1. Refinance Medical School Loans
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The Easy Way to Refinance Medical School Loans

Thinking about refinancing your medical school loans? With our trusted partner, Credible, you can compare prequalified rates from up to 10 of the best medical student loan refinance companies for doctors in minutes. Plus, checking your rates is free and doesn't affect your credit score. Get your rate and see how much you can save today!

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FAQs About Refinancing Medical School Loans

What is student loan refinancing?

Student loan refinancing is a great way to pay off student loans faster and reduce your interest rate. It means using a new loan with a lower interest rate to pay off old loans with higher interest rates. Once your old account closes, you are only responsible for the new loan. None of the rates, terms, or conditions from the old loan apply to the new one. In fact, you don’t even need to use the same lender to refinance.

The benefits of student loan refinancing are too enticing to ignore. And even more so for doctors, given refinancing is the easiest way to lower your interest rate, but it also allows you to adjust your monthly payment and term length. When done right, refinancing can amount to thousands in savings over time.

What is the difference between student loan consolidation and refinancing?

Student loan consolidation combines multiple loans into a single loan. That means one lender. One interest rate. One monthly payment. Like refinancing, the goal of consolidation is to simplify your financial situation. But they are not the same. To understand the difference between the two, it helps to first know the difference between federal and private student loan consolidation.

Federal student loan consolidation is a program run by the Department of Education. It merges multiple federal education loans into a single direct consolidation loan. But there's a catch. Your new interest rate is the weighted average of rates from your previous loans. It will not decrease. Even with a lower monthly payment, it may require paying more interest over time. However, private student loans do not qualify for a direct consolidation loan. Criteria to qualify varies among private lenders.

The shortcomings of consolidation highlight the advantages of refinancing. For both federal and private loans. You can lower your interest rate based on credit history. You can also adjust your monthly payment and term length based on income. In essence, refinancing and consolidation seek the same end goal. To simplify and improve your financial situation. But refinancing can actually save you money long-term.

What is the difference between the PAYE and REPAYE programs?

Timing. It's the key difference between the PAYE vs. REPAYE programs. Of course, both have their respective pros and cons. But the length of your education may qualify you for one, but not the other.

PAYE (pay-as-you-earn) caters to students who borrowed in 2008, graduated in 2012, and took out additional loans for graduate school. Further narrowing the application pool, only students with federal direct loans qualify for PAYE. However, combining Perkins and Federal Family Education loans also works.

Like the income-based repayment (IBR) plan, PAYE requires proof of partial financial hardship. Your payment must also be lower than what you would pay under the standard 10-year plan. If so, it's 10% of the difference between your monthly income and 150% of the federal poverty line. When your income increases, your adjusted payment caps at what you would pay on the standard plan.

REPAYE (revised-pay-as-you-earn) is the Department of Education’s 2015 update to PAYE. It is an income-driven repayment (IDR) program that depends on your earnings. Although similar to PAYE, it does not contain the same time restrictions to qualify. REPAYE extends PAYE’s 20-year forgiveness for graduate students to 25 years. REPAYE also does not require the borrower to prove the burden of student loan debt.

Under REPAYE, the government picks up unpaid interest on subsidized and unsubsidized direct loans. PAYE lets the government cover unpaid interest on subsidized student loans for three years if the monthly installment didn’t cover all of the interest. REPAYE matches this to expand subsidy to unsubsidized federal loans and unpaid interest on subsidized loans over the designated three years. This makes REPAYE a better choice for low-income borrowers because the 10% cap rarely covers the entire payment.

REPAYE is the more recent, relaxed version of PAYE. But if you qualify for PAYE, this is likely the more beneficial route. These programs best reflect the reality of student loan debt in America today. This makes them the most common ways to refinance.

What other student loan refinancing payment plans are available?

Other income-driven repayment (IDR) plans include income-based (IBR) and income-contingent (ICR). Under ICR, payments vary based on income, family size, loan balance, and interest rate. Under IBR, payments strictly reflect income and family size. Payment is limited to 10-15% of your discretionary income.

There are also standard and graduated repayment plans. And there’s a reason we saved these for last. With the standard, monthly payments are fixed to pay off all loan principal and interest in 10 years. With the graduated plan, a lower initial payment increases every two years to pay off all loan principal and interest in 10 years. The reason these are less than desirable is simple. They take all the power and leverage away from the borrower.

