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How To Refinance Your Student Loans

As a recent college graduate, managing the burden of student loans can be difficult. Fortunately, there are options available to help make payments more manageable. One such option is refinancing your student loans. Refinancing can allow you to potentially lower your interest rate and monthly payments, making it easier to pay off your loans over time. Here are some tips on how to refinance your student loans:

Determine if refinancing is right for you.

Before you decide to refinance your student loans, it’s important to determine if it’s the right option for your specific situation. Refinancing with high-interest private student loans, good credit, and a stable income may benefit you. However, if you have federal student loans, you must understand that refinancing them may cause you to lose certain benefits, such as income-driven repayment plans and loan forgiveness options. Be sure to weigh the pros and cons of refinancing before deciding.

EH/ Getty Images | Student debt has more than doubled since 2008

Research and compare lenders

Once you’ve determined that refinancing is the right option, it’s important to research and compares lenders to find the best deal. Look for lenders that offer competitive interest rates, low fees, and flexible repayment options. You can use online resources such as Credible, LendKey, and NerdWallet to compare rates and terms from multiple lenders.

Check your credit score

Your credit score is a key factor in determining your eligibility for refinancing and the interest rate you’ll receive. Before you apply for refinancing, it’s important to check your credit score and report to ensure they are accurate and up-to-date. You can obtain a free credit report from each major credit bureau (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) once a year.

Gather necessary documents

When applying for refinancing, you must provide certain documents such as proof of income, employment verification, and loan statements. Gather all necessary documents beforehand to speed up the application process.

REUTERS/ Vox | More adults are burdened with student debt today

Consider a cosigner

If you have a poor credit history or income, having a cosigner with a good credit score and income can help you qualify for a lower interest rate.

Choose a shorter loan term.

While a longer loan term may mean lower monthly payments, it also means you’ll pay more in interest over time. Consider opting for a shorter loan term to save money in the long run.

Apply for refinancing

Once you’ve researched, checked your credit score, and gathered the necessary documents, it’s time to apply for refinancing. You can apply online through the lender’s website or by phone. During the application process, be prepared to provide personal and financial information such as your social security number, income, and loan information.

Suzanne Kreiter / Boston Globe/ Getty Images | bout one-third of those ages 18 to 29 currently have student loan debt

Review and sign the loan agreement.

After you’ve been approved for refinancing, the lender will provide you with a loan agreement outlining the new loan’s terms and conditions. Be sure to carefully review the agreement and ask any questions you may have before signing.

Pay off your old loans.

Once you’ve signed the loan agreement, the lender will pay off your old loans on your behalf. From this point on, you’ll make payments to the new lender according to the new loan’s terms.

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