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LendKey Student Loan Refinancing and Private Student Loans: An In-Depth Review

When it comes to managing student loan debt, finding the right lender can make all the difference in achieving your financial goals. LendKey, a marketplace connecting borrowers with credit unions and community banks, offers student loan refinancing and private student loans. In this comprehensive review, we’ll delve into the key features, eligibility criteria, and unique offerings of LendKey’s student loan products. Whether you’re looking to refinance existing loans or fund your education, we’ll guide you through the process and help you make an informed decision.

LendKey: Bridging the Gap Between Borrowers and Community Institutions

LendKey acts as an intermediary, bridging the gap between borrowers seeking student loans and reputable community banks and credit unions eager to provide financial assistance. This unique approach sets LendKey apart from traditional big banks, offering borrowers the chance to work with local institutions that prioritize personalized service and community engagement.

Student Loan Refinancing with LendKey

Key Features

  1. Extended Forbearance Period: LendKey stands out by offering an 18-month forbearance period for borrowers with 15- and 20-year loan terms. This feature provides a longer safety net for borrowers facing financial challenges.
  2. Quick Prequalification: LendKey allows borrowers to check their eligibility and get an estimated interest rate without undergoing a hard credit check. This prequalification process ensures borrowers can assess their options with confidence.

Eligibility and Requirements

To qualify for student loan refinancing with LendKey, applicants should meet certain criteria:

  • Credit Score: LendKey typically requires a minimum credit score of 660. A higher credit score may lead to more favorable loan terms.
  • Geographic Restrictions: While LendKey serves a wide range of borrowers, its loans are not available in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, or West Virginia.

Interest Rates and Terms

As of 2023, LendKey’s student loan refinancing offers fixed APRs ranging from 5.24% to 10.68%. The actual interest rate will depend on various factors, including creditworthiness and loan term.

Private Student Loans with LendKey

Key Features

  1. Community Bank and Credit Union Collaboration: LendKey’s private student loans provide an opportunity to work with community banks and credit unions, fostering a more personalized and community-centric lending experience.
  2. Extended Forbearance Options: LendKey offers an 18-month forbearance period for its undergraduate private student loans, providing additional financial flexibility during challenging times.

Eligibility and Requirements

To be eligible for LendKey’s private student loans, applicants should meet certain criteria:

  • Credit Score: A minimum credit score of 660 is typically required. Meeting this requirement enhances the chances of qualifying for a loan.
  • Cosigner Option: LendKey may require a cosigner for applicants with limited credit history or lower credit scores.

Interest Rates and Terms

As of 2023, LendKey’s undergraduate private student loans feature fixed APRs ranging from 4.89% to 10.39%, while variable APRs range from 5.56% to 10.37%.

LendKey’s Strengths and Potential Areas for Improvement


  1. Community-Oriented Approach: LendKey’s partnership with community banks and credit unions offers borrowers a more personalized and locally-focused lending experience, emphasizing community engagement.
  2. Extended Forbearance Period: The extended forbearance options for both student loan refinancing and private student loans provide borrowers with added flexibility during challenging times.
  3. Quick Prequalification: LendKey’s prequalification process allows borrowers to explore their loan options without negatively impacting their credit score, empowering them to make informed decisions.

Potential Areas for Improvement

  1. Geographic Availability: While LendKey serves a wide range of borrowers, it currently does not offer loans in certain states. Expanding its services to all 50 states would broaden its reach and benefit more borrowers.
  2. More Inclusive Eligibility: LendKey could consider offering refinancing options to borrowers without a degree and extending its loans to international students to accommodate a more diverse range of applicants.
  3. Biweekly Payments: Introducing the option for biweekly payments through autopay could provide borrowers with greater flexibility in managing their loan repayments.

How LendKey Compares to Other Lenders

Interest Rates and Terms

When comparing LendKey to other lenders, it’s essential to consider the interest rates, repayment terms, and loan options available. Evaluating these factors will help you find the most competitive and suitable loan option for your specific needs.

Repayment Options

Reviewing the repayment options offered by different lenders can provide insight into the flexibility and support available to borrowers. Look for features like forbearance periods, payment postponement, and autopay options.

Customer Service

The quality of customer service is a crucial factor in choosing a lender. Look for lenders that prioritize responsive and supportive customer service to ensure a smooth borrowing experience.


LendKey offers a unique approach to student loan financing, connecting borrowers with credit unions and community banks to provide personalized lending solutions. With its extended forbearance options, quick prequalification process, and collaborative community-oriented approach, LendKey has established itself as a strong contender in the student loan market.

As you explore your student loan options, consider your financial goals, credit profile, and preferred lender characteristics. By carefully assessing your needs and comparing lenders, you can make an informed decision that sets you on a path to financial success and academic achievement.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial or legal advice. Always consult with a qualified professional before making any financial decisions.

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