Are you great with managing money, but you don’t have the credit score to prove it? Refinancing your student loans to a lower interest rate may still be possible with Earnest.
Qualified borrowers will not only find low interest rates at Earnest, they’ll find a customized student loan product. Earnest is leading the private student loan marketplace in innovation.
This is also why Earnest "earned" itself a place on our annual list of the Best Places To Refinance Your Student Loans.
Here’s what you need to know about refinancing student loans with Earnest. Earnest is part of the Credible marketplace. See how Earnest compares to other top lenders here! Plus, get a $200 bonus when you refinance with Earnest through Credible.
- Low Qualifying Credit Scores
- Low Interest Rates
- Pick Your Own Pricing Model And Loan Term
Who Qualifies To Refinance With Earnest?
Earnest has stringent underwriting criteria, but the criteria are quite different than most lenders. If you’re a recent grad who manages money well, you’re likely to qualify for a loan refinance with Earnest even if you don’t have a great credit score yet.
Earnest only requires a 650 credit score, but its financial underwriting doesn’t stop with credit scores. Borrowers have to have a stable source of income, two months of savings in their bank account, and be current on rent, mortgage and student loans. Carrying too much credit card debt could disqualify you from the loan.
Earnest is one of the few lenders that also looks into your personal finances. To qualify to refinance with Earnest, you have to spend less than you’re earning. (Of course, this makes a ton of sense, but it’s notable that Earnest actually looks into it).
If you’re a parent looking to refinance Parent PLUS loans, Earnest has a refinancing option for you. The qualifying criteria are the same as for the student refinancing option.
Earnest Student Loan Refinancing Rates and Terms
By far, one of the coolest features that Earnest offers borrowers is it’s “precision pricing” option. Basically this means that you can pick your monthly payment, and Earnest will come up with a term between 5 and 20 years that allows you to hit your exact monthly payment (and pay off your loan as soon as possible).
The precision pricing model means you could end up with a 7.5 year loan term - which you likely won't see at other lenders.
Rates on these loans are very competitive. Earnest offers loans with fixed interest rates ranging from 3.25%-6.32% on fixed interest rate loans. Interest rates on variable rate loans range from 2.57%-5.87%. The maximum interest rate on loans with terms under 10 years is 8.95%.
For loan terms of more than 10 years to 15 years, the maximum interest rate is 9.95%. Longer loans have a maximum interest rate of 11.95%.
Earnest refinances loans ranging from $5,000 to $500,000.
Like most private lenders, Earnest does not charge any refinancing fees.
Remember, these rates are subject to change at any time.
Any Concerning Fine Print?
The only concerning fine print for most borrowers is that borrowers with Sallie Mae loans may not be able to refinance through Earnest. If you’ve got a Sallie Mae loan, you’ll need to speak to a representative to see if you qualify or not.
Outside of that bit of fine print, most of the details of Earnest’s loans are encouraging. Earnest offers better protections than most private student loan lenders. For example, borrowers can defer loans during graduate school, Peace Corps, or active military service. Student loan deferment means that you are not required to make payments, but interest continues to accrue.
If you’re facing economic hardship, Earnest may allow you to put loans into forbearance. During forbearance interest continues to accrue on your loan, but you don’t have to make payments. Earnest specifically allows borrowers to take forbearance during an unpaid parental leave. The only major loss for Earnest’s borrowers is that they will not qualify for income based repayment programs.
The last protection that Earnest offers is a dubious protection. Borrowers can skip one payment every 12 months with the extra payment being spread across the remaining payments. If you’re facing an unexpected car repair or hospital bill, skipping a payment sounds like a great benefit. Unfortunately, this raises your monthly minimum payment, and the amount of interest you’ll pay, so it’s tough to count it as an obvious win.
Earnest doesn’t offer the lowest interest rates on the market, but it is the only lender that offers low rates to people with mediocre credit scores.
If you can save money by refinancing with Earnest, it could be a great move for you. On the other hand, if you’ve got a credit score above 700, you may find better rates. Consider comparing rates with other private lenders before choosing Earnest.
We recommend comparing Earnest on the Credible Marketplace. You can get a $200 bonus no matter which lender you go with on Credible - including Earnest if they are the best for you. Check it our here!
Earnest Student Loans Review
Earnest makes paying loans back easy by providing a dashboard that can allow you to set your payment date to the date you want and need, change the amount of your payment at any time, set up bi-weekly payments to save on interest, change interest rates, pay extra or early without a fee, skip a payment and pay it later, and consolidate any private and federal loans you have to one payment.