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LendKey Review – Everything you Need to Know

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LendKey Review – Everything you Need to Know

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Nick M.-

Refinancing your student loan debt is overwhelming. Not only do you have to understand each lender’s requirements, but you have to complete applications with each lender, listen to their offer, and decide which one is best for you.

It’s time consuming and overwhelming!

If that sounds like it’s too much, consider the LendKey marketplace where you complete one loan application, but receive multiple offers from credible lenders. With all your offers in one place, it’s easy to see which one is right for you and with LendKey’s low rates, you’ll save even more money.

Not sure if LendKey is right for you? Check out our in-depth guide.

What is LendKey?

LendKey is a student loan marketplace for undergrads or grads looking for private student loans or anyone with a degree looking to refinance student loans. Most banks or lenders working with LendKey are credit unions or community banks – they aren’t the ‘big name banks’.

LendKey partners with community-based organizations that want to help people just like you get ahead, paying off your student loans in an affordable manner.

LendKey’s partner lenders offer the lowest rates available on the market today thanks to the digital marketplace LendKey offers. With little overhead involved, LendKey lenders can pass the savings along to the borrowers.

Who is it For?

Anyone with a degree and student loans may benefit from LendKey. If nothing else, it’s worth checking out the rates they’ll provide. It doesn’t hurt your credit score or cost anything to get a quote. They only conduct a ‘soft credit check’ when you check your rates. If you don’t take the loan, your credit score remains unaffected.

When you choose an offer and move forward, the lender pulls your credit, at which point it’s an inquiry on your credit report. This still doesn’t ‘hurt’ your credit score, but it may drop it a few points.

The ideal applicant is the graduate that has recently improved his/her credit and/or secured a higher paying job and may be eligible for better loan terms than they currently pay.

How Does it Work?

If you’ve ever shopped for a loan with more than one lender, you know how confusing/frustrating it can be. LendKey helps reduce or eliminate that frustration by providing a one-stop marketplace for you to shop with various lenders.

First, note that LendKey is not the lender – they are the marketplace for lenders. You complete a quick application process and they provide you with options.

To apply, you’ll provide:
  • Your name and address
  • Amount of annual income
  • Degree and school you graduated from (if refinancing)
  • Outstanding loan amount

Once you enter your information, you’ll begin receiving offers from partner lenders within a few minutes.

This is when your legwork begins. You read through the offers, comparing each one to determine which offer provides you with the greatest savings or helps you reach your financial goals. If you want more information about the lender, LendKey provides plenty of resources to help you.

How do you Qualify?

On average, LendKey requires at least a 660 credit score, but if you have a lower credit score, you may benefit from using a co-signer who has better credit. LendKey is one of the few student loan refinance companies that allow the use of a co-signer.

Along with decent credit, borrowers must prove they can afford the loan with:
  • At least $24,000 annual income (most borrowers have income over $60,000)
  • A maximum debt ratio of 43 percent
  • Proof that your employment is reliable
  • At least an Associate’s degree from a Title IV participating school

Does LendKey Have a Prepayment Penalty?

No, anyone can pay off their LendKey loans at any time. You won’t pay additional fees. Any money you pay beyond your minimum payment gets credited to your account.

Who Shouldn’t use LendKey?

If you don’t qualify for a LendKey loan because you have poor credit or you don’t have a degree, you shouldn’t apply.

You also should use caution if you have federal student loans. Many federal programs have income-based repayment plan options and even loan forgiveness options that forgive a portion of your loan after you make a specific number of payments.

It’s not that you shouldn’t use LendKey if you have federal student loans, but you should exhaust all payment assistance and loan forgiveness options first. Once you refinance your loans, you can’t get those same benefits back.

The Loan Terms

Each lender within the LendKey marketplace offers different loan terms. On average, you’ll have an option of:

  • Terms of 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years
  • Rates starting at just 1.99 percent with auto-pay or 2.99 percent without auto-pay

Pros and Cons

Pros:
  • There’s no application fee
  • There’s no prepayment penalty
  • You can reduce the amount of interest you pay over the life of the loan
  • You can refinance all student loans into one payment (if you qualify)
  • Most lenders offer a few options including fixed and variable rate loans
  • Great customer service
Cons:
  • You need good credit to qualify
  • You need a degree to qualify

Bottom Line

If you can’t keep up with your student loan payments or are tired of the high interest rates, consider refinancing with LendKey. The digital platform makes it easy to secure offers from multiple lenders all from the comfort of your own home.

You can see which offers you get without hurting your credit score and you only deal directly with the lender when you choose a loan. If you’ve graduated with at least an Associate’s degree, have multiple student loans and have exhausted any federal assistance you’re eligible to receive, let LendKey help you learn how to refinance your loans into one loan and save thousands of dollars over the loan’s term.

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