Lendkey Review: Can I Reduce My Student Loan Payment?
If you are looking for refinancing options for student loans, you have found the right place. Here I am going to dive into Lendkey, one of the leading sites when it comes to pairing people up with debt consolidators and refinancing institutes. Lendkey is partnered with hundreds of credit unions and community banks to bring competitive refinancing offers with attentive customer service. It is always a good idea to refinance loans, making sure you get the best offer for your loans.
Lendkey is “transforming the $3.6 trillion consumer lending market by enabling the nation’s 13,000+ community financial institutions to enter and succeed in online lending.” (LendKey) Their website and technology match consumers with banks and credit unions to create a transparent, competitive, accessible, and low-cost borrowing options. Online lending is a new form of finance where everything is done virtually in a way that is efficient, safe, and effective.
LendKey is looking out for students, by matching them up with low-cost borrowing options. They believe that community banks and credit unions offer the lowest interest rates, as well as the best customer service. However, due to the size of the community banks and credit unions, they do not have as much recognition in name as bigger banks and loan institutions have. But, with LendKey, these smaller, less known banks and unions now can be connected to students to help refinance student loans.
Also, since most of it is done online, you can immediately see your options and offers, ensuring that you find and pick the lowest and best option. These credit unions and banks also are different from big banks because they can offer lower options, offer more personal services, and provide an overall better customer experience.
How Much Can You Borrow?
What happens when you refinance your student loans, is that a bank or credit union buy out your loan and debt. They then issue their loan to you, with an interest rate. If you choose to refinance through LendKey, there are some parameters your loans must fall into. For starters, your loan must exceed $50,000. Anything lower than that would not make any sense to refinance, because in the long run with interest, you will end up paying a lot more. Secondly, your loan must not exceed $175,000. Since these banks and credit unions that lend money through LendKey are smaller, they just do not have the capital to buy out $250,000 loans every week.
LendKey, like many other refinancing companies, offers both a fixed and variable interest rate. A fixed interest rate is one that stays the same throughout the life of the loan. Conversely, a variable interest is susceptible to change throughout the life of the loan. Both options have their pro’s and cons. In the end, it is all up to you, how much money is in the loan, and what your financial situation is at the moment you get the loan. LendKey offers a variable rate that can be as low as 2.52%, and a fixed interest rate as low as 3.25%. Your interest rate will be determined by your credit score, repayment history, size of the loan, and average income.
In addition to those options, your interest rates will depend on your repayment plan. LendKey offers 5 repayment plans; 5,7,10,15, and 20 years. With that said, there is no penalty for paying in advance. For example, if you have a ten-year repayment plan, you can still pay it off faster and earlier if you can.
Eligibility For Loans
Like I mentioned earlier, your loans must be within the ballpark of $50,000 and $175,000. That is the primary requirement since your money is being borrowed and your debt being bought out. Secondly, your credit score and salary will play a role in the loan process. Both should reach and exceed a certain threshold. LendKey doesn’t advertise this on their site because there is no “golden number.” Instead, those two factors will be determined by the lender after looking at your history, scores, loan size, repayment plan, etc.
If you’re credit score or salary do not meet the requirements, you can have someone co-sign your loan. This may be a good idea, especially if you’re scores aren’t too strong. With a good co-signer, you can receive more attractive offers and smaller interest rates. On top of that, if you make an approved number of payments consecutively, and on time, your co-signer can be relieved from their duties. They can be taken off of the loan, and no longer have to be responsible for your repayment.
How Does It Work?
Here I am going to walk you through a simple step by step outline to refinancing your loans, saving money, and finally getting out of debt.
Step 1: Personal Details
As with many loans and refinancing option, you will have to provide personal information. This is an easy and straightforward step. LendKey is just asking for your name, address, email, citizenship, income, loan amount, and loan type. The loan types are federal and private, but it won’t matter because they will refinance any types of loans. Once you have filled it out, LendKey will conduct a soft credit check. Keep in mind, this will not affect your credit score, but later in the process, you may need to get a hard credit check. That will affect your credit score a little, but if you keep with up payments, your credit score will shoot back up.
Step 2: Review Financing Offers
Once you have finished with the personal information, you will be redirected to a new page with refinancing offers. LendKey will show you multiple offers with interest rates, the life of the loan, and monthly payments. There is also an option where you can filter loan offers by rates, the term of the loan, and type of rate.
Step 3: Choosing A Offer
After you have reviewed all your options, you are ready to choose a refinancing offer. You are going to want to review the offer, making sure you are financially able to meet the due payment dates, with the added-on interest rate.
Step 4: Finalize It
To finalize your application, you are going to need to set up an account. To do this, you will enter your social security number, and date of birth. At this moment, you will also have to set up your account with an email and password. This is also the point where you will have to give consent for LendKey to run a hard credit check.
Step 5: Upload Verification Documents
After your offers are confirmed, you can finish up the application process. To do this, you will just have to verify your account by uploading documents of income and loan balances. Lenders typically accept pay stubs or a letter of acceptance from a new employer. On top of that, since LendKey works with community banks and credit unions, you may also have to upload a proof of residence. This is to ensure that you are working with a bank or union that is near you.
And there you have it. You are successfully set up with a lender, have a payment plan, and can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Here’s something cool. With LendKey, if you turn on automatic payments, you can get a .25% reduction in your interest rates.
Why Refinance With LendKey?
Now that you know how to get a refinanced loan, it’s time to learn about the benefits of refinancing through LendKey. For starters, LendKey connects you with over 300 credit unions and local banks. These interest rates are low, affordable, and very easy to sign up for. The co-signer perk is also a bonus, especially for younger people; fresh out of college ready to start chipping away at the block of student loan debt.
On top of that, there are no fees to get started. It is free to use and free to sign up. They don’t even charge you a fee to show you offers. That means that even if you don’t find anything, you will not be charged. In addition to that, if you are eager and start paying it back faster than your repayment plan, don’t worry about it. There are no penalties for paying off your loan early.
Another great feature that LendKey has, that if the lender agrees to it, you can pause payments for up to 18 months. They do this because they are not in the game to make money, but to help their members. If you become unemployed, you can pause payments.
LendKey is a great site to refinance loans on. They are a great alternative to big banks and offer a more personal touch to refinancing loans. In addition to that, since there are so many community banks and credit unions that use the site, you will always find many loan options. Also, since there is c=no fees or commitment, it doesn’t hurt to check it out.
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