The Complete Guide to Student Loans in California

The Student Debt Crisis

Student Loan debt in America is amongst the most costly and overwhelming financial forces most Americans face.

With the constant inflation of everything from tuition to goods and services, worrying about how to pay off student loan debt is common for many. The national student loan debt in America as of 2018 is $1.52 trillion from 45 million borrowers, with each borrower averaging $27,975.

The average student loan debt in California is $22,785, which is well below the national average. This can be a substantial amount of debt for many borrowers, and with interest rates ranging from 3.4%-7.9% in 2018, the financial impact over the life of the loan could range anywhere in the tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the loan.

Considering the long-term financial impact of student loans can be disheartening, but rest assured, there are ways that you can pay off your debt with less stress and less out of pocket in the long-run and that’s through student loan refinancing and consolidation. Let’s get to know more about these options…

Should I Refinance or Consolidate My Student Loans and What is the Difference?

Student Loan Consolidation is the process of combining multiple student loans into one single loan. The interest rate of your new loan is calculated based on a weighted averaged of all of the interest rates of your previous loans to create your new interest rate.

Federal or Public loans are consolidated through the government and private loans are consolidated through the private sector.

Is Consolidation Right for Me?

If you’re looking to pay one student loan payment a month or are needing to lower your monthly payments by extending your repayment term up to 25-years then you may benefit from student loan consolidation. Unlike refinancing, consolidation is mostly used for convenience or changing up the terms such as length of re-payment and monthly payment, rather than decreasing the interest rate of a loan.

Cautions: Extending the term of your loan repayment will likely result in more interest accrued and therefore more out-of-pocket over the life of the loan. In addition, you could lose some borrower’s benefits when you consolidate. Benefits like: principle rebates, loan cancellation benefits or interest rate discounts may no longer apply. Conversely, loan consolidation programs often offer other incentives like “on-time payment bonuses”, so ask ahead of time and consider all the pros and cons, before you consolidate your loans.

Student Loan Refinancing is the process of taking out a new loan to pay off existing loans (both private and federal) at the lower interest rate and/or better repayment terms. This process most often reduces the monthly payment amount and total amount repaid due to the new lower interest rate. The interest rates are determined by your credit score and if you have good – excellent credit, and steady income it can lead to lower monthly payments and better repayment terms.

Is Refinancing Right for Me?

Just like mortgage and auto loans, student loans can be refinanced more than once, so it’s worth it to explore this option. If the weight of hefty monthly payments and high interest rates are overwhelming you, then you should consider refinancing. If you have a steady income and a decent credit score borrowers can often save significantly over the life of the loan and even lower your monthly payment.

Cautions: Be aware that your federal student loans are currently protected if something happened to your income. So, if you rely on income-based repayment plans or student loan forgiveness programs, then refinancing your federal loans might not be right for you. When refinancing your federal student loans, you will no longer be eligible for benefits and protections on loans provided by the federal government. A few benefits you’ll lose by refinancing federal loans are Income-Based Repayment (IBR), Pay As You Earn (PAYE), Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR), and Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

So, if you rely on income-based repayment plans or student loan forgiveness programs, then refinancing your federal loans might not be right for you. However, your private student loans aren’t affected by losing such benefits.

For a better understanding of where you fit in to the debtors landscape in Arizona and how refinancing might help you save money through lower-interest rates, we’ve compiled a list of the largest borrowing markets in Arizona as well as every 4-year college in Arizona and their loan averages.

We have also included information on interest rate trends to give you a more comprehensive guide of student loan debt in Arizona and our top picks for lenders that may help you refinance or consolidate your student loans.

Student Loan Debt for Arizona's Top 4 Cities

Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, college students who attend a 4-year private or public school, borrow an average of $29,484 in student loans, that’s 1.30% more than the California’s average.

San Diego

The average student loan debt that a college student borrow to pay for their 4-year education in San Diego is $27,516. That’s 1.20% more than the state’s average.

San Francisco

San Francisco, has an average student loan debt of $26,148, which is 1.15% more than the state’s average.

Fresno

In Fresno, the average student loan debt is $25,797. Students who attend college in this city borrow 1.13% more than California’s average amount per borrower.

