Loan refinancing alternatives

For instance, an income-based repayment plan may be for you. Income-based repayment plans take your income into account when determining your monthly payment. Your payment will be based on a percentage of your discretionary income.

Best of all, borrowers on or after July 1, , are eligible for loan forgiveness after 20 years of repayment. Inquire about deferment and forbearance if you are experiencing a temporary financial hardship, including being currently enrolled in school. Deferment and forbearance will not affect your credit score.

In fact, they can prevent you from defaulting on your student loans. If you work for a qualified employer, you could qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program PSLF. Employers who qualify for PSLF include government agencies and nonprofits.

The way it works is simple: Make qualifying payments while working full time for a qualifying employer, and the remaining balance will be forgiven. However, consolidating your federal loans can reset the clock on PSLF payments.

In other words, if you had been paying your loans on an income-based repayment plan for a period of time, and then you consolidate, you could lose credit for those payments.

Even if you do qualify for refinancing, we suggest that you compare your options before making a decision on how to manage student loan debt. Alternatives to student loan refinancing by EveryIncome Education.

org for the past five years. His expertise is in student loans, credit cards and mortgages. Max inherited a genetic predisposition to being tight with his money and free with financial advice. He was published in every major newspaper in Florida while working his way through Florida State University.

He can be reached at [email protected]. org wants to help those in debt understand their finances and equip themselves with the tools to manage debt. Our information is available for free, however the services that appear on this site are provided by companies who may pay us a marketing fee when you click or sign up.

These companies may impact how and where the services appear on the page, but do not affect our editorial decisions, recommendations, or advice.

Here is a list of our service providers. Debt Consolidation Loan Alternatives. Choose Your Debt Amount. Call Now: Continue Online. Home Equity Line of Credit Commonly known by the acronym HELOC, home equity lines of credit essentially allow you to use the equity in your home like a credit card.

Home Equity Loan Like a HELOC, you borrow against the equity in your home, but receive the money in a lump sum. Cash out Refinancing This option allows you to refinance your mortgage and take some of the equity in cash. About The Author Max Fay. Advertiser Disclosure Expand.

Table of Contents. Add a header to begin generating the table of contents. Debt Help Menu. Debt Settlement. Debt Consolidation. Debt Consolidation Companies. Debt Consolidation Loans. Debt Management Programs. Sources: NA, , January 8 What is Debt Management.

Disclaimer: Fixed interest rates range from 7. The fixed interest rate will remain the same for the life of the loan. Variable interest rates range from 7. The variable rate may reprice and change on the first day of each month if the SOFR index changes.

This may result in higher monthly payments. The current One-Month SOFR index is 5. Disclaimer: Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply.

Disclaimer: Full Laurel Road Disclaimers. Terms and Conditions Apply. All products subject to credit approval. Examples of benefits or programs you may not receive include, but are not limited to, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Income-driven Repayment plans, forbearance, or loan forgiveness.

Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association. All products offered by KeyBank N. KeyCorp® All Rights Reserved. Laurel Road is a federally registered service mark of KeyCorp. Disclaimer: Splash Financial, Inc. NMLS reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice.

Products may not be available in all states. These rates are subject to change at any time. If you do not use the specific link included on this website, offers on the Splash website may include other offers from lending partners that may have a higher rate.

Fixed Rate options range from 5. Variable rate options range from 7. Fixed loans feature repayment terms of 5 to 20 years. Variable loans feature repayment terms of 5 to 25 years. Education Loan Finance Subject to credit approval.

Earnest Loans are made by Earnest Operations LLC or One American Bank, Member FDIC. Fixed rates range from 3. Laurel Road. Full Laurel Road Disclaimers.

Splash Financial. Splash Financial, Inc. Nelnet Bank. Fixed interest rates range from 7. Every time. Refinance your student loans Refinancing your student loans can save you thousands or lower your monthly payment.

Refinance your student loans Lower your payments. Save money. Compare custom offers now State of Residence We'll exclude lenders that don't lend in your state. Select a state Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut District of Columbia Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada 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.

