LendKey Student Loan Refinance Review

Last Updated: November 2, 2021 by Melanie Hanson

Our Rating: A- (Compare)

Loan Limits $5,000 – $300,000
Fixed Rates 2.49% – 8.00%*
Variable Rates 1.90% – 5.50% (% Cap)
Terms 5 to 20 years
Min. Credit Score 680†

*Lowest rates always include the 0.25% interest reduction for enrolling in auto-pay.
This is the soft minimum suggested by LendKey; different lender partners have their own credit requirements.

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

LendKey Technologies, Inc. is a loan servicer and digital platform that matches borrowers with banks and credit unions from the local level to national financial institutions. LendKey offers student loans, refinancing, and home improvement loans.

Loan Refinancing Options
Private student loans
Private parent loans
Federal student loans
Federal Parent PLUS loans

LendKey Refinance Rates & Fees

LendKey’s fixed rates are between 2.49% to 8.00%. Variable rates start at 1.90% to 5.50%. Lowest rates always include the 0.25% interest reduction for enrolling in auto-pay.

Refinance Loan Rates
Term Fixed Rate Variable Rate
5 to 20 Years 2.49% – 8.00% 1.90% – 5.50%

Additional information about LendKey refinance rates:

  • Checking your rate with LendKey will not affect your credit score. They will conduct a soft, not hard, credit inquiry (learn the difference).
  • LendKey does offer a discount for setting up auto-pay: 0.25% interest rate reduction.
  • Variable rates are based on unspecified interest rate indices. As the lender’s preferred index changes, increasing or decreasing, your variable rate will change, increasing or decreasing correspondingly.
  • Variable rate caps presumably vary from lender to lender; there is no maximum rate cap specified.

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 LendKey.

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 LendKey does or does not charge.

Fee Type Amount Charged
Application Fee None
Loan Origination Fee None
Disbursement Fee Undisclosed
Prepayment Penalty None
Late Payment Fee Varies
Returned Payment Fee Varies
Collection Fee Undisclosed
  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.

Current Promotions & Offers

LendKey offers a 0.25% interest rate reduction with enrollment in automatic payments.

Many third-party partners offer promotional bonuses through LendKey. These bonuses may be available to members of the NYU Alumni Association, employees of the City of Austin, Texas, and certain lender partners. Cash bonuses are typically between $50 and $500 or 1.0% cash back.

Cash bonus offers require a PayPal account. Bonus offers are only valid within 90 days of account creation or notification of availability.

LendKey Refinance Eligibility Requirements

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

  • Citizenship Requirement: U.S. citizenship or permanent residence …
  • Income Requirement: varies.
  • Credit Score Requirement: varies, generally 680.
  • Graduation Requirement: associate’s degree or higher.
  • Location Requirement: varies.

Additional restrictions apply for specific individuals and loans.

  • Borrowers with undergraduate degrees may refinance up to $125,000.
  • A graduate degree is required to refinance up to $175,000.
  • Borrowers who hold select medical degrees may refinance up to $300,000.

LendKey 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. LendKey offers some relief options.

Deferment & Forbearance

LendKey offers forbearance under some circumstances, such as financial hardship.

See LendKey’s conditions for deferment and forbearance below.

Condition Coverage
Returning to grad school Undisclosed
Disability rehabilitation Undisclosed
Active military duty Undisclosed
Involuntary unemployment Undisclosed
Economic hardship Forbearance
Natural disaster Undisclosed
Temporary hardship Undisclosed

Additional Options

LendKey may offer other opportunities for relief or contract modification.

  • Co-signer release is available from some lenders, usually after 12 to 36 consecutive qualifying payments.
  • Death / disability discharge is available in the unfortunate circumstance that a borrower passes away or suffers total permanent disability.
  • LendKey was among a group of private lenders that agreed to offer emergency debt relief in April 2020, including a minimum 90-day forbearance and a moratorium on negative credit reporting.

LendKey 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.

LendKey Online Reviews

Below are three (3) samples of LendKey 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.).


“I had 9 private loans, spread across 3 servicers for a combined balance ~$75K. The variable interest rates were all over the place with one as high as 12.25% – with an overall weighted weighted average of 4.5%. The payoff dates ranged from 2027 through 2033. My primary reason for attempting to re-finance was to get one fixed interest rate. My variable ones were out of control, and rumors of the rates going up twice more this year lit a fire under my ass. I was also sick and tired of keeping up with so many servicers. I have made on time payments on all of my loans from 2013 to the present / income ~$77k (plus $6k-$8k bonus) / credit score 818.

