How to Get a Better Student Loan Interest Rate Refinance Once You Have a Good Job
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Student Loans
When You Have a Good Job and You Want a Better Student Loan Refinance Interest Rate
Interest rates on student loan debt can be high. To solve this problem, a number of lenders have started offering opportunities for borrowers to refinance their student loan debt at much lower interest rates. In order to qualify for a refinance, most lenders have strict underwriting requirements. You need to have a job with a good salary and a good credit history. Many new lenders understand that recent college graduates are likely to have a thin file or no credit score, so they are willing to consider other indicators of your credit risk. For example, some lenders will look at your bank account to see the pattern of your cash flows and level of savings. Other lenders will consider where you studied and what degree you received. A computer science degree would be considered lower risk than an art history degree. All of these lenders are trying to find ways, beyond the traditional FICO score, of determining your credit risk.
The number of lenders offering student loan refinancing has expanded in recent years. A number of start-ups have been growing exponentially. SoFi is the leader in this space, having originated over $2 billion since launch. Credit unions have started expanding their student loan portfolios rapidly. Even large commercial banks are attracted to this space, with Citizens Bank leading the charge.
As you might imagine, the Silicon Valley start-ups tend to have the lowest interest rates. You can now find variable interest rates as low as 1.90%, and fixed rates as low as 3.50%. If you want to find a good rate, you should feel safe shopping around. According to FICO, you can apply for as many student loans as you want in a 30-day period, and it will only count as one inquiry. You can find a good list of student loan providers, ranked by interest rate, at MagnifyMoney.
If you want to refinance your student loan debt, remember to consider the following:
- Is there an up-front origination fee? If you plan on repaying your student loan debt early, a fee can become meaningful.
- Be careful before signing up for a variable rate. If you are going to pay off your student loan debt in the next few years, you may want to save the money and take the interest rate risk. But 25 years is a long time, and we are at all-time low interest rates. If rates increase, you could end up in a very difficult situation later during the term.
- Be extremely cautious before refinancing a federal student loan. Federal loans offer a lot of protections that private student loans do not, including income-based repayment. If you refinance a federal student loan to a private loan, you will be giving up all of those protections.
That page also explains how to consolidate student loan debt when you can't afford the payments:
19 options to refinance student loans:
And a few more good options:
Should I refinance my student loans?
Should I consolidate my federal and private student loans?
Should I refinance or consolidate my student loans?
Fastest ways to pay back your student loans faster:
Best banks to refinance or consolidate student loans:
There are a LOT of choices.
MrMoneyMustache review of SoFi:
From that page:
I don’t get excited about lower monthly payments, loan forgiveness, or any other financial frills. I also don’t think anyone should borrow money for a wedding, vacation, or car, regardless of the rate. But for any debt you are currently stuck with, I do want you to end up with the lowest possible interest rate. You combine this with the making the largest possible monthly payment to destroy the loan in the shortest possible time, and thus escape from your Debt Emergency very quickly and move on to build real wealth.