Finding the best student loan refinance company for you takes time and effort to research. You have many options, all with different refinance terms and requirements.
A college education is a worthwhile investment for your future self. The you of the future will thank the you of today for earning a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or doctorate. However, there’s one thing your future self isn’t going to like so well: the amount of your student loan debt. In 2008, student loan debt in the U.S. was sitting at about $600 billion. In 2021, it had more than doubled to $1.6 trillion. Refinancing can make repaying your debt more manageable, so explore the top companies for refinancing student loans with our useful guide.
The Best Student Loan Refinance Companies in Pennsylvania
- Splash Financial: Best Overall Pennsylvania Student Loan Refinance Company
- Earnest: Best Customizable Repayment Choices for Pa Student Loans
- PenFed: Best Credit Union for PennsylvaniaStudent Loan Refinancing
- Laurel Road: Best Choice for Refinancing Pa Medical Student Loans
- Credible: Best Marketplace for Pennsylvania Student Loan Refinancing
1. Splash Financial — Best Overall Pennsylvania Student Loan Refinancing Company
Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance Pros in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, and More:
- No application, origination, or prepayment fees
- You can compare multiple lenders in one place
- Dedicated account representative
- Refinancing for a variety of loan types
- All post-secondary degrees accepted
Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance Cons in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, and More:
- Not actually a lender
- Must research all their partner lenders individually
- No forbearance in case of a financial crisis or a death
Splash Financial is an online lender marketplace, similar to Credible. Their lenders offer loan terms of five, seven, 10, 15, and 20 years, and will refinance loans from $25,001 to $500,000, making them ideal for medical students and medical professionals such as dentists, optometrists, physician’s assistants, physicians, and nurses.
Splash Financial is on a mission: to create a faster and less expensive financial world. That’s part of why they assign you a dedicated account representative to help you through the process — to make your loan refinancing faster and easier.
Splash Financial wants your business, and they want you to bring your friends to them as well. When you refer a friend, you receive a $200 bonus. Even better? Your friend gets $200 too.
Splash Financial Student Loan Refinancing Fees in Pennsylvania: 4.5/5
Splash Financial doesn’t charge some of the traditional loan refinance fees, such as loan origination or prepayment penalty fees. You have less to pay up front and can just focus on paying down your refinanced loan. Their late fees are $10 to $15, payable after your payment is 10 or 15 days late, depending on the lender.
Minimum Credit Score to Apply for Splash Financial College Debt Refinancing in Pa: 5/5
With a minimum credit score requirement of 650, Splash Financial has the lowest minimum on the list. The next closest scores are Laurel Road and Earnest, at 660.
Splash Financial Student Debt Refinancing Fixed Interest Rates in Pennsylvania: 4.5/5
Splash Financial doesn’t have the lowest interest rates, but they’re a close second behind Credible at 1.99% APR. They do, however, have the highest high interest rate at 7.84%, tied with Credible.
Splash Financial College Loan Refinancing Variable Interest Rates in Pa: 4.5/5
With variable interest rates from 1.74% APR to 7.49% APR, Splash Financial is second best for both ends of the interest scale. Laurel Road’s low-end interest rate is 1.64% APR, while the only company with higher interest rates is Credible at 7.84% APR.
Overall Score of Splash Financial Pennsylvania Student Loan Refinancing: 4.63
2. Earnest — Best Customizable Repayment Choices for Pa Student Loans
Earnest Student Loan Refinance Pros in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, and More:
- Customize your loan terms and payments
- Skip one payment every 12 months
- Discounted interest rate for autopay setup
- Referral bonus for new refinanced loans
Earnest Student Loan Refinance Cons in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, and More:
- No co-signer on the loan
- Not available in Nevada or Kentucky
- Variable interest rates not available everywhere
Earnest stands out for its flexibility in loan terms. They make it simple to increase your minimum payment amount and make multiple payments at a time to pay down your loan faster. You can set up your autopay and receive a rate discount. Loan terms run from five to 20 years; you can pick your exact month to finish paying off your loan. Earnest will refinance loans from $5,000 to $500,000.
Earnest’s mission is simple: to make higher education accessible and affordable for everyone. The founders created the company after seeing friends and family struggling to repay student loans. They realized to fix the problem, something new had to exist — that something new was Earnest.
Like Splash Financial, Earnest wants you to bring your friends along for the loan refinancing ride. They also offer a $200 bonus for every referral who successfully refinances a loan with them.
Earnest’s fixed rates are available in all states, but variable rates are not. No variable interest rates from Earnest are permitted in Alaska, Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Tennessee, or Texas.
Earnest Student Loan Refinancing Fees in Pennsylvania: 5/5
Earnest has no application or origination fees. They also don’t charge late fees, unlike many of their competitors.
Minimum Credit Score to Apply for Earnest College Debt Refinancing in Pa: 4.5/5
Earnest is in the center of the list with a minimum credit score of 660. The highest score is 670 at Credible, and the lowest is 650 at Splash Financial.
Earnest Student Debt Refinancing Fixed Interest Rates in Pennsylvania: 4.5/5
With fixed interest rates from 2.44% APR to 7.24% APR, Earnest has the second-highest low and high-end rates. Only PenFed has a higher low-end rate at 2.89% APR, and Splash Financial and Credible both have higher high-end rates at 7.84% APR.
Earnest College Loan Refinancing Variable Interest Rates in Pa: 4.5/5
Earnest’s variable interest rates from 1.74% APR to 7.24% APR are tied with Splash Financial in the middle of the pack on the low side. On the high end, they’ve got the second-lowest interest rate; only Laurel Road is lower, at 5.65% APR.
Overall Score of Earnest Pennsylvania Student Loan Refinancing: 4.63
3. PenFed — Best Credit Union for Pennsylvania Student Loan Refinancing
PenFed Student Loan Refinance Pros in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, and More:
- Married couples can refinance into one loan
- Refinance parent PLUS loans into your name
- Co-signer drop-off after 12 months
- Discounts on financial products including
PenFed Student Loan Refinance Cons in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, and More:
- Must be a member of PenFed Credit Union
- Estate must pay off loan if you die
- The terms of the loan are limited
Pentagon Federal Credit Union, commonly known as PenFed, is one of a few lenders that permit married couples to consolidate their loans into one loan, making repayment a simpler process. You can also refinance parent PLUS loans into your name, to relieve the financial burden from your parents.
Currently, PenFed takes care of 2.5 million members around the world and their $31 billion in assets. All you have to do to become a member is enter your email, phone number, and address, then deposit $5 into your new account. PenFed members can get discounts on a number of financial vehicles, including insurance, rental cars, and tax prep software.
At PenFed, you can refinance loans from $7,500 to $300,000. You’re required to have at least a bachelor’s degree, and your minimum income must be $42,000 if you’re applying alone. If you apply with a co-signer, your personal income can be as low as $25,000. After 12 months of on-time payments, your co-signer can be removed from your account, giving them financial freedom. You can repay your loan in 5, 8, 12, or 15 years.
PenFed Student Loan Refinancing Fees in Pennsylvania: 4.5/5
The one fee PenFed does charge is a late fee of $5-25, which will be 20% of the interest on your payment that’s more than five days late. Other than that, PenFed wants its members to do better, so it doesn’t charge any fees associated with your student loan refinance. This saves you money right up front and down the road.
Minimum Credit Score to Apply for PenFed College Debt Refinancing in Pa: 4.5/5
PenFed’s minimum required credit score is 670, the same as Credible, and only slightly higher than Splash Financial, Laurel Road, and Earnest. They require you to have an income of more than $42,000.
PenFed Student Loan Refinancing Fixed Interest Rates in Pennsylvania: 5/5
PenFed’s fixed interest rate is lower than any other financial institution listed here, going from 2.89% to 4.98% APR. The next closest interest rate is Laurel Road, which tops out at 5.75%. The other best student loan refinance companies have interest rates of more than 7.2%.
PenFed College Loan Refinancing Variable Interest Rates in Pa: 4/5
PenFed’s variable interest rate starts at 2.13% APR and goes as high as 5.25% APR. Their lowest rate is the highest among the companies discussed here, but their high-end interest rate is lower than all the others. The next closest is Laurel Road, whose top variable interest rate is 5.65% APR.
Overall Score of PenFed Pennsylvania Student Loan Refinancing: 4.5/5
4. Laurel Road — Best Choice for Refinancing Pa Medical Student Loans
Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance Pros in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, and More:
- Reduced refinancing interest rates for medical personnel
- Refinance parent PLUS loans into your name
- Lower interest rate if you open a checking account
- Cashback credit card — 2% cashback to your loan
Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance Cons in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, and More:
- No postponement if borrowers return to school
- Six-month grace period
- Not all graduate loans will be approved
Laurel Road is outstanding for people in the medical field who need the best student loan refinance company. They offer low interest rates for medical personnel, including dentists, optometrists, nurses, physicians, and physician’s assistants, with loan terms of five, seven, 10, 15, and 20 years. They’ll refinance loans from $5,000 up to your entire loan balance.
