Why refinance student loans? Because you want to get a lower interest rate or a lower monthly payment on your existing student debt.
In this post, you’ll find everything you need to find the best student loan refinance deal for your private student debt. We do not recommend refinancing federal student loans until at least January 2021 because federal student loan interest is currently suspended.
We list the top 5 lenders in the table below that 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.
- Variable APR
1.89 - 5.90%
- Fixed APR
2.80 - 6.00%
- For 250k+, $300 to $500 for 50k to 249k
- Variable APR
2.39 - 6.01%
- Fixed APR
2.79 - 5.99%
- For 150k+, $300 to $575 for 50k to 149k
- Variable APR
1.99 - 6.84%¹
- Fixed APR
2.83 - 6.74%¹
- For 75k+, $300 for
40k to 74k
- Variable APR
2.25 - 8.64%
- Fixed APR
2.79 - 8.64%
- $1000 for 100k+, $500 for 5k to 100k
Student Loan Planner intentionally earns less money from our refinancing referral links to get you a significant bonus on top of a better interest rate.
Here’s how we determine what lenders to feature and where:
- How many readers successfully refinanced with this lender in the past few months? If a high percentage of the people who apply through our site accept a loan, it tells us which lenders are doing the best job.
- What are we hearing from applicants? Our readers’ feedback on a lender’s website, the application process, and rates must 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 You Refinance in November 2020?
- Get The Best Refinancing Deal Anywhere
- When to Refinance Federal and Private Student Loans
- How to Find the Best Student Loan Refinance Company for You
- All 11 Student Loan Refinancing Companies Compared
- Refinancing Guides for Graduate Degree Professionals
- Use a Refinance Calculator, See Potential Savings
- Common Refinancing FAQs
- Testimonials from Readers Who Refinanced
- Start Applying or Ask a Question
Should You Refinance in November 2020?
Federal student loans accrue 0% interest until December 31, 2020 due to Congress and White House executive actions. We believe it’s likely that the zero interest policy will be extended into 2021.
Because of this governmental policy, most borrowers should refinance only private loans.
Is there ever a time where you’d want to refinance federal student loans at 0%?
Probably not, but if you plan to pay back your debt over a 10 to 20 year period, locking in a low rate might be a reasonable action to take if you believe interest rates will quickly go up once the pandemic is over.
Check to see if you’re prequalified for a better rate, then complete the application if you find a loan with better terms after rate shopping with companies such as the ones listed above.
We’re seeing borrowers get offered some of the lowest interest rates ever.
Remember, you can refinance your student loans as many times as you want as long as you find a lower interest rate.
Could a Biden Administration Make Student Loan Refinancing Less Beneficial?
President-elect Joe Biden has suggested allowing borrowers to pay 5% of their income towards their federal student loans.
He has also supported eliminating taxes on forgiven student debt.
Either one of these policies should they pass would make refinancing federal student debt less attractive.
However, it’s unlikely that we’ll see Income Driven Repayment (IDR) monthly payments decrease in a Biden administration. The Senate will not have a wide enough margin of Democrat votes to accomplish that legislatively.
Student debt forgiveness might eventually become nontaxable. Perhaps a President Biden might try to do this via executive order.
Regardless of potential changes in student loan policy though, borrowers who work in the private sector who owe less than what they earn should still be looking at refinancing their federal student loans.
You could even make an argument for refinancing during a Biden administration if you owed twice as much as you earn annually. We tend to recommend refinancing if your debt to income ratio is below 1.5 to 1.
It does not seem like a new administration will reduce the attractiveness of student loan refinancing significantly due to split control of Washington. If our assessment changes, we’ll be sure to update this article accordingly.
Get The Best Refinancing Deal Anywhere
It’s extremely rare that a reader finds a better deal from a lender not on this site.
If you find a better student loan refinancing deal somewhere else or just have questions, please tell us in the comments. A CFA or CFP® professional will respond to you.
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’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.
Why should you trust me when I say you’ll find the best student loan refinancing deal using our website?
We are the highest rated company in the entire student loan industry. Here’s the proof.
When You Should Refinance Private Student Loans
Here’s 5 reasons why you could get an outstanding student loan refinancing deal:
- Interest rates are near all time lows in the economy generally
- The stock market has recovered from the lows in late March of 2020, which has minimized the fear of credit risk
- There’s a lot of competition among lenders
- Incomes have stabilized for most professionals with the largest loan balances
- The Federal Reserve has helped many lenders get easier access to capital
Who should refinance student loans and what banks should you start with? The quiz button below will give you our free 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
- Owe federal debt less than 1.5 times your income
- 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 found a better rate.
Wait to refinance federal loans until at least January 1, 2021 because of the interest suspension due to the pandemic.
Be aware that refinancing federal student loans eliminates income-driven repayment, forgiveness, and the most generous forbearance options. Private student loans do not have these options.
How to Find 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?
These are examples of rates I’m seeing based on different credit scores in the national student loan refinancing market in fall 2020 (excluding regional lenders).
If you have an interest rate higher than those in the table, you need to get quotes from the lenders below.
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.