Home » Refinance Student Loans

Splash Financial Review 2024: Up to $1,000 Refinancing Bonus

Splash Financial, based in Cleveland, Ohio, began offering loans to medical residents and fellows in mid-2017. It's a must-check if you’re an MD or DO still in training. It's also a contender if you want to give a major credit union a shot at offering a great refinancing interest rate.

After all, credit unions are tax-exempt organizations with a low cost of capital (customer deposits). That means Splash may be able to offer some of the best rates in the student loan refinancing industry.

Plus, you can get a refinancing bonus up to $1,000 when you use our Student Loan Planner® referral link. Continue reading our full Splash Financial review to learn more.

Who can refinance with Splash?

YouTube video

Splash Financial partners with credit unions, banks and other private lenders to offer a marketplace platform for in-school loans and refinanced student loans. Its bread and butter is its medical school refinancing option. This product allows residents and fellows to pay only $100 per month during training and six months afterwards. But you don’t have to be a medical professional to take advantage of its competitive refinancing rates.

To refinance with Splash, you’ll ideally need to have:

  • Credit score of 700 or higher (preferably).
  • Good credit history.
  • Low debt-to-income ratio (no more than 30%).

Additionally, you’ll need to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who has graduated with private student loans or federal loans. Note there might also be a minimum income requirement.

Note that some of Splash’s lending partners might even allow Parent PLUS Loans to be refinanced into the child's name.

How Splash Financial refinances loans for residents and fellows

Splash Financial stands out compared to other lenders, particularly when it comes to refinancing medical school loans. Residents and fellows can benefit in the following ways:

  1. You can pay only $100 a month during your residency or fellowship training.
  2. Your interest accrues but does not compound during training.
  3. Your regular loan payments start six months after training ends.

As with its general refinancing product, Splash Financial charges no origination fees, application fees or prepayment penalties on its medical school refinance loans.

Splash offers low payments during training for physicians

My wife worked in New York City as a resident physician before we met. When we started dating, she was already doing her fellowship in Philadelphia. When we were reviewing her loan statements, I noticed a long history of forbearance and deferment. She shared stories with me about how it was hard to make ends meet sometimes with her relatively low income, high stress level and big-city costs.

She ended up refinancing because of her modest loan amount and how much credit she lost for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) while not making payments.

If she had gone the private practice route, someone like my wife could have benefited from the Splash residency refinancing. She would have cut her interest rate from 6.8% to something much lower and saved thousands of dollars.

But for some physicians, refinancing federal student loans isn’t the best route, especially considering the new SAVE plan offers generous interest subsidies and low monthly payments based on 5% to 10% of discretionary income. Staying on an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan like SAVE also keeps the door open to PSLF, whereas refinancing does not. Hence, I wouldn’t suggest anyone refinance solely because of the low monthly payments.

That said, for a segment of the MD/DO population that’s very cash-strapped with plans to move to a big income attending job in private practice, this could be a great decision to refinance.

Starting repayment when you’re done with training

One of the better features of Splash Financial’s resident and fellow refinancing product is the long period of low required payments.

Some companies ask you to begin payments more quickly than that, which could throw you in a bind if you refinanced as a PGY-1 and decided to do a fellowship only to find out you had a big bill due.

This payment flexibility is not as good as SAVE, but it’s still very friendly to the borrower.

How Splash Financial compares to other refinancing lenders

Early Splash Financial reviews from medical professionals were very positive. But then SoFi tried to kill off the competition by aggressively getting into resident and fellow refinancing, too.

Since then, Splash began focusing fully on forging relationships with other banks and credit unions. It's now looking to primarily serve as a lending marketplace rather than a direct lender. Thanks to this approach, Splash can now refinance anyone’s student loans.

When Splash announced the closing of a $12.5 million Series A round, it described itself as, “A leading student loan refinance marketplace and technology platform partnering with credit unions and banks to help people get the best refinancing rates on their student loans.”

Splash is now similar to Credible and LendKey in that it’s a middleman for huge financial institutions that don’t understand great websites and millennial-friendly customer service yet.

For that reason, you could see some amazingly low refinancing rates on the platform. In fact, you might find lower interest rates over time as Splash tries to show its partners the value of acquiring new customers by offering great rates on student loan refinancing.

Splash Financial is highly responsive to customers

I wanted to include some customer service information and observations during this Splash Financial review. Splash is lightning fast in responding via chat on their website. That’s the method that I would suggest if you have any questions.

I have a pretty good vantage point of how responsive all the different lenders are in the student loan refinancing space. Whenever I’ve had a question or issue come up with a reader of this site, Splash has gotten right on it and helped fix it.

That’s an anecdotal account, but I’ve been impressed. Some of the bigger lenders don’t really care that much about you because you’re not going to move the dial for them as much.

How to apply for Splash Financial student loan refinancing

Splash Financial accepts applications from U.S. citizens as well as permanent residents. Like other student loan refinance companies, Splash will allow you to check your prequalified rate with a soft credit check. It only takes a couple of minutes, and it won't affect your credit score.