Best student loan
refinance companies

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Advantage physician student loan refinancing

Loan Terms 10, 15, 20 year options

Maximum Loan Amount $500,000

Available in 1 states

About Pros & Cons

The Advantage Refinance Loan is a fixed-rate student loan refinancing option exclusively for Kentucky residents with at least $7,500 in private or federal student loans. The program has 10, 15, and 20-year loan term repayment options and loan amounts up to $500,000 (amounts higher than $200,000 require special approval).

Advantage Education Loans are owned, serviced, and collected by the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation (KHESLC); originated and disbursed by its sister agency, the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA). Both agencies are state-based, not-for-profit, governmental entities.

Learn More: Advantage Education Loan Review

Pros

  • Available to borrowers who haven’t completed their degrees

  • Offers forbearance options

  • No prepayment or origination fees

Cons

  • No variable rate loans offered

  • Only available to Kentucky residents

Brazos physician student loan refinancing

Loan Terms 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 year options

Maximum Loan Amount $250,000

Available in 1 states

About Pros & Cons

Brazos is a student loan refinancing option for Texas residents who have at least $10,000 in private or federal student loans, and earn at least $60,000 in income ($30,000 with a cosigner). The program offers 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20-year loan repayment terms, and loan amounts up to $150,000 for undergraduate borrowers and up to $250,000 for graduate borrowers.

The Brazos Higher Education Service Corporation, Inc. (Brazos Higher Education) is a nonprofit corporation that manages several nonprofit companies (Brazos Managed Companies) all founded by student loan pioneer Murray Watson, Jr. Brazos Higher Education and the Brazos Managed companies have been dedicated to higher education for over 40 years.

Learn More: Brazos Student Loan Refinance Review

Pros

  • Offers fixed and variable interest rates

  • No origination or prepayment fees

Cons

  • No cosigner release available

  • Must have a relatively high minimum annual income

Citizens Bank physician student loan refinancing

Loan Terms 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 year options

Maximum Loan Amount $750,000

Available in all 50 states

About Pros & Cons

Student loan refinancing through Citizens Bank is available to all U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have at least $10,000 in private or federal student loans. Citizens Bank offers fixed and variable rate loans with 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20-year repayment terms. Maximum loan amounts include up to $300,000 for undergraduate (bachelors) borrowers $500,000 for graduate school borrowers, and $750,000 for professional school borrowers.

Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is among the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations, and institutions.

Learn More: Citizens Bank Student Loan Refinance Review

Pros

  • Offers variable and fixed interest rates

  • Available to borrowers who haven’t completed their degrees (if they have good credit and are no longer enrolled in school)

  • No prepayment or origination fees

Cons

  • No disability discharge offered

College Ave physician student loan refinancing

Loan Terms 5, 10, 15 year options

Maximum Loan Amount $450,000

Available in 1 states

About Pros & Cons

Founded in 2014, College Ave offers flexible student loan refinancing options specifically for physicians, dentists, and other medical professionals. The Wilmington, Delaware-based company services its loans through Nationwide Bank, which allows it to offer competitive rates.

College Ave features various repayment options, including full principal and interest, interest-only, flat, and deferred payment plans. Full principal and interest payments allow you to make full payments while still in school. Interest-only payments allow you to pay monthly interest while still in school, then make full payments following your grace period. Flat payments allow you to pay $25 a month while in school, then make full payments once you graduate. Deferred payments allow you to wait until your post-graduation grace period is over to make any payments. But this means the interest you accrue while waiting is added to your total loan balance on top of the interest you must already pay throughout your term.

Learn More: College Ave Student loan Refinance Review

Pros

  • Competitive rates, even with much larger companies.
  • Multiple repayment plans to cater your individual financial needs.
  • 0.25% interest rate reduction with auto-pay through Nationwide Bank.
  • No hidden fees for origination, application, processing or prepayment.
  • Up to 100% total coverage of your school-certified cost of attendance ($1,000 minimum).
  • Refinancing is available to all US residents that attended an eligible undergraduate or graduate school. Find out if your school qualifies before applying.
  • Students with little or no credit history can benefit by applying with a creditworthy co-signer.
  • In the event of death or disability, the terms of your credit agreement are nullified so College Ave cannot pursue your estate.

