<-- View all of my refinancing options
Updated on April 30, 2019
By Jen Williamson
If you’re looking into refinancing your student loan, then you know every lender is different—and choosing the right lender is crucial.
A lower interest rate is the most obvious criteria you should look for when refinancing your student loan. But other factors matter as well. Finding the right lender often means finding the one that works best for you—not everyone else.
If you're all about getting a great interest rate while climbing the career ladder, SoFi is a lender you should consider.
SoFi is a major player in the student loan refinancing marketplace. They've helped borrowers refinance over $14 billion in student loans.
That's with good reason. SoFi is unique in that they throw a lot of resources behind their members—and these go beyond refinancing.
SoFi offers career advisory services, where you can work one-on-one with an advisor to develop a resume, transition your career, refine your personal brand, and get customized support.
In addition, they run events for members—including cooking classes, wine tastings, yoga classes, happy hour meet ups, cycle classes, and financial planning sessions. These events take place coast to coast, in cities including New York, Oakland, Boston, and San Diego.
If you're a budding entrepreneur, know that SoFi may be able to provide seed capital. It also has an accelerator program, and a demo day featuring a select group of member companies. They also offer a six-month loan deferment for entrepreneurs getting their businesses off the ground.
SoFi is great for a lot of people—but especially for those looking for community and support in their job search, and for those interested in starting companies.
If you want to refinance to a better rate but you're worried about losing some of the benefits of federal loans, Laurel Road may be a good choice for you.
Laurel Road also claims big savings from its members—more than $20,000 on average.
One thing that makes them stand out is their contingency plan for borrowers who hit hard financial times. Laurel Road provides up to one year of forbearance for those under economic hardship—which is an extremely rare benefit from a private lender.
They also offer death and disability loan forgiveness. That is, your loan could be forgiven if you pass away or become disabled before you've finished paying.
See also: Should I Refinance My Student Loans?
SoFi offers fixed and variable rate loans. Their range is as follows:
SoFi offers loans durations of five, seven, and ten years.
Laurel Road also offers both fixed and variable loans, with interest rates as follows:
They offer terms of five, seven, ten, 15, and 20 years.
Laurel Road also specializes in refinancing medical school debt.
Both lenders charge zero origination or pre-payment fees.
Both offer 0.25% discounts for AutoPay.
Both lenders keep it pretty simple.
Laurel Road lets you apply online. You’ll need two recent pay stubs or other proof of income, a photo ID, and payment statements for your student loans.
SoFi has an online pre-approval process that lets you find out if you qualify. Once qualified you will then gain access to the full application.
So which of these lenders is better for student loan refinancing? The better question is, which one is better for you?
There are several factors that make each one stand out—the career and entrepreneurship support for SoFi, and the generous forbearance and forgiveness terms for Laurel Road, for example.
Both offer very competitive interest rates. It’s difficult to say which lender would give you a lower rate—as this depends on your finances and the company's own underwriting priorities.
The best way to decide is to carefully consider each lender’s strengths and drawbacks—and apply to find out how your finances might change.
Learn more about refinancing with SoFi
Check out our Student Loan Refi Calculator to see how much you could save by refinancing your student loan.
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.