Most Americans — 65% — graduate college with student loan debt, with the average amount of debt at $28,650, according to Student Loan Hero data. Of course, that’s before interest, so that amount can become seemingly insurmountable for many recent graduates.
Personally, I graduated with minimal debt after undergrad thanks to a combination of financial aid and scholarships — but graduate school was a different story, as I had to take out student loans to cover the majority of my two-year master’s degree. Fortunately, eight years after graduating, I have officially paid back all of my student loans, but many people aren’t so lucky. I have friends who are paying double what they pay in rent as a monthly student loan payment.
If you fall into the latter category, you’re not alone — but you do have options. One option is student loan refinancing, which allows you to shop for a lower interest rate and therefore save money on interest over the life of the loan. This is especially useful for loans from private lenders, which can have a variable interest rate of 18% or more. And one way to make the student loan refinancing process smoother is by using Credible, an online marketplace that makes comparing your possible loan refinancing terms easy by allowing you to see the student loan refinancing rates you qualify for from up to eight lenders, including Advantage Education Loans, Brazon, Citizens Bank, EDvestinU, ELFI, MEFA, PenFed and RISLA. But first, let’s make sure the process of student loan refinancing is clear.
How Student Loan Refinancing Works
When you refinance your student loan, you take out a new loan that pays off all or some of your existing loans. This allows you to choose a loan that has better interest rates and repayment terms. The new loan rates you qualify for will depend on your credit score and other factors, including your earnings history, credit report, the school you graduated from and the size of your loans.
Student loan refinancing can be a good option for people who want to reduce monthly payments and/or interest charges. It’s also an option for people who want to pay off loans faster or remove a co-signer from the loan.
If you want to refinance your student loans, it’s best to take the time to compare different lenders to find the best rates and repayment plans. Each lender has its own interest rates and criteria.
Options: 15 Ways To Pay Off Student Loans
How To Find the Best Student Loan Refinancing Interest Rates With Credible
To use Credible, simply fill out a quick online form that takes only two minutes to complete. After you submit the form, you’ll see the actual rates you qualify for based on your credit profile. Based on the loan amount and loan term, you can easily compare how much your monthly payment would be with the new annual percentage rate you qualify for.
Once you decide which option is best for you, use Credible’s easy import tools to provide information about the loans you want to refinance. You’ll get a final offer for your new loan in as little as one business day.
Still have questions about Credible? Here’s what you need to know:
Which Loans Are Eligible To Refinance Through Credible?
You can find refinance options for federal student loans; private student loans from banks, credit unions and schools; and Parent PLUS loans that you took out on behalf of a student.
Will I Have To Pay Any Fees To Use Credible?
Credible is 100% free. You do not pay a service fee to use Credible, and the lenders that partner with Credible do not charge loan origination fees when you refinance. There’s also no prepayment penalty if you choose to pay your loans off quicker.
Will Using Credible Affect My Credit Score?
Credible uses a soft credit pull, so it will not affect your credit score.
The Bottom Line on Credible
If you’re struggling to pay back student loans because of high interest rates, refinancing could make your monthly payments more manageable. Using Credible is a risk-free way to find a lender that offers the best rate for you and your situation — it’s free to use and doesn’t affect your credit score. And because you can see rates from multiple lenders at once, it’s easier to compare rates using Credible than by going to each lender individually.
Credible is an especially good option for those with private loans. If you have federal loans and choose to refinance with a private lender, it’s important to realize that you will lose certain benefits. These include losing federal student loan repayment benefits, possibly having to switch from a fixed rate to a variable rate and forgoing federal student loan forgiveness options. However, just because you use Credible to compare rates, it doesn’t mean you’re committed to refinancing. Once you see the options available to you, you can choose to move forward with a refinancing option that looks good to you or you can choose to keep your loans as is.
As far as I can tell, there’s really nothing to lose and everything to gain — you could end up saving big bucks over the life of your loan with the right lender, and Credible can help you find it.
Click through to find out where you should live if you want to pay off your student loans quickly.
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