LendKey Review: Private Student Loans And Student Loan Refinancing

Here is our review of LendKey’s private student loan and student loan refinancing options.

Written by
Henning Taeger
Last Update on Aug 1, 2023

Student loans in America are a big deal. We have net student loans exceeding $1.67 trillion and alarmingly high default rates on these loans. Research reveals that over 20% of the federal student loan borrowers are already in default.

If you’re looking for a student loan or trying to refinance your student loan, LendKey can connect you with the right lenders, credit unions and small community banks.

Quick Summary


Student Loan Refinancing
Private Student Loan
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LendKey offers borrowers the opportunity to work with a community bank or credit union rather than a big bank. Find the best rate and repayment term with LendKey.

Additional Details
    Low interest rates
  • Shopping for a rate at a variety of lenders like credit unions and community banks
  • See your rate without hurting your credit score


  • Not available to borrowers in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island or West Virginia
  • Those who hold a visa
  • Must enroll in autopay to get best interest rates

Getting Started With LendKey

LendKey is an online marketplace that connects lenders with student loan borrowers. It has over 300 credit unions and small banks in its network. It’s an ideal platform for individuals interested in dealing with small lenders instead of mainstream financial institutions.

LendKey stands out in terms of a longer forbearance period (18 months) and variable repayment periods (five years to 20 years).

Our goal is to simplify LendKey’s offerings in this post, thereby helping you choose the option that works out the best.

LendKey: Student Loan Refinancing Review


  • You have a limited credit history or income and can find a co-signer for your loan.
  • You have a decent income and want access to a pool of lenders.

LendKey requires a credit score of 660 or higher for student loan refinancing. 

LendKey has lower income requirements in comparison to other lenders ($24,000, or $12,000 with a co-signer), although these requirements may vary depending on your chosen lender. The average income of a LendKey borrower is $65,000.

The best part of LendKey is its ability to provide quotes from multiple lenders. Based on the information you share, the online lending platform will only list loans that you qualify for.

You can find refinancing options on LendKey only if you have an associate or higher degree from a Title-IV school.

Minimum credit score660
Loan amounts$5,000 (minimum with some exceptions), $125,000 (maximum for undergraduates), $175,000 (maximum for graduates), $300,000 (maximum for select medical degrees)
Loan terms5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years
Fixed rate3.19% – 7.75%*
Variable rate2.61% – 5.25%*
Loans that qualifyUndergraduate, graduate, and medical degrees
Discounts0.25% autopay discount
Income$24,000 or $12,000 with co-signer
EducationMinimum of an associates degree
Citizenship/ResidencyU.S. citizen or permanent resident
Cosigner releaseYes, after 12 months of on-time payments
Origination feesNone
Application feeNone
Prepayment feeNone
Late fees$5-$15 depending on the lender
*auto-pay discount is included on rates

Types Of Loans You Can Refinance With LendKey

The lenders on LendKey offer refinancing for loans associated with undergraduate, graduate, and medical degrees.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to refinance with LendKey, you’ll have to have the following:

  • You must be a US citizen or permanent resident to qualify for a loan.
  • Credit score: 660
  • Minimum income: $24,000 or $12,000 with co-signer
  • Highest allowed debt-to-income: 50%
  • Must have an associate degree; the school must qualify for federal aid.
  • Loans are not available in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, or West Virginia.

Refinancing For U.S. Immigrants

You have to be a permanent resident or US citizen to qualify for a refinancing loan.

How To Get Started Refinancing Your Student Loan With LendKey

You can start your application process by signing up with LendKey and sharing your personal information.

LendKey will require income, loan amount, residential status, the reason for refinancing, and your school name with the associated degree.

LendKey will match you with the available lenders. Once you choose a loan partner, LendKey will service the loan.

LendKey: Private Student Loans Review


  • You are looking to work with lenders that charge no origination fee or application charges.
  • You are seeking longer forbearance periods (up to 18 months).

If you’re seeking a bridge loan to fund the gap between your federal student loans and college expenses, LendKey is a solid option.

Private student loans from LendKey cover 100% of your college expenses, including tuition, boarding, room, and other listed education expenses.

LendKey requires a minimum income of $24,000, which means you may want to have a co-signer that satisfies these terms. Also, your credit score should be above 660.

You can choose a loan term of 5, 10, or 15 years for your student loan. LendKey offers both in-school and after-school repayment options. There is a grace period of six months once you finish your college or are no longer a qualifying student.

LendKey provides private student loans with variable APRs as low as 2.99% or fixed APR of 4.99% and above. There are no prepayment, origination, or application fees for these private student loans.

LendKey offers private student loans across all 50 states.

Minimum credit score660
Loan amounts$1,000 up to 100% of your school’s cost of attendance
Loan terms5, 10, and 15 years
Variable rate1.25% – 11.76%*
Fixed rate4.25% – 12.35%*
Discounts0.25% autopay discount
Income$24,000 per year or more
Citizenship/ResidencyMust be U.S. citizen or permanent resident
EnrollmentAt least a half-time enrollee
Types of repayment
Full principal and interest, interest only, deferred and flat payment
Cosigner releaseYes, after 24 months
Late fee$5-$15 depending on the lender
*auto-pay discount is included on rates

Eligibility For LendKey Private Student Loans

So, how do you qualify for a private student loan with LendKey?

  • You must be a US citizen or a permanent resident.
  • Minimum income: $24,000 per year.
  • Minimum credit score: 660.
  • You should be at least a half-time enrollee.
  • Your school should be approved for federal aid.
  • The maximum debt-to-income ratio shouldn’t exceed 33%, excluding housing expenses.
  • No bankruptcy in the last five years.

How To Pay Back Your Loan

LendKey offers multiple repayment options for its private student loans.

Its in-school repayment plans include a monthly payment of $25 or interest-only payments for up to 60 months.

LendKey provides six months grace period for post-school payments. You don’t get any deferrals for active military duty or when you go back to school. There is a cumulative forbearance period of 18 months with these loans.

In case you have a co-signer, the release period is 24 months, with regular payments.

How To Get Private Student Loans With LendKey

As in the case of refinancing, you can start by creating an account and filling an application for a student loan. LendKey will provide a list of suitable lenders for your loan.

While it’s not a requirement, but LendKey recommends students to apply for FAFSA to find out their qualifications for any federal aid.

Once you choose a lender, LendKey services your loan.

The Bottom Line

LendKey is a place for someone seeking multiple financing options. You don’t have to file applications with different lenders to determine your eligibility. Also, you can easily compare financing terms from different lenders with a single application.

LendKey receives high ratings on Trustpilot and BBB for its customer service.

If you’re seeking a private student loan or want to refinance your student loan, LendKey is a popular and credible option to find a lender.

Henning is a writer and editor here at Dollargeek who is passionate about personal finance, pets and cryptocurrency. He enjoys sharing his knowledge about financial management with readers, helping them make informed decisions about their money. In his spare time, Henning can be found playing the latest video games or jamming on his guitar. He is constantly on the lookout for new ways to improve his financial literacy and stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the world of finance.