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Graduate students often end up with more student loan debt compared to undergraduates. If you have high interest rates on your graduate student loans, they could be especially difficult to manage.

However, if you refinance graduate student loans, you might be able to lower your interest rate and save money on your loans, which could help you pay them off faster.

Here’s what you should know about refinancing graduate student loans:

10 lenders for refinancing graduate student loans

Graduate school can be an expensive investment. For recent graduates, the average grad school debt was $84,300, and the average student loan payment for borrowers on the standard repayment plan was $723 — higher than the overall average payment of $393.

If you have a high interest rate or steep monthly payment on your graduate student loans, you might be able to reduce one or both by refinancing — which could save you money in the long run.

Here are Credible’s partner lenders that offer refinancing for graduate student loans:

Lender Fixed rates from (APR) Variable rates from (APR) Loan amounts Min. credit score Cosigners allowed
advantage education loan consolidation 4.54%+ N/A $7,500 up to up to $200,000
(larger balances require special approval)
Does not disclose Yes
brazos student loan refinancing 2.95%+ 1.90%+ $10,000 up to $250,000
(depending on degree)
690 Yes
citizens bank student loans 2.97%+¹ 1.99%+¹ $10,000 to $500,000
(depending on degree and loan type)
Does not disclose Yes
college ave student loans 3.34%+2 3.24%+2 $5,000 to $300,000
(depending on degree type)
Does not disclose Yes
edvestinu student loan consolidation 4.41%+5 2.03%+5 $7,500 to $200,000 700 Yes
elfi student loans 2.79%+3 2.39%+3 Minimum of $15,000 680 Yes
mefa refinancing 3.47%+4 2.47%+4 $5,000 – $250,000 670 Yes
invested refinancing 3.05%+ 3.05%+ $10,000 up to the total amount of qualified education debt 670 Yes
penfed purefy student loan consolidation 2.99%+ 2.17%+ $7,500 to $300,000 670 Yes
rhode island student loan authority refinancing 3.19%+ N/A $7,500 up to $250,000
(depending on highest degree earned)
680 Yes
sofi refinancing 2.99%+5 2.25%+5 $5,000 up to the full balance of your qualified education loans Does not disclose Yes
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All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | 1Citizens Bank Disclosures | 2College Ave Disclosures | 3 ELFI Disclosures | 4INvestEd Disclosures | 5SoFi Disclosures

Advantage Education Loan: Best for taking over responsibility for parent PLUS loans

Advantage is one of the few lenders that allows parents to transfer Parent PLUS Loans into their child’s name. This could make it a good option for refinancing if you’re looking to have your child taken over responsibility for a PLUS Loan.

With Advantage, you can refinance $7,500 up to $200,000 — though keep in mind that larger balances might require special approval.

Brazos: Best for Texas residents

If you’re a resident of Texas, Brazos might be a good option for refinancing your graduate student loans. With Brazos, you can refinance $10,000 up to $250,000 (depending on your degree).

It also offers a wide range of term lengths to choose from — five, seven, 10, 15, or 20 years.

Citizens Bank: Best for existing customers of Citizens Bank

With Citizens Bank, you can refinance up to $500,000 in graduate student loans.

If you already have a Citizens Bank account, refinancing with them could be a good option, as you might qualify for a 0.25% loyalty rate discount. You could also score another 0.25% rate discount if you sign up for automatic payments.

College Ave: Best for custom term lengths

Most lenders just offer a few term length options for you to choose from, but not College Ave — you can choose from 16 different term lengths ranging from five to 20 years.

Keep in mind that choosing a shorter term will save you on interest charges while selecting a longer term will generally get you a lower monthly payment (though you’ll pay more in interest over time).

ELFI: Best for large loan balances

Education Loan Finance (ELFI) offers graduate student loan refinancing for balances starting at $10,000 with no maximum. This could make it a good choice if you have a large student loan balance, such as from a medical or law degree.

INvestEd: Best for borrowers who didn’t finish their degrees

INvestEd is one of the few lenders that doesn’t require you to have finished your degree to be eligible for refinancing.

It also offers up to 24 months of forbearance over the life of your loan, which could be very helpful if you run into financial hardship.

MEFA: Best for borrowers who might need a modified payment plan

With MEFA, you can refinance $10,000 up to your total amount of qualified education debt.

Plus, if you refinance with MEFA and run into unexpected financial difficulties, you can apply for a modified payment plan and make either reduced or interest-only payments for up to 48 months.

PenFed: Best for spouses refinancing loans together

PenFed is one of the only lenders that allows spouses to refinance their student loans together, which could be helpful for partners who want to combine their debt.

You can refinance $7,500 to $300,000 with PenFed.

RISLA: Best for people who need income-based repayment

Unlike with federal student loans, private student loan repayment help is at the discretion of the lender. And in most cases, help offered by private lenders is only temporary deferment or forbearance.

However, if you refinance with RISLA and face financial hardship, you’ll have the option to sign up for Income-Based Repayment (IBR) — similar to the federal repayment program. This will cap your payment at 15% of your discretionary income.

If you make on-time payments for 25 years under IBR, RISLA will forgive your remaining balance.