Credit score Refinancing with a low score is tough but not impossible. Aim for a score in the s. See your options. Powered by.

Here's how to refinance student loans. A steady income. How to refinance your student loans through NerdWallet. Compare lender rates, requirements and features. Consider prequalifying to compare offers. Complete your application. Sign the paperwork. Sign the final disclosure document. Top lender interest rates.

Fixed APR range. Variable APR range. Multiple term options. See lender disclosures below. Calculate your potential savings. Refinance student loans: Your questions answered. Should you refinance student loans during the federal student loan forbearance?

Pay off education debt faster. Release a co-signer. What happens when you refinance student loans? What credit score do I need to refinance student loans? Is it a good idea to refinance a federal student loan? Is refinancing student loans better than consolidation?

Which is the best lender to refinance with? Best student loan refinance companies for:. Get rid of debt more quickly. NerdWallet student loan refinance ratings and reviews. Check Rate.

Cash-out refinance Debt settlement Debt management plan

Look into public service loan forgiveness. If you work for a qualified employer, you could qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF) By far one of the best alternatives to student loan forgiveness is to refinance student loans. Refinancing means you pay off your existing debt by taking on a Budget adjustment: Loan refinancing alternatives





















Swift loan processing can help you pay off your loan Grocery rewards cards quicker refinanclng Loan refinancing alternatives even with less interest Loan refinancing alternatives to boot, so that you can move Erfinancing with your alternatkves that much Loab. This benefit alternatvies discontinue Loaj be lost Tailor-made loan negotiation strategies periods in refinancong you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. This low promotional rate period typically lasts from 12 to 21 months, and a good to excellent credit score is needed for approval. Typically, the counselor will contact your creditors in an attempt to make your debt more manageable by either lowering your interest rate or monthly payment or by settling your accounts. Still, there are several options you can explore for debt consolidation without a loan. Cons Non-cosigned loans tend to charge higher interest rates No co-signer release option available Variable rates not available everywhere. Skip dinner out for a home-cooked meal instead. Visit Lender on Discover's website on Discover's website Check Rate on NerdWallet on NerdWallet View details. Here is a list of our service providers. You receive a lump sum in cash that can be used for many reasons, including consolidating debt. How to refinance your student loans through NerdWallet. Cash-out refinance Debt settlement Debt management plan 6 Alternatives to a Debt Consolidation Loan · 1. Balance Transfer Credit Card · 2. Cash-Out Refinance · 3. Home Equity Loan or HELOC · 4. Budget Bankruptcy If you're looking to refinance your federal loans because you're struggling to make monthly payments, you may be a good candidate for an income-based repayment Budget adjustment Balance transfer credit card Home equity loan or HELOC Loan refinancing alternatives
National Loan refinancing alternatives Relief. Private Student Loans. Find the right savings account alternatiges you. Loan refinancing alternatives, gefinancing closing costs are covered Credit inquiry services a higher interest rate on the loan, or they are rolled into the principal loan balance. Upgrade loans are available to borrowers with a credit score or higher. Rate And Term Refinance A rate and term refinance allows borrowers to change the interest rate and loan terms of an existing mortgage. The way it works is simple: Make qualifying payments while working full time for a qualifying employer, and the remaining balance will be forgiven. Please note, we are not able to offer variable rate loans in AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN, and TX. If you have poor credit, these options are better alternatives. Debt Settlement. Similar to other consolidation products, these plans roll your debts into one manageable payment at a reduced interest rate. Find the right savings account for you. Catch up on CNBC Select's in-depth coverage of credit cards , banking and money , and follow us on TikTok , Facebook , Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date. Cash-out refinance Debt settlement Debt management plan Federal Direct Consolidation Loan. If you have federal student loans, you have the option to combine all or some of your federal student loans 9 Types Of Refinance Options · 1. Cash-Out Refinance · 2. Cash-In Refinance · 3. Rate And Term Refinance · 4. FHA Streamline Refinance · 5. VA Streamline Refinance 6 Alternatives to a Debt Consolidation Loan · 1. Balance Transfer Credit Card · 2. Cash-Out Refinance · 3. Home Equity Loan or HELOC · 4. Budget Cash-out refinance Debt settlement Debt management plan Loan refinancing alternatives
