First Republic Bank Student Loan Refinance Review

Our Rating: D+ (Compare)

First Republic may be the best option for borrowers with high debt and reliable income. Because First Republic refinances student loans as personal lines of credit, borrowers may include debts that usually don’t qualify for student loan refinancing.

Loan Limits $65,000 – $350,000
Fixed Rates 2.25% – 11.25%*
Variable Rates None
Terms 7, 10 or 15 years
Min. Credit Score Unspecified
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*Lowest rates always include multiple conditional interest rate reductions totaling 2.75%; highest rates include a 5.00% penalty for closing the First Republic ATM Rebate Checking Account that is required for this loan.

Skip to: Rates & Fees | Eligibility Requirements | Repayment Options | Consumer Reviews & Complaints | FAQ

Loan Refinancing Options
Private student loans
Private parent loans (in parent’s name only)
Federal student loans
Federal Parent PLUS loans (in parent’s name only)

First Republic Refinance Rates & Fees

First Republic’s fixed rates start between 2.25% and 6.25%; 11.25% is the maximum fixed rate. Lowest rates always include a 2.00% interest rate reduction for maintaining automatic payments and direct deposit with a First Republic ATM Rebate Checking Account, a 0.50% reduction for depositing and maintaining a deposit balance of at least 10% of the approved loan amount into that checking account, and an additional 0.25% for depositing and maintaining a deposit balance of at least 20% of the approved loan amount into the checking account (total rate reduction: 2.75%).

Refinance Loan Rates
Term Fixed Rate
7, 10 or 15 Year 2.25% – 11.25%

Additional information about First Republic refinance rates:

  • Checking your rate with First Republic does not affect your credit score. To determine eligibility, they perform a soft credit inquiry instead of a hard credit check (learn the difference).
  • First Republic does offer a discount for setting up auto-pay with a First Republic checking account: 2.00% interest rate reduction.
  • Additional rate reductions include 0.50% for depositing and maintaining a deposit balance of at least 10% of the approved loan amount into that account, plus an additional 0.25% for a deposit balance of at least 20% of the approved loan amount into the account.
  • No variable rates.
  • Borrowers pay interest only on draws for the first two years.

Student Loan Refinancing Calculator

Based on advertised rates, use the calculator below to determine what your new monthly payment and potential savings may be if you refinance with First Republic.

Additional Fees

Beyond interest rates, there are a number of fees a refinance lender may charge up-front or during the loan servicing period. Below is a list of these fees that First Republic does or does not charge.

Not included is the automatic 5.00% interest rate increase for closing the required checking account.

Fee Type Amount Charged
Application Fee Undisclosed
Loan Origination Fee None
Disbursement Fee Undisclosed
Prepayment Penalty None
Late Payment Fee Undisclosed
Returned Payment Fee Undisclosed
Collection Fee Undisclosed
Insufficient Balance $25
  1. Application fee – fee to apply for rates & approval.
  2. Loan origination fee – fee to create the new loan.
  3. Disbursement fee – fee for distributing funds to lenders to pay off loans that have been refinanced.
  4. Prepayment penalty – fee for making extra payments to reduce a refinance loan balance or pay it off early.
  5. Late payment fee – fee for making a late payment.
  6. Returned payment fee – fee for failed payments due to insufficient funds, also known as a “bounced check”.
  7. Collection fee – fee for collection activity on a defaulted debt.
  8. Insufficient balance fee – a monthly $25 fee that applies when a borrower’s First Republic ATM Rebate Checking Account monthly average balance falls below $3,500.

Current Promotions & Offers

First Republic offers interest rate reductions totaling 2.75%. This lender also advertises a referral program that offers a $300 reward to both the referrer and the referee (that is, the person referred). Restrictions apply.

First Republic Refinance Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for refinancing with First Republic, all borrowers must meet the criteria below.

