Frequently Asked Questions
What is a student loan?
A student loan is a type of loan offered by different entities, including the federal government, private lenders, banks and other financial institutions, that helps students pay for the cost of post-secondary education. Student loans are designed to cover costs associated with higher education, including tuition, living expenses, books and supplies. As with other types of financial loans, the principal is the amount borrowed, while the interest is the cost over time for borrowing the money.
How do I apply for student loans?
The first step in applying for student loans is considering your federal loan options and private loan options.
Federal Student Loans
Whether you’re an undergraduate student, a graduate or professional student, or a parent, you may be eligible to borrow student loans from the federal government. If you are considering a federal student loan, visit the official Federal Student Aid website to review their student loan resources and guidelines.
Private Student Loans
There are many private loan options for borrowers to explore. You can narrow down your options by first deciding if you\'re more comfortable with a fixed rate or a variable rate, considering the pros and cons of each. You’ll also want to have an idea of your credit score to know if you qualify for the lender you’re interested in. Resources like NerdWallet allow you to view a variety of private student loan lenders side-by-side and compare their benefits before you apply.
Should I pay off my student loans?
You have a lot of control over how you pay off your student loans. For those wanting to pay off their student loans quickly, many lenders offer plans with a higher monthly payment and lower interest rates. Conversely, if you’re looking to keep your monthly costs low, you may choose a loan with a lower monthly payment and higher interest rate, paid over a longer period of time. In both cases, student loan refinancing may help you to reduce your interest rate and adjust the length of time left on your loan based on your most-current needs and financial goals.
How do I pay off student loans?
After you graduate, the process of paying your balance will become quite routine. Most lenders have a portal that will allow you to log in each month and pay a portion of your student loan balance, at or above your minimum payment. You can often set up automatic payments that will be deducted from a checking or savings account on a monthly basis. And if you want to make additional one-off payments, you can also make lump sum payments to decrease your student loan balance more quickly.
How do I pay off a Parent PLUS loan?
If your parents obtained a parent PLUS loan to pay for your education, your parent is required to make payments on that loan. The process of paying back a parent PLUS loan is very similar to that of standard student loans, as most are payable within your lender’s portal.
To learn more about parent PLUS loan interest rates and repayment guidelines, visit the official Federal Student Aid website.
How does student loan interest work?
Interest is the cost you pay to borrow money and pay it back to the lender over time. Interest is calculated as a percent that the lender applies to your principal loan amount. Interest adds to the total cost of your loan. There are two types of interest rates that could be attached to your student loan: fixed interest and variable interest.
Fixed Interest Rate
Fixed interest rates remain the same throughout the life of your student loan. Fixed interest rates are often higher than variable interest rates at the time of applying for your loan, but fixed rates are generally considered to be the safer option because your interest rate will not change unless you choose to refinance. All federal student loan interest rates are fixed. Private student loan lenders typically offer both fixed and variable interest rates.
Variable Interest Rate
Variable interest rates are based on an index that is a value quoted in the financial markets. Usually, the lender adds an additional amount, called a margin, to the index to calculate your variable rate. The index, and therefore, the variable interest rate may change throughout the life of a student loan. This type of rate may increase or decrease due to changes in the economic environment. This makes variable interest rates the more enticing and risky option. Private student loan lenders typically offer both fixed and variable rates.
What is student loan forgiveness?
If you are eligible for student loan forgiveness, it releases you from the need to repay part or all of your federal loan, but it depends on very specific terms of forgiveness.
Is everyone eligible for student loan forgiveness?
No. Student loan forgiveness can only be granted for federal loans and allows you to have some or all of your student loan debt forgiven. This means you will not have to pay the full amount of the loan. Typically, student loan forgiveness is earned by either working in public service or by making payments through a payment plan (contingent on your income) for a set period of time.
To find out more about qualifying for student loan forgiveness, visit the official Federal Student Aid website.
How do I get out of student loan debt?
There are several ways to get out of student loan debt. The most straight-forward method is to continue paying the balance of your student loan until it’s been paid in full. However, you can also explore alternative ways to decrease your monthly payment or pay your loan off in less time by refinancing your student loans. Refinancing allows you to renegotiate the terms of your loan to better suit your current situation (this is where Splash can help!). You can also visit the official Federal Student Aid website to learn if you qualify for student loan forgiveness.
How much are student loan payments?
