However, finding a reputable lender can be a stressful endeavor for borrowers, since the student loan refinancing marketplace is still a relatively new one.
That’s where Credible comes in. Dubbed the “Kayak for student loans,” Credible offers borrowers a chance to shop for the best student loan debt consolidation packages available through the company’s partner lenders. With a unique dashboard that allows side-by-side comparisons of actual rates, Credible allows borrowers to find the best option for their situations without having to fill out multiple loan applications.
Here is what you need to know about shopping for student loan refinancing with Credible:
In order to qualify for a refinance through Credible, borrowers must meet the following qualifications:
- At least $5,000 in private or federal student loans (which includes PLUS loans)
- Loans must not currently be in forbearance or deferment
- Borrowers cannot be currently enrolled in a degree or other educational program
In addition, although there is no specific credit requirement, historical data suggests that borrowers with a credit score below 680 may need a co-signer in order to qualify for a loan. (Consider Experian Boost to see how your score could be improved.) Credible does not pull your credit itself, but the lenders may do so in order to create your loan offers.
Many of Credible’s partner lenders also look at more than just credit score to determine creditworthiness. They also consider a borrower’s alma mater, major, and current employer in their evaluation.
Borrowers may also use Credible to refinance student loans even if they did not graduate or otherwise complete their degree.
You can get a sense of how much you might be able to save with Credible in about 30 seconds. The site asks for several key pieces of information, including your income, rate and balance on your existing loans, your credit score, and the name of the school you attended. Credible gives you an estimated savings based on borrowers with similar histories who have refinanced with them.
Update: Since Credible moved to their pre-qualification flow, they’ve stopped asking borrowers for their credit score. Credible now performs a soft credit inquiry thanks to their integrations with the 3 credit bureaus. Check out the current form.
Credible’s site lets you know immediately if the interest rate offered to you is competitive, which will help you determine if you are a good candidate for refinancing. There are no hard sales with Credible.
If you need to improve your credit, check out our ultimate guide to credit.
The Credible Dashboard
Based upon the projected savings you see, you will then have the opportunity to create a full profile with the additional necessary information to receive personalized offers from the partner lenders. Your personalized offers will appear within three days, although many borrowers receive offers within as little as 24 hours.
Once your offers come in, you can start making comparisons with the Credible dashboard. This user interface allows you to sort and compare your offers by everything from APR to monthly payment to total repayment amount, so that you can compare apples to apples.
When you pick the offer that will work best for you, you can click over to that lender in order to complete the loan refinancing process.
How Credible Makes Its Money
You will pay zero fees to use Credible. Instead of making money from the borrowers themselves, Credible earns commissions or fees from its various lenders when the borrower accepts a loan offer.
The loans offered to borrowers are not in any way affected by the commission or fee Credible receives, making this a truly fee-free experience for borrowers.
Rates currently start at 2.13% for variable APR and 3.5% for fixed APR, meaning many borrowers can save a great deal of money over the life of their loans. According to Credible’s website, the refinancing with them will save borrowers an average of $13,928.
The Bottom Line
Borrowers looking to refinance student loans would do well to start with Credible. The site offers a no-obligation introduction to the possibilities for refinancing, and many borrowers will find that the lenders available through this marketplace can save them money.
While there are lenders outside of the site, Credible has an optimized platform to contain the widest range of rates and products available so users from different financial situations will have an opportunity to find a loan which is right for them.
Also, do keep in mind that as with any refinancing of federal student loans, borrowers should be aware of the privileges and protections they will lose by refinancing federal loans into private loans.
Credible ultimately offers a great solution to the problem of shopping around for student loan refinancing.