Earnest Review: Student Loan Refinancing Analysis

What is Earnest?

Earnest offers student loan refinancing, PLUS loan refinancing, and personal loans for people with limited credit histories and entry-level positions. Instead of credit-based lending, Earnest use merit-based lending to offer more personalized rates than traditional lenders. The underwriting team look at your past and current credit situation but strongly favor what your financial future may be and shows signs of financial responsibility. Earnest is working to redefine credit-worthiness.

How Earnest Student Loan Refinancing Works

Earnest has pioneered merit-based lending and strives for transparency. They distinguish themselves by redefining what it means to be creditworthy by taking into account a wide variety of factors. Earnest allows you to personalize your interest rates based on your actual term that could save you more money.

With Earnest Student Loan Refinancing, you can consolidate your private and federal student loans into one payment.

Earnest Student Loan Refinancing Details

  • From $5,000 – $500,000.
  • Fixed rates starting at 3.35% APR.*
  • Variable rates starting at 2.57% APR.*

*accurate as of November 29, 2017

Earnest Benefits

  • Precision Pricing – gives borrowers flexibility compared with other lenders. Borrowers can select the exact amount they want to pay each month and Earnest adjusts the loan term and rates accordingly.
  • In-house loan servicing – Earnest is one of a handful of lenders that collects and manages payments for loans. This means you can speak with Earnest instead of another company.
  • No fees – Earnest does not charge any fees. No origination fees, late fees, and prepayment penalty fees.
  • Flexible repayment options – make biweekly payments, extend payment due dates, skip a payment feature, switch between fixed and variable rates.

Earnest student loan refinancing is a great option for people who have short credit histories:

  • No minimum credit score.
  • No minimum income required to qualify.

Based on the currently available information, Earnest borrowers typically are:

  • Employed or have an offer letter
  • Have enough savings to cover a month or more of normal expenses,
  • Have some history of making payments on time,
  • Carry a positive bank account balance and have an income that supports both the loan and everyday living expenses.


  • Reside within one of the 44 U.S. states that Earnest serves, or in the District of Columbia. (Residents of AL, DE, KY, MS, NV, and RI are not eligible at this time).
  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • At least 18 years old or age of majority in the state in which you live.
  • Students cannot be enrolled more than half-time, or they must have a degree that will be completed by the end of the semester

With a well-defined borrower profile, Earnest is able to offer some of the lower interest rates on student loan and personal finance loans. They are proud of their transparency and willing to have serious discussions with potential borrowers and existing clients when financial situations arise.

How to apply for Earnest Student Loan Refinancing:

  1. Check your rate in 2 minutes (does not impact your credit score)
  2. Complete loan application (share your educational degree, savings, employment prospects)
  3. Get a decision

Alternatives to Earnest Student Loan Refinancing

We also recommend checking SoFi and LendKey for comparative analysis. You can read the SoFi student loan refinancing review and read the LendKey student loan refinancing review.

Earnest Review: Student Loan Refinancing

Products & Services
Ease of Use
Customer Service
Fees & Commissions

With a well-defined borrower profile, Earnest is able to offer some of the lower interest rates on student loan and personal finance loans. 

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Jason Vitug

Jason Vitug is founder at phroogal, creator of the award-winning project the Road to Financial Wellness, and author of the bestseller and NY Times reviewed book, You Only Live Once: The Roadmap to Financial Wellness and a Purposeful Life.

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