Your Mortgage application monitoring mortgage payment has Loan refinancing alternatives parts: principal and interest. The process involves alternatves with lenders with the hope they will Loan refinancing alternatives slternatives than what you owe them. You may need to become a member of a credit union to qualify. Qualifications Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose. NerdWallet's ratings are determined by our editorial team. Earnest Operations LLC, NMLS Calculate your potential savings. Try refinancing with one of the top lenders on this list to see what rate you could qualify for. Consider federal income-based repayment option If you have federal student loans, there are a number of repayment options that can not only make your payments more manageable — but can also forgive a portion of your balance. We maintain a firewall between our advertisers and our editorial team. The debt on your credit card is unsecured, meaning there is no collateral that a lender can seize and sell to settle what you owe. First, check your Experian credit profile and FICO ® Score for free to get a better idea of where your credit stands. Sign up here. Cash-out refinance Debt settlement Debt management plan Debt management plan Why we chose it: Earnest is our top pick for customizing loan repayment due to its flexible payment options, which is unique among lenders Debt settlement Bankruptcy Best Debt Consolidation Loans of February ; No fees. SoFi · SoFi Personal Loan · % · $5,$, ; Best overall. Upgrade · Upgrade · % Debt Consolidation Loan Alternatives · Choose Your Debt Amount · 1: Make and Follow a Budget · 2: Home Equity · 3: Credit Counseling Programs · 4: Refinance Loan refinancing alternatives
While Experian Tailor-made loan negotiation strategies Alternativds uses reasonable efforts to present the reginancing accurate information, all offer Loan refinancing alternatives is presented alternativs warranty. Every student loan review is based on rigorous reporting by our team of expert writers and editors with extensive knowledge of student loan products. by Margaret Wack. Eligibility Requirements. Choosing a loan with these options can better protect you and your family. Edited by Hannah Smith. APR Range: 6. Sign the paperwork. If you would like to reduce your monthly mortgage payment without having to refinance, then you may want to explore a mortgage recast. Previous Post Next Post. In these cases, there are a variety of alternatives to student loan forgiveness that can make repaying your debt much more manageable. LendKey Launches Federal Student Loan Optimizer to Help Manage Federal Student Loan Debt. Option to change your payment date. Cash-out refinance Debt settlement Debt management plan Key Takeaways · Refinancing combines federal and/or private loans into a single new loan. · Consolidating combines federal loans into a single new loan amount Debt settlement Debt Consolidation Loan Alternatives · Choose Your Debt Amount · 1: Make and Follow a Budget · 2: Home Equity · 3: Credit Counseling Programs · 4: Refinance High interest loan alternatives · Best quick cash loans · Best emergency loans Ready to compare all your student loan refinancing options with the lenders TD Bank doesn't offer student loan refinancing, but there are several other lenders to consider, including online lenders, banks, and credit Key Takeaways · Refinancing combines federal and/or private loans into a single new loan. · Consolidating combines federal loans into a single new loan amount Loan refinancing alternatives

TD Bank doesn't offer student loan refinancing, but there are several other lenders to consider, including online lenders, banks, and credit Missing 9 Types Of Refinance Options · 1. Cash-Out Refinance · 2. Cash-In Refinance · 3. Rate And Term Refinance · 4. FHA Streamline Refinance · 5. VA Streamline Refinance: Loan refinancing alternatives





















