Some refinance lenders make it easier than others to pay off student loans fast.
You can pay off your refinanced student loan early regardless of which lender you choose, because student loan refinance lenders don’t charge prepayment penalties.
But not all lenders go the extra mile to make quick payoff convenient.
Here’s what to look for in lenders and a roundup of top-rated refinance lenders for fast student loan payoff.
The fastest way to pay off student loans
Refinancing is one of the fastest ways to pay off student loans. With a lower interest rate, the same monthly payment goes further toward the loan principal. Here's how to prioritize fast student loan payoff during every step of the refinancing process.
Find the right refinance lender. Look for lenders that let you make biweekly (every two weeks) and greater-than-minimum payments via autopay, so you can set it and forget it. (Most lenders offer a quarter-point interest rate discount for using autopay).
Choose the shortest repayment timeline you can afford. Also look for lenders that offer repayment schedules that fit with your debt payoff goal; some offer shorter terms that others. If you want to be debt-free in seven years, for instance, it’s helpful to have a seven-year loan term. That way, you’ll meet your goal just by making the minimum payments — any extra payments will be gravy.
Refinance with the lender that offers you the lowest rate. Below are top-rated lenders that offer all or most of these fast payoff features. Get rate estimates from each and go with the lender that offers you the lowest interest rate.
Make extra and biweekly payments. Once you’ve refinanced, you can accelerate repayment by paying extra when you can and making biweekly student loan payments instead of monthly ones.
Best refinance lenders for paying off student loans fast
These top-rated refinancing lenders scored highest for features that help you pay off student loans more quickly.
Note: Earnest no longer allows borrowers to make biweekly payments via autopay. The company is working on restoring the ability to make biweekly payments via autopay after receiving feedback from users who valued that option. In the meantime, borrowers can still make biweekly payments manually.
Other lenders to consider
The following highly rated lenders are also good options for borrowers who want to refinance student loans and pay them off fast.
CommonBond offers 5-, 7-, 10- 15- and 20-year loan terms and lets borrowers make greater-than-minimum payments via autopay. There's no option to make biweekly payments via autopay.
RISLA offers 5-, 10- and 15-year loan terms and lets borrowers make greater-than-minimum and biweekly payments via autopay.
First Republic Bank offers 5-, 7-, 10- and 15-year loan terms and lets borrowers make greater-than-minimum and biweekly payments via autopay. It also incentivizes fast payoff with a prepayment rebate: Borrowers who pay off their refinanced loan within four years get back the interest they paid, up to 2% of their original loan balance.