Why refinance student loans? Because you want to get a lower interest rate, a lower monthly payment, or both on your existing student debt. Through Student Loan Planner, you could get a significant student loan refinance bonus too.
In this post, you’ll find the best student loan refinance deal for your private student debt, whether you should refinance at all, and a comparison of different refinancing companies. In general, we do not recommend refinancing federal student loans until September 2021. That’s because President Biden issued an executive order on January 20 that suspended the existing freeze on federal student loan interest until at least September 30, 2021.
1$1,000 for $100K or more, $200 for $50K to $99.999.99. For Earnest, if you refinance $100,000 or more through this site, $500 of the $1,000 cash bonus is provided directly by Student Loan Planner. Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Earnest disclosures. 2For Elfi, if you refinance over $150,000 through this site, $500 of the cash bonus listed above is provided directly by Student Loan Planner. Elfi disclosure. 3For Commonbond, if you refinance over $100,000 through this site, $500 of the cash bonus listed above is provided directly by Student Loan Planner. Commonbond disclosure.4For Credible, if you refinance over $100,000 through this site, $500 of the cash bonus listed above is provided directly by Student Loan Planner. Credible disclosure.
The only borrowers who might consider refinancing federal student loans before the interest freeze expires would be those who 1) want to lock in a low rate long term, 2) expect interest rates will rise by at least 0.5% between now and September, and 3) believe they can earn more investing than by paying their student loans off early. Borrowers who fit all three criteria and who can find a rate lower than 4% fixed for 20 years might consider this. Most borrowers should wait until the interest freeze expires.
The 5 lenders in the table above most frequently offer the best rates to our readers. If you want near certainty that you’ve found the best deal, then read the whole article and check all 11 refinancing companies that we mention.
Here’s how we determine what lenders to feature and where:
- How many readers successfully refinanced with this lender in the past few months? The higher percent of loans that a lender can close out of the applications they receive, the more important it is to apply with them.
- What are we hearing from applicants? Our readers’ feedback on a lender’s website, the application process, and rates needs to be excellent to receive prominent placement.
- How much does a lender pay us? Unlike most other websites, we accept lower commissions to offer better bonuses for those refinancing student loans through our site.
Should I Refinance Student Loans in 2021?
Since interest rates for student loan refinancing are near or at record lows, if you have a private student loan, you need to apply right now. Borrowers who refinanced even a few months ago are already finding better deals with this low rate environment.
Remember, you can refinance your private student loans as many times as you want as long as you find a lower interest rate.
For federal student loans, we recommend waiting to apply until at least one month before the federal student loan interest freeze expires. The only exception to that suggestion is if you believe interest rates are going to soar soon.
Could President Biden enact policies that make student loan refinancing less attractive where you might regret it? He could, but significant changes are unlikely due to Democrats having a narrow majority in Congress.
High income professionals in the private sector who will eventually have a debt to income ratio below 1.25 to 1 should expect to pay their debt back in full. That student debt will disappear faster with a record low interest rate by refinancing.
How to Get the Best Refinancing Deal
Here’s why you will get the best refinancing deal when comparing lenders on Student Loan Planner.
- We encourage you to shop around since it’s tough to predict who will offer you the lowest rate
- Our partner lenders account for the vast majority of the student loan refinancing market
- We take lower advertising fees to offer you bonuses that you can’t get elsewhere
If you find a better student loan refinancing deal somewhere else, please let us know because that should be pretty close to impossible.
Getting a Student Loan Refinance Bonus Along with a Lower Interest Rate
If you’ve already started an application with any of the companies above, you can still get the bonus if you apply with a new email you haven’t used before.
The paid referral relationship we have with our partners does not affect the rate you’re offered, which means that you get a better offer than if you applied directly.
Notice that for some of these companies, you need to refinance a minimum amount with that lender to get the bonus.
If you’re not sure which company to start with, take our quiz below to get a personalized recommendation.
When to Refinance Federal and Private Student Loans
After advising over a billion dollars in student debt, here’s what I tell borrowers when they ask if they should refinance.
- Refinance federal student loans if you:
- Work in the private sector,
- Have a solid emergency fund
- Expect to owe federal debt less than 1.25 times your income
- Are ready to give up forbearance, forgiveness, income driven repayment, and potential eligibility for the PSLF program
- Refinance private student loans if you:
- Can find a lower interest rate
- Want a different monthly payment
- Haven’t checked what lenders currently offer in at least six months (you’ll probably find something better)
- Recently had a large increase in your credit score (you could be viewed more favorably by lenders)
Remember you can refinance private loans two, three, four or more times. The only thing that matters is if you find a better rate.
Choosing the Best Student Loan Refinance Company for You
Our research shows only 10% of borrowers will check more than three lenders.
That’s why we created the table at the top of the page so you can focus your search.
If you want to be assured of getting the best deal though, check all 11 of the best student loan refinance companies we list below.
What Are the Current Student Loan Refinancing Interest Rates?
Your interest rate on a refinanced student loan depends on your credit profile, income, debt to income ratio, and many other factors.
The table below shows the range of current fixed student loan refinancing interest rates reported to us in January 2021 by readers.
Articles to Make Your Student Loan Refinance Decision Easy
All 11 Student Loan Refinancing Companies Compared
Comparing the 11 lenders below will make getting a lower rate easier. We highlight the top reasons you would consider using each lender, the cash bonus terms available (some are specific to the amount refinanced), lender specific reviews if you want to learn more, as well as a star rating reflecting feedback we receive from our readers.