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Student loans can be an overwhelming expense, so it should come as no surprise that a whole industry has been created to help debtors best deal with their student loan balances.

When tackling your student loans, we generally follow two main paths: pursuing Public Service Loan Forgiveness while making the lowest monthly payment possible for ten years and refinancing or paying off the loans relatively quickly (within ten years). But sometimes, a third, better option may be available to you.

Below, we’ll share a number of resources to help you manage your student loans.

Student Loan Refinance Companies for Physicians

Refinancing your student loans can simplify repayment and save you money. We recommend that you do this whenever there is an opportunity to get lower rates than what your current lender is offering. Interest expense is your worst enemy as a debtor, so refinancing at lower rates can help prevent your debt from compounding against you.

The following companies are our partners, which we have vetted extensively to offer you the best rates and bonuses. These lenders are some of the most reputable in the industry, but it’s important to remember they do not represent all the options available.

Equally as important to remember, if you refinance through the referral links on this page, you and Physician on FIRE will get a cash bonus, so please verify you are taking advantage of that bonus before closing.

If you have visited any of these lenders from a different website, please clear the cookies in your web browser before you click any of our links. If not, you might miss the discounted rates and the cashback bonus.

$550 Cashback Bonus+ Variable rates 5.49% - 9.95% APR Fixed rates 5.44% - 9.75% APR Discount for physicians. Inquire for details.
$500 Cashback Bonus for >$100K loan Variable rates (with autopay) 4.99% - 10.89% APR Fixed rates (with autopay) 4.96% - 10.99% APR
$550 Cashback Bonus for >$150k loan / $250 for loans between $50k-$149K Variable rates 5.02% – 8.18% APR Fixed rates 6.61% – 10.68% APR
$1000 Cashback Bonus for >$100K loan and $500 <$100K loan. Variable rates 5.28% - 12.43% APR Fixed rates 5.48% - 10.98% APR
$500 Cashback Bonus** Variable rates 5.32 % - 8.94% APR Fixed rates 4.96% - 8.99% APR
$1000 deposit for >$200K loan Variable rates 4.54% - 11.72% APR Fixed rates 3.95% - 9.19% APR
$350 Cashback Bonus Variable rates 5.28% - 8.99% APR Fixed rates 5.48% - 8.69% APR

Student Loan Refinancing Disclosures


Refinancing your student loans – medical or otherwise – can be a great way to consolidate payments and save money over time. However, DIYing your medical student loan refinance optimally requires careful dotting the “i”s and crossing the “t”s.

To help you along this journey, we’ve answered some of the most common questions when it comes to student loan refinancing below:

Student Loan Refinancing replaces one or more existing student loans with a new loan that typically offers better terms and conditions. The goal of student loan refinancing is that the new loan you receive – from a private lender – will result in lower monthly payments and a lower lifetime cost – something we can all undoubtedly get behind.

Student loan refinancing is helpful because students typically take out various loans, from federal to private loans, to complete their education. These loans have different terms and payment plans that can be unfavorable or challenging to track. As a result, consolidating them under one loan with one interest rate and payment can save money and time.

Student loan refinancing also allows you to leverage your current income and credit score to replace some or all of your student loans with better terms. Even if interest rates didn’t change, this could save you money on your monthly payments and the lifetime cost of your student loans.

Although refinancing your student loans can simplify repayment and save you money in the long run,every situation is unique. Depending on your current situation, student loan refinancing might or might not be a good option for you. Here are some things to consider before deciding if you should refinance:  
Pros Cons
Get better terms or a lower interest rate to save money on student loans Only offered by private lenders.
You can change your student loan term or interest rate depending on what you need today. When federal loans become private loans, you lose the protections and benefits associated with federal loans.
Simplify your repayment by consolidating your student loans under one lender. Lenders typically have high/steep requirements and there is no guarantee that you will get better rates.
You can apply with a co-signer to get better rates. Good to excellent credit is required to get better terms.
You can refinance your student loans multiple times if your situation improves, and you may qualify for better rates again. Repayment plans are typically fixed and have less flexibility than federal student loans.
Refinancing might allow you to switch to a fixed interest rate if you originally had a variable interest rate on your student loan. Refinancing might require you to extend the term of your student loan repayment to get lower monthly payments.

