There has been a lot of movement in the student loan marketplace over the last few months. Lenders that were not traditionally competitive have slashed rates. We have also seen acceptance rates go up with some lenders, but drop with others. Due to these developments, we have updated our student loan refinance rankings board.
Biggest Risers in the Rankings
LendKey jumps from 4th place all the way to 2nd in our refinance company rankings. The jump can be explained by a number of factors. First, LendKey’s lowest advertised rates are now very competitive with other lenders, and in some cases, they are the best. Not long ago, LendKey was much more conservative with their rate offerings. Second, despite the lower advertised rates, LendKey approvals seem to be on the uptick based upon the feedback we are getting from our readers. Finally, in head to head matchups for borrowers who submit an application, LendKey is frequently offering the very best rate.
We also recently dug deep into lender offerings for various types of loans. LendKey now offers the second lowest rate on the market in the category of 5 year variable-rate loans. Additionally, LendKey offers the lowest refinance rate on 7-year and 10-year fixed-rate loans. To get the full breakdown on LendKey be sure to check out our LendKey Review.
Citizens Bank jumps from 8th place to 6th place in the rankings. Citizens has never had the best loan perks, like the SoFi job placement program, but the Citizens rates continue to be among the best on the market. This consistency is the reason for their elevation. Of special note with Citizens, they currently offer the 2nd lowest rate on 10-year variable rate loans and 20-year fixed rate loans.
For further reading on Citizens, including how to get $200 for refinancing with Citizens, check out our Citizens Bank Refinance Review.
Biggest Drop in Ranking
CommonBond falls from 2nd place to 5th place. The explanation is pretty simple. Less people are getting approved, and the rates offered by CommonBond do not stack up well head to head against other lenders. CommonBond still offers the best 15-year fixed rate loan and the 2nd best 10-year fixed rate loan. Even though they have dropped to 5th in our rankings, CommonBond is still one of the best Lenders on the market.
New Lender in Town
Education Loan Finance (ELFI) – ELFI joins a crowded student loan refinance marketplace with really aggressive interest rate offerings. Not only does ELFI offer the lowest available rate of any student loan lender (meaning the lowest 5-year variable-rate loan), but they also offer the best 7-year and 10-year variable-rate loans as well as the lowest 5-year and 20-year fixed rate loans.
We briefly considered putting ELFI on top in the rankings, but at this point the acceptance rate and actual rates offered are still a bit of an unknown. We expect to bump ELFI up or down depending upon what we hear from borrowers who shop ELFI against other lenders. If you have looked into ELFI, please let us know.
For more on ELFI, be sure to check out our full Education Loan Finance Review.
Lenders shifting to offering Citizens Bank Loans – Not long ago Purefy was an independent company offering a limited student loan refinance selection. They didn’t have the best rates, but if you were looking for a 15 year fixed rate loan, Purefy was one of the better lenders available. Now Purefy is just a lender that refinances with Citizens bank. At this point we are not sure if getting a loan from Purefy is at all different than getting a loan from Citizens. We also don’t see how Purefy really adds an value to the process from a borrower perspective.