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I was wondering if folks here have had experiences with refinancing student loans that could help answer some questions. I am trying to look into options for refinancing my wife’s private + federal student loans. Thanks in advance!

Pertinent details:

  • 3 separate loans (2 Federal, 1 Private)
  • Rates: Private (with Citizens): 5.5%; Public: 6.6% & 7.6%
  • Wife is currently working as a dental resident
  • Private loan is currently in interest-only status; Federal loans are in deferment & in-school status
  • Loan servicers are Firstmark (owned by nelnet) for the private loan; nelnet for the federal loans
  • Wife’s credit score: 705

A few questions:

  • While SoFi is currently the best option (giving a 3.95% rate & during residency, allowing for a reduced payment [$100/month], which we will certainly overpay, but it allows for some flexibility), I was wondering what are the odds of being successfully approved or being denied by SoFi (given the above [credit/work/income/debt] profile)?
  • Laurel Road is the only other refinance option currently (for residents). Does anyone here have any thoughts on success/denial rates with Laurel Road (formerly known as Darien Rowayton Bank)?
  • Both SoFi & Laurel Road seem to service their loans via MOHELA. Folks here have any thoughts on MOHELA (as a loan servicer)? We have only worked with nelnet and they seem okay-ish - although we had some unexpected things come up with them. Given, that MOHELA does not seem to rank the highest, for instance, I/we just wanted to solicit some information.
  • The third option is to consolidate the federal loans (on studentloans.gov). Has anyone here done this? Any pros/cons/tips/words of wisdom?
  • Roughly speaking by how much can I/we anticipate credit scores to drop if/when we submit applications to SoFi & Laurel Road simultaneously? (I believe that multiple 'hard checks' of the 'same category'/what-have-you get rolled into one - during a 7/14-day period, if my memory serves. The question is more about the impact of a re-fi related 'hard check' versus others, say for instance a 'credit card application' related 'hard check' i.e. is it less severe, more so or about the same.)
  • Anything else you’ll wish you’ll had known prior to refinancing?

Please let me know. And again, thanks in advance!


Update 1: Per a suggestion in a comment, adding a 'specific problem' I am looking to solve: should we refinance now? Or refinance later? On a related note, should we secure a credit card for my wife first (to shore up her credit profile) and then refinance eventually? Or line it up the other way around, refinance first and then eventually apply for a credit card?

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    This might get closed due to "Questions seeking product or service recommendations are off-topic because they tend to become obsolete quickly." – RonJohn Oct 2 at 18:45
  • Any suggestions on what I could alter? – decimus phostle Oct 2 at 23:21
  • The rest of the paragraph: "Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve." – RonJohn Oct 3 at 0:24
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Roughly speaking by how much can I/we anticipate credit scores to drop if/when we submit applications to SoFi & Laurel Road simultaneously?

I think that similar hard pulls that happen close in time to one another are merged into one by the scoring agencies.

  • Yep. I suppose the query was more about the hard check for a re-fi being say less severe, more so or about the same as say for a credit card. There likely aren't hard facts/data-points to come by on the subject. So just wanted to solicit feedback from the community if possible. – decimus phostle Oct 3 at 13:36

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