Student loan refinancing involves applying for a new loan to cover all or some of your full student loan balance.

Once approved, your new lender will pay off your loan from your previous up to the specified amount. After that transition, your new student loan balance is held with your new lender at the new rate. Moving forward, you will make payments to your new lender following the approved payment plan and interest rate.

Anyone who meets a lender’s borrowing criteria can apply to refinance their student loans. The specific requirements vary depending on the lender, but there are some key areas that all lenders look at, which include:

  • Credit Score
  • Income
  • Debt-to-income ratio (DTI)
  • Eligible Student loans
  • Completed Degree (specific lenders require completion of your degree while others do not)

Yes, an alternative to student loan refinancing is student loan consolidation.

Much like consolidating your loans with a private lender, you can consolidate all of your federal student loans into one. Your new consolidated loan will have a fixed interest rate equal to the weighted average of your previous federal student loans.

Loan consolidation does not offer a way to save money by improving your terms, but it offers a way to simplify your payment schedule. Rather than multiple payment plans with different amounts and rates, you will have one payment plan at a single rate, which is much easier to manage.

Remember that while the goal of loan consolidation is NOT to save you money, you still may experience some savings after consolidation.

The primary goal of student loan refinancing is to save money by improving the terms of your loans. This means lower monthly payments, a lower interest rate, and a lower lifetime student loan cost.

However, the primary goal of student loan consolidation is not to save money. The goal of student loan consolidation is convenience through a single loan with one payment and one interest rate.

Interest Rates

With student loan refinancing, the main goal is almost always to get better rates than you currently have. If you can get better payment terms or consolidate loans simultaneously, that’s great, but the biggest money saver is securing a lower interest rate.

With student loan consolidation, you will not end up with better terms. After consolidating, half of your loan balance will likely receive a better interest rate, and the other half will receive a higher interest rate. Still, your overall interest expense will remain unchanged.

For example, if you have four loans of equal balances and two have an interest rate of 4% and the other two have an interest rate of 6%, your consolidated interest rate will be 5%. Two of your loans will experience an increase in interest rate, while the other two will experience a decrease in interest rates.


Student loan refinancing and student loan consolidation are similar in that after the process, you will end up with fewer loans and payments.

For student loan consolidation, all of your federal and private loans are combined to create a single payment. However, the federal government does not consolidate private student loans, so you must seek a private lender if you have a mix.
For student loan refinancing, all the loans you refinanced will also be under one loan and one payment plan, but they will (likely) have a new overall interest rate, not just a weighted average. Any loans you did not refinance will still have their terms and payment plans.

In either case, both should result in fewer monthly payments, making it easier to track and manage your payments.


There are a number of differences between the two kinds of lenders (federal and private) that are worth diving into. First, the U.S. Department of Education offers federal student loans, while private banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions provide private student loans. While this isn’t always a crucial distinction, knowing the entity you’re paying and working with is worth it.

Next, federal student loans frequently offer loan forgiveness programs, such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), for borrowers who work in qualifying public service jobs. Private student loans rarely offer loan forgiveness options. If the federal government forgives your loan, you should refrain from refinancing for better terms with a private lender, but it remains a valuable consideration.

All student loans, including federal and private student loans, are eligible for refinancing. Loan issuers can’t stop you from refinancing your private or student loans. There are also no restrictions on how often you can refinance your student loans.

It is important to note that lenders can determine which types of federal student loans they are willing to refinance. For example, not all private lenders will refinance PLUS Federal Student Loans or Parent PLUS Federal Student Loans.

The specific qualifications will vary depending on the lender you decide to apply with and your student loan situation. When applying to refinance your student loans, lenders will look at the following criteria:

  • Credit Score (Typically requires Good to Excellent credit score to improve rates)
  • Income
  • Debt Levels (including debt-to-income ratio)
  • Payment History

To qualify for student loan refinancing and improve your student loan rates compared to your current rates, you must have Good or Excellent credit, generally in the mid-600s at the minimum. The higher your credit score, the lower your rates will be.

