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If you’re struggling to keep up with your student loan payments, refinancing student loans with PenFed could give you some much-needed relief in the form of lower interest rates and smaller monthly payments.

Refinancing student loans also allows you to consolidate your loans into one easy payment, making it easier to keep track of your payments each month.

Student loan refinancing is a quick and easy way to manage your loans. It’s a better option than loan consolidation for those who have high-interest debt, because with good credit, you can get a lower rate. With a lower rate or a shorter repayment term, you could save a substantial amount of money by choosing a student loan refinance.

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Student loan
refinancing options

If you decide that a private student loan refinance is right for you, it’s important to understand all of your options with PenFed.

Refinance Federal Student Loans

PenFed can refinance student loans of any type, including federal student loans.

Refinance Private Student Loans

For borrowers with high-interest private loans, a private student loan refinance with PenFed could lower your interest rate. You can even combine your private student loans with your federal loans so you have just one payment to remember.

Refinance Parent Loans

Whether you want to refinance private student loans for your child’s education, or your own federal Parent PLUS Loans, PenFed could help you take advantage of a lower interest rate.

Student Loan Consolidation
VS. Refinancing student loans

How Loan Consolidation Works

Loan consolidation combines multiple loans into one new loan with a single monthly payment, but it does not lower your payment or interest rate. With student loans, this term usually refers to a Direct Consolidation Loan, which is a federal program that allows you to consolidate your federal student loans, but does not allow you to refinance private student loans along with them. You can apply for a consolidation with the U.S. Department of Education.

With a consolidation, you’ll have just one loan and one monthly payment, which can be easier to keep track of than multiple loans with different balances and different rates. The interest rate on your consolidation will be determined by the weighted average of your current loans’ rates. That rate will be fixed for the life of your loan, and you can’t lower that average interest rate through consolidation, as opposed to a private student loan refinance, which gets you a new rate and term. This is one reason why many people with a good credit history decide to refinance student loans with a private lender.

How Refinancing Works

Like a consolidation, a student loan refinance combines multiple loans into one—the main difference is that you get a new interest rate, and if you want, a shorter or longer term. While Direct Consolidation Loans can only be used for federal loans, with a private student loan refinance you can combine both private and federal loans. PenFed can even refinance student loans for parents who took out loans to finance their children’s education, such as Parent PLUS loans.

After refinancing student loans with PenFed, you’ll still have just one monthly payment and one loan. But unlike Direct Consolidation, the new refinance student loan is completely different from your old loans. You’ll have a new fixed or variable interest rate, repayment term, and monthly payment. That said, with a refinance, you also lose the federal benefits that come with federal student loans, such as forbearance, deferment, and income-driven repayment. It’s important to review and consider your federal benefits before deciding to refinance with a private lender.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you decide that refinancing is right for you, it's important to understand all of your options with PenFed.

1. What loans can I refinance? You can refinance private student loans and you can refinance federal student loans, or both! The refinanced student loans can include your loans, your spouse’s loans, and parent loans.

2. Who will benefit from a student loan refinance? People with high-interest student loan debt, including both federal and private loans, will benefit from refinancing student loans. They can get a lower interest rate, which can save money and help pay off the loan ahead of schedule.

3. How long does it take to apply? The quick and easy loan application takes less than 15 minutes to complete.

4. Do I need a co-signer? If you make less than $42,000 a year, you’ll need a co-signer on the application to refinance student loans.

5. What information do I need to apply for student loan refinancing? To complete your student loan refinance, you’ll need to provide a government-issued ID, income verification, graduation verification (transcripts or diploma), payoff statements from your current loan servicers, and a PenFed membership application.