Brazos Higher Education: 2022 Student Loan Refinance Review
Brazos offers fixed and variable interest rates with loan term options of 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years. Loans amounts range from $10,000 up to $150,000 for undergraduate borrowers and up to $250,000 for graduate borrowers.
Brazos Higher Education Service Corp. — also known as StudentLoans.com — is a Texas-based nonprofit lender.
Brazos offers medical school loans, parent loans, and refinance loans to Texas residents with flexible repayment terms at lower interest rates than many of their competitors.
Brazos student loan refinance details
Brazos offers a fixed and variable interest rates with loan term options of 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years. Loans amounts range from $10,000 up to $150,000 for undergraduate borrowers and up to $250,000 for graduate borrowers. Brazos refinance loans have late fees at 5% of the monthly payment — or $7.50, whichever amount is larger — if a payment is missed for any reason. The maximum amount this fee can be is $35.
The minimum credit score requirement for refinancing through Brazos is 720, but this number can be dropped to 690 for the original borrower, providing they have a co-signer who meets the original requirement. Similarly, the minimum income requirement is $60,000 per year, but it can be dropped to $30,000 for the original borrower with a co-signer. Additionally, the maximum debt-to-income ratio an individual can have is 40%.
Borrowers must be Texas residents with at least a completed undergraduate degree earned through a school authorized to receive federal aid.
Pros of refinancing your student loans with Brazos
No hard credit check necessary
The Brazos student loan refinance program only requires a soft credit check when you first apply for the loan. This is helpful because you can determine whether or not you qualify and what your rates will be without having your credit score lowered due to a hard credit check.
Above-minimum payments allowed with autopay
Another benefit to refinancing through Brazos is that the company allows borrowers to repay their debt in amounts well above their minimum requirement each month through autopay. So, if you are able to afford loan repayments that exceed your requirements, you can work to pay off your debt much more quickly, saving yourself the extra interest that can build up with loans that are drawn out over a longer period of time.
Cons of refinancing your student loans with Brazos
Limited to Texas residents
Like Advantage, a fellow state-based nonprofit lender, Brazos is incredibly limited in its service area options. Its student loan refinance program is only available to Texas residents, so any borrowers living elsewhere will not be able to refinance their loans through this lender.
No co-signer release option
Unlike other lenders, Brazos does not allow any co-signer to withdraw from a loan no matter how much of it has been paid off. Generally, there are policies in place that allow co-signers to be released from the agreement after a certain amount of months’ worth of on-time payments. This period allows lenders to see that the original borrower is responsible enough to pay their loan back in full, without needing the security of a co-signer anymore. But Brazos has no such policy in place; instead, co-signers must stay on until the entire loan has been repaid.
High credit score and income requirements
Brazos has a rather high credit score and income requirement for individuals who want to take out a loan on their own. At minimum, the lender states that borrowers must have a credit score of 720 and a minimum yearly income of $60,000. This can be a really difficult set of criteria to meet, so Brazos does allow borrowers with a lower credit score and income to take out a loan, but even then they must have a co-signer who meets the first set of requirements. This can be incredibly challenging for individuals who are from lower-income backgrounds or do not have access to a person who meets that criteria.