Your monthly student loan payment will depend on a number of different factors, and it is entirely unique based on your financial situation. Below are a few factors that can impact your monthly payment:
- Total loan amount
- Interest rate
- Type of interest rate
- Loan term (how long it will take to repay your loan amount)
Because your student loan payment is often small compared to the overall loan amount, we recommend using a loan payment calculator to help you understand how decreasing or increasing your payment amount may affect what you pay over the life of your loan.
What does it mean to refinance student loans?
Refinancing student loans is meant to ease the burden and stress of paying back a single loan or multiple loans. When someone refinances their student loan(s), they are obtaining a new loan that pays off and replaces one or more student loans and that has terms that work better for their current financial situation, payment preferences and financial goals. By refinancing through Splash Financial, you may qualify for a lower interest rate or lower monthly payment on your student loans.
Should I refinance my student loans?
Refinancing student loans is a great opportunity to reduce your student debt. However, it’s not for everyone.
Refinancing can be a great option for you if you either have a private student loan or if you are in the workforce, have graduated with an associate degree or higher in an eligible field, and have high-interest rates on current outstanding student loans. You may save thousands and potentially shave years off your loan term, helping you get out of student loan debt faster.
Although there are many benefits to refinancing your loans, it may not be for everyone. There are specific benefits of a federal student loan that a private refinance/consolidation loan may not offer:
- Loan forgiveness: If you qualify for student loan forgiveness and you refinance to a private student loan, your refinanced loan will no longer be eligible. Federal student loan forgiveness programs, such as Public Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), are only applicable on federal loans.
- Deferment: Refinancing can restrict the options you have to postpone your payments in the event that you lose your job or fall into considered financial hardship. Private lenders’ deferment policies vary.
- Income-Driven Repayment Plans (IDR): Federal loan holders can apply for an IDR plan that reduces their minimum monthly payment and makes it a percentage of their discretionary income. When you refinance, you will be ineligible for any IDR plan.
When is the best time to refinance my student loans?
Deciding if now is the best time to refinance your student loans depends on a number of personal factors including your personal financial situation, your current interest rate and monthly payment, trends in the economy, and the remaining balance on your student loan.
Many of our lending partners are offering lower interest rates as a result of the financial burdens placed on millions of Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Can I refinance private student loans?
Yes! If your credit is good or has recently improved, or if interest rates have dropped, it will likely benefit you to refinance your loans.
Can I refinance federal student loans?
Yes! With Splash, you can refinance federal, private, and Parent PLUS student loans.
How do I refinance federal student loans?
If you’re interested in refinancing your federal student loans, the first step is to check your rate with Splash! This will give you an understanding of the new interest rates and monthly payment options available to you by refinancing through our network of banks, credit unions and other lenders. Plus, checking your rate with Splash does not impact your credit score. If refinancing makes sense for your situation, you can complete the rest of your online application and start saving.
How do I refinance student loans?
Many private lenders offer the ability to refinance your student loans. This will allow you to transition from your old, high-interest rate loan(s) to one new loan with a lower interest rate. Our network of trusted banks, credit unions and other lenders allows you to have access to the best possible rates and monthly payment options for your situation.
Simply click Get My Rate – it’s free, only takes a couple minutes and doesn’t impact your credit score!
How often can I refinance student loans?
You can refinance your student loans as often as you’d like! We recommend refinancing if your credit improves significantly or if interest rates go down. These are signs that you could receive a loan with lower interest rates, which could help you save thousands on your student loans.
Is it bad to refinance student loans multiple times?
Just because you can refinance your student loans multiple times does not mean you should. Refinancing multiple times within a short period of time could have a negative impact on your credit score.
Where do I refinance student loans?
At Splash Financial, of course! Our mission is to help people save money on their student loans. When you refinance with us, you gain access to the best lenders, rates, and customer support. Our seamless online experience takes the hassle out of refinancing. With no application fees, no origination fees, and no prepayment penalties – refinancing with Splash is a no-brainer! Learn how we can help refinance your student loans today.
Are student loan refinance rates going down?
In 2020, student loan refinancing rates reached a new low. However, rates are always changing. Checking your rate through our quick, online rate check is the best way to tell whether or not you are eligible for a lower rate.
Can I refinance student loans without a degree?
In order to refinance with Splash Financial, you must have obtained a four-year degree from a Title IV accredited institution, or an associate degree in an eligible field.
What happens if I default on my student loan?
Defaulting on a loan is a very serious matter which could have an adverse effect on your personal credit score. Further, it is difficult to cancel the obligation to repay an education loan in a bankruptcy. If you are about to miss a loan payment, contact your lender or loan servicer immediately to work out a repayment schedule.
