Refinancing student loans can feel like serious financial spring cleaning, but it doesn’t have to.
At SoFi, we’re all about helping member dentists manage their money in ways that work best for them. To date, SoFi has refinanced $12+ billion in student loans for over 200,000 borrowers across the United States. Through our partnership, WDA members can apply via SoFi.com/WDA and qualify for a rate discount upon refinancing.
Consolidating multiple student loan balances into one new loan with a low-interest rate and monthly payments designed around your life isn’t a big ask in our world. In fact, it’s an everyday occurrence. And it’s not hard. The key is to strategize. Here’s how to begin:
- Check your credit. Although some companies consider your credit score as refinancing criteria, SoFi doesn’t. But we do take a look at your credit report.
A good history of paying off debt will work in your favor. As an extra precaution, if you tend to rely a lot on plastic, consider cooling your credit spending for a few months before applying for a new loan.
- Take a hard look at your cost of living. It’s a fact—some cities are more expensive to live in than others. Plus, some people can’t afford to live alone. Someone renting an apartment in a small Midwestern town, for example, has lower expenses than someone who owns a row house in San Francisco. Cost of living matters a lot to refinancing companies.
But, anything you can do to pay down debt and make choices that free up more cash—such as renting a smaller apartment, taking on a roommate or leasing a less expensive car—can help your case. How you budget also plays a huge role in loan application acceptance.
- Give lenders a complete history. Unlike other lenders, SoFi considers things like where you went to school and how you’re doing professionally when we weigh your application. So, provide as much information as you can when it comes to your undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Additionally, be sure to include all relevant work experience. If there’s a job offer on the horizon, be sure to submit your offer letter with your application. And, if you get a promotion while your application is under review, notify the lender immediately.
- Show all your income. When lenders ask for income information, they mean all of your income, not just job earnings. So, remember to list dividends, interest earned, bonuses and the extra money you make from your side hustle or Airbnb rental property. Keep pay stubs, interest statements and tax returns.
Make sure your driver’s license is current and that your student loan statements are all correct. If you’re self-employed, wait until you’ve filed your taxes to apply for refinancing—it’s the easiest way to prove the previous year’s income.
- Be flexible. If you have a number of student loans and you’re not offered the best rate when you apply for refinancing, consider refinancing only a couple of them. You may snag a lower interest rate with a smaller refinance balance. You can always apply for the full balance in the future after you’ve received a raise or moved to a less expensive location.
The stronger student-loan-refinancing candidate you are, the better your chances of getting the best rate possible. And, with a great rate, you might even find yourself with a little extra cash each month— money you can put toward a well-deserved vacation or, even better, becoming a homeowner in the near future.
See if you qualify for student loan refinancing by applying through SoFi.com/WDA.
This article excerpted from one that appeared on SoFi’s blog on Aug. 11, 2016 (Link: https://www.sofi.com/blog/get-lowest-rate-refinance-student-loans/)