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Earnest Reviews

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  • Pros
  • Flexible repayment terms
  • Competitive rates
  • Sophisticated data analysis
  • Autopay discounts
  • Handles your loan on sight
  • Cons
  • Not BBB accredited
  • Only available in 29 states (and D.C.)

Earnest Student Loan Consolidation

Earnest is another student loan refinancing option for students burdened by debt. Their philosophy is that "financially responsible people deserve something better" seems to influence their attention to detail when determining who receives a loan and what their rates should be. Through "better data analysis" they claim to give you the best possible rate, a practice that apparently contributes to client saving substantially on average.

How it Works

The first step is to find out if you qualify and what your rate will be if you do. To find this, you'll visit Earnest's website and fill out its quick form. It should take you about two minutes to fill out, submit and find what your rate will be.

From there, you can complete the application process. What separates Earnest from other lenders is they look at more than just your credit score. Other criteria they measure includes your saving behaviors, employment history, your investment profile and your earning potential. They use these metrics to gain a feel for your financial patterns; then armed with this data, they can tailor a loan that fit within your budget.

If you receive approval, you will have the opportunity to customize a loan program that fits your needs. As part of this, you will have the option to choose between fixed and adjusted rate programs and you have the flexibility to set up your payment amount based on 5, 10, 15 and 20-year repayment plans.

Earnest offers some fairly competitive interest rates with their refinanced loans. Like with other lenders, Earnest encourages you to set up auto pay by offering interest discounts and, like other lenders, the rates they advertise assume you would take advantage of this discount.

Qualifications

To qualify for refinancing with Earnest, they do have some requirements you need to meet. Here is a look at them:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen and are at least 18 years of age or older.
  • Your student loan debt is from paying fees for a Title IV school. The debt must also be from you or your children.
  • The debt you want to refinance is for a degree already earned or you will earn at the end of your current semester.
  • You must be the primary borrower on the student loans you want to refinance; you must remain the primary borrower when you refinance.
  • You need to have employment or a written offer of one.
  • There are residency requirements, meaning Earnest won't be applicable to everyone. To qualify for refinancing you must live in one of the following states: Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C., Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Benefits of Using Earnest to Refinance Student Loans

Earnest uses a unique criteria system, as explained above, to determine qualification for loans. As such, if you qualify, you could receive exceptional interest rates as low as 2.13% APR on a variable loan and 3.50% APR on a fixed loan. If you have student loan debt, particularly with a private lender, you will find these rates attractive because they are much lower than what you are likely paying. By refinancing with Earnest, you could save on average $17,936, making them the smart option.

Another unique aspect of Earnest is the flexibility they offer you in repaying loans through their "Precision Pricing" program. They use data-driven methods to deterimine a fluid repayment plan based on your tailored financial profile. They will also allow you to switch your loan from a fixed to variable rate or vice versa for no fees anytime you need to. You can make bi-weekly payments to pay off your loans quicker and save on interest charges. You can also change your payment amount, due date and even skip a payment, then make it later. YOu can make extra payments and repay your loan early with no prepayment penalty.

There is so much flexibility here in how you repay your loans, which gives you back control. Unlike third-party student loan providers, who don't offer much in the way of flexibility, Earnest understands each borrower's needs are different, so they tailor personalized repayment solutions to reflect this.

Drawbacks to Consolidating with Earnest

The only drawback is not everyone will qualify to use Earnest for refinancing. For example, if you are still in school and want to be proactive in repaying your loan off, you won't be able to refinance it with Earnest until your last semester. Moreover, with the residency restrictions, you must live in one of the states mentioned above to be eligible for financing.

A Look at Earnest's Customer Service

They do not pass you off to third parties once you receive your refinanced loan. They handle your case from start to finish. This makes them a great option because you can gain a familiarity with the services they provide, acquire more knowledge of the options available to you and take control of repaying your student loans.

Earnest comes highly recommended by customer review site (which is pretty rare) and past clients seem to have been satisfied dealing with the company.

In the event you need to contact them, they have a live chat feature, email support and phone, which are available during normal banking hours Monday through Friday in Pacific Time. If you opt to email them, they say you will receive a response within eight hours. It's their focus on delivering excellent service that makes them a great lender to consider.

Verdict - Very Good

Earnest employs many refreshing tactics as a lender, like allowing you to choose any payment term between 5 and 20 years or the fact that they personally handle your loan without passing you to a third party. These factors coupled with their rates (that are comparable to the other top student refinancing lenders) make them an excellent option to consider.

Last Updated:

Earnest Consumer Reviews

Average Customer Rating

8 out of 10 rating 8 10 User Reviews

User Rating Distribution

Ratings: 10 - 9 6
Ratings: 8 - 7 2
Ratings: 6 - 5 1
Ratings: 4 - 3 1
Ratings: 2 - 1 0
8 out of 10 rating 8 Fast and Easy No cons

The process us fast and easy and they have a great customer support team. Highly recommend if you're looking to consolidate some student loans.

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9 out of 10 rating 9 Professional and reliable None

Every single person I have dealt with has been fantastic, they are friendly and professional and know what they are talking about! They have great rates and will help save you money.

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9 out of 10 rating 9 Low apr None

They offer the lowest APR rate for loan consolidation we could find and the ease of the whole process makes such a difference. Would use this company again.

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10 out of 10 rating 10 Help save you money No cons

Can't fault Ernest loans. They have helped me refinance my student loans at a lower interest rate, saving me about $150 a month!

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10 out of 10 rating 10 Customer service None

The best customer service I have ever experienced. Not only do they offer low interest rates to consolidate student loans, but the customer service is amazing. From start to finish we had constant communication. And just a few weeks into our loan we received a $100 voucher. Finally a company who shows respect to their customers.

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6 out of 10 rating 6 Friendly customer support High Expectations in application

I was actually denied my loan from Ernest, but when I spoke to the customer support team they were friendly and helpful and explained the reasons why. They seem to have very high expectations when it comes to accepting loan applications, so they gave me some tips to try and then said to reapply in a few months.

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8 out of 10 rating 8 Excellent Service! None

The best loan company I have ever dealt with! The customer service is professional and friendly. The rates are low. And the application is super fast.

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4 out of 10 rating 4 Good rates Monitor expenses

Ridiculous system. Yes they have great low rates, if you can get them. I was declined a loan because they said I could not afford it and that I did not have enough in savings. The whole point to to help consolidate my loans to make it more affordable!

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10 out of 10 rating 10 Application quick and low interest None

Thanks to Ernest I've consolidated my 3 loans into one much cheaper payment. The interests rates are low and the application process is quick and straight forward.

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9 out of 10 rating 9 Look at individual cases None

Highly recommend this company! They did not give me a generic speech, they asked me lots of questions and found out about my personal needs and found a package that suited me. Everything is so easy and straightforward.

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Advertiser Disclosure

In order for MoneySavingPro to remain a consumer free service, many of the companies covered in our industry reviews compensate MoneySavingPro for new sign ups.

However, the results of our comparison tools, the rankings of the providers and the information presented is not affected by compensation. Indeed, many of these companies approach us for an advertising partnership after we have already written a published their reviews.

While we try to research and review as many providers as possible in the 100+ industries we cover, we have not reviewed every company available.

Our rating system is independent of compensation and reflects our true understanding of the industry and the company based on a variety of factors. The companies that receive the highest rating will always be the providers that we believe offer the best value to the consumer.