What happens if I have an economic hardship and miss a payment?
If you have a job loss or are going through an economic hardship, please get in touch with the lender or servicer of your loan as soon as possible to learn about your options.
How do I know if I’m eligible to apply for a loan with Splash Financial?
Who is eligible?
U.S. citizens are eligible to refinance their student loans through Splash as solo borrowers. Some lending partners also accept borrowers who are permanent residents.
Graduates with four-year degrees from Title IV accredited institutions, as well as professionals with an associate degree, are eligible to refinance. Parents are eligible to refinance two kinds of loans, as long as the child earned their degree: 1) educational loans taken out under their own name to finance their child’s education and 2) their child’s educational loans.
Applicants who are pursuing an associate degree are eligible if they are in the final term of their program at a Title IV eligible school, have an offer of employment in the same field in which they will receive the associate degree, and if the associate degree is in one of the following: Cardiovascular Technologist (CVT); Dental Hygiene; Diagnostic Medical Sonography; EMT/Paramedics; Nuclear Technician; Nursing; Occupational Therapy Assistant; Pharmacy Technician; Physical Therapy Assistant; Radiation Therapy; Radiologic/MRI Technologist; Respiratory Therapy; or Surgical Technologist.
What do I do once I know I’m eligible?
Checking your rate is easy and takes under two minutes! To get started, click on Get My Rate. We’ll ask you to enter some basic information, such as your monthly income and refinancing amount, and we’ll pull in the rates you qualify for based on the criteria of all our lending partners.
What loans can I include in my refinancing?
You can refinance federal, private, and Parent PLUS student loans through Splash. When you refinance, you can consolidate all your loans into one loan with one monthly payment. Certain lending partners may also allow you to refinance your loans together with your spouse\'s loans. If you have questions about consolidating your loans, you can give us a call at 1-800-349-3938.
How much can I borrow?
Our lenders each have their own minimum and maximum loan amounts. In general, the minimum loan amount is $5,000, and there is no maximum.
If I refinanced already, can I refinance again?
Yes! There is no limit to the number of times you can refinance your student loans.
Who is Splash Financial?
Splash Financial is your student loan refinance destination, designed to help you save money on student loans. Our innovative technology gives you quick access to a best-in-class network of lenders, so you can get great rates, and achieve your financial goals.
At Splash Financial, our mission is simple: to help people save money on their student loans.
What does Splash Financial do?
Splash partners with banks, credit unions, and other lenders to bring you market-leading rates. In fact, many of the rates you'll find on Splash aren't available anywhere else. This allows us to offer amazing benefits such as:
Low Rates: the lowest variable rates and fixed rates backed by our low rate guarantee.
Easy Application Process: Our seamless online experience takes the hassle out of refinancing.
Zero Fees: No application fees, no origination fees, and no prepayment penalties.
How does Splash Financial work?
The process of refinancing with Splash is designed to be quick, easy and save you money:
- Get your rate estimate by checking out our Get My Rate page
- Submit your application and secure your new rate
- Finalize your loan by choosing the term that works best for your situation
- Start saving time and money by having one new rate and only one monthly payment.
Is Splash Financial legit and secure?
Yes! We have helped people all over the country save money on their student loans. You can read about it in the glowing reviews from verified Splash customers! Our website also has SSL verification, which is the highest standard of identity assurance. This verification establishes a secure connection between your browser and our website. More importantly, SSL encryption protects any sensitive data you provide.
Why should I refinance through Splash Financial?
Splash provides the lowest rates, with no fees, providing people around the country the opportunity to save thousands on their student loans and get one step closer to financial freedom.
Splash knows that each situation is unique – people have different needs, wants and goals. We help people to find a plan that matches their financial goals.
Splash wants to empower people with the financial tools, educational and informational resources to feel confident in their financial decisions.
Does Splash refinance student loans for medical and dental residents?
Yes, Splash offers medical and dental residents the ability to refinance student debt and pay only $100 per month while they are in residency and up to 6 months after their residency and fellowships. Total loan term including residency, fellowship and 6-month grace period must not exceed 20 years. The deferment period for residency, fellowship, and grace period must be approved and disclosed at the time of application – you will not be able to extend the term of the loan after it is disbursed.
Where can I find my rates?
It's easy to check your rate and see offer(s) that you're pre-qualified for!
Our goal is to be as transparent as possible when giving your rates. That’s why all of this information is available to you prior to completing your application. Checking your rate does not impact your credit score. Check your rate in less than two minutes!
