lowest student loan refinance rates

The Best Student Loan Refinance Rates for 2018

Michael Lux Blog, Consolidation, Refinance, Student Loans 1 Comment

*Rates Updated 10/4/18

This year has seen a lot of movement in a number of interest rate categories.

Those following the news have seen the federal reserve raise interest rates a number of times.  These rate changes do not immediately change interest rates in the student loan refinance world, and different lenders have adjusted to the changing marketplace in a number of ways.

For consumers, the biggest change has been the differences between fixed rate loans and variable rate loans.  Some lenders are excellent with the variable rate loans, but have terrible fixed rates, while the opposite is true for others.

As usual, we have broken down the refinance rates according to loan type and length.  If you are looking for a 20-year fixed-rate loan, the competition for the lowest 5-year variable-rate loan doesn’t really matter.

The Lowest Student Loan Refinance Rates for 2018

RankLenderLowest RateSherpa Review
T-1LendKey2.47%LendKey Review
T-1Earnest2.47%Earnest Review
3SoFi2.48%SoFi Review

The top lenders are all within a fraction of a percent of each other.  The five-year variable rate category is very close with a number of different lenders.

It is important to note that even though Earnest and LendKey have the lowest possible interest rates, they do not necessarily get the top spot in our student loan consolidation and refinance rankings.  Borrowers are still best served by applying with 4-5 lenders as each lender has a different formula for evaluating applications.  The best advertised rates do not always equal the best rate offered, but they do provide a useful starting point.

The Best 20-Year Refinance Rate for 2018

RankLenderLowest RateSherpa Review
1ELFI5.09%ELFI Review
2SoFi5.099%SoFi Review
3Laurel Road5.36%Laurel Road Review

On the other end of the spectrum, the best 20-year fixed-rate loan is currently offered by ELFI, with SoFi and Laurel Road close behind.  The rates of the top lenders in this category are largely unchanged from 2017.

Borrowers who are looking for the lowest possible payment when they refinance usually opt for a 20-year loan.  The advantage is easy payment, but the downside is that it comes with a larger interest rate.

The Lowest Fixed-Rate Student Loans

RankLenderLowest RateSherpa Review
1ELFI3.09%ELFI Review
2CommonBond3.20%CommonBond Review
3LendKey3.49%LendKey Review

For borrowers looking for the stability of a fixed-rate loan, but still in search of an ultra-low interest rate, the 5-year fixed-rate loan is usually the best bet.

The top three lenders in this category have not changed since last year, but ELFI has now taken the lead and CommonBond lowered their rates to come in a very close 2nd place.

Other Noteworthy Interest Rate Changes

In the mid-length loans, specifically those at 7, 10, or 15 years in duration, Laurel Road, LendKey and iHelp all perform strongly.

For our overall rankings and lender reviews, be sure to check out our Student Loan Rankings page.  For a breakdown by loan type, head over to our student loan refinance rates table.