Tools and Advice to Help you Refinance Your Student Loan Debt
Student loan debt is increasingly becoming a contributor to stress, burnout, and even suicide in doctors and other high-income professionals. Refinancing private student loans is a no-brainer anytime you can lower your interest rate, even as an intern. Direct federal student loans can be refinanced as soon as you know you will not be trying to qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness and can get a lower rate than the effective rate after the REPAYE subsidy is applied.
It is best to refinance medical school loans early and often. If you go through the links on this page, you will get a cash bonus. We also get paid as WCI accepts advertising compensation from these companies. But as you pay down your loans, your credit score and debt to income ratio will improve, possibly lowering your rate. Of course, sometimes interest rates just drop or you discover another company is offering a lower rate than your current lender.
You can do this and WCI can help! We want you to be successful, so we are going to give anyone who refinances more than $100,000 in student loans through the WCI links free access to The White Coat Investor’s Flagship course, Fire Your Financial Advisor. Not only will you continue to get the amazing cash rebates that we have negotiated, but now you will also get another $799 in value. Join more than 5000 other professionals who have created their own Financial Plan with the help of The White Coat Investor. Offer valid for loans initiated from May 1, 2021 through October 31, 2021. Course must be claimed within 90 days of loan disbursement. To claim free course enrollment, visit www.whitecoatinvestor.com/RefiBonus.
Why Refinance Your Student Loans
When I graduated in 2003, most of the members of my class refinanced their loans at 1-2% per year. That became impossible during the Global Financial Crisis and for years afterward. When I started this blog in 2011, you couldn’t refinance your student loans at all. In 2013, companies started refinancing again and now there are a dozen or more doing so. The competition between student loan refinancing companies has helped lower rates and increase cash bonuses.
Thanks to the number of WCI readers looking to refinance medical school loans, I have been able to negotiate the best deals available on the internet with these lenders, including cash back bonuses ranging from $250 to $2000 if you use the links on this page. Yes, I get paid too, but this is truly a win-win-win-win for you, me, the lender, and even the taxpayer. Low rates, cash back, better service…what’s not to like? Join thousands of WCI readers who have refinanced their loans through these links and put themselves on the path to a better financial future.
ELFI – $1449† back to you
ELFI (Education Loan Finance from Southeast Bank) — Education Loan Finance has come highly recommended from readers for low rates. Education Loan Finance offers student loan refinancing and consolidation to both recent graduates as well as parents with Parent PLUS and private student loans. Education Loan Finance offers low rates even without the automatic payment discount that many lenders offer. Loan amounts start at $15,000 and up for qualified borrowers. Education Loan Finance offers repayment terms of 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years. These wide range of options provide borrowers with the flexibility they need to choose the optimal product to fit their budgets. Those with high income may opt for a shorter repayment term, saving them money over time. Those who want lower monthly payments, on the other hand, can choose a product with lower rates than they are currently paying. The minimum to refinance is $15,000. There is no maximum. For parents, ELFI offers repayment terms of 5, 7, and 10 years. Education Loan Finance also offers Personal Loan Advisors who are dedicated to each borrower providing individual assistance throughout the refinancing process.
CommonBond – $300-1349*† back to you
We’re excited to share a special offer on behalf of CommonBond. For a limited time, you can have access to 0% APR for the first 6 months of your student loan refinance.1 This offer can help you take advantage of historically low interest rates without losing out on 0% APR . Your APR will be set to 0% for the first 6 months, meaning all your on-time payments will go to principal in that time . After the introductory APR period, you will begin paying interest . You qualify for this offer when you refinance at least one federal student loan. Checking your rate takes about two minutes, does not affect your credit, and lets you see if this offer makes sense for your personal financial situation. 2
WCI readers have access to a special $550 cash bonus when they refinance $75K or more of loans with CommonBond (if you refinance $40K-$74K you receive a $300 bonus.)
“*Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. If you choose to complete an application, we will conduct a hard credit pull, which may affect your credit score. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.13% effective Jan 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation.”
1 Subject to state law restriction.
2 When you check your rates, CommonBond conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you continue your application, CommonBond will request your permission to obtain your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies. This is a hard credit pull and may affect your credit score. Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. This is not a loan offer. Loans are offered through CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS #1175900). nmlsconsumeraccess.org
Splash Financial – $1299† back to you
Splash Financial is a leader in student loan refinancing for doctors. They also offer a special refinancing program for residents and fellows, which allows you to pay only $100 a month during training. Splash partners with credit unions, banks, and other leading lenders to offer amazingly low rates. Right now, rates on Splash are as low as 1.89% variable APR and 2.54% fixed APR. Hundreds of WCI readers check rates through Splash each month. In as little as 2 minutes, you could get pre-qualified rates and it won’t impact your credit score. There are no costs– no application or origination fees and no prepayment penalties.
The minimum borrowing amount is $5,000 and there is no maximum. If you refinance $100,000 or more, you are eligible to receive a $500 cash bonus. The bonus will be paid between 90-120 days after the loan closes and is available for first time customers only. Bonus offer for WCI readers only if you use our link.
