Rates last updated: May 3rd, 2021
Important Note: Due to the Coronavirus, student loan refinance strategy may change. Learn more about how Covid-19 may impact student loan refinancing.
|Rank||Lender||Interest Rates||Loan Amounts|
|1||1.89% – 6.25%||$5,000 – No Max|
|Splash Financial Review: Splash has competitive rates, but they start slightly higher than the top lenders. Splash also offers unique 8 and 12 year repayment terms.||Application
+ Up to $500 Bonus
|2||2.50% – 6.85%||$5,000 – $500,000|
|CommonBond Review: CommonBond has a higher approval rate than many other lenders. The interest rates offered are among the best and customer satisfaction appears to be very high.||Application
+ $150 Bonus
|3||2.39% – 5.99%||$15,000 – No Max|
|ELFI Review: ELFI routinely offers excellent interest rates. Even though ELFI is new, it is the product of a regional bank that has been in business for decades.||Application
+ $150 Bonus
|4||1.89% – 6.00%||$5,000 – No Max|
|Laurel Road Review: Laurel Road currently has excellent approval rates combined with solid interest rates. Laurel Road also has a specialized program for medical professionals.||Application
+ $150 Bonus
|5||2.25% – 6.64%||$5,000 – No Max|
|SoFi Review: SoFi consistently offers the best actual interest rates to applicants. Combine that with SoFi's unique job placement program for borrowers and you have a winner.||Application
+ $150 Bonus
|6||1.99% – 5.79%^||$5,000 – No Max|
|Earnest Review: The rates advertised by Earnest are among the best, but in head to head comparisons, Earnest often falls short in actual rates offered. Earnest scores points because it has by far the most flexibility on loan repayment length.||Application
+ $150 Bonus^
|7||2.76% – 7.50%||$10,000 – $350,000|
|Citizen's One Review: Citizen's Bank (also called Charter One) is one of the few traditional banks left in the student loan refinance marketplace. Citizen's may be an unremarkable option, but is still a solid choice and worth a comparison shop.||Application
+ $200 Bonus*
|8||1.90% – 7.63%||$5,000 – $300,000|
|LendKey Review: LendKey partners with local banks and credit unions to provide their loans. The end result is competitive rates provided by local reputable businesses.||Application
+ $150 Bonus
|9||3.24% – 5.69%||$5,000 – $250,000|
|College Ave Review: The interest rates offered by College Ave are excellent right now. However, College Ave hasn't always had the best rates historically.||Application|
|10||1.84% – 6.28%||$7,500 – $200,000|
|EDvestinU Review: EDvestinU scores points for transparency and low interest rates on 15 and 20 year loans, but we have a couple concerns.||Application
+ $200 Bonus*
|11||1.87% – 6.99%||$5,000 – $150,000|
|Discover Review: Discover's lowest interest rates lag behind the top lenders, but for borrowers looking for 10 or 20 year loans, Discover is worth investigating.||Application|
|12||2.72% – 7.64%||$10,000 – $350,000|
|Purefy Review: Purefy's options are someone what limited as they do not offer a variable-rate loan and have a maximum repayment length of 15 years while most other lenders offer 20. Purefy seems to excel at medium length fixed-rate loans.||Application
+ $200 Bonus*
|13||2.00% - 5.92%||$5,000 – $500,000|
|Nelnet Bank Review: There isn't anything exceptional about Nelnet Bank student loan refinancing, but rates are solid and worth considering.||Application|
|14||2.22% – 6.24%||$10,000 – $75,000|
|PNC Review: PNC has the best rates of the National Banks offering student loan refinancing, but PNC doesn't stack up to the student loan startups, regional banks, or credit unions.||Application|
|15||3.05% – 6.95%||$10,000 – No Max|
|MEFA Review: MEFA doesn't have the best rates on the market, but if you are specifically looking for a 15-year loan, MEFA is very competitive. For shorter or longer loans, it is best to look elsewhere.||Application
+ $200 Bonus*
^ The lowest listed rate for Earnest is a 5-year variable rate loan and expressed as an APR. Please see the Earnest Disclosure for more details on rates and bonus terms.
Additional Rate Information…
- Interest rates have been updated as of 5/3/21. We have also updated the table to include the newest national lenders on the refinance marketplace.