Sacramento

The average student loan debt in Sacramento is $28,360 that’s 1.24% more than the average amount that students in California take out in 4 years.

Average Student Loan Debt for 4-Year Colleges and Universities in Arizona

College

City

Tuition In-State

Tuition Out-State

Average Student Loan Debt Per Borrower

Private or Public

American Conservatory Theater

San Francisco

$28,500

$28,500

$38,000

Private

American Jewish University

Los Angeles

$29,592

$29,592

$25,000

Private

American University of Health Sciences

Signal Hill

$19,908

$19,908

$36,940

Private

Art Center College of Design

Pasadena

$41,408

$41,408

$22,340

Private

Azusa Pacific Online University

Glendora

$10,200

$10,200

$41,960

Private

Azusa Pacific University

Azusa

$36,926

$36,926

$23,684

Private

Bethesda University of California

Anaheim

$7,718

$7,718

$21,416

Private

Biola University

La Mirada

$38,448

$38,448

$34,482

Private

California Baptist University

Riverside

$30,446

$30,446

$36,773

Private

California Christian College

Fresno

$8,640

$8,640

$30,800

Private

California College of the Arts

Oakland

$46,776

$46,776

$36,300

Private

California College-San Diego

San Diego

$18,480

$18,480

$30,852

Private

California Institute of Technology

Pasadena

$48,111

$48,111

$15,010

Private

California Institute of the Arts

Valencia

$46,830

$46,830

$23,380

Private

California Lutheran University

Thousand Oaks

$40,880

$40,880

$26,610

Private

California Maritime Academy

Vallejo

$5,742

$17,622

$24,512

Public

California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo

$5,742

$17,622

$21,276

Public

California State University-Bakersfield

Bakersfield

$5,742

$17,622

$10,871

Public

California State University-Channel Islands

Camarillo

$5,742

$17,622

$20,828

Public

California State University-Chico

Chico

$5,742

$17,622

$16,252

Public

California State University-Dominguez Hills

Carson

$5,742

$17,622

$10,662

Public

California State University-East Bay

Hayward

$5,742

$17,622

$22,508

Public

California State University-Fresno

Fresno

$5,742

$17,622

$17,020

Public

California State University-Fullerton

Fullerton

$5,742

$17,622

$14,983

Public

California State University-Long Beach

Long Beach

$5,742

$17,622

$13,386

Public

California State University-Los Angeles

Los Angeles

$5,742

$17,622

$13,840

Public

California State University-Monterey Bay

Seaside

$5,742

$17,622

$18,349

Public

California State University-Northridge

Northridge

$5,742

$17,622

$17,534

Public

California State University-Sacramento

Sacramento

$5,742

$17,622

$20,300

Public

California State University-San Bernardino

San Bernardino

$5,742

$17,622

$18,950

Public

California State University- San Marcos

San Marcos

$5,742

$17,622

$20,637

Public

California State University-Stanislaus

Turlock

$5,742

$17,622

$17,533

Public

Chapman University

Orange

$50,210

$50,210

$27,268

Private

Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science

Los Angeles

$13,872

$13,872

$40,000

Private

Claremont McKenna College

Claremont

$52,580

$52,580

$23,273

Private

Cogswell College

Sunnyvale

$18,648

$18,648

$33,764

Private

Coleman University

San Diego

$20,700

$20,700

$29,200

Private

Columbia College-Hollywood

Tarzana

$24,000

$24,000

$29,008

Private

Concordia University-Irvine

Irvine

$33,400

$33,400

$22,864

Private

Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre

Blue Lake

$12,600

$12,600

$29,688

Private

Design Institute of San Diego

San Diego

$22,500

$22,500

$36,020

Private

DeVry University-California

Pomona

$15,835

$15,835

$36,556

Private

Dominican University of California

San Rafael

$44,240

$44,240

$39,125

Private

Epic Bible College

Sacramento

$8,964

$8,964

$31,668

Private

Expression College for Digital Arts

Emeryville

