Earnest Student Loan Refinance Review

Rating: 9.8 / 10 (Excellent)
Disclosure: We receive advertising revenue from this partner. Learn more.
How is Earnest rated?
Loan Limits/Terms
Customer Service
Additional Fees
Application Process

Earnest is a technology company using cutting-edge data science, smarter design, and software automation to rebuild financial services. Founded on the belief that financially responsible people deserve better options and access to credit, Earnest's lending products are built for a new generation seeking to reach life's milestones. The company uses data and technology to understand every applicant's unique financial story and offer the lowest possible rates.

Founded in 2013, Earnest is headquartered in San Francisco and backed by Maveron, Andreessen Horowitz, Atlas Venture, Mohr Davidow Ventures, First Round Capital and others.

Loan Limits

Earnest does not place any ceilings on the maximum amount of student loan refinancing for graduate and undergraduate school. This could be used to consolidate your federal and/or private student loans.

  • Undergraduate School – No limits
  • Graduate School – No limits

*** $5,000 minimum balance


Loan Terms

  • 5, 10, 15 and 20 year terms
  • Earnest Precision Pricing gives maximum payment flexibility. It allows you to create a payment schedule plan that can help you save thousands of dollars in the course of your loan. Earnest Precision Pricing lets you a get a rate anywhere along a curve instead of having to choose one rate at either 5, 10, 15, and 20 year buckets which can end up costing more unless it is at the exact amount you want to pay per month.

*** 5-20 year terms, customizable by month



  • Variable Rates: 2.34% - 6.02% (with autopay)
  • Fixed Rates: 3.38% - 6.74% (with autopay)
  • Earnest offers some of the best savings of any lender in student refinancing with $17,936 saved on average -- nearly $4,000 more than the nearest competitor. This is done by taking a more data-driven approach to client evaluation rather than just considering a credit score.

*** “Refi-your-Refi” switch between fixed and variable rates to take advantage of future changes in interest rates.



No FICO minimum, NO income minimum

Earnest takes a more complete approach to evaluating a client’s credit worthiness by incorporating other financial behavior such as savings, investment, retirement and payment history. Applications only takes a few minutes and a quick rate estimate in under 2 minutes.

Earnest takes a different approach to lending by considering your education, employment status, income to debt ratio and payment history among others. This makes it ideal for clients who are just starting to build a credit history.

  • You are at least 18 years old.
  • You are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien.
  • Your debt is from paying for a Title IV accredited school.
  • You graduated or will graduate at the end of this semester with a degree.
  • You are employed or have a written job offer.
  • You are currently the primary borrower on the student loans you would like to refinance, and you will remain the primary borrower after refinancing.
  • You are not requesting new loans for future schooling.


Save with auto payments

Yes. Earnest offers a 0.25% rate discount for automatic payments.


Unemployment protection

Unemployment protection for 3 months when in between jobs, for up to 12 months total over the life of the loan.


Loan Related Fees

  • Origination fees
  • None
  • Prepayment Penalties
  • None. Earnest does not penalize you for paying your student loans early.
  • Make extra payments for free
  • Change payment amount and payment date anytime


Student Loans at Earnest

By helping save $4,000 more compared to its nearest competitors and $18,000 on average in student loan refinancing, Earnest helps provide better access to higher education by making student loans more affordable. Earnest lets you restructure your student loans by offering student loan refinancing.

Earnest offers a highly flexible loan program that lets you determine your payment schedule. It makes your student loan even more affordable by not charging any origination, prepayment and other hidden fees.  Other interesting features includes switching between fixed and variable rates at no charge. Overall, one of the best student loan refinancing services in the country today.  



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