How to Refinance Your Discover Student Loan

Jen Williamson Updated on October 2, 2018

Got a private student loan with Discover? You could stick with them—or you could refinance your loan, score a lower interest rate, and laugh all the way to the bank. 

So, how, exactly, do you refinance your Discover student loan? All you need to do is check competitor's rates and apply—the whole process takes about 15-20 minutes. We'll walk you through it. 

Discover-Logo-PNG-Transparent-1024x264

What is refinancing?

First things first: Refinancing means replacing an existing loan with a new loan—along with a new interest rate and new terms. It’s the closest thing you get to a do-over on your student loan.

When you refinance, your new lender pays off all your existing loan or loans for you and then issues you a single new private loan. You make payments to one place—not to multiple lenders. That’s one benefit of refinancing—it makes your loans easier to manage.

See also: How Much Student Loan Debt Do I Have?

It also makes your loan cheaper. Ideally, you get a lower interest rate with your new loan—and in a lot of cases, it’s a lot lower. According to our data, most people who refinance can lower their payments by $253 a month or save over $16,000 over the life of the loan.

If your credit score is better now than when it was when you originally took out your Discover student loan, you could qualify for a lower interest rate if you refinance. 

Imagine Life Without a Student Loan Payment... Start Saving Now!

How do I pick a new lender to refinance my loan?

Ideally, you want to have maybe four or five lenders to choose from. Here are some criteria to use:

The interest rate they offer

The main point of this exercise is to score a lower interest rate. Each lender will offer you a different rate, based on your credit score and financial history.

You don’t have to go through an entire application process to get a ballpark figure—a lot of lenders have a student loan refinancing calculator on their website (here’s ours). 

Once you’ve narrowed the field further, you can put in an application and get an initial offer from the lenders on your shortlist (more on that in a sec).

Their customer service

You’re going to be working with your new lender for a while, so hopefully they’re good with customer service. Read online reviews. Ask around with people you know. Put the question out on social media.

Some people may have had bad experiences--but some lenders really do have great customer service. CommonBond, for instance, has won awards for theirs.

The terms on their loans

Want to stretch your loan out to 20 years so you can save month-to-month? Or how about paying it off in five so you can realize more savings over the life of your loan? Either way, make sure the lender offers loan terms in that range. 

What makes them stand out

Other factors may make a lender the right fit for you. For instance: 

  • SoFi offers entrepreneurial seed funding, career counseling, networking events, and even yoga and cooking classes for ambitious members.
  • LendKey hooks you up with over 13,000 local community banks and credit unions to score very low rates.
  • CommonBond has a major social responsibility mission—for every loan they fund, they put a kid through school in Ghana.
  • SplashFinancial negotiates hard with individual banks and credit unions to score you a particularly low rate.
     

What’s the refinancing process like?

Once you’ve picked a lender you’re interested in, you can apply through their website. The process shouldn’t take more than about 20 minutes—but may vary depending on the lender. 

During the application process, you'll be asked about:

  • Your existing loans
  • Your income
  • Personal contact details
  • The degree you hold
  • Your existing job
  • Where you live, and
  • Where you went to school. 

Once you submit this info, the lender will do a “soft pull” to determine your credit score. This doesn’t show up on your credit report, so know that's it's totally fine to check out several lenders. 

After the soft pull, you'll receive initial offer. If you decide to proceed, the lender will then do a hard pull on your credit to get you a final offer.

If you pull the trigger on that, they’ll handle all the paperwork to switch your loan over from Discover to your new, lower-interest-rate loan. However, be sure to keep paying on your Discover loan until you've verified that the balance has been paid off by your new lender. 

Is refinancing worth it?

Refinancing could save you a large chunk of change—and reset the terms on your student loan. If you have a Discover student loan, it’s definitely worth considering.

Curious about refinancing? See how much you could save. Check out Refi Ready.

Looking To Conquer Your Student Loan Debt?