I started with Credible and I wasn’t even getting any preliminary rate quotes below 4.5%. I think there was one prelim quote from Citizens that was 4.3something with a five year payment plan that had a monthly payment well beyond what I could pay. At the suggestion of this sub, I looked into LendKey. The experience went as follows:

  1. May 22nd: Requested a prelim quote on their website, said I was pre-qualified for a 3.15% fixed rate on a 7-year payment plan with a monthly payment around $1,100. Great! I had a particularly slow day at work so I just decided to get it done. I compiled my W2, paystubs, license copy, my 9 payoff statements, 9 loan statements and the other documentation I needed to evidence my married name (all loans were taken out in my maiden name). Submitted complete application.
  2. May 22nd (SAME DAY): Received email from Lendkey that I did not qualify for the 3.15%/7 year loan term. I called them up and they said my DTI ratio was too high due to my federal student loans (which I was not refinancing). They offered me a 4.37% fixed rate (with autopay) with a 10 year term and payments of around $730/month. I told them over the phone to send over the paperwork for the 4.37%/10 year offer.
  3. May 23rd: Received email from Lendkey stating that they needed further proof of my address. I uploaded a utility bill to their site.
  4. May 25th: Received the actual loan approval and signature documentation from LendKey via their website. Reviewed everything, e-signed and submitted it. I called them to ask how long disbursal would take, and they said 7-10 days but it can take up to 30 days for my servicers to process the payments.
  5. June 8th: Received an email that my disbursal was complete and that Lendkey sent payoff *checks* to my lenders. Of course I called them again to confirm that they mailed actual *checks*…they indeed did. They mailed checks to Discover and Wells Fargo, and were able to send a electronic payoff to Firstmark.
  6. June 15th: All of my payoffs were finally were received and processed. All 3 servicers are overpaid to some degree since I had to make my June loan payments before the refinance processed, so I will be receiving refund checks in the mail at some point. Luckily, the first LendKey bill isn’t due until the 15th of the month after loan disbursal, so I didn’t have to have a month of double payments.

I know the advice of this sub is to shop around with your re-finance offers, but I was happy with my 4.37% and I will be shopping around for more offers in about a year from now. I had other financial things going on and wanted this refinance done ASAP for personal reasons. I emailed [a different refinance lender] to inquire about rate matching, and they wanted me to re-upload everything I had sent to LendKey – the 25ish documents – along with my Lendkey loan offer/approval. I didn’t have the time or energy for that. It will all be easier next time since I’ll only have one loan statement and payoff to retrieve and everything will already be in my married name.

Overall, 10/10 experience. I’m so relieved to have one (private) bill to pay, one servicer, a fixed rate and one payoff date to look forward to. I’ve called Lendkey many many times and I was always talking to someone within a minute or two of dialing. Their customer service is really great..”eyelashchantel on reddit, 6/19/2018


“I also refinanced with LendKey. The only annoying part is the amount of time it takes for payments to reflect as paid on the LendKey site. My payment for this month was paid on 5/14. Today is 5/21 and still not reflecting.”djballer on reddit, 5/21/2018


“Was able to refinance my 82,000 in private loans with LendKey, from an interest rate of 10.5 variable to 5.87 fixed. Feeling a huge sigh of relief, as my monthly minimum payment will also be lower at 600 a month from 789 a month. Plan on increasing emergency savings for a couple of months, and then slamming the payments on the loan the max I can. Was doing about 1220 per month before, and when I get a career promotion in a year or two will hopefully be able to throw 1500-1700 at it to be finished within 5-6 years. Don’t plan on having a house or kids for 10 years.”Chiiffy on reddit, 5/11/2018


More (unfiltered) customer reviews of LendKey are available at TrustPilot.com(?) (4.5 of 5 rating).

LendKey CFPB Complaints

As consumer finance companies, student loan refinancing lenders fall under the jurisdiction of the Consumer Financial 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 2014, consumers have submitted 70 complaints about LendKey Technologies, Inc. (LendKey) to the CFPB for an average of one (1) complaint every 39 days. Among the 46 complaints with narratives, 16 or 34.8% specifically reference student loan refinancing.

The allegations made in these complaints are unverified, are not necessarily representative of all consumers’ experiences with LendKey, 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: LendKey Technilogies, Inc. Consumer Complaints, Public Complaints Filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from 2013 (0), 2014 (2), 2015 (5), 2016 (10), 2017 (11), 2018 (8), 2019 (10), and 2020 (10)

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


Complaint 4614059
7/22/2021
New Jersey

“I was the co-signer on a loan student loan for my sister with Lend Key and they didnt pull my sisters payment in time and made it late when she submitted it on time and it has negatively effected my credit for years. The payment was made on time and pending on their end. They counted it as a missed payment. It shows as a major missed payment and they will not take it off. It was one occurrence and they were quick to throw it on my credit score as a co signer instead of resolve the issue. They would not even release me from the loan until she made 12 months of payments on time after that occurrence.”