If you like what you see in your rate quote, you can move to the next stage of the process. Upload a few key documents, such as:

  • Driver’s license or photo ID
  • Proof of degree (like transcripts or diploma)
  • Proof of income (tax returns or pay stubs)
  • Payoff statements for existing loans

If the lender you received a quote from was a credit union, you'll need to become a member before you can actually apply for the loan. Also, know that submitting the full loan application will initiate a hard credit pull.

After completing your application, you’ll get an answer within a few business days. If you accept the loan, Splash should pay off your existing loans within two weeks, and then you’ll owe them directly.

Note that the loan repayment terms, interest rate types and benefits you see on the Splash website will vary depending on the partner lender that you apply with.

Splash Financial referral bonus for Student Loan Planner® readers

Splash Financial

splash logo
4.5 out of 5

Splash Financial: Best for easy application

  • Positives: Compares multiple lenders, good customer service available
  • Allows cosigners: No
  • Deferment or forbearance available: Yes, length varies based on lending partner
  • Interest rates: Fixed starting at 5.19% APR; Variable starting at 5.28% APR
  • Bonus: $300 for 50k to 99k or $1,000 when you refinance $100,000 or more

Instead of keeping all the referral bonuses for our company’s profit, we try to get large cash-back bonuses issued to you by keeping our cut way lower than most other sites. Student Loan Planner® readers can get up to a $1,000 Splash bonus when they use our Splash Financial referral link to apply. To be specific, you can receive:

  • $300 bonus for loan amounts ranging from $50,000 to $99,000.
  • $1,000 bonus when you refinance $100,000 or more ($500 of that bonus is provided directly from Student Loan Planner®.)

That means you could get hundreds of dollars for refinancing through Splash, which can go to getting you out of student loan debt even sooner. You can also refinance multiple times. And you should in order to keep getting the lowest rates, as long as you don’t mind the application process.

You have many options to refinance student loans. We personally refinanced our own student loans twice, and my wife bought an insanely expensive and fancy pair of boots with the second cash-back bonus. We still got out of debt pretty rapidly, though, so that made me happy.

If you know you need to refinance, you probably have a debt-to-income ratio below 2:1 (or you will soon), and you work in the private sector. If that’s the case and this Splash Financial review resonated with you, then you should definitely check your rates with them.

While Splash is a great option, it’s still important to shop around to find the best fit for your refinancing needs. Check out our student loan refinancing guide to compare features, loan terms and bonus offers from the best student loan refinancing lenders available today.

FAQs for Splash Financial refinancing

Do you have to open a credit union account to refinance with Splash?

If the lending partners you qualify for are credit unions, yes, you’ll need to become a member before you can take out a loan with them.

Does Splash allow cosigners?

No. Splash previously offered the ability to add a cosigner to an application but discontinued that option in 2022.

Are there forbearance protections with Splash?

Yes, if you lose your job or have another unfortunate live event, forbearance may be offered (depending on the lender).

Can you apply if you didn’t graduate school?

No, you need to have at least an associate's degree or be in the final term of your program from a Title IV institution. Most universities qualify.

What kind of interest rate terms does Splash offer?

Splash offers both fixed rates and variable rate loans.

Will I still qualify for federal benefits after refinancing with Splash?

No, after they've been refinanced into a private loan, they're no longer eligible for government benefits such as income-driven repayment plans, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, or federal forbearance and deferment.

Refinance student loans, get a bonus in 2024

Lender Name Lender Offer Learn more
$500 Bonus
*Includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. For 100k or more.
Fixed 5.24 - 9.99% APR*
Variable 6.24 - 9.99% APR*
splash logo
$1,000 Bonus
For 100k or more. $300 for 50k to $99,999
Fixed 5.19 - 10.24% APPR
Variable 5.28 - 10.24% APR
$1,000 Bonus
For 100k or more. $200 for 50k to $99,999
Fixed 5.19 - 9.74% APR
Variable 5.99 - 9.74% APR

Not sure what to do with your student loans?

Take our 11 question quiz to get a personalized recommendation for 2024 on whether you should pursue PSLF, Biden’s New IDR plan, or refinancing (including the one lender we think could give you the best rate).

Take Our Quiz


  1. JJ May 26, 2020 at 11:50 AM

    Splash Financial may be great if you are a W-2 type young person trying to re-finance your student loans but don’t even bother if you are self-employed, retired or have passive income as they don’t count investment income and will make it super hard for you with never-ending requests for documentation of income.

    I found the customer service from the representative that was assigned to me to be non-existent. Unanswered emails, phone calls and no cummication or updates to the status of your application. I had to call constantly to check on my loan instead of being proactively communicated with to let me know what documents they needed. Basically a huge waste of my time. Plus, I asked them if a retired person with the highest income from Social Security could qualify and they said no. Serious ageism here!

    • Amy at Student Loan Planner May 26, 2020 at 12:46 PM

      I’m sorry that was your experience. Different lenders have different requirements, though, so you might check another lender.

  2. Dave September 25, 2020 at 3:26 PM

    I echo JJ’s comments. Splash’s customer service may be quick to respond like you said in the article, but they are not very helpful. They seem like a Credible wannabe. Would not recommend!

Comment or Ask a Question

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *