November 20, 2018 12:00 PM PT

Credible Student Loan Refinance Review: Is It Legit?

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Credible helps you easily compare offers from multiple student loan refinance lenders. It this free service good? Read on to learn how it works.

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Burdened with high student loan rates and high monthly payments?

Refinancing is a smart idea get a better rate and save a ton of money on interest.

But with so many lenders, how do you choose the right one? It's a huge hassle to get rates from every lender.

This is where Credible helps. With just one application, it gives you offers from multiple lenders all at once. You can compare rates and see which is best for you. And it's completely free to use.

Read on to learn how Credible works.

How Credible Works

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Credible works as a one-stop shop for comparison shopping for your student refinance loan. It isn't a lender. It's a marketplace for student loan lenders so you can compare rates.

Here's how Credible works:

  1. Fill out your information. First, you'll need to create an account and answer a few short questions about your education and finances. This takes just a few minutes.

  2. Get prequalified rates. Then, based on your info, you'll receive rate offers from up to 8 lenders within just a few minutes. This requires a soft credit check. This does NOT affect your credit.

    Soft Credit Check vs Hard Credit Check:

    • Soft check: A soft pull doesn't affect your credit score. It's only an initial lending decision based on general information provided.

    • Hard check: This is when they actually pull your credit report to make a final offer with the rates and terms. It will take some points off your credit score (usually about 5 points).

  3. Compare offers. You'll see all the different offers on your dashboard. The same lender could even give you multiple offers. You can compare the rates and terms. You can further narrow down your choices with filters and sorting.

  4. Apply for a refinance loan. Once you have made a choice, you will need to officially apply for the loan. At this point, the lender will make a hard credit check, ask further questions about your situation, and likely ask for documentation proving the information you provided.

    It's important to note that once you choose a lender, you no longer work with Credible. Instead, you work directly with the chosen lender.

Credible login: If you have already created a Credible account, you can log in at www.credible.com/login. You'll get back to your dashboard with your loan offers.

Who Should Use Credible

Refinancing student loans with Credible makes sense if you:

  • Have a high interest rate on your loans. Credible could help you find a lender offering a lower rate and better terms. This could save you thousands in interest over the life of the loan.

  • Are not applying for forgiveness programs. As soon as you refinance federal loans, you can no longer enroll in federal forgiveness programs. So make sure you don't plan to take advantage of these plans when refinancing federal loans.

  • Your credit has improved since college. A higher credit score means that you can be eligible for a better interest rate, which means more savings.

The Application Process

Getting prequalified (not preapproved) for a student loan refinance with Credible is simple. It takes just a few minutes. You start by using your email address as your ID and setting up a safe password.

Next, you'll provide the following information:

Pre-qualified Versus Pre-approved:

  • Pre-qualification: This is an estimate of what a lender may be able to offer based on simple information you provide. You don't provide any documentation and they generally only do a soft inquiry on your credit.

  • Pre-approval: The lender may do a hard inquiry on your credit and ask for proof of the financial information. A pre-approval isn't a guarantee of final approval, though. So it's still not a "sure thing."

  • Refinancing goal (lower payments, maximize savings, or get out of debt faster)
  • Type of student loans (your own student loans or Parent PLUS loans)
  • Name of your college
  • Highest undergrad degree received
  • Graduate school: yes or no
  • Annual income
  • Any other income (part-time, investment income, etc.)
  • Income from any other household members (such as from parents or spouse)
  • Amount of your rent or mortgage (only include your portion if you split the rent)
  • Amount you wish to refinance (this can be adjusted later)
  • Your address

Once you answer these questions, you enter your personal identifying information. Once you submit the form, you'll receive quotes from lenders interested in refinancing your loans based on the criteria you entered.

Reasons We Like Credible Student Loan Refinance

  • Get quotes in minutes. The application is completely online and takes just a few minutes to fill out your info. Then, you can get pre-qualified quotes within a matter of minutes.

  • Receive multiple quotes at once. Instead of individually applying to lenders, you can receive rates from up to 8 lenders at once. You may even receive multiple quotes (different rates and terms) from the same lender. This gives you more options.

    If you need to come back to the offers later, you can log out and come back at another time. Credible will also reach out via email, phone, or text if they receive new offers after you apply.

  • No obligation. If you don't like any of the offers, there is no obligation to move forward. You can ignore the offers and look for other options or keep the loans you have. There are no application or penalty fees for doing nothing.

  • Take time to decide. You don't have to decide on the spot which lender you want to go with. But note that rates and terms are subject to change at any point. The lender bases the pre-qualification on the rates/terms available at the time of application. If you wait too long, the situation may change.

  • It's free. Credible's service is completely free to use. Credible gets paid when it refers a borrow to a partner lender. But this doesn't affect the rates or terms lenders offer you.

  • Ability to add co-signer. You can add a co-signer before choosing lenders on their platform. Credible will let you know if you are approved on your own without a co-signer, or if it's necessary for you to add one. This may also increase your chances of approval and/or better terms.

