We receive advertising fees from the brands we review that affect the ranking and scoring of such brands.
Advertiser Disclosure

Earnest Reviews


bestfor-icon Customizable and flexible loan repayment schedule

Written by David Bufton

About Earnest | Read More


LS Score







Visit Site
Opening Hours Opening Hours drop-down-btn
Mon-Fri 8am-5pm PST
Sun-Sat Closed
Contact Information Contact Information drop-down-btn
  • hello@meetearnest.com
  • (888) 601-2801
Social Media Social Media drop-down-btn

Earnest Student Loans Review

Earnest offers student loan refinancing, private student loans, and personal loans. The company is renowned for its below-average interest rates offered as well as its flexible repayment terms. Earnest also considers alternative criteria such as savings patterns and career trajectory when considering student loan refinancing applications.

Earnest Student Loans Highlight


Min Credit Score


APR. Fixed Rate


APR. Variable Rate


Loan Amount

5-15 years

Repayment terms


Soft Credit Pull


Lender Type


Other Fees


Origination Fee


Prepayment Fee

12 days

Funding Time

Student Loan Refinance


APR. Fixed Rate


APR. Variable Rate


Loan Amount

Pros & Cons

  • con-icon Low interest rates
  • con-icon You can customize your loan payment
  • con-icon You can skip 1 payment every 12 months (after at least 5 months of on-time interest payments)
  • con-icon No origination or prepayment fees
  • con-icon You can’t apply with a cosigner
  • con-icon Credit score minimum of 650

Student Loan Type

  • Private student loans
  • Student loan refinance

Earnest Student Loans Terms & Requirements

Earnest offers accessible student loans and student loan financing, but there are conditions that you’ll need to meet to become eligible, including:

Independent Student Loan

  • US Citizen or permanent resident
  • Enrolled at least half-time in a qualifying school
    • The qualifying school is a Title IV, not-for-profit, 4-year institution
  • A minimum credit score of 650
  • At least 3 years of credit history
  • No previous bankruptcies
  • History of on-time payments as a primary borrow
  • No accounts currently in collections

Co-signed Student Loan

  • US Citizen or permanent resident
  • Co-signer must be of the age of majority in their state of residence
  • Undergraduates must be enrolled at least half-time in a qualifying school
  • The qualifying school is a Title IV, not-for-profit, 4-year institution
  • The student is pursuing a Bachelor’s or Graduate degree
  • Co-signer needs a minimum credit score of 650
  • Co-signer must have at least 3 years of credit history
  • Co-signer must have a minimum income of $35,000
  • Neither co-signer of the primary have a bankruptcy on their credit report
  • Co-signer and primary have a history of on-time payments

Student Loan Refinancing

  • US Citizen or permanent resident
  • Current enrolment status is less than half-time, and your student loans are being repaid
  • You are the age of majority in the state you reside
  • You are the primary borrower on the loan you want to refinance
  • The debt relates to a qualifying school
  • The qualifying school is a Title IV, not-for-profit, 4-year institution
  • The refinancing amount must be greater than $5,000
  • A minimum credit score of 650
  • You must display a consistent level of income
  • Loan accounts must be in good standing
  • You are current on rent or mortgage payments
  • You do not have bankruptcy on your credit history.

You can borrow between $1,000 and $500,000 across Earnest’s loan products, and the APR rates offered are competitive. One of the main benefits that Earnest offers is its flexible repayment terms. You can choose to skip one payment every year, and Earnest offers a nine-month grace period, which is longer than most competitors offer.

How to Apply

We were looking to refinance our student loan and were impressed by the terms offered by Earnest. The website was easy to use, and we quickly navigated to the ‘Refinance Student Loans’ section to get started.

After selecting ‘Check Your Rate’, we started working through the online form. Earnest claims you can get your rate in 2 minutes, so we wanted to put this to the test. We started by entering our name, email address, and residential status. There are six different sections to complete, with the second being about our education.

We then entered details of our finances, including our salary, savings, and rental or mortgage commitments. After this came our address details, followed by entering details of our initial student loans. The final stage was entering our SSN so Earnest could perform a soft credit pull and find our rate.

