Got a private student loan through SunTrust? Did you know you can refinance that loan—and potentially score a lower interest rate? You absolutely can.
If you refinance your SunTrust loan and you've already graduated, you have to pick a new lender. That's because SunTrust doesn't offer refinancing, unless you're applying for a new student loan with Suntrust and you want to roll previous student loan balances into your new loan.
Refinancing means replacing an existing loan with a new loan, through a new lender. People do this all the time with other types of loans—like mortgages—to take advantage of lower interest rates. You can do it with your student loans, too.
There are several reasons why you might want to consider refinancing.
If you took out your original SunTrust loan while you were in college, your credit score may have improved since then—which means you might qualify for a better interest rate now.
This strategy works—our data shows people who refinance save around $16,183 on average. Especially if you’ve kept your credit score sterling, it’s worth it to see if other lenders will give you a lower rate.
When you refinance, your new lender pays off all the loans you’re refinancing—and issues you a new loan. You now make payments only to one lender, not many. This makes your loan easier to track and manage.
Maybe you want to increase the length of your payment period to reduce your monthly payment—or pay off your loan faster to save on interest.
Either way, refinancing is a surefire way you can change the payment terms on a private student loan.
If you're unable to refinance with SunTrust, some shopping around is in order.
For most people, the first criteria is how low the new interest-rate offer is. You can get a ballpark idea by using a refinancing calculator.
Once you’ve narrowed your search, you can apply with several different lenders. They’ll ask you some questions about your financial life, do a soft pull on your credit—this won’t show up on your score—and make you an initial offer.
From there, you can pick the offer you like best, and the lender will handle all the paperwork of paying off your old loans and issuing a new one.
Apart from the interest rate, you might want to consider:
What are people saying about this lender’s services? Look at Yelp reviews and ask your friends.
Horror stories are definitely out there, but some lenders do have a good reputation for customer service. (CommonBond, for instance, has won awards for theirs).
Most lenders offer fixed- and variable-rate loans for various interest rate ranges. A few offer other options (for instance, CommonBond offers a hybrid fixed-and-variable-rate loan).
Some lenders have a little something extra that makes them worth a second look.
For instance, SoFi offers coast-to-coast networking events, yoga, wine tastings, and entrepreneurial seed funding; CommonBond has a strong social promise angle; and LendKey will hook you up with over 13,000 local community banks and credit unions to score the lowest rate.
Refinancing can make a big difference in your financial life. You don’t have to stick with SunTrust or any of your other current lenders—you can hit the reset button and score a better interest rate.
Check out Refi Ready to see how much you could save.
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.