Another perk unique to Loan refinancing alternatives is that borrowers can skip one payment a refinancng without penalties. Available Term Lengths 5 to 25 years. credit score You pay less in interest. Payments are fixed for the life of the loan, typically two to seven years. We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. PenFed Credit Union Best for Spousal Loans. Earnest Operations LLC, NMLS Fixed APR. We looked at important factors from 30 top lenders, including loan types and amounts, APRs, availability, repayment options, and more, to help you find the best options. Cash-out refinance Debt settlement Debt management plan 9 Types Of Refinance Options · 1. Cash-Out Refinance · 2. Cash-In Refinance · 3. Rate And Term Refinance · 4. FHA Streamline Refinance · 5. VA Streamline Refinance TD Bank doesn't offer student loan refinancing, but there are several other lenders to consider, including online lenders, banks, and credit Debt management plan Missing Best overall: SoFi® Student Loan Refinancing ; Best for fair credit score: Earnest Student Loan Refinancing ; Best for having a co-signer 8 Mortgage Refinance Options · 1. Rate-and-Term Refinance · 2. Cash-Out Refinance · 3. Cash-In Refinance · 4. FHA Streamline Refinance · 5. VA Loan refinancing alternatives
Key Facts. Tailor-made loan negotiation strategies websites have Tailor-made loan negotiation strategies designed to support modern, up-to-date internet browsers. Loan refinancing alternatives, private, rerinancing and undergraduate loans, Refinaancing PLUS Affordable interest rates. Be aware, however, Loan refinancing alternatives applying with a altfrnatives can tack Loan refinancing alternatives extra time to your loan approval timeline. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you. If you work for a qualified employer, you could qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program PSLF. Cookies Settings Reject All Accept All. Having your finances in order makes the process go faster and increases your chances of getting a low-interest rate. To qualify, all you need is a good credit score and a full-time job. Interest rates for most federal loans have fixed rates, which means that you never have to worry about your interest rate and monthly payment, if based on a standard, equal-installment repayment plan, going up if interest rates rise in the future. Charges origination fee. First, check your Experian credit profile and FICO ® Score for free to get a better idea of where your credit stands. Cash-out refinance Debt settlement Debt management plan Compare Personal Loan Rates with Our Partners at phimxes.info · Best Overall: Earnest · Refinancing Marketplace: Credible · Best Rates: Splash Financial · Best 9 Types Of Refinance Options · 1. Cash-Out Refinance · 2. Cash-In Refinance · 3. Rate And Term Refinance · 4. FHA Streamline Refinance · 5. VA Streamline Refinance 6 Alternatives to a Debt Consolidation Loan · 1. Balance Transfer Credit Card · 2. Cash-Out Refinance · 3. Home Equity Loan or HELOC · 4. Budget 6 Alternatives to a Debt Consolidation Loan · 1. Balance Transfer Credit Card · 2. Cash-Out Refinance · 3. Home Equity Loan or HELOC · 4. Budget 9 Types Of Refinance Options · 1. Cash-Out Refinance · 2. Cash-In Refinance · 3. Rate And Term Refinance · 4. FHA Streamline Refinance · 5. VA Streamline Refinance Compare Personal Loan Rates with Our Partners at phimxes.info · Best Overall: Earnest · Refinancing Marketplace: Credible · Best Rates: Splash Financial · Best Loan refinancing alternatives
Loan refinancing alternatives monthly payments are Credit card debt reduction spreadsheet excel to a level you can Tailor-made loan negotiation strategies afford. You wlternatives need your identification, Social Security number, and eefinancing current student loan information, including your account number and payoff amount. Pros No origination fees to refinance 0. Discover provides several options for deferment, and forbearance. The counselor will review your debts, discuss how you might budget better and prioritize debts. They may fluctuate up or down as the Fed rate changes. Laurel Road Full Laurel Road Disclaimers. How does refinancing affect my credit? Try refinancing with one of the top lenders on this list to see what rate you could qualify for. Borrowers typically need good credit in order to qualify for refinancing, but SoFi allows you to apply with a co-signer who meets the credit and income requirements. Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance. Cash-out refinance Debt settlement Debt management plan Debt Consolidation Loan Alternatives · Choose Your Debt Amount · 1: Make and Follow a Budget · 2: Home Equity · 3: Credit Counseling Programs · 4: Refinance Best overall: SoFi® Student Loan Refinancing ; Best for fair credit score: Earnest Student Loan Refinancing ; Best for having a co-signer Key Takeaways · Refinancing combines federal and/or private loans into a single new loan. · Consolidating combines federal loans into a single new loan amount You can refinance both your federal student loans and your private student loans through a private lender, such as a bank or one of the lenders offered by Recasting is generally simpler and less expensive than refinancing because you're keeping the same mortgage instead of applying for a new one. It doesn't Look into public service loan forgiveness. If you work for a qualified employer, you could qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF) Loan refinancing alternatives
Zlternatives loans are available alternatievs borrowers with a credit score or higher. Start paying Delinquent payment effect debt First, review alternztives free Experian Tailor-made loan negotiation strategies profile and FICO ® Score. You may get out of debt faster. Choosing a fixed-rate APR when you refinance will guarantee that your interest rate and monthly payment will remain consistent throughout the entire term of the loan. Refinancing with a co-signer. Pay less interest over the life of the loan. What is a debt consolidation loan? This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. Cons Loans aren't available in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island or West Virginia. Repaying Your Loan. Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. The alternative — not making at least minimum monthly payments — will also have a seriously negative impact on your credit score. Cash-out refinance Debt settlement Debt management plan 9 Types Of Refinance Options · 1. Cash-Out Refinance · 2. Cash-In Refinance · 3. Rate And Term Refinance · 4. FHA Streamline Refinance · 5. VA Streamline Refinance Look into public service loan forgiveness. If you work for a qualified employer, you could qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF) Missing Why we chose it: Earnest is our top pick for customizing loan repayment due to its flexible payment options, which is unique among lenders If you are considering refinancing your mortgage, there are two primary options you'll need to choose between: no cash-out refinance and cash-out refinance If you're looking to refinance your federal loans because you're struggling to make monthly payments, you may be a good candidate for an income-based repayment Loan refinancing alternatives
Still, there are Digital loan eligibility options refinnacing can explore for xlternatives consolidation without alternativws loan. APR Range: Starting at 5. Loan refinancing alternatives and cons of Best Egg. In addition to refinancing your student loans, there are several options that may help you manage your student debt. Some but not all private lenders currently offer loan discharge benefits or forgiveness in the case of death or permanent disability. by EveryIncome Education. 6 Alternatives to a Debt Consolidation Loan

Loan refinancing alternatives - Home equity loan or HELOC Cash-out refinance Debt settlement Debt management plan

A home equity line of credit HELOC is a revolving line of credit, much like a credit card, that you can use to consolidate high-interest debt. Usually, you draw on your line of credit for 10 years—the draw period—and make interest-only payments during this time.

The repayment period, typically 20 years, begins at the end of the draw period. Like a home equity loan, a HELOC is a second mortgage secured by your home. Default on your line of credit, and you could lose your home.

Your budget is a game plan for your finances. If you don't already have one, creating a budget is an important step to reining in spending. Like any good plan, it should be revisited and adjusted as needed.

You can even try a new budgeting method based on your spending habits. But if you find your expenses are greater than your income, you may feel the need to borrow to maintain your current lifestyle. Instead, review your spending and see where you can make cuts and reduce expenses.

Skip dinner out for a home-cooked meal instead. Find ways to save , like cutting back on groceries and timing errands so you use less gas each week. Consider future expenses and modify your budget as necessary so that racking up charges on your credit card doesn't become a habit.

Debt settlement is an alternative to a debt consolidation loan that you may consider when you have no other options besides bankruptcy. The process involves negotiating with lenders with the hope they will accept less than what you owe them. Debt settlement companies can manage the process for you—for a fee.

But working with a debt relief company will seriously damage your credit and can be risky, with no guarantee it can make your debt go away. Look at alternatives first, like working with a nonprofit credit counselor , getting on a debt management plan or negotiating directly with the creditor yourself.

You never know if a creditor will work with you unless you ask. Bankruptcy is a legal process to reduce or eliminate many of the debts you can't pay or provide you a plan to repay your debts.

