If you would like to refinance your student loans at great low rates and like the idea of dealing with a small, friendly community bank or credit union, you will want to consider finding your perfect lender through LendKey. The entire application process is online. LendKey is not a direct lender, but rather is a platform that enables you to compare student loan refinancing possibilities for both undergraduate and graduate student loans from hundreds of credit unions and smaller community banks in 45 states and Washington DC. LendKey was founded in 2008 and has offices in New York, New York and Cincinnati, Ohio. You can find some of the lowest interest rates on the market on LendKey, because credit unions and community banks often offer lower rates than large banks.
Student Loan Services at LendKey
Here are the student loan services available at LendKey:
- Refinance and consolidate your undergraduate and graduate student loans, both private and federal, and get a private student loan through LendKey.
- Fund your undergraduate or graduate education with a private loan.
LendKey Student Loan Rates and Details
Refinancing and Consolidating
The reasons most people refinance student loans is to get lower interest rates and consolidate their loans, so they have lower monthly payments. LendKey excels in helping people find the lowest interest rates available. To apply for a loan through LendKey, you must take out a loan of at least $7,500 but not more than $250,000. Plug your balance and other loan details into LendKey’s student loan refinancing calculator and discover how much you could save by refinancing. You can consolidate both your private and federal student loans, but there are drawbacks to replacing your federal student loans with a private loan. We will explain those drawbacks in a bit.
You will, of course, need to decide if you prefer a variable or a fixed rate. In mid-January 2018, variable rates for refinancing were as low as 2.9% and fixed rates as low as 3.25% The variable rate is lower than the fixed rate to start out, but it can adjust each month, and there is a risk it will go higher. A fixed rate stays the same for the duration of your loan. If you have excellent credit, you can get lower rates, and you may be offered a low various rate it would be hard to resist. If your credit is not so good, a high variable rate is probably not worth the risk. Also, if you are going to pay off your loan quickly, a variable rate makes more sense than it would if you are considering a 20-year loan. At LendKey, you may apply for a five, seven, 10, 15 or 20-year loan. To discover the rates you can get at LendKey, check the LendKey website. At this stage in the process, there will be no impact on your credit score.
Funding Your Education
If you need a loan to fund your education rather than refinancing current loans, you can get started applying for a private student loan on the LendKey website here.
There is no application fee. In mid-January 2017, variable rates started at 4.19% and fixed rates at 5.36% with autopay. You can use a co-signer if you yourself don’t qualify for a loan, and unlike many other lenders, a cosigner release is available if the primary borrower is eligible.
Eligibility to Refinance with LendKey
Here are the requirements to refinance a student loan with LendKey:
- You are refinancing at least $7,500, but not more than $250,000.
- You attended and received a degree from an eligible undergraduate or graduate degree program.
- You have an acceptable credit history, income and employment. If your credit history is below par, you may still be able to get a loan with a co-signer.
- Other criteria may apply according to the lender.
Benefits of a LendKey Student Loan
- Some of the lowest variable and fixed rates on the market
- A rate reduction of 0.25% for those who use autopay
- Ability to pay only on the interest for the first four years with some lenders
- Friendly, accessible and helpful customer service. You can speak with a human being at any point in the process.
- No application, pre-payment or origination fees
- Consolidation of both federal and private student loans
- Choice in repayment terms: Five, seven,10, 15 or 20 years
- Cosigner release available after a year if the primary borrower has eligible credit. Many lenders do not permit cosigners to be released from their obligations, and one year is short for those who do.
- Fast application process and fast decision.
Something to Consider Before Refinancing Your Federal Loans
Federal student loans tend to have a high-interest rate, but they do offer some protections. When you refinance a federal student loan and get a private loan, you give up various federal protections such as income-driven repayment and loan forgiveness programs. These are in place for people who have trouble repaying their student loans. You will want to consider this and your own situation.
How to Apply for a LendKey Student Loan
Whether you are applying for a loan to fund your education or refinancing your student loans, you can apply online for a LendKey student loan. You can complete the initial application in a matter of minutes; it’s that simple. If you are refinancing, you will list the student loans you want to refinance in your applications. If you are eligible, you will receive offers from the LendKey network of community lenders. Once you make your selection, you will continue with the application process. After you are approved, you can securely upload any required documents. After you are approved, if you are refinancing, your new lender will pay off the loans you want to consolidate. You will then have just one loan to pay every month at a lower rate. You will need to join the credit union giving you your loan, and you may have to make a small deposit of a few dollars. You can contact LendKey customer service at any point during the application process.
LendKey Customer Service
LendKey Is a Great Option
LendKey makes shopping for a loan from over 300 credit unions and small community banks easy. Low interest rates and friendly, personalized customer service are LendKey’s hallmarks. Also, if you have a cosigner, you may like that LendKey will allow them to be released after just a year if you have acceptable credit and employment, where many lenders will not release cosigners at all.