Best For Parent Loans: Laurel Road
- Interest Rate: 1.37%+
- Loan Terms: Up to 20 years
- Maximum Loan Amount: None
Laurel Road is best for parent loans because it allows parents to refinance into a lower interest rate loan.
Up to 20 years to pay off
Minimum loan amount is $7,500
No guarantee of lower rate with co signer
If you took out student loans to pay for your child’s education, you might be stuck with a high interest rate. Federal Parent PLUS Loans have the highest interest rate of any federal loan. If you have this type of loan, refinancing can be a smart decision.
Laurel Road is one of the few lenders that offer refinancing for Parent PLUS Loans and allows you to transfer your loans into your child’s name if you choose. Refinancing your debt into your child’s name eliminates your obligation to repay the loan, and your child is responsible for repaying it instead.
As an added perk, you will receive $400 if you refer a friend and refinance with Laurel Road. You don’t even need to be a customer yourself to be eligible for this referral reward.
You must refinance a minimum of $7,500, and there is no maximum amount. Your term length can be customized to anything under 20 years. Although Laurel Road does not recommend a minimum credit score, they state that their low rates are made possible because they select the most creditworthy borrowers, particularly “working professionals.”
- Variable: 2.14% to 6.11%
Read the full review: Lauren Road Student Loans
Repayment Options For Delinquent Sallie Mae Loans
All isn’t lost if you stop making on-time payments.
Sallie Mae offers delinquent borrowers 3 repayment options to help bring their account current:
The Rate Reduction Program lowers your loan’s interest rate and lets you make interest payments for a while .
This program benefits borrowers who are going through a temporary financial hardship.
The Term and Rate Modification is a student loan repayment program that lowers your interest rate and monthly payment for a limited time. But it also extends your loan term. So you’ll end up paying more over the long term.
The 3Pay repayment program lets you bring your loan current by making payments equal to or greater than the current amount due for three consecutive months.
As you can see, the main benefit of this program is bringing your account current.
Option : Take Your Business Elsewhere
One of the biggest developments in student loans over the past five years has been the private student loan refinancing markets growth. There are now many companies that will refinance old high-interest loans at a lower interest rate. The catch is that you have to be a good credit risk for a new lender to take on your debt. That means a high credit score and sufficient income to pay all of your bills comfortably.
If Katies daughter fits the above description, she could refinance without having Katie co-sign. That means the loans fall off of Katies credit report, and her daughter potentially gets a lower interest rate and/or lower monthly payments. One benefit of this approach is that it would provide Katie with a cosigner release.
If you are considering going this route, be sure to check out our page on student loan refinancing lenders and strategy.
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Consider Student Loan Refinancing
If your Sallie Mae loan has a high interest rate, you could save a substantial amount of money by refinancing your student loans.
With refinancing, you take out a new loan for some or all of your current ones. This way, you can get a better interest rate, a longer term with smaller payments or a shorter term to get you out of debt faster.
Find out how much you can save by using our refinancing calculator. And if you think this might be the right move for you, compare offers from multiple refinancing lenders to ensure you get your best rate.
Andrew Pentis contributed to this report.
The Requirements To Refinance Student Loans
The requirements to refinance student loans are a bit different than when you took out your loans. For Federal loans, you simply had to fill out the FAFSA. With some graduate school loans , you might have had to have a credit check beyond the FAFSA.
However, with private student loan refinancing, the requirements are more like getting a car loan or mortgage.
Lenders will typically look at:
- You Credit Score
- Your Annual Income
- Savings and Other Assets
- Degree Type and College
If you don’t meet all of these requirements, you might need to get a cosigner for your loan. Read this full guide on how to get a student loan with no cosigner.
Credible does offer loans with no cosigner for qualifying candidates.
What Credit Score Do I Need To Refinance Student Loans?
There is no specific credit score that is required to refinance student loans – but most lenders want to see 600 or higher. However, the better your credit score, the better rate and terms you can qualify for.
To get the lowest advertised rates, most lenders will want to see a credit score about 750 or even 775.
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Sallie Mae Review: Private Student Loans For All Levels Of Higher Ed
Sallie Mae is synonymous with student loans, having been created by the federal government in 1972 before it turned private in 2004. Its now one of the largest lenders of private education debt, offering up to cost-of-attendance funding for career training programs, undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as professional schooling and residency. It originated $2.1 billion in loans in the third quarter of 2021 alone.
As our Sallie Mae review shows, the companys staying power goes beyond name recognition: Its loans are accessible to nontraditional applicants with good credit , though prequalification still isnt possible.
