Some student loan lenders offer cash bonuses when you refinance a student loan with them. Many of these offers are unique to The College Investor readers because we've built these partnerships and only highlight the best offers for our readers.
These are referral links, meaning I do receive a commission if you refinance through these lenders. However, that doesn't impact you in any way. We're simply trying to showcase the best bonus offers for refinancing your student loans.
Remember, at the end of the day, don't let $1,000 sway you. Shop around to find the best lender that meets your needs. A lower interest rate will probably outweigh any bonus offer over the course of the loan.
Our favorite comparison tool is Credible. The reason is they aren't a lender, but a marketplace where you can compare a bunch of different offers at once. They offer College Investor readers a $1,000 gift card bonus if you refinance at least $100,000, otherwise it's a $300 gift card bonus if you go through their platform.
Special Note During COVID-19: You may not want to refinance federal student loans immediately, due to the pause in interest and student loan payments being extended through mid-2023. Learn more about special programs for your student loans during COVID-19 here.
Note: The student loan offers that appear on this site are from companies from which The College Investor receives compensation. In fact, these bonus offers are tied to advertising agreements with these companies. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear, however, this list is ranked by bonus dollar amount). The College Investor does not include all student loan companies or all student loan offers available in the marketplace.
Best Student Loan Refinancing Bonuses
Here's our current list of the best student loan refinancing bonuses. We keep this list up to date as best as possible. These bonuses are based on our relationship with the student loan lender. You might find different offers elsewhere, but we strive to have the best available.
Remember to check out our list of the best places to refinance student loans as well.
ELFI - Up to $1,100
ELFI has a long track record of helping borrowers refinance their student loans. Plus, they are consistently at the top of "best rate" charts and customer service rankings.
Just for being a College Investor reader, you get an awesome bonus:
- A $1,100 bonus when you refinance at least $100,000 in student loans!
- A $550 bonus when you refinance less than $100,000 but at least $50,000 in student loans!
That means, if you're quick, and you sign up through our site, you can earn up to $1,100 towards your student loans!
If you're organized, this can be an easy win for a substantial bonus. Check out our full ELFI review here.
This is the best bonus we see right now!
Credible - Up to $1,000
Credible is our favorite marketplace for comparing student loans. They have almost a dozen different lenders that you can easily shop and compare on their platform. And as a College Investor reader, no matter what lender you actually choose - if you refinance on their platform you'll get:
A $1,000 gift card bonus if you refinance at least $100,000 in student loans.
A $300 gift card bonus if you refinance less than $100,000 in student loans.
Check out our Credible review here.
LendKey - $750
LendKey offers private student loans and student loan refinancing by connecting borrowers to its network of over 300 credit union and banking partners. With access to their large network of partner lenders, they offer some of the lowest rates you'll find. Their loans have no origination fees or application fees, and you can check your rate online in just 2 minutes with no credit score impact.
LendKey is currently offering College Investor readers a $750 bonus if you refinance a loan over $150,000, and a $300 bonus if you refinance under $150,000.
That's a great bonus, and you can apply here to get started.
You can read our LendKey review here.
Splash Financial - $500
Splash Financial is a student loan refinancing marketplace that works with a few major lenders including Nelnet Bank, Laurel Road, and PenFed.
We highly recommend Splash to medical residents as they offer $100 payments on your refinanced loans during your residency and for up to 6 months afterward.
Splash is currently offering College Investor readers a $500 bonus if you refinance a loan over $50,000.
That's a great bonus and you can apply here to get started.
You can read our Splash Financial Review here.
Lend-Grow - $500
Lend-Grow is a another student loan marketplace that works with local lenders that may not traditionally be available in the online marketplaces you're familiar with. They also focus on showing an un-biased list of results based on the best rate and terms for you.
Right now, you can get a $500 cash bonus when you refinance a student loan of at least $100,000.
Check out our full Lend-Grow review here.
Laurel Road - $200
Laurel Road, formally DRB Student Loans, is an established student loan lender with a new name. Laurel Road really focuses on medical and dental graduates, but they have loan options that will work for any borrower. They might not be the best, however, if you're not in one of those categories. If you do consider Laurel Road, make sure you take advantage of their $200 bonus offer!
Check out our full Laurel Road review here.
Student Loan Bonus Offer FAQs
We get a lot of questions about why companies offer student loan bonus offers. Like everything else - it's marketing. Some companies try to compete on rate and fees, others on repayment programs, and other by offering awesome incentives to refinance your student loans.
Your goal as a borrower should be to figure out the best combination of all of the above for your needs.
Here are some common student loan bonus offer FAQs:
Should I refinance my student loans?
Maybe - if you have private student loans, it can make sense to shop often and refinance when you can get a better rate. If you have Federal student loans, it doesn't always make sense - since you lose the benefits Federal loans offers.
Is it possible to refinance Federal and private student loans together?
Yes, you can refinance all of your student loans together.
How do you get the best rate when you refinance?
To get the best rate when you refinance student loans, you typically need to have great income, credit, and you are taking out a short term loan (5 years or less). Variable rates are also typically lower than fixed rate loans.
How do you get the best bonus offer?
Check out our list of student loan bonus offers and see the terms. The best offers are typically for higher balance refinancing.
Can you refinance more than once?
Yes, you can refinance as often as you would like to. However, you usually cannot refinance again at the same lender.
Remember, don't choose a student loan refinancing company simply because of their bonus or promotional offer. The interest rates, term, and fees can make a big difference and easily outweigh any bonus offer.
If you have Federal student loans, remember, it typically doesn't make sense to refinance federal loans into private student loans.
At the end of the day, if you've already found a lender with a great rate and term that matches your needs - then get paid for using them!
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.
Editor: Clint Proctor Reviewed by: Claire Tak