About Earnest Student Loan Refinance
Earnest was established in San Francisco in 2013 by Louis Beryl, who had previously worked as a partner at the venture capital company Andreesen Horowitz in Silicon Valley, and Benjamin Hutchison, who had previously worked at the BBC as the head of commercial finance. Earnest was purchased by Navient Corp in 2017, the latter being a financial services provider based in Delaware. Sallie Mae had previously been divided into two separate companies, namely Sallie Mae Bank and Navient, prior to this. Earnest will be run as a distinct brand by Navient for the foreseeable future.
Earnest provides ultra-flexible alternatives for making payments, including the longest grace period available in the industry.
In a Nutshell
Earnest is a rapidly expanding financial technology lender that focuses on providing private student loans. Earnest has a number of adaptable repayment choices for its student loans, the most notable of which is a grace period of 9months after graduation that is the longest in the business in the industry.
Earnest Student Loan Pros and Cons
- Flexible repayment options
- 9-month grace period
- Option to skip a payment once per year²
Earnest Student Loan at a Glance
Loan types: Undergraduate, graduate, MBA, medical, law
APRs: 2.55% – 11.44% variable, 3.22% – 12.78% fixed³ (includes auto pay discount³)
Repayment terms: 5-15 years⁴
Loan amount: Up to 100% of cost of attendance
Origination fees: No
Earnest Student Loan Interest Rates and Fees
Earnest is consistently ranked as one of the student loan companies in the United States that offers the most competitive interest rates, with variable-rate loans beginning at 0.94%* APR and fixed-rate loans beginning at 2.94%* APR (with auto pay3). Earnest provides loans to students at all educational levels, including undergraduates, graduates, MBA, medical, and law students. It does not provide a breakdown of how interest rates fluctuate between the various sorts of loans; all it does is advertise rates on a broad basis. When making monthly payments via auto pay, a discount of 0.25% off the standard annual percentage rate (APR) is applied automatically.
*Only borrowers with the highest credit qualifications are eligible for our lowest rates, which also include a discount of 0.25% for automatic payments made from a checking or savings account.
Earnest Student Loan Repayment Options
Earnest offers a choice of five repayment terms: 5, 7, 10, 12 or 15 years.
Additionally, it offers a choice of four repayment options while you’re still in school.
- Full principal and interest. Make full principal and interest payments while in school to save on your total loan cost.
- Interest only. Make interest payments but defer payments (0.25% APR Auto Pay discount is not available while loan payments are deferred) on the principal amount while enrolled in school and during the interim period, to strike a balance between loan cost and reduction of monthly payments during school.
- Fixed. Make fixed $25 monthly payments while in school helps reduce the interest you accrue.
- Deferred. Make no payments while in school to free up cash in your budget (a 0.25% APR Auto Pay discount is not available while loan payments are deferred).
After graduation, you will have a grace period of nine months before you are required to start paying full principal and interest payments on your Earnest loan. This grace period is superior to the 6-month grace period or no grace period option that is provided by other lenders, making it the greatest grace period available in the industry.
In addition, borrowers have the option of skipping one payment annually for the rest of the repayment term, regardless of how long the loan is outstanding.
Earnest Student Loan Discounts and Rewards
Earnest scholarship: every borrower has the opportunity to submit an application for a $5,000 share of the Earnest Scholarship Fund, which is currently valued at $250,000. There is no requirement for a GPA or an essay to submit an application. You just need to tell me a few things about yourself, and we’re good to go.
Earnest Student Loan Application Process
Earnest enables you to submit an application for your private student either online or on your mobile device. Simply fill out the application, upload all of your supporting documents, and go over your available loan options. The majority of approved borrowers are informed of the final decision within three days.
Eligible students must be:
- Attending, or enrolled to attend, full-time at an eligible 4-year Title IV institution;
- Living in the United States (all states except Nevada);
- The age of majority in their state of residence; and
- A US citizen or permanent resident or have a co-signer who is a US citizen or permanent resident.
Earnest Student Loan Co-Signer Options
A co-signer is required for more than 90 percent of the loans that are accepted via Earnest. It takes no more than two minutes to check the eligibility of a co-signer. You have the option when applying to Earnest, of opening an application on your own and then requesting that Earnest send an email to your co-signer with instructions on what to do on their end of the transaction. This is one of the ways in which you can apply.
Earnest does not, sadly, provide a co-signer release option for its users. This indicates that your co-name signer’s will need to remain on the loan until the balance has been paid off in full.
Earnest Student Loan Customer Service
Based on the rating of 4.7 stars that Earnest has received on Trustpilot, it is clear that the vast majority of student borrowers are satisfied with the service. Visit the Help Center on the Earnest website to obtain contact information as well as answers to the questions that are most frequently asked. The headquarters of Earnest Operations, LLC can be found in San Francisco.
Earnest stands apart due to a variety of distinguishing qualities. It offers some of the most competitive interest rates available in the market for private student loans. The grace period1 that it offers is the most forgiving we’ve come across. Additionally, because it is powered by fintech, the platform provides you with speedy judgment. The borrower’s chances of being approved are increased when they have a cosigner, despite the fact that the eligibility conditions are rather stringent.