$23,600

$23,600

$12,976

Private

FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising-Los Angeles

Los Angeles

$31,141

$31,141

$31,920

Private

FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising-San Francisco

San Francisco

$31,141

$31,141

$26,496

Private

Fresno Pacific University

Fresno

$29,998

$29,998

$21,992

Private

Harvey Mudd College

Claremont

$54,347

$54,347

$20,374

Private

Holy Names University

Oakland

$37,672

$37,672

$25,168

Private

Hope International University

Fullerton

$30,700

$30,700

$25,808

Private

Horizon College-San Diego

San Diego

$9,000

$9,000

$22,556

Private

Humboldt State University

Arcata

$5,742

$17,622

$23,078

Public

Humphreys College Stockton and Modesto Campuses

Stockton

$14,004

$14,004

$28,512

Private

John Paul The Great Catholic University

San Diego

$24,000

$24,000

$24,868

Private

King’s University

Van Nuys

$13,050

$13,050

$21,836

Private

La Sierra University

Riverside

$31,140

$31,140

$24,852

Private

Laguna College of Art and Design

Laguna Beach

$29,800

$29,800

$22,388

Private

Life Pacific College

San Dimas

$14,184

$14,184

$21,260

Private

Lincoln University

Oakland

$10,440

$10,440

$22,456

Private

Los Angeles College of Music

Pasadena

$23,704

$23,704

$9,180

Private

Loyola Marymount University

Los Angeles

$45,460

$45,460

$32,746

Private

Marymount College

Rancho Palos Verdes

$34,134

$34,134

$24,424

Private

Menlo College

Atherton

$40,625

$40,625

$28,972

Private

Mills College

Oakland

$44,765

$44,765

$24,861

Private

Mount St. Mary’s College

Los Angeles

$38,498

$38,498

$26,784

Private

Mt Sierra College

Monrovia

$14,220

$14,220

$30,804

Private

Musicians Institute

Hollywood

$23,985

$23,985

$22,216

Private

National University

La Jolla

$13,016

$13,016

$39,120

Private

Newschool of Architecture and Design

San Diego

$25,938

$25,938

$23,600

Private

Notre Dame De Namur University

Belmont

$33,926

$33,926

$31,915

Private

Occidental College

Los Angeles

$52,260

$52,260

$32,254

Private

Otis College of Art and Design

Los Angeles

$42,370

$42,370

$39,024

Private

Pacific College of Oriental Medicine LLC-San Diego

San Diego

$9,015

$9,015

$38,100

Private

Pacific States University

Los Angeles

$15,465

$15,465

$42,153

Private

Pacific Union College

Angwin

$28,839

$28,839

$28,904

Private

Patten University

Oakland

$8,036

$8,036

$29,252

Private

Pepperdine University

Malibu

$51,740

$51,740

$30,311

Private

Pitzer College

Claremont

$51,964

$51,964

$18,030

Private

Platt College-Los Angeles

Alhambra

$13,794

$13,794

$33,972

Private

Platt College-Ontario

Ontario

$13,794

$13,794

$32,156

Private

Platt College-San Diego

San Diego

$17,125

$17,125

$11,986

Private

Point Loma Nazarene University

San Diego

$34,000

$34,000

$36,523

Private

Pomona College

Claremont

$50,720

$50,720

$13,441

Private

Providence Christian College

Pasadena

$28,522

$28,522

$22,572

Private

Saint Marys College of California

Moraga

$45,536

$45,536

$33,000

Private

San Diego Christian College

El Cajon

$28,944

$28,944

$25,436

Private

San Diego State University

San Diego

$5,742

$17,622

$18,100

Public

San Diego State University-Imperial Valley Campus

Calexico

$5,472

$16,632

*N/A

Public

San Francisco Art Institute

San Francisco

$43,908

$43,908

$22,292

Private

San Francisco Conservatory of Music

San Francisco

$43,700

$43,700

$23,065

Private

San Francisco State University

San Francisco

$5,742

$17,622

$17,985

Public

San Jose State University

San Jose

$5,742

$17,622

$18,424

Public

Santa Barbara Business College-Bakersfield

Bakersfield

$9,900

$9,900

$43,644

Private

Santa Barbara Business College-Santa Maria

Santa Maria

$9,900

$9,900

$41,184

Private

Santa Barbara Business College-Ventura

Ventura

$9,900

$9,900

$35,776

