How to refinance student loans without a degree

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Most lenders require a degree before refinancing your student loans. Here are the few exceptions. (iStock)

Refinancing your student loan can be a smart way to secure lower interest rates, reduce your monthly payment, or even pay off your loan faster and save money.

The only problem? Most student loan refinancing companies only allow you to do this after you graduate. That can be quite frustrating given the lower interest rates in the market, which are set to fall even further over the course of the year.

Fortunately, some private lenders are an exception to the rule. Before you refinance private student loans, make sure you use Credible’s online tools to find lower interest rates and compare repayment options.

10 of the best student loan refinancing companies

Specifically, if you’re looking to refinance your government or private student loan while you’re still enrolled in college, here are some additional loan refinancing options:

RISLA

The Rhode Island Student Lan Authority (RISLA) offers student loan refinancing to borrowers across the country – including those not enrolled in a university in Rhode Island.

Here’s what RISLA’s loan options look like:

  • Interest charges: From 3.49 percent for fixed-rate loans
  • Loan Amount: $ 7,500 to $ 250,000
  • Eligibility to participate: At least 350 creditworthiness, $ 40,000 household income
  • Fees: No prepayment fee, no commitment fee
  • Other features: Income-dependent repayment options, co-signers can be released after 24 timely payments. 0.25 percent discount on the interest rates for setting up Auto-Pay

If you are looking to refinance your student loan debt, it is advisable to process the numbers into a student loan refinance calculator that uses your loan balance and the new loan interest rate to show your potential savings.

FIXED OR VARIABLE LOAN OPTIONS: WHICH IS BEST FOR YOU?

Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank is a lender that refinances your personal or federal student loans even if you don’t graduate. If you are already a Citizens Banking customer, you can qualify for reduced interest rates.

This is what Citizen’s refinancing options look like:

  • Interest charges: From 3.49 percent for fixed-rate loans and 2.72 percent for variable-rate loans
  • Loan Amount: $ 10,000 to $ 350,000
  • Eligibility to participate: Minimum income of $ 24,000 per year with a minimum of 12 previous student loan payments
  • Fees: No prepayment fee, no commitment fee
  • Other features: Co-signers can be exempted after 36 timely payments, 0.25 percent discount on the interest rates for existing customers of the Bürgerbank

Credible’s free online tool allows you to compare multiple lenders and find rates you qualify for in minutes.

PNC

You can also refinance your student loans through PNC Bank, a national bank, and a student loan, mortgage and car lender.

Here’s what PNC’s loan options look like:

  • Interest charges: From 3.44 percent for fixed-rate loans and 2.61 percent for variable-rate loans
  • Loan Amount: $ 10,000 to $ 75,000
  • Eligibility to participate: At least 660 creditworthiness, at least 24 months of payment history on your previous loans, two years of uninterrupted income or employment
  • Fees: No prepayment fee, no commitment fee
  • Other features: 0.50 percent discount on your auto-pay setup interest rate, co-signers may be released after 48 on-time payments

SHOULD YOU CONSOLIDATE OR REFINER YOUR STUDENT LOANS?

MEFA

The Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) will also refinance your student loans prior to graduation. You also don’t have to be enrolled in a college in Massachusetts.

This is what MEFA’s loan options look like:

  • Interest charges: From 4.65 percent for both fixed and variable interest loans
  • Loan Amount: $ 10,000 and more
  • Eligibility to participate: At least 670 creditworthy, must have made on-time payments for the student loan in the past 12 months
  • Fees: No prepayment fee, no commitment fee

STUDENT REFINANCE RATES Falling – Here’s Why

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo is one of the largest institutions that refinance student loans for undergraduate borrowers. This is an especially good option if you are a Wells Fargo bank customer.

Here’s what Wells Fargo’s loan options look like:

  • Interest charges: From 3.74 percent for fixed-rate loans and 2.50 percent for variable-rate loans
  • Loan Amount: $ 5,000 and more
  • Eligibility to participate: Minimum creditworthiness or income unknown
  • Fees: No prepayment fee, no commitment fee
  • Other features: Interest rate discounts for existing Wells Fargo customers and borrowers setting up auto-pay, deferral options for those in financial need

Discover

You can also refinance your student loans early through Discover, which offers both fixed and variable loan options.

Here’s what Discover’s loan options look like:

  • Interest charges: From 3.74 percent for fixed-rate loans and 2.99 percent for variable-rate loans
  • Loan Amount: $ 5,000 to $ 150,000
  • Eligibility to participate: Minimum creditworthiness or income unknown
  • Fees: No prepayment fee, no commitment fee
  • Other features: Multiple deferral and deferral options for those in financial need. 0.25 percent discount on the interest rates for setting up Auto-Pay

STUDENT LOAN RATES AT HISTORICAL LOWS – HOW TO SAVE MONEY THROUGH REFINANCING

Help your chances

If you have not yet qualified for a student loan refinance, please take some time to improve your credit score before applying. Pay off your debt, ask for a credit increase (but don’t use the money), or see if you can be added as an authorized user on your parents’ credit cards.

Even a small increase in your income – perhaps with a gig job or part-time employment – can improve your chances.

Finally, you should look around when refinancing personal student loans. Using an online tool like Credible to compare prices and terms can save you significant amounts of money over the life of your loan.

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