Review of Earnest Student Loan Refinancing

"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin

GiraffeSpot really likes the online student loan refinancing platforms that provide students with an easy way to find the best refinancing solution for them.

Earnest is an online lender that offers student loan refinancing, private student loans and personal loans. This is a review of Earnest’ student loan refinancing services

This is a review of Earnest’s services.

Basic Features:

Loan range:$5,000 - $500,000
Variable rate APR:                            2.41% - 6.99% APR
Fixed rate APR:3.36% - 7.82% APR
Autopay discount:.25% reflected in the above rates
Loan period:5 to 20 years, partial years available
Minimum income:No requirement
Employment criteriaMust be employed or have an offer to start within 6 months
Degree required:Must have or be earning an Associates degree or higher within 6 months
Use of co-signer:No
Release of co-signer:On existing loans
Availability:Not in DE, KY, NV
 No variable rate loans in AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN and TX
Interest only payments:No
School:Title IV-accredited
In-house customer service:Yes
Fees:No origination fee, no prepayment penalty, no late fees
Discharged in death:Yes
Forbearance:Up to 12 months throughout the loan


Their process
Earnest proudly makes use of algorithms to identify credit worthy borrowers, enabling them to offer fair, more personalized rates. They offer “loans to financially responsible applicants with promising professional futures” who have demonstrated financial responsibility.

In other words, they don’t just look at your credit score, but also consider other individual factors including your:

  • Savings habits
  • Payment history
  • Career potential
  • Living expenses

Customized terms

Earnest also offers customized loan terms, including the following options to:

  • skip one payment per year and make it up later
  • make biweekly automatic payments
  • choose your preferred payment amount based on your budget
  • increase payment anytime to pay off loan faster
  • adjust your payment date anytime with ease
  • make extra or early payments without prepayment penalties
  • “Refi my Refi” allows borrowers to change from a fixed rate to a variable rate (or vice versa) as long as they have 6 months of recent on time payments
  • refinance if you’re in your final semester at school, as long as you have a written job offer.
  • match your existing loans grace period for up to 9 months. Be aware, however, that interest will still accrue on the loan during the grace period.

Approval
Approval means automatic approval for the total eligible student loan amount listed on your credit report. When you’re ready to accept your loan, you can choose to refinance less than the requested amount (as long as it’s above $5,000) or up to 105% of your approved amount.


PROS & CONS
PROS: • Custom payment and term based on your budget • Looks at other factors other than your credit • Option to skip a payment once every 12 months • No prepayment penalty • No late fees • High refinance limit up to $500,000

CONS:
• No option to apply with a co-signer • May not be approved if you don’t have enough savings • Rates not as low as some other lenders • Not available in every state

Conclusion
Earnest product offers a wide variety of features that support great customization of the refinanced loan. Earnest could improve by offering co-signer ability and through the inclusion in all states. Overall, Earnest deserves a five star rating.