They don’t advertise an exact number, but Laurel Road offers a discounted interest rate to borrowers in the medical field. They only say that rates for eligible borrowers may be lower than the advertised rates.
You also get a discounted rate if you open a checking account. On top of that, once you’ve had $2,500 in direct deposits into your checking account, you’ll get a $300 bonus.
Another notable feature is the Cashback credit card. For every purchase you make, 2% goes toward paying down your refinanced loan.
Laurel Road Student Loan Refinancing Fees in Pennsylvania: 4.5/5
Laurel Road charges no application, origination, or prepayment fees. They do charge a late fee of 5% of the late payment or $28, whichever is less, if a payment is more than 15 days late.
Minimum Credit Score to Apply for Laurel Road College Debt Refinancing in Pa: 4/5
The minimum required credit score to refinance your student loans at Laurel Road is 660, which is in the middle of the pack. The lowest score is 650 at Splash Financial, and the highest is 670 at Credible.
Laurel Road Student Debt Refinancing Fixed Interest Rates in Pennsylvania: 4.5/5
Laurel Road’s fixed interest rate is 2.25% APR to 5.75% APR. On the low end, that rate is in the middle of the road, with Credible and Splash Financial lower and PenFed and Earnest higher. On the high side, Laurel Road has the second-lowest interest rate, behind PenFed’s 4.98%.
Laurel Road College Loan Refinancing Variable Interest Rates in Pa: 5/5
At 1.64% APR to 5.65% APR, Laurel Road has the lowest variable interest rate. The next lowest number on the low side is 1.74% APR from both Splash Financial and Earnest. The second-lowest number on the high end is 7.24% APR from Earnest.
Overall Score of Laurel Road Pennsylvania Student Loan Refinancing: 4.5
5. Credible — Best Marketplace for Refinancing Pennsylvania Student Loans
Credible Student Loan Refinance Pros in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, and More:
- Compare lots of lenders all in one place
- You get personalized interest rate estimates
- Free to use
- Offers the Best Rate Guarantee
Credible Student Loan Refinance Cons in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, and More:
- Not a lender
- Borrowers have to research each lender separately
- No rate discount when applying through Credible
Credible is an online marketplace to help you find the best student loan refinance company for you. It’s free for you to use since the company collects commissions from the lenders listed. They pride themselves on being accurate, transparent, and risk-free. They offer a Best Rate Guarantee, where if they can’t find you the lowest interest rate on a loan, they’ll give you $200. This guarantee makes them unique — no other institutions on this list have any guarantees of this nature.
Credible offers an extensive FAQ, answering all manner of questions both about the service itself to general questions about refinancing student loans. They have similar FAQs about student loans and personal loans.
Credible Student Loan Refinancing Fees in Pennsylvania: 5/5
Credible has no fees since it’s not a lender; it earns money from the lenders when you’re approved for a loan. The company does ensure that the lenders it works with don’t charge an origination fee or any prepayment penalties.
Minimum Credit Score to Apply for Credible College Debt Refinancing in Pa: 3/5
The minimum credit score varies by lender. It could be as low as 650, or it could be much higher.
Credible Student Debt Refinancing Fixed Interest Rate in Pennsylvania: 4.5/5
Credible’s lending partners have the lowest low-end interest rate at 1.80% APR. The next lowest is Splash Financial at 1.99% APR. However, Credible’s lenders also have the highest fixed interest rate at 7.84% APR, tied with Splash Financial for the worst rate.
Credible College Loan Refinancing Variable Interest Rate in Pa: 4/5
The lenders that Credible works with offer a variable interest rate of 1.80% to 7.84% APR. They don’t have the lowest low rate — that would be Laurel Road at 1.64% APR. They do have the highest high rate; the best high rate is also Laurel Road at 5.65% APR.
Overall Score of Credible Pennsylvania Student Loan Refinancing: 4.13/5
How We Picked the Best Student Loan Refinance Options in Pennsylvania
We reviewed multiple banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions that can help you refinance your student loan. We looked at four major factors in choosing the best student loan refinance choice for you: fees, minimum credit score, fixed interest rates, and variable interest rates.
We ranked these criteria on a scale of one to five, with one being the worst and five being the best. After ranking each individual facet of a given financial institution, we averaged those rankings for the overall composite score. In the end, there were five lenders for student loan refinancing that stand out above the rest.
Choosing the Best Pa Student Loan Refinance Choice for You
Should I Pick a Variable Rate or a Fixed Rate to Refinance my Pa Student Loans?
