5 Best Student Loan Consolidation and Refinance Companies – Top Banks and Lenders (2022)

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If you’re in the market to refinance your student loan, then you know that there are a lot of lenders out there to choose from—some great, some not so great.

So how do you know which one to choose?

Luckily for you, we’ve done some research to help make this process a bit easier and we have put together a list of 5 of the best companies for student loan refinance and consolidation.

Best Banks and Lending Companies for Consolidating and Refinancing Loans

  RatesEligible DegreesEligible Loans 
earnest_logo_transVariable: 1.89% - 7.99% APR
Fixed: 3.24% - 7.99% APR
Undergrad & GradFederal & PrivateLEARN MORE ›
lendkey-logo-500px-transVariable: 4.13% - 7.39% APR
Fixed: 2.99% - 9.93% APR
Undergrad & GradFederal & PrivateLEARN MORE ›
Compare rate offers from about 13 lenders.
Variable: 1.86% - 8.38% APR
Fixed: 2.35% - 8.73% APR
Undergrad & GradFederal & PrivateLEARN MORE ›
laurel-road-drb-logo-transVariable: 2.50% - 6.30% APR
Fixed: 3.99% - 6.40% APR
Undergrad & GradFederal & PrivateLEARN MORE ›
Fixed: 3.94% - 9.08% APRUndergrad, Grad, & Parent PLUSFederal & PrivateLEARN MORE ›
Variable: 3.44% - 7.99%¹ APR
Fixed: 3.99% - 7.99%¹ APR
Undergrad & GradFederal & PrivateLEARN MORE ›
Variable: 2.48% - 7.24% APR
Fixed: 4.29% - 7.29% APR
Undergrad, Grad, & Parent PLUSFederal & PrivateLEARN MORE ›

All APRs reflect all applicable discounts where available

Why You Should Consolidate and Refinance with Them

Here’s a breakdown of each lender/company on our list and what makes them among our favorites.


Green earnest logo.

  • Save money on your student loans by refinancing with Earnest
  • Extremely flexible loan terms allow you to pick your payment and repay anywhere from 5 to 20 years
  • Consolidate federal or private loans
  • Non-traditional credit check considers a broader range of factors
  • Lifetime loan servicing (no third parties)
  • 12 months of unemployment protection (3 months at a time)
  • Ability to skip a payment every 12 months, after 6 months of payments
  • Minimum $5,000 balance to refinance
  • No origination, prepayment, or other hidden fees


Earnest offers rates that are among the lowest in the industry, and they are known for offering incredibly flexible repayment terms, plus added protections and top-notch customer service. Earnest also gets extra points for offering lifetime loan servicing, meaning your loans won’t be re-sold to a third party.

As a new lender in the market, Earnest offers flexible underwriting that is based on a number of factors not generally included in a traditional credit check.

Get a no-obligation rate quote from Earnest


Credible loan consolidation and refinancing

  • Compare rate offers from about 8 lenders
  • 5 – 20 year terms available
  • Consolidate federal and private loans
  • $5,000+ balances for refinance
  • No origination, prepayment, or other hidden fees


Credible operates as a comparison tool for student loan refinance options. In just a few minutes, students can get rate offers and compare loan terms from multiple lenders.

But, that’s where Credible’s role ends. Once you’ve completed your loan, it will be serviced by the lender that you’ve chosen which may mean your loan is sold off to third parties in the future. So, be sure to do your research into all aspects of the loan.

Despite that, the service is incredibly valuable in allowing borrowers to quickly and easily compare rates and terms from multiple lenders and then choose the right one.

In addition, Credible offers top-notch customer support by phone, email, or live chat. If you’ve got questions about your student loan refinance, they can help you answer it.

Get rate offers from Credible


LendKey loan consolidation and refinancing

  • 2-Minute rate check with no impact on your credit score
  • Choose from fixed and variable rates in 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 year term options to fit your budget
  • *300+ credit union and bank lending partners to choose from mean higher chances for approval and lower rates
  • Available for private and federal, undergraduate and grad school student loans
  • 0.25% Interest Rate Reduction with automatic payments
  • *Largest unemployment protection period in the market at 18 months
  • No origination fees or prepayment penalties
  • Cosigner release available after 12 monthly payments
  • No handoffs ever, you stay with LendKey from application to final payment
  • 97% borrower satisfaction shows our best in class customer service


LendKey offers a network of not-for-profit local and regional credit unions and community banks for students looking to refinance their student loans.