Yes! Send Me The Savings Blueprint

About the Author
Jen Williamson

Jen Williamson is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn. She has written for a variety of industries, including software, education, business, and personal finance. Prior to that, she worked at an adult literacy nonprofit in Philadelphia, where she coached nontraditional students in passing the GED test and applying for college. When she isn’t writing or reading—which is rare—she can usually be found planning her next travel adventure, training for a marathon, or sneaking in somewhere she’s not supposed to be. Read more by Jen Williamson

Save Today With These Leading Lenders

#1 - Comet Recommended View More Details

Works with 275+ not-for-profit community lenders for higher approval chances

  • APR: 2.51% - 8.82%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Refinance up to $300K
View More Details
Visit LendKey View Loan Disclosure

LendKey operates student loan programs for over 275 not-for-profit and community lenders across the country. By partnering with these lenders, LendKey is able to give consumers direct access to the best rates available from the most borrower friendly institutions. As the servicer of all loans obtained through its platform, you can rest easy knowing your personal information will be safe and that the best customer service team will be ready to answer your questions from application until your final payment.

LendKey Student Loan Refinance review

  • Lightning fast rate check - 2-minute rate check with no impact on your credit score
  • More lenders, more options - see the best offers from over 275 not-for-profit and community lenders for higher approval chances
  • Life of loan relationship - With LendKey, your personal information will never be sent or passed on to third parties. Their customer service team is with you from the moment you land on their website until you've completely repaid your loan.
  • Unmatched benefits- Community lenders put people over profits and offer unique benefits like cosigner release after 12 on-time payments, interest only repayment options to keep monthly payments low, the largest unemployment protection period in the market, and more.

Get a personalized quote from LendKey now.

#2 View More Details

Offers unemployment protection and career/coaching/networking

  • APR: 2.470% - 7.979%
  • Minimum credit score: 650
  • Refinance up to 100% of student debt
View More Details
Visit SoFi View Loan Disclosure

SoFi, which stands for “Social Finance,” was created by a group of Stanford business students who found themselves with a mountain of debt after graduation. They set out to change the student loan industry and help borrowers like themselves to get lower interest rates. SoFi has some of the lowest interest rates and, unlike the other lenders we reviewed, it has no maximum amount you can finance. However, Nevada residents can’t currently refinance with SoFi. Minimum loan balances are higher in Arizona, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania due to state laws. Additional state restrictions may apply.

SoFi Student Loan Refinancing Review

  • Low interest rates - For well-qualified borrowers, SoFi offers some of the lowest rates we have found.
  • Strong customer service - It has more than 350 customer service reps available to help applicants through process.
  • Career coaching and networking - Perks include career services representatives who can help you find a job or negotiate a higher salary. SoFi also hosts networking events, happy hours and educational lectures on topics like buying a home in major cities around the country.
  • Unemployment protection - Borrowers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own may apply for Unemployment Protection. If approved, SoFi will suspend their monthly SoFi loan payments and provide job placement assistance during the forbearance period. These benefits are offered in three month increments, and are capped at 12 months, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. Note that interest will still accrue while loans are in forbearance.

Find out what interest rate SoFi can offer you here.

#3 View More Details

For every loan they fund, they contribute to the education of a child in need

  • APR: 2.48% - 6.25%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Refinance up to $500K
View More Details
Visit CommonBond View Loan Disclosure

CommonBond was founded in 2011 by three MBA graduates from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School who wanted to help their peers escape from high-interest student loan debt. Its original focus was on grad students, but it has since expanded to cover undergrads as well.

Of all the companies we reviewed, CommonBond has some of the best customer service. The company prides itself on being easy to reach by email, phone, or live chat. It offers networking events, expert panels, insider newsletters, and even has a program help borrowers who lose their jobs to find new ones. CommonBond also makes you feel good about choosing to refinance with them by donating money to an education nonprofit for each loan they write.

