When you refinance your student loans using a referral link, you should receive a student loan refinance bonus. We choose to offer a cash bonus and take a lower advertising commission to pay for it. Other websites keep the profit for themselves.
The biggest websites that write about student loan refinancing do not want you to get a student loan refinance bonus. The reason? Because they would lose millions of dollars in advertising revenue if they did. Check out the largest 10 cash bonuses for student loan refinancing below.
Should a cash bonus be the primary, deciding factor in choosing a lender? No, except virtually every single lender listed on other websites offers a student loan refinance bonus through Student Loan Planner®. This list below will show you the maximum student loan refinancing bonuses available anywhere.
Best Student Loan Refinance Bonus Offers on the Internet
So which lenders have the best bonus offers?
Here are 10 banks and lenders that are currently offering great deals for our readers.
Read each section to see how much of a bonus you could qualify for if you refinance your student loans.
1. ELFI: Up to $1,275
One of the great things about ELFI is that you don’t need to refinance a huge amount to qualify for a student loan refinance bonus. To earn a bonus up to $1,275 with ELFI, your refinanced amount needs to be 150k or above.
Note that if you refinance more than $150,000 with Elfi through this site, $500 of the $1,275 bonus comes directly from Student Loan Planner®. Just contact us and let us know that you applied.
You can still get $575 for refinancing 100k to 149k and $300 for refinancing 50k to 99k.
ELFI prides themselves in their customer service. Each borrower gets assigned a dedicated Student Loan Advisor who stays with them throughout the entire application process.
You can contact your Student Loan Advisor via phone, email or even text. The focus on customer service seems to be working as Elfi has 4.8-star rating on Trustpilot and 689 reviews. You can learn more about Elfi with our review or apply below to see what kind of rates you could get.
2. Credible: Up to $1,250
Credible is unique in that they aren’t technically a refinancing lender. Instead, they’re a marketplace where you can shop and compare multiple lenders at once.
Depending on your loan balance, Student Loan Planner® readers could earn a Credible bonus of up to $1,250.
Here’s what you can earn based on how much you refinance with Credible:
- $5,000 – $99,999 gets you a $350 Bonus
- $100,000+ gets you a $1,250 Bonus ($500 of this comes directly from Student Loan Planner®).
And since Credible is a lender marketplace, using our Credible bonus offer could be a roundabout way to earn a refinancing bonus with a lender that normally doesn’t offer one!
In our Student Loan Planer audience survey, Credible’s application and website experience ranked below several of the other top lenders. But as a positive, the percentage of respondents who successfully refinanced with Credible, was fairly balanced across income ranges from $50k to $200k.
Learn more about Credible in our review.
3. Citizens Bank: Up to $1,250
Citizens Bank could be a great choice for borrowers with low to moderate incomes.
In Student Loan Planner®’s latest refinancing survey, 33% of borrowers who refinanced with Citizens Bank said that their income was below $80,000. A whopping 28% said that their annual income was below $50,000.
And while several lenders focus on medical or legal professionals, Citizens Bank seems most popular with borrowers who work in the business world.
If you fit either of those demographics, you may want to get a quote from Citizens Bank.
Note that the bonus for Citizens Bank is if you apply via the Credible link below.
4. LendKey: Up to $1,250
LendKey is another lender marketplace. They specialize in connecting borrowers with community banks and credit unions.
Depending on the amount refinanced, Student Loan Planner® readers can get up to a $1,250 LendKey bonus for refinancing $150,000 or more.
For other amounts, here’s what your cash bonus could be:
- $25,000 – $50,000 = $100 Bonus
- $50,000 – $75,000 = $200 Bonus
- $75,000 – $100,000 = $300 Bonus
- $100,000 – $150,000 = $400 Bonus
- $150,000+ = $1,250 Bonus ($500 of which would come directly from Student Loan Planner®)
Like Credible, LendKey received a slightly lower rating than other lenders for application and website experience in our refinancing survey. But again, they’re not a direct lender, so your actual experience will be somewhat dependent on the lender that you choose.
Thankfully, you won’t have to pay an origination fee with LendKey regardless of the actual lender that you decide to work with.
Read our full LendKey review.
5. Laurel Road: Up to $1,050
While Laurel Road will work with any borrower, they specialize in refinancing for medical professionals. For example, medical school grads could qualify for $100 monthly payments during residency or fellowship.
Depending on your profession, Laurel Road may offer an extra 0.25% discount on your loan. And they’ll automatically apply our reader bonus or the 0.25% discount, whichever is higher.
Note that if you refinance between $50,000 and $249,999, the reader bonus is $300 to $500. If you refinance more than $100,000, then Student Loan Planner® provides $500 of the $1,050 total bonus. However, if you opt for an interest rate discount, then you would only receive the $500 Student Loan Planner® bonus.
