LendKey Student Loan Refinance Review

What it is advisable know:

  • LendKey doesn’t underwrite loans itself. As a substitute, it’s a platform-based lender that permits debtors to attach with its community of scholar mortgage refinancing lenders.
  • LendKey prioritizes folks over income by partnering with nonprofit credit score unions and banks.
  • Its platform offers you entry to tons of of smaller lenders you could not have been conscious of in any other case.

LendKey connects debtors to a community of over 13,000 neighborhood banks and credit score unions to discover monetary merchandise like refinancing, non-public scholar loans and residential enchancment loans. Its platform is designed to concentrate on nonprofit neighborhood banks and credit score unions which have extra than simply the underside line in thoughts.

Check out our LendKey scholar mortgage refinance overview to realize a greater understanding of what to anticipate when refinancing with LendKey.

LendKey scholar mortgage refinancing

LendKey doesn’t do the precise mortgage underwriting itself. However it could information you thru the coed mortgage refinancing course of from starting to finish. LendKey has refinancing choices for current federal and personal scholar loans, together with scholar loans held by Sallie Mae.

Though it could range by lender, LendKey scholar mortgage merchandise may be mounted rates of interest or variable price loans with reimbursement phrases from 5 to twenty years.

You can even borrow from $5,000 as much as $300,000 once you refinance. However there are limitations relying on the place you reside and what diploma you maintain.

For instance, Arizona residents should refinance a minimal of $10,001. The minimal quantity for Connecticut residents is $15,0001 and $6,000 for Massachusetts residents.

Moreover, the utmost debt for an undergraduate diploma is $125,000 and $175,000 for a graduate diploma. Debtors with choose medical levels can refinance as much as the total $300,000 restrict.

If you happen to determine to refinance with LendKey, use our LendKey bonus hyperlink to obtain as much as $1,250 as a cash-back bonus.

Professionals and cons of refinancing with LendKey

Right here’s the largest professionals and cons of refinancing with LendKey to think about.


  • Can examine charges from tons of of native lenders. Examine charges and phrases from a community of small non-public scholar mortgage lenders inside just some minutes. They’ve a fast on-line utility.
  • Nice unemployment safety. LendKey presents 18 months of forbearance when you expertise monetary hardship. This can be a uncommon commodity amongst non-public lenders, so it’s value contemplating in case your future job stability is unknown.
  • Looking charges received’t impression your credit score. LendKey performs a delicate credit score inquiry that received’t have an effect on your credit score rating.
  • Good customer support. You’ll have entry to LendKey’s customer support reps from the time you begin shopping till the ultimate cost in your scholar loans.
  • Gives some demise and incapacity safety. In each case to date, LendKey’s lenders have forgiven scholar loans when the borrower grew to become disabled or died.
  • Low charges: None of LendKey’s companions cost utility or origination charges
  • Autopay reductions: Lots of the neighborhood banks and credit score unions that LendKey companions with will scale back your rate of interest by 0.25% after you join computerized funds.


  • Not obtainable in all states. Debtors who stay in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island and West Virginia are usually not eligible.
  • Most mortgage limits. LendKey has various mortgage limits primarily based on diploma.
  • Excludes presents from different banks and on-line lenders. You’ll have entry to many presents, however you could miss out on decrease rates of interest in the event that they aren’t a associate lender. For instance, you received’t see rates of interest from SoFi, Earnest or Residents Financial institution.
  • Could have to affix a credit score union. You’ll have to open a checking or financial savings account with the credit score union that gives your mortgage.

Eligibility necessities

LendKey requires debtors to be United States citizen or everlasting resident and to have accomplished a level program from a Title IV eligible college with the intention to qualify for scholar mortgage refinancing. Different LendKey refinancing necessities embody:

  • An annual minimal earnings of $24,000.
  • A credit score rating of 660 or increased.
  • Present scholar mortgage debt between $5,000 and $300,000, relying in your program and state residency.
  • Month-to-month debt funds that don’t exceed 33% of your month-to-month earnings.

If you happen to don’t qualify for LendKey’s associate presents by yourself, you’ll be able to enhance your possibilities of getting permitted with a cosigner who has a constructive credit score historical past. Their associate lenders provide cosigner releases after 12 to 48 months of consecutive, on-time funds relying on the person mortgage phrases.

Remember that these are solely the necessities for refinance loans. There might be different eligibility standards you’ll want to satisfy if you wish to take out a LendKey non-public scholar mortgage. For instance, you received’t be capable of borrow greater than your college’s acknowledged price of attendance minus any monetary you obtained.

Be taught extra about LendKey non-public scholar loans.

Utility course of

You will get preliminary mortgage presents by filling out a fast, easy utility. You’ll want to offer data associated to your earnings, mortgage quantity, and the college you attended. The minimal mortgage quantity is $5,000. Listed below are the utmost borrowing quantities:

  • Undergraduate diploma holders: $125,000
  • Graduate diploma holders: $175,000
  • Medical diploma holders: $300,000

In contrast to with a tough credit score inquiry, LendKey’s delicate credit score verify received’t impression your credit score rating. Inside just some minutes, you’ll be capable of view rates of interest and mortgage phrases on scholar loans from lenders that match your location and traits.

