How to Refinance Your Mohela Student Loans


Katie Taylor Updated: February 3, 2020

Looking at the latest bill for your MOHELA student loans and wondering if there's a way to lower your monthly payment and pay less overall? 

Yes. There absolutely is. Refinancing helps the average borrower (including those with MOHELA student loans) save over $250 per month and more than $16,000 over the life of their loan.

Plus, it's actually pretty simple — believe it or not, you can complete the entire process in less than 30 minutes. Refinancing your Mohela student loans requires just a few steps:

  1. Researching lenders
  2. Choosing a lender, and
  3. Filling out an application

See also: MOHELA Student Loans: The Ultimate Guide

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Let's talk about what you need to know before you take the plunge and then discuss the exact steps you'll take to start saving. 

What is student loan refinancing? 

When you refinance your student loans, you apply for a new loan with a new lender. That new lender purchases your old loans and provides you with new loan terms, including a new interest rate. What do they use to determine your new rate?

  • Your income
  • Your credit score
  • your repayment history
  • Current federal interest rates

One of the most important things to understand about student loan refinancing is that the interest rates on your federal student loans have nothing to do with you as a borrower (they're set by federal law) and cannot be changed—no matter how much money you make or how good your credit is.

That's why refinancing can provide such significant savings. For most borrowers, refinancing with a private lender provides an opportunity for a significant interest rate reduction.

And that lower interest rate can translate into serious cost savings. 

See also: Everything You Need to Know About Student Loan Refinancing

What are the benefits of refinancing your student loans?

Of course, the biggest reason to refinance your student loans is saving money, but there are additional benefits worth mentioning:

  • Paying a single monthly bill. When you refinance, you also consolidate any the loans you're refinancing into a single loan. If you have multiple loans, this can reduce your monthly hassle.

  • Getting discounts. Many lenders offer discounts, like an interest rate reduction of .25% for signing up for automatic payments. 

  • Changing your loan term. Refinancing provides you the opportunity to extend your repayment term so you make lower monthly payments or shorten it so that you pay more each month but less over the life of the loan. 

See also: The 7 Biggest Misconceptions about Student Loan Refinancing

Can you refinance federal student loans?

You can absolutely refinance your federal student loans. Thousands of borrowers do it every year.

But before you do, you should understand that you're refinancing with a private lender, not with your federal student loan servicer. Like we mentioned above, servicers can't offer you new terms because federal student loans are offered at rates set by the U.S. Department of Education. 

When you finance with a private lender, you lose eligibility for federal loan benefits like income-based repayment or loan forgiveness. If you're relying on those, look carefully at the numbers before you choose to refinance.

See also: What is Direct Loan Consolidation for Federal Student Loans? 

Many federal borrowers aren't eligible for or don't plan to take advantage of federal loan benefits, and those borrowers are good candidates for refinancing—and the cost savings that come with it. 

Plus, whereas federal loan consolidation is only available for federal loans, borrowers with both private and federal loans can refinance those together with a single private lender. 

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

Where to find the best deals on student loan refinancing?

If you're considering refinancing your student loans, then you definitely want to find the best deal for you. Fortunately, we've created a list of the best banks for student loan financing—these are well-established and innovative lenders with the best interest rates. 

As you compare lenders, here are some questions to ask: 

How much money will their interest rate save you?

Use a refinancing calculator. Most lenders have one on their website—and so do we

Do they offer discounts?

Even seemingly small interest rate reductions can save you big over the long haul. Most lenders will reduce your interest rate by 0.25% if you sign up for automatic payments. Some provide additional reductions.

For instance, Citizens One knocks another 0.25% off if you have a bank account with them. 

Do they provide perks?

Each lender provides their own particular package, along with useful perks. Find out which benefits are especially valuable for you. For instance, you could:

  • Refinance while you're still in school.
  • Apply with a cosigner.
  • Release a cosigner down the road.
  • Change your repayment term after you've refinanced.
  • Get help if you lose your job.

How is their customer service?

If it's important to you to talk to a human being on the phone when you have a question, then read user reviews and find out how their customer service rates. If you prefer access to a chat function, check out their website to see if they have one.

Do they charge fees?

This one's important: Reputable lenders provide refinancing free of charge. An origination fee from a lender should be a red flag. 

Do they have that special something?

If you need a tie breaker, consider the details of each lender. For instance, Splash Financial has special programs for doctors and medical residents; Common Bond contributes to a child's education for every loan they fund; and SoFi provides networking opportunities for its borrowers.  

Ready to see how much you could save by refinancing?  Use our calculator to find out. 

Refinance & Save Today With These Leading Lenders

#1 - Nitro Recommended View More Details

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

  • APR: 1.99% - 6.43%
  • 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
View More Details
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: 1.76% - 5.95%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Refinance up to $500K
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.

#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: 2.63% - 7.75%
  • 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 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: 1.99% - 7.27%
  • 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.

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

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