Getting Back on Track with Private Student Loans

Private lenders will consolidate your private student loans through a refinance. This is different from the traditional consolidation offered by federal loan servicers. Refinancing is best for those whose financial position has improved since graduating from school. If you are in a better financial position, refinancing can lower interest rates of private student loans. Understand that if you refinance your loans into a new loan and extend the repayment plan, you will most like increase the interest paid over the life of the loan. Make sure consolidating is the best option for you.

Private lender will sometimes refinance federal student loan as well.

If you consolidate by refinancing your government loans with a private lender you will give up some of the protection that comes with government loans.

  • If you are working in a public sector job where you have the ability to take advantage of federal debt relief programs
  • You will lose income-based repayment plans if you refinance
  • Government loans are generally more flexible with forbearance and deferment options

Private Student Loans Lender List

All the below lenders check credit history – this will not be repeated as an eligibility requirement for each lender. Because these lender are checking credit, loans in default will likely not be consolidated.

Earnest

Soft pre-credit check available

  • Eligibility
    • Employed or have a written job offer
    • Enough Savings to cover a month or more of normal expenses and have increasing bank account balances (spend less than earning)
    • History of making on-time payments, not regularly charged late overdraft fees
    • No recent bankruptcies or accounts to collections
    • Debts are from Title IV accredited school
    • NOT offering loans in IL, MI, MN, OH, OR and TN
  • Rate and Terms
    • Variable interest rates start from 2.14% (with AutoPay)
    • Fixed interest rates 3.50% (with AutoPay)
  • Special Features
    • Parent PLUS loan consolidation

SoFi

Soft pre-credit check available.

  • Eligibility
    • Employed or an offer to start employment within 90 days with sufficient income to cover loan
    • Have graduated from a selection of Title IV accredited universities or graduate programs
  • Rate and Terms
    • Variable interest rates start from 2.12% to 6.04% (with AutoPay)
    • Fixed interest rates from 3.38% to 6.74% (with AutoPay)

Lendkey – Medical Graduates (up to $300k loan size)

Soft pre-credit check available. Lendkey has a network of more than 300 credit unions and community banks.

  • Eligibility
  • Varies by bank or credit union
  • Rate and Terms
    • Variable interest rate as low as 1.97% (with AutoPay discount)
    • Fixed rates as low as 3.25% (with AutoPay discount)
    • Maximum undergraduate $125,000 and graduate $175,000
  • Special Features
    • Co-signer release after 12 – 36 consecutive, on-time payments
    • Graduated repayment your monthly payments start lower for the first four years, and increase for the last 11 years (interest only vs. principal and interest)

College Avenue

  • Eligibility
  • Rate and Terms
    • Variable interest rates start from 2.63% to 5.88% (with AutoPay)
    • Fixed interest rates from 4.15% to 6.75% (with AutoPay)
    • 8, 10,12 or 15 year plans
    • Minimum of $5,000, maximum $150,000 undergraduate and graduate, up to $250,000 for medical degrees
  • Special Features
    • Immediate full payments, 2 years interest only payments

CommonBond

Soft pre-credit check available.

  • Eligibility
    • Graduated from a Title IV accredited university
  • Rate and Terms
    • Variable interest rates from 2.23% to 6.03% (with AutoPay)
    • Fixed interest rates from -.19% to 7.74% (with AutoPay)
    • Maximum of $500,000
    • Hybrid interest rates 3.82% to 6.26% (with AutoPay), fixed for first 5, variable for last 5
  • Special Features
    • Academic deferment available if you  go back to school

Alliant Credit Union

  • Eligibility
    • You must have a bachelor’s degree
    • Employed with current employer for 2 years
    • You or Co-signer have an income of $40,000 per year or more
    • Schools cannot be for-profit, community college or trade school
    • The minimum credit score is 680
    • Anyone can join this credit union by making a $10 donation to Foster Care for Success
  • Rate and Terms
    • Interest rates start as low as 3.75%
    • 25 year (300 month) max loan term
    • Minimum $10,000, up to $75,000 undergraduate and $100,000 in graduate and undergraduate  loans

DRB Student Loan

  • Eligibility
    • MBA, law, doctorate, healthcare (residents and fellows), dental, engineering/computer science, other graduate and undergraduate, parent PLUS loans
  • Rate and Terms
    • Variable interest rates from 3.64 to 6.29% (with AutoPay)
    • Fixed interest rates from 4.20 to 7.20% (with AutoPay)
    • 5, 7, 10, 15 and 20 years plans
    • Minimum $5,000. If you are refinancing greater than $300,000 in student loan debt, DRB will refinance the loans into 2 or more new loans
  • Special Features
    • Up to 100% of outstanding private and federal student loans
    • DTB forgive the loan if borrowers dies, a feature normally reserved for federal loans

