Earnest Review: Student Loan Refinancing
Earnest is rightfully called one of the most flexible student loan refinancing companies, and for a good reason. Just some of the features you’ll love if you refinance your student loans with them are: (1) flexible payments; (2) online management; (3) payment preference customization; (4) deferment and forbearance options, and (5) variable rates.
Flexible payment. Earnest knows what it’s like to be an adult in the States. You’re struggling with debt, but once you find work, you want to get rid of those student loans fast. Usually, you’d have to renegotiate payments and terms with your refinancing company. However, Earnest lets you to modify your payment amount in just a few clicks. Oh, and don’t worry: they don’t charge late fees.
Online management. You can keep an eye on your student loan refinancing with Earnest’s mobile app, set up automatic payments, adjust your payment date, or make early/extra payments without prepayment penalties. You can also set automatic payments for the instalments so you don’t have to mark anything on your calendar. You’ll get a 0.25% interest rate discount for setting it up.
Payment preference customization. Want to skip a payment and make up for it later? It’s absolutely possible with Earnest! Additionally, they also offer flexible repayment terms. If you think a 7 year and 2 months loan is the best option for your budget, they’ll be happy to make it possible. So if you’re a lender with a history of financial responsibility, an Earnest loan may just be a great choice! Even if you have limited credit history, they can look at your earning potential, education and savings patterns.
Deferment and forbearance. We know: stuff happens. And when it does, you don’t want to worry about the future of your student loan refi. You just want to get back on track. Earnest has full understanding of that, which is why they offer academic and military forbearance, as well as forbearance in 3-month periods.
Fixed and variable rates. Earnest service their refinancing in-house, which means that they can look at your credit based on more factors than regular institutions. They take your savings, education and earning potential into account, which is a significant factor for lawyers.
Who are Earnest's competitors?
Earnest is a solid student loan refinancing company with a legitimate chance of giving you a great deal but to get a full sense of the interest rates available to you it's a good idea to check out the competition. The list below includes the other student loan refinancing companies that you may want to consider when searching for the lowest interest rate.
- First Republic Bank. This is a traditional bank looking to build a long-term customer relationship with you and is willing to refinance your student loans at below-market rates to build the relationship. You'll be required to open up a checking account, initiate direct deposit of your paycheck, and jump through other hoops, but if you're willing to do so they offer the lowest rates available.
- CommonBond. With their Pencils for Promise program, CommonBond offers a social mission to student loan refinancing. They have a dedicated law firm group located in NYC, which means a team is available to specifically help you through the refinancing process.
- SoFi. SoFi is by far the largest lender in the student loan refinancing market. They may not be able to offer you the best rate as they can rely on their brand name to bring in borrowers but there are lots of other perks when you refinance with SoFi and they are actively expanding their products if you're interested in keeping your financial life with one company.
- Credible. Known as the "Kayak of student loan refinancing", Credible offers you access to a marketplace of lenders. Fill out a form once and Credible will pre-qualify you with a bunch of lenders to get rates (soft credit check). To confirm the actual rates, you'll have to continue the application with the individual lender.
- LendKey. If you're looking to borrow from a local credit union, LendKey is the lender for you. They partner with local banks and credit unions to offer you student loan refinancing in your neighborhood.
- ELFI. A relatively new player, ELFI is backed by SouthEast Bank, a retail bank that recognized the value of getting into the student loan refinancing market. More competition is always better and if you end up with multiple offers, you can use them to play off the various student loan refinancing companies to get the best deal for you.
- Splash Financial. Splash Financial is based in Cleveland and one of the newest players in the refinancing space. Originally they only offered loans to medical residents and fellows but have recently been expanding thanks to a partnership with Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed).
- Laurel Road. Primarily a good option for medical professionals (which seem to be their target audience), Laurel Road is an option for parents that want to refinance Parent PLUS loans in their child's name.
- Interest Rates: 1.99%+
- Bonus Cashback: $500
- Loan Types:
- Loan Terms:
- Rating: 10/10
- Visit Earnest