  • Citizenship Requirement: U.S. citizenship or permanent residence.
  • Income Requirement: no minimum income specified but borrowers must have a debt-to-income ratio below 40%.
  • Credit Score Requirement: no minimum specified.
  • Graduation Requirement: none specified.
  • Location Requirement: availablity limited to residents of California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and parts of Florida, Oregon, and Wyoming.

Additional restrictions apply for specific individuals and loans.

  • Borrowers are required to open a First Republic ATM Rebate Checking Account in order to open a personal line of credit.

First Republic Student Loan Repayment Options

Lenders vary greatly on the benefits and options provided to borrowers during the loan servicing period. Additionally, benefits may only be available on a case-by-case basis. First Republic offers some relief options.

Deferment & Forbearance

First Republic does not offer any type of deferment or forbearance for a personal line of credit.

Condition Coverage
Returning to grad school None
Disability rehabilitation None
Active military duty None
Involuntary unemployment None
Economic hardship None
Natural disaster None
Temporary hardship None

Additional Options

First Republic may offer other opportunities for relief or contract modification.

  • Co-signer release is not available with First Republic.
  • Death / disability discharge may be available in the unfortunate circumstance that a borrower passes away or suffers total permanent disability.

First Republic Reviews, Complaints & Lawsuits

Beyond our own findings, our team also collected the most genuinely insightful customer experiences we could find, including any instances of legal action against the company in which the details became public.

First Republic Online Reviews

Below are 3 samples of First Republic customer reviews we found on public forums, included here for their value as unedited, uncensored, and unsolicited user experiences. Note that these reviews are unverified, may include inaccuracies, and may provide outdated information (about rates, bonus offers, etc.).


“Love FRB. I initially had 10% reserve for 1.95% fixed rate, but wanted to use the cash elsewhere, so I now have 2.45% without reserve.

Looks like they increased their rates and capital requirements. I would not want to park 20% earning basically 0% interest for that many years. 2.7% is still very good.”xraygoggles on White Coat Investor, 8/14/2019


“Also refinanced my student loan with FRB. Some thoughts:

They are very clear this is a personal loan and that you will lose your benefits that come with having a student loan. This is written in several places on their website.

The minimum balance is part of your loan agreement (it’s in my contract) and they do check every now and then. I recently asked if I could dip into my balance for a down payment, and was told that they don’t like to do that, especially within the first year (it’s only been 10 months for me). They said they might be willing to make an exception if I could bring the balance back up after a reasonable time. I ended up not needing to do this, so can’t tell you more. .”mauigi on reddit, 12/21/2019


“In brief: It’s been an excellent experience.

I refinanced about $50,000 in federal loans with First Republic about nine months ago. I had 10 different loans with Navient, and the biggest, a graduate Plus loan, was sitting at 8.5%. Dealing with Navient always sucked.

I was approved at First Republic for an 84-month loan at 2.55%. My payment went down about $50 a month to $675. Before, half my payment went to principle, and the other half to interest. Now, it’s about $575 to principle, and $100 to interest.

There are caveats: You need to keep a $3,500 balance in a checking account, and be set up on autodebit. You also have to live in a state that has First Republic branches. But I’m happy with the checking (ATM reimbursement, free checks), and I’ve even gotten a couple hundred bucks from referring a friend for a refinance. If you refer someone and they get approved, they get $200, and you get $300. I shopped around a bunch, and couldn’t happier so far.”roncraig on reddit, 12/27/2018


More (unfiltered) customer reviews of First Republic are available at TrustPilot.com (3.6 out of 5).

First Republic Consumer Complaints

As consumer finance companies, student loan refinancing lenders fall under the jurisdiction of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal agency. As part of its mission, the CFPB allows consumers to log official complaints. These complaints are publicly available on the CFPB official website.

Since May 2012, consumers have submitted 121 complaints about First Republic Bank to the CFPB. That’s one (1) complaint every 29 days, which is 62.6% higher than the average daily complaint rate among reviewed lenders. Among the 32 complaints with accompanying narratives, five (5) or 15.6% specifically reference student loan refinancing.

