How to Refinance Private Student Loans: 4 Ways
Refinance private student loans and save money, right? Those loans tend to be a burden. And they can take forever to pay off – they seem to stick around forever.
I’ll show you 4 ways to get them refinanced and to get your payment down. You decide whether these apply to you, and if you can use them.
1. Refinance Private Student Loans with a Private Consolidation Loan
Yes, banks actually offer these. Here’s how it works.
You get a loan during college for tuition or other expenses from a private bank, and without a federal student aid guarantee – a real private student loan. Maybe you are paying 8 or 10 percent interest for this student loan, and you have a deferment until after you graduate.
Then, the next year, you get another one. Yippee! Or maybe Uh-oh…either way, you now have money to go to school for another year.
And maybe this happens again…so you want to refinance private student loans from 3 years of college. Maybe from all different banks, maybe from the same one.
Several banks offer a private student consolidation loan. They will pay off your other 3 loans, and give you a new loan to replace it.
I have seen these at several different lenders:
That’s one way. Here’s another.
2. Refinance Private Loans with Another Type of Loan
You can use any other loan you want in this one. If you have a good opportunity to borrow money, you might consider using some of to pay off your student loans.
This would only be a good idea if you have better terms on the new loan, like a much lower interest rate or longer period to pay off if you need that.
I don’t think you can refinance private student loans with, for example, federal ones, but you might look into it, since the rate is lower.
3. Refinance with a Home Equity Loan
I’ve broken this out as its own item because so many people have done it or looked into it. When interest rates are low, this idea looks even better.
The benefits of this include a longer pay off, up to 30 years. Often your rate will be lower since the loan has collateral. Also, if you sell your house, you also pay off the loan!
The problems might be that you will extend an already long pay off for another 30 years. And if you get a variable loan, you could end up paying higher interest than you do now. Also, you will be using your equity, meaning that you won’t get as much cash when you sell.
These trade offs are serious. Be careful and talk to a professional financial counselor if you decide to do this or any of these ideas.
4. Refinance with New, Lower Rate Private Student Loans
If your credit score has risen or other things have changed in your life, you may have better credit. When your credit score rises 50 or 100 points, you qualify for lower rates than you did before.
You could get a loan to pay off your old one, and refinance private student loans that way. You’d get your rate down, and that is always better.
Pay Off Your Loan
Of course, you’ll save more interest just by paying off your student loan or skipping it in the first place if you can. It may take having a second job or working more hours for a while, but paying it off will feel so great.
So whether you refinance private student loans you have or not, plan to pay them off as quickly as possible.