Private

Santa Clara University

Santa Clara

$49,233

$49,233

$29,026

Private

Scripps College

Claremont

$52,748

$52,748

$20,125

Private

Shasta Bible College and Graduate School

Redding

$11,200

$11,200

$26,924

Private

Simpson University

Redding

$27,250

$27,250

$31,236

Private

Soka University of America

Aliso Viejo

$30,106

$30,106

$17,439

Private

Sonoma State University

Rohnert Park

$5,742

$17,622

$20,568

Public

Southern California Institute of Architecture

Los Angeles

$42,700

$42,700

$21,200

Private

Southern California Institute of Technology

Anaheim

$16,335

$16,335

$41,440

Private

Southern California Seminary

El Cajon

$14,400

$14,400

$38,000

Private

Stanford University

Stanford

$48,987

$48,987

$16,640

Private

SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary

Oakland

$8,320

$8,320

$23,184

Private

Taft University System

Santa Ana

$3,292

$3,292

*N/A

Private

The Master’s College and Seminary

Santa Clarita

$32,600

$32,600

$18,961

Private

The National Hispanic University

San Jose

$7,896

$7,896

$22,152

Private

Thomas Aquinas College

Santa Paula

$24,500

$24,500

$15,521

Private

Touro College-Los Angeles

Los Angeles

$14,400

$14,400

*N/A

Private

Trident University International

Cypress

$6,982

$6,982

$21,856

Private

University of California-Berkeley

Berkeley

$11,502

$39,516

$20,284

Public

University of California-Davis

Davis

$11,502

$39,516

$19,970

Public

University of California-Irvine

Irvine

$11,502

$39,516

$19,459

Public

University of California-Los Angeles

Los Angeles

$11,502

$39,516

$20,229

Public

University of California-Merced

Merced

$11,502

$39,516

$21,314

Public

University of California-Riverside

Riverside

$11,502

$39,516

$21,300

Public

University of California-San Diego

La Jolla

$11,502

$39,516

$19,000

Public

University of California-Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara

$11,502

$39,516

$20,452

Public

University of California-Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz

$11,502

$39,516

$21,604

Public

University of La Verne

La Verne

$39,915

$39,915

$30,677

Private

University of Phoenix-Bay Area Campus

San Jose

$10,548

$10,548

$32,276

Private

University of Phoenix-Central Valley Campus

Fresno

$10,549

$10,549

$33,376

Private

University of Phoenix-Sacramento Valley Campus

Sacramento

$10,543

$10,543

$33,112

Private

University of Phoenix-San Diego Campus

San Diego

$10,515

$10,515

$29,276

Private

University of Phoenix–Southern California Campus

Costa Mesa

$10,560

$10,560

$41,756

Private

University of Redlands

Redlands

$47,722

$47,722

$32,035

Private

University of San Diego

San Diego

$47,100

$47,100

$29,115

Private

University of San Francisco

San Francisco

$45,760

$45,760

$29,054

Private

University of Southern California

Los Angeles

$53,448

$53,448

$29,136

Private

University of the Pacific

Stockton

$45,786

$45,786

$23,904

Private

University of the West

Rosemead

$11,040

$11,040

$21,096

Private

Vanguard University of Southern California

Costa Mesa

$31,980

$31,980

$25,380

Private

West Coast University-Los Angeles

North Hollywood

$34,060

$34,060

$22,000

Private

West Coast University-Ontario

Ontario

$34,060

$34,060

$22,000

Private

West Coast University-Orange County

Anaheim

$34,060

$34,060

$25,000

Private

Westmont College

Santa Barbara

$42,890

$42,890

$31,937

Private

Whittier College

Whittier

$45,720

$45,720

$27,752

Private

William Jessup University

Rocklin

$29,950

$29,950

$26,195

Private

Woodbury University

Burbank

$37,436

$37,436

$35,216

Private

World Mission University

Los Angeles

$5,760

$5,760

$29,016

Private

Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon Chabad West Coast Talmudical Seminary

Los Angeles

$14,000

$14,000

*N/A

Private

*Data not available.