Must you refinance scholar loans with LendKey?

We surveyed over 1,600 debtors to higher perceive their scholar mortgage refinancing experiences with LendKey and different main lenders. General, debtors have been glad with their interactions with LendKey.

One respondent stated:

“LendKey has nice customer support and was a reasonably nice deal for me contemplating I don’t have a really excessive earnings and was making use of with no cosigner.”

However we did get some complaints value noting. A few of LendKey’s associate credit score unions and neighborhood banks require membership as a situation of mortgage approval. Which means could also be required to open an account or be a part of an affiliation.

Though the method was wrapped into the identical refinancing utility course of, some debtors nonetheless felt it was burdensome. This reinforces the necessity to overview the tremendous print of mortgage disclosures earlier than submitting a ultimate utility for scholar loans.

Lastly, it’s vital to notice that every one scholar mortgage refinancing loans are non-public scholar loans. Which means debtors with federal loans will lose eligibility for a wide range of authorities advantages after refinancing.

Shedding these advantages could also be value it when you’re capable of decrease your rates of interest or change your reimbursement phrases. However when you’re presently profiting from an Revenue-Pushed Compensation (IDR) plan or are pursuing a federal forgiveness program, scholar mortgage refinancing won’t be a very good match.

Refinancing by annual earnings

Our survey confirmed that LendKey’s bread and butter of refinancing are debtors who make an annual earnings of as much as $100,000. Our information additionally confirmed that solely 3% of LendKey’s enterprise is with debtors who earn greater than $200,000.

So, what does this inform us? Contemplating 80% of our survey respondents utilized to 3 lenders or much less, it can save you time by focusing your power on a lender like CommonBond or Earnest when you make greater than $200K.

It additionally means debtors who’ve decrease incomes and don’t maintain skilled or graduate levels — which usually interprets to much less debt — have a very good shot at getting decrease rates of interest from LendKey.

Closing ideas on LendKey

LendKey ranked #7 in our survey amongst main lenders listed on our web site. Nevertheless it ranked within the prime 4 by way of their customer support and web site.

This lower-than-expected rating could also be attributed to their inconsistent rates of interest. As a result of they’re a platform-based lender, rates of interest are solely depending on the financial institution or credit score union you’re employed with. So if LendKey’s associate non-public scholar mortgage lenders are doing rather well, LendKey will provide nice charges. But when they aren’t doing nicely, it’ll be straight mirrored in much less enticing charges.

We give LendKey a 4.5 out of 5-star score as a consequence of its community of credit score unions and neighborhood banks and its robust unemployment, incapacity and demise protections. We additionally like that none of its companions cost origination charges.

In case you have a very good credit score rating and owe 5 figures value of debt or fall right into a decrease minimal earnings bracket, we advocate testing LendKey’s presents. If you wish to examine LendKey’s charges and phrases, take a look at our listing of scholar mortgage refinancing lenders.

Clint Proctor contributed to this text.

Refinance scholar loans, get a bonus in 2021

1 Disclosures
$1,050 BONUS1 For 100k+. $300 bonus for 50k to 99k.1
VISIT LAUREL ROAD Variable 1.64-5.65percent1 Fastened 2.25-5.75percent1

2 Disclosures
$1,050 BONUS2 For 100k+. $300 bonus for 50k to 99k.2
VISIT COMMONBOND Variable 2.49-6.84%%2 Fastened 2.59-6.74percent2

3 Disclosures
$1,000 BONUS3  For 100k or extra. $200 for 50k to $99,9993
VISIT EARNEST Variable 1.88-5.64percent3 Fastened 2.44-5.79percent3

4 Disclosures
$1,000 BONUS4 For 100k+. $300 bonus for 50k to 99k.4
VISIT SPLASH Variable 1.88-6.15percent4 Fastened 2.44-6.62percent4

5 Disclosures
$1,275 BONUS5  For 150k+. Tiered 300 to 575 bonus for 50k to 149k.5
VISIT ELFI Variable 2.39-6.01percent5 Fastened 2.47-5.99percent5

6 Disclosures
$1,000 BONUS6 For $100k or extra. $200 for $50k to $99,9996
VISIT SOFI Variable 2.25-6.59percent6 Fastened 2.49-6.94percent6

7 Disclosures
$1,250 BONUS7  $350 for 50k to 100k7
VISIT CREDIBLE Variable 1.80-8.90percent7 Fastened 2.15-9.15percent7

Undecided what to do together with your scholar loans?

Take our 11 query quiz to get a customized advice of whether or not it’s best to pursue PSLF, IDR forgiveness, or refinancing (together with the one lender we expect may provide the greatest price).

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