- The lowest interest rate displayed is usually the 5-year variable-rate loan. If you are looking for a fixed-rate loan or a longer loan term, interest rates will be a little higher. We have also ranked refinance lenders according to who has the lowest 7-year, 10-year, 15-year, and 20-year loans.
Using this resource…
- The idea behind the chart is to organize a large amount of information into a small space. It should be a helpful tool, but it cannot possibly include every term and condition for every company.
- The goal is to provide a company overview, provide a starting point in your research, and make sure that you do not miss out on any existing promotions.
- Interest rates typically change quarterly, but they can change at any time. We try to keep this page as up to date as possible, but some rates may have changed by a fraction of a percent.
- The goal is to have a full list of every student loan consolidation company. If there is a national lender that you do not see on this list, please let us know, so we can get them reviewed and compare them to the other lenders.
Tips for getting the best rate…
- The company that advertises the lowest rate will not always have the best rate for you. The lowest advertised rates are for borrowers with excellent credit who borrow short-term (5 years). The best rate for the loan length you need could be with several different companies.
- Shopping around will not hurt your credit score. The credit bureaus treat multiple inquires in a short period as one single credit check so that you are not penalized for shopping around.
- Don’t try to time the market. You don’t need to do any guesswork to figure out when interest rates are at their lowest. Unlike refinancing a house, where there are closing costs, there is no cost to you to consolidate your student loans. If another company starts offering lower rates in 6 months, refinance again. More on the timing of refinancing applications…
- Think about fixed vs. variable rate loans. The variable rate loans often are the lowest advertised, but they can go up. If you are borrowing for a long time, consider a fixed-rate loan, even if it means a slightly higher interest rate right now.
- Machines, not humans, decide the interest rates. It usually is a waste of time to try to negotiate a lower interest rate with a lender. The interest rate determination is based upon a computer algorithm. Your time chasing a lower rate is better spent by reaching out to many lenders.
Tips for finding the best student loan consolidation or refinance company…
- Find out for yourself. Just because everything can be done online does not mean it should. Interact with their customer service as much as possible to get a feel for what it is like to do business with the company. The best time to do this is when you have an approval in hand. You can quiz them on the process and the terms of the deal they have proposed to you.
- Make them win your business. If two lenders offer the same rate, call them both and ask why you should go with one lender over the other. Force them to explain why their loan terms or programs are better than the competitor’s option.
Mistakes to Avoid…
- Don’t give up the federal perks too soon. If you have federal student loans, you can consolidate them with a private company, but it isn’t always a good idea. You have to give federal benefits like income-driven repayment plans and student loan forgiveness programs. Going the private route commits you to paying off the loan in full, so make sure the interest rate savings are worth what you are giving up. More on weighing federal benefits against private savings…
- Don’t think rejection is permanent. A minor change in circumstances can be the difference between acceptance and denial. If you pay off a loan or get a new job, you become a significantly different applicant. More on turning rejection into an approval…
- Don’t put too much weight on a cosigner release. Some lenders are better than others when it comes to releasing a cosigner from the loan, but there is little incentive for any lender to grant a cosigner release. Lenders would much rather have two people responsible for the loan instead of one, so they will look for any reason to deny the release. For your financial planning, if you absolutely must have a cosigner, assume they will be on it for the life of the loan. More on understanding cosigner releases…
Understanding the consolidation process…
- Student loan consolidation is a simple process. Find a new lender and get approved for a loan. Your new lender then pays off your old debts in full. With your old debt paid off, you now owe the new lender. Payments are made to the new lender at the lower interest rate and/or lower monthly payment that you previously agreed upon.
- This is not an all or nothing process. If you have two loans at 3% and two loans at 11%, you can refinance the high-interest debt and leave the low-interest debt alone.
- Consolidation and refinancing are pretty much the same things. Refinancing means one lender pays off a single existing loan. Consolidation means a lender pays off multiple current loans and you repay one larger single loan. These terms are often used interchangeably.
- Ask for help. Major financial decisions are never easy. Do as much research as possible, consider consulting financial professionals, and don’t be ashamed if you don’t understand something. Try our student loan forums to ask questions, exchange ideas, and get tips.