SoFi: Best for borrowers with professional degrees

Most SoFi borrowers have high incomes and advanced degrees, which means you might have an easier chance of qualifying if you hold a professional degree in a field like law or medicine. With SoFi, you can refinance $5,000 up to the full balance of your qualified education loans.

SoFi borrowers also enjoy perks like loyalty discounts on other loans, unemployment protection, member events, career coaching services.

Learn More: Private Student Loan Consolidation

How to refinance graduate student loans

If you’ve decided to refinance student loans, follow these five steps:

  1. Check your credit. It’s a good idea to make sure your credit report doesn’t have any errors. If you find incorrect information, you can dispute it with the credit bureaus to potentially give a boost to your credit score.
  2. Research and compare lenders. Be sure to compare as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for you. Consider not only rates but also repayment terms and any fees charged by the lender.
  3. Choose your loan option. After comparing lenders, choose the loan option that best suits your needs and goals — for example, a lower rate or extended repayment term.
  4. Fill out the application. You’ll need to complete a full application and submit any required documentation, such as pay stubs or student loan statements. The lender will also do a hard pull of your credit to determine your creditworthiness.
  5. Manage your payments. If you’re approved, the lender will have you sign for the loan. Be sure to continue making payments on your old loan until everything is processed. After this, you’ll begin paying on your new loan. You might also consider signing up for automatic payments — depending on the lender, you could get an autopay rate discount.

Refinancing might get you a lower interest rate, which could help you save money over the life of your loans — freeing up your budget for other financial goals. You can use our calculator below to see how much you can save by refinancing your student loans.

Step 1. Enter your loan balance

Step 2. Enter current loan information

Step 3. Enter your new loan information to start calculating your savings

Lifetime Savings
Increased Lifetime Cost

New Monthly Payment

Monthly Savings
Increased Monthly Cost

If you refinance your student loan at
interest rate, you
can save
will pay an additional
monthly and pay off your loan by
The total cost of the new loan will be

Does refinancing make sense for you?
Compare offers from top refinancing lenders to determine your actual savings.

Check Personalized Rates

Checking rates won’t affect your credit score.

Frequently asked questions about refinancing graduate student loans

Here are answers to several commonly asked questions about graduate student loan refinancing.

Can you refinance graduate student loans?

Yes, you can refinance graduate student loans — both federal and private — as long as you meet the lender’s eligibility criteria.

Just keep in mind that if you refinance federal student loans, you’ll lose your federal benefits and protections, including access to income-driven repayment and student loan forgiveness programs.

When should you refinance graduate student loans?

Ultimately, it depends on your unique circumstances to decide when to refinance graduate student loans. But here are a few circumstances when it might be a good idea:

  • You can get a reduced interest rate.
  • You want to get a lower student loan payment.
  • You want to pay off your loan sooner.
  • You want to combine multiple student loans.
  • You’re unhappy with your current servicer or lender.
  • Your income and credit are good.

Keep in mind that refinancing might help you pay off your graduate student loans faster. You can estimate how long it’ll take to pay off your student loan debt using the calculator below. Use the slider to see how increasing your payments can change the payoff date.

Enter loan information

Total Payment

Total Interest

Monthly Payment

If you increase your payments by
monthly on your
loan at
you will pay
a month and pay off your loan by
Jan 2021.

Does refinancing make sense for you?
Compare offers from top refinancing lenders to determine your actual savings.

Check Personalized Rates

Checking rates won’t affect your credit score.

Which graduate student loans can you refinance?

You can generally refinance any graduate student loans whether they’re federal or private. Some lenders, such as SoFi, also offer special refinance programs for specific degrees, such as medicine or dentistry.

Can you refinance other student loans while in graduate school?

You can, but it’s usually best to wait to refinance undergraduate loans until after you’re earning an income and can make the payments.

You might also be able to defer your federal or private student loans while you’re attending graduate school — check with your servicer or lender to see if this is an option for you.

Is there a downside to refinancing student loans?

Yes, there are some potential downsides to refinancing:

  • Could lower your credit score: Refinancing might cause a temporary dip in your credit score, as the lender will need to perform a hard credit check to review your credit. However, this impact is typically only temporary, and your credit will likely bounce back up after a few months.
  • Might lead to more interest charges: If you refinance for a longer term length, you could pay more in interest over time. It’s usually a good idea to choose the shortest term length you can afford.
  • Will lose federal benefits: Refinancing federal student loans will cost you your federal protections, such as access to alternative repayment plans and loan forgiveness options.

Be sure to carefully consider whether student loan refinancing is right for you. If you decide to refinance, research and compare as many lenders as you can to find a loan that fits your needs. Credible makes this easy — you can compare your prequalified rates from multiple lenders in two minutes.

Find out if refinancing is right for you

  • Compare actual rates, not ballpark estimates – Unlock rates from multiple lenders in about 2 minutes
  • Won’t impact credit score – Checking rates on Credible won’t impact your credit score
  • Data privacy – We don’t sell your information, so you won’t get calls or emails from multiple lenders

See Your Refinancing Options
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About the author

Lindsay VanSomeren

Lindsay VanSomeren

Lindsay VanSomeren specializes in credit and loans and is a contributor to Credible. Her work has appeared on Credit Karma, Forbes Advisor, LendingTree, and more.

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