Should I refinance my private student loan into one with a lower rate?
Private student loans generally feature variable interest rates determined based on a borrower’s credit history. When borrowers first take out private student loans, many have a limited credit profile and are treated as credit risks by lenders. This means that, for many borrowers, private student loan interest rates can be quite high.
Some borrowers who have graduated, obtained a job, and have excellent credit may be able to qualify to refinance their existing private student loans with a new private loan at a lower rate.
Unfortunately for many borrowers in this situation, there aren’t very many financial institutions that offer this financial product, but if you are able to find one, here are some things to consider:
- Look closely at the APR. The monthly payment on your new loan might be lower, but the interest rate could be higher. This can occur because the loan term might be spread out over more years. Active-duty servicemembers should remember that they might also lose rate benefits on pre-service obligations if they refinance.
- Consider the tax consequences. Your new refinanced loan may not be considered a student loan for the purposes of the student loan interest tax deduction. If you regularly claim this deduction, be sure to consider whether the new loan will allow you to continue to do so.
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