In Minnesota, 66% of students graduate with debt — about 902,400 people. Their average student debt load is $31,856, making refinancing student loans in Minnesota a strong choice for many graduates. There are several programs, both in-state and national, for borrowers who want to refinance.
Because Minnesota has a lower cost-of-living, refinancing is likely easier and more practical than in other higher cost-of-living states. This is especially true for healthcare practitioners, whose earnings go further in Minnesota than elsewhere.
Here’s where to find student loan refinancing options in Minnesota.
Minnesota SELF Refi Loan
The Minnesota Office of Higher Education is the local agency that administers the SELF Refi program. This refinance loan is available to Minnesota students who’ve completed a post-secondary program (though not available for Parent PLUS Loans).
You can refinance up to $70,000 for a post-secondary degree and $25,00 for a certificate, diploma or associate’s degree.
- Both variable and fixed rates available, with some of the best refinance rates that MN has to offer.
- Five-, 10- or 15-year terms.
- Cosigners are allowed.
- Cannot refinance parent PLUS Loans.
- Maximum amount for refinancing an associate’s degree could be low.
- Forfeit federal student loan benefits.
For Minnesota students who qualify for the lowest interest rate and who don’t have Parent PLUS Loans, this could be a strong refinancing option. Keep in mind that you must be a Minnesota resident to be eligible. If you have great credit and a high income you can likely qualify for a better rate with one of the national lenders.
National refinance lenders for Minnesota borrowers
There are many national lenders that refinance student loans in Minnesota. Here are some top choices to consider.
One national lender available to Minnesota student loan refinance borrowers is ELFI, a company known for strong customer service. If you choose to refinance with ELFI you’ll get a dedicated loan advisor who you can contact through phone, email or text.
You must have a minimum income of $35,000 and a minimum credit score of 680 to qualify for a loan, plus at least 36 months of credit history.
- Known for great customer service.
- Many loans are available for refinancing, including Graduate and Parent PLUS Loans.
- You can add a cosigner to qualify if you aren’t eligible on your own.
- You must have a bachelor’s degree from a Title IV American school.
- No cosigner release available.
- The application is somewhat lengthy compared to other lenders.
- You’ll lose federal protections on refinanced federal student loans.
For students who want a hands-on experience and the guidance of a Student Loan Advisor, ELFI could be the best fit.
Credible isn’t a lender per se but a marketplace where you can search for many lenders at once. It can help you compare rates on student loan refinancing options for Minnesota graduates. You’ll find the big, national lenders there, in addition to some smaller lenders.
- One simple application to compare rates from multiple lenders.
- Credible is free, and its partner lenders don’t charge common fees such as prepayment penalties and loan application fees.
- Credible curates lenders but it doesn’t control their rates. Rates are determined by your application details and vary by lender.
- Not all lenders are on Credible. Always shop around for a student loan refinance in Minnesota.
- Refinancing with any private lender means you’ll lose any government protections on your federal student loans.
Credible is a smart way to quickly review many of your top options. However, it’s always wise to seek refinancing options from different sources for the best comparison.
In Student Loan Planner®’s refinancing survey, respondents said CommonBond was their top choice for refinancing, largely because of its easy application process and great customer service. CommonBond will match you with a “money mentor” who can guide you through your personal finance options.
It offers both variable- and fixed-rate loans with terms between five and 20 years. It also offers a hybrid rate, which is less common for student loan refinancing lenders.
- Even though you’ll lose federal protections once you refinance, CommonBond does offer up to 24 months of forbearance over the life of your loan.
- You can refinance Parent PLUS Loans.
- You can reduce your interest rate by 0.25% if you enroll in auto-pay.
- To be eligible, you must have graduated from a Title IV school.
- You lose any federal protections on government student loans when you refinance with a private lender.
- CommonBond charges a late fee of 5% of your total outstanding amount.
If you want great customer service or want to take advantage of the hybrid rate, CommonBond could be the right fit for you.
Laurel Road offers fixed and variable rates with five- to 20-year terms. It also offers refinancing to Minnesota medical professionals who are completing their residency. This is particularly advantageous if you’re an above-average earner in Minnesota’s healthcare system.
It doesn’t charge application fees and similar to some of its competitors, it offers some forbearance options in case of emergency.
- $100 monthly payments during your medical residency. Interest doesn’t compound during this time.
- 0.25% auto-pay discount
- Student loan cash back credit card earns you 2% toward repaying your loan for every $1 spent.
- For associate’s degree refinancing loans, there’s a $50,000 maximum.
- Based on our data, high-income earners with a low debt-to-income ratio get the most approvals.
- You’ll lose any government protections when refinancing federal student loans.
Because Laurel Road offers refinancing during residency or training they’re one of the go-to student loan refinance options for Minessota medical professionals. It competes with SoFi in this department, and Splash.
Splash Financial is comparable to Credible — a marketplace where you can review offers from multiple lenders. What makes Splash unique is its partnered with many credit unions and is a leader when it comes to refinancing medical school loans. You’ll have to become a member of a credit union to access their financial products. Splash lenders offer both variable and fixed APRs with an easy application process and no fees.
- Pay only $100 per month during residency
- Continue your $100 monthly payments for six months after residency
- Review options from many lenders at once
- If the lender is a credit union, you’ll have to join it first.
- You must’ve graduated from a program to be eligible.
- You will lose any federal benefits after refinancing with Splash.
Considerations for a student loan refinance in Minnesota
Refinancing can help borrowers reduce their interest and obtain a different term. If you need smaller monthly payments or want to repay your loan faster, refinancing can be a smart strategy.
However, it’s worth repeating that you’ll lose any federal benefits after you refinancing federal loans with a private lender. Some lenders are adding options such as forbearance into their terms, but don’t count on this across all lenders.
Remember that should always research multiple lenders to compare interest rates, terms, and unique perks available. For example, some of our lending partners offer cash-back bonuses that can start your repayment with a solid lift.
Compare student loan refinancing rates that are available to Minnesota borrowers today.