Earnest is a student loan refinancing lender with a different take on loan life. If you meet their criteria, you may qualify for lower rates (auto pay rates start at 3.50% fixed or 1.90% variable) and more flexible terms.
Earnest promises to look at the big picture when it comes to your situation, not just credit and debt to income ratio. In fact, one key factor Earnest looks at is your career. Are you ambitiously climbing a corporate ladder? That’s a check mark in your favor. Are you a first-year resident? Earnest may understand that you could be earning significantly more in a few years. If you have an emergency fund or have been stashing away $500 a year in an IRA since you were 16, those are good signs you’re the kind of borrower Earnest wants.
Check out their eligibility requirements here.
With Earnest, you can set the exact monthly payment you want, which could mean you pay your loan off in eight and a half years instead of close to ten. If necessary, Earnest allows you to skip one payment a year. You’ll have to make it up over time, but it is a perk.
Other features include the ability to swap between fixed and variable interest rates with no charge, a no-fee bi-weekly payment option to pay down your principal faster and built-in unemployment protection.
The biggest risk is using a private loan to refinance federal student loans. While Earnest lets you consolidate both federal and private loans into one refinance loan, there are certain features of federal loans that you’ll lose once you refinance (notably forbearance and income-based repayment plans and/or certain forgiveness programs).
That risk aside, Earnest is best for a graduate who has a good career and wants to focus on paying down student debt as efficiently as possible.
We have added their link to our website on the “College and Beyond” page. Be sure to toggle through their press releases, as they often have links to other sites who share their philosophy and may be of benefit to you as well!