Earnest Student Loans Review 2022

Variable rates From 1.84%
Fixed rates From 3.22%
Loan amounts $1,000 up to the total cost of participation
Loan conditions Five, seven, 10, 12 or 15 years

Loan Eligibility

To qualify for an Earnest student loan, you must meet a long list of requirements:

  • You must have a social security number.
  • You must live in the District of Columbia or a state in which Earnest lends.
  • You must be the age of majority in the state where you reside.
  • You must be enrolled in school full time.
  • You must be pursuing a bachelor’s or graduate degree.
  • Your school must be a Title IV qualified, four-year nonprofit institution.
  • You must not have an outstanding balance for at least 365 days.

If you take out a loan independently, you will need to meet some additional requirements:

  • You must be a US citizen or permanent resident.
  • You must have a minimum FICO score of 650.
  • You must have at least three years of credit history.
  • You must have a minimum income of $35,000 per year.

If you don’t meet all of these requirements, you can apply with a co-signer who does. Co-signers and students must have a history of on-time payments with no accounts receivable or bankruptcies on their credit reports.

Earnest will consider other factors in your finances to determine your eligibility. You should have enough savings to cover at least two months of normal expenses, including housing, spend less than you earn, have growing bank account balances, and not have large non-student and non-mortgage debt. such as credit cards, personal loans, etc.

Is loan prequalification available?

Earnest offers eligibility check and rate check. To quickly check your eligibility, you’ll enter basic personal information, school details, and an estimated credit score to see your eligibility and if you could benefit from adding a co-signer.

Before you start your full application, you’ll enter an overview of your financial information, and Earnest will run an indirect credit inquiry from Experian to show you your estimated rates without affecting your credit score. You can then complete the application.

Loan fees

Serious Student Loans are fee-free, which means you will never be charged for an application, creationlate payment or prepayment charges.

Loan discounts

Earnest is offering a 0.25% interest rate reduction to borrowers who sign up for its autopay program. This discount is reflected in Earnest’s advertised rates.

Refund Options

Students have four repayment options while in school and throughout their nine-month grace period:

  • Full payment – While in school and after graduation, full minimum monthly payments will be due. This is only available for co-signed loans.
  • Interest only – During your studies and for the nine months following your graduation, you will make monthly payments to cover interest accrued since your last payment. This is only available for co-signed loans.
  • Fixed – You pay fixed monthly payments of $25 during your studies and for the nine months following your graduation.
  • Deferred – You pay nothing during your studies and for the first nine months after obtaining your diploma. This option is not available to residents of the following states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, North Dakota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

Earnest offers repayment terms of five, seven, 10, 12 or 15 years. At the end of the application process, borrowers can see a summary of their loan options before signing. You can then choose between terms and repayment options at school to customize a loan to suit your individual financial needs.


Earnest has a student loan refinance referral program offering $200 when you refinance your student loan using your personal referral link or code. The society also runs an annual scholarship program awarding $5,000 scholarships to 50 undergraduate students.

Are co-signers required?

Students who meet the eligibility criteria do not need a co-signer. However, a creditworthy co-signer can help you get a lower rate and open up the possibility of full repayment and interest-only options while you’re in school.

Although there is no co-signer release, borrowers can apply to refinance their loans in their own name without a co-signer after graduation.

Loan forbearance and release options

Earnest has a variety of options for borrowers in financial difficulty. The simplest is the ability to skip a payment once every 12 months without asking for forbearance. You can also request up to 12 months of forbearance over the term of your Earnest student loan for several reasons:

  • An involuntary decrease in earnings due to reduced hours, unpaid leave, or a change from full-time to part-time employment
  • Involuntary job loss due to layoffs
  • Significant increase in essential home or family costs, including medical bills, emergency home repairs, and childcare
  • Unpaid maternity or paternity leave

Soldiers are entitled to a adjournment during active service and up to 180 days after discharge.

Soldiers are entitled to a adjournment during active service and up to 180 days after discharge.

Earnest also offers other means of assistance. If you can’t pay your full payment, but can still pay something, there is a rate reduction program that offers a reduced interest rate for a period of six months, reducing the monthly payment during this period. If you become delinquent, the Term and Rate Change Program can help you stay current by extending your repayment term and lowering your interest rate. Finally, in the event of death or total and permanent disability, Earnest will pay the borrower’s private student loans in full.

Loan approval and disbursement timeframe

You’ll see if you’re approved for an Earnest Private Student Loan as soon as you complete the application process. You will then choose your loan and Earnest will contact your school to certify your registration.

Earnest says some schools certify loans a few weeks after classes start, while others may have a three to five week processing time regardless of when they receive your loan information. Earnest recommends applying as soon as you know you’ll need a private student loan so you have plenty of time to complete it. disbursement.

Is student loan refinancing available?

Earnest has refinanced over $11.6 billion in federal, private and Parent Plus student loans. Variable rates start at 1.89% annual percentage rate (APR) and fixed rates start at 3.49%. Both include a 0.25% rate reduction for signing up for AutoPay. Students can refinance as early as their last semester of college.

As with its student loans, Earnest looks at more than your credit profile to determine your eligibility for refinancing. He will assess your savings, education, and earning potential to approve you. If you are approved, you can customize your payment and term options using Precision Pricing.

Precision Pricing allows Earnest to offer terms at one to three month intervals from five to 20 years, giving you up to 180 repayment options. You can also set up automatic payments every two weeks to pay off the loan faster.

Customer service

Of 2.5 million complaints received by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about private student loan companies in 2022, 14 involved Earnest for various reasons. If you have a question, Earnest customer service is available by phone Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PST, at 888-601-2801, or by email.

Apply for a serious student loan

Earnest’s student loan application is available online and is mobile friendly. It considers the earning potential of the borrower and determines that the application is comprehensive. Some of the things the full application asks for include:

  • Social Security number
  • Basic education and employment information
  • Most recent tax forms
  • Link to your financial accounts
  • A photo of your government-issued photo ID

pay for college

Before applying for a private student loan, complete the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) and determine all of your options for grants, scholarships and federal student loans. For the 2021-2022 school year, federal student loans have a fixed interest rate of 2.75% for undergraduate loans and 4.3% for graduate loans. Once you’ve used all of your federal options, or if the rates you’re approved for with Earnest are lower than federal student loans, take out private student loans.

final verdict

Earnest uses innovative technology to provide the most flexible repayment options of any student loan refinance company. It already offers flexible repayment options for its student loans, but the scope for improvement is significant. Plus, in the event of unforeseen financial hardship, Earnest offers the greatest flexibility to help borrowers protect their credit scores by lowering payments and interest rates and offering forbearance programs.

However, while Earnest’s features are robust, its application and approval process is comprehensive, and loans are not available in all states. Students who are approved for an Earnest Private Student Loan should compare rates with other lenders before making a decision.

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