How to Refinance Your Discover Student Loan

Jen Williamson Updated: April 30, 2019

Got a private student loan with Discover? You could stick with them—or you could refinance your loan, score a lower interest rate, and laugh all the way to the bank. 

So, how, exactly, do you refinance your Discover student loan? All you need to do is check competitor's rates and apply—the whole process takes about 15-20 minutes. We'll walk you through it. 


What is student loan refinancing?

First things first: Refinancing means replacing an existing loan with a new loan—along with a new interest rate and new terms. It’s the closest thing you get to a do-over on your student loan.

When you refinance, your new lender pays off all your existing loan or loans for you and then issues you a single new private loan. You make payments to one place—not to multiple lenders. That’s one benefit of refinancing—it makes your loans easier to manage.

See also: How Much Student Loan Debt Do I Have?

It also makes your loan cheaper. Ideally, you get a lower interest rate with your new loan—and in a lot of cases, it’s a lot lower. According to our data, most people who refinance can lower their payments by $253 a month or save over $16,000 over the life of the loan.

If your credit score is better now than when it was when you originally took out your Discover student loan, you could qualify for a lower interest rate if you refinance. 

Imagine Life Without a Student Loan Payment... Start Saving Now!

How do I pick a new lender to refinance my loan?

Ideally, you want to have maybe four or five lenders to choose from. Here are some criteria to use:

The interest rate they offer

The main point of this exercise is to score a lower interest rate. Each lender will offer you a different rate, based on your credit score and financial history.

You don’t have to go through an entire application process to get a ballpark figure—a lot of lenders have a student loan refinancing calculator on their website (here’s ours). 

Once you’ve narrowed the field further, you can put in an application and get an initial offer from the lenders on your shortlist (more on that in a sec).

Their customer service

You’re going to be working with your new lender for a while, so hopefully they’re good with customer service. Read online reviews. Ask around with people you know. Put the question out on social media.

Some people may have had bad experiences--but some lenders really do have great customer service. CommonBond, for instance, has won awards for theirs.

The terms on their loans

Want to stretch your loan out to 20 years so you can save month-to-month? Or how about paying it off in five so you can realize more savings over the life of your loan? Either way, make sure the lender offers loan terms in that range. 

What makes each lender stand out

Other factors may make a lender the right fit for you. For instance: 

  • SoFi offers entrepreneurial seed funding, career counseling, networking events, and even yoga and cooking classes for ambitious members.
  • LendKey hooks you up with over 13,000 local community banks and credit unions to score very low rates.
  • CommonBond has a major social responsibility mission—for every loan they fund, they put a kid through school in Ghana.
  • SplashFinancial negotiates hard with individual banks and credit unions to score you a particularly low rate.

What’s the refinancing process like?

Once you’ve picked a lender you’re interested in, you can apply through their website. The process shouldn’t take more than about 20 minutes—but may vary depending on the lender. 

During the application process, you'll be asked about:

  • Your existing loans
  • Your income
  • Personal contact details
  • The degree you hold
  • Your existing job
  • Where you live, and
  • Where you went to school. 

Once you submit this info, the lender will do a “soft pull” to determine your credit score. This doesn’t show up on your credit report, so know that's it's totally fine to check out several lenders. 

After the soft pull, you'll receive initial offer. If you decide to proceed, the lender will then do a hard pull on your credit to get you a final offer.

If you pull the trigger on that, they’ll handle all the paperwork to switch your loan over from Discover to your new, lower-interest-rate loan. However, be sure to keep paying on your Discover loan until you've verified that the balance has been paid off by your new lender. 

Is refinancing worth it?

Refinancing could save you a large chunk of change—and reset the terms on your student loan. If you have a Discover student loan, it’s definitely worth considering.

Curious about refinancing? See how much you could save. Check out Refi Ready.

Refinance & Save Today With These Leading Lenders

#1 - Nitro Recommended View More Details

Special offers for medical resident and fellow refinance products

  • Fixed rates: 2.30% - 6.25% APR
  • Variable rates: 1.74% - 6.15% APR
  • Minimum credit: 650
View More Details
Visit Splash View Loan Disclosure

Splash Financial is a leader in student loan refinancing with new rates as low as 2.30% 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.

#2 View More Details

Customers have saved an average of $2,664* a year from switching their loan to Citizens.

  • Fixed rates: 2.44% - 7.83% APR1
  • Variable rates: 1.99% - 7.58% APR1
  • Average Monthly Savings: $222
View More Details
Visit Citizens View Loan Disclosure

Citizens is honored to be named a Best Student Loan Refinance Company 2021-2022 by U.S. News & World Report.

  • Additional Discounts: Reduce your interest rate up to 0.50 percentage points when you refinance or consolidate your student loans with a Loyalty* and Automatic Payment Discount.*
  • Cosigners Welcome: Apply with a qualified cosigner to increase chances of approval or help secure a lower interest rate.
  • Cosigner release: After 24 to 36 months
  • Flexible Options: One convenient monthly payment for your student loans. Choose your loan repayment term (5, 7, 10, 15 & 20 year options).

Click here to see more of Citizens refinancing benefits and to start saving today!

#3 View More Details

Ability to apply for cosigner release after 24 consecutive payments. 

View More Details
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: 1.87% - 6.52% APR See Disclaimer
  • FIXED RATES: 2.30% - 5.96% 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.

#4 View More Details

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

  • Fixed rates: 2.83% - 6.74% APR
  • Variable rates: 1.99% - 6.84% APR
  • Minimum credit: 660
View More Details
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.

#5 View More Details

SoFi is the leading student loan refinancing provider. 

  • Fixed rates: 2.49% - 6.94% APR
  • Variable rates: 1.74% - 6.59% APR
  • Minimum credit: 650
View More Details
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.

#6 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
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.

#7 View More Details

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

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.

#8 View More Details

11 different loan term options – more flexibility to pay down your loan faster

  • Fixed rates: 2.99% - 4.89% APR
  • Variable rates: 2.94% - 4.79% APR
  • Minimum credit: 680
View More Details
Visit CollegeAve View Loan Disclosure

College Ave Student Loans offers major help and minor stress. We’ll help guide you through the process to find the right loan term and interest rate for you and the family budget.

  • Fast rate check: Get your new rate in 60 seconds 
  • Instant credit decision
  • Super flexible terms: 11 loan terms available from 5 to 15 years
  • No fees to apply

Click here to see more College Ave offerings and to start saving today! 

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

Save Money Now