lowest student loan refinance rates

The Best Student Loan Refinance Rates for 2018

Michael Lux Blog, Consolidation, Refinance, Student Loans 0 Comments

*Rates Updated 12/5/18

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
1SoFi2.47%SoFi Review
2LendKey2.51%LendKey Review
3ELFI2.55%ELFI 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 SoFi, LendKey, and ELFI 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
2Citizen's Bank5.10%Citizen's Bank Review
3SoFi5.149%SoFi Review

On the other end of the spectrum, the best 20-year fixed-rate loan is currently offered by ELFI, with SoFi and Citizens 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
2College Ave3.25%College Ave 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 rates and lenders have not changed much since last year, but ELFI has now taken the lead.

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.