Inflation is becoming an issue for borrowers hoping to refinance their student loans.
The good news is that interest rates have not skyrocketed like mortgage rates. Student loan interest rates tend to react to broader economic conditions slower than mortgages. Thus far, rate increases haven’t hit all of the refinance lenders.
If there is one trend to the rates, the interest rates with banks have stayed relatively low, while the tech-based lenders have had to increase interest rates.
Also working in borrowers’ favor is the federal student loan payment and interest freeze. Refinance lenders cannot compete with the 0% interest rate on most federal loans. As a result, the refinance marketplace has gotten very competitive, with lenders cutting rates as low as possible.
Predicting future interest rates usually involves a ton of guesswork, and these predictions are often inaccurate. That said, I’d be very surprised if refinance rates remained at their current levels for the duration of 2022. Both the eventual repayment restart and inflation are likely to influence rates.
Important Note: To compile the best refinance rates for June 2022, nearly two dozen national student loan lenders were compared. The lenders listed below were the ones with the lowest verified rates.
The Current Lowest Student Loan Refinance Rates
The headline interest rates are still under 2%. However, fewer lenders now offer loans with an interest rate under 2%.
It is important to note that even though SoFi, Earnest, and ELFI have the lowest possible interest rates, they do not necessarily get the top spot in our student loan consolidation and refinance rankings. Borrowers are still best served by applying with 4-5 lenders, as each lender has a different formula for evaluating applications. The best-advertised rates do not always equal the best rate offered, but they do provide a useful starting point.
The Best 20-Year Refinance Rate for June 2022
On the other end of the spectrum, the best 20-year fixed-rate loan is currently offered by Splash, with all other lenders significantly behind. The lenders at the top of this list look a lot different than the lenders at the top of the 5-year lists. Borrowers should consider whether they want a longer loan prior to putting together an application strategy.
Borrowers who are looking for the lowest possible payment when they refinance usually opt for a 20-year loan. The advantage is an easy monthly payment, but the downside is that it comes with a somewhat higher interest rate.
However, it is worth noting that the gap between the 5-year variable loans and the 20-year fixed-rate loans has never been smaller. Locking in a fixed-rate loan at just over 3% for 20 years is arguably the best deal available.
The Lowest Fixed-Rate Student Loans Available
For borrowers looking for the stability of a fixed-rate loan, but still in search of an ultra-low interest rate, the 5-year fixed-rate loan is usually the best bet.
One of the oddities of the June student loan refinance rates is that the interest rate gap between 5-year and 20-year loans has shrunk. Borrowers who select a longer loan have the option of paying extra to eliminate the debt quicker, but they have the protection of smaller minimum monthly payments.
Other Noteworthy Interest Rate Changes
In the mid-length loans, specifically those at 7, 10, or 15 years in duration, Splash, ELFI and CommonBond perform strongly.
For our overall rankings and lender reviews, be sure to check out our Student Loan Rankings page. For a complete breakdown by loan type for all loan lengths, head over to our student loan refinance rates table.