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance review

  • Unemployment protections - If you lose your job or decide to go back to school, you can delay your payments for up to 24 months.
  • Social promise - For every loan they fund, they also contribute to the education of a child in need.
  • Hybrid loan option - Offerings include a 10-year hybrid loan with fixed interest for the first five years, and variable interest for the final five.
  • Referral bonus - For every friend you refer who refinances their loans with CommonBond, you’ll earn a $200 cash bonus.
  • Qualification - Borrowers must have graduated at least 2 years prior if they want to apply without a co-signer. And borrowers in 6 states – Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, South Dakota, and Vermont – cannot currently refinance through CommonBond.

Get a personalized review of your refinancing options with CommonBond today.

#4 View More Details

Earnest empowers people with the financial captial they need to live better lives.

  • APR: 2.47% - 6.97%
  • Minimum credit score: 650
  • Refinance up to $500K
View More Details
Visit Earnest View Loan Disclosure

Using technology, data, and design to build affordable products, Earnest's lending products are built for a new generation seeking to reach life's milestones. The company understands every applicant's unique financial story to offer the lowest possible rates and radically flexible loan options for living life.

  • Commitment-free 2 minute rate check
  • Client Happiness can be reached via in app messaging, email, and phone 
  • No fees for origination, prepayment, or loan disbursement
  • Flexible terms let you pick your exact monthly payment or switch between fixed and variable rates
  • Skip a payment and make it up later
  • Online dashboard is designed to make it easy to apply for and manage your loan

Click here to apply with Earnest and to see how much you can save.

#5 View More Details

Operates in all 50 states; 2nd largest student loan refinancing lender

  • APR: 3.02% - 7.02%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • No refinancing amount maximum
View More Details
Visit Laurel Road View Loan Disclosure

Laurel Road is a national online lender with customers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Many of our non-bank competitors are not able to lend in all 50 states.Laurel Road has grown to be the second largest player in the student loan refinancing space in large part because of our reputation as the go-to low rate provider.

Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance Review

  • National reach - Online lender that is available in all 50 US states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
  • No fees & the lowest rates in the space - Laurel Road is the most transparent about the rates they provide customers, and offer the lowest rates where it counts. Our customers will save more than $20,000 over the life of their loans on average. 
  • Customer service reputation - Laurel Road's customer service representatives are no rookies. With 19 years of experience on average, Laurel Road’s Customer Service team delivers an experience that is best in the industry. They work to build meaningful, life-long relationships with our valued customers to improve their overall financial wellness.
  • The stability & security of a bank - They are a division of Darien Rowayton Bank, a stable and secure FDIC-insured bank, regulated by the FDIC and the Connecticut Department of Banking.

Get your personalized, pre-approved rates in less than 5 minutes.

#6 View More Details

Special offers for medical resident and fellow refinance products

  • APR: 2.91% - 7.65%
  • Minimum credit score: 670 w/cosigner
  • Refinance up to $350K
View More Details
Visit Splash View Loan Disclosure

Splash Financial is a leader in student loan refinancing with new rates as low as 3.25% fixed APR which can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loans. No application or origination fees and no prepayment penalties. Splash Financial is in all 50 states and is intensely focused on customer service. Splash Financial is also one of the few companies that offers a great medical resident and fellow refinance product. You can check your rate with Splash in just minutes.

  • Low interest rates – especially for graduate students
  • No application or origination fees. No prepayment penalties.
  • Co-signer release program - you can apply for a cosigner release form your loan after 12 months of on-time payments
  • Specialty product for doctors in training with low monthly payment

Click here to see more of Splash's offerings and to see how you can save money.

Save on Your Student Loans
$
$
Article Topics

Looking To Conquer Your Student Loan Debt?

Yes! Send Me The Savings Blueprint

More Articles in Refinance
The Best Companies To Refinance Your Student Loans Save Money Now
Additional Resources
Comments

"I reduced my student loan payment by $152 per month, by refinancing thru Comet"

Save Money Now