✅Flexible repayment. Earnest lets borrowers set their own monthly payment amount, which means you can repay your loan faster and save money in the long term. Unlike most lenders’ set loan terms of 7, 10, or 12 years, Earnest lets you set the life of the loan to whatever works for your budget — even if it’s a weird term like 8 years and 3 months.
✅Skip a payment if you want. You can skip one payment every 12 months without consequence so long as you’ve already paid 6 consecutive months of full, on-time payments. Your last payoff date will extend by the length of the payment period you skipped. Here’s how to skip a payment, as well as the form to fill out.
✅Referral bonus. You receive $200 for each person you refer to Earnest after their refinance loan has been disbursed. To refer someone, log into your Earnest account, click the “Refer Friends” tab, and copy your referral link. That custom link is the only way to ensure you receive your bonus.
✅Financial hardship protections. During financial hardship, you might qualify for forbearance or deferment. Pro tip: Remember that during forbearance, daily interest continues to accrue. While your loan is in deferment, interest usually doesn’t accrue.
✅No hidden fees. Earnest does not charge prepayment penalties, late fees, or origination fees on their refinance loans or their private student loans.
✅Parent PLUS loans eligible. Earnest refinances federal PLUS loans and private parent loans. This does not transfer the debt to the student. The parent will still owe the refinanced debt.
✅Autopay discount. Earnest features an interest rate reduction when you enroll in automatic payments straight from your bank account. Most lenders offer this rate discount.
✅In-house customer service. Unlike many loan servicers, Earnest doesn’t outsource their customer service. They’re also both the lender and loan servicer, which makes it easier for dedicated representatives to access your loan information and get you the help you need.
✅Cosigner release. If you refinance with Earnest, you can release your current cosigner from a student loan or loans.
🚫No cosigner for refinancing. At this time, Earnest does not let you add a cosigner to refinance loans. However, they do allow cosigners for new private student loans to pay for current or future schooling.
🚫No lending in NV and KY. Earnest doesn’t lend to Nevada residents. Earnest lends private student loans to Kentucky residents, but not refinance loans.
🚫Limited availability of variable rate loans. Due to various state laws, Earnest does not offer variable interest rate loans to residents of Alaska, Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Tennessee, or Texas. Only fixed interest rate refinance loans are available in these states, taking a little bit of choice away from the borrower. In some cases, you might pay more in interest over time.
🚫Extra taxes in Florida. The Florida Stamp Tax applies to Earnest loans borrowed by Florida residents. This tax amounts to $3.50 per $1,000 of the principal loan balance, paid directly to the Florida Department of Revenue.