4 credit unions that refinance student loans


Refinancing your student loan can offer significant benefits while you work to pay them off. Depending on your situation, you can qualify for lower interest rates and monthly payments, or you can simply get more flexibility with your repayment schedule.

While some of the best student loan refinancing companies are online lenders, you can also refinance your college debt with banks and credit unions. Here’s what you need to know about some of the best credit union student loan refinancing options.

Refinancing Your Student Loan: Credit Unions vs. Other Lenders

Choosing a lender to help you refinance your student loans is an important decision. Not only does this affect your interest rate, but it can change your repayment period, fees, and other aspects of the experience.

Credit unions can give you advantages that other lenders may not, but they can have some disadvantages as well.

Advantages of Refinancing With a Credit Union

  • Credit unions usually charge lower interest rates and fees than traditional banks.
  • Credit unions have traditionally served specific communities and may have a better understanding of their needs, be it a local community or a national one such as the military.
  • Credit unions may offer better service because they have a smaller customer base.
  • If you already have a financial product managed by the credit union, you can often get discounts on your refinancing loan.

Disadvantages of refinancing with a credit union

  • Credit unions may have lower limits on how much you can refinance.
  • Credit unions may have less flexible repayment options.
  • You may need to be a member of the credit union before you can apply.
  • Refinancing loans from credit unions tend to be more expensive than those from online lenders.

4 credit unions that refinance student loans

If you are interested in refinancing a student loan with a credit union, it is best to start your search with a local credit union, but don’t stop there. One of these four credit unions could be a good place to refinance student loans.

First Tech Federal Credit Union

With First Tech, you can refinance government or private student loans, including PLUS parenting loans. The lender offers loans between $ 5,000 and $ 500,000 depending on the type of loan you choose and your repayment deadline.

The repayment options are five, seven, 10 and 15 years, and you can choose from three loan options:

  • Fixed Term Loans: This is a classic loan with a fixed interest rate and fixed monthly installments.
  • Balloon rental: With this loan, you start with low monthly payments and pay a lump sum after 15 years.
  • Interest-only loans: You only pay the interest on this loan for one to ten years. After that, your monthly payments will grow over time.

The balloon and interest-only loans are marketed to professionals who expect to earn much more later, but they come with higher interest rates and more complicated repayment terms.

Benefits include a 0.25 percent discount on a car loan if you apply within 30 days of refinancing your student loan and 10,000 bonus points if you open a First Tech Choice Rewards World Mastercard credit card.

To join First Tech, you must have a family member who is already a First Tech member, works for a partner company, works or lives in Lane County, Oregon, or is a member of the Computer History Museum or Financial Fitness Association.

Navy Federal Credit Union

The Navy Federal Credit Union is unique in that it allows only qualified members of the military community to join. If you qualify based on these requirements, you can refinance government or private student loans, including parent loans.

You can borrow as little as $ 7,500 and up to $ 125,000 for undergraduate debt and $ 175,000 for graduate debt. The repayment periods are five, 10 and 15 years. Interest rates are competitive and you can get a 0.25 percent interest discount when you set up automatic payments.

As a parent, you can combine a student loan that you have taken out for more than one child into a refinancing loan. And if you need a co-signer to be approved, you have the option to remove them after making 12 consecutive on-time payments and meeting certain credit requirements.

To qualify, Navy Federal must have a monthly income of $ 2,000 or more and a proven credit history of 21 months or more. If you have a co-signer, your income can only be $ 100 as long as it is $ 2,000 per month or more.

PenFed Credit Union

The Pentagon Federal Credit Union provides state-wide student loan refinancing for college graduates and their parents. The lender is unique in that it allows spouses to pool their student loans into one new loan. You can borrow between $ 7,500 and $ 500,000 with repayment terms of five, eight, 12, and 15 years.

Unlike other credit unions that offer student loans, PenFed is transparent about their loan requirements. The lender has a minimum credit score of 670 and a minimum annual income of $ 25,000.

If you borrow up to $ 150,000 and your credit score is below 676 or your annual income is less than $ 42,000, you will need a co-signer. Your co-signer must have a minimum credit score of 720 and an annual income of at least $ 42,000.

If you borrow more than $ 150,000 and your credit score is below 725 or your annual income is less than $ 50,000, you will also need a co-signer. In this case, your co-signer must have a credit score of 725 or greater and an annual income of at least $ 50,000.

If you need a co-signer, you can have them exempt from the loan after making 12 consecutive on-time payments and meeting certain credit criteria.

Service credit union

Service Credit Union offers college graduates and their parents a student loan refinancing option with the option for parents to transfer the loan debt to their child

Loan amounts range from $ 5,000 to $ 150,000 and you can repay over five, 10, or 15 years. Like Navy Federal, Service Credit Union serves the military community primarily, but you can become a member by joining the American Consumer Council or by working for one of Service Credit Union’s select employer groups.

The lender does not provide information about loan requirements in order to obtain approval to refinance your college debt, although you must have at least a bachelor’s degree.

How to Find the Best Credit Union to Refinance Your Student Loan

As with any other financial decision, it is important to take the time and look around to make sure you can find the best deal. Compare these options with other credit unions in your area that offer student loan refinancing. You can also consider using a platform like LendKey, which connects borrowers with credit unions and community banks.

If you are not married to the idea of ​​only one credit union refinancing, you can also compare rates and other terms with online lenders and banks. But if you prefer to work with a smaller organization, stick with credit unions.

Having a loved one ready to sign a loan application with you can help bring your interest rates down. Unfortunately, not all credit unions allow you to pre-qualify with just a gentle credit check, so you may have to go through the full application process to be able to compare rates and terms.

Next Steps

Refinancing your student loan can save you money and give you additional flexibility. Going through a credit union can provide you with a better experience as a customer and in some cases you may be able to get a lower interest rate. However, be aware of the possible restrictions.

Whether you choose to refinance your student loans with a credit union or another lender, it is important to be proactive about your student loan repayments and the various ways you can save money in the process.

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