Student Loan Refinance Lender Marketplaces

Last Updated: August 13, 2021 by Melanie Hanson

Report Summary. Our investigation of student loan refinance lenders repeatedly returned advertisements for marketplace lenders. Since they first appeared in the late-2000s, marketplace lenders have become more prevalent in the education finance industry.

Recommended Student Loan Refinancing Marketplace Lenders
Marketplace Lender Fixed APR Variable APR Features Apply
Marketplace Lender Credible Fixed APR 2.58%+ Variable APR 1.87%+ Features
  • Refinance Federal student loans, private student loans, and PLUS loans
  • Apply with up to 13 refinance lenders at once
  • Lender partners average 2.99% starting fixed APR

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Marketplace Lender INvestED Fixed APR 3.46% – 6.82% Variable APR 2.46% – 6.35% Features
  • Federal Direct and Stafford loans, Parent or Graduate PLUS loans, and private education loans
  • Partners with major marketplaces Credible and Lend-Grow
  • Public nonprofit affiliated with the State of Indiana

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Marketplace Lender Lend-Grow Fixed APR 2.70%+ Variable APR 0.93%+ Features
  • Refinance student and parent federal and private loans
  • U.S. citizenship required
  • Founded in 2019

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Marketplace Lender LendKey Fixed APR 2.95%+ Variable APR 1.90%+ Features
  • Refinance federal and private student loans
  • One of the first marketplace lenders
  • LendKey services all refinance loans

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Marketplace Lender Splash Financial Fixed APR 2.49% – 6.31% Variable APR 1.88% – 6.15% Features
  • Refinance federal and private student loans, PLUS loans, and medical school loans
  • Training, residency, and fellowship deferment available
  • Some lender partners require permanent residents to apply with a co-signer

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Marketplace Lender SuperMoney Fixed APR Undisclosed Variable APR Undisclosed Features
  • SuperMoney pledges not to sell personal data
  • APR determined by credit score, loan amount, term, income, and credit history

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Note: lowest APRS always include any available autopay discounts.

Marketplace Lending

Marketplace lenders or multi-lender marketplaces allow borrowers to compare annual percentage rates and choose their best financial servicer.

  • Lender marketplaces partner with direct lenders, marketplace lenders, and other multi-lender marketplaces.
  • These marketplaces are typically classified as media or technology companies rather than financial institutions.
  • Financial technology or “Fintech” is an umbrella term commonly used in popular media that includes multi-lender marketplace platforms.
  • Marketplaces generally use one prequalification application for multiple lenders simutaneously.
  • These marketplaces typically do not refinance or lend money themselves.
  • The standard multi-lender marketplace business model is to generate revenue through referrals; banks and credit unions pay marketplaces to bring them customers (i.e. borrowers).
  • Marketplaces control a much smaller portion of industry revenue than direct lenders do.
  • Every refinance lender marketplace web site includes a number of requisite legal disclosures; these documents are not always easy to find and often contain information borrowers may consider critical.

Assume these organizations will use any contact information you supply them to contact you via text, email, paper mail, robo-calls, etc.

Pie Chart: Market Share Among Selected Marketplace Lenders, Credible (57.89%), Splash Financial (18.24%), INvestED (12.16%), Lend-Grow (7.27%), LendKey (3.09%), and SuperMoney (1.36%)

Credible

Loan Limits: $5,000+
Fixed Rates: 2.58%+
Variable Rates: 1.87%+ (25.00% Cap)
Terms: 5 to 20 years
Min. Credit Score: 670

Credible Operations, Inc. or Credible Labs, Inc. may be the best-known marketplace lender. It may also be one of the most transparent. Credible operates under 21st Century Fox, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company.

