Best Student Loan Refinance Rates for 2024

Student loans can be a substantial financial burden for many people. With interest rates on federal student loans set to increase in July 2024, now is a great time to consider refinancing your student loans to lock in a lower fixed rate. Refinancing can help you save money on interest and pay off your loans faster.

In this blog post, we will discuss the best student loan refinance rates for 2024 and provide tips on how to get the best rate possible. We will cover what refinancing is, current interest rates, eligibility requirements, how to apply, and frequently asked questions.

What is Student Loan Refinancing?

Student loan refinancing means taking out a new private student loan to pay off your current federal or private student loans. The goal is to get a lower interest rate, which can save you money over the life of the loan.

When you refinance student loans, you take out one new consolidated loan through a private lender to pay off multiple existing loans that you may have. This streamlines your repayment and allows you to qualify for better rates based on your current credit score and income, different from what they were when you initially took out the loans.

Refinancing federal loans into a private loan means you lose access to federal loan benefits like income-driven repayment plans and student loan forgiveness programs. However, you can get a lower rate to save money in the long run.

Current Student Loan Interest Rates

The federal government determines interest rates on federal student loans and changes every July 1st. Here are the current interest rates as of July 2024:

  • Undergraduate direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans: 5.50%
  • Graduate direct unsubsidized loans: 7.05%
  • PLUS loans for parents and graduate students: 8.05%

Private student loan rates vary by lender but are based on your credit, income, and other factors. Private rates are often lower than federal rates. Here are some average 2024 private student loan rates:

  • 5-year variable rates: 3.14% – 13.67%
  • 10-year fixed rates: 4.39% – 12.99%
  • 15-year fixed rates: 5.39% – 13.19%

These rates are expected to increase in 2025 as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates to fight inflation. However, private student loan refinancing rates are projected to remain competitive.

Student Loan Refinancing Eligibility

To qualify for student loan refinancing, you’ll generally need:

  • A credit score of at least 650-680
  • Steady income higher than your monthly debts
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent residency
  • Be current on existing student loans

Having a cosigner like a parent or a spouse can help you meet eligibility requirements if you have a little credit history or income right out of school.

Federal student loans can be refinanced, along with most private student loans. Certain public service-oriented loans like Perkins loans are not eligible.

You’ll want to refinance at least $5,000 or more in student loans to make the application worthwhile. Consolidating multiple loans leads to the best savings.

How to Apply for Student Loan Refinancing

Follow these steps to apply for a student loan refinance:

Step 1 – Check your credit score and pull your credit reports from to ensure no errors. Improving your score can help you qualify for better rates.

Step 2 – Research lenders like Earnest, SoFi, Splash Financial, and Laurel Road and compare interest rates and fees. Consider both variable and fixed rates.

Step 3 – Gather information needed for your application like:

  • Income, assets, monthly expenses
  • Employment history
  • Amounts owed on current loans
  • Loan account numbers
  • Diplomas or transcripts

Step 4 – Complete the lender’s application online. It takes 15-30 minutes. You’ll need to agree to a hard credit check, too.

Step 5 – If approved, the lender reviews your application and provides loan offers within 1-2 weeks. You can accept the offer you want.

Step 6 – Once you accept the new loan, the lender pays off your old loans directly and establishes your new loan repayment terms.

Submit your paperwork on time and follow up with your lender throughout the process. Act fast to get loans refinanced before rates rise again in 2024.

Best Student Loan Refinance Rates for 2024

Here are some of the best student loan refinancing lenders to consider for rates in 2024:

Splash Financial

Splash Financial offers both variable and fixed-rate student loan refinancing. Variable rates start as low as 1.09% APR, and fixed rates start at 2.49% APR. They have flexible 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20-year loan terms. Cosigners can help borrowers qualify.


Earnest offers variable rates starting at 1.99% and fixed rates from 3.99% APR. Loan terms range from 5-20 years. Earnest’s Rate Beat program is a unique feature that lets you get a lower rate if another lender beats them within 120 days of funding your loan.


SoFi has variable rates starting at 2.24% and fixed rates from 3.99%. SoFi charges no application, origination, or prepayment fees. You can choose between 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20-year repayment terms. SoFi also provides unemployment protection and career coaching.

Laurel Road

Laurel Road advertises fixed rates as low as 2.50% APR and variable rates from 2.35% for resident physicians. Standard rates for undergrads are higher. Loan terms range from 5-20 years. Laurel Road offers cosigner release after making 12 consecutive on-time payments.


ELFI offers top-tier borrowers starting rates as low as 1.78% on variable loans and 2.48% on 5-year fixed-rate loans. Standard rates for undergrads are higher. ELFI has 5-20-year terms and unique options for doctors and lawyers.

Shop around between multiple lenders to see who can offer you the best rate for your situation. Comparing refinancing vs keeping your current federal loans is also essential before switching to a private loan.

Refinancing Federal vs. Private Student Loans

Should you refinance federal loans, private loans, or both? Here is a quick comparison:

Federal Student Loans


  • Access to income-driven, extended repayment plans
  • Eligible for forgiveness programs
  • Had origination fees but no prepayment penalties
  • Can be discharged in bankruptcy


  • Current fixed interest rates around 5-7%
  • Lose benefits if refinanced to private

Private Student Loans


  • Can get lower variable and fixed interest rates
  • Consolidate multiple loans into one payment


  • Had origination and prepayment fees
  • Not eligible for federal repayment and forgiveness options
  • Harder to discharge in bankruptcy

Refinancing federal loans results in losing certain borrower protections but could save substantially on interest costs. Weigh the tradeoffs carefully for your situation. Refinancing private loans is more clear-cut for getting a lower rate.

