LendKey Student Loan Marketplace Review 2022
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Should You Use LendKey?
What is a Student Loan Marketplace?
A student loan marketplace allows you to compare loan offers from multiple lenders at once. The marketplace allows you to check your rates without affecting your credit score.
If you don’t want to use a student loan marketplace, fill out separate applications for each lender you’re considering. You then have to compare the terms of each loan yourself – a table can be helpful here.
LendKey is not a lender, and it does not underwrite or finance loans. Instead, it matches you with one of its partner credit unions or community banks. The company offers student loan refinancing and new private student loans.
The terms of the refinanced loans range from five to 20 years. Refinanced loans have variable interest rates between 1.90% and 5.25% on AutoPay and fixed interest rates between 2.49% and 7.93% on AutoPay. AutoPay gives you a 0.25% discount.
LendKey’s new loans only have a term of 10 years. With an AutoPay rebate of 0.25%, new loans have variable APRs ranging from 1.57% to 7.66%. The fixed APR at AutoPay is between 3.99% and 7.66%.
With LendKey you can borrow up to 100% of your participation costs. The minimum loan amount for a new loan is $2,000 while the minimum for a refinanced loan is $5,000. The minimum for refinancing is $10,001 in Arizona and Connecticut and $6,000 in Massachusetts. Applying for a lower loan amount will not increase your chances of approval as approval is based on a credit check.
The company does not specify a minimum credit score you need to be eligible for a loan, but in general, the higher your score, the more likely you are to be approved.
LendKey allows co-signers for its loans. Co-signers are not required, but may improve your chances of getting a loan or qualify you for better terms than you would get on your own.
With LendKey, you pay no setup fees or prepayment penalties.
Who is LendKey best for?
LendKey is best for borrowers who don’t want the hassle of applying to multiple lenders and researching the best rates. LendKey takes care of this process for you with a simple application.
Additionally, you might like LendKey if you are able to qualify for the lowest interest rates that are competitive with many other top student loan lenders.
Is LendKey trustworthy?
LendKey has an A rating by the Better Business Bureau, a non-profit organization focused on consumer protection and trust. The BBB determines its ratings by assessing a company’s response to customer complaints, honesty in advertising, and transparency about business practices.
A company’s BBB rating does not guarantee that you have a good relationship with the lender, so take it with a grain of salt. Ask friends and family about their experiences with the company before making your decision.
LendKey has not been involved in any recent controversy. LendKey has a clean history and an excellent BBB rating, so you can choose to be comfortable with the lender.
How LendKey compares to other lending marketplaces
We compared LendKey to two other lending marketplaces with similar offerings and signup processes: Credible and Lend-Grow.
LendKey has slightly higher minimum rates than Credible or Lend-Grow, but caps its rates lower than Credible. If you have excellent credit, you may be able to get a slightly lower interest rate with Credible or Lend-Grow.
Lend-Grow only offers student loan refinance, so if you want a new loan, you will have to go with one of the other lenders. In addition to student loan deals, you can also search for personal loans, home loans, and mortgage refinance deals at Credible.
None of these lending marketplaces have a mobile app or charge fees.
frequently asked Questions
What is the benefit of a student loan marketplace?
A student loan marketplace will show you a list of lenders and the interest rate each would charge you. No need to spend time filling out multiple applications from different lenders – everything will be in one place for you.
Why should I refinance my student loan?
Here are common reasons for refinancing your student loans:
- To lower your interest rate. This is probably the most common reason people refinance their student loans. If you can get a better interest rate — maybe your credit score has improved, you’ve added a co-signer, or you’ve found a lender with more favorable terms — you’ll save money on your loan.
- To switch from a variable to a fixed interest rate. While variable interest rates often start out lower than fixed interest rates, you can’t guarantee they’ll stay low indefinitely. You may prefer to set a fixed interest rate so you can create a set repayment schedule for your loan.
- How to change your tenure. If your monthly student loan payments are too much for your current budget, you may want to spread your balance over a longer period of time. Remember, if you extend your term, you’ll likely pay more total interest. If you want to save on interest overall, you can shorten the term of your loan. This allows you to aggressively reduce your debt by making higher monthly payments.
What happens if I refinance my federal student loan?
Before you decide to refinance a federal student loan, be careful. Even if you get a lower interest rate when you refinance a federal loan into a personal loan, you lose important protections that come with federal loans. For example, you are not eligible for the COVID-19-related student loan payment pause, which currently expires on August 31, 2022, and government student loan assistance programs such as government loan forgiveness.
You’re also missing out on certain repayment options like income-based repayment plans that take your specific income and family size into account when determining monthly payments.