  • Credible’s lender partners average a starting fixed APR of 2.99%.
  • Among lender partners offering a variable APR, 2.38% is the average starting rate.
  • Credible offers a $200 “best rate guarantee” that challenges borrowers to find and close a refinance contract with a more favorable APR.
  • Eligible loans include federal student loans, private student loans, and PLUS loans.
  • No application, origination, or service fees.
  • None of Credible’s lender partners charge prepayment penalties.
  • Prequalification does not harm your credit.
  • Credible’s annual revenue totals an estimated $18.95 million.
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) lists 11 public complaints (5 prior to 2021) filed against Credible Labs, Inc. since 2017; 3 of these address student loan refinancing.
  • Partners with over 100 lenders; student loan refinance lenders include:
Advantage College Ave PenFed
Brazos ELFI RISLA
Citizens Bank MEFA SoFi

Eligibility:

  • United States citizens, permanent residents, and some visa holders may be eligible.
  • No graduation requirement.
  • A 670 FICO score is a soft minimum; a co-signer might help qualify a borrower with a low credit score.
  • Credible reports that when an application is unsuccessful, it’s usually due to an excessive debt-to-income ratio (DTI).

Line Graph: Credible Labs, Inc. Consumer Complaints, Public Complaints Filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2017 (0), 2018 (1), 2019 (2), and 2020 (2)

For more information or to apply for prequalification, click here.

INvestED

Loan Limits: $5,000 – $250,000
Fixed Rates: 3.460% – 6.820%
Variable Rates: 2.457% – 6.347% (18.000% Cap)
Terms: 5, 10, 15 or 20 years
Min. Credit Score: 670 (without co-signer)

While lender marketplaces are typically founded as private companies, INvestED is the commercial name for Indiana Secondary Market for Education Loans, Inc., a public, nonprofit organization. All INvestED loans are serviced by American Education Services (AES)* and backed by First Merchant Bank.

  • Available to borrowers nationwide, including nonresidents of Indiana.
  • Eligible loans include federal direct and Stafford loans, Parent or Graduate PLUS loans, and private education loans.
  • Variable rates are based on the 3-month LIBOR as published by The Wall Street Journal plus a margin of 2.500% to 6.140%.
  • Variable rates are capped at 18.00%.
  • No application, origination, or prepayment fees.
  • Late charges are the lesser of $10.00 or 5% of the unpaid amount past due.
  • The returned payment fee is $10.00.
  • Additional charges may apply to loans that enter default and/or are sent to collection.
  • INvestED advertises co-signer release availability after 48 consecutive qualifying payments.
  • Offers a 0.25% interest rate reduction for enrollment in automatic payments.
  • Deferment and forbearance may be available in cases of economic hardship (up to 24 months total), return to school at least half-time (up to 36 months total), and active military duty.
  • Annual revenue totals $3.98 million.
  • The CFPB database includes no complaints about INvestED or Indiana Secondary Market for Education Loans, Inc.
  • These refinance services are available to student borrowers nationwide, though they may offer special discounts to in-state borrowers.
  • Partners with both Lend-Grow and Credible as part of their respective lender marketplaces.
  • Student loan refinance direct lenders include:
Advantage College Ave MEFA
Bank of the Mills CommonBond PenFed
Brazos ELFI RISLA
Citizens Bank Iowa Student Loan SoFi

Eligibility:

  • U.S. citizenship or permanent residence.
  • No graduation requirement.
  • 670 minimum credit score; a co-signer might help qualify a borrower with a low credit score.
  • $36,000 minimum annual income.
  • Continuous employment over the past 12 months (may be waived under certain circmstances, such as retirement or recent graduation).
  • No delinquencies of 60 days or more in the last 24 months.
  • No repossessions, foreclosures or garnishments by creditors.
  • No bankruptcies within the past five (5) years.
  • Not defaulted student loans, private or federal.
  • A debt-to-income ratio of 40% to 50% that applies to all debt, including student loans in repayment, student loans not yet in repayment, and any consumer credit unrelated to education debt (such as home and auto loans, credit card debt, mortages or rent, etc.).

For more information or to apply, click here.

