First Republic Bank Student Loan Refinance Review

Last Updated: September 21, 2021 by Melanie Hanson

Our Rating: B (Compare)

Loan Limits $60,000 – $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

First Republic Bank refinances student loans as personal lines of credit. A personal line of credit allows borrowers to make multiple draws. Borrowers may also choose to repay certain other debts that usually do not qualify for student loan refinancing.

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 are between 2.25% and 6.25%. 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 may affect your credit score. To determine eligibility, they perform a hard credit inquiry instead of a soft 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 CFPB 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 2012, consumers have submitted 117 complaints about First Republic Bank to the CFPB. That’s approximately one (1) complaint per month.

First Republic averages one (1) complaint for every 34 corporate employees, or one (1) complaint for every $27.8 million of annual revenue ($3.25 billion total).

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) and 2020 (14)

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


Complaint 4445614
6/9/2021
California

“Loan officer over the phone stated that I did meet their standards to qualify for loan through their credit committee. That I needed to have money in order to borrower money was her words. Credit is over 790, on the job for 17 years no missed payments or issues with my creditors. Words used in describing her reason for verbally denying the application prior to it being submitted. She stated that I did not meet the standards for them to do my loan. I have more money in retirement account and savings than what I was applying for. This type of impact should not be allowed! Is this because I am an XXXX American male! She never asked me about my other savings accounts or retirement accounts. She just kept stating I did not meet their standards. What standards are you referring to that I am not wealthy enough to obtain a loan with your company? Openly overt thinking and impact on my integrity as a person was uncalled for. How is this possible?”


Complaint 4408310
5/26/2021
California

“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.”


Complaint 4385022
5/18/2021
New York

“I applied for a mortgage with First Republic Bank for the amount of {$470000.00}. I was approved for the mortgage and received a disclosure containing a rate of 2.85 % for 360 months. The rate contained in this disclosure was contingent upon opening a non-accruing checking account with First Republic and maintaining a balance no less than 10 % of the loan amount or {$38000.00} for 2 years, with the loan amount being {$380000.00}. A subsequent disclosure was dispatched detailing an interest rate of 3.1 %, a modest increase, but one that carried significant repercussions over the lifetime of the loan. The initial dispatch of the preferential disclosure was alleged by a bank representative to be a ‘mistake ‘. It was later revealed to me further along in the process that in addition to maintaining a balance of {$38000.00} for two years, that I’d need to switch my direct deposit to use this account, as well as opt into automatic payments from this account for the monthly principle and interest. This treatment effectively ensured that I’d need to terminate my relationship with my current primary bank, which I ended up doing. As a first time buyer with a credit score exceeding XXXX with all reporting agencies, I was surprised by the onerous terms imposed upon me in order to secure this mortgage. I have never in my financial history declared bankruptcy or defaulted on a loan. These requirements effectively nullify the benefit of securing the preferential rate, as the required balance loses significant value to depreciation to in the first 24 months of the mortgage.”


For a full list of the 117 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.
  • 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.
  • Is First Republic a Credible lender?
    First Republic does not partner with Credible as part of their refinance lender marketplace.

Compare Student Loan Refinance Reviews

Lender Rating
Advantage B+
BECU C-
Brazos A
Citizens Bank B-
College Ave A-
CommonBond A+
Discover D+
Earnest B+
EDvestinU B
ELFI A-
First Republic Bank B
First Tech Federal C-
iHelp D
Laurel Road A-
MEFA B-
NaviRefi D-
Navy Federal C+
Nelnet Bank D-
PenFed B+
PNC Bank C
RISLA A
SELF Refi C+
SoFi B-
UW Credit Union A

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