Consolidating your federal student loan with a private lender can help you to reduce the interest rate that you pay and save money. To qualify, you need to have a credit score somewhere in the middle 600s range. The following are the top three online lenders that offer refinancing for federal student loans.
Sofi can refinance a federal student loan at a fixed or variable rate. The fixed rate starts from 3.35% to 7.125% while the variable rate starts from 2.815% – 6.74%. Applying for Sofi loan online is completely free. You also don’t have to pay any origination fee if the loan gets approved. If you suddenly lose your job, you can enter the unemployment protection program and stop making loan payment until you find a job.
To refinance your loan with Sofi, you must first fill in a short online form to see if you can get preapproved for the loan. If you get preapproved, you will receive an email on different loan options including monthly payment, APR interest, and loan term. After you have selected a loan offer, you can upload screenshots of your important documents. You can use your smartphone to take photo of your documents and send them as attachment to Sofi.
Earnest offers refinancing for the federal PLUS loans at a reasonable fixed or variable rate. The fixed rate for the student loan refinancing ranges from 3.35% – 6.39% while the variable rate for the student loan ranges from 2.57% – 6.19%. With Earnest, you can refinance a student loan balance from $5,000 – $500,000 and repay back within a period of 5 – 20 years.
Earnest does not have any minimum qualification for the credit score and income. They do require the applicant to be taking a degree course from a Title IV accredited school. You can also apply for student loan refinancing with Earnest if you want to graduate this semester. Apart from that, you also must be employed or already receive a job offer in which you will start working in 6 months. Earnest offer many flexible payment options such as extend a due date by 7 days, skip a payment every 12 months, and change in between fixed and variable rate every 6 months.
3. Education Loan Finance (Elfi)
Education Loan Finance (Elfi) offers student loan refinancing via the SouthEast Bank that is based in Tennessee. Elfi started to offer student refinancing loans in December of 2015. Elfi student refinancing loans are available on a fixed rate (3.19% – 6.69%) and variable rate (2.49% – 6.01%). There are several loan term options from 5 – 20 years if you are a student applying the loan. If you are a parent applying for the loan for your child, you can choose a loan term from 5 – 10 years. Elfi loans can be used to refinance a student loan of $15,000 and above. There is no limit on how much student loan you can refinance with Elfi.