Credible's online marketplace is where you can shop around to find the lowest rates and best terms when you refinance your student loans. With Credible, it only takes two minutes to see how much you can save when you refinance your student loans.
Here’s an example:
You have $50,000 in student loan debt. That’s several different loans with an average rate of 7%. With a 10-year term, you’ll pay nearly $20,000 in interest alone.
Using Credible’s online marketplace to find a new lender, let’s say you find a rate of 5% and keep your 10-year term. Your total interest paid is now around $14,000.
That’s a $6,000 savings when you refinance through Credible.
If that sounds like something you’re interested in, keep reading my Credible review to learn:
- What Credible is
- How the Credible marketplace works
- How to tell if refinancing your student loans is a good idea
- Answers to FAQs about Credible
- What other services you can find with Credible
Credible Review 2020: Easily Compare Student Loan Rates (and Save Money!)
What is Credible?
Credible is a student loan refinancing marketplace, not a lender. Credible works with a number of banks to find you the best rates and terms, like Citizens Bank, MEFA, PenFed, Advantage Education Loans, College Avenue Student Loans, and more.
There are a number of student loan refinancing marketplaces out there, but what makes Credible standout is that after a short survey, think two minutes, Credible provides you with personalized and prequalified rates. Checking your rates will not affect your credit score.
Credible is the only student loan refinancer I work with because not all student loan refinancers are the same… some have a less than stellar reputation. But, after researching Credible and meeting with them in person, I’m excited to tell you about them and stand by my recommendation.
How the Credible student loan refinancing marketplace works
1. Fill out a short application
Credible prides themselves on finding your rates in just two minutes. Those two minutes are spent filling out a pre-qualification survey that asks about:
- Your finances, including income and debt
- Your education
- The amount you want to refinance
During this step, Credible will need to check your credit score to see what kind of rates you’ll qualify for. This is a soft pull on your credit, and that will not affect your credit score. And, it really helps to gather all of the information they ask about before getting started.
2. Compare rates and lenders
After filling out the short application, Credible will give you a list of lenders, rates, terms, and eligible degrees. You shop around through this list to find which lender and loan is the best fit.
Probably the biggest things you’ll need to pay attention to in this step are whether you want a fixed or variable rate and the length of your loan period.
- Fixed rates are usually a little higher, but you’re protected if interest rates go up too much during your repayment period.
- Variable rates are typically lower and riskier, but they can save you money when you know you can quickly pay off your loan.
- Loan terms can vary from 5-25 years depending on the lender. A longer-term means smaller monthly payments and more interest. A shorter-term means higher monthly payments and less interest.
You can also apply and adjust filters to get a more specific look at your refinancing options.
M$M tip: Before selecting a lender, research the company you’re thinking about going with. It’s as easy as googling “[name of lender] customer reviews.”
3. Choose your lender and apply for refinancing
Once you have chosen your lender, you will stay on Credible’s website to fill out a more detailed application. This is also where the lender will run a hard credit pull to finalize your approval (this will ding your credit score by a few points, but your score can rebound pretty quickly).
After you’ve done all of that, your new student loan lender will contact you with the rest of the details of your loan.
When refinancing your student loans is a good idea
Here’s the thing, student loan refinancing isn’t for everyone. If you have federal student loans, you will lose any protections – forbearance, deferment, extended payment plans, etc. – during the refinancing process.
Remember, refinancing is borrowing a larger loan to pay off your smaller ones. So technically, you would no longer be in the student loan game with the federal government which is who offers those protections.
Refinancing your student loans with Credible is ideal if you have private student loans, which can have higher rates and no protections to begin with. Refinancing is definitely an option with federal student loans as long as you know that you can make your monthly payments.
That’s the key… as long as you can afford your payments, refinancing your student loans through Credible’s marketplace can save you a lot of money.
Related to my 2020 Credible Review: If you need some motivation to destroy your student loan debt, here are 13 people who crushed over $600,000 in student loan debt.
Frequently asked questions about refinancing your student loans with Credible
Do I need to have a credit score?
Yes, and having student loans and paying them on time can help you build your credit score. I managed to work up to 800 thanks to on-time student loan payments. A good credit score will help you qualify for the best rates, and having a score in the mid-600s is needed to refinance.
Will applying for Credible hurt my credit score?
During the preapproval process, Credible runs a soft credit check that will not hurt your credit score. It’s basically the information you see when you view your own credit score through a budgeting app.