Compare Student Refinance Loans
When looking at options to refinance your student loans you want to compare providers to make sure youre getting the best deal. Keep the following important factors in mind:
- Rates: Kow what rates are offered and if they are fixed or variable rates. Typically, the higher your credit score, the lower your rate.
- Terms: Student loan terms generally range from 5-20 years. However, some companies cut off term limits at 15 years. Know how long the term is and make sure its feasible to make timely payments.
- Customer service: Know how to get in touch with customer service whether it be through email, online chat, or email. You may have a question the website doesnt answer.
- Borrower requirements: Do you need to have a certain FICO score to qualify? Know if there are other qualifications such as being a certain age, minimum income, or a particular type of degree program.
Is A Sallie Mae Loan The Right Fit For You
College costs have skyrocketed in recent years, and federal direct subsidized and direct unsubsidized loans have strict caps on how much you can borrow. If you need additional money to pay for school, using a private student loan from a lender such as Sallie Mae can be a good option.
On the plus side, Sallie Mae offers a wide range of loans, with multiple repayment options, for students of all types. It also has loan forbearance and discharge programs that compare favorably to federal loan discharge policies, and it allows you to apply for a cosigner release in just 12 months, setting it apart from other lenders. However, on the downside, Sallie Mae doesn’t allow you to get a rate quote before you apply, which means a hard credit inquiry is required to see your rate.
Whether Sallie Maes interest rates are more competitive than those of other lenders, including the federal government, is a more complicated question. Much depends on your financials. While Sallie Maes lowest rates are lower than the feds, youll probably only qualify for them if you have an excellent credit scoreotherwise, youll probably end up paying about the same or even more. The lender does offer variable interest rates on its loansunlike the governmentand that can be an advantage in an environment of declining interest rates.
Before making a decision, make sure you compare offers from other private student loan lenders.
Option : See If Navient Can Help Out
If Katie and her daughter are facing payments that are not affordable, they might be able to convince Navient to temporarily lower their interest rate due to their hardship. This can mean smaller monthly payments and a larger portion of your payment actually reducing the principal balance. This program is called the Navient Rate Reduction Program. The program exists to help borrowers who didnt have the money to keep up with their student loans.
The problem with the program is that it isnt a borrower right under the student loan contract. That means that Navient can approve or deny you for the program that their sole discretion.
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You Can Accelerate Your Debt Repayment
If you refinance your Sallie Mae student loans and qualify for a lower interest rate, you can use that lower rate to accelerate your repayment and get out of debt faster.
For example, lets say Henry refinanced his loans and qualified for a 10-year loan at 7% interest. With those terms, his minimum monthly payment is $348 per month. However, Henry wants to pay off his debt as quickly as possible, so he pays $50 extra every month.
With the lower interest rate and increased payments, Henry paid off his loans 20 months early, and saved over $2,000 in interest.
Pros Of Refinancing Student Loans
The biggest advantage of refinancing your student loans happens when you qualify for a lower interest rate that can either help you pay off the principal faster and/or decrease how much you pay each month.
Lower monthly payments free up cash that you can use on other expenses or put into a high-yield savings account earning above-average interest, such as the .
Here are a few other pros to consider when refinancing your student loans:
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How Sallie Mae Student Loans Compare
As mentioned, its always good to compare multiple lenders and loans before applying.
|Yes after 12 months of timely payments||Yes after 36 months of timely payments||Yes after 36 months of payments|
Youll very likely be better off if you shop around beyond a few lenders. Make sure you learn all about the best options for your specific needs.
You May Lose Some Benefits
When it comes to private student loan lenders, their policies and benefits can vary a great deal. Not all lenders offer perks like student loan forbearance or deferments if you return to school.
When you refinance your loans, you may not be able to take advantage of the type of benefits that Sallie Mae offers, including:
- Disability discharge: If you become totally and permanently disabled, Sallie Mae will discharge your remaining loan balance. Not all refinancing lenders offer discharges in the cases of disability.
- Student loan forbearance: If you lose your job or become ill, Sallie Mae allows you to postpone your payments for up to three months at a time, for a maximum of 12 months over the life of your loan. For a private lender, thats a fairly generous forbearance policy, and not all lenders will be able to match it.
- Deferments for returning to school: If you decide to go back to school, enroll in a graduate program, or begin an internship, you can defer your Sallie Mae loan payments until after the program ends. Refinancing lenders may not offer the same deferment policy, so check with the lender before submitting your loan application.
