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Can You Refinance Government Student Loans

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How To Apply For Student Loan Refinancing

Should You Refinance Your Student Loans?

Applying for student loan refinancing is usually less complicated than applying for a student loan. Before applying, youll need to make sure you meet the eligibility requirements for the loan.

  • Typical eligibility requirements
  • Good to excellent credit. Youll usually need to have a credit score that sits above 650 to qualify for better terms on your loan.
  • Steady income. Many lenders require you to have a steady income and be gainfully employed over a long period.
  • Youll usually need to have a decent amount of credit history under your belt to demonstrate that youre capable of paying back loans on time.
  • Required documents

    You may be asked to supply some of the following documentation when you apply for a loan. From there, youll usually have to wait for your new lender to coordinate with your current lenders to refinance the debt.

  • Government-issued ID. Youll have to show proof of ID like your drivers license or passport.
  • Proof of income. Youll be required to submit documents like pay stubs and letters of employment to verify how much money you make.
  • Loan statements. You may need to provide a recent loan statement showing how much you currently owe on your student debt. This should also list your current providers contact info.
  • Payoff letter. Some lenders might require you to get a payoff letter or written statement from your current lender stating how much youll owe on your loans in 30 days.
  • When Should I Refinance My Student Loans

    Whether or not you should refinance your student loans depends on a number of factors. You might like to consider refinancing your student loans in the following scenarios.

    Its a good idea to consider refinancing if:

    • You have good credit. You can usually get lower interest rates on private loans if your credit score is over 650. Apply to get your credit score with credit bureaus like Equifax and TransUnion.
    • Your income exceeds the amount you owe. Youll typically get better rates if you have a low debt-to-income ratio because it shows that you have enough income to make repayments.
    • You dont have government-issued student loans. If you funded your post-secondary education through private loans, its often easier to negotiate better rates.
    • You have a job and a steady source of income. Youre more likely to be approved for better terms if you can show that you have a steady stream of money coming in to meet your minimum payments.

    You might want to hold off on refinancing if:

    How To Qualify For A Refinance

    Whether you qualify to refinance and the rate you get at least partly depends on your credit score. Some private lenders have a minimum score to even qualify for a loan, and the higher the score, the better the rates are going to be. rate how likely you are to repay the loan. Making your current debt payments on time and paying down your debts are excellent ways to boost your score. FICO credit scores about 700 are considered good above 740 is considered excellent.

    Lenders also look at your debt-to-income ratio how much you make against how much you have to pay creditors per month. When debt payments make up 30% or more of your monthly income, lenders wont give you their best rates. The best strategy in that situation is to pay down your debts and, if possible, increase your income.

    Its also a good idea to check your , which can be done for no charge every year at If there are inaccuracies, get them corrected before applying for a loan.

    An alternative for those unable to qualify for refinancing is to find someone with better credit to cosign your loan. Thats often a family member, because that person becomes legally liable for the student loan if you fail to pay.

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    Refinancing your student loans may be a smart money move for you. Some borrowers choose to decrease the amount of their monthly payments while others pay the same amount every month and repay the loan more quickly. BND has two refinancing options based on your state of residence and borrowing history.

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    Talk To A Student Loan Refinancing Expert

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    Getting approved for a student loan refinance and getting the lowest rates usually depends on credit history and income. If you dont have a strong credit score or steady income, you can always choose to apply with a creditworthy cosigner to have higher odds of approval.

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    Can You Get Student Loan Forgiveness If You Refinance

    If you have federal student loans, refinancing may not be in your best interest right now.

    Refinancing your student loans can often come with huge benefits. It could mean a lower interest rate, a smaller monthly payment, and fewer costs in the long run. But be warned: Timing is everything especially if you have federal student loans.

    But if you have private student loans then a refinance could be a smart move. Check a student loan refinancing calculator to gauge the potential savings it could offer, and make sure to compare rates and multiple lenders, as interest rates can vary widely.

    If you have federal loans, then read on. There are lots of factors to consider before pulling the trigger. Heres what you need to know.

    Youll Have One Easy Payment

    Chances are that you took out more than just one student loan. You may even have a mix of federal and private student loans. If thats the case, juggling multiple loans, monthly payments, and due dates can be confusing. Refinancing can help streamline things for you.

    When you refinance, you consolidate your student loans together. Going forward, youll have just one loan to manage and one easy monthly payment.

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    Federal Student Loan Forgiveness

    The last benefit to consider is federal student loan forgiveness. Federal programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Teacher Loan Forgiveness will cancel a portion of student debt if the borrower meets employment and other eligibility requirements. Student loans can also be canceled if the borrower dies or is permanently disabled, and in some cases of school misconduct or closure.