Know Your Current Loans

Before you refinance, look at all of your current student loans. Make a list of each loan you have. Include these details:

  • Loan type: federal or private
  • Original amount borrowed
  • Interest rate
  • Loan balance
  • Monthly Payment
  • Loan servicer or lender

Knowing this information will help you make sure you refinance all of your eligible loans. It also lets you determine your total monthly payments now compared to after refinancing.

You can log into your loan servicer account online to find your loan details. Or call your servicer to get your current loan status.

Understand the Costs

Refinancing involves taking out a new private student loan to pay your old loans. Make sure you know any fees or costs involved:

  • Application fee – $0 to $50 to apply in most cases
  • Origination fee – 0% to 6% may be charged on the loan principal
  • Prepayment penalties – some lenders charge a fee if you pay off a loan early

Ask lenders upfront if they charge any fees to refinance. Zero origination fee loans and no prepayment penalties are ideal.

Check Impact on Monthly Payment

Before you refinance, see how it will impact your monthly student loan payment.

Compare your current monthly payment to the estimate with a refinanced loan. Make sure the new payment fits your budget.

You can use student loan refinancing calculators online to estimate your new monthly payment with different loan amounts, rates, and terms.

Aim to lower your payment but keep it affordable based on your income. If you are struggling with payments, pick a more extended term to reduce the monthly amount when refinancing.

Read the Fine Print

When you get loan offers, read the fine print closely before accepting a new loan:

  • Interest rate – is it fixed or variable? What are the rate caps?
  • Fees – look for origination fees, late fees, early payoff penalties
  • Terms – length of repayment term, minimum payment amounts
  • Servicer – who will service the consolidated loan?

Make sure you understand all the costs and terms involved. Ask the lender to explain anything unclear before agreeing to the new loan.

Consider Pros and Cons

Think about the key pros and cons of refinancing your particular loans:


  • Lower interest rate to save money
  • Consolidate multiple loans
  • Lower monthly payment amount
  • Shorter repayment term


  • Lose federal borrower protections
  • Application fees or origination costs
  • Rate increases over time if the variable rate
  • Disapproval if you have limited income or poor credit

Make a list of the potential benefits and drawbacks of your situation. Refinancing is suitable for many borrowers but only for some.

Also Read – Why Is My FedLoan Account Not Working?

Look at Alternatives

Before you refinance, also consider alternative ways to lower student loan costs:

  • Apply for income-driven repayment plans to reduce monthly payments
  • Get on track for public service loan forgiveness if you qualify
  • Seek employer student loan repayment assistance
  • Make extra payments to pay down the principal faster
  • Consolidate federal loans for free into a Direct Consolidation Loan

Refinancing may provide the best savings, but look at other options to lower payments on federal loans first.

Check Impact on Taxes

One downside of refinancing is that you can no longer deduct student loan interest on your taxes under the federal income tax deduction.

Private student loan interest is not tax deductible. So, refinancing federal loans means losing a tax break.

Estimate the potential impact on your tax return before refinancing. Make sure any savings from a lower interest rate outweigh the loss of the deduction.

Pick the Best Offer

You can apply with multiple lenders to compare loan offers. Choosing the right offer for your needs is critical:

  • Compare interest rates, fees, and terms across offers
  • Make sure the new monthly payment fits your budget
  • Prioritize the lowest overall long-term costs
  • Ensure the lender reports to credit bureaus

Picking the offer with the lowest rate can ensure you maximize savings when refinancing your student loans.

Submit Documents Promptly

Once you accept a loan offer, the lender will send paperwork to finalize the new loan. Promptly submit any required documents:

  • Promissory note for the refinance loan
  • Income verification such as paystubs or W-2s
  • School transcripts or diploma copies

Submitting paperwork promptly ensures your new loan can be approved and funded quickly. Missing deadlines could cause delays or lead to a denial.

Get Support If Needed

If you feel overwhelmed by the student loan refinancing process, don’t be afraid to ask for help:

  • Talk to a financial advisor for guidance
  • Ask your lender questions if confused by any requirements
  • Have a family member review the loan details with you

Getting a second opinion or extra support can give you confidence you are making the right decision when refinancing your student loans.

Also Read – How Student Loan Forgiveness Can Impact Your Family Finances ?

Be Patient After Refinancing

It takes about 15-30 days after you refinance for the lender to pay off your old loans and establish the new consolidated loan:

  • Continue making regular payments until the process is completed
  • Your old loan servicers will send you paid-in-full notices when individual loans are closed out
  • The new lender provides details on repaying the consolidated loan

Be patient as the behind-the-scenes process runs its course. Keep making on-time payments so the refinance goes smoothly.

Celebrate the Savings

Once your new lower-interest-rate loan is in place, celebrate the money you’ll save:

  • Calculate expected lifetime savings from lower rates
  • Treat yourself to dinner or a small gift with your first payment savings
  • Add the extra money each month to pay off the principal faster

Refinancing student debt can free up room in your budget. Take advantage of the savings to reach your financial goals faster.


While federal student loan rates are set to rise in 2024, refinancing through a private lender can help you lock in a lower fixed-rate interest and reduce what you pay over the life of your loans. Compare multiple lenders to find the best possible rate based on your financial situation.

Refinancing can save you thousands of dollars in interest costs. However, it does mean giving up federal protections, so consider your budget and career outlook before refinancing federal loans. With some research, you can make the right refinancing decision to meet your financial goals.

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