lowest student loan refinance rates

The Best Student Loan Refinance Rates for 2018

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

*Rates Updated 7/2/18

As we enter 2018 we have seen a bit of a shakeup with refinance rates.  Last year’s best rate was offered by ELFI, a relatively new lender.  With the new year brings new lenders atop our leaderboard.

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.

It is also worth noting that despite the federal government raising interest rates on three separate occasions last year, student loan refinance rates have held fairly steady.  We attribute this to the newer lenders in the marketplace and the intense competition between companies.

The Lowest Student Loan Refinance Rates for 2018

RankLenderLowest RateSherpa Review
1ELFI2.55%ELFI Review
2Earnest2.57%Earnest Review
3SoFi2.63%SoFi Review

ELFI and Earnest are neck and neck for having the lowest possible student loan refinance with SoFi just behind by the slimmest of margins.

It is important to note that even though Earnest and ELFI have the lowest possible interest rates, they do not necessarily get the top spot in our student loan consolidation and refinance rankings.  In the case of Earnest, borrowers have complained about extensive documentation required for loan applications and actual rates offered not always matching the lowest rate advertised.  Our experience has been that most borrowers have better luck with both SoFi and ELFI.

The Best 20-Year Refinance Rate for 2018

RankLenderLowest RateSherpa Review
1ELFI5.09%ELFI Review
2SoFi5.125%SoFi Review
3CommonBond5.38%CommonBond Review

On the other end of the spectrum, the best 20-year fixed-rate loan is currently offered by ELFI, with SoFi and CommonBond 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
2LendKey3.15%LendKey Review
3CommonBond3.20%CommonBond 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 3rd 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.