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Is Credible legit? Does Credible affect your credit score? Can this student loan refinancing marketplace really help you save money on your student loans?
Before using Credible to refinance your student loans, first make sure to get answers to all your questions. This Credible review goes over all the must-know info so you can decide if Credible is right for you.
Ready to learn how Credible could save you money on your education debt? Let’s get started.
Credible review: What is Credible, anyway?
Credible is a lending marketplace that lets you compare offers from multiple lenders at once. Although it can show you offers for student loans, personal loans, mortgages, and credit cards, this Credible review will focus on one product: student loan refinancing.
Student loan refinancing is basically swapping one or more of your current student loans for a new one with a new lender. The process doesn’t cost you any money, but you could snag lower interest rates — thereby saving money on your debt.
Since each lender sets its own rates and terms, it’s useful to shop around to find the best rate. But shopping around can get tedious, as you have to track down individual lenders and fill out lots of forms. That’s where Credible can help; it does the legwork for you.
All you do is provide Credible with a few basic pieces of information, and Credible will show you offers from up to eight vetted lenders. And you know all these banks are legit, since Credible only partners with established, reputable student loan refinancing providers.
What’s more, this rate quote only involves a soft credit check, so it won’t ding your credit at all. You can browse offers without any impact on your score until the time you decide to choose an offer and submit a full application.
What are the benefits of student loan refinancing?
Before exploring the pros and cons of Credible, let’s take a closer look at the benefits of student loan refinancing.
- You could lower your interest rate. When you refinance student loans, you could get a lower rate than you have now. Lowering your interest rate even a fraction of a point could save you thousands on interest depending on how much you owe and how long your repayment term is. Plus, you could potentially pay your loan off even faster since you’re not spending so much on interest from month to month.
- You’ll get to choose new terms and adjust your monthly payments. Refinancing also gives you the chance to restructure your debt with new terms. You could choose a long term with low monthly payments, or a short term with higher monthly payments, depending on your goals.
- You can simplify repayment by combining multiple loans into one. If you want, you can combine several loans into one, so you’ll only have to keep track of one bill each month.
Are there any drawbacks to refinancing student loans?
So refinancing can save you money on your debt and simplify repayment — sounds like a no brainer, right? Well, not so fast. It can come with some downsides, too.
- You need to pass a credit and income check. Since you refinance with a private lender, you’ll need to qualify. Only those with strong credit can get the best rates. Alternatively, you can apply with a cosigner who’s willing to share this debt with you. (Note that some lenders offer cosigner release after a certain period of on-time repayment.)
- You could lose federal protections. If you refinance federal student loans, you turn them private. As a result, you lose access to federal income-driven plans, forbearance, forgiveness programs, and other federal perks. Private lenders don’t usually offer this same flexibility (though some offer temporary forbearance if you lose your job or go back to school). If you’re relying on any of these programs, you probably don’t want to refinance any federal student loans.
How to use the Credible marketplace to find the best rates
Whether or not you’ve decided to go through with student loan refinancing, it’s easy to check your rates with Credible with no obligation. The entire process only takes a few minutes.
First, you’ll create an account with Credible by providing your email and a password.
Next, you’ll fill out some basic personal info, such as your name, address, education level, and loan amount you wish to refinance. Make sure to indicate if you’re still in school, as some refinancing providers only work with those who have already graduated.
3. Compare offers from up to 8 lenders
At this point, Credible will show you pre-qualification offers from refinancing providers. You can compare interest rates and terms, as well as do some research on each lender to see if it offers any particular benefits that are useful to you.
Remember that these offers are pre-qualifications; you’ll only be fully qualified once you submit a full application and consent to a hard credit inquiry. But they’ll give you a sense of whether or not you’ll qualify and what your rates and terms could be.
4. Choose an offer and submit a full application
If you see any offers you like, you can choose it and submit a full application. This application will be more detailed, and you’ll probably have to provide some documentation (pay stubs, student loan statements, etc.) to back up your claims.
After submitting your application, the lender will notify you if you’ve been approved and the process for getting your loan funded. In most cases, the refinancing process takes between one and three weeks.
Make sure you keep paying all your old loans in the meantime, as you wouldn’t want to fall behind on payments. Once your new lender gives you the green light that everything is up and running, your old accounts will close and you’ll begin repayment on your new refinanced student loan.
Pros of using Credible to refinance your student loans
So what are the advantages of using Credible to find a student loan refinancing provider? Here are the main ones.
- You can easily compare offers from several lenders at once.
- All lenders have been carefully vetted, so you know they’re legit and offer competitive terms.
- Credible’s partner lenders don’t charge origination, application, or prepayment fees, so you don’t have to worry about refinancing costing you anything.
- Checking your rates won’t hurt your credit score.
- The entire process is easy and takes just a few minutes.
- You can compare offers for free and with no obligation.
One con of the Credible student loan refinancing marketplace
While Credible makes the loan shopping process easy, it might be worth looking to other marketplaces and providers, too. This is because Credible is only going to show you offers from its partner lenders.
While it partners with some of the best refinancing providers, including Citizens Bank and Education Loan Refinance, it won’t show you offers from every single provider. If you’re really intent on finding the best rate, you might also look at other providers, such as SoFi, Earnest, or a local bank or credit union.
You might also be interested in using the LendKey student loan refinancing marketplace, too. LendKey shows you offers from community banks and credit unions you might not see elsewhere.
Of course, you probably don’t want to devote hours to shopping around for a loan; just do as much as you have time and patience for. But if you can do a little extra research, it could pay off with a better rate on your refinanced student loan.
Credible review final thoughts
Credible is a useful, free resource for student loan borrowers who want to refinance. This marketplace makes it easy to compare multiple offers at once with no obligation — and without dinging your credit score.
But it doesn’t partner with every refinancing provider out there, and you might be able to track down an even better offer elsewhere. So check your rates with Credible, but consider shopping around with other lenders, as well, to find the best deal.
By leaving no stone unturned, you can feel confident you’ve found the best student loan refinancing offer that will save you money and help you get free from debt, once and for all.