Lend-Grow

Loan Limits: $25,000 – $750,000
Fixed Rates: 2.70%+
Variable Rates: 0.93%+ (Undisclosed Cap)
Terms: 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 years
Min. Credit Score: 680

Founded in February of 2019, Lend-Grow, Inc. is a private, Virginia-based company that bills its marketplace as the solution to small local financial institutions’ lack of digital resources that help national corporations dominate online banking.

  • Lend-Grow does not disclose any of its lender’s rates or credit requirements.
  • Eligible loans include student and parent federal and private loans.
  • Payback Rewards fund 0.10% APR on a borrower’s refinance loan for every month a their account is active (up to 3 years).
  • Enrollment in automatic payments comes with a 0.10% interest rate reduction.
  • No origination fees.
  • No penalty for prepayment.
  • Lend-Grow advertises an autopay interest rate reduction of 0.25%.
  • Prequalification does not harm your credit.
  • Annual corporate revenue totals $2.38 million.
  • Lend-Grow is unlisted in the CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database.
  • Partners with over 1,000 lenders, including:
Ascent Funding Citizens Bank Nelnet (U-fi)
Blue Ridge Bank INvestED New Mexico Educational Assistance Foundation

Eligibility:

  • U.S. citizenship required.
  • 680 is a soft-minimum credit score.
  • Associate’s degree or higher required.
  • Proof of income with no minimum specified.

For more information or to apply for prequalification, click here.

LendKey

Loan Limits: $5,000 – $300,000
Fixed Rates: 2.95%+
Variable Rates: 1.90%+ (Undisclosed Cap)
Terms: 5 to 20 years
Min. Credit Score: 660

LendKey Technologies, Inc. is an internet media company 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.

  • 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.
  • Eligible loans include federal and private student loans in the borrower’s name; parent loans are not eligible for refinancing.
  • LendKey offers multiple bonuses for association with its partners, including the NYU Alumni Association and the Montefiore Medical System.
  • 0.25% interest rate reduction for enrollment in autopay.
  • No application or origination fees.
  • No prepayment penalties.
  • Prequalification does not harm your credit.
  • Lenders offer financial hardship forbearance, conditions subject to lender approval.
  • LendKey services all refinance loans.
  • Annual corporate revenue totals an estimated $1.01 million.
  • The CFPB lists 63 public complaints filed against LendKey Technologies, Inc. since 2014; 15 of these address student loan refinancing.
  • Partners with hundreds of local financial institutions; student loan refinance lenders include:
  • Alliance Credit Union Dollar Bank Navy Federal Credit Union
    BankMobile Generations Bank TruPartner Credit Union
    Community Savings Bank Members Source Credit Union Planites Credit Union

    Eligibility:

    • U.S. citizenship or permanent residence is required.
    • Borrowers must have an associate’s degree or higher.
    • Proof of income.

    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)

    For more information or to apply for prequalification, click here.

    Splash Financial

    Loan Limits: $5,000+
    Fixed Rates: 2.49% – 6.31%
    Variable Rates: 1.89% – 6.15% (16.00% Cap)
    Terms: 5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20 or 25 years
    Min. Credit Score: Undisclosed

    Founded in 2015, Splash Financial, Inc. is an education loan refinancing platform specializing in educational financing for medical and health professionals. Splash is an affiliate of LendULink, LLC.

    • Lowest advertised rates always include a 0.25% interest rate reduction for enrollment in autopay although not all direct lender partners offer this discount.
    • No application, origination, or prepayment fees.
    • Eligible loans include federal student loans, private student loans, and PLUS loans.
    • Splash offers special refinancing for student loans used to pay for medical school.
    • Med school refinancing starts at a 2.28% to 6.37% variable rate and a 2.81% to 6.47% fixed rate.
    • Medical school refinance borrowers pay $100 per month during training and for the six (6) months immediately following (not to exceed 84 months total).
    • The deferment period for residency, fellowship, and grace period must be approved and disclosed at the time of application, with no option to extend the term of the loan after it is disbursed.
    • Deferment and forbearance may be available, but Splash does not specify any requirements or conditions other than economic hardship.
    • Parents are eligible to refinance their child’s educational loans and educational loans taken out under their own name to finance their child’s education.
    • Annual revenue is an estimated $5.97 million.
    • The CFPB has received three (3) complaints about Splash Financial since January 2020; two (2) of these complaints were about loan denials.
    • A Welcome Bonus may be available to those refinancing $50,000, $100,000 or $200,000 in student loans depending on which direct refinance lender they ultimately select.
    • Splash offers a generous referral program that includes cash bonuses of $10 to $20 each time a referred borrower checks their rates using a referral link, as well as the traditional larger bonus for any referral that results in a new loan origination (with a refinance loan minimum of $30,000, referrers receive $200 for each new borrower).

