Student Loan Refinancing Programs by State


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Checking your rates will not affect your score.

If you have considered student loan refinancing, you may already know that banks and credit unions are competing for your business.


Private companies such as SoFi, Serious, Common Band and others are on the market — and they’re definitely worth checking out — but there’s a lesser-known player at play: quasi-government student loan agencies run by states.

In fact, nearly a dozen states offer refinancing programs to lower the interest rates of creditworthy borrowers and minimize their burden of monthly payments.

Below we list 11 states that either strictly cater to residents or a national audience. Is yours on the list?

Only for residents of the state

1. Alaska

Thanks to funding from the Alaska Student Loan Corporation, the State Post-Secondary Education Commission offers the opportunity to refinance federal and private loans if you (or a co-signer) has a credit score of 720 or higher. A score of 780 or higher unlocks the lowest rate available for the Alaska refinance loan.

  • Pre-qualify without affecting your credit
  • No application, initiation or prepayment fees
  • Fixed and variable interest rates
  • Refinance at least $7,500
  • Repayment terms of 5, 10 or 15 years

View more options for refinancing here Alaska student loans.

2. Connecticut

In May 2015, legislation allowed the state’s Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority (CHESLA) to refinance Student Loans in Connecticut. The lender launched its refinancing product in June 2016. It seeks borrowers with a strong credit score and a debt/income ratio of 43% or less.

  • No application, initiation or prepayment fees
  • Parental loans are also eligible
  • Fixed interest rates
  • Refinance between $5,000 and $100,000 in loans
  • Repayment terms of 5, 10 or 15 years
  • 0.25% rate reduction for autopay registration

If you live outside of Connecticut, you can still qualify as long as you refinance CHESLA student loans.

3. Minnesota

In January 2016, the state agency for higher education unveiled Self Refi especially for residents who have graduated. To qualify, you or your co-signer must also have a credit score of 700 and a debt-to-income ratio of 45% or lower.

What is unique, however, is that your credit history does not affect the interest you would receive. As with federal loans, all Self Refi borrowers receive the same fixed or variable rate, whether your credit score is 750 or 850.

  • Pre-qualify without affecting your credit
  • No application, initiation or prepayment fees
  • Late Payment Fee of $25, imposed 15 days after due date
  • Refinance between $10,000 and $70,000 in loans
  • Repayment terms of 5, 10 or 15 years
  • Tolerance available twice for up to 4 months at a time for a total of 8 months in total
  • Loan managed by Firstmark Services

4. New Jersey

The Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) offers consolidation and refinancing loans, but only for loans it originally disbursed or for federal PLUS parental loans. You would not be able to consolidate or refinance other federal or private debt.

The so-called NJCLASS ReFi+ Loan grants one of only three fixed-rate options that depend on your credit score:

creditworthiness interest
780 or higher 4.90%
720 to 779 5.70%
670 to 719 6.90%

Rates as of May 31, 2019

If your collective interest rate is higher on your current loans — and if those loans qualify — refinancing with the state can provide significant savings. You may also like that HESAA handles the loan itself and provides personalized customer service.

  • No degree required to qualify
  • No application, initiation or prepayment fees
  • Parent PLUS loans are also eligible
  • Fixed interest rates
  • Refinance for as little as $5,000 in loans
  • 10-year repayment term

If you live outside of New Jersey, you may still qualify if you attended a college or university in the state.

You can see more refinancing options Student loans in New Jersey here.

5. North Dakota

If you live in North Dakota (or have lived there for the past six months), you may be able to refinance your loans at lower rates through the Bank of North Dakota’s DEAL A loan.

Federal and private loans are eligible for refinancing. Borrowers (or co-signers) must meet credit requirements to qualify.

  • No degree required to qualify
  • No application, initiation or prepayment fees
  • Parent PLUS loans are also eligible
  • Fixed and variable interest rates

Repayment terms between 10 and 25 years

  • Rate reduction for registration in autopay
  • Late payment fee of $15, imposed 15 days after due date
  • Release your co-signer after 4 years of punctual payments

View more refinancing options Student Loans in North Dakota here.

6. South Carolina

Residents can refinance their education debt through South Carolina Student Loan. You must also be employed and have at least a credit score of 675 to take advantage of the following benefits.

  • No application, initiation or prepayment fees
  • Parent PLUS loans are also eligible
  • Fixed interest rates
  • Refinance between $10,000 and $150,000 in loans
  • Repayment terms of 5, 10 or 15 years
  • 0.25% rate reduction for autopay registration
  • Request forbearance if you experience hardship

View more refinancing options South Carolina Student Loans Here.

