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LendKey Student Loans vs Earnest Student Loans

LendKey is a good option for customer service. How does it compare to Earnest? Read our comparison chart below.

LendKey connects borrowers with a network of community banks and credit unions to get the best rates. Lendkey's lenders offer both private student loans and refinancing & consolidation services. Many lenders offer the option to make interest-only payments during the first four years. Each lender has its own minimum loan and salary requirement.

While Earnest sets itself apart by taking a more personalized approach to lending. Instead of just looking at your credit score, Earnest also considers your job, savings habits, and how you handle finances. It offers flexibility in payments, with the option to switch between fixed and variable rates. You also can skip a payment every 12 months without penalty. Minimum $5,000 in loans to be eligible.

Compare LendKey with Earnest, side-by-side. Read on for an in-depth look, including ratings, reviews, pros and cons.

 LendKey Student LoansEarnest Student Loans
 Learn MoreLearn More
 

LendKey Student Loans

Earnest Student Loans

SPECIAL OFFER
Refinance Student Loans - Learn More

Read LendKey Review

SPECIAL OFFER
Refinance Student Loans - Learn More

Read Earnest Review

 

Benefits and Features

Variable APR
2.51%-7.51% (with AutoPay)
2.41% - 6.99% (includes 0.25% autopay discount)
Fixed APR
3.49%-7.54% (with AutoPay)
3.47% - 7.72% (includes 0.25% autopay discount)
Minimum Amount
$7,500
$5,000
Maximum Amount
$300,000
$500,000
Loan Term
5 to 20 years
Custom term from 5 to 20 years (180 term options)
State ResidencyMost states except: ME, ND, NV, RI, and WVMost states with the exception of: DE, KY, and NV and no variable rate loans to residents of: AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN and TX
Degree Requirements
Bachelor's or higher
Associates or higher
Income Requirements
$24,000
None
Employment Requirements
Must be employed
Must be employed or have an offer for a position to start within 6 months
Interest Only Payments
Yes for the first 4 years
No
Origination Fees
None
None
Prepayment Penalty
None
None
Can use a cosigner
Yes
No
Can release a cosigner
Yes
Only on existing loans
Auto-Pay Interest Rate Reduction
Yes
Yes
Soft Credit Check
Yes
Yes
Unemployment Protection
Yes
Yes
 

CreditDonkey® Reviews

 LendKey Student LoansEarnest Student Loans
Customer Service
Loan Term
Ease of Use
Interest Rates
Payment Flexibility
Pros & ConsPros:
  • Offer interest rate reduction beyond auto-debit reduction
  • Excellent customer service
  • Return policy within 30 days you can return your loan
Cons:
  • Cumbersome application process
  • Lack of transparency regarding loan documents
Pros:
  • Looks beyond your credit score
  • Custom term based on budget
  • Option to skip one payment every 12 months
Cons:
  • Tougher requirements
  • No co-signer option
Bottom LineGood option for customer service... Read full reviewMerit-based lender with custom terms... Read full review
 Learn MoreLearn More

Refinance Student Loans

Refinance Student Loans

LendKey: Pricing information from published website as of 11/15/2018

Earnest: Pricing information from published website as of 07/18/2019

Which is Better: LendKey or Earnest?

Still need help deciding which student loans is better? Read the in-depth reviews below. You may also be interested in comparing LendKey or CommonBond.

In short: LendKey's customer service is outstanding. Earnest's ease of use is outstanding.


Articles on LendKey Student Loans


Articles on Earnest Student Loans

    Earnest

    Earnest offers low student loan refinance rates and customizes payments based on your budget. But approval may be harder. Read on for the pros and cons.

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

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

†Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

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