Cons

  • Limited information available.
  • No cosigner release option.
  • 15 year max term to repay your loan - no 20 year term option.
  • After 15 days without payment, College Ave assesses a late fee equal to 5% of the unpaid amount or $25 - whichever is less.
  • No specific forbearance policy for struggling borrowers. College Ave determines payment-postponement periods on a case-by-case basis.
ELFI physician student loan refinancing

Loan Terms 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 year options

Maximum Loan Amount No Maximum

Available in all 50 states

About Pros & Cons

Based in Knoxville, Tennessee, Education Loan Finance (ELFI) is relatively new to the student loan refinancing space. Its parent company, SouthEast Bank, is a Tennessee community bank. In 2015, SouthEast Bank decided to start offering student loan refinancing to borrowers on top of its traditional products. Its product line includes checking and savings accounts, mortgage loans, and credit cards.

ELFI offers competitive interest rates to borrowers that qualify for student loan refinancing. Borrowers can choose from fixed and variable rate loans available in 5-20 year terms. While ELFI does not have any restrictions on the maximum amount that borrowers can refinance, their minimum loan amount is $15,000.

ELFI works closely with MOHELA and American Education Services (AES). Both refinance loan servicers have great track records of customer service.

Learn More: ELFI Student Loan Refinance Review

Pros

  • No application fees, origination fees, or prepayment penalties.

  • Forbearance allows you to postpone loan payments up to 12 months if you experience economic hardship.

  • New ELFI borrowers can get a $100 cash bonus through the Fast Track Bonus program if you get approved and accept your loan terms within 30 days of submitting your application. (Beginning December 1, 2018, ELFI will no longer offer the $100 Fast Track Bonus.)

  • ELFI borrowers earn a $400 cash referral bonus for every person you successfully refer if they apply and are approved within 90 days of registration. The person you refer will also receive a $100 bonus. Learn more here.

Cons

  • Cannot qualify if you have filed for bankruptcy in the past.

  • Cannot qualify if you did not attend and graduate from a Title IV-accredited school.

  • After 11 days without payment, ELFI assesses a late fee equal to 5% of the amount past due or $50 - whichever is less.

  • No cosigner release option like other more established lenders. But borrowers can refinance loans again without a cosigner if they qualify on their own.

INvestEd physician student loan refinancing

Loan Terms 5, 10, 15, 20 year options

Maximum Loan Amount $250,000

Available in all 50 states

About Pros & Cons

INvestEd is an Indiana non-profit corporation that provides student loan refinancing to U.S. citizens and permanent residents with at least $5,000 in private or federal student loans nationwide. The INvestEd Refi Loan offers fixed and variable rates, and 5, 10, 15, and 20-year terms, on loan amounts up to $250,000.

For over 35 years, the goal of INvestEd has been to provide students with solutions to put higher education within reach. We believe strong choices before college are the best way to limit excessive student loan debt after college. That’s why our efforts focus on providing friendly, free, expert financial aid help to students, families, and counselors. At hundreds of Indiana high school events each year as well as over the phone, in print, and via email, INvestEd assists Hoosiers with the college planning process.

Learn More: INvestEd Student Loan Refinance Review

Pros

  • Offers variable and fixed interest rates

  • Offers deferment and forbearance options

  • Offers autopay discount

Cons

  • Long cosigner release period (48 months)

MEFA physician student loan refinancing

Loan Terms 7, 10, 15 year options

Maximum Loan Amount No Maximum

Available in all 50 states

About Pros & Cons

The MEFA Education Refinancing Loan offers fixed and variable rates, and loan terms of 7, 10, and 15 years. It is available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents with at least $10,000 in private or federal student loans nationwide. There is no maximum loan amount.

The Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) is a not-for-profit, state-based, and self-funded state-chartered student loan organization that helps families cover educational expenses. As an authority on planning, saving, and paying for college, MEFA offers access to powerful and affordable financial products to help students finance higher education.

Learn More: MEFA Student Loan Refinance Review

Pros

  • Offers variable and fixed interest rates

  • Available to borrowers who haven’t completed their degrees

  • No prepayment or origination fees

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer any discounts (such as autopay discounts)

  • They don’t have a cosigner release available

  • No forbearance or deferment options

PenFed physician student loan refinancing

Loan Terms 5, 15 year options

Maximum Loan Amount $300,000

Available in all 50 states

About Pros & Cons

PenFed Powered By Purefy is an award-winning student loan refinance option available to PenFederal Credit Union members with at least $7,500 in private or federal student loans. It offers fixed and variable rates on loan amounts up to $300,000 with 5, 8, 12, and 15-year terms.

