HI, I want to consolidate my 6-figure student loans into a single fixed interest rate loan. I know of six banks / student loan refinance companies (SoFi, Earnest, etc.). My concerns are: 1. Are these companies reputable; 2.Are their any internet information sources that I can address to recommend specific ones; 3. As I’m not comfortable trusting on-line banks, do you have any recommendations to the contrary?
Thanks for any advise.

Terry Says:  I have written about SoFi, and recommended them.  Yes, there are others, and I’m sure most if not all are reputable.   Your challenge is to make sure that you are consolidating appropriately, and decide if all loans should be consolidated. Remember, Federal student loans have some benefits — such as income based repayment, or deferral — that will not transfer to private student loans.  And depending on your income, you may not qualify for a refi with one of these companies.

Re your concern about doing it online, cverything creative is done online these days!  Traditional banks are still charging 29% on credit cards and paying depositors 0.5%.  These financial services companies that are refinancing student loans have a chance to bring down the spread between 8% student loans and “cost of funds” of as low as 1%.  But they are very careful about the risk they take in helping borrowers — unlike the Federal program, which never cared about “credit quality.”

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