In 2020, consumers filed 14 complaints about First Republic, which is equivalent to one (1) complaint for every $37.273 million of that year’s corporate revenue or one (1) complaint for every 45 employees.

The allegations made in these complaints are unverified, are not necessarily representative of all consumers’ experiences with First Republic, and may contain outdated information (about rates, bonus offers, etc.). Note that a lender with a large customer base is likely to also have a higher number of complaints when compared with smaller lenders.

Line Graph: First Republic Bank Consumer Complaints, Public Complaints Filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, from 2012 (6 complaints), 2013 (7), 2014 (7), 2015 (9), 2016 (14), 2017 (10), 2018 (20), 2019 (18), 2020 (14), and 2021 (16)

Below we’ve included three (3) of the most recent complaints (as of this writing) in which the consumer consented to share their details.


Complaint 4938052
11/22/2021
California

“I applied for a personal line of credit about a week ago and during the application process the banker told me he would have no problem getting my line of credit approved, and would only need a few documents to get the process completed. I emailed him all of my personal documents including bank statements, tax returns, retirement accounts. After a few days of going back-and-forth with his credit analyst team, he informed me that they were declining my application because of lack of income, however my income has been steady for the last XXXX years and is actually higher this year than it was last year. He said that the underwriting team was a little different over here and that they were very conservative, however I am a mortgage banker and I am very familiar with underwriting guidelines. My main issue is that he provided to me a credit decision over the phone and told me my application would be approved, which in my mind is very misleading and is a violation of Fair Lending guidelines.”


Complaint 4798235
10/11/2021
Massachusetts

“In XXXX I consolidated my student loans with First Republic Bank. The loan issued by First Republic is a personal loan and not a student loan. A large incentive to consolidate the student loan debt into a personal loan was that First Republic would not report the loan to credit bureaus. This was promised and confirmed over and over by First Republic Bank Representatives. For the first 2 years of the loan it was not reported to the Credit Bureaus. However, First Republic changed their policy and reported the loan to the Credit Bureaus in XXXX. This drastically impacted my credit as a Personal Loan of this size is viewed much differently than a student loan. Now I have attempted to refinance the loan back as a student loan to avoid the negative credit reporting and can not do so as it is a personal loan. I emailed and called several people with First Republic who refused to change the credit reporting. These emails can be provided if necessary.”


Complaint 4564522
7/23/2021
Louisiana

“On XX/XX/XXXX I requested a {$7900.00} wire transfer using the First Republic Bank mobile app. I got an email stating that the wire had been scheduled. Next day, on XX/XX/XXXX I received a second email stating that the they were unable to complete the transaction. At the time I did not see this email and thought the wire had gone through. In the mean time, the wire was not reimbursed or returned to my account. XX/XX/XXXX – The recipient informed me that the money never reached their account. I asked my account manager to please explain what had happened. He reached out to the wire team. XX/XX/XXXX – I still had no response from their wire team, and asked to get the money refunded. XX/XX/XXXX – spoke to customer support and they said they would get back to me which they never did. XX/XX/XXXX – the wire team responded through my account executive that The funds have not yet returned. Beneficiary has been contacted for debit authorization. To help escalate the return of the wire, please advise the client to contact the beneficiary and request them to provide debit authority to their bank. This is absurd. The beneficiary never received the wire. As mentioned FRB sent me an email stating that the wire was unsuccessful ( which means they could not deliver it ). How can they ask me to get the recipient to authorize a debit for a wire that they never received and that FRB acknowledged that they never delivered? The money was never delivered to recipient and has not been refunded 28 days after it was debited from my account.”


For a full list of complaints made against First Republic in the CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database, click here.

First Republic Lawsuits

First Republic Bank has not been subject to any recent major litigation.