For residents of any state

Just like some 529 state-run college savings plans, these states can give you access to their programs even if you don’t live within their borders. Please note, however, that you must be a citizen or permanent resident of the US

7. Indiana

Through INvestEd (an Indiana nonprofit) and the Bank of Lake Mills, both residents and non-residents can qualify for refinancing.

There are similar eligibility requirements as at a bank, credit union, or private online business: You (or your co-signer) must have a credit score of at least 670 and a minimum income of $36,000.

  • Pre-qualify without affecting your credit
  • No start-up costs
  • Parental loans are also eligible
  • Fixed and variable interest rates
  • Refinance between $5,000 and $250,000 in loans
  • Repayment terms of 5, 10, 15 or 20 years
  • 0.25% rate reduction for autopay registration

View more refinancing options Indiana student loans here.

8. Iowa

Iowa Student Loan, a private non-profit organization, makes its Reset Refinance Loan available no matter where you live, but you must have a minimum credit score of 690 to qualify.

  • Pre-qualify without affecting your credit
  • No start-up costs
  • Parental loans are also eligible
  • Fixed interest rates
  • Refinance between $5,000 and $300,000 in loans
  • Repayment terms of 5, 10, 15 or 20 years
  • 0.25% rate reduction for autopay registration

View more refinancing options Iowa student loans here.

9. Kentucky

Unlike some other government education agencies, the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation funds and handles the refinancing itself.

  • Pre-qualify without affecting your credit
  • No application, initiation or prepayment fees
  • Parental loans are also eligible
  • Fixed interest rates
  • Refinance as little as $7,500
  • Repayment terms of 10, 15 or 20 years
  • 0.25% rate reduction for autopay registration
  • Release your co-signer after 3 years of punctual payments
  • Forbearance available in the event of economic hardship or military deployment

View more refinancing options Kentucky Student Loans Here.

10. Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority makes a bold claim to its potential refinancing clients: Current borrowers who refinanced were able to cut their interest rates by nearly a quarter on average. You can check them out to see if they will do the same for you and your loans.

  • Pre-qualify without affecting your credit
  • No application, initiation or prepayment fees
  • Fixed and variable interest rates
  • Refinance as little as $10,000
  • Repayment terms of 10 or 15 years

View more refinancing options Massachusetts student loans here.

11. Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Student Loan Authority offers student loan refinancing for federal and private student loans. While you can be a resident of any state and still be eligible, you must earn at least $40,000 per year in income to qualify. Co-signers are also accepted.

  • Pre-qualify without affecting your credit
  • No application, initiation or prepayment fees
  • Parent PLUS loans are also eligible
  • Fixed interest rates
  • Refinance between $7,500 and $100,000 to $250,000 in loans, depending on your degree
  • Repayment terms of 5, 10 or 15 years
  • 0.25% rate reduction for autopay registration
  • Qualify for a postponement when you go back to school
  • Apply for a deferment of up to 12 months in case of unemployment, temporary incapacity for work or other hardship
  • Switch to means-tested repayment if you have trouble paying

View more refinancing options Rhode Island Student Loans Here.

Other States With Refinancing Programs

If you haven’t seen your state on the list, hold on: it may work its way here.

In addition to the above states, California, Oregon, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, New York and Wisconsin have been exploring legislative measures to establish refinancing programs.

Maine, meanwhile, has a state refinance service similar to what online refinance does LendKey offers: it puts you in touch with local credit unions and banks that offer the product you are looking for. Her Loan for ME program has affiliated resident and non-resident, in-state graduates with 10 different lenders at last count.

What you need to know before you refinance?

The states with refinancing programs generally offer many of the same benefits that you would find with banks, credit unions, and other companies. The pitfalls are also similar.

Whether through a company or your state, if you refinance your student loans, you will lose your federal protections, such as access to means-tested repayment plans and loan forgiveness. It is essential to understand what you could give up in exchange for potentially saving money on interest.

Should You Refinance Through a Corporate or State Program?

With student loan refinancing services expanding to the states, you may be wondering which option is best for your repayment.

Whether you choose to work with a company or a state-sponsored institution, it’s critical to compare the interest rates you qualify for and how much money you’ll save over time. (Our refinancing calculator Also, consider what federal benefits you could gain in addition to the benefits you would receive through refinancing.

Finally, insight into the pros and cons of refinancing will help you choose wisely.

The information in this article is correct as of May 31, 2019.

Melanie Lockert contributed to this report.

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