Lend-Grow – $750-$2,299*† back to you
Lend-Grow is an innovative new loan marketplace which actually pays you back each month when you pay your refinanced loan on time. Find lenders with some of the lowest student loan refinance rates through their marketplace, and then earn Payback Rewards; Lend-Grow deposits .10% APR of loan amount each month for 3 years. Lend-Grow's mission is to help people get out of debt faster, and they’re truly doing this by actually making payments to your loan amount each month. We’ve honestly never seen anything like this. Not only could borrowers potentially save thousands by refinancing at low rates, but also pay down their loan faster through Lend-Grow's Payback Rewards. Minimum loan amount is $25,000 and a maximum of $500,000. With Payback Rewards, borrowers can earn $750 to $1,500*.
Credible – $500-1799*† back to you
Credible is not a lender, but a marketplace where lenders compete for your business. They’ll show you actual prequalified rates from multiple lenders without impacting your credit score, and they don’t share your information with lenders until you choose the specific lender you want to pursue. Even if you think you've found a good rate, definitely take the 2 minutes to shop it against the offers available on Credible. There are no fees and no maximum balances. For medical residents, Credible also partners with multiple lenders that offer graduated repayment plans – that means you can defer full payments until you complete your residency or fellowship. The minimum amount to refinance is $5k and with most companies there is no maximum. Use the link above and receive a $1000* WCI bonus when refinancing through Credible. (*To receive $1,000 welcome bonus, WCI readers must refinance a balance equal to or greater than $100K. If refinancing a balance below $100K, readers are eligible for a $500 welcome bonus. Payment of any Welcome Bonus will occur either via a credit through TangoCard.com sent to the email address provided by Referrer or Referee, as applicable, or by any other means determined by Credible.)
Laurel Road – $1349† back to you
Laurel Road is another huge player in this market and is a long time advertiser with The White Coat Investor. Hundreds of WCI readers have refinanced with them, often reporting they offered the lowest rate of all companies. If you apply via the links on this page and close a loan, you’ll get paid $500, or alternatively, ask them about the association rate discount that you could be eligible for. They have an additional 0.25% rate discount for certain professions and will automatically apply the better of either our cash back bonus OR an applicable professional association discount you qualify for when you use our link to apply. They also have a resident refinancing program with $100 per month payments during residency. Laurel Road has a very flexible total allowable residency/fellowship period, allowing for residency periods up to 8 years depending on specialty – may allow for longer if the loan repayment term is 15 years or shorter. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association. All loans are provided by KeyBank. There is no maximum borrowing amount. The minimum amount is $5000.
Earnest – $500-1299*† back to you
Save money on your student loans by refinancing with Earnest. Choose custom terms to fit your budget – like picking your exact monthly payment or selecting fixed and variable rates. Earnest’s Precision Pricing matches your custom term with a custom interest rate — saving you even more money when refinancing. Make a plan that fits your needs and start working your way out of debt. You won’t be passed off to a third-party servicer nor penalized for making payments early. Your family is always protected with loan forgiveness in cases of death and dismemberment. The minimum amount to refinance is $5k and maximum is $500k. Get $500* when you sign a loan with Earnest using links on this page and refinance loans >$50K. (Can lend in DC and all states except KY and NV. Variable rates are not offered in AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN and TX.
Reset Refinance Loan – $500-1299*† back to you
Find lower rates, better terms or both when you refinance with the Reset Refinance Loan, Iowa Student Loan, which offers its student loan refinance programs nationwide, is a nonprofit student loan lender with more than 40 years of experience exclusively in higher education finance, so you can bet they know their business. Not only can you get pre-qualified in about a minute with no impact to your credit, but they also have very skilled and knowledgeable staff to answer your specific questions. Their application is quick, and they offer both a regular refinance option for practicing physicians plus a loan for medical and dental residents that requires only $75 monthly payments during your residency or fellowship. Loans are originated and serviced for the life of the loan at their one Iowa service center. Use the links on this page to apply and get an extra $500 when you refinance $60k or more with Iowa Student Loan. *Applicants with loans already owned by Iowa Student Loan are not eligible for the $500 offer. Disclaimer.
SoFi – $1299*† back to you
Hundreds of WCI readers have refinanced with SoFi over the years because of their low rates, exclusive member benefits, and flexible payment terms. SoFi just lowered rates specifically for residents, so even if you’ve looked into them in the past, you might want to look again. While a resident, you only pay $100 a month and there is no compounding interest during residency. SoFi also offers a 0.25% AutoPay discount, Unemployment Protection where they’ll temporarily pause your payments and help you find a new job, discounts of 0.125% on other SoFi products, and other benefits for SoFi members. SoFi loans can be 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years and SoFi lends in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. There is no upper limit to the loans they can refinance, but certain minimums apply. SoFi practically invented the modern refinance industry in 2011 and they continue to add benefits for their members, including investing, banking, and insurance products. Membership is free and easy.