Student Loan Interest Rate Trends for 2019

Over the last 12 years, federal student loan interest rates have been rising and falling. And over the last few years, rates have been steadily increasing. Here’s a chart of the interest rate trends for Direct Subsidized Loans (loans for undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need), Direct Unsubsidized Loans (loans for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students regardless of their financial need, and Direct Plus Loans (loans for graduate or professional students and parents of dependent graduate students to help cover education expenses not covered by other aid).

Although student loan borrowers take out federal loans, many borrowers also take out private student loans. And unlike federal, private student loans can either be fixed or variable. So even these loans affect how much interest you’ll pay. It’s likely you’ll payback more since your federal and private loans are separate.

Below is a graph that list a few of the best private student loan lenders and the average interest rates they offer.

Private Lender

LendKey

SallieMae

College Ave

Discover

Variable Rates

5.85% – 6.99%

4.50% – 10.11%

4.20% – 11.44%

4.84% – 13.49%

Fixed Rates

4.68% – 6.54%

6.00% – 10.23%

5.29% – 12.78%

6.34% – 13.99%

Importance of Repaying Your Student Loan Fast

Here are a few examples of how much you’re paying back over 10 years with different interest rates.

If you took out a total of $23,000 throughout your college education, with a repayment term of 10-years, and your interest rates’ average is 4.93%, then you’re paying $6,179.20 in interest. And your total repayment amount is over $29,000.

Let’s increase the interest rate by just one point to see how it affects your over-all cash out of pocket.

If you took out a total of $23,000 throughout your 4-year college education, with a repayment term of 10-years, and your interest rates’ average is 5.91%, then you’re paying $7,517.20 in interest. And your total repayment amount is over $30,000.

As you can see, interest rates can add thousands of dollars to your loan, which can lead you to paying far more than you initially borrowed. If you’re looking for ways to lower your interest rates and monthly payments while keeping sane, then ​​​​​​​there are options out there for you. 

Top 7 Student Loan Refinancing Providers

SoFi

SoFi is the leading provider that helps borrowers refinance their federal and private student loans in all 50 states. To qualify, you need to be a US resident or permanent citizen, completed your undergraduate or graduate program from a Title IV-accredited school with a minimum loan amount of $5,000, employed or have a job offer that starts within 90 days, steady income, and a credit score of at least 650.

If you qualify, you’ll have an option to choose a repayment term of 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years. Your variable rates will fall between 2.54% and 7.12% APR, with auto pay. Your fixed rates will fall between 3.90% and 8.07% APR, with auto pay.

Once you sign up, you become a member of the SoFi student loan refinancing community. Your membership will bring you a 0.125% rate discount on new loans through SoFi, free career coaching, financial advisors, a community of people just like you through SoFi hosted networking experiences and unemployment protection with a 12-month cap over the lifetime of your loan.

When your loan is in forbearance, SoFi will provide you with help from their Career Team to help you find new employment. If you return to graduate school at least half time, undergo disability rehabilitation, or serve in active duty, you’ll be able to get your loan deferred. Also, SoFi will reduce your payments if you’re a medical or dental resident to $100/month for up to 4 years.

There’s no origination fee or prepayment penalty. And SoFi also allows greater-than-minimum payments and biweekly payments via autopay.

One thing to keep in mind is that you can’t release your cosigner, even after years of on-time monthly payments. Bring this up to your potential cosigner, so you’re both on the same page about what’s going to happen once you’ve refinanced your loan.

Earnest

Earnest is ideal for borrowers who want flexibility in their monthly payments. They allow you to customize your monthly payments to your preference and adjust your repayment term to match it. You can also extend your payment date up to a week and make greater-than-minimum payments. In addition to that, Earnest lets you skip one monthly payment every 12 months if you know you won’t be able to pay.

You can refinance your parent PLUS, federal and private loans, with a repayment term between 5 and 20 years. Earnest’s variable rates are 2.55% – 6.97% APR, with auto pay. Their fixed rates are 3.89% – 7.89% APR, with auto pay. You’ll also have the option to switch between variable and fixed rates every 6 months during the life of your loan. There’s no origination fee, prepayment penalty, or late fee.

