[Editor’s Note: This post is one of five sponsored posts being run this summer as part of The White Coat Investor Scholarship program. Earnest (student loan refinancing) is one of five platinum ($2500+) sponsors of the scholarship, and each of those sponsors gets a sponsored post about their business. What’s a sponsored post you may ask? Not only is the post all about their business, but they also get editorial control over what is written. If you have not yet matched my daughter’s $10 donation to the scholarship fund, you can do so here. Be sure to thank Earnest for their generous donation to the scholarship fund in the comments section and especially with your business.]

You are nearing the end of your residency, and it’s time to start paying off your medical school loans in a meaningful way. You have options to manage your debt, including refinancing your student loans.

Here’s a mini-checklist to see if you’re ready for refinancing:

  1. You have a full-time job offer for a position starting soon.
  2. You are currently working in a job with a regular income.
  3. You’re ready to save money!

When you refinance, you consolidate some or all of your loans and get a new loan at a lower rate. Doctors who refinance with Earnest save more than $36,000 on average.

At Earnest, you can set your monthly payment to an amount that fits your budget—Earnest will then customize your loan with a term and interest rate to match that amount.

A Step-by-step guide to refinancing your medical school loans with Earnest.

Step 1: Set your personal student loan budget.

When weighing your student loan payments, it’s important to consider the bigger financial picture. Are you planning on buying a house? Will you be starting a family of your own soon? What are your financial goals and priorities over the next few years?

Depending on your response to these questions, think of a comfortable monthly repayment budget. With Earnest’s Precision Pricing feature, you have the option to set a monthly payment that works for your budget—whether that’s $500 per month or $2,500—when you’re approved for your refinancing. By using this feature, you will have greater flexibility over how you manage your monthly cash flow—and it allows you to use some of your monthly income to both pay down your loans and save for other financial goals if you need.

In contrast, most other lenders dictate to you the payment to make. We work the other way— you tell us what you want to do.  We’ll customize your new Earnest loan with the precise term and interest rate to match your payment.

Step 2: Check your new rate.

Before formally applying, see what kind of rate you will qualify to get—it only takes two minutes.

Check your rate in two minutes here

We only conduct a soft credit inquiry to generate this preliminary rate quote, which does not affect your credit score and does not show up on your credit report. Compare the rate quote with your existing rates. Give us a call at 1-888-601-2801 if you have any questions.

Your full loan application builds on the information you provided in the initial rate check. When you apply, we will ask that you submit the supporting document for each item listed and that you link your financial accounts.

Step 3: Gather all your documentation to apply

Your entire application can be submitted online. During the review of your loan application, our underwriters will need documentation of your income, assets, and liabilities. Be assured that we take your online privacy and account safety very seriously.

We also recommend getting a copy of your credit report before submitting a full application. Carefully review it to ensure that the information is accurate. If something is inaccurate, you have the right to dispute it with the credit reporting agencies.

Earnest only reports to or pulls from Experian, so consider getting your Experian Credit Report. You can get a free copy of your credit report through AnnualCreditReport.com

Step 4: Submit your application.

After you submit your application, our specialists get right to work. It will take between three and five days to review your application thoroughly. When we review your loan application, we take into consideration all kinds of factors that go beyond your FICO score

Our approach to underwriting is holistic—we consider your education, specialty, other assets you may have saved, and the overall picture of your financial responsibility to provide you with the best possible rate.

When you’re approved, we will contact you by email to let you know we’re ready to get your new loan started. There are never any origination fees to start a new loan with Earnest.

Remember that monthly budget number you figured out in Step 1? You’ll need that to set up the exact terms of your new loan.

Step 5: Pay off off your old loans and start your Earnest loan.

Your last to-do is to contact your previous lenders and obtain what’s called the “10-Day Payoff Amount”—this is different than your current balance as it also includes any additional interest accrued. Once we have this information, we’ll start the process of your loan payoff based on the exact amount you shared with us. We have electronic payment agreements with many of the large servicers, so this typically can be done very quickly—however, a few loan servicers could take a little longer.

Read a more detailed explanation of what to expect during the payoff period.

Step 6: Get set up with your loan dashboard.

Once the payoff to your old servicer clears, we will send you a confirmation email. That marks the “activation” of your Earnest loan! Hooray!

You can manage your Earnest loan account through an online dashboard or with the mobile app. Through either, you can schedule payments, make extra payments, and get up-to-date information on your loan balance.

We always recommend setting up autopay—it both saves you money (we offer a .25% APR discount for using autopay) and ensures that you’re never behind on a loan payment. We never charge any prepayment penalties or fees.

Earnest also offers radical repayment flexibility for the life of your loan—and we are ready to work with you for the life of your loan. We never hand off your loan to a third-party servicing company—once an Earnest client, always an Earnest client. Welcome!

Got Questions? We’ve got answers! Call, Chat or Email in with any question big or small for Earnest. Our number is 1-888-601-2801.

Refinance with Earnest today and get the special WCI Deal for $300 cash back!

What do you think? Have you refinanced with Earnest? How did it go? How much have you saved so far? Comment below!