    Eligibility:

    • United States citizens and permanent residents, though some lender partners require permanent residents to apply with a co-signer.
    • A FICO score is a soft minimum; a co-signer might help qualify a borrower with a low credit score.
    • Must have a bachelor’s degree; an associate’s degree may be acceptable if the following conditions are met:
      • Students must be in the final term of their program at a Title IV eligible school.
      • Proof of an offer of employment in the same field in which they will receive the associate degree.
      • Acceptable fields are:
          Cardiovascular Technology (CVT) Radiologic/MRI Technology Occupational Therapy Assistant
          Dental Hygiene Respiratory Therapy Pharmacy Technician
          Diagnostic Medical Sonography Surgical Technology Physical Therapy Assistant
          EMT/Paramedics Nuclear Technician
          Radiation Therapy Nursing

    For more information or to apply, click here.

    SuperMoney

    Loan Limits: $5,000 – $300,000
    Fixed Rates: Undisclosed
    Variable Rates: Undisclosed
    Terms: 5 to 20 years
    Min. Credit Score: No minimum

    SuperMoney LLC launched its student loan refinance lender marketplace in November of 2018. Though relatively small, early reviews are mostly positive. The company web site, however, lacks transparency; this is alarming considering the emphasis on corporate transparency both on the company’s web site and in its marketing.

    • SuperMoney only discloses that its “starting APR” is 1.99%.
    • The company does not disclose a customer service phone number, nor is there any company phone number listed on its web site.
    • SuperMoney pledges not to sell contact information to other organizations or use phone numbers for automated calling or robo-calls.
    • The web site’s FAQs section includes no answers but redirects to the top of the page.
    • The company does not disclose how many lenders it works with.
    • Annual corporate revenue is an estimated $445,190.
    • SuperMoney is unlisted in the CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database.
    • Does not disclose eligibility requirements.
    • SuperMoney does feature some student refinance lenders and marketplaces on its site, including:
    ACME Student Loans Fast Student Loans Readily for Students

    For more information or to apply, click here.

    Sources

  1. Credible, Refinance Student Loans
  2. Credible, Lenders: Student Loan Refinancing
  3. Credible, How to Refinance Your Student Loans Through Credible
  4. Credible, Student Loan Refinance Interest Rates Hit Record Low In May
  5. INvestED Indiana, Loan Disclosures
  6. INvestED, FAQs
  7. INvestED, Refi Marketplace
  8. Lend-Grow Disclosures
  9. Lend-Grow FAQs
  10. Consumers Advocate, Lend-Grow Review
  11. Microventures, Lend-Grow
  12. LendKey Disclaimers
  13. LendKey FAQs
  14. Splash Financial, Disclaimers
  15. SuperMoney, Save Thousands on Your Student Loans
  16. U.S. News and World Report, Have You Ever Consolidated or Refinanced Student Loan Debt?
  17. Federal Trade Commission, FTC Sends More than $1 Million in Refunds to Victims of Student Loan Debt Relief Scam
  18. National Public Radio, Myth Busted: Turns Out Bankruptcy Can Wipe Out Student Loan Debt After All
  19. Federation of American Scientists, Marketplace Lending Fintech in Consumer and Small Business Lending
  20. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Consumer Complaint Database
  21. Dun & Bradstreet, Business Directory
  22. Better Business Bureau, Search Businesses and Charities