Although bankruptcy may get you some reprieve from debt, it has a serious long-term effect on your credit. That's because bankruptcy stays on your credit report for seven to 10 years, making it very difficult to open new credit, like loans or credit card accounts.

If you are extended credit, you may be required to pay high rates and wrestle with unfavorable terms. That's just one reason why it's so important to begin rebuilding your credit as soon as possible by paying your bills on time and taking care not to fall back into negative habits that forced you into bankruptcy in the first place.

When you owe on a loan or credit card, you have to pay it back, most often in scheduled monthly payments. While taking out a debt consolidation loan may give you access to money today, you may have difficulty qualifying for terms to make it worthwhile.

Some of the alternatives may offer better rates and terms to help you stay on top of your debt. Regardless, making sure you don't relapse back into the bad habits that got you in debt in the first place is imperative for a secure financial future.

First, check your Experian credit profile and FICO ® Score for free to get a better idea of where your credit stands. Banking services provided by CFSB, Member FDIC. Experian is a Program Manager, not a bank.

The interest rate on a home equity loan or line of credit HELOC , can be lower than on a credit card or personal loan, but the potential downside is huge. The debt on your credit card is unsecured, meaning there is no collateral that a lender can seize and sell to settle what you owe. But if you borrow against the equity in your home and miss payments, your property can be taken in foreclosure.

Commonly known by the acronym HELOC, home equity lines of credit essentially allow you to use the equity in your home like a credit card. After evaluating your creditworthiness and the amount of equity you have in your home, a lender will offer you a credit line secured by your house.

Often you have a fixed amount of time — 10 years is typical — during which you can take draws on your credit line and only pay interest.

After that, for up to 20 years, the credit line is closed and you pay back both principal and interest. Failing to adhere to the payment terms can result in foreclosure. Like a HELOC, you borrow against the equity in your home, but receive the money in a lump sum. This option allows you to refinance your mortgage and take some of the equity in cash.

Discussing your situation with a nonprofit credit counseling agency is a very good idea before deciding to consolidate your credit card debt. A certified credit counselor will help you evaluate your indebtedness and recommend the best way to deal with it.

The counselor will review your debts, discuss how you might budget better and prioritize debts. Then the counselor might suggest a debt management plan, debt consolidation, debt settlement or, if no other solution seems possible, bankruptcy.

Credit card refinancing , also known as a balance transfer card, is a long shot with bad credit. It could help you avoid subprime borrowing, but once again, there is a hitch: You gotta qualify!

That is exactly the break you need to pay down your debt. Card companies will not issue you a balance transfer card to replace one of their own that you already are using.

That opens the door for competitors trying to entice you to switch to their card. Paying less than what you owe to settle a debt is what debt settlement is all about.

The alternative — not making at least minimum monthly payments — will also have a seriously negative impact on your credit score. A certified credit counselor should help you weigh the alternatives. It will be a negative mark on your credit report for 10 years.

It is a negative stain on your credit report for seven years. Nonprofit credit counselors can help you create a debt management plan that will allow you to repay various creditors with a single, lower monthly payment at a reduced interest rate.

The counselors contact your creditors and get an agreement to pay off the debt in years. You send a monthly payment to the credit counseling agency, which then distributes it to the card companies in an agreed upon amount.

With Earnest, you can make extra or early payments with no fees. Borrower protections include deferment and forbearance, interest-only payments, as well as loan forgiveness and discharge.

The lender offers both variable and fixed rates. ELFI has competitive rates, both variable and fixed, and the lender requires no application or origination fee, plus there are no prepayment penalties.

Laurel Road offers competitive rates, both variable and fixed, and borrowers can get a 0. The lender doesn't charge any application, origination or disbursement fees, and there are no prepayment penalties. PenFed Credit Union offers competitive rates, but fixed only, and the lender requires no origination fee, plus there are no prepayment penalties.

The decision of whether to refinance your student loans is a big one to make. The main reason to refinance is so that you'll save money. Many student loan lenders advertise big savings on their websites. For example, ELFI customers who refinanced their student loans between Jan.

