Am I eligible to refinance my student loans?

Student Loan Consolidation Interest Rates

Federal Student Loan Interest Rates

As a student loan borrower, you have options when it comes to repayment. And those options come with consequences for your interest rate. If you’re on the fence between federal consolidation versus student loan refinancing (there is a difference), here are some important things you need to know regarding the interest rates.

Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Interest Rates

Direct Consolidation Loans have fixed interest rates. When you consolidate your federal student loans, the interest rate on your new consolidation loan will be roughly the same as the rates on your underlying loans. This is because the federal government only offers the convenience of combining your loans together with an interest rate that is based on a weighted average of your loans based on their balances. What this means: Your interest rate will not go down, but it also won’t go up by much either. Direct Consolidation Loans have fixed interest rates. When you consolidate your federal student loans, the interest rate on your new consolidation loan will be roughly the same as the combined rates on your current loans. What this means: Your interest rate will not go down, but it also won’t go up by much either. 

Calculating the Weighted Average On Your Student Loan Consolidation

The interest rates on Direct Consolidation Loans are based on the following: The weighted average of the interest rates of the federal student loans being consolidated, rounded up to the nearest 1/8th of one percent.

It sounds more complicated than it really is. The following example shows how the calculation is made.

Current federal loan balances:

  • $5,000 loan at 3.4%
  • $7,500 loan at 6.8%
  • $10,000 loan at 6.8%

The interest rate on the Direct Consolidation Loan would be:

($5,000 x 3.4%) + ($7,500 x 6.8%) + (10,000 x 6.8%) ÷ ($5,000 + $7,500 + $10,000) = 6.04%

This would be rounded up to the nearest 1/8th of one percent, or 6.13%.

Monthly Payment Before Consolidation (standard repayment, 10 year term) Monthly Payment After Consolidation (extended repayment, 20 year term)

$5,000 loan at 3.4%: $50.00

$7,500 loan at 6.8%: $86.31

$10,000 loan at 6.8%: $115.08

Total: $251.39

$22,500 consolidation loan at 6.13%: $162.82

There is no cap on the interest rates on Direct Consolidation Loans.

Student Loan Refinance Interest Rates

In today’s marketplace, interest rates range from around 2.48% APR (variable) to more than 8.80% APR (fixed). The federal government does not offer a way to consolidate student loans at a rate that’s lower than the weighted-average calculation. So, even if market interest rates go down, you cannot get a better rate with a Direct Consolidation Loan. 

Check My Eligibility

As a result, the only way to get a lower rate is to take out a private refinance loan that pays off your higher rate federal student loans. Private loans are credit-based, so unless you have an excellent credit rating you will probably need a creditworthy cosigner to qualify for a lender’s lowest interest rates.

To qualify, you typically need a minimum credit score (FICO Score®) of 680 with proof of income or employment that dates back two or more years. Every lender is different and the terms to qualify will vary, so it’s best to shop around and go through the application process to see if you are approved and the rate you may qualify for.

Learn More About Student Loan Refinancing

Private Student Loan Refinancing Interest Rates

Private Student Loan Refinancing Interest Rates

The interest rate on a private refinance loan is determined by the borrower's or cosigner's credit rating. See the impact of different rates on payments.

Federal Student Loan Consolidation Interest Rates

Federal Student Loan Consolidation Interest Rates

When you consolidate your federal student loans, your interest rate will be roughly the same as your current loans. See an example of the rate calculation.

Pros and Cons of Refinancing Parent Loans

The Pros and Cons of Refinancing Parent PLUS Loans

Many parents take out student loans to pay for a child's college education. Learn about the pros & cons of refinancing Parent PLUS Loans & private loans.

How Student Loan Consolidation Works

How Student Loan Consolidation and Refinancing Works

Wondering what the first steps are in consolidating or refinancing your student loans? Check out these step-by-step instructions on how to get started.

