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Perkins Loans (regardless of the first disbursement date) have a fixed interest rate of 5%.
When you refinance multiple loans, the lender will evaluate your current financial profile to provide a rate that reflects your financial progress since you originally took out the loans. Our payment is a bit higher but at least now we know our rate is the best we can get, it will not fluctuate and we are confident that we will have it paid off in 5 years. Online interface could be improved (especially as compared to So Fi's). I started the process and found that as I went each step of the way, instructions were clear and easy to follow. Everything fell into place and all was done relatively quickly.
Whereas consolidation just streamlines bills, refinancing also shrinks them. They ask for a lot of information from you but it's worth putting the time in to get the consolidation completed and it assures you that your information is being protected. I like being able to see the amount of interest accrual since last payment and principal balance easily on the first page and that is not possible now on the current web page. Why not strive to offer your customers the best deals instead of making them jump through hoops to re-apply for a much better rate?
I was able to complete almost the entire process online. Everything from submitting an application, the communication process, deciding on my loan options, and closing. Even re-applying was a pain as it didn't link up to your own system.
I refinanced my student loans with Earnest more than a year ago and, now that we're expecting our first baby, we refinanced a second time. PLUS - the rates offered were easily the best of all the competitors (and I checked). I had been trying to consolidate my federal and private loans for years, at least 8 to be exact, and until I found Earnest it was impossible to do so.