Yes, you can refinance student loans with a private lender more than once in the quest for a lower interest rate and different repayment term.
How Many Times Can You Refinance Student Loans?
If you’re a graduate who has the credit score and income to qualify, you can refinance your student loans as many times as you want to. In fact, some folks refinance multiple times.
But before you get too refi happy, it’s important to know the advantages and disadvantages of this strategy.
What Are Some Advantages of Refinancing Multiple Times?
As with a first refinance, the biggest advantage of refinancing multiple times is that you may be able to find a lower interest rate. A reduced rate may help you save money in the long run.
Let’s say your parent or grad PLUS loan balance is $80,000 at 6.28%, extended to a 20-year repayment term. You qualify for a refinance rate of 4.28% and shorten the term to 15 years. Your monthly payment would be slightly higher, but you’d save over $32,000 over the life of the loan.
A while later you might qualify for a lower fixed rate or an even lower variable rate, and so on.
Or you might find it handy to refinance to a longer term, with lower monthly payments. That will likely mean paying more in interest over the life of the loan, but lower monthly payments may put you in a better position to accomplish your short-term financial goals.
Reputable lenders charge no application or origination fees, so refinancing each time will not cost you anything.
What Are Some Disadvantages of Refinancing Multiple Times?
One disadvantage of refinancing your student loans is that your credit score could temporarily drop by a few points, thanks to the hard credit inquiry. Merely shopping for rates usually does not affect your credit at all since it only involves a soft credit pull.
Another factor to consider is your time. Though you can refinance as many times as you want, it helps to make sure it’s worth the effort. That means researching reputable lenders and the rates and terms they offer.
It’s important to point out that refinancing federal student loans even once will remove those loans from federal student loan forgiveness programs and government deferment and forbearance.
How is Student Loan Refinancing Different Than Consolidation?
It’s important to make a distinction between refinancing and consolidation. When you refinance your student loans with a private lender, you are combining all your student loans into one new loan with a new, hopefully lower, interest rate and sometimes a new repayment term.
When combining federal student loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan, the term may be drawn out to up to 30 years, but the interest rate will be the weighted average of the original loans’ rates, rounded up to the nearest eighth of a percentage point. Because of that, your new rate may actually be higher than the rate of your previous lowest-interest loan.
Things to Look for When Refinancing
Whether you refinance your student loans for the first or sixth time, it would be smart to check that your new rate and term make sense for you.
You’ll encounter fixed-rate and variable-rate loans. Fixed-rate loans have one interest rate over the life of the loan. The rates are typically higher than the initial rates of variable-rate loans, but because they don’t change, they can make budgeting easier.
Variable-rate loans have interest rates that change based on the prime rate or another index. Rates can climb if the rate or index they are tied to goes up (and vice versa, of course).
Variable-rate loans might be a good choice for a shorter term. The longer the loan term, the bigger the chance of a rate hike.
Also, beware of qualifying for a low interest rate that’s attached to a longer-term loan. Though monthly payments might be low, a longer term might mean you’ll end up paying much more over the life of the loan. If you can afford the higher monthly payment, loans with shorter terms can be a good cost-saving option.
Consider looking for a refinance lender that offers competitive rates and flexibility in choosing the repayment term. And if you want to refinance both federal and private student loans into one new loan, look for a lender that does that.
Serious savings. You could save thousands of dollars.
We offer flexible terms and low fixed or variable rates.
Refinancing Your Student Loans More Than Once
It’s all about the great rate chase.
Having a certain debt-to-income ratio can help you qualify for a lower interest rate. So if you have a higher salary, get a big bonus, or pay off other debts, your debt-to-income ratio might improve.
Similarly, if your credit score increases, you typically become more attractive to lenders. This could happen if you are using a small amount of your available credit, or if you find and correct a mistake on one of your credit reports. (Do student loans affect your credit score? Continuous on-time payments may have a positive effect.)
Married couples may want to consider refinancing student loans together to put the power of two earners to use. A solid cosigner could also be brought aboard.
If you’re thinking about a refinance, it could help to keep an eye on the federal funds rate, the rate banks charge one another for overnight loans. When the Federal Reserve raises or lowers short-term interest rates, private lenders respond in turn. (This does not apply to federal student loans, whose interest rates have been set by Congress once a year since 2006.)
Even if interest rates rise now, they could still be considered low by historical standards.
Refinancing Your Student Loans With SoFi
Is it bad to refinance multiple times? If it saves you money, that’s nothing but a good thing. Refinancing won’t be the right move for all people, but everyone should know the rates they’re paying, their total student debt load, and their repayment strategy.
SoFi is a leader in refinancing student loans, with low fixed or variable rates and flexible loan terms.
Can I consolidate student loans more than once?
You can consolidate federal student loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan more than once only if you have federal loans that were not included in a previous consolidation, or if you previously consolidated loans under the Federal Family Education Loan consolidation program. Remember that consolidation does not lower your loan rate.
How many times can you refinance a loan?
As many times as you qualify to do so.
How many times can you take out student loans?
When it comes to federal student loans, there is no time limit on how long a borrower can receive Direct Unsubsidized Loans or Direct PLUS loans, but annual and aggregate limits for Direct Unsubsidized Loans apply.
Private student loans, for which you must qualify or have a cosigner, usually have an annual limit equal to an institution’s cost of attendance minus other financial aid. Most have aggregate loan limits for undergraduate and graduate students.
SoFi Student Loan Refinance
If you are looking to refinance federal student loans, please be aware that the White House has announced up to $20,000 of student loan forgiveness for Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 for qualifying borrowers whose student loans are federally held. Additionally, the federal student loan payment pause and interest holiday has been extended beyond December 31, 2022. Please carefully consider these changes before refinancing federally held loans with SoFi, since the amount or portion of your federal student debt that you refinance will no longer qualify for the federal loan payment suspension, interest waiver, or any other current or future benefits applicable to federal loans. If you qualify for federal student loan forgiveness and still wish to refinance, leave unrefinanced the amount you expect to be forgiven to receive your federal benefit.
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Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.