You also want to show that you have a stable recurring income and can easily meet your payment plan obligations. Another thing that lenders look at is your debt-to-income ratio. Ideally, lenders want a low to moderate debt-to-income ratio. While there isn’t a specific ratio lenders look for, a good rule of thumb is to stay below 50% and ideally below 35% for the best rates.

It’s not always the right time to refinance your student loans, so it’s essential to consider your circumstances before you decide to refinance. There are three key elements you should have before applying to refinance your student loans:

  • Consistent Income
  • Good Credit Score
  • Low-Interest Rate Environment

Consistent Income

The first thing you should have before applying to refinance your student loans is a steady income. Lenders typically want to ensure that you have sufficient income to cover your monthly payments. A steady income (and a high income) will help lower your debt-to-income ratio. A lower debt-to-income ratio is also a criterion lenders look at favorably when deciding on student loans.

Good Credit Score

Your credit score is a crucial factor in determining the interest rate a lender will give you. You should have a good or excellent credit score before applying to refinance your student loans. Without a good credit score, it’s likely that you will be able to get a lower interest rate than what you currently have.

While the ideal credit score can vary based on the lender, ideally, you want a credit score in the mid-600s. Naturally, the higher your credit score, the better, but a score in that range gives you a better chance of getting a lower interest rate.

Current Interest Rate Environment

The current interest rate environment is also very important to consider before applying to refinance your loans. However, you should also consider any interest rates you have and whether they’re fixed or variable.

For example, if interest rates have risen over the last several months, it’s likely not a good time to refinance your student loans. In this scenario, you are unlikely to get a lower rate than your current rate(s) as interest rates for all loans have increased. However, if you have a variable-rate and interest rates are expected to continue even higher, refinancing for a fixed-rate loan may be a good choice.
On the other hand, if interest rates have been on the decline for many months, refinancing to a fixed-rate loan could be wise. Ideally, you should lock in the lowest rate possible before rates head higher. Spending too much time forecasting interest rates is not recommended, but if rates are low, refinance.

If rates are high but you can still get more favorable terms, it’s still worth considering. Generally speaking, fixed-rate loans are preferred because of their predictability, but getting a variable rate while rates are high can lower your payments if and when they come down. That said, you’ll want to consult with a professional before deciding.

Yes, the goal of student loan refinancing should be to reduce the interest rate of your current student loans. But, whether or not you reduce your interest rate will depend on your current interest rates, the current rates available given market conditions, the lender, your credit score, your income, your payment history, and your debt-to-income ratio.

Fortunately, unlike refinancing mortgage loans or other high-value loans, which can cost several thousands of dollars, refinancing student loans is free.

The entire process should be completely free for most reputable lenders, including submitting your application. Any lenders that charge an application fee or origination fee of any kind are typically considered non-reputable and you should stay away from them.

Below is a list of some of our reputable student loan refinancing partners that have no application or origination fees:

How Much Can You Save by Refinancing Your Student Loans?

How much you save through refinancing will depend on your specific situation. Your savings could be substantial if your income and credit score have markedly improved since the loan origination or interest rates have come down significantly.

However, if your income and credit score are mostly the same since originating the loan(s) or interest rates have increased, your savings may be much smaller.

Yes, it is possible to refinance your student loans while you’re in school, but it depends on the lender you are working with. While some lenders will allow you to refinance your student loans during school, others might have restrictions.

For example, some lenders require that you graduate within a quarter or semester to qualify for student loan refinancing. However, it’s extremely important to note that you will typically have to begin making payments 30-45 days after refinancing when the new loan is issued.

Before you decide to refinance your student loans while in school, it’s essential to understand the impact this will have. In most cases, federal student loan payments don’t begin until after you graduate or stop going to school. Still, if you refinance your federal student loans, you will lose this benefit.

Borrowers who meet specific criteria may be eligible to deduct up to $2,500 of the interest paid on their qualified student loans. This deduction is known as the student loan interest deduction (SLID). However, there are specific requirements and limitations associated with claiming this deduction.

Unfortunately, this tax deduction is phased out for high-income earners. The $2,500 deduction is available to those with a modified adjusted gross income of $70,000. The deduction is completely phased out for those with a modified adjusted gross income of $85,000 or higher.

Lender Detailed Review

Laurel Road is one of the largest and most well-known student loan refinancing lenders available. Laurel Road is also one of the most flexible lenders on the market, offering variable and fixed-rate loans.

