Student Loan Refinance FAQ

For many borrowers, refinancing your student loans can be complicated, but could be an essential step in attaining your own personal and financial goals. Below you can find additional resources and answers to some of the questions you may have.

How can Refi.me help me refinance my student loans?

Refi.me lets you compare the student loan refinancing options from multiple lenders you qualify. You can consider criteria that are important to you, like total repayment amount, APR, repayment options, and monthly payment. It takes a few minutes to compare our lending partner's rates and an option right for you.

How much does it cost to use Refi.me?

Refi.me is FREE and always will be free. Our lending partners do pay us a fee if you choose a loan through the Refi.me platform. This fee has no impact on the rates your receive, the amount you pay the lender, or any other terms of your loan.

Will checking my rates with Refi.me affect my credit score?

The simple answer is no. Checking your rates with our multiple lending institutions will by no means affect your credit score.

When should I refinance my student loans?

There are many factors to consider when refinancing your student loans. Refinancing your student loans can reduce their student loans' total costs or reduce their monthly payment amounts. When refinancing, you may also be able to pay off your loans faster, consolidate your loans, remove a cosigner from your loans, and switch servicers.

Many factors go into determining if it makes sense to refinance your student loans, such as a lower rate than what you are currently paying and the ability to pay off your loans faster. In some instances, you may want to decrease your overall debt payments to improve your chances of obtaining a mortgage or auto loan or free up extra money to pay back other debt like credit cards. Whatever the reason, it is essential to consider how it will impact your financial future and personal financial goals and the short-term and long-term.

Due to the current CARES Act, it is not recommended to refinance your federal student loans at this time. However, everyone's situations are different, and if you don't think you will depend on federal benefits, you still may want to ask a professional before refinancing your federal loans. By refinancing your federal student loans, you will lose income-driven repayment plans and student loan forgiveness. Based on your circumstances, it may make sense to refinance your federal student loans and lock in low-interest rates. Doing so may allow you to pay off debt sooner, pay less for the loan's total cost, or lower your monthly student loan payments.

What are the eligibility requirements to refinance a student loan?

Lenders consider many things when deciding if you are the right candidate for student loan refinancing. Here are what lenders typically evaluate:

  • Loan Eligibility: Lenders refinance federal, private, and Parent PLUS student loans for undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. Lenders may have additional criteria around the borrower's degree, school, and whether the borrower graduated or not. The loan eligibility requirements vary by lender.
  • U.S. Citizenship: Lenders typically require you to be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or have a cosigner that is. Some lenders may refinance student loans for individual U.S. Visa holders.
  • State Requirements: Some lenders will only offer loans to applicants from certain states.
  • Credit History: Most lenders will perform a credit check and look for a credit score of at least 640 to 700. Some lenders will also look at other factors listed on your credit reports, such as your repayment history, delinquencies, total outstanding loans, and their monthly payment amounts and if you have any outstanding collections.
  • Income Requirements: Some lenders like to confirm you have an income to ensure you can afford your new refinanced student loan payments. Income requirements vary by lender and typically range from $12,000 to $60,000. Some lenders will consider other factors besides your monthly income, such as cash, retirement, or investment accounts.
  • Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI): Some Lenders may look at your debt-to-income ratio to determine if you can afford your new loan's monthly payments. Ideally, your debt-to-income ratio should be below 40%. Some lenders may not consider your DTI or increase DTI requirements to 45% or higher if you have a high enough income.

Adding a qualified cosigner with an excellent credit score may increase your chances of getting a lower interest rate or qualifying with a lender to refinance your student loans or if you individually do not qualify on your own. As lenders criteria vary, you may be eligible with one lender and not another. Your rates may also vary by the lender due to lender specific criteria.

Having a cosigner sign for you does come with some risks. Cosigners share equal responsibility for repayment, and their credit will be affected if the borrower misses payments. If the primary borrower does not make payments, the cosigner will be responsible. However, many lenders do offer cosigner release after completing a certain number of consecutive on-time payments. When applying for other loans, a lender may consider your responsibility as a cosigner, impacting your offers and approval odds.

What will refinancing my student loans cost?

It is free to refinance student loans with one of Refi. me's lending affiliates. None of Refi.me's lending partners charge prepayment, application, or origination fees.

Can you refinance student loans multiple times?

Yes, you can refinance student loans multiple times, and it's a popular strategy, especially for borrowers with large loan balances. Before doing so, carefully consider whether it makes financial sense to refinance the loan an additional time. You should only do this if you are eligible for a lower interest rate or want to consolidate another loan with your already refinanced loan.

Can parents transfer Parent PLUS Loans to their children through refinancing?

Yes, parents may be able to transfer their Parent PLUS Loan to their child through refinancing. The ability to do so varies by lender and may have specific terms and conditions if a lender does offer this service.

Should I choose a variable or fixed interest rate?

Choosing a variable or fixed interest rate depends on the borrower, the lender, and the state. Some states and lenders only offer fixed interest rate options. Variable interest rates typically start lower but will fluctuate with the market. As a result, variable interest rate loans may end up increasing or decreasing over time. Making them a risk as you about end up paying more over the loan's life than you would for the fixed rate you are offered. Fixed rates, on the other hand, remain the same throughout the life of the loan.

This decision is one where your circumstances play a factor. If you have questions about what is best for you, a CPA or financial advisor may help you.

What types of documentation may lenders request for their loan application?

Lenders typically require you to verify your identity with either a driver's license or passport. Lenders commonly verify your income by requesting pay stubs, W-2's, or 1099's. Lenders may ask for a "payoff statement" from your current lender or request you get them this information.