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What are the tradeoffs to refinancing my federal loan with a private lender like Earnest?

When looking to refinance a federal loan, it is important to consider the protections of your current loan and understand what protections you may be gaining (or giving up) by moving to a private lender like Earnest.

If you refinance your federal and/or private student loans with an Earnest loan, you will lose benefits associated with your underlying federal and private loans, including the ability to select Income-Driven Repayment or other flexible payments plans that are available to federal student loan borrowers.

Federal student loans offer various deferment (for example, economic hardship deferment), forbearance, lower payment plans, and loan forgiveness options (for example, Public Service Loan Forgiveness) that are not available to you if you take out a refinanced loan. However, private refinance forbearance and deferment options may be available to you at lender discretion.

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