Geeky Insight:

LendKey Review: Private Student Loans and Student Loan Refinancing

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Written By: DollarGeek

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.

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

Quick Summary:

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.

Student Loan Refinancing:



Private Student Loan:



Good for:

Bad for:

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.

Which LendKey product do you want to learn about?

LendKey: Student Loan Refinancing Review

Best if

  • 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.

Geeky Insight

LendKey - Student Loan Refinancing

Minimum credit score


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 terms

5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years

Fixed rate

3.19% - 7.75%*

Variable rate

2.61% - 5.25%*

Loans that qualify

Undergraduate, graduate, and medical degrees


0.25% autopay discount


$24,000 or $12,000 with co-signer


Minimum of an associates degree


U.S. citizen or permanent resident

Cosigner release

Yes, after 12 months of on-time payments

Origination fees


Application fee


Prepayment fee


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

Best IF

  • 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.

Geeky Insight

LendKey - Private Student Loan

Minimum credit score


Loan amounts

$1,000 up to 100% of your school's cost of attendance

Loan terms

5, 10, and 15 years

Variable rate

1.25% - 11.76%*

Fixed rate

4.25% - 12.35%*


0.25% autopay discount


$24,000 per year or more


Must be U.S. citizen or permanent resident


At least a half-time enrollee

Types of repayment

Full principal and interest, interest only, deferred and flat payment

Cosigner release

Yes, 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.

View your rate >>>>>>> Visit LendKey

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.


Rate check doesn't hurt your credit score

Low interest rates

No prepayment penalty

Flexible repayment terms

on LendKey's site