Credible is a unique player in the student loan and refinancing industry. Instead of acting as a direct lender, they partner student loan borrowers with vetted lenders to potentially get multiple offers. This comparison strategy helps you pick the best financing for your needs. Plus, you only have to fill out one form and can get an approval decision in under two minutes.
Student Loan Application Requirements
The eligibility requirements to use the services offered by Credible are not overly cumbersome. In order to qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident with a permanent address in the country. You also must be over 18 years of age and have more than $5,000 in student loan debt.
Pre-qualified loans are based on your creditworthiness and not everyone will immediately qualify. If you have applied for loans through Credible but did not pre-qualify for one through any of their recommended lenders, you can still request an offer.
This, however, does require that the lender perform a hard credit check which may end up affecting your credit score. Additionally, you may be asked to include a cosigner so be sure to read the fine print before accepting any loan offer.
Fortunately, FICO understands when you’re shopping for a loan. If you have multiple credit inquiries, or hard checks, for the same financial product within 30 days, they only count it as one inquiry against your credit score.
So if you have multiple credit checks within one month but they’re all from student lenders or student refinancing companies, you won’t be penalized for every single inquiry.
Using a Cosigner for Your Student Loan
Cosigners are often required by lenders if you have poor or limited credit. You can better your chances of qualifying for more attractive refinancing terms by adding a cosigner with strong credit to your application.
This is especially true if you’re just graduating from high school and haven’t established your own credit history yet. In fact, Credible states that borrowers with a cosigner are three times more likely to get approved for a loan.
Simply provide a cosigner’s contact information in your form, and Credible will reach out to them to get the information they need to move forward. Any adult who is a U.S. citizen or resident may qualify as a cosigner, as long as their annual income reaches at least $24,000.
Right now, cosigners and borrowers can’t view each other’s information on Credible. However, if you fail to repay your refinanced loan, your cosigner will be on the hook for the bill. Some of Credible’s partner lenders do offer a cosigner release so you can take them off the loan after a certain period.
Borrowing with a cosigner can be a potentially tenuous situation, so don’t choose this option lightly. Still, using a parent, close friend, or relative to help you save on your student loan payments can be a huge benefit — it’s just a matter of risk versus reward.
Types of Student Loans Available
Credible is first and foremost a marketplace for students and graduates to finance their higher education expenses. When refinancing, the average Credible borrower saves quite a bit on their student loans. But Credible also focuses on new student loans. So if you’re trying to figure out how to fill the gap between your financial aid package and your tuition bill, you could certainly consider applying for a Credible loan.
Here are more details on each of your options.
Private Student Loans
Credible partners with the following lenders for new student loans:
- Citizens Bank
- College Ave
- Discover Student Loans
- Raise Private Student Loans
- Sallie Mae
Depending on the lender you receive an offer from and choose to work with, your loan term could last anywhere between 5 and 20 years. Most offer both undergraduate and graduate student loans. Fixed rate APRs start at 4.50% while variable-rate APRs start at 3.47%.
These lenders will provide funding for expenses at over 2,200 eligible colleges and universities across the country. Your student loan funds can be used for any education-related costs, including living expenses. You can even use the money for things like fees, food, and rent.
Student Loan Refinancing
Credible offers a network of 12 lenders for refinancing, giving you an even broader range of potential offers. Eligible loans include federal student loans, private student loans, and Parent PLUS loans.
Some of Credible’s lenders allow for the refinancing of student loans even if you didn’t graduate from your program. It’s also possible to refinance loans that are in forbearance or deferment with some of Credible’s lender partners.
Remember that you’ll lose the benefits associated with federal student loans if you choose to refinance them. This includes programs like income-based repayment and public service forgiveness.
Credible chooses only to work with lenders who don’t charge an origination fee. You also won’t have to worry about any service fees or prepayment penalties when you find your student loan through Credible.
Credible Student Loan Application Process
Credible is a marketplace for different types of loans from student loan refinancing to credit card consolidation. They research lending options and make real-time recommendations to you that are personalized and based on your current credit score. They then present these options side by side for you to easily compare.
Whether you’re looking to get a new student loan or refinance existing student debt, you’ll be asked to fill out a one-page form. Credible then performs a soft credit check which does not adversely affect your credit score.
It does, however, allow them to assess what loans are right for you. From there they’ll give you pre-qualified loan options based on your credit, income, and other factors. These options are then presented in a side by side comparison and will include criteria such as total repayment amount, APR, and monthly payment.
These pre-qualified loan offers will be submitted to you in real time. You can compare them against each other and against your current loan to choose the one that’s right for you.
Once you choose a lender, you’ll be asked questions as you’re guided through the loan process. The lender will run a hard credit check before finalizing the offer. After that, you can complete the application process with Credible and the lender will contact you directly to finalize it.
Since your loan is through the specific lender, not Credible itself, be sure to read all the details of your loan agreement. You’ll also make payments to the lender, not to Credible.
Intensive Customer Support – Credible offers customer support 7 days a week directly from their San Francisco office. This even includes 3-way phone support to help connect you with your lender.
Refinancing Best Rate Guarantee – If you find a better rate from a lender outside of Credible, they’ll give you $200.
In a sea of online lenders advertising lower interest rates on your student loans, Credible certainly stands out from the pack. While they may not be a fit for everyone, and not everyone will qualify to work with them, they offer substantial benefits to their customers.
With new student loan companies popping up every day, it’s more important than ever to compare offers while utilizing a secure platform. Credible does just this while keeping you, the borrower, in mind.