of smaller lenders.

LendKey's mission is to connect people with lenders and loan products they might not normally have access to, such as community banks and credit unions, that may offer low interest rates and more personalized customer service.

With one application, you can receive student loan refinancing quotes from over 300 community banks and credit unions that partner with LendKey. What's nice about this process is you can instantly view interest rates and terms from a variety of lenders without having to fill out any additional paperwork. 

The same customer service reps that are there to help you during the application process will be there up until your final payment.


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See also: Everything You Need to Know About Student Loan Refinancing.

Why should you refinance with LendKey

LendKey is known for its unique approach to refinancing student loans. Even though LendKey offers an innovative portal to connect customers and lenders, they don't just gather your information and then kick you out to another loan website.

LendKey is with you every step of the way, from application through payment. LendKey will handle the loan origination and servicing.

If you need help, LendKey has loan specialists to help you select and apply for the loans that best fit your needs.

Plus, LendKey offers flexible repayment plans, including 5, 7,10, 15 and 20-year loan terms.

What are the eligibility requirements to refinance your student loans?

In order to refinance your private or federal loans with LendKey, you must have between $5,000 and $300,000 of existing student loan debt. The minimum and maximum amount may vary based on your degree.

You'll need to be able to show an income at least $24,00 per year, have a credit score in the mid 600's, and have a degree from an eligible school. 

What rates and fees does LendKey charge for student loan refinancing?

LendKey does not charge an origination fee to refinance your student loans. They offer extremely competitive rates, starting at 1.90% for a variable interest loan or 2.49% for a fixed interest loan.

But before you say yes to the lower rate, make sure you understand the difference between a variable and fixed rate. A variable rate fluctuates with market changes, whereas a fixed rate stays the same over the life of your loan.

This fluctuation can yield a different loan payment each time the interest rate changes.

Does LendKey offer discounts?

Yes, if you sign up for automatic ACH (Automated Clearing House) payments, LendKey will give you a .25% interest rate reduction.

How to apply for student loan refinancing through LendKey

Determining eligibility only takes about 2 minutes, completing the entire loan process takes about a total of 15 minutes.

Here's how to get started:

Step 1: Go to LendKey's page

Click on Check Your Rate. From here, you'll be able to get rate quotes without submitting to a hard credit inquiry.

Step 2: Enter your personal information

You will be asked to provide your:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Citizenship status
  • Total annual income
  • School information, and
  • Loan information.

When you enter your current student loan information, make sure it’s accurate. This will impact the offers you receive. Under loan type, you will be given the option of choosing federal loans, private loans, or both. 

The final step on this page requires you to consent to a soft inquiry that will not affect your credit score.

Step 3: Review your refinance offers

If you qualify, you will be sent to a page that shows several refinancing offers. LendKey works hard to match you with lenders that are close to where you live, but you may receive offers from further away as well.

LendKey curates for you so you see the best in class rates for each term and rate type available for you, so you don't have to sort through 300 loan offers.

Step 4: Choose the lender offer that works best for you

Review the refinance offers and choose the one that works best for you.

Step 5: Create an account and upload verification documents

Remember, up until this point, you were just gathering information to make an informed decision. Now, you'll be getting into the real application and moving closer to refinancing.

When you reach this step, you should be ready to provide your social security number.

You will be asked to create an account and agree to a credit inquiry. Unlike the soft inquiry you did to determine your refinance offers, the credit inquiry in this step will affect your credit score. (Note: A single credit inquiry on its own has very little impact on your credit score. If you're shopping around for other offers, try to keep all your credit inquiries within 15 days to minimize the impact on your credit score.)

You will then be asked to upload verification documents such as loan statements and pay stubs.

Step 6: Approval of your application

Once your application is approved and you've agreed to the terms, you'll be sent a conditional approval.

However, know that your old loan or loans will not be paid off by your new lender until you receive an official loan approval. Be sure to continue paying on your existing loan or loans until you have confirmation that your refinanced loan is ready for payment and your old loan or loans show a zero balance.


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Should you apply for a student loan refinance from LendKey?

With the opportunity to unearth student loan refinancing deals that you might have otherwise missed, LendKey's innovative portal offers you the assurance that you left no stone unturned in searching for the best deals out there.

Plus, you can feel good about supporting local businesses while enjoying LendKey's personalized customer service.

Learn more about refinancing your student loans with LendKey.

Refinance & Save Today With These Leading Lenders

#1 - Nitro Recommended View More Details

Special offers for medical resident and fellow refinance products

  • Fixed rates: 1.99% - 7.84% APR
  • Variable rates: 1.74% - 7.49% APR
  • Minimum credit: 650
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Visit Splash View Loan Disclosure

Splash Financial is a leader in student loan refinancing with some of the lowest fixed in the industry which can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loans. No application or origination fees and no prepayment penalties. Splash Financial is in all 50 states and is intensely focused on customer service. Splash Financial is also one of the few companies that offers a great medical resident and fellow refinance product. You can check your rate with Splash in just minutes.

