Earnest Student Loans Review 2021

Earnest Student Loans Review 2021

Variable Rates Starting at 1.05%
Fixed Rates Starting at 3.49%
Loan Amounts $1,000 as much as the whole value of attendance
Loan Terms Five, seven, 10, 12, or 15 years

Loan Eligibility

To be eligible for an Earnest student loan you should meet a prolonged record of necessities:

  • You will need to have a Social Security quantity.
  • You should reside within the District of Columbia or a state Earnest lends in.
  • You should be the age of majority within the state the place you reside.
  • You should be enrolled in class full time.
  • You should be pursuing a bachelor’s or graduate diploma.
  • Your college should be a Title IV-qualified, not-for-profit, four-year establishment.
  • You will need to have no past-due balances for at the least three hundred and sixty five days.

If you’re taking out a loan independently, you’ll have to fulfill some further necessities:

  • You should be a U.S. citizen or everlasting resident.
  • You will need to have a minimal FICO rating of 650.
  • You will need to have at the least three years of credit historical past.
  • You will need to have a minimal earnings of $35,000 per yr.

If you don’t meet all of these necessities, you possibly can apply with a co-signer who does. Both co-signers and students will need to have a historical past of on-time funds, with no accounts in collections or bankruptcies on their credit studies.

Earnest will take different components of your funds into consideration when figuring out your eligibility. You ought to have sufficient financial savings to cowl at the least two months of regular bills, together with housing, spend lower than you earn, have growing bank account balances, and never carry massive quantities of non-student, non-mortgage debt, akin to credit playing cards, private loans, and so on.

Is Loan Prequalification Available?

Earnest provides an eligibility test and a fee test. To shortly test your eligibility, you’ll enter some primary private data, college particulars, and an estimated credit rating to see your eligibility and when you may profit from including a co-signer.

Before you start your full utility, you’ll enter an outline of your monetary data, and Earnest will run a smooth credit inquiry from Experian to indicate you your estimated charges with out affecting your credit rating. You’ll then be capable to full the appliance.

Loan Fees

Earnest student loans are freed from charges, that means you’ll by no means be charged any utility, origination, late cost, or prepayment charges.

Loan Discounts

Earnest provides a 0.25% rate of interest low cost for debtors who enroll in its Auto Pay program. This low cost is mirrored in Earnest’s marketed charges.

Repayment Options

Students have 4 compensation choices whereas in class and all through their nine-month grace interval:

  • Full Payment – While in class and following commencement, the complete minimal month-to-month funds shall be due. This is barely obtainable for cosigned loans.
  • Interest Only – While in class and for the 9 months following commencement, you’ll make month-to-month funds to cowl the curiosity that accrued since your final cost. This is barely obtainable for cosigned loans.
  • Fixed – You pay flat month-to-month funds of $25 whereas in class and for the 9 months following commencement.
  • Deferred – You pay nothing when you’re in class and for the primary 9 months after commencement. This choice is not obtainable to residents of the next states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, North Dakota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

Earnest provides compensation phrases of 5, seven, 10, 12, or 15 years. At the top of the appliance course of, debtors can see a abstract of their loan choices earlier than signing. You can then select between phrases and in-school compensation choices to customise a loan on your particular person monetary wants.


Earnest has a student loan refinancing referral program providing $200 once you refinance your student loan utilizing your private referral hyperlink or code. The firm additionally hosts an annual scholarship program awarding $5,000 scholarships to 50 undergraduate students.

Are Co-signers Required?

Students who meet eligibility necessities don’t want a co-signer. However, a creditworthy co-signer may also help you get a decrease fee and open up the choice for full and interest-only compensation choices when you’re in class.

While there isn’t any cosigner launch, debtors can apply to refinance their loans into their very own title with no cosigner after commencement.

Forbearance and Loan Discharge Options

Earnest has a wide range of choices for debtors going via monetary hardships. The easiest is the choice to skip a cost as soon as each 12 months with out making use of for forbearance. You can even apply for as much as 12 months of forbearance over the lifetime of your Earnest student loan for a number of causes:

  • An involuntary lower in earnings attributable to a discount in hours, unpaid go away, or a change from full-time to part-time employment
  • Involuntary lack of employment attributable to layoffs
  • Significant enhance in important dwelling or household prices, together with medical bills, emergency dwelling repairs, and youngster care
  • Unpaid maternity or paternity go away

Military members are eligible for a deferment throughout energetic responsibility and as much as 180 days after demobilization.