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Refinancing Your Private Or Federal Loans
For those with private student loans, federal student loans, or a combination of the two, refinancing is another option to consider. Unlike consolidation, refinancing with a private lender such as SoFi allows you to combine private and federal loans into one, and it may lower the amount of interest youre currently paying or lower your monthly payment.
Refinancing may be better for people whose financial situation, including employment, cash flow, or credit, has improved since graduating. And just like with consolidation, refinancing gets you one loan, and one monthly payment, so you no longer have to juggle multiple loan servicers and payments.
Check to see if refinancing your loans could be the right choice for you.
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Compare Student Loan Refinancing Rates First
Dont just go directly to a lenders website and apply for student loan refinancing. Compare student loan refinancing rates first. This way, you could get a lower interest rate and find the best lender for you. Before you refinance student loans, compare rates, loan terms and other fine print.
Insider Tip:Student loan refinancing rates are incredibly low right now. Its a good time to refinance in case rates go up again.
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Best Student Loan Refinance Companies Of March 2022
- Best for No Fees: Discover Student Loans
- Best Repayment Options: CommonBond
- Best for Parent Loans: Laurel Road
RISLA offers competitive rates and borrower benefits including no application fees.
Contact for minimum credit score requirements
Can only borrow $45,000 per year
The Rhode Island Student Loan Authority stands out from other student loan refinancing lenders because of its competitive rates and the substantial benefits to borrowers.
Despite RISLA’s name, borrowers can refinance student loans used to attend colleges nationwide. You can refinance between $7,500 and $250,000. There are no application or origination fees. Term options include 5, 10, and 15 years. All refinancing loans have fixed interest rates, and the lender offers the following interest rates:
- Fixed rates: 2.69% to 5.54%
RISLA’s student loan refinancing program has a wide range of benefits that go beyond what you typically expect from private lenders. Its protections include:
Read the full review:RISLA Student Loans
Should You Consider Refinancing Your Student Loan
Many people had to take out student loans to get a degree and want to know if they should consider refinancing their student loan. Before deciding, consider your needs and assess your current situation. Think about if its a good time to refinance and consider what your current rate is, if you could potentially qualify for a lower rate and if any fees will be involved.
However, it may make sense to hold off on refinancing your student loans if your income isnt stable and your Fico score is low.
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You Can Take Advantage Of Todays Low Rates
Some Sallie Mae borrowers may have very high interest rates on their loans. The companys undergraduate loans can have interest rates as high as 12.59%. With such a high rate, interest can accrue quickly, causing your balance to grow.
By refinancing your loans, you can take advantage of todays low rates. Now is an exceptionally good time to refinance since interest rates have reached historic lows. Fixed rates starting at 2.55% and variable rates starting at 1.99%.
How much could you save? Consider this example.
Henry had $30,000 in student loans at 12.59% interest and a 10-year repayment term. By the time he paid off his loans, he paid $22,885 in interest.
Henry decided to refinance his Sallie Mae loans and qualified for a 10-year loan at 7% interest. Over the life of his repayment term, he paid $11,799 in interest charges. By refinancing his loans, Henry saved $11,086.
Why You Should Not Refinance Sallie Mae Student Loans
There arent any good reasons why you should not refinance Sallie Mae student loans, particularly if you can get a lower interest rate. When you refinance private student loans, you receive a lower interest rate, can combine all your student loans into a single student loan, and you choose the loan terms that best meet your financial situation.When you refinance private student loans, there is no impact to student loan forgiveness or income-driven repayment plans, for example, because those are benefits for federal student loans only.
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What To Like About Sallie Mae Student Loans
Besides the fact that Sallie Mae has deep roots and isnt likely to leave the industry anytime soon, here are some of its most attractive features.
Noncitizen and part-time students are among eligible applicants
Citizenship or permanent residency is often required of private loan companies. At Sallie Mae, however, you could qualify as a DACA student if you have a permanent resident cosigner who has a good credit score and other positive financial markers.
Also, Sallie Mae reviews applications from part-time students, who are typically excluded from borrowing federal and other private loans.
|Other nontraditional scenarios that qualify for Sallie Mae student loans include:|
|Online-only schools Professional certification programs|
2 in-school repayment options, as well as deferment
Sallie Mae repayment options are more limited than what federal student loans offer. You can decide when to begin making full interest and principal payments, though you wont have access to income-driven repayment plans, for instance. These are the three Sallie Mae repayment options from which you can choose:
Option to make interest-only payments for first year out of school
Alternatively, if you need to make smaller payments in the year after your grace period ends, you can request to receive a graduated repayment period, which will let you make interest-only payments for 12 months. Thats a rarity among competing lenders.
Industrys fastest path to cosigner release