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This Week’s Student Loan Refinancing Rates: April 8, 2022

The average interest rate on refinanced student loans mostly went up last week, according to Credible. However, student loan rates are still fairly low, and it could be a good day to refinance your student loan.

5-year student loan refinancing rates

The current rate for 5-year undergraduate refinanced student loans is 3.21%., down 0.60% from the week of March 21. Six months ago, this rate was 3.04%, slightly lower than the current rate. 

On the other hand, 5-year graduate refinanced student loans rose slightly by 0.08% since March 21, hitting a 3.17% mark. Rates were significantly lower half a year ago, coming in at 2.63% in September. 

10-year student loan refinancing rates

Rates on 10-year undergraduate student loan refinances have gone up 0.21% since March 21 and 0.83% since September 2021. The average rate for a 10-year graduate student loan refinance is 4.28%. This is 0.29% more than March 21 and 0.96% higher than six months ago. 

Student loan interest rates by credit score

Your credit score has a significant impact on the rate a lender will offer you on your refinanced student loan. Generally speaking, the better your credit score, the lower your rate.

5-year rates by credit score

10-year rates by credit score

How to refinance a student loan

To start the process, look into different companies and check your terms with each lender. Evaluate the offers and determine which rate and term length is best for you. When you check your rates, lenders will usually generate a soft credit check, which doesn’t hurt your credit score. 

You’ll need to apply to refinance through a private student loan lender; you aren’t able refinance a student loan through the federal government. 

Once you’ve chosen a company, you’ll fill out its application and provide documents that verify your finances and identity. After the lender gives you its final offer, you’ll need to sign the agreement and accept the terms. Then, your new lender will pay off your existing loan and you’ll be set to go with a new loan. 

Should you refinance your student loan?

You may want to refinance your student loan to lower your interest rate, switch from a variable-rate loan to a fixed-rate loan, or change your term length. Changing your term length can allow you to spread out payments over a longer period for smaller monthly payments, though you’ll pay more in interest overall. 

Be careful before deciding to refinance a federal student loan. Even if you’re able to get a lower rate when you refinance a federal loan, you will lose key protections that come with federal loans. For example, you’ll be ineligible for the COVID-19 related student loan payment pause, currently in place through August 31, 2022, and federal student loan relief programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness

You’ll also miss out on certain repayment options like Income-Driven Repayment plans, which take your specific income and family size into account when determining monthly payments.

What’s the difference between a fixed-rate and a variable-rate loan?

A fixed-rate student loan has an interest rate that does not change over the life of the loan. The rate you receive when you take out your loan is the rate the lender will charge you until you repay your loan in full.

A variable-rate loan has an interest rate that will change periodically during your loan’s term. Lenders usually tie this rate to specific market benchmarks that are often impacted by the federal funds rate. Variable rates may start lower than fixed rates, but could climb higher over the life of your loan. 

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