In our Student Loan Planner® refinancing lender survey, Laurel Road was ranked the #3 refinancing lender by readers. That makes them a strong choice. Their application and website experience, however, both ranked slightly lower than Earnest.
Read our full Laurel Road review if you want more details.
6. Earnest: Up to $1,000
Currently, Student Loan Planner® readers can earn an Earnest referral bonus of $200 to $1,000, depending on the size of your loan.
- Borrowers with $50k to $99,999 in student debt: $200 bonus
- Borrowers with $100k or more of student debt: $500 bonus from Earnest + $500 from Student Loan Planner®
Earnest has made a name for themselves by offering borrowers incredible payment flexibility. Using their “Precision Pricing,” you can choose from over 180 payment terms, from 5 to 20 years. And they ranked #2 overall in Student Loan Planner®’s latest refinancing survey.
Read our full Earnest review to learn about their terms and benefits.
7. SoFi: Up to $1,000
SoFi was one of the first lenders to focus on student loan refinancing. And while they have more competition today, you should still check their rates, especially if you’re a doctor, dentist or lawyer.
- Borrowers with $50k to $99,999 in student debt: $200 bonus
- Borrowers with $100k or more of student debt: $500 bonus from SoFi + $500 from Student Loan Planner®
SoFi may also be a good fit for borrowers in the $50k to $100k income range. In our refinancing survey, SoFi won the highest percentage of borrowers who earn $50k to $80k and $80k to $100k.
And by using our SoFi student loan referral link, you could earn up to a $1,000 SoFi bonus!
Read our full SoFi review.
8. Splash Financial: Up to $1,000
Splash Financial is another lender geared towards medical professionals. Borrowers with medical school loans can pay only $100 per month during residency or fellowship.
Splash offers unique refinancing options for married couples as well. Spouses can refinance their student loans together. Or one spouse can “take over” the loans of the other.
Student Loan Planner® readers who refinance the following amounts can get a Splash refinancing bonus:
- $50,000 to $99,999: $300 bonus
- $100,000 or more: $1,000 bonus ($500 of which would come directly from Student Loan Planner®)
And be sure to read our full Splash Financial review.
9. Brazos: $600
Brazos is only available to Texas residents. But for those who live there, they’re definitely a lender worth considering.
First, Brazos’ status as a non-profit means that they could offer you attractive rates with less lender markup. They also offer an impressive hardship forbearance period of up to 12 months.
Brazos is currently offering Student Loan Planner® readers a $600 bonus for refinancing over $20k. That’s a big bonus, especially since you don’t need to refinance over 50k or $100k to qualify!
Learn more about Brazos in our full review.
10. College Ave: $500
Unlike most other lenders on this list that handle the bonus directly, Student Loan Planner® sends a $500 Amazon gift card the College Ave bonus gift cards directly. To get yours, just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Like Earnest, College Ave is known for having flexible payment terms. While many lenders offer four or five loan terms, College Ave has 16 different options ranging from 5 to 20 years.
And as a thank you for being a Student Loan Planner® reader, you can get $500 cash back when you refinance using our link. To qualify for the bonus, you’ll need to refinance over $100,000.
Don’t Refinance Without Getting a Bonus
Even with hefty cash bonuses available, you still want to make sure that you’re a good candidate for student loan refinancing.
We suggest making sure that you owe less than 1.25 times your annual income and work in the private sector. We generally recommend refinancing for any private student loan borrowers who can find a lower interest rate. Federal student loan borrowers need to take additional factors into consideration.
If that’s you, then don’t refinance without seeing if you could get a bonus. It only helps you and doesn’t hurt the interest rate you’re offered.
Also, don’t forget that Student Loan Planner® consultants give unbiased advice on how to best repay your student loans.
What questions do you have about the bonuses above? Let us know in the comments.
Not sure what to do with your student loans?
Take our 11 question quiz to get a personalized recommendation for 2023 of 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
Physician on FIRE says
Good for you for exposing the corporate sites that don’t share the lenders’ bonuses with their readers. I’d love to see you compete for those key words and offer more beneficial help to the peoople who really need it — those with massive student loan debt.
I see some similarities with the big “travel hacking” sites with names that sound like they’re written by one guy when it’s really a subsidiary of a massive corporate structure. They offer tons of articles and usually good information, but they’re not always the best cards and none of them are donating half their profits from referrals like I do.
Keep fighting the good fight.
Travis Hornsby says
We gotta work together PoF! My dream is that you, me, White Coat Investor, and Big Law Investor would have most of the market share and most of the referral bonus would be going to the people paying all the interest: the readers.