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Choosing your monthly payment | Student Loan Refinancing

Once you’ve been approved, we provide a broad range of monthly payment amounts. Within that range, you’ll have control over the exact amount of your monthly payment. Other lenders force you to pick between a small number of off-the-shelf options, which is convenient for them but not necessarily best for you. 

How does it work? 

We see a lot of value in offering our clients more flexibility when choosing their repayment terms. To make this possible, we use complex calculations on the basis of the prices, the amount to be financed, and the current date. Additionally, we take into account holidays and estimated time until the first payment is due, which means the available repayment terms are subject to change daily as time passes. 

To further expand on this feature, the repayment terms are assigned in a sequence of $5 increments. When the slider is moved to the far left or right, you may see some repayment options no longer available because if another $5 increment was applied, it would then exceed the approved repayment terms. In most cases, if your payoff exceeds the total loan amount when increased by another $5 increment, the slider will move as far to the right as possible before exceeding the approved repayment terms.



Having trouble choosing a 20-year term? 

If you’re not seeing your desired repayment term, there are a few immediate options you can try to work with the calculations. You can modify the payoff amount slightly by either increasing or decreasing by up to $20 to see if that changes the terms. Please note, this could mean either slightly overpaying or underpaying $20 during the refinance. Once you’ve adjusted the loan amount, refresh the page. If the 20-year term is not available, try signing in the following next three days to view any changes and perform the same change to the loan amount to see if the 20-year term populates.

Otherwise, our Client Happiness team can troubleshoot to create a desired term length, though there are a few important things to note. It can take up to a week for us to implement the adjusted offer. Additionally, due to the nature of the resolution, the offer is typically only available for the day the fix is made (through midnight). If you decide to take this route, we ask that you keep an eye out for an email from us notifying you to review your offer. 

You’re always welcome to contact us by clicking the "Get In Touch" button found at the bottom of this article or through chat by clicking the green button found in the corner of the page. We are happy to address any concerns you may have!



You may lose benefits associated with your underlying federal and/or private loans if you refinance such as federal Income-driven Repayment Plans, Economic Hardship Deferment, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, or other deferment and forbearance options. If you file for bankruptcy, you may still be required to pay back this loan.

Choosing to refinance to a longer term may lower your monthly payment, but increase the amount of interest you may pay. Choosing to refinance to a shorter term may increase your monthly payment, but lower the amount of interest you may pay. Review your loan documentation for total cost of your refinanced loan.

An updated note for borrowers with federal student loans:

On November 22, 2022, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced an extension of the federal student loan payment pause until ED is permitted to implement the debt cancellation program it announced on August 24, 2022 or the litigation is resolved. Payments will restart 60 days later. If the debt cancellation program has not been implemented and the litigation has not been resolved by June 30, 2023 — payments will resume 60 days after that. We want Earnest customers to explore all their options before applying to refinance their federal student loans. Refinancing a federal student loan with a private lender means you will no longer have access to benefits of your federal loans, including the temporary 0% interest rate and suspension of payments effective through June 30, 2023 on federally held loans, the debt cancellation announced by ED on August 24, 2022, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Limited Waiver Option available through October 31, 2022, or any other relief measures implemented for federal loans to address the COVID-19 crisis.

Please carefully review your current and potential benefits with your federal loan servicer, including loan forgiveness options such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Income-Driven Repayment, before refinancing. See the Department of Education for more info on COVID-19 relief.

*Earnest’s Loan Cost Examples: These examples provide estimates based on payments beginning immediately upon loan disbursement. Variable APR: A $10,000 loan with a 20-year term (240 monthly payments of $132) and a 10.00% APR would result in a total estimated payment amount of $15,867. For a variable loan, after your starting rate is set, your rate will then vary with the market. Fixed APR: A $10,000 loan with a 20-year term (240 monthly payments of $149) and a 13.00% APR would result in a total estimated payment amount of $17,930. Your actual repayment terms may vary.


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