Lending Partners

Interest Rates
  • Fixed as low as 3.25% APR
  • Variable as low as 2.72% APR
Max. Loan Limits Up to $300K
Min. Loan Amount $7,500 Degree Req. Must hold at least a bachelor's degree Repayment Terms 5, 8, 12, or 15  years.
Interest Rates
  • Fixed as low as 5.74% APR1
  • Variable as low as 4.74% APR1
  • Lowest APRs shown include an Auto Debit Reward
Max. Loan Limits
  • $150K - Undergraduate or Graduate degrees
  • Higher limits may apply for specific fields of study
Min. Loan Amount $5,000 Degree Req. Students with loans from eligible schools may apply. Repayment Terms 10 - 20 years
Interest Rates
  • Fixed rates starting at 3.39% APR
  • Variable rates starting at 2.8% APR
  • Lowest APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available.
Max. Loan Limits No Maximum
Min. Loan Amount $7,500 No degree required to refinance Repayment Terms 5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20, +more
Interest Rates
  • Fixed rate range 3.25% – 7.25%1
  • No origination fees
  • No prepayment fees
Max. Loan Limits
  • Consolidate and refinance up to $300,000
Min. Loan Amount $5,0003 Reset Refinance Loan available to both parent and student borrowers. Repayment terms 5 – 20 years
Interest Rates
  • Fixed as low as 3.20% APR
  • Variable as low as 2.48% APR
  • Hybrid loan rates as low as 3.79% APR
  • Lowest APRs offered include an auto-pay discount
Max. Loan Limits Up to $500K
Min. Loan Amount $10,000 Degree Req. Required completion of one of the following degrees at a qualified school:
  • MBA
  • JD
  • MD
  • Engineering
Repayment Terms 5, 10, 15, 20 years
Interest Rates
  • Fixed as low as 3.48% APR
  • Variable as low as 2.43% APR
  • Rates above include auto pay discount
Max. Loan Limits
  • $500K
  • Minimum qualifying credit score is 660 with an eligible cosigner
Min. Loan Amount $5,000 Degree required. Must have graduated from an eligible school. Repayment Terms: 5, 10,15, or 20 years
Interest Rates
  • Fixed from 3.64% - 7.50%
  • Variable from 2.44% - 6.87%
  • Lowest APRs offered include an auto-pay discount
Max. Loan Limits
  • $125K - Undergraduate
  • $250K - Graduate
  • $300K - Medical, Dental, Veterinary
Min. Loan Amount $5,000 Degree Req. Graduated from a LendKey eligible school Repayment Terms 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years
Interest Rates
  • Fixed as low as 3.37% APR
  • Variable as low as 2.35% APR
  • Lowest APRs offered include an auto-pay discount
Max. Loan Limits No Maximum
Min. Loan Amount $10,000 Degree Req. Required completion of degree Repayment Terms 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 years
Interest Rates
  • Fixed as low as 3.74% APR
  • Variable as low as 4.00% APR
  • Rates above include 0.25% auto-debit discount
Max. Loan Limits
  • $120K
  • Minimum qualifying credit score is 660 with an eligible cosigner
Min. Loan Amount $10,000 Degree required. Must have graduated from an eligible school. Repayment Terms 5, 10, or 15 years
Interest Rates
  • Fixed rate range: 3.24% – 7.99% APR1
  • Variable as low as 2.49% – 7.24% APR1
  • No application or prepayment fees
Max. Loan Limits
  • Consolidate and refinance up to $300,0003
Min. Loan Amount $5,0003 Degree required. Must have graduated from a public or private, not-for-profit, degree granting institution. Repayment terms 5 – 15 years2
Interest Rates
  • Fixed rate range: 4.26% – 8.20% APR1
  • Variable as low as 2.97% – 6.72% APR1,2
  • No application, origination, or prepayment fees
Max. Loan Limits
  • Consolidate and refinance up to $250,0003
Min. Loan Amount $5,0003 Eligibility Requirements Must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen. Must not have defaulted on any private or government student loan. Repayment terms 5, 10, 15 & 20 years2
Am I eligible to refinance my student loans?