Wells Fargo

  • Eligibility
    • Federal student loans cannot be combines into Wells Fargo consolidation
  • Rate and Terms
    • Variable rates starting at 3.74% to 8.74% (with discounts of AutoPay and Customer discounts)
    • Fixed rates starting at 6.24%.to 10.99% (with discounts of AutoPay and Customer discounts)
    • Minimum of $5,000 and maximum loans amounts of $120,000, and a lifetime limit of $250,000
  • Special Features
    • Co-signers can be released after 24 consecutive payments OR
    • If 24 payment were not made on time, then 48 consecutive payments made on time
    • No forbearance or modifications granted for hardships
    • The student meets full credit and income validation

Citizens Bank

  • Eligibility
    • No longer enrolled in school
    • At least the last three payments on your student loans have been made on time. If you don’t have your degree, you need to have made the last 12 payments (principal and interest) on time
    • You must make at least $24,000 per year
  • Rate and Terms
    • Variable interest rates start from 2.98% to 7.93%
    • Fixed interest rates start from 5.19% to 7.99%
    • 5, 10, 15 and 20 year terms available
    • Minimum of $10,000, maximum $225,000 graduate and doctorial degrees, $300,000 medical and law degrees
  • Special Terms
    • Release of co-signer after 36 consecutive monthly payments

Credit Union Student Choice

The criteria and pricing vary by credit union. The credit unions usually have restricted membership. Find out how to join participating credit unions directly on their site.

iHelp (consolidation loans)

This service will find a community bank. Generally, you need to have:

  • Eligibility
    • Have graduated 30 – 36 months prior to application with a bachelor’s degree  from a Title IV school
    • 24 consecutive months of on time payments
    • 2 years of good credit history
    • Meet a specific debt to income ratio (DTI) ratio of less than 45%
    • Annual income of at least $24,000 for 2 years
    • Does not have bankruptcies, foreclosures or repossessions during the past 5 years
    • Has not defaulted on a federal or private student loan
    • Meets the minimum credit score
  • Rate and Terms
    • 10, 15 and 20 year terms. Interest rates are dependent on the loan term
    • Variable and fixed interest rates start at 4.75% to  LIBOR + 8.50%
    • Minimum loan amount $10,000 (and $15,001 in Kentucky), maximum loan amount of undergraduate $150,000 and graduate of $250,000
  • Special Features
    • You can get loans while in school, the eligibility requirements are different. The in school loans will allow interest only payments or deferred payments
    • Once loans are in repayment, you can again pay interest only for 24 months and/or have graduated payments
    • You can consolidate Federal Parent PLUS loans into your consolidation, which will relieve your parents of credit obligations

Education Success Loans – NOT CURRENTLY ACCEPTING LOANS!!!

Education Success Loans are similar to loans provided by iHelp.

  • Eligibility Requirements
    • Not eligible in AZ, IA, IL or WI
    • You must
      • Be out of school for at least 30 months
      • Need to have a degree
      • Have a yearly income of $24,000
    • Rate and Terms
      • Education Success loans offers a 25 year repayment program.
    • Special Features
      • Through iHelp you can release a co-signer after 24 months of consecutive on time payments

Special Requirements Consolidation Loans

The below loans have special requirements, usually membership to the participating bank. Because of special requirements these loans are not available nation-wide.

Mayo Employees Credit Union

  • Eligibility
    • You will need
      • At least $2,000 of monthly income
      • A good credit history
      • Join the credit union.
  • Rate and Terms
    • Variable rates are available, starting at 5.15%

Navy Federal Credit Union

  • Eligibility
    • This credit union:
      • Offers limited membership for men and women who serve and/or their family members
      • Has excellent rates and specialized underwriting
  • Rate and Terms
    • Variable interest rates start at 2.89%

RISLA

  • Eligibility
    • You need at least a 680 credit score
  • Rate and Terms
    • Fixed interest rates starting at 4.49%

UW Credit Union

  • Eligibility
    • $25,000 minimum income required
    • 5 years of credit history and a good repayment record
    • You need to join the credit union
  • Rate and Terms
    • Variable rates starting at 2.23%
    • Fixed rates starting at 4.04%.

Eastman Credit Union

  • Eligibility
    • You must be a member of the credit union
  • Rate and Terms
    • Fixed rates start at 6.5%
    • This lender offers a 25 year repayment program

EdVest

  • Eligibility
    • Loans acquired from Title IV
    • You need to make at least
      • $30,000 a year for loan up to $100,000
      • $50,000 is above $100,000
  • Rates and Terms
    • Variable rates start at 3.180%
    • Fixed rates start at 4.740%

First Republic Eagle Gold

  • Eligibility
    • You need a 750 or higher credit score
    • You must have 24 months experience in your current industry
    • Apply in person.
      • Locations: San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Newport Beach, San Diego, Portland (Oregon), Boston, Palm Beach (Florida), Greenwich, and New York City
  • Rates and Terms
    • Variable interest rates starting at 1.87%
    • Fixed interest rate starting at 1.95%
    • Loans must be $60,000 – $300,000 and

CommonWealth One Federal Credit Union (Lendkey Loan)

  • Eligibility
    • You need to be a member of the credit union in order to qualify
  • Rate and Terms
    • Variable interest rates start at 3.36%
    • You can borrow up to $75,000