  • Low interest rates – especially for graduate students
  • No application or origination fees. No prepayment penalties.
  • Co-signer release program - you can apply for a cosigner release form your loan after 12 months of on-time payments
  • Specialty product for doctors in training with low monthly payment

Click here to see more of Splash's offerings and to see how you can save money.

#2 View More Details

Ability to apply for cosigner release after 24 consecutive payments. 

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Visit NelNetBank View Loan Disclosure

Give Your Life’s Journey a Jump-Start.

If you’re ready to put student loans in your rearview mirror, Nelnet Bank student loan refinancing offers low rates and flexible terms to help you start getting ahead.

  • VARIABLE RATES: 4.54% - 11.05% APR See Disclaimer
  • FIXED RATES: 4.49% - 8.44% APR See Disclaimer
  • AUTO DEBIT SAVINGS: We’ll knock .25% off of your interest rate when you enroll in auto debit. See Disclaimer
  • NO ORIGINATION FEES: No application, origination, or prepayment fees on Nelnet Bank loans.
  • HARDSHIP PROTECTION: Hardship forbearance helps protect against unexpected loss of income. See Disclaimer

See How Much You Can Save: Estimate your savings with a student loan refinance from Nelnet Bank.

#3 View More Details

ElFi offers top-rated customer service, some of the lowest rates available, and flexible terms to fit your goals.

  • Fixed rates: 3.39% - 6.99% APR
  • Variable rates: 1.86% - 7.98% APR
  • Minimum credit: 680
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Visit ElFi View Loan Disclosure
Student Loan Refinancing Made Simple.
Discover our low rates and fast, no-fee application process for refinancing your student loans or financing your college education.
The ELFI Difference:
  • Some of the Lowest Rates Available – We believe in rewarding financially responsible borrowers by providing some of the lowest refinancing rates available.
  • Expertise That’s Second to None – Our ELFI management team has over 30 years of expertise in student loans and student loan refinancing.
  • Fast and Easy Process – Secure your personalized student loan or refinancing options in just a few short minutes.
  • Personal Loan Advisors – Our award-winning customer service team will guide you every step of the way.
  • Service Coast to Coast - ELFI private student loans and student loan refinancing are available across the entire U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Click here to refinance now with ELFI.

#4 View More Details

SoFi is the leading student loan refinancing provider. 

  • Fixed rates: 3.49% - 7.99% APR
  • Variable rates: 1.74% - 7.99% APR
  • Minimum credit: 650
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Visit SoFi View Loan Disclosure

$30 billion+ in refinanced student loans. SoFi has some of the lowest interest rates and, unlike the other lenders we reviewed, there's no maximum on the amount you can finance. Some state restrictions may apply.

  • Serious savings: Save thousands of dollars thanks to flexible terms and low fixed or variable rates.
  • No hidden fees, no catch: No application or origination fees. No pre-payment penalties.
  • Fast, easy, and all online: Simple online application and access to live customer support 7 days a week.
  • Access to member benefits: SoFi members get career coaching, financial advice, and more—all at no cost.
  • 98% of surveyed members would recommend SoFi to a friend

Save thousands on your student loans and pay off your loans sooner. Find your rate.

#5 View More Details

Works with 300+ community lenders for higher approval chances

  • Fixed rates: 2.49% - 7.75% APR
  • Variable rates: 1.90% - 5.25% APR
  • Minimum credit: 660
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Visit LendKey View Loan Disclosure

Connecting student borrowers to a network of over 300 community lenders with low interest rates. By partnering with these lenders, LendKey is able to give consumers direct access to the best rates available from the most borrower friendly institutions. As the servicer of all loans obtained through its platform, you can rest easy knowing your personal information will be safe and that the best customer service team will be ready to answer your questions from application until your final payment.

LendKey Student Loan Refinance review

  • Lightning fast rate check - 2-minute rate check with no impact on your credit score
  • More lenders, more options - see the best offers from over 300+ community lenders for higher approval chances
  • Life of loan relationship - With LendKey, your personal information will never be sent or passed on to third parties. Their customer service team is with you from the moment you land on their website until you've completely repaid your loan.
  • Unmatched benefits- Community lenders put people over profits and offer unique benefits like cosigner release after 12 on-time payments, interest only repayment options to keep monthly payments low, the largest unemployment protection period in the market, and more.

Get a personalized quote from LendKey now.

#6 View More Details

Best for borrowers who want to customize their repayment schedule to pay off debt fast.

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Visit Earnest View Loan Disclosure

Using technology, data, and design to build affordable products, Earnest's lending products are built for a new generation seeking to reach life's milestones. The company understands every applicant's unique financial story to offer the lowest possible rates and radically flexible loan options for living life.

  • Commitment-free 2 minute rate check
  • Client Happiness can be reached via in app messaging, email, and phone 
  • No fees for origination, prepayment, or loan disbursement
  • Flexible terms let you pick your exact monthly payment or switch between fixed and variable rates
  • Skip a payment and make it up later
  • Online dashboard is designed to make it easy to apply for and manage your loan

Click here to apply with Earnest and to see how much you can save.

I reduced my student loan payment by $152 per month, by refinancing thru Nitro

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