To qualify, you need to be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year, non-conditional green card, have a minimum credit score of 650, must have attended a Title IV-accredited school, a minimum loan amount of $5,000, graduated or within 6 months of graduation and have a consistent income or a job offer that starts within 6 months.

Earnest offers academic and military deferment and forbearance in three-month increments up to 12 months total. In the event of death or disability, Earnest will forgive your loans.

A few things to remember is that with Earnest, you can’t use a cosigner to refinance your loan. If your credit score isn’t 650 or above, it’ll be more difficult for you to qualify. Another thing is that they aren’t available in Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Nevada, and Rhode Island. Variable rates aren’t available to borrowers in Arkansas, Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas.

Education Loan Finance

Education Loan Finance, Elfi, is ideal for borrowers who are interested in extremely low-interest rates, want to work with their own dedicated personal loan advisor, or can use their referral bonus for extra cash.  Borrowers can refinance their parent PLUS, federal, and private loans, with repayment terms of 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years, variable rates between 2.8% and 6.01% APR, and fixed rates between 3.39% and 6.69% APR. There’s no origination fee or prepayment penalty.

To qualify, you must have at least a 680 credit score, graduated with at least a bachelor’s degree, minimum income of $35,000 per year, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, a minimum loan amount of $15,000, and attended a Title IV-accredited school that’s on Elfi’s approved school list.

Elfi offers military deferment and forbearance up to 12 months. They also give you the option to release your cosigner, however, you must reapply and pass the credit check by yourself. If you’re looking to pay more than the minimum, you can via autopay.

Something to keep in mind is that Elfi does have a late fee that’s equal to 5% of the past due amount or $50, depends on which one is less. They also don’t offer academic deferment. If something permanent happened to you and you couldn’t pay your loan anymore, then Elfi would review your case and determine if you’re eligible for forgiveness.

CommonBond

CommonBond is ideal for borrowers who want generous forbearance terms and to help children in the developing world to live their dreams. You can refinance your federal, private, and Parent PLUS loans. You’ll have the option of a repayment term of 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years for fixed or variable loan rates and 10 years for hybrid loans. CommonBond’s variable loan rates are 2.69% – 7.43% APR, fixed rates are 3.67% – 7.25% APR, and hybrid rates are 4.40% – 6.35% APR, with autopay. There’s no origination fee or prepayment penalty. They do have a late fee of 5% or $10, whichever is less.

To qualify, you need at least a 660 credit score, steady income, to be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or H1-B, J-1, L-1, and E-3 visa holder, graduated with at least a bachelor’s degree, a minimum loan amount of $5,000 and attended a Title IV-accredited school.

One of CommonBond’s most promising features is that you get forbearance for up to 24 months, in three-month increments, over the life of your loan during economic hardships. They also have an in-school and military deferment option. After 24 months of on-time monthly payments, you’ll be able to release your cosigner. You can pay more than your monthly minimum via autopay.

If you were to die or become disabled, your loan would be forgiven if you don’t have a cosigner. However, if you do have one, then your co-signer will have to take pay off the remainder of your loan.

CommonBond has partnered with Pencils of Promise, which provides young students in the developing world access to schools, teachers, and technology so that they can live their dreams.

CommonBond doesn’t lend loans to borrowers in Mississippi, Nevada or Vermont.

Laurel Road

Laurel Road is ideal for borrowers who graduated from the healthcare field and wants 100% of their loan refinanced at low rates, available in all 50 states. Borrowers can refinance their federal, private, and Parent PLUS loans. Your repayment term options are 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years. Laurel Road’s variable rates are 3.23% – 6.65% APR and fixed rates are 3.50% – 7.02% APR. There’s no origination fee or prepayment penalty, however, there’s a late fee equal to 5% of your missed payment or $28.

To qualify, you need at least a credit score of 660, steady income, to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid green card, graduated for an undergraduate or graduate Title IV-accredited school and have a minimum loan amount of $5,000.