M&M Consulting Group LLC v. First Republic Bank, Case No. 8:20-cv-01318

While not considered significant legal action, a California consulting group has accused First Republic, among other banks, of theft. Representatives of M&M Consulting Group LLC claim M&M is owed around $35,000 in fees that First Republic Bank refused to pay.[1]

As of July 2020, the case is moving through the Central District Court of California. Note that while this information is updated regularly, ongoing legal action is subject to change.


Frequently Asked Questions

These are the most common questions consumers have about student loan refinancing with First Republic.

  • What is a personal line of credit?
    First Republic’s personal line of credit allows borrowers to repeatedly draw on their own funds; these funds may be used to pay off both student loans and other debts, related or unrelated. This means that for tax purposes, this is considered a personal loan and not an educational or student loan.
  • Is First Republic good for refinancing student loans?
    First Republic may be good for borrowers with a high amount of debt and a steady, reliable source of income.
  • Does First Republic require a minimum credit score?
    First Republic does not specify a minimum allowable credit score.
  • Are First Republic loans federal?
    First Republic loans are not federal. First Republic has no affiliation with the federal government or the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Does First Republic charge a prepayment penalty?
    There are no penalties for early payments or repaying a loan in full before its term is over.
  • Does checking your rates with First Republic hurt your credit score?
    For their prequalification process, First Republic performs a soft credit check, which will not hurt your credit score. If you proceed with an application, however, First Republic will perform a hard credit check that may affect your credit score.
  • Can I refinance a First Republic loan?
    No, you cannot use this personal line of credit to repay a First Republic loan. You may repay a federal loan or a student loan from another private lender. You may also use this line of credit to pay certain other debts that may or may not be directly related to your education.
  • Can I refinance just some of my loans with First Republic?
    Yes, you can refinance some, all, or just one of your qualifying student loans with First Republic. You may choose to refinance your private loans only or refinance private and federal loans together.
  • Can I refinance loans that have already been refinanced?
    Yes, you can refinance loans as many times as you want with First Republic. Note that each time you refinance, you will have to submit a new application; every application requires a hard credit check that may affect your credit score.
  • Can my spouse and I refinance our loans together with First Republic?
    First Republic does not offer a PLoC to multiple borrowers, but borrowers may use credit to pay off a spouse’s educational debts.
  • How long does it take to refinance with First Republic?
    First Republic does not specify a timeline.
  • Who services First Republic refinance loans?
    First Republic presumably services its own loans and PLoC.
  • Does First Republic offer a grace period?
    No, First Republic does not offer a grace period.
  • How often do variable rates change?
    First Republic does not offer variable rates.
  • Can I get any special rates or discounts with First Republic ?
    First Republic does offer the opportunity for interest rate reductions.
  • What happens if I file for bankruptcy?
    In the event of bankruptcy, you may still be obligated to repay this loan.
  • Does First Republic partner with any major student refinance lender marketplaces?
    First Republic does not partner . Credible advertises First Republic as a featured lender in their multilender marketplace.

Compare Student Loan Refinance Reviews

Lender Rating
RISLA A+
Brazos A
CommonBond A
Credible A
Advantage A-
ELFI A-
Laurel Road A-
Splash Financial A-
Purefy B+
UW Credit Union B+
LendKey B+
College Ave B
PenFed B
SoFi B
Earnest B-
EDvestinU B-
INvestEd B-
MEFA B-
Citizens Bank C+
ISL C+
Lend-Grow C+
SELF Refi C+
SuperMoney C+
First Tech Federal C
BECU C-
Navy Federal C-
First Republic Bank D+
iHelp D+
Discover D
Nelnet Bank D
PNC Bank D-
NaviRefi F

Sources

  1. Bloomberg Law, Chase Kept Pandemic Loan Fees Owed to Accounting Firm, Suit Says (1)
  2. First Republic Bank, Refinance Student Loans and Other Debt with a Personal Line of Credit
  3. CFPB, Consumer Complaint Database
  4. Dun & Bradstreet, Business Directory
  5. Better Business Bureau, Search Businesses and Charities