LendKey Student Loan Refinance Review


Updated on November 14, 2019
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.

 

Learn More or Apply Now

 

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 3.49% 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.

 

Learn More or Apply Now

 

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

Earnest empowers people with the financial captial they need to live better lives.

  • APR: 1.99% - 6.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 650
  • Refinance up to $500K
View More Details
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.

#2 View More Details

Operates in all 50 states; 2nd largest student loan refinancing lender

  • APR: 1.99% - 7.02%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • No refinancing amount maximum
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Visit Laurel Road View Loan Disclosure

Laurel Road is a national online lender with customers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Many of our non-bank competitors are not able to lend in all 50 states.Laurel Road has grown to be the second largest player in the student loan refinancing space in large part because of our reputation as the go-to low rate provider.

Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance Review

  • National reach - Online lender that is available in all 50 US states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
  • No fees & the lowest rates in the space - Laurel Road is the most transparent about the rates they provide customers, and offer the lowest rates where it counts. Our customers will save more than $20,000 over the life of their loans on average. 
  • Customer service reputation - Laurel Road's customer service representatives are no rookies. With 19 years of experience on average, Laurel Road’s Customer Service team delivers an experience that is best in the industry. They work to build meaningful, life-long relationships with our valued customers to improve their overall financial wellness.
  • The stability & security of a bank - They are a division of Darien Rowayton Bank, a stable and secure FDIC-insured bank, regulated by the FDIC and the Connecticut Department of Banking.

Get your personalized, pre-approved rates in less than 5 minutes.

#3 View More Details

For every loan they fund, they contribute to the education of a child in need

  • APR: 2.02% - 6.45%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Refinance up to $500K
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Visit CommonBond View Loan Disclosure

CommonBond was founded in 2011 by three MBA graduates from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School who wanted to help their peers escape from high-interest student loan debt. Its original focus was on grad students, but it has since expanded to cover undergrads as well.

Of all the companies we reviewed, CommonBond has some of the best customer service. The company prides itself on being easy to reach by email, phone, or live chat. It offers networking events, expert panels, insider newsletters, and even has a program help borrowers who lose their jobs to find new ones. CommonBond also makes you feel good about choosing to refinance with them by donating money to an education nonprofit for each loan they write.

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance review

  • Unemployment protections - If you lose your job or decide to go back to school, you can delay your payments for up to 24 months.
  • Social promise - For every loan they fund, they also contribute to the education of a child in need.
  • Hybrid loan option - Offerings include a 10-year hybrid loan with fixed interest for the first five years, and variable interest for the final five.
  • Referral bonus - For every friend you refer who refinances their loans with CommonBond, you’ll earn a $200 cash bonus.
  • Qualification - Borrowers must have graduated at least 2 years prior if they want to apply without a co-signer. And borrowers in 6 states – Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, South Dakota, and Vermont – cannot currently refinance through CommonBond.

Get a personalized review of your refinancing options with CommonBond today.

#4 View More Details

Credible is an online marketplace that provides borrowers with competitive, personalized loan offers from multiple, vetted lenders in real time.

  • Free to use, no hidden fees
  • Minimum credit score: 650
  • No refinancing maximum amount
View More Details
Visit Credible View Loan Disclosure

Credible is a multi-lender marketplace that empowers consumers to discover student loan refinancing options that are the best fit for their unique circumstances. Our integrations with leading lenders and credit bureaus allow consumers to quickly compare accurate, personalized loan options ― without putting their personal information at risk or affecting their credit score. The Credible marketplace provides an unrivaled customer experience, as reflected by over 2,000 positive Trustpilot reviews and a TrustScore of 9.5/10. Credible is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

For more information, click here to apply now with Credible.

  • Compare prequalified rates from multiple, vetted lenders in 2 minutes.
  • Refinance federal, private and ParentPLUS loans.
  • San Francisco-based customer support 7 days a week.
  • Checking your rates won't affect your credit score.
  • Get your final offer in as little as 1 business day.
  • Credible’s partner lenders do not charge prepayment penalties, loan application fees, or origination fees.
  • Free to use, no hidden fees: Requesting rates can take just minutes and costs you nothing.
#5 View More Details

Works with 300+ community lenders for higher approval chances

  • APR: 1.90% - 8.65%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Refinance up to $300K
View More Details
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

Many ELFI customers save hundreds per month month and thousands over the length of the loan term.

  • APR: 2.39% - 6.69%
  • Minimum credit score: 680
  • No refinancing maximum amount
View More Details
Visit ElFi View Loan Disclosure

Education Loan Finance is designed to assist borrowers through consolidating outstanding education loans into one single loan that effectively lowers your costs of education and/or makes repayment very simple. Education Loan Finance - backed by the strength of SouthEast Bank - combines the benefits of traditional education loan refinancing with the superior products, service, and support found in the private market.

Education Loan Finance (ElFi) review

Check out their low rates today to see how much you can save.

  • Get Your Rate. With Education Loan Finance's Find My Rate tool, you can complete a short application to receive a preliminary quote on your eligible rates and terms, all without affecting your credit score.
  • Apply in Minutes. Education Loan Finance's online application is fast and simple.
  • Outstanding Personalized Service. Our Personalized Loan Advisors specialize in student loan refinancing and help busy professionals find the option that's right for them.
  • Student Lending Experience: Education Loan Finance isn't a start-up company - we have a longstanding history and expertise in serving student loan borrowers.

Attractive Bonus and Referral Programs:

  • Education Loan Finance Fast Track Bonus**: Education Loan Finance's application process is streamlined and simple, and you can earn a $200 bonus just for closing your loan within 30 days of your initial application.
  • Education Loan Finance Referral Program**: Earn $400 for each new Education Loan Finance Client referred by you!
#7 View More Details

Special offers for medical resident and fellow refinance products

  • APR: 2.43% - 7.60%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • No Maximum when refinancing
View More Details
Visit Splash View Loan Disclosure

Splash Financial is a leader in student loan refinancing with new rates as low as 3.25% fixed APR 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.

#8 View More Details

Offers unemployment protection and career/coaching/networking

  • APR: 2.31% - 7.36%
  • Minimum credit score: 650
  • Refinance up to 100% of student debt
View More Details
Visit SoFi View Loan Disclosure

SoFi, which stands for “Social Finance,” was created by a group of Stanford business students who found themselves with a mountain of debt after graduation. They set out to change the student loan industry and help borrowers like themselves to get lower interest rates. SoFi has some of the lowest interest rates and, unlike the other lenders we reviewed, it has no maximum amount you can finance. However, Nevada residents can’t currently refinance with SoFi. Minimum loan balances are higher in Arizona, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania due to state laws. Additional state restrictions may apply.

SoFi Student Loan Refinancing Review

  • Low interest rates - For well-qualified borrowers, SoFi offers some of the lowest rates we have found.
  • Strong customer service - It has more than 350 customer service reps available to help applicants through process.
  • Career coaching and networking - Perks include career services representatives who can help you find a job or negotiate a higher salary. SoFi also hosts networking events, happy hours and educational lectures on topics like buying a home in major cities around the country.
  • Unemployment protection - Borrowers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own may apply for Unemployment Protection. If approved, SoFi will suspend their monthly SoFi loan payments and provide job placement assistance during the forbearance period. These benefits are offered in three month increments, and are capped at 12 months, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. Note that interest will still accrue while loans are in forbearance.

Find out what interest rate SoFi can offer you here.

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