They act as a marketplace, allowing borrowers to get pre-qualified rates from multiple local and regional lenders and then choose the best fit.

Once your loan is approved and processed by the credit union or bank of your choice, LendKey does act as your loan servicer–and they stick with your loan for life, rather than selling it off to a third-party. They also offer some of the lowest rates in the industry

Get rate offers from LendKey

ISL Education Lending

  • Quick — less than a minute — and easy rate check with no impact to your credit
  • No origination fees, prepayment or hidden fees
  • Refinancing available for federal (including PLUS Loans for parents) and private education loans
  • Multiple repayment options (5–20 years) available
  • Standard and graduated repayment plans available for longer terms
  • Options available to postpone payments for qualifying financial hardships
  • Offered by a Midwestern nonprofit with more than 40 years of experience focused solely on college financing
  • Available to student loan borrowers nationwide
  • Lifetime loan servicing with one company
  • Cosigner release available


ISL Education Lending has been a pillar in the Midwest for helping students and families with their college financing for more than 40 years. They now offer a refinancing option for student loan borrowers across the nation. ISL and its subsidiary handle all aspects of the loan, from origination through lifetime loan servicing.

As a nonprofit company, ISL provides competitively priced student loans as well as valuable financial literacy tools and scholarship opportunities. It is mission-driven to help students obtain the resources necessary to succeed in postsecondary education.

ISL’s experienced and knowledgeable customer service representatives are available to help you make the refinancing decisions that are right for you based on your own personal circumstances.

Get a no-obligation rate offer from ISL Education Lending.

Education Loan Finance

  • Prequalify to estimate your rate without affecting your credit score
  • Submit online application in minutes
  • No application fees, origination fees, or prepayment penalties
  • Low rates and flexible repayment terms to your needs and goals
  • Loan terms range from 5 – 20 years
  • Student Loan Advisor to guide you through the application process
  • Consolidate federal or private loans
  • No origination, prepayment, or other hidden fees


Education Loan Finance (also known as ELFI) is a division of SouthEast Bank, based in Tennessee, designed specifically to help borrowers with refinancing their student loans. Refinancing with ELFI is a great option for borrowers that value customer service. One of the highlights is that ELFI gives you access to your own Student Loan Advisor to help you through the process.

Get rate offers from ELFI.

Important Criteria

We evaluated dozens of student loan lenders on a number of important factors to decide which ones were chosen as being among the best.

Our criteria included:

Interest rates

The first thing most people want to know about student loan refinance is what interest rate they’ll be paying. And rightfully so, because a great rate could save you tons of money on your student loans both by lowering your monthly payment and making it easier for you to pay off your loans more quickly, saving you money on interest over the life of your loan.

We researched lenders based on their rates and how they compare to others in the market.

Repayment flexibility

One scary thing about student loan refinance is choosing the terms of your repayment. Should you commit to paying more each month in order to pay them off more quickly? Or should you spread out your repayment schedule to give your monthly budget some wiggle room?

Ultimately, this decision depends on your financial situation, but having flexible options can be a lifesaver if your situation changes or you need to adjust your payment schedule a few years down the line.

We picked the lenders based on the available repayment terms and also flexibility to change terms after refinancing.

Application process

Once you’ve nailed down the specifics of refinancing your student loan, you’ll still be facing a process of applying, being approved, and receiving the funds. Some lenders have an easier process than others.

We looked for lenders based on our understanding of their application process, how simple it is to complete the application process, and the time it takes to process your application.

Customer service

We’ve all heard (or lived) horror stories about terrible customer service from some student loan lenders. Fortunately, not all of them provide terrible service.

We investigated the service offered by each lender, reading user reviews, and also looked at whether the lender keeps student loan refinance loans in-house or sells them to other servicers.

Borrower protections

Stuff happens. As a general rule, it’s nice to have a backup plan whenever possible. Many lenders offer protections against unemployment or other financial hardship, which can bail you out in case you are having trouble making your student loan payments.

Lenders were chosen based on the protections they offer and the terms they provide to qualify for the protection.

View Disclosures: EarnestLendkeyCommonbondELFI

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