To finalize things and lock in a rate, your new lender will run a hard credit check. This will show up on your credit report and basically lets future lenders know that you were inquiring about a new line of credit. It has a pretty negligible effect on your score in the long term, but that ding can make a difference if you’re also about to open a new credit card, apply for a mortgage, etc.
Can I use a cosigner on my refi?
Yes, and some people with lower credit scores will need a cosigner to qualify for the best rates or qualify at all. When you are shopping for loans through Credible, there is a tool that lets you see what adding a cosigner can do for your refinance.
My only warning is that a cosigner is bearing the burden if you are late on your payments, become delinquent, or even default on your student loans. If you can’t pay your loan, your co-signer becomes responsible… and so does their credit score.
How much does it cost to use Credible for student loan refinancing?
Credible is 100% free to use. They’re just the marketplace and lenders pay them a “finder’s fee” for bringing in your business.
Are there minimum requirements to use Credible?
Because Credible is just a platform for looking at refinancing options, technically no. However, to refinance a student loan, you will need to be at least 18 years old and have at least $5,000 in student loans.
Do I have to refinance all of my student loans?
No. Some people only use Credible for their private student loans so they can keep the protections in place with their federal ones.
How much can I save refinancing my student loans with Credible?
Sorry, no easy answer here, but ideally you will save money when you refinance your student loans. You could save a few hundred dollars or several thousand – it depends on your total amount of student loans, your interest rates, and loan terms.
The best refinance are ones that save you the most money, but here’s an example of how a refinance can cost you more:
- You currently have $40,000 in student loans at an average rate of 6%. You are on a standard 10-year repayment plan. Your monthly payment is around $440, and you will pay around $13,300 in interest charges over the course of your loan.
- You refinance this $40,000 at a rate of 4%, but you choose a 25-year term. Your monthly payment is now just over $200 a month, BUT you will pay over $23,000 in interest.
Don’t do this.
If you are struggling and are looking at refinancing and extending your loan term as a way to lower your monthly payments, please find a side hustle.
There are dozens of options out there – digital marketing, teaching English online, freelancing, etc. Here are a few posts to learn about the best side hustle options:
What if I’m in forbearance or deferment?
It’s possible that you won’t be able to refinance your student loans through Credible, but you’ll find that out during the short, two-minute survey. Remember, there’s no cost or hard credit pull to look into your refinancing options.
Can I pay more than my minimum payment when I refinance my student loans?
Heck yeah! Just like most loans, you can always make extra or overpayments. Actually refinancing can make it a little easier because you don’t have to pick a loan to direct your overpayment to. That means you don’t have to decide between the debt snowball or avalanche method, you just make a larger payment.
Paying more than the minimum payment is a great way to save money and reduce the life of your loan. After you refinance, contact your lender first so you know how to overpay.
Can I refinance more than once?
Sure, but first think about why you’re refinancing. Is it because rates have gone down and you want to save even more? Refinancing in this situation could make sense.
But, if you’re refinancing again for a longer loan term because you can’t afford your payments, then that’s another thing entirely, especially if the rates are higher now.
Have you tried to cut your monthly household expenses? Have you looked into a side hustle?
What other services you can find with Credible
If you’re getting serious about paying off your credit card debt, Credible also offers personal loans that can be used to consolidate your credit card debt in one easy payment. Credit cards have notoriously high-interest rates, and consolidating your credit cards by finding a personal loan through Credible, might cut your rates in half.
Credible even has a calculator that shows your potential savings, and here’s an example:
Say you have $30,000 in credit card debt. Credible estimates that they can save you around $5,700 over the course of your payoff.
Unlike student loans, when you consolidate your credit cards with a personal loan, you’re not losing income-driven repayment options, forgiveness, or deferment and forbearance. But, you will still need a good to excellent credit score to qualify for the best rates.
In addition to personal loans, you can also use Credible’s marketplace for:
- Mortgage refinancing
- Comparing credit cards to find the best travel rewards card, best card for students, best balance transfer card, etc.
The Credible marketplace works the same way for each of those services – fill out a quick survey, compare rates and terms, then select a lender to lock in your rates.
Credible Review 2020 – the final word
Overall, Credible is a very transparent company that simplifies the student loan refinancing process.
Refinancing your student loans can save you money over the course of your loan, but really spend some time looking over your finances to see if it makes sense for you. If it doesn’t make sense, don’t do it.