6 Things You Need to Know About Earnest Student Loan Refinance

A student at graduation, considering Earnest student loan refinance

Flickr user Bradley Griffin

When it comes to student loan refinance, there are a number of options to choose from. Earnest is one such lender, and it may be a good choice for you. Available to both undergraduates and graduates, we consider it one of the best options out there. However, there are some things you should be aware of before signing the dotted lines, so here are six things you should know about Earnest student loan refinance.

Options for Earnest Student Loan Refinance

One definite positive that comes with refinancing your student loans with Earnest is the ability to personalize your new loan. If your application is accepted, your loan will be tailored to fit to your financial situation and needs.

Interest Rates

Earnest offers both variable and fixed rates for refinanced loans. It’s important to do your research before you decide which route is best for you. It’s good to know that Earnest does offer 0.25% off your interest rate if you choose to use auto pay.

Loan Terms

You also have very detailed options when it comes to your loan term. Earnest allows you to choose repayment plans between 5 and 20 years and helps you to narrow it to the month you’ll finish repaying.

You Can Refinance Both Federal and Private Student Loans

If you have both federal and private student loans (or one or the other), it is good to know that you can refinance them with Earnest. However, certain protections that are allotted to federal loans may not carry over to your new loan.

There is an Online Loan Application

Earnest offers a very easy and quick online loan application for students interested in applying for a refinanced loan. The app only takes two minutes and will ask you basic information, a bit about your education, financial questions, and about your current residence. One great thing about this application is that it won’t affect your credit score.

After, Earnest will deliver a quote to you. They do take your savings, earning potential, and more into account before accepting your application and offering you a refinanced loan.

You Can’t Add a Co-signer

Earnest is looking for clients who tend to have good financial habits. This means a habit of paying bills on time, good income, a strong savings account, or any combination of the three. It’s important to note that while they do accept applications from customers who may not have an extensive credit history, Earnest does not accept co-signers on their refinanced student loans.

There Are No Late Fees

One great thing about a loan through Earnest is there are no late fees! If you’re behind on a payment, you can skip it and pay for it later on. Most lenders won’t offer this. You should know though that a late payment will still affect your credit report.

There Are Eligibility Requirements

As with any loan, there are eligibility requirements for obtaining a loan from this lender. This can change from time to time, so it’s important to do your own research into their requests before applying. Aside from Earnest’s requirement that you have a strong financial history, you will need:

  • To be a U.S Citizen or have a 10 year Permanent Resident Card

  • To live in one of the states Earnest operates in

    • This excludes Delaware, Kentucky, and Nevada

    • Variable rate loans are not available in AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN, and TX

  • To have debt from your own education

    • This cannot be used for any further schooling

  • A minimum credit score of 650

  • A current position of employment or promise of employment within the next six months

  • Current status on any other student loans, rent, mortgages, and accounts

    • You cannot have a bankruptcy on your credit report

Earnest Offers Loan Management Tools and Resources

Earnest offers both loan management tools and resources through their website and mobile application. The dashboard allows you to view your current balance, interest rate, remaining amount of time on the term, your next auto pay date, the amount due, and your history of payments.

You can also use the application to make payments earlier, change your payment date, or change your payment amount if you decide you can pay off your loan faster.

Through Earnest’s website you can also view information on loans and refinancing. They offer a downloadable guide to refinancing with Earnest, as well as FAQ answers on their refinancing student loans page. You can find even more resources, including their refinance and consolidation calculators, financial advice, definitions, and just general information about their offerings on their site.

Before you Sign with Earnest

While Earnest has a lot of benefits for financial savvy graduates, like no late fees and an easy to use mobile application, it’s always important to know your options. There are a lot of lenders out there, after all. You’ll need to do your research into other loans and get other quotes before making a final decision.

If you’re looking at student loan refinancing, you’ll want to take a look at our list of some of the best banks and lending companies for consolidating and refinancing loans, which features Earnest!

Hilary Cairns

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