Refinance student loans

Here’s How to Refinance Student Loans Without a Degree

can you refinance student loans without a degree

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Can you refinance student loans without a degree? The answer to this common question is yes, but only with some lenders. While certain banks require an Associate’s degree or higher, there are a few that will refinance your student loans if you didn’t graduate. Here’s what you need to know about refinancing your student loans without a degree, along with our recommendations for the best lenders to check your rates.

Can you refinance student loans without a degree?

Short answer: yes. Long answer, your options for student loan refinancing will be more limited than if you had your degree.

Some lenders with the most competitive refinancing rates, such as SoFi and Laurel Road, require that you earned your Associate’s degree or higher.

But fortunately, there are some financial institutions that will refinance your student loans even if you didn’t graduate as long as you meet their other requirements.

Best banks for refinancing student loans if you didn’t graduate

So what are the best student loan refinancing options for students who didn’t graduate? Here are some banks that may refinance student loans without a degree to help you save money on interest:

  • Citizens Bank
    • Minimum loan amount: $10,000
  • RISLA
    • Minimum loan amount: $7,500
  • Discover
    • Minimum loan amount: $5,000
  • Wells Fargo
    • Minimum loan amount: $5,000
  • PNC
    • Minimum loan amount: $10,000
    • PNC also requires that you’ve already been paying your loans for 24 months or more before refinancing them

As of the time of writing, these lenders are offering variable rates starting at 2.15% and fixed rates starting at 3.44% (these APRs include a 0.25% rate discount for autopay). Since rates can change, make sure to check with each lender directly for its current offers.

Note that it might also be worth checking your rates with student loan refinancing marketplace Credible, as Citizens Bank and RISLA are two of its partner lenders. Credible will check your rates with both lenders at the same time, making the process a lot easier for you.

In fact, if you’re refinancing to lower your interest rate, it’s always a good idea to shop around with a few different lenders before selecting one. That way, you can find the best rate that will save you the most money on your debt!

Other eligibility requirements you should know

While these lenders don’t necessarily require that you graduated with your degree, they do have some other requirements before approving you for student loan refinancing.

Here are the most common eligibility requirements you’ll need to meet:

  • Strong credit score, usually 650 or higher
  • Sufficient income or proof of a job offer to show you have the means to pay back your loan
  • Student loans that are in good standing (i.e., not delinquent or in default)
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent residence

If you don’t have high enough credit or income to qualify on your own, you could boost your chances by applying with a cosigner. Even if you can qualify on your own, adding a cosigner to your application could help you snag better rates.

But keep in mind that your cosigner becomes just as legally responsible for the debt as you are, and their credit could get harmed if you fall behind on payments. Make sure you and your cosigner are both on the same page before moving forward with student loan refinancing together.

Review the pros and cons before refinancing

Choosing to refinance your student loans could be a savvy decision for a few reasons. You could,

  • Lower your interest rate and save a bunch of money
  • Adjust your monthly payments so they fit your budget
  • Choose new repayment terms that match your goals (usually between 5 and 20 years)
  • Combine multiple loans into one to simplify repayment
  • Switch to a new lender and loan servicer

But it has also has potential downsides you need to be aware of, such as,

  • Turning federal student loans into private ones, thereby making them ineligible for federal repayment plans, such as income-driven repayment, forbearance and deferment protections, and forgiveness programs

So before making changes to your student loans, especially your federal ones, make sure to read this guide on the Pros and Cons of Student Loan Refinancing.

If you decide the advantages outweigh the potential downsides, refinancing could be a smart way to take control of your student debt.

Maybe it will even help you crush your student loans ahead of schedule!