How To Obtain Or Refinance A Student Loan In Arkansas
According to The Institute for College Access & Success, the average student loan debt among Arkansas graduates in 2018 was $26,579. While this figure is below the national average of $29,200, it’s still a significant amount of money.
If you’re considering applying for a student loan in Arkansas or refinancing an existing loan balance, it's crucial to find an affordable loan with low borrowing costs.
How To Get Student Loans In Arkansas
It’s best to first consider your government loan options before turning to private student loans. Federal loans will most likely have interest rates lower than their private equivalents.
- Federal Student Loans. The Department of Education has a direct loan program from which most Arkansas students borrow. Direct loans, also known as Stafford loans, include subsidized and unsubsidized loans from the federal government. If you can provide the required financial need, then you can qualify for subsidized loans. The government will cover the interest during undergraduate study
Unsubsidized loans are available to graduate students, professional students, and undergrads. Unlike subsidized loans, you won’t need to provide any financial need to qualify for it. Additionally, there are limits on the amount that students are eligible to take out in direct loans
- Private student loans. Unlike federal loans, private student loans have higher APR and stringent repayment terms. You won’t get many income-based repayment options and you’ll also lose out on the benefits offered by the federal government. However, if you didn’t qualify for a federal loan, this is the second-best option
Ways To Refinance Student Loans In Arkansas
In many ways, it’s possible for graduate students who’ve borrowed loans to make their monthly payments much more affordable. Refinancing is one such option.
Loan refinancing isn’t offered by the federal government, although it’s possible to consolidate certain federal loans through the Department of Education if you'd prefer to have a single big loan to pay instead of multiple smaller payments. Such measures are also used if you wish to change the duration of repayment.
You must carefully weigh the pros and cons to decide if it makes sense to give up these federal loan benefits to achieve the savings that refinancing could provide. If you want to refinance, some financial institutions offering this option include:
- SoFi: Has fixed refinancing APRs of 2.99% to 6.24% and variable APRs at 1.99% to 6.24%. It has an unemployment protection program that’ll temporarily put your payments on hold and help you to find work
- Earnest: Enjoy fixed refinancing APRs from 2.98% to 5.79% and variable APRs at 1.99% to 5.64%. The lender offers protection options in the event of you being unable to make payments
- Education Loan Finance: Has a wide variety of repayment terms, ranging from five years to 20 years. Offers fixed refinancing APRs at 3.21% to 5.79% and variable APRs at 2.39% to 6.01%