Credible Student Loan Refinancing Review
Matt is a Certified Financial Planner® and investment advisor based in Columbia, South Carolina. He writes personal finance and investment advice, and in 2017 he received the SABEW Best in Business Award.
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Credible is a valuable intermediary that provides you access to a marketplace of lenders offering competitive rates in order to find the best deal. Here’s a rundown of what borrowers should know about Credible’s platform and some other things to be aware of before choosing to refinance your student loans.
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Rating image, 4.0 out of 5 stars.
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Rates & Terms:
Fixed Rates: 3.39 - 9.99%
Variable Rates: 2.8 - 9.72%
Terms: 5, 7, 8, 10, 15, and 20 years
There’s a lot to like about Credible’s platform. Here’s a rundown of some of the highlights of Credible, as well as my personal experience with its rate-comparison tool.
- No hard credit pull -- Credible allows prospective borrowers to check their rates with as many as eight different lenders with a two-minute form that doesn’t involve a hard credit pull. The pre-qualification process does take just a couple minutes. In fact, was able to submit my details in just over 60 seconds.
- Lenders compete for you -- As I mentioned, Credible isn’t the lender. The platform partners with several other lenders, such as Advantage Education Loans, Brazos, Citizens Bank, ELFI, and more. These lenders offer a wide variety of APRs and loan terms, so it takes care of one of the most important things refinancers can do -- shopping around.
- Best rate guarantee -- Credible is so confident that you won’t find a better APR that it will give you $200 if you find a better student loan refinancing APR somewhere else and close the loan. (Restrictions apply)
- Competitive APRs -- Credible offers loans from a variety of lenders, each of which sets its own APR range and uses different underwriting methods to determine the APR for any particular borrower. Here’s a rundown of Credible’s lending partners and their starting APRs.
To be sure, not all borrowers will get the best rates. In fact, unless you have stellar credit, extremely stable income, and all-around great qualifications, you can be pretty certain that you won’t. Having said that, the point is that there are eight different lenders giving you rate quotes, so many borrowers will do better than if they apply with just one.
What could be improved
There isn’t a whole lot to dislike about Credible’s platform. Having said that, there’s no such thing as a perfect lender (if there is, I haven’t found it), so it’s entirely possible that you may find some drawbacks with the individual lenders you get paired with on Credible.
With that in mind, it’s a smart idea to do a little research into each lender you receive an offer from before hitting the “apply” button. Some offer relationship discounts, more flexibility when it comes to deferment options, and other features you may find valuable.
How to refinance your loans
The process to refinance your loans with Credible is pretty straightforward. As I’ve mentioned, Credible offers a simple form to allow you to compare your loan options from several lenders, so this is the first step.
Once you’ve done this, choose the best loan option for you, add documentation and information about yourself and the loans you’d like to refinance, and you’ll get your final loan offer within a day. In all, the application process can take less than 10 minutes.
When it makes sense to refinance
Credible is a great first stop for people with student loans to refinance, as it allows you to compare rates from several reputable lenders with just one pre-qualification application. Credible can also be a good choice for borrowers with less-than-ideal credit, as this group is most likely to benefit from the rate comparison feature.
As I’ll discuss in the next section, Credible may not be the best option for borrowers with federal student loans, as these have some pretty unique benefits that you may not want to give up.
Alternatives to consider
Credible is unique in that the whole point of the platform is to give you several alternatives. Even so, it might still be a good idea to compare the rates you get from Credible with some others on our best student lenders list. Who knows, maybe you’ll do even better and get to use Credible’s $200 best rate guarantee.
Furthermore, if you have federal student loans, it may not be a smart idea to refinance them at all. By refinancing federal loans, you’ll lose eligibility for things like Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and income-driven repayment plan options. If the goal is to combine several loans into one, federal loan borrowers may be better off considering a Direct Consolidation Loan -- it won’t lower your interest rate, but you’ll retain the unique benefits of your federal student loans.