If you’re in student debt, chances are you feel like you’ve been burned by a lender in the past. That feeling can make you wary of entering a new lender relationship in order to refinance. Don’t stress. With a refinance you can get multiple rate quotes and choose which lender you’d like to work with — setting yourself up for a positive relationship on your terms. How do you know which to choose? Read our review of LendKey to find out if they’re the right match for your student loan refinance.

The Basics

The financial services industry can be confusing. Here are a few fast facts about LendKey that go beyond the bill:

  • LendKey works with nonprofit credit unions and community banks to bring their low rates to customers online.
  • LendKey has been in business since 2009 an has helped 76,000 customers in that time.
  • They have offices in New York City and Cincinnati, Ohio.

LendKey: Student Loan Refinance

LendKey has a unique model. They help small credit unions and community banks, which lack the marketing budgets of bigger institutions, connect with potential customers. This means that depending on your qualifications such as location and credit score, you may have the opportunity to choose from multiple LendKey lenders.  Read on to find out what we like about LendKey and where we think they could improve.

What’s Great:

  • No origination fee
  • No penalty if you pay off early
  • .25% discount for enrolling in autopay
  • Some LendKey products may include interest-only payments for the first four years
  • Forbearance for 12-18 months depending on the term of your loan
  • Co-signer release available
  • Allows greater than minimum payments via autopay

What Could Be Better:

  • Residents of the following states aren’t eligible to work with LendKey: Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, and West Virginia
  • Cannot transfer a Parent PLUS loan to the child
  • No academic deferment, meaning you continue to pay if you return to school
  • Borrowers do not get a dedicated customer service rep, which means you may talk to a different person every time you need help

LendKey: Who’s Eligible:

Before you choose a lender, you need to make sure you meet their requirements. Here’s who is eligible to refinance with LendKey.

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a credit score of 660 or higher
  • Make at least $24,000 per year
  • Have a debt-to-income ratio that demonstrates your ability to pay
  • Have graduated with at least an Associate's degree

LendKey: Available Products

LendKey provides you with a one-stop connection to up to 13,000 small credit unions and community banks. Which LendKey lenders you’ll get a quote from depends on your qualifications and the exact products available will also vary depending on the lenders you qualify to work with. This model means you get access to lenders you may otherwise not know about and potentially lower rates. Here are a few things you can expect from LendKey refinancing.

  • Student loan refinance for student borrowers
  • Student loan refinance for parents with Parent PLUS loans
  • Consolidation of federal and private loans available
  • Consolidation of graduate student loans
  • Repayment terms ranging from 5 - 20 years
  • Fixed-rate loan interest rates from 3.49% - 8.72%
  • Variable-rate loan interest rates from 2.47% - 7.99%
  • Late payment charges are $5 - $15, depending on the LendKey lender

LendKey: Final Thoughts

So should you refinance with LendKey? It’s definitely work a look. Because LendKey connects you with multiple credit unions and community banks, it could be an excellent gateway to a low rate you wouldn’t get elsewhere.


Dive in with LendKey to get multiple quotes from their lenders, and let us give you a few free quotes from larger lenders that don’t work with LendKey. That way, you have all the options on the table and can choose a refinance plan that works for you.