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.
When to Use a Multilender Marketplace
The best reason to use a multilender marketplace to apply for student loan refinancing is to save time. If you plan to shop around (and you should when it comes to major financial decisions), using a single application to apply with multiple lenders can potentially save hours of research, navigation, and reentering the same information over and over.
Marketplace lenders or multi-lender marketplaces allow borrowers to compare annual percentage rates and choose their best financial servicer. Some student refinance lender marketplaces, such as Credible, do not directly provide any financial services but instead matches borrowers with lenders.
Marketplace Refinance Lenders
The standard multi-lender marketplace business model is to generate revenue through referrals, when student borrowers use their application to apply with direct lenders and lender partners. Banks, credit unions, and other partners pay marketplaces to bring them customers (i.e. borrowers). 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. Most marketplaces do not refinance or lend money themselves.
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.
Credible Operations, Inc. or Credible Labs, Inc. may be the best-known student refinance lender marketplace. Credible earns its income through referrals when student borrowers use its free application to apply to several lenders at once, allowing borrowers to compare lenders and start the process of refinancing.
Credible operates under 21st Century Fox, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. For more information on Credible, read our full review.
While lender marketplaces are typically founded as private companies, INvestEd a state-affiliated, nonprofit organization. INvestEd is the commercial name for Indiana Secondary Market for Education Loans, Inc.
While its student refinance lender marketplaces is powered by Credible, INvestEd facilitates its own loans. All INvestEd refinance loans are serviced by American Education Services (AES) and backed by First Merchant Bank. For more information on INvestEd, read our full review.
Founded in February of 2019, Lend-Grow, Inc. is a private, Virginia-based company that bills its marketplace the best resource for borrowers to find small, local financial institutions.
It is difficult to verify these claims, however, as Lend-Grow does not provide much detail on its website regarding lender partners. For more information on Lend-Grow, read our full review.
LendKey Technologies, Inc. matches borrowers with banks and credit unions from the local level to national financial institutions. LendKey offers student loans, refinancing, and home improvement loans.
For more information on LendKey, read our full review.
Purefy is a student loan marketplace with federal and private student and parent loan refinancing tools. Purefy originates student refinance loans in its partnership with Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed); Purefy-originated refinance loans allow borrowers to combine debt with a spouse or assume the debt of a parent.
This lender is best for borrowers who plan to refinance their student loans with PenFed but would also like to compare other rates. While Purefy has an inherent bias for PenFed as their loan servicer, it promotes multiple recommended student refinance lenders. For more information on Purefy, read our full review.
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.
For more information on Splash Financial, read our full review.
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.
For more information on SuperMoney, read our full review.
- Credible, Refinance Student Loans
- Credible, Lenders: Student Loan Refinancing
- Credible, How to Refinance Your Student Loans Through Credible
- Credible, Student Loan Refinance Interest Rates Hit Record Low In May
- INvestEd Indiana, Loan Disclosures
- INvestEd, FAQs
- INvestEd, Refi Marketplace
- Lend-Grow Disclosures
- Lend-Grow FAQs
- Consumers Advocate, Lend-Grow Review
- Microventures, Lend-Grow
- LendKey Disclaimers
- LendKey FAQs
- Splash Financial, Disclaimers
- SuperMoney, Save Thousands on Your Student Loans
- U.S. News and World Report, Have You Ever Consolidated or Refinanced Student Loan Debt?
- Federal Trade Commission, FTC Sends More than $1 Million in Refunds to Victims of Student Loan Debt Relief Scam
- National Public Radio, Myth Busted: Turns Out Bankruptcy Can Wipe Out Student Loan Debt After All
- Federation of American Scientists, Marketplace Lending Fintech in Consumer and Small Business Lending
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Consumer Complaint Database
- Dun & Bradstreet, Business Directory
- Better Business Bureau, Search Businesses and Charities