While they don’t offer academic deferment, they do offer military deferment, forbearance for up to 12 months throughout the life of the loan, and reduced payments for medical and dental residents with payments of $100/month until six months after their residency ends.

Laurel Road is one of the few refinancing companies that help borrowers with an Associate Degree refinance their loans. However, they only help borrowers who have a degree in certain healthcare fields. In the event of death or disability, they’ll forgive at least part of your loan.

You can refer a friend to Laurel Road and earn up to $400 in cash, even if you’re not a customer. Also, you can release your cosigner if you make 36 on-time monthly payments.

Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank is ideal for borrowers who didn’t graduate and Non-U.S citizens, available in all 50 states. Unlike other lenders who require you to graduate, Citizens help borrowers who didn’t graduate but made 12 payments after leaving school. Also, if you’re not a U.S citizen, but your cosigner is at least a permanent resident, they’ll refinance your loan for you.

You can refinance your federal, private, and parent PLUS loans with repayment term options of 5, 10, 15, or 20 years. Citizens Bank variable rates are 2.98% – 9.72% APR and their fixed rates are 3.89% – 9.99% APR. There’s no origination fee or prepayment penalty. However, there is a late fee of 5% of your payment amount.

To qualify, you need a credit score of at least 680, minimum income of $24,000, and at least $10,000 in loans.

They do offer academic and military deferment if you return to school half or full-time or you’re on active duty. If you are experiencing economic hardship, your loan can go into forbearance in two-month increments, for a total of 12 months over the life of your loan. They also allow you to release your cosigner if you’ve had 36 on-time monthly payments. You’re allowed to pay more than your monthly minimum via auto pay. Also, if you died or became disabled, they’ll forgive your loan.

Also, if you’re an existing customer of theirs before applying for refinancing, then you’ll get an additional 0.25% interest rate discount.

A few things to remember are that Citizens Bank has a cap on the loan amount they’ll refinance. If you’re an undergraduate student, you can refinance a maximum of $90,000. Graduate students with a graduate, doctoral, or MBA degree loan amounts cap at $225,000, law degrees cap at $300,000, and dental or medical degrees cap at $350,000. So, if you know that your loan amounts are higher than their maximum, this bank may not be the right fit for you.

Lendkey

Lendkey is ideal for borrowers who prefer not to refinance their student loans through big banks. Unlike other lenders, Lendkey is a platform of not-for-profit community banks and credit unions that you can compare at once and pick the one that best fits your needs.

You can refinance your federal, private, and parent PLUS loans with repayment term options of 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20-years. Lendkey’s variable rates are 2.7% – 8.96% APR, and their fixed rates area 3.49% – 8.93% APR. There’s no origination fee or prepayment penalty, however, there’s a late fee that solely depends on the lender.

To qualify, you need at least a 660 credit score, minimum income of $24,000 or $12,000 with a cosigner, U.S citizen or permanent resident, at least an associate degree from a Title IV-accredited school, and live in one of their qualifying states.

They don’t offer academic or military deferment. However, if you’re on a 5, 7, or 10-year loan plan, your loan can go into forbearance for four months at a time, up to 12 months total. If you’re on the 15 or 20-year loan plan, your loan can go into forbearance 6 months at a time, up to 18 months total. You can also make interest-only payment for the first four years if you’re on the 15 or 20-year loan term. You can make greater than minimum monthly payments via auto pay.

While there’s no guarantee that you’ll be forgiven for your loan if you die or become disabled, lenders on Lendkey typically do forgive borrowers.

They’re not available in Maine, North Dakota, Nevada, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.

Methodology

The data derived from this article includes information from only 4-year private and public California colleges. Information obtained about student loans only include federal student loan reports. 

When determining which providers are the best for borrowers, we took into account interest rates, repayment plans, requirements, what states they lend to, deferment, forbearance, and other unique perks that borrowers would find useful.

Sources

https://ticas.org/posd/map-state-data#overlay=posd/state_data/2018/tx

https://withfrank.org/frank-college-search/

https://studentloans.net/student-loan-debt-statistics/

https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/about/data-center/student/portfolio

http://www.collegecalc.org/

https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/

August 28, 2019

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

DMCA.com Protection Status