Recent college graduates may find themselves facing a two pronged problem; a soft job market and looming student loan repayments. Refinancing student loans is one method of managing student loans and can often result in lower monthly payments.
Janet Stauble writing at Bankrate.com offers a quick and practical list of some of the does and don’ts of refinancing along with some ideas for refinancing.
The private student loan market is not as robust as it once was, so finding banks to refinance the loans takes more work than previously. Many banks simply do not deal with student loans any longer. Chase Bank, one of the largest banks offering student loans and refinancing recently announced that they would no longer accept loans after October 13, 2013.
If you have decided that refinancing is for you here are 5 banks that offer refinancing.
Wells-Fargo – Wells-Fargo only deals with private loans and offers variable rates starting at 3.25% and fixed rates starting at 6.25% and terms of up to 20 years. The bank’s web site offers a checklist of materials needed for the application and a clear overview of the program. Wells-Fargo requires medium to high credit scores.
Sovereign Bank – Sovereign offers tools and advice for consolidating student loans. Sovereign’s site does not offer a lot of information about their student loan refinance options, but does offer a toll free number for easy contact.
cuStudentLoans – cuStudentLoans is a network of non-profit Credit Unions and specializes in student loans and student loan refinancing. They offer low rates and medium credit and salary requirements. cuStudentLoans only lends to graduates from their network of participating schools. (Click here to see the list.)
Student Loan Network – Student Loan Network offers a lot of tools and resources for the student. Loan refinancing and consolation applications and information is easy to find, and the loan calculators give students a good idea of expected payments and fees.
Darien Rowayton Bank – The bank offers refinancing of private and federal student loans at some to the lowest interest rates available. DR loans have no waiting period, no prepayment penalties and no origination fees. Graduates from MBA, Law, Medical and Engineering programs are eligible to apply for the loans.
The student loan refinances market unfortunately continues to shrink. Students who are considering consolidation or refinancing would be wish to act sooner than later. The Chase Bank decision to exit the student loan marketplace could cause other banks to follow suit. Perhaps other lending institutions will look to fill the void. The research skills students learned in the classroom can prove handy now in looking to retire their student loans.