Complaint 4554444
7/19/2021
California

“There is a {$1400.00} credit on Account # XXXX XXXX XXXX / Lendkey has stated that the overpayment refund will be issued to the company the aforementioned loan was refinanced through ( XXXX ), but legally the overpayment can, and should, be refunded to the account holder, XXXX XXXX XXXX. I financed, and am financially responsible, for the entire amount that was paid to XXXX XXXX / Lendkey ; therefore, the overpayment should be refunded to me.”


Complaint 4546135
7/15/2021
Maryland

“On XX/XX/XXXX, my granddaughter, XXXX XXXX, applied for a student with XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX, through a subsidiary XXXX, with myself as a co-signer to attend XXXX University, a HBCU. Before completing the cosigner portion I called the company because of the options was retired and working, but I could only select one. So I asked the rep what should I do since I am a federal annuitant and I am still employed 9 months of the year. He stated I should just report my total income for the year. I received an email requesting copies of my 1099Rs, I forwarded copies of my OPM 1099 R, Social Security 1099R and W2 for my employment. I received another email requesting copies of my 1040s for XXXX and XXXX, which I provided and the last two pay statements from my employer. The next email requested a statement of my retirement account, how much received monthly and how much remained in the retirement account. I called to explain that as a federal annuitant, my retirement is for my life time, provided a letter from XXXX dated XX/XX/XXXX, showing my monthly annuity and deductions that stated at the bottom of the letter that it is a lifetime annuity and a a letter from Social Security stating how much I receive monthly. I called to ask if there was any thing else i needed to provided as a cosigner. On XX/XX/XXXX, my granddaughter received an email stating her loan was denied because of debt to income ratio. MY GRANDDAUGHTER IS NOT EMPLOYED AND HAS NO INCOME, this process took 2 weeks for this run around. On XX/XX/XXXX, we went online and applied for a student loan on Sallie Mae website. In took about 10 minutes and she was approved for a loan for the exact same amount and me just stating I was a retired annuitant. No request for any financial documents. We were discriminated, I believe, on the basis that we were XXXX American borrower and cosigner and for no other reason. I understand lending institutions have different criteria for processing loans. But I was only a cosigner, no the applicant. Sallie Mae ‘s loan process with a cosigner could not be that different.”


For a full list of the 70 complaints made against LendKey in the CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database, click here.

LendKey Lawsuits

LendKey does not appear to have been the subject of any major litigation in recent times.

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 LendKey.

  • Is LendKey good for refinancing student loans?
    LendKey is not a refinance lender but a multilender marketplace designed to help student borrowers comparison shop for refinance lenders using one website with one application.
  • Are LendKey loans federal?
    LendKey does not originate loans. Regardless, LendKey has no affiliation with the federal government or the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Does LendKey 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 LendKey hurt your credit score?
    For its prequalification process, LendKey performs a soft credit check, which will not hurt your credit score. If you proceed with an application, however, LendKey will perform a hard credit check that may affect your credit score.
  • Is LendKey a bank?
    LendKey is not a bank nor a lender.
  • Can I refinance any student loan?
    You can refinance student loans from another private lender and federal loans originated in your name.
  • Can I refinance just some of my loans?
    Yes, you can refinance some, all, or just one of your qualifying student loans with LendKey. 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. 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 through LendKey?
    No, LendKey’s lender partners do not allow spouses to combine loans but require that you are the primary borrower on any loans you refinance.
  • How long does it take to refinance through LendKey?
    LendKey does not specify a detailed timeline but indicates disbursement takes between 10 and 30 days.
  • Who services LendKey refinance loans?
    LendKey does not originate loans, but its lender partners may have one or more loan servicers administering their loans. Contact your lending institution to learn who will service your refinance loan.
  • Does LendKey offer a grace period?
    LendKey does not offer a grace period.
  • How often do variable rates change?
    Variable rates will change according to interest rate indices and individual lender limits.
  • Can I get any special rates or discounts with LendKey?
    In addition to a 0.25% interest rate reduction with enrollment in automatic payments, LendKey offers multiple promotional bonuses through third-party partners, such as members of the NYU Alumni Association, employees of the City of Austin, Texas, and certain lender partners.
  • What happens if I file for bankruptcy?
    LendKey does not disclose a policy, but individual lenders may have their own protocol for borrowers who file for bankruptcy. If you do file for bankruptcy, a lender may call the entire loan balance due immediately.

Compare LendKey Refinance Lender Reviews

Lender Rating
BECU C-
Navy Federal C+

Sources

  1. LendKey, Student Loan Refinancing Made Easy
  2. LendKey, Disclaimers
  3. LendKey, FAQ – Student Loan Refinancing
  4. United States Public Interest Research Group, Private Lenders Announce They’ll Suspend Student Loan Payments
  5. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Consumer Complaint Database
  6. Dun & Bradstreet, Business Directory
  7. Better Business Bureau, Search Businesses and Charities