    You can use Credible's co-signer tool to see if adding a co-signer would help you. You can add one or more co-signers to the tool and see how they change your approval. This can help you decide if you should move forward on your own, or take the help of a co-signer, such as a parent.

  • Choose how much to refinance. You can choose the amount of student loans you want to refinance. For example, you can refinance just the private loans with the highest interest rates.

  • Multiple ways to contact. You don't have to accept an offer to get free advice from Credible experts. If you have questions or concerns, you can contact Credible via phone, online chat, or email.

Reasons You May Want to Look Elsewhere

  • Not all lenders participate. You won't see offers from some of the largest student loan refinance lenders, such as Earnest or CommonBond.

  • You have federal student loans. Rather than refinancing your federal student loans into private loans, exhaust all of your options provided by the Department of Education. If you refinance your federal loans into private loans, you lose any assistance or special programs you may have access to with the federal government.

  • Your student loan balances are less than $5,000. Many of Credible's lending partners have minimum loan requirements. The lowest minimum loan requirement you'll find is $5,000. Many lenders require as much as a $10,000 balance requirement, though.

  • Your credit is poor. If you have poor credit, have a lot of debts, and have low income, you may not receive a favorable offer. In this case, a co-signer could help.

How Credible Student Loan Refinance Compares

  • SoFi: SoFi isn't a marketplace like Credible. Instead, they offer student loan refinancing options. They also offer personal loans, mortgages, and wealth management. They do offer a variety of loan options, but each loan is through SoFi. SoFi puts more emphasis on disposable income than credit scores, which may make it easier for you to qualify for a student loan refinance.

  • LendKey: LendKey is a marketplace like Credible. However, they connect you with community lenders and credit unions, rather than "big name banks." Like Credible, you can receive prequalified rates without damaging your credit score when you complete the online application. You can then compare offers and deal directly with the chosen lender. LendKey also offers private student loans and home improvement loans.

Credible Private Student Loans

While most people know Credible for their student loan refinancing options, they also offer private student loan options. If you already maxed out the federal loans you can receive, you may need additional loans from private lenders.

Just like the student loan refinancing process, you may receive quotes from multiple lenders. Using Credible can help you get the support you need as you navigate the complicated private student loan industry.

A few benefits of using Credible for private student loans include:

  • You only have one application to complete. You enter your information one time and Credible sends it to multiple lenders to get you the best rate and term possible.

  • You may have access to multiple repayment plans. As lenders compete for your business, they may have multiple repayment options. This may help you get a rate/term that you can comfortably afford.

  • You can get customer support 7 days a week. Not only can you talk to one of Credible's customer support experts, but you can also have a conference call with your customer service agent and the lender. This way you have maximum support as you decide if a private student loan is right for you.

Other Credible Services

Aside from student loans, Credible also offers other financial comparison services.

  • Personal loans. You can take out a personal loan for debt consolidation, wedding expenses, home improvement, or any personal reason. Credible can give you quotes from up to 10 lenders. The process is the same as the student loan refinancing process.

    You answer personal questions regarding your income, education level, desired loan amount, and estimated credit score. Once you provide your personal information, you'll receive applicable offers from participating lenders.

  • Mortgage refinance. Get personalized rates from 6 of the nation's top mortgage refinance lenders. Just like with student loan refinance and personal loans, checking rates won't affect your credit.

  • Credit card search. Credible provides comparison tools and allows you to narrow down your card options. You don't apply for the card on Credible's website. Instead, they provide you with a link to apply for the card on the credit card company's website.

Common Questions

Does Credible affect credit score?
When you apply for prequalified rates, this is only a soft pull and will not affect your credit score. But when you submit a formal loan application with a lender, this will be a hard pull and affect your credit score.

However, the credit bureaus understand you're shopping around for rates. So within a 45-day window, they will treat all credit checks from lenders as one single hard pull.

What credit score do I need?
Most student loan refinance lenders want a credit score in the high 600s, though some will accept 650. Credit score isn't the only thing lenders look at. Some also look at your employment history, savings patterns, and potential for the future.

If your credit score is poor, having a co-signer will give you better approval odds or better rates.

Can I refinance with Credible even if I didn't graduate?
Yes, Credible partners with lenders who will refinance student loans even if you didn't get a degree.

Why didn't I receive any prequalified rates?
This could be because you didn't meet any of the lenders' eligibility requirements. In this case, you could be eligible if you add a co-signer. Or you can choose to apply for refinance directly with a lender.

Bottom Line

Credible offers a variety of resources to make it easier for you to find the perfect student loan refinance option. With all of the offers in one place, you can simplify the shopping-around process. Of course, you should still do your own research, but having the quotes and lender information side-by-side can cut down on some of your legwork.

If you are in the market for a private student loan, personal loan, or credit card, Credible may be valuable for you as well. As with student loan refinancing, make sure you do your own research and read the fine print before agreeing to any loan or credit card.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

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Best Student Loan Refinance


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CreditDonkey is a student loan comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy decisions.

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