Is anyone aware of any options for refinancing bar study loans? My wife and I each have bar study loans and have not had any luck finding a company for refinancing/consolidation. I have looked into several of the better known companies that handle private loans, and they all seem to specifically exclude bar study loans from any type of refinancing.
May 3, 2014
I had the same situation with my bar study loan. The problem is that the bar study loan isn’t actually a student loan. For example, the standard bankruptcy laws apply to bar study loans… not the super strict student loan standards. As a result, there is more risk to the lender with these type of loans. More risk means higher interest rates.
For myself, the best options available were personal loans. I didn’t find any great rates, so I ended up just working really hard to pay off the loan as quickly as possible. The interest rate was killer.
I had my bar loan serviced by Sallie Mae and then bought by Navient. It was a 10.75% rate (incredible!) for a few years. I’ve recently repaired my credit and refinanced it using Common Bond. FirstMark Services was the financer but the application process was handled by CommonBond.
I got a variable rate for 3.70% and given the expectation for 1M Libor, it’ll stay under 5% for the next few years. Also, the cap is 9.9% so I’d still be saving money over the course of the loan. I’m not sure if it mattered that Sallie Mae originated the loan because it was classified as a bar-study loan. I believe SoFi and Earnest were going to offer refinancing options but CommonBond worked quickly to get the process completed.
May 3, 2014
That is pretty interesting. Is the new refinanced loan considered a “student loan” or a “personal loan”?
My experience has been that lenders are very careful with the bar study loans because they are not technically student loans and the applicable bankruptcy laws are much different.
Under FirstMark, it’s classified as a “Grad Refinanced Loan”. I believe under Navient it was classified as a Bar Study Loan and I dont see a classification in Commonbond.
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