Brazos Higher Education – $1399† back to you
Start your Brazos refinance application through this page and you will get a $600 cash bonus after your loan funds! Texas residents only. Brazos is a nonprofit with over 35 years of experience with student loans. As a nonprofit, Brazos’ rates can be better than the national lenders. You can refinance up to $150,000 with a bachelor’s degree and up to $400,000 with a graduate, law, medical or other professional degree. The minimum amount to refinance is $10,000. If you’re a Texan, visit studentloans.com now and start saving. Disclaimer.
First Republic – $1099† back to you
First Republic Bank now offers a Personal Line of Credit1 you can use to refinance your student loans and other existing debt into one convenient monthly payment. This line of credit also offers convenient access to funds for large purchases, interest-only payments for the first two years and industry-low fixed rates starting at 2.25% APR (with discounts).2 Applicants for the Personal Line of Credit must be located within First Republic’s service footprint, which currently includes San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Newport Beach, San Diego, Portland (Oregon), Jackson (Wyoming), Palm Beach (Florida), Boston, Greenwich and New York City. A $300 welcome bonus is available for qualifying new First Republic clients who open a Personal Line of Credit using the above link.3
See Disclaimers here.
LendKey – $250-$1299*† back to you
At LendKey all loans are funded by community lenders, like credit unions and community banks. You can consolidate and refinance federal and private student loans, including undergraduate and graduate school debt for 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 year terms. Recently, they upgraded their experience and now have even lower rates and more options (over 300) for lenders who will refinance your loans. You can compare hundreds of lenders in 2 minutes with no impact on your credit score, and your information isn't shared with any lender until you select a loan product. Lastly, there are no handoffs, ever. LendKey originates and services all loans on behalf of their lenders so you get to work with the same customer care team from application all the way until you pay your loan back. Simple, consistent, and transparent. The minimum amount to refinance is $5k and maximum is $300k. *As a WCI reader, if you use the links on this page, you get an extra $250 when you refinance with LendKey for loans between $50K and $150k and $500 for loans over 150K.
Fixed 2.58%-5.99% APR
*Variable 1.97%-6.82% APR
Fixed 2.83%-6.74% APR
Fixed 2.54%-6.25% APR
Fixed 2.95%-8.90% APR
Fixed 2.55%-9.10% APR
Fixed 2.50%-6.00% APR
Fixed 2.98%-5.89% APR
Fixed 2.99%-6.64% APR
Fixed 2.95%-4.20% APR
Fixed 2.95%-7.63% APR
† Bonus includes cash rebates and value of free course. Borrowers who refinance more than $100,000 in student loans using the WCI links will be enrolled in The White Coat Investor’s flagship course, Fire Your Financial Advisor for free ($799 value). Borrowers will still receive the amazing cash rebates that WCI has negotiated with each lender. Offer valid for loans initiated from May 1, 2021 through October 31, 2021. Course must be claimed within 90 days of loan disbursement. To claim free course enrollment, visit https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/RefiBonus.
The Benefits of Refinancing Student Loans
Some doctors wonder if they should drag their educational debt out for years in order to invest instead. It can sometimes make sense to do that if you have very low interest rates and still have tax-protected investment accounts that have not yet been maxed out. I have found, however, that doctors who pay off their student loans within 2-5 years of completion of training (by living like a resident, refinancing, and making large payments) not only don’t regret doing so but also seem to accumulate wealth more rapidly.
The freedom that comes from getting the student loan monkey off your back cannot be overstated. Many borrowers describe it as a weight being lifted from their shoulders that they didn’t even realize was there. Once it is gone, they are happier and feel more comfortable taking personal and professional financial risks that in turn lead to even more wealth.
If you’re not sure if refinancing student loans is the right move for you I recommend contacting one of our Student Loan Advisors. They know the rapidly changing student loan programs inside and out and can help you find the lowest student loan refinance rates and keep you from making any costly mistakes.
While just refinancing doesn’t eliminate your student loans (you still have to make four to five-figure monthly payments for a few years), the cashback and lower interest rate certainly speed up the process. Learn more about how to refinance your student loans with these resources:
Top Picks (Blogs) and Most Popular Related Blogs
Student Loans 101 – Guide to Consolidation
Knowing what to do with these loans can be tricky and will vary depending on what stage you are at in your career. Get your plan wrong, and it can cost you thousands. We've put all the information you need in one place to manage them from undergraduate until payoff. We're talking private & federal loans, IDR and forgiveness programs (PSLF, REPAYE, PAYE, IBR, ICR), refinancing, and how to pay off quickly. You can access this The Ultimate Student Guide to Student Loan Debt Management for Doctors as either a blog post or video — your choice! Just click below:
Best Student Loan Resources & Tools
In 2018, the average indebted graduating MD student reported $200,000 in total educational debt. Graduating DO students reported $255,000 in medical education debt alone. It can be even worse for dentists. 2017 graduates reported an average debt of $240,000 at public schools and $341,000 at private schools. Of course, these numbers are only averages—half of graduates owe more than these figures, and that’s before the compound interest runs wild during residency. It is imperative to your financial future to understand, manage, and crush that debt as soon as possible. Finding the lowest student loan refinance rates can be challenging and often times overwhelming. Start by reading or watching The Ultimate Guide to Student Loan Management for Doctors, then take a deeper dive into the topics below: