I have both federal and private student loans that I am currently paying off. I consolidated my federal loans and have them in IBR. I'm also doing PSLF. I have two private loans with Navient. I looked on Credit Karma and I'm not even making dent in those loans. So I would like to consolidate those loans as well to get a lower rate. My bank sent me a mailer and I went to their website to see what my rate would be. It is a couple of percentage points lower than what I am currently paying with Navient. I want to shop around with other lenders to see who can offer me the lowest rate.
The only thing I'm worried about are the credit cards I recently applied for. I've applied for four in two months. I've checked my FICO scores with my CC lenders and it looks like they're all still in the low 700s. However, I'm worried that hard inquiries will look bad. Should I wait a bit to consolidate? If so, how long? Thanks!
Every profile is different but I have had no problems consolidating private loans with numerous inquiries and lower 700s. A few percentage points is HUGE over the lifetime of a student loan. As for not making a dent, that's pretty much going to be the case no matter what the interest rate is due to the length of repayment. The payments for years will barely apply to the principal and will mostly go to interest. The only way to make a bigger dent is to make additional payments and/or go for a really short-term refinance like 5 years.
Even if you don't get the best rate at the moment, if you can save a few % now it's well worth it and you can always refinance again later if rates drop or your credit score improves significantly. In addition to what your bank is offering, check PenFed and (if eligible) Navy FCU. Citizen's Bank is generally on the low end of rates as well, and I am not sure what is available elsewhere, but in Massachusetts the non-profit MEFA is another great option.
try commonbond, im currently working with them to refi my loans. going to do a 7 year payoff plan but probably pay off in half the time.
An update: So I tried to refinance with Penfed but was denied. I also put in an app with LendKey which deals with a bunch of different credit unions. I saw one offer for a fixed rate of 6.28% for 10 years with a credit union. Waiting to hear on that. If that doesn't work, I could apply with Citizens Bank. They're offering a rate of 7.1% percentage (lower than what I currently pay but I would like it lower to be honest). I'm also considering waiting some more and maybe applying again in 6 months to one year. I have applied for four cards from July to September. So perhaps I need to garden for a bit and get my Fico up. It's not terrible (~715) but of course it could be better.
Thanks for the update - I am also considering refinancing (and consolidating) my private loans, so this info has been helpful.
My scores are also at about 710. Do you know why you were denied with the first lender? Did they provide any feedback from the underwriter? I haven't applied yet, but am curious how lenders will look at me.