Military members are eligible for a deferment throughout energetic responsibility and as much as 180 days after demobilization.

Earnest additionally provides different technique of help. If you possibly can’t afford your full cost however can nonetheless pay one thing, it has a Rate Reduction Program that gives a decreased rate of interest for a six-month interval, decreasing the month-to-month cost throughout that point. Should you turn into delinquent, the Term and Rate Modification Program may also help you get present by extending your compensation time period and decreasing your rate of interest. Finally, within the occasion of dying or complete and everlasting incapacity, Earnest will discharge all the borrower’s non-public student loans.

Length of Time for Loan Approval and Disbursement

You’ll see when you’re accepted for an Earnest non-public student loan as quickly as you full the appliance course of. You’ll then select your loan, and Earnest will attain out to your college to certify enrollment.

Earnest says some faculties certify loans inside a couple of weeks of lessons starting, whereas others could have a three-to-five-week processing timeframe irrespective of after they obtain your loan data. Earnest recommends making use of as quickly as you already know you’ll want a non-public student loan to permit ample time for its disbursement.

Is Student Loan Refinancing Available?

Earnest has refinanced greater than $11.6 billion in federal, non-public, and Parent Plus student loans. Variable charges begin at a 1.99% annual share fee (APR) and stuck charges begin at 2.98%. Both embrace an 0.25% fee low cost for enrolling in Auto Pay. Students can refinance as early as their final semester of school.

As with its student loans, Earnest appears at greater than your credit profile to find out your eligibility for refinancing. It will consider your financial savings, schooling, and incomes potential to approve you. If you’re accepted, you possibly can customise your cost and time period choices utilizing Precision Pricing.

Precision Pricing permits Earnest to supply phrases at one-to-three-month intervals from 5 to twenty years, offering you with as much as 180 compensation choices. You can even arrange biweekly auto funds to pay down the loan quicker.

Customer Service

Out of two million complaints the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau acquired about non-public student loan firms in 2020, 12 had been about Earnest for various causes. If you will have a query, Earnest’s customer support is on the market by telephone Monday via Friday, from 8 am to five pm PST, at 888-601-2801, or by electronic mail.

Applying for an Earnest Student Loan

Earnest’s student loan utility is on the market on-line and is mobile-friendly. It takes into consideration a borrower’s incomes potential, and to find out that the appliance is exhaustive. Some of the issues the complete utility asks for embrace:

  • Social Security Number
  • Educational and Employment Background Information
  • Most Recent Tax Forms
  • Link to Your Financial Accounts
  • A Picture of Your Government-Issued Photo ID

Paying for College

Before you apply for personal student loans, fill out the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) and decide all of your choices for grants, scholarships, and federal student loans. For the 2020-2021 college yr, federal student loans have a set rate of interest of two.75% for undergraduate loans and 4.3% for graduate loans. Once you’ve used all of your federal choices, or if the charges you’re accepted for with Earnest are decrease than that of federal student loans, then take out non-public student loans.

Final Verdict

Earnest makes use of modern know-how to supply essentially the most versatile compensation choices of any student loan refinancing firm. It already provides versatile compensation choices for its student loans, however the prospects for enchancment are vital. Furthermore, within the case of unanticipated monetary hardship, Earnest provides essentially the most flexibility to assist debtors shield their credit scores by decreasing funds and rates of interest and providing forbearance packages.

However, whereas Earnest’s options are sturdy, its application-and-approval course of is exhaustive, and loans aren’t obtainable in all states. Students who’re accepted for an Earnest non-public student loan ought to evaluate charges to different lenders earlier than making a call.


Investopedia is devoted to offering customers with unbiased, complete evaluations of student loan lenders. We collected over 45 knowledge factors throughout greater than 15 lenders—together with rates of interest, charges, loan quantities, and compensation phrases—to make sure that our content material helps customers make the proper borrowing choice for his or her schooling wants.

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