Earnest Review  

By loansmack

Key Features

  • Refinance student loans for former students; average savings of $21,810.
  • 180 different repayment options, from 5-20 years.
  • Refinance Rates: Variable Rates - 2.57% – 6.19%  Fixed Rates - 3.35% – 6.39%.  
  • No origination fees or prepayment penalties.
  • Loans are serviced in house.
  • Interest-rate reduction of 0.25% if you enroll in Auto Pay.

About Earnest

Founded in 2013, Earnest specializes in refinancing student loans, as well as offering personal loans.  Earnest is different than most lenders, in the sense that they take your professional potential into account, along with your financial profile.  In other words, a limited credit history won’t prevent financially responsible applicants from accessing a low interest rate loan.  For example, if you are just starting your career in a field with strong earnings potential, Earnest may be able to offer you a competitive rate based on the opportunity for growth within that field.


  • Repayment terms – With 180 options, you can customize your repayment on your own terms.
  • Rates – Since Earnest looks at future earnings potential, you may be able to get a lower rate compared to other lenders.


  • No cosigner option – Currently Earnest loans don't have the option to have a cosigner, which may affect rates.
  • If you live in Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nevada, or Rhode Island you are not eligible for a Earnest loan.

How to get started with Earnest

You can get started with Earnest through their online process.  Remember, when you get a rate estimate from a lender, this involves a 'soft credit' check, which will not affect your credit score.  When you decide to actually apply for a loan, the lender will do a hard credit pull which will slightly affect your credit score.

Documents you'll need for when applying to most lenders:

  • Government ID (passport, driver's license, green card).
  • Income verification (if applicable); this can include pay stubs, W-2's, etc.
  • Social Security number.