Best refinance lenders to pay off student loans fast

The best refinance to pay off your student loans fast involves shopping around and comparing rates from different lenders. (Shutterstock)

Refinancing your student loans can help you pay them off faster if you select a shorter repayment term. Paying off your student loans as quickly as possible could help you pay less interest over the life of the loan and free up money that you can use to pursue other financial goals, like purchasing a house. 

Here’s how refinancing can help you pay off your student loan debt sooner, which student loan refinance lenders may be best for you, and how to refinance. 

Visit Credible to learn more about student loan refinancing and compare rates from multiple private student loan lenders.

  • How refinancing can pay off student loan debt sooner 
  • Best student loan refinance lenders
  • How to compare student loan refinance lenders
  • How to refinance student loans
  • Should you refinance your student loans?

How refinancing can pay off student loan debt sooner

Student loan refinancing involves taking out a new private student loan and using the funds to pay off any balances on your initial private and federal student loans. This leaves you with just one student loan to repay. It could help you pay off the debt faster and save thousands of dollars if you get a shorter repayment period, lower interest rate, or both.

You may have heard of student loan consolidation, but this is a bit different from refinancing. With consolidation, you can combine multiple federal loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan. Your interest rate will be a weighted average of what you were paying on your existing loans, so it may not be lower. You can’t consolidate private loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan.

Best student loan refinance lenders

If you want to refinance your student loans, these 11 Credible partner lenders are a good place to start: 

Advantage Educational Loans

  • Loan types: Fixed
  • Repayment terms: 10, 15, or 20 years
  • Eligible degrees: Undergraduate and graduate

Brazos

  • Loan types: Fixed and variable
  • Repayment terms: 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years
  • Eligible degrees: Undergraduate and graduate

Citizens

  • Loan types: Fixed and variable
  • Repayment terms: 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years
  • Eligible degrees: Undergraduate and graduate

College Ave

  • Loan types: Fixed and variable
  • Repayment terms: 5, 7, 10, 12, or 15 years
  • Eligible degrees: Undergraduate and graduate

EDvestinU

  • Loan types: Fixed and variable
  • Repayment terms: 5, 10, 15, or 20 years
  • Eligible degrees: Undergraduate and graduate

ELFI

  • Loan types: Fixed and variable
  • Repayment terms: 5, 7, 10, 12, 15, or 20 years
  • Eligible degrees: Undergraduate and graduate

INvestEd

  • Loan types: Fixed and variable
  • Repayment terms: 5, 10, 15, or 20 years
  • Eligible degrees: Undergraduate and graduate

ISL Education Lending

  • Loan types: Fixed
  • Repayment terms: 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years
  • Eligible degrees: Undergraduate and graduate

MEFA

  • Loan types: Fixed
  • Repayment terms: 7, 10, or 15 years
  • Eligible degrees: Undergraduate and graduate

PenFed

  • Loan types: Fixed
  • Repayment terms: 5, 8, 12, or 15 years
  • Eligible degrees: Undergraduate and graduate

RISLA

  • Loan types: Fixed
  • Repayment terms: 5, 10, or 15 years
  • Eligible degrees: Undergraduate and graduate

Other student loan refinance lenders to consider

The following two lenders aren’t Credible partners, so you won’t be able to easily compare your rates with them on the Credible platform. But they may also be worth considering if you want to refinance your student loans. 

Navy Federal Credit Union

  • Loan types: Fixed and variable
  • Repayment terms: 5, 10, or 15 years
  • Eligible degrees: Undergraduate and graduate

PNC Bank

  • Loan types: Fixed and variable
  • Repayment terms: 5, 7, or 15 years
  • Eligible degrees: Undergraduate and graduate

Methodology

Credible evaluated private student loan lenders in 10 different categories to determine the best lenders for refinancing student loans. This included interest rates, repayment options, terms, fees, discounts, customer service availability, as well as eligibility requirements and cosigner release options.

How to compare student loan refinance lenders

Whether you’re trying to pay your student loans off in 10 years or you’re seeking the best way to pay off medical school loans as quickly as possible, it’s vital to shop around. When comparing options, consider the following:

  • Interest rate — You should try to find a loan with a lower interest rate, but you should also consider whether it’s a fixed or variable rate.
  • APR — APR reflects the fees and other charges associated with the refinance loan, so it’s a more accurate picture of how much a loan will cost instead of looking at the interest rate alone.
  • Repayment term — Shorter repayment terms have higher monthly payments, but they’ll help you pay off your loans sooner and save on interest.
  • Fees — It’s important to identify all potential fees associated with the loan, including any origination fees or late fees.
  • Discounts — You may be eligible for discounts based on your income, occupation, or for setting up automatic payments.
  • Other benefits — You may qualify for additional benefits, depending on the lender.

You can easily compare prequalified rates from multiple lenders using Credible. 

How to refinance student loans

Follow these steps to refinance your student loans:

Should you refinance your student loans?

You may be considering refinancing as a way to pay off student loans fast, though it won’t be the best decision for everyone. Individual circumstances, such as your income and amount of debt, influence whether refinancing makes sense in your unique financial situation.

Refinancing can be a smart decision if your credit has improved since you took out your original loans. A higher credit score may help you qualify for a lower interest rate. If you won’t see a significant drop in interest rate, though, refinancing might not make sense. 

On the other hand, if you have federal student loans, refinancing them into a private student loan will mean you lose eligibility for federal relief, benefits, or protections — including qualifying for the student loan debt relief plan just announced by the Biden-Harris Administration. 

To get started on refinancing your student loans, visit Credible and compare prequalified rates from multiple lenders.

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