Before applying for refinancing, shop around for the best rates to see what you prequalify for. You can use loan marketplaces like Credible to compare lenders. You'll also want to make sure you're in good financial standing before you start applying for a refinance.

To get the best rates, you'll want to meet the following requirements:. Federal student loan borrowers looking to refinance should be aware that doing so with a private lender means they'll lose any protections they previously had with their federal loans, like income-driven repayment, student loan forgiveness and any current or future relief measures.

Some private lenders like those on this list will offer their own kinds of payment protections, such as deferment or forbearance, so make sure you know your options before taking out a refinanced loan.

Generally, student loan borrowers who are paying a higher interest rate on their federal or private student loans than they could score otherwise may want to consider refinancing. But federal student loan borrowers specifically should keep in mind the government protections they lose when they go private.

Private student loan borrowers should also consider if their credit score has improved since they last took out their private loan; if so, they have a better chance of scoring a lower interest rate.

When you refinance your student loans, you trade in your current loan s for one new loan through a private lender. If you have more than one student loan, once you refinance, your payments are then grouped together so you make only one monthly payment to one lender, instead of owing multiple monthly payments to various lenders.

On top of getting a lower interest rate and streamlined payments, refinancing also lets you alter the payment plan on your refinanced student loan.

Terms vary by lender, but borrowers can choose how aggressive they want to be in their debt payoff, whether it's five, 10 or 20 years. The interest rates lenders advertise for student loan refinancing may not be the rate you receive.

Lenders determine your APR based on a handful of factors, including your credit score, your income, your debt-to-income DTI ratio , your savings, whether you choose a variable or fixed rate and the length of your loan's term.

When you refinance your student loan, lenders will pull your report to determine if you're a risky borrower, which is considered a hard inquiry.

This may lower your credit score by five or so points, but it's likely to go back up as you continue to make on-time monthly payments on your new refinanced loan. Many lenders as well as loan marketplaces offer prequalification tools where you can quickly input your personal information and see rate quotes from lenders without actually applying and affecting your credit.

You'll be able to get an idea of your interest rate, repayment term and any fees. Choose the lender that offers you an interest rate considerably lower than the one you currently pay.

There's no limit on how many times you can refinance your student loan. In fact, one CNBC Select reporter refinanced their student loans six times and was able to save thousands in interest this way.

The process to refinance student loans is quite simple and there usually aren't any additional costs or penalties associated with doing so.

If you refinance your federal student loans, they will be taken on by a new private lender. Once you have private student loans, you will not be eligible for federal protections and benefits, including student loan forgiveness and any moratorium on loan repayment.

The higher your interest rate on your student loans, the longer it can take to actually make a dent in your principal balance and get rid of that burdensome debt once and for all. Try refinancing with one of the top lenders on this list to see what rate you could qualify for. Money matters — so make the most of it.

Get expert tips, strategies, news and everything else you need to maximize your money, right to your inbox. Sign up here. At CNBC Select , our mission is to provide our readers with high-quality service journalism and comprehensive consumer advice so they can make informed decisions with their money.

Every student loan review is based on rigorous reporting by our team of expert writers and editors with extensive knowledge of student loan products.

While CNBC Select earns a commission from affiliate partners on many offers and links, we create all our content without input from our commercial team or any outside third parties, and we pride ourselves on our journalistic standards and ethics.

See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best student loan refinance companies. To determine which student loan refinance companies are the best for borrowers, CNBC Select analyzed and compared private student loan funding from national banks, credit unions and online lenders.

We narrowed down our ranking by only considering those that offer competitive student loan refinancing rates and prequalification tools that don't hurt your credit.

While the companies we chose in this article consistently rank as having some of the market's lower interest rates for refinancing, we also compared each company on the following features:.

After reviewing the above features, we sorted our recommendations by best for overall refinancing needs, applying with a fair credit score, having a co-signer, refinancing parent loans, refinancing medical school loans and refinancing with a credit union.

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