Updated on May 23, 2019
By Sara Lindberg
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.
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.
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.
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.
LendKey does not charge an origination fee to refinance your student loans. They offer extremely competitive rates, starting at 2.49% for a variable interest loan or 3.64% 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.
Yes, if you sign up for automatic ACH (Automated Clearing House) payments, LendKey will give you a .25% interest rate reduction.
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:
Click on Check Your Rate. From here, you'll be able to get rate quotes without submitting to a hard credit inquiry.
You will be asked to provide your:
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.
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.
Review the refinance offers and choose the one that works best for you.
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.
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.
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.
Works with 275+ not-for-profit community lenders for higher approval chances
LendKey operates student loan programs for over 275 not-for-profit and community lenders across the country. 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.
Offers unemployment protection and career/coaching/networking
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.
For every loan they fund, they contribute to the education of a child in need
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.
Get a personalized review of your refinancing options with CommonBond today.
Earnest empowers people with the financial captial they need to live better lives.
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.
Click here to apply with Earnest and to see how much you can save.
Operates in all 50 states; 2nd largest student loan refinancing lender
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.
Special offers for medical resident and fellow refinance products
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.
Click here to see more of Splash's offerings and to see how you can save money.