    Does Refinancing Federal Student Loans Make Sense For Me

    I-Team: 3 Ways to Refinance Student Loan Debt

    Refinancing your student loans can be helpful, under the right circumstances.

    If youre in a secure financial situation that isnt expected to change and you have a good credit score to help you qualify for the lowest rates, refinancing can be a good option to help you save money.

    If you have fluctuating income or youre worried about job security, refinancing federal student loans isnt a good idea. Its also not a good idea if youre hoping to take advantage of student loan forgiveness programs or extended repayment options.

    Before you refinance your loans and forgo the benefits that come with federal loans, think critically about your situation and what you need. Once you refinance your federal loans with private student loans, you cant change them back.

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    Choose A Lender And Loan Terms

    Once you land on a lender, you have a few more decisions to make: Do you want a fixed or variable interest rate, and how long do you want for your repayment period?

    Fixed interest rates are generally the best option for most borrowers. Variable rates may be lower at first, but theyre subject to change monthly or quarterly.

    To save the most money, choose the shortest repayment period you can afford. If you would like lower monthly payments so you can prioritize other expenses, pick a longer repayment timeline.

    Is Refinancing Student Loans A Good Idea Right Now

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, federal student loan payments and interest accrual have been paused by the CARES Act through May 1, 2022. If you refinance your federal student loans, youll no longer be eligible for this administrative forbearance.

    Because of this, it might be a good idea to wait before refinancing, depending on your situation.


    Just enter your APR, credit score, monthly payment, and remaining balance to see how your loan stacks up.

    Learn More: Coronavirus Relief for Federal Student Loan Borrowers in Place Through 2021

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    Can You Refinance Private Student Loans To Federal Loans

    No, you cannot refinance private student loans into federal loans.

    Student loan refinancing is only offered by private lenders such as banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions. Federal student loans, on the other hand, are held by the federal government and U.S. Department of Education. The U.S. Department of Education does not offer a federal student loan refinancing program.

    When you refinance student loans, you are getting a new loan with a different rate and new terms from a private lender.

    This means that if you had federal student loans, they would become private loans through the lender of your choice. If you already had private student loans, they would remain private loans after refinancing but just with a new lender.

    How To Convert Private Student Loans Into A Federal Student Loan

    How Soon Can I Refinance My Student Loans?

    Options to convert private loans into federal loans are very limited. However, in certain circumstances, it is possible to make the conversion.

    Federal student loans have the best repayment plans and options for student loan forgiveness. As a result, converting private student loans into federal loans can be a really smart idea.

    Unfortunately, there isnt a simple procedure or mechanism to turn private loans into federal loans.

    Borrowers that wish to turn their private debt into federal debt will have to get creative.

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    Things To Consider Before Consolidating Or Refinancing

    There are some questions you should ask yourself before you consolidate or refinance your student loans that will help you decide what is the best action for you to take.

    Questions to Ask

    Are your monthly payments manageable? If you have trouble meeting your monthly payments, have exhausted your deferment and forbearance options, and/or want to avoid default, consolidation or refinance may help you lower your monthly payment amount.

    Are you making multiple payments? If you send payments to more than one lender every month, and want the convenience of a single monthly payment, consolidation or refinance may be right for you.

    What are the interest rates on your loans? Consolidating variable-rate loans into a fixed rate or refinancing higher-interest-rate loans into a lower rate may be a reason you consider consolidation or refinance.

    How much are you willing to pay over the long term? Like a home mortgage or a car loan, extending the years of repayment increases the total amount you have to repay.

    How many payments do you have left on your loans? If you are close to paying off your student loans, it may not be cost effective to consolidate or extend your payments.

    What benefits, if any, will you give up if you consolidate or refinance? Be sure you understand the terms of the loans you are refinancing or consolidating so you can weigh the pros and cons of taking out a new loan that may not have the same benefits as your current loans.

    When To Refinance Federal Student Loans

    If you dont have loans in deferment or youre paying down high-interest federal student loans, you may choose to consider student loan refinancing.

    One of the majorbenefits of student loan refinancing is that youll have the option to change your student loan repayment term. Refinancing lenders recognize that your financial situation is likely different than it was when you originally took out your student loans, and changing your repayment term means adjusting your payment to better fit your current needs.

    For example, if you originally had a $35,000 student loan with a 7% fixed interest rate and a 20-year repayment term, your monthly payment would be $271.35. Even if your interest rate doesnt change, adjusting to a 30-year repayment term decreases your monthly payment to $232.86, creating a little more room in your budget each month.

