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.
Compare the Best Student Loan Refinance Rates
Here are our top student loan refinance picks for 2019
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Student Debt Relief Loan Refinancing Advertiser Disclosure
College Ave: College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
College Ave Refi Education loans are not currently available to residents of Maine.
1 – The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as the borrower or cosigner, if applicable, enrolls in auto-pay and authorizes our loan servicer to automatically deduct your monthly payments from a valid bank account via Automated Clearing House (“ACH”). The rate reduction applies for as long as the monthly payment amount is successfully deducted from the designated bank account and is suspended during periods of forbearance and certain deferments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
2 – $5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees. Information advertised valid as of 04/26/2019. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.
3 – This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.
ELFI: Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply. To qualify for refinancing or student loans consolidation through ELFI, you must have at least $15,000 in student loan debt and must have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from an approved post-secondary institution.
LendKey: Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
CommonBond: Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate.
Splash Financial: Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval.com
Earnest: To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest’s fixed-rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with autopay) to 7.89% APR (with autopay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.50% APR (with autopay) to 7.27% APR (with autopay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms of 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 0.26% and 5.03% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 23, 2019 and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay Discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/23/19. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice.
Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 303 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.