With multiple term options ranging from 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years, you have a variety of payment terms available.


  • Lower rates with linked checking account
  • Only a soft credit pull is required to get rates
  • Private and federal loans eligible, including parent plus loans
  • Medical residents qualify for refinancing
  • Co-signer release available after 36 on-time payments
  • Special rates for healthcare professionals


  • Deferment is not available when returning to school
  • Limited forbearance options
  • Bi-weekly payments are not available

Minimum Credit Score: 660
Minimum Loan Amount: $5,000
Fixed APR: 5.44% – 9.75% APR
Variable APR: 5.49% – 9.95% APR

Rates as of 03/18/24

Splash Financial is another lender that focuses on refinancing student and private loans. Splash connects students who want to refinance with lenders interested in refinancing their student loans. This is unique because they can connect you with multiple lenders so you can choose the lender and loans that best fit your needs.

Splash works with lenders that offer variable and fixed-rate loans and often offers a range of term options from 5 to 25 years. Splash also refinances private and federal loans, including Parent PLUS loans.


  • Special rates and programs for medical professionals.
  • Flexible term options from 5 to 25 years.
  • Zero fees including for prepayment.
  • Offers loans from multiple lenders.
  • Allows residents to refinance and offers lower payments during this time.


  • Very few to no deferment options.
  • Limited forbearance options.
  • Bi-weekly payments not available.
  • Loan features vary by lender.

Minimum Credit Score: 650
Minimum Loan Amount: $5,000
Fixed APR: 4.49% – 9.99% APR
Variable APR: 4.74% – 9.99% APR

Like Splash Financial, LendKey is a student loan refinancing platform connecting students with lenders. In particular, they connect students with credit unions and community banks rather than large banks. Their platforms efficiently match lenders and students to provide low-interest rates, both fixed and variable.

LendKey offers multiple flexible term options ranging from 5 to 20 years. They also offer an extended forbearance of 18 months for 15 and 20-year loans. One crucial detail to remember is that LendKey does not work in all states (Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, or West Virginia).


  • Flexible term options from 5 to 20 years.
  • Zero fees including no prepayment penalties.
  • Offers loans from multiple lenders.
  • Partners with credit unions and community banks over big banks.
  • Extended forbearance of 18 months for 15- and 20-year loan terms is longer than many lenders.
  • No hard credit check required to get rates.


  • Loans not available in all states (Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island or West Virginia).
  • Bi-weekly payments not available.
  • Loan features vary by lender.
  • Loan deferment is limited in particular when returning to school or serving in the military.

Minimum Credit Score: 660
Minimum Loan Amount: $5,000 (Except if you are a resident of AZ: $10,001; CT: $15,001; MA: $6,000)
Fixed APR: 4.49% – 10.68% APR
Variable APR: 5.02% – 8.18% APR

Credible is yet another platform that connects students looking to refinance with lenders. They allow you to apply to up to 10 lenders at once to refinance your student loans. Credible also partners with some of the largest and smallest lenders to give you a wide range of options, including fixed and variable rates.

In addition, credible allows borrowers to apply for refinancing for private, federal, and Parent PLUS loans.


  • Works with big and small lenders.
  • Offers a variety of different rates.
  • Ability to apply to up to 10 lenders at once.


  • Loan features vary by lender.
  • Does not offer loans, only partners borrowers with lenders.
  • Forbearance and deferment must be verified with the specific lender.

Minimum Credit Score: 670
Minimum Loan Amount: Depends on lender
Fixed APR: 5.48% – 10.98% APR
Variable APR: 5.28% – 12.43% APR

Earnest is an online lender that offers borrowers customized payment plans. This is great for borrowers trying to pay off their debt quickly. Earnest offers a customized approach to paying off your student loans. They provide customized term options as well as customized payment options. This is unlike any other lender on the market today, where most payment and term options are fixed or based on specific metrics.

Earnest also offers some notable features, such as allowing you to skip one payment per year and the ability to schedule bi-monthly payments to make pay down your payments faster. However, Earnest does not allow co-signers and does not offer refinancing of Parent PLUS loans.

As a result, Earnest is typically best for borrowers with high income, good credit scores, and minimal personal debt.


