Once you've graduated from college student loans can feel like a constant dark cloud hanging above your head. After a few months, you may come to realize that the interest you're being charged on your student can be ludicrous to the point of being downright impossible to afford. Credible is an online loan marketplace that can make shopping around for a lender less of a hassle. Credible is unique in that they aren't a direct lender but a platform that makes it possible for people like you to compare lenders you qualify for.
Before you get started refinancing your student loans, you need to be mindful of a few restrictions Credible has in place. You must be out of school (no longer enrolled) and have a standing student loan debt that exceeds $5,000. Credible also only serves American citizens or permanent residents of the US aged 18 years or older.
As mentioned above, Credible is not a direct lender and doesn't partake in any lending itself. It is a completely free-to-use online marketplace that can help connect you with lenders and provides information on their rates and refinancing plans. Credible's business model is dependent on commissions from the lenders participating in their marketplace so they won't charge you a dime for their service.
Many students find that the interest rates charged for student loans can make paying back loans difficult, especially with the salary of a fresh graduate. Here's how refinancing works: you take out a new lower-interest loan that you use to help pay off your high-interest student loans. This helps keep your financials above water and makes payments much more manageable than if you were to pay off student loans directly. However, refinancing your student loans isn't recommended in all situations. There are some risks involved in refinancing, such as loss of federal borrower protections and income-driven repayment plans.
It only takes a few minutes to fill out a form on Credible and get instant estimates from student refinancing lenders.
Anybody that fulfills the prerequisites for membership in Credible can use it, though most of the lenders present on their marketplace have specific qualifications they're looking for in potential clients. A credit score that hovers in the mid-600s and a sufficient annual income are enough to attract offers from most lenders on Credible. If your credit is bad or just below minimum qualifications, you shouldn't give up hope. If you can find someone with a good credit score to cosign along with you, improving your odds of securing a refinancing deal on Credible.
Here are some clear benefits of student loan refinancing through the Credible marketplace:
You can cosign with another individual. This is a huge plus for those who have student loan debts that have left them struggling for months -- or years -- and damaged their credit score. If you can find someone to cosign with you, you can improve the refinancing offers you receive from firms.
Completely free marketplace. Credible is entirely free for you to use because their business model is based on a commission system. The firms signed on the Credible marketplace pay a commission to Credible for any deals that go through. You never have to pay a cent for being curious or rate-shopping.
So how do you apply for a refinancing deal through Credible? The whole process isn't difficult to understand. The way Credible works can be described in three simple steps:
Receive Rate Estimates
Fill out a short form as accurately as possible about your education and financial history. Be sure to clearly define in the form how much of your existing loan you want to refinance. Consider the amount carefully before you look for deals on Credible. It isn't always necessary to refinance every penny of your remaining debt. If you find your federal student loan repayments are manageable, you can opt to refinance your personal debts only. The whole process shouldn't take longer than a few minutes to complete and doesn't affect your credit rating at all. Once you've completed this step, you'll be asked to create a Credible membership.
Research and Compare Lenders
Once you've logged into your Credible account, your dashboard will show you a list of refinance rates that you're likely to qualify for. Each lender may have several offers for you depending on the specific terms of the deal you want to make. You can filter for specific rates or lenders with the search settings on your dashboard.
Apply for Refinancing
This last step is the most important. You will either be accepting or not be accepting a refinance deal from a lender. Make sure to do your research on the firms offering you deals and triple check that the numbers you're getting are what you're expecting. From the offers available, you need to select a plan that provides the most benefits for you within the timeframe that you're looking for. Take care to read all the stipulations of any deal you sign -- you don't want to be blindsided by a surprise clause in the future.
You have thirty days to shop around and research potential lenders before your rate-shopping inquiries will begin to affect your credit score. It's alright for you to to take as much time as you feel necessary to ensure you've found a firm that you can trust, you're comfortable working together with, and is willing to strike a deal that's to your liking. Once you've selected the lender that you want to refinance with, they should ask you for your loan information. Don't expect an immediate approval at this point. The firm will need to do a thorough check of your credit history before they can give you the green light and finalize a deal. Once this process is complete, Credible has fulfilled its purpose and completed its work. They'll receive a commission from the lender for helping them connect with you. Going forward, any further interactions between you and your lender will take place privately outside of the Credible platform.