The answer to this question is going to depend in large part on how risk-averse you are. A variable rate loan may start at a lower rate than a fixed rate, but the rate could change dramatically over time. There’s a cap in place, where you won’t pay more than the higher end of the interest range, but that can be as much as a 6% difference.
With a fixed-rate loan, you know exactly how much you’re going to be paying every month. It may not be the lowest rate you could get, but it’s predictable and easy to work into your budget.
Will It Hurt My Credit if I Apply to Multiple Pennsylvania Student Loan Refinance Lenders Simultaneously?
If you apply to multiple student loan refinance lenders at the same time, your FICO score will treat those inquiries as one credit inquiry if all the applications are done within 30 days. There should be little to no effect on your credit score.
If I Didn’t Graduate, Can I Still Refinance My Pennsylvania Student Loans?
Most lenders won’t let you refinance your student loans if you didn’t graduate. However, the lenders that Credible works with have some options available for students who didn’t graduate and are not currently enrolled in college.
Will I Lose the Benefits of Federal Loans if I Refinance My Pennsylvania Student Loans?
Some of the benefits of having federal loans include deferment, forbearance, and certain federal repayment and forgiveness programs. You could lose these benefits if you refinance your federal student loans.
However, some lenders may have similar programs available. Research your potential lenders carefully, read all the fine print, and consult a financial advisor for help understanding your various options.
Is Refinancing My Loans the Best Student Loan Repayment Option?
Refinancing your loans could be a great idea if you’ve graduated, have a good job, and have higher interest rates on your student loans. If you refinance, you could save thousands of dollars and take years off your repayment schedule.
However, if you need the advantages of having federal student loans, refinancing your loans could be a financial disaster. For example, if you’re on an Income-Driven Repayment Plan, you would lose that low payment option.
You should also be aware that some refinancing companies may charge various fees:
- Loan origination fees: This is a fee of 0.5% to 1% of the total loan amount that’s charged for processing the loan.
- Loan application fees: These fees are largely a thing of the past in student loan refinancing.
- Prepayment penalty fees: Some lenders don’t want you to pay off your loan early since it means they’ll be missing out on the extra interest you’d be paying them. They charge a prepayment penalty fee to make up for this.
To avoid these extra expenses, look for lenders with fewer fees.
How Do I Choose the Best Pa Student Loan Refinance Option for Me?
First, do your research. Examine all the nitty-gritty details about student loan refinance lenders. Read their entire website, making note of the specifics of their loan choices. Use websites such as NerdWallet or Investopedia to get an unbiased look at the lenders you’re considering.
Next, decide what’s most important to you. You may want the lowest interest rate to keep your payments at a minimum. You could opt for a shorter loan term to get out from under your student loan debt as quickly as possible. You might choose a lender that assigns you a designated account representative so you know who you’ll be talking to every time you need to talk to your lender.
Finally, apply to your top three or four choices for student loan refinancing. Don’t worry about your credit score; FICO recognizes rate shopping for student loans and views it as one credit inquiry. When you get replies from the lenders, pick the one that makes the most sense for your personal financial needs.
The Best Pa Student Loan Refinance Lender Comparison Summary
- Fees: $10-15 late fee
- Minimum Credit Score: 650
- Fixed Interest Rates: 1.99% APR to 7.84% APR
- Variable Interest Rates: 1.74% APR to 7.49% APR
- Fees: None
- Minimum Credit Score: 660
- Fixed Interest Rates: 2.44% APR to 7.24% APR
- Variable Interest Rates: 1.74%APR to 7.24% APR
- Fees: 20% of the interest portion of the payment after it’s five days late ($5 minimum, $25 maximum)
- Minimum Credit Score: 670
- Fixed Interest Rates: 2.89% APR to 4.98% APR
- Variable Interest Rates: 2.13% APR to 5.25% APR
- Fees: 5% of the late payment or $28, whichever is less, after it’s 15 days late
- Minimum Credit Score: 660
- Fixed Interest Rates: 2.25% APR to 5.75% APR
- Variable Interest Rates: 1.64% APR to 5.65% APR
- Fees: None
- Minimum Credit Score: 670
- Fixed Interest Rates:1.80% APR to 7.84% APR
- Variable Interest Rates:1.80% APR to 7.84% APR
The Final Word on the Best Student Loan Refinance Lenders in Pennsylvania
By now, you should have a better idea of how to pick the best student loan refinance lender for your particular circumstances. You know what metrics to look for and which numbers are unacceptable. You may have even applied for a loan refinance by now. Whatever the situation, you can move forward confident in your ability to choose the best lender for you.
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