We passed the soft credit check and were shown a selection of rates, including fixed and variable options. We could select a range of different options, including rate type, loan length, and monthly payments. At this point, we submitted our full application, which triggered a hard credit pull. After this, we could upload all of our documentation to verify our identity. We could then customize our loan to get the terms that suit us.

While it took a little longer than the two minutes claimed by Earnest, it was a seamless and easy process. We think that if you are looking for a student loan or student loan refinancing, Earnest is worth considering.

Required Information

You will need to provide an assortment of information and documentation to apply for a loan from Earnest. This is because Earnest has to ensure that it meets all of the safeguarding measures in place. To apply for a student loan or student loan refinancing from Earnest, you will need to give the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security Number
  • College
  • Degree
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Income details

You will need to provide verification of these items by uploading documents to Earnest’s online portal. Yet, this was a simple, quick process due to Earnest’s easy-to-use application tools.

State Availability

Available - Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Not Available - Kentucky, Nevada

Written by David Bufton

After graduating from the University of Warwick with a degree in accounting, David went on to become a fully certified accountant. Since then, he has amassed years of experience working in and writing for various sectors, including finance, gaming, and telecommunications. Now, he uses his extensive experience and knowledge in business and finance to deliver top-quality content.



What credit score do I need to be considered for an Earnest loan?

You need a minimum credit score of 650 to be eligible for a loan from Earnest.

Can I apply with a co-signer?

Yes, Earnest’s private student loans and student loan refinancing are available with or without a co-signer.

Is Earnest available everywhere in the US?

No, Earnest private student loans and student loan refinancing are not available in Nevada or Kentucky. Loans are available in the other 48 states.

Customer Support

Earnest is one of the country’s biggest and best student loan providers, and the company has a top-notch level of customer support to match. You can reach the friendly yet professional Earnest customer service team by phone, online chat, email, or social media. Earnest’s website is also an excellent resource for answering any questions you may have. A help center, blog pages, and a detailed FAQ page cover the most common questions.

We contacted Earnest’s customer support via online chat to enquire about current borrowing rates. We waited in a queue for less than 5 minutes, and our customer representative was polite and eager to help.

Privacy & Security

Earnest is one of the leading online lenders for student loan refinancing. The company currently holds an A+ with the Better Business Bureau and is an accredited lending institution. Similarly, with Earnest, your data is protected. Any information you provide on the site is encrypted using industry-standard SSL technology. Earnest does not sell your information but may share it with its partners.

In Conclusion

In less than a decade, Earnest has moved from a start-up to one of the biggest and best student loan companies in America. The online lending platform offers lower-than-average interest rates and has excellent customer reviews online. While Earnest student loans aren’t available for everyone due to a minimum credit requirement of 650, they are worth considering for anyone looking for a student loan or student loan refinancing.

Brand Disclaimer

Earnest does not promise that the site or any content, document, or feature of the site, or any third-party service or data provided concerning the site (together, the “site-related items”) will meet your requirements, be error-free, reliable, timely, or uninterrupted, or that any defects will be corrected or that your use of site-related items will provide specific results.
Site-related items like third-party data could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. The site-related items are delivered on an “as is” and “as available” basis. All such items are subject to change without notice. Earnest cannot ensure that any files, documents, or other data you download from or through the site will be free of viruses, worms, trojan horses, or other code that manifests contaminating or destructive properties.
Earnest and its third-party vendors and their licensors make no warranty, express, implied, or statutory, and disclaim any and all warranties concerning the site, any third-party services, or any data provided via the site or third-party service, in whole or in part, including without limitation any implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, merchantability, title, or non-infringement. Earnest disclaims any and all liability for any third party’s acts, omissions, and conduct in connection with or related to your use of the site. Earnest assumes no responsibility for the deletion or failure to store any data or other information provided by you on the site.
Earnest reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to change, modify, add or remove portions of these Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy at any time. Earnest also reserves the right to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, the Site for any reason, at its sole discretion, with or without notice to you. You agree to periodically check these Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy for changes. Your continued use of the Site following the posting of changes will mean that you accept and agree to the changes.