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LendKey

2022 review

LendKey offers student loan refinancing with attractive rates and flexible repayment options. You can easily check your rate online with no impact on your credit score, get offers instantly, and potentially save thousands in interest on the cost of your education.

8.7 / 10
Editorial Score
Andrea Miller
Senior finance writer and editor
May 11, 2022

Overview

LendKey is an online marketplace where you can search for student loan refinance solutions. The company partners with hundreds of banks and credit unions to help you find the most affordable solutions, with a speedy automated process that can keep costs down. 

You’ll find rates that are much lower than average for student loan refinancing, while avoiding costly application and origination fees. LendKey also has a faster approval process than most private student lenders.

Timing is important, especially these days, with interest rates about to increase. If you’re thinking of refinancing your student loan, you’ll want to start the application process as soon as you can.

You can get loan offers from LendKey’s network of partners in seconds without impacting your credit score. Because LendKey casts a wide net, it can save you the time you would spend shopping around.

Interest Rates Are About to Rise! Refinance Your Student Loan Now!

GREAT CHOICE 2022
8.7 / 10
Editorial Score
LendKey
Quick view:
Editorial Score
8.7 / 10
Online Services
Applications, Quote management, etc.
9.0 / 10
Customer Service
8.0 / 10
Available in 45 states
9.0 / 10
Available loan types
9.0 / 10
Products
$5K-$300K Loan Amount
8.0 / 10

Products & Services

LendKey offers private student loans as well as refinancing for both federal and private student loans.

Student Loan Refinancing

You can refinance either private or federal student loans with LendKey as long as you have earned an associate’s degree or higher from a Title IV school. The company also allows you to consolidate both types of loans into a single monthly payment.

You must owe at least $5,000 on your student loans to qualify for a LendKey refinance, and higher maximums may apply if you live in Massachusetts, Connecticut, or Arizona. You can refinance up to $125,000 for an undergraduate degree and $175,000 for a master’s, doctoral, or professional degree. If you have a medical degree, you can potentially refinance a maximum of $300,000 in student loans.

You can only refinance loans in your own name, so you cannot combine your student loans with your spouse’s loans or refinance parent loans with LendKey. You can select a loan term of five to 20 years with no application or origination fees.

Interest Rates Are About to Rise! Refinance Your Student Loan Now!

Private Student Loans

You can obtain financing from LendKey for 100% of your college or university’s certified cost of attendance. This number includes tuition as well as the cost of living, books, supplies, fees, and other expenses. You can apply to cover future education expenses or to pay a past-due tuition balance from within the past 90 days. The company allows you to apply for a full year of education costs in advance or start a new application each semester.

Rates and Terms

Private student loans from LendKey start at a variable APR of 1.49% or a  APR of 3.99%. Student loan refinancing rates from LendKey start at 2.14% with a variable-rate loan or 2.49% for a fixed-rate loan. These rates are well below the average APR of 4.60% for an undergraduate loan and 6.16% for a graduate loan.

You can save up to 0.25% on your LendKey student loan if you opt for automatic payments. If you apply with a cosigner, you may qualify for more affordable rates. Most partner lenders offer a cosigner release after one to three years of on-time payments.

Your payments begin six months after you either graduate or discontinue at least half-time enrollment. Since the company doesn’t have prepayment penalties, you can also save money on interest by making payments on your loan while you’re still in school.

Application Process and Qualifications

To start the process with LendKey, you can go to the website and get a free, no-obligation quote with no impact on your credit. The application asks for your contact information, income, and citizenship status. You must also enter the school you will attend, the academic period for the loan, the requested amount, your Social Security number, and information about your cosigner if applicable.

To get a loan from LendKey, you must be in a degree program at a Title IV school and attend at least half the time. You must have a strong credit history and steady income, but each of the company’s partner lenders has its own specific approval criteria. You also must be either a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Check Your Rates for Free on LendKey

Approval Time

You can receive your rates instantly when you apply for a student loan or refinance loan with LendKey. Some lenders provide immediate approval while others require you to submit further documentation for approval.

The company recommends applying for a new loan at least 30 days for approval, or about a month before you plan to start school. LendKey will disburse the funds directly to your school. If you refinance your loan, it can take 10 to 30 days to receive your funds after you get approved. In contrast, the average private student loan turnaround time is two to ten weeks, so you can potentially save time by choosing LendKey.

Customer Service

You can contact LendKey customer service by email or phone. The customer service line is open from Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. While many competitors have online chat support, LendKey does have extended phone hours compared to other lenders.

Summary

If you want to save money on a private student loan, consider starting your search with LendKey. You can check your potential rates without risking your credit, but you’ll need to have a good score or a cosigner to qualify for the company’s lower-than-average APRs.

LendKey is a great choice if you want to manage your finances online. In addition to the digital application process, the company offers an online portal so you can manage your loan on the go. The company’s high maximum loan amounts make it possible to fund your entire education, even if you have years of medical or dental school ahead.

You’ll need to check other top lenders if you need a student loan as an international student or parent. LendKey is also not the solution if you plan to consolidate your loans with your spouse’s student loans.

Interest Rates Are About to Rise! Refinance Your Student Loan Now!

FAQ

What types of loans does LendKey offer?

LendKey offers private student loans and student loan refinancing. You can also apply for a home improvement loan or contractor loan through this platform.

Does LendKey charge any fees?

You do not have to pay an application or origination fee to finance your education with LendKey. However, some of the company’s partner lenders may have late and returned payment fees.

What credit score do you need for LendKey?

Each LendKey partner has its own credit score requirements. However, you must have good credit to qualify for a loan, usually defined as a FICO score of at least 670.

Andrea Miller
Written by

Andrea Miller has been a writer and editor for more than two decades. She has previously covered financial topics for Solvable, Kabbage, and Credit.com. Outside of work, she spends most of her time with her husband, daughter, and son and enjoys hiking, yoga, and reading.

Pros:
  • Much lower than average rates and fees
  • Fast approval times
  • Immediate quotes with no credit check
Cons:
  • May need a cosigner to qualify
  • No spouse or parent refinancing
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
Bottom Line

LendKey has several big advantages for students, including very affordable rates and robust online features. You can apply completely online and benefit from fast funding if you qualify. Although you must demonstrate good credit and steady income to be eligible, you can apply with a cosigner to improve approval chances.

While most borrowers can save with LendKey, it’s not the right route for everyone. You can’t get a loan through this company as an international student, spouse, or parent. Unlike some competitors, LendKey doesn’t offer loans for career and certificate programs unless you will earn at least an associate’s degree.