  • Customized loan terms.
  • Bi-monthly payments are available.
  • Customized payment options.
  • Allows you to skip one payment per year.
  • A hard credit check is not required to get rates.
  • No late fees.


  • No co-signers are available.
  • Loans are not available in all states (Nevada).
  • Variable rates are not available in all states.
  • Parent PLUS loans are not allowed.

Minimum Credit Score: 680
Minimum Loan Amount: $5,000 (California: $10,000 or more, New Mexico: $10,001.00)
Fixed APR: 4.96% – 8.99% APR
Variable APR: 5.15 % – 8.94% APR

Education Loan Finance (ELFI) is a high-quality and local student loan refinancing lender. They pride themselves on providing high-quality customer service. Included in their service is an advisor that can assist you with your repayment and help you plan appropriately.
ELFI offers both variable and fixed interest rates.

ELFI also allows you to refinance federal, private, and Parent PLUS loans and lets you apply to loans with a co-signer if needed, although no release is available afterward. Another important consideration is that they have a $10,000 minimum loan amount when refinancing, which is higher than many other lenders.


  • Great customer service.
  • Low-interest rates – both variable and fixed.
  • Flexible repayment terms ranging from 5 to 20 years.
  • Refinancing Parent PLUS loans into the child’s name.
  • Personal student loan advisor.


  • Minimum loan amount of $10,000 is higher than most
  • No co-signer release available.
  • $50 late fee for payments 11 days overdue.
  • Only US citizens are eligible, not DACA borrowers.

Minimum Credit Score: 680
Minimum Loan Amount: $10,000
Fixed APR: 5.48% – 8.94% APR
Variable APR: 4.78% – 8.49% APR

ISL Education Lending, formerly known as Iowa Student Loan, is a non-profit organization that provides student loan products and services to help students and families finance higher education. They offer a variety of loan programs, including undergraduate and graduate loans, as well as loan refinancing options.

ISL Education Lending operates as a loan servicer, which means they handle the administration and management of student loans. This includes tasks such as processing payments, managing accounts, and providing customer support to borrowers. They work with students and families to help them understand their loan options, navigate the application process, and manage their loan repayment.


  • No hard credit check: Qualification and rate determination through a soft credit check.
  • Refinance options: Available without a degree, while still in school, or during medical residency.
  • No application or origination fees: Lower upfront costs.
  • No prepayment or late fees: More flexibility in loan repayment.


  • Interest rates vary per refinancing product.
  • Minimum credit score of 670 required.
  • Average approved borrower’s credit score is 762.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio up to 45%.

Minimum Credit Score: 670
Minimum Loan Amount: $5,000
Fixed APR: 6.48% – 11.03% APR^

Recommended Student Loan Advisors

StudentLoanAdvice.com is a White Coat Investor company. It was created to help doctors, dentists, and other high earners tackle and defeat their student debt. Andrew Paulson is the Lead Student Loan Consultant and Co-Founder of StudentLoanAdvice.com with a master’s degree in accounting and a Certified Student Loan Professional (CSLP) designation. You will receive a customized student loan plan using the principles of The White Coat Investor. Letting a professional guide you through the best options to manage your loans will save you hours of research, stress, and potentially hundreds to thousands of dollars with your custom student loan plan. Andrew can answer all your student loan questions, offer clarity about your financial future, and start you down the right path toward financial independence. Don’t hesitate to book a consultation with Andrew at StudentLoanAdvice.com today if interested.
If you’d like advice from a former Vanguard bond trader who has consulted on over 1,000 individual and couple’s student loan scenarios or would like a second opinion, consider a consult from Travis, the Student Loan Planner. If you owe more than $100,000 in student loans and aren’t 100% sure you’re doing everything the right way, he finds an average projected savings of 125 times his consulting fee(that one-time fee ranges from $295 to $595). That translates to tens of thousands of dollars in savings. If you’d like a custom plan, book a time at this link. You’ll get a consultation form to fill out in your confirmation email. Make sure to mention that you heard about it from Physician on FIRE on the form (currently, question #28).

Must Read

This is a frequently updated page combing the web for all the best student loan information onto one page. If you’re considering refinancing your student loans, continue reading for more resources.

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