No. of Recommendations: 3
This outfit seems to be trying to help borrowers get their student loans paid off faster/with less pain:

Well, if you call refinancing a loan paying it off faster/with less pain, I guess that's what they are doing.

They are a private lender, and if you refinance Federal student loans, you will lose the ability to ask for forbearance, deferral or forgiveness based on the Federal loan terms. From their website FAQs:

Federal student loans do carry some special benefits. If you are consolidating any federal student loans with us, you will not be able to take advantage of federal student loan repayment or hardship options. For more information about special benefits, please consult:

Earnest does have a forbearance program, but you are only approved for 3 months at a time, for a total of up to 12 months over the course of the loan. Also from their website FAQs:

We can suspend your monthly payments 3 months at a time, for up to 12 months total over the life of your loan. You will continue to accrue interest, which will be added to your principal balance at the end of the forbearance period.

They also have a deferral program, but it's limited to 3 years:

We offer deferrals up to three years for clients who return to an accredited graduate school at least half time. Please note that interest continues to accrue on your loan during this period.

If you are interested in refinancing your student loans, and don't think you will benefit from income based payoff programs that may result in some loan forgiveness, and you don't think you would need any of the other benefits associated with government student loans, it may save you money. But I would question the portrayal of this company as a company that wants to 'help' people pay off student loans. They are in it for the money, just like every other lending institution.

Print the post  


What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.