Serving 2 million members worldwide with $25 billion in assets, PenFederal Credit Union is one of the country’s strongest and most stable financial institutions. PenFed serves members in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as in Guam, Puerto Rico, and Okinawa. Online service is available to members 24/7.

Learn More: PenFed Student Loan Refinance Review

Pros

  • Offers variable and fixed interest rates

  • Can apply for refinancing with your spouse

  • No origination fees or prepayment penalties

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer any discounts (such as autopay discounts)

  • No formal deferment or forbearance options

  • Must become a member to refinance

RISLA physician student loan refinancing

Loan Terms 5, 10, 15 year options

Maximum Loan Amount $250,000

Available in all 50 states

About Pros & Cons

RISLA is a student loan refinancing option available nationwide to borrowers with at least $7,500 in private or federal student loans, and who earn at least $40,000 in income. RISLA offers fixed and variable rates on loan amounts up to $250,000 with 5, 10, and 15-year terms.

The Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA) stands out from the crowd by offering a safety net to borrowers who refinance their student loans in the form of income-based repayment. Although based in Rhode Island, RISLA offers student loan refinancing to borrowers in all 50 states.

Learn More: RISLA Student Loan Refinance Review

Pros

  • Available to borrowers who haven’t completed their degrees

  • Low minimum credit score

  • No prepayment or origination fees

Cons

  • No cosigner release option available

SoFi physician student loan refinancing

Loan Terms 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 year options

Maximum Loan Amount No Maximum

Available in all 50 states

About Pros & Cons

SoFi burst onto the scene in 2011, quickly becoming one of the leaders in student loan refinancing and consolidation. The San Francisco-based company offers among the most competitive interest rates in the industry and is known for round-the-clock customer service.

SoFi operates within fairly strict credit criteria. The company’s non-traditional underwriting process evaluates merit, employment and financial history, and monthly debt-to-income ratios. SoFi also heavily considers the applicant’s estimated cash flow, career path, and level of education. The company’s ideal borrower boasts strong job stability, substantial income, and a proven history of managing their budget and credit.

SoFi champions transparency and a strong sense of community in everything it does. With SoFi, what you see is what you get. The company makes sure you’re well aware of all the member benefits that it entails. What sets SoFi apart from others in the crowded student loan space is its commitment to the personal growth and career development of its 500,000 members and counting.

In November 2019, the minimum student loan refinance amount for SoFi was increased from $5,000 to $10,000 (100% of school-certified expenses) for all California residents.

Learn More: SoFi Student Loan Refinance Review

Pros

  • Very competitive rates.

  • Free consultations.

  • No hidden fees or prepayment penalties.

  • Live customer service available nights and weekends.

  • Checking rates does not affect your credit score.

  • Refinancing is available in 49 states, plus the District of Columbia.

  • A swift application process allows for pre-qualification in just 15 minutes.

  • Capitalize on networking events, career services, and complimentary financial advising.

  • If you lose your job for no fault of your own, SoFi will suspend your monthly payments for up to 12 months. Not only will this provide financial relief while searching for a new job, but SoFi will also connect you with job placement services. Still, the interest that accrues during this period of unemployment would be added to the loan.

  • Get additional rate discounts on other products like personal and mortgage loans.

  • SoFi offers wealth management services and SoFi Money, a new personal banking app that simplifies checkings and savings.

Cons

  • Very strict underwriting criteria. The average SoFi borrower has a credit score over 700 and an income upwards of $100,000.
  • Residents of Nevada are not eligible for refinancing. Variable rate loans are not available in Ohio or Tennessee.
  • The soft credit pull that comes with checking rates on conditional offers does not impact your credit score. If you choose to move forward on an offer, a hard credit inquiry will affect your credit score.
The LeverageRx team works diligently to find and recommend products and services that we believe will be beneficial to our readers. Sometimes we will earn a commission or advertising fee for various products and services from the companies listed on our website. LeverageRx is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval process, nor do we make any credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed across our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and consult a licensed professional for any financial decisions.

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