LendKey Review - Student Loan Refinance
Application & Approval Process
Customer Support & Benefits
LendKey is one of the oldest fintech companies, focused on matching students who are seeking student loans and private student loan refinancing with banks and unions. Established in 2009, the award-winning brand has a strong base of more than 300 financial institutions including WSFS Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, University Federal Credit Union, America First Credit Union, and California Credit Union, to name a few.
LendKey is headquartered in New York with an office in Cincinnati. It has won the 2019 NAFCU Services Innovation Award along with MasterCard and Q2. It was also listed in the Top 250 Fintech list by CB Insights, and in the Top 50 Fintech to Work For list by American Banker and Credit Union Journal. Currently, LendKey offers Student Loan Refinancing and Private student loans
- 2-minute rate check with no impact to credit score
- Co-signer release option after 12 on-time payments.
- Low rates for great terms and 0.25% discount with automatic payments
- Simple and intuitive interface
- Co-signer release option after 12 months of regular repayments.
- Full attendance costs for students with associates, undergraduate, graduate or doctorate from a Title IV eligible school.
- Single-page form to get rates from over 300 credit unions and banks.
- Experienced in-house customer support for pre-and-post borrowing services.
- Forbearance period up to 18 months.
Application & Approval Process
LendKey’s interface is quite intuitive and minimalistic. A single-page form can get individual eligibility checked for hundreds of lending options from non-profit credit unions and banks. To get started with the application process, students are required to answer LendKey’s 10 simple questions as well comply with a soft-credit check.
- Full Name
- Citizenship (US Citizen, Permanent Resident)
- Total Annual Income
- Reason for Refinancing
- Total Loan Amount
- Degree (Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate)
Once you select the lender and offer from the options, you can apply for the loan from LendKey itself. You need to provide the following details and submit proof of:
- Institute Name
- Educational Degree
- Field of Study
Income Details of Borrower/Co-Signer
- Number of Year at Present Job
- Annual Income before Tax/Expenses
- Refinance Loan Amount/Term
- Active Loan Details
- Monthly House Rent
- Financial Aid (scholarships/federal student aids)
Personal Details of Borrower/Co-Signer
- Date of Birth
- Social Security Number
While LendKey has around 300 lending partners, they are the ones to service it for the life of the loan. You can provide your social security card, driver’s license, US passport, or birth certificate as citizenship/naturalization proof. Address verification can be done through a utility bill, voter registration, and home/vehicle insurance. For income verification, you can submit your pay stub, a letter from your current employer, or W2/1099 tax forms. Some mandatory documents include a 3-month Loan and Savings Statement, and proof of educational qualification.
Applicants also need to give consent for the following clauses while applying for student loan refinancing:
- Credit Check Agreement
- Patriot Act Information
- Information Sharing Agreement
- Income and Employment Agreement
- Consent to Verify Graduate Information
Based on community feedback on LendKey’s loan approvals, the brand seems to go beyond the credit score. It considers savings patterns, income-debt ratio, current income, job stability, and more. LendKey pushes for a co-signer which enables students to cross the low credit-score hurdle and get more attractive APRs.
The approval rate is higher than the industry average and students with credit scores as low as 680 have gotten their loans approved from LendKey. The loan approval time depends on the lender you choose but generally only takes a day or so.
The exact nature of refinancing agreements will depend on the lender you choose. Some of the common refinancing agreements are:
- Demand Promissory Note/Credit Agreement – acknowledgment of loan request.
- Truth in Lending Disclosure Statement – document containing the details of loan terms, APR, all serviceable charges, total payments, and clauses for forbearance.
- Loan Disbursement Agreement – valid for indirect underwriting of refinancing loans.
Some credit unions may require you to be a member of their union which could require a small deposit fee.
LendKey Rates & Fees
LendKey is able to provide some of the best rates in the industry to its users and bring the average APR range down by bringing together a few hundred lenders under one platform. LendKey does not charge any origination fees or pre-payment charges on any of its products.
Student Loan Refinance: 1.90% APR – 7.63% APR
Student Loan Refinance Variable Rates: 1.90% APR – 5.25% APR
Student Loan Refinance Fixed Rates: 2.95% APR – 7.63% APR
Rates include a 0.25% auto-debit discount.
The company offers a wide range of payment terms ranging from 5 to 20 years. While most lenders operate within the fixed period of 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years, some lenders on LendKey allow absolute flexibility on loan terms.
Customer Support & Benefits
For users with questions or issues, they can consult LendKey’s premium customer support team. Its in-house representatives are very well trained and available through a number of different methods, including a live chat feature to all registered members. Users can also seek help through phone or email.
LendKey is also one of the most informative and transparent brands in the refinancing industry. It maintains a resource center that offers calculators, neutral blogs and education campaigns to spread awareness on loan management and personal finance.
Headquarters: LendKey Technologies, Inc. 104 W. 27th Street 4th Floor New York, NY 10001
Phone: (888) 549-9050
Email: [email protected]