    You should also considerstudent loan refinancing eligibility requirements. When you refinance your student loans with a private lender, youll receive a rate estimate largely based on your credit score and debt-to-income ratio. If youve made significant strides in these areas recently, then student loan refinancing could be a good fit for you.

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    What Does The Refinancing Of Student Loans Mean

    Can you refinance federal student loans? Youve also heard that by refinancing your car loan or mortgage, you can save money. Well, you can also refinance federal student loans and combine them, helping you to save interest money and make payments more manageable. And you can save thousands of dollars and get out of debt more easily by taking off a few percentage points. Sounds appealing, right? Although there are cost-saving advantages, for federal student loan borrowers, in particular, it can be a risky step.

    It Could Mean Coronavirus Student Loan Relief And Federal Protections Disappear

    What’s the Deal: Refinancing student loans

    David J. Rubin is a fact checker for The Balance with more than 30 years in editing and publishing. The majority of his experience lies within the legal and financial spaces. At legal publisher Matthew Bender & Co./LexisNexis, he was a manager of R& D, programmer analyst, and senior copy editor.

    Borrowers might be considering a refinance as a way to lower their loan costs. But doing so during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis might not be the right time, especially if you want to refinance federal student debt. Refinancing federal student loans during COVID-19 means waiving crucial borrower protections, including student loan relief provided by the CARES Act.

    Heres why you should reconsider refinancing federal student loans during the coronavirus pandemic.

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    Details Of Your Current Student Loan Or Loans

    In order to make an informed decision about refinancing your student loans, youâll need some information about your existing loans.

    • How much do you currently owe?
    • What is your current interest rate?
    • When is your expected payoff date?
    • What is the current payment on your loan or loans?

    This information will be necessary in order to calculate and compare total interest and monthly payments on your existing loans to those of refinance loan alternatives. If you donât have this information, check with your current loan servicer. You should be able to get this information by logging in to their payment website or by referencing a recent billing statement.

    Once you have this information gathered, check out our Refinance Calculator to see how a Brazos Refinance Loan can help you meet your financial goals.

    Will You Be Working In Public Service

    If YES, then you should know:After completing 10 years of public service work, while also making 120 qualifying and on-time, monthly payments as well as satisfying several other requirements, forgiveness may be granted on some or all of your remaining federal student loans through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Private loans are not eligible for PSLF. Only Direct Loans qualify for the PSLF program.If NO, then you should know: Based on your expected career path, forfeiting access to Public Service Loan Forgiveness is not a factor you need to consider when deciding whether to refinance.

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    Your Interest Rates Are High

    Getting a lower interest rate and saving money on student loans is typically one of the top reasons people choose to refinance.

    Private student loan refinance companies can often offer lower interest rates than what youre currently paying on federal loans. In fact, current student loan refinance interest rates are at record lows.

    Student loan refinance lenders use your credit score, income, and other financial information to determine which rates you qualify for. And if everything looks great, you could be eligible for a lower interest rate which can mean big savings.

    A lower rate saves you money on total interest accrued over the life of your loan. Plus, paying lower interest on each of your bills means that it can also lower your monthly payment.

    Con: Youre No Longer Eligible For Federal Deferment Or Forbearance

    Student Loans : How To Get Rid Of Student Loans Npr ...

    With federal student loans, you can take advantage of generous deferment or forbearance if youre experiencing financial hardships, become seriously ill or return to school. Depending on the type of forbearance or deferment you qualify for, you could postpone your payments for up to three years.

    Only federal borrowers are eligible for those programs. Once you refinance, you cant utilize them. And while many refinancing lenders offer their own financial hardship programs, most arent as flexible as the federal options.

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    Can You Refinance Student Loans

    A student loan is designed to help students pay for their education at affordable costs. Refinancing is the replacement of existing debt with a new one under different terms. So the question is, can you refinance student loans?

    If you are part of the 54% of college students that have a student loan you may want to read todays article to find out if you can refinance student loans.

    Examine Your Credit Rating

    The approval and interest rate on your refinanced loan is based on the borrowers creditworthiness. It is important that you have a clear understanding of your current credit score and/or credit history before you consider refinancing.

    • Positive credit ratings could help you receive a lower interest rate if you refinance while a negative credit rating could mean a higher interest rate if you refinance.
    • Many credit card companies and banks provide an estimated credit score online or on your monthly statement.
    • You can obtain your free annual credit report at Credit scores are available for an additional fee.

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