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Earnest Student Loan Refinancing

Jessica Cotzin Jessica Cotzin Last update:
Fixed APR
2.98 - 5.89*%
Variable APR
1.99 - 5.74*%
Min Credit Score
650

Earnest is an accredited online lending company offering borrowers student loan refinancing, as well as personal loans, and private student loans. They’ve refinanced over $8.6 billion student loans and have a five star rating with Trust Pilot.

Earnest is known for their low interest rates and are unique among lenders due to making lending more fair, transparent, and even customized. They use data other lenders don’t, such as factoring in your investments, savings pattern, and career trajectory to deliver terms tailored for you.

They also pride themselves on a quick and seamless experience. You can apply for any of their loan products online, and manage your account and payments using their intuitive dashboard.

Earnest Student Loan Refinance Overview

APR (fixed interest rate) 2.98% – 5.89%*
APR (variable interest rate) 1.99% – 5.74%*
Eligible loan types Federal and private student loans
Refinance amount $5,000 to $500,000
Repayment terms 5-20 years
Minimum credit score 650
Lender type Direct
Good for: Graduates who want loan term flexibility
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Earnest Student Loans Refinance: Pros

  • Low interest rates
  • You can customize your loan payment
  • You can skip 1 payment every 12 months (after at least 5 months of on-time interest payments)
  • No origination or prepayment fees

Earnest Student Loans Refinance: Cons

  • You can’t apply with a cosigner
  • Credit score minimum of 650
  • Not available in every state
  • You need enough savings to cover a minimum of two months of expenses, such as rent or mortgage

Application Process

Earnest makes applying for student loan financing easy, and the preliminary application takes just a couple of minutes to complete.

You can get started by visiting their website and clicking the “Get Started” or “Get My Rate” button. This will take you to a page asking for some basic information about yourself, such as your name and contact info as well as your citizenship status.

The next short section will ask about your education history, like your highest degree, graduation date, school, and your total student loan balance. You’ll need a minimum balance of $5,000 to refinance with Earnest.

Next up is your financial profile. This section will inquire about your income, any investments and savings you have, and what you currently pay on your monthly rent or mortgage.

The last section has to do with your residency. Here, you’ll be asked to provide your home address.

You’ll finish up the application by entering a password to create an account and your Social Security number. Then you’ll immediately be presented with rates (only a soft credit check will be conducted at this point).

This page will show you your fixed and variable rates, loan terms, and monthly payments. If you submit your full application and get approved (which will conduct a hard credit check), you can then customize your loan to your desired term length based on the loan term range you were approved for.

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Terms & Requirements

When refinancing student loans, most lenders will require a credit score of around 600-700, and Earnest is very comparable. While they do look at a wider range of factors when considering an applicant, whether or not you have savings and a responsible pattern of financial behavior is important.

Loan Requirements

  • Must be a US citizen or hold a 10-year Permanent Resident Card
  • Enrollment status is less than half-time, your student loans are in repayment or you’ll have your degree completed by the end of the current semester.
  • 18 years or older
  • You aren’t requesting new student loans
  • Your student loan debt is from Title IV-accredited schools.
  • Minimum of $5,000 loan balance
  • Minimum credit score of 650
  • You are employed, have a written job offer that will begin in 6 months, or possess consistent income
  • Student loan accounts are all in good standing
  • You don’t have any previous bankruptcies on your credit report

Loan Terms

  • APR fixed interest rate of 2.98% – 5.89% (includes 0.25% autopay discount)
  • APR variable interest rate of 1.99% – 5.74% (includes 0.25% autopay discount)
  • Federal and private student loans may be financed

Repayment Terms

  • Repayment terms are between 5-20 years, which is comparable to other lenders in the industry
  • The Precision Pricing tool allows the client to choose their payment amount based on the total approved and Earnest will set up the terms accordingly.
  • Earnest allows deferment and forbearance of the loan if you’re eligible.
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Privacy & Security

Earnest is one of the leading online lenders for student loan refinancing and has refinanced over $8.6 billion student loans total. They currently hold an A+ with the Better Business Bureau and are an accredited lending institution.

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 their partners.

Customer Support

You can get in touch with an Earnest representative via their online contact form, online chat, text message, or by the phone. They also have a Help Center, blog page, and resources page to help you find the answers you need to learn about their different services.

When we contacted Earnest via email, they responded in 30 minutes. Fast and good quality customer service should always factor into your decision when selecting a loan.

Final Thoughts

Earnest has your basic loan products, like personal loans, private student loans, and student loan refinancing, but what sets them apart is their low interest rates, flexibility, and how they evaluate and approve their applicants.

Most lenders will only look at your credit score and income when approving you for a loan, but Earnest looks at more data, like your earning potential, your saving habits, and your education to get you a fair and customized rate.

If approved, you can set your own term length and even your monthly payment amount that works with your budget.

 

Address

303 2nd S.t #401N,

San Francisco,

CA 94107

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*Specific Annual Percentage Rate (APRs) offered within these ranges will depend on a variety of factors including your creditworthiness and other application details. Annual percentage rates (APRs) reflect 0.25% discount for optional enrollment in autopay. Your approval for an Earnest Loan is subject to the full underwriting of your loan application. Read more about qualifying for a loan with Earnest here.

Disclosure
This website is an informative comparison site that aims to offer its users find helpful information regarding the products and offers that will be suitable for their needs. We are able to maintain a free, high-quality service by receiving advertising fees from the brands and service providers we review on this website. These advertising fees, combined with our criteria and methodology, such as the conversion rates, our team of reviewer's finding and subjective experience and product popularity, impact the placement and position of the brands within the comparison table. In the event rating or scoring are assigned by us, they are based on the position in the comparison table, or according to other formula in the event specifically detailed by us. See our How we Rate page and Terms of Use for information. The reviews, rating and scoring are provided “as-is” without guaranties or warranties regarding the information contained in our website, which shall not be considered as endorsement. We make the best efforts to keep the information up-to-date, however, an offer’s terms might change at any time. We do not compare or include all service providers, brands and offers available in the market.
Jessica Cotzin Jessica Cotzin
Jessica Cotzin is a writer and the Lendstart authority on small businesses and personal loans. She has been writing about personal finance and the loans industry for a number of years, and holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Florida Atlantic University.
This review is based on the writer's personal opinion.