What information is considered when determining my rates?
Your rate estimate is based on the information you provide and the info we get back from your soft credit inquiry, as well as the specific criteria of our lending partners.
Note: The soft credit pull has no effect on your credit score!
How long are my pre-qualified rates good for?
Your rates may update at any time during pre-qualification, as rates are not locked in until after you submit your application. Our lending partners are always striving to offer the best rates, so you can check your rates as frequently as you like!
During pre-qualification, Splash presents rates to you that are estimated based on the preliminary information you enter and the criteria of our lending partners.
I didn’t receive any pre-qualified rates. What are my options?
Splash partners with multiple lenders in order to help as many borrowers as possible refinance their student loans. Unfortunately, sometimes we can’t match a borrower to pre-qualified rates because they fall outside all our lending partners’ criteria.
If that’s the case, eligible borrowers can add a cosigner to their pre-qualification request and increase their likelihood of qualifying for rates. If a borrower is not eligible to add a cosigner and/or the loan or lending partner does not support cosigners, we encourage them to come back and check their rates with Splash frequently. Our lending partners are always updating their rates and qualification criteria.
Can I refinance loans for two borrowers into one loan?
Typically, yes. Married couples, parents and people in other unique situations can refinance their loans into one loan. For example, if you are completing an application as a married couple, please designate the spouse with the highest degree as the borrower and add the other as a cosigner. To discuss options with one of our representatives, give us a call at 1-800-349-3938.
Do you save my application? Can I come back and finish it later?
Yes! We save the application automatically for you. This includes any documents that you upload as well.
When you want to come back to your application, you can access it using the email address and password that were used to create your account.
Does Splash pull my credit report?
We conduct a soft credit pull to get you pre-qualified rates. The soft pull allows us to quickly offer you an accurate estimate of your rates, and it does not affect your credit score.
Once you have submitted your application, we or our lending partners complete a hard credit inquiry to verify the identity and information of all people signing the application. This allows Splash and our lending partners to ensure that you’re receiving the best rate possible on your loan!
Note: A hard credit inquiry appears on your credit report and can influence your credit scores.
What documents do I need to provide to complete the application process?
The documents we'll ask you to upload will depend on the lending partner providing your rate. Oftentimes, you'll need to upload a pay stub to verify your income and an ID to verify that you are who you say you are. If your rate is through one of our credit union lending partners, we may also ask you to create or show proof of membership for that credit union in order to be eligible for your loan.
What are underwriting documents and where do I send them?
What are underwriting documents?
Underwriting documents are simply documents that help the lender verify information about yourself. This can include information about your income, assets, debt, and property details. All of this is completed with the goal of receiving final approval on your loan.
Where do I send them?
To expedite the review of your application, and to keep your information secure, our technology allows you to directly upload your documents to your application. If you experience any issues when uploading your documents, you can give us a call at 1-800-349-3938.
What are Payoff Verification Statements?
Depending on the lender of the rate you select, we may ask you to verify your loan payoff amount. A Payoff Verification Statement is a statement provided by lenders and servicers that verifies the amount it would take to completely pay off your loan on a certain day in the future (often 10, 15, or 30 days in advance). The amount takes into account the loan balance, interest, fees, and any accrued interest during the time that the statement is requested, and the future payoff date provided. This document can be critical during the underwriting process because it ensures the right amount of funds is sent to pay off your existing loans.
What is the difference between a permanent address and a mailing address?
Your permanent address is the location where you reside. This could be an apartment, house, or any address that describes where you live.
Your mailing address is the place you would like to receive your mail. This can be a post office box, other location, or even the same address you provided for your permanent address.
How do I check the status of my loan?
Does Splash offer a discount for setting up automatic payments?
Some Splash lending partners offer an autopay discount. Your Splash rate offer will include any autopay discount that is available, but you can choose to view your rates without the discount. Typically, the discount lowers your rate by 0.25%. If your rate has an autopay discount available, you will have the opportunity to sign up for autopay after your loan is finalized.
When can I expect my old loans to be paid off?
It typically takes 3-14 days for your old servicer(s) to receive our payoff funds, apply them to your account, and process the payoff. Please check your account at your old servicer(s) to ensure that the payoffs have been applied. Give us a call at 1-800-349-3938 if the balance is still outstanding after 14 days and we’ll look into it for you.
Do you accept cosigners?
At this time, some of our lending partners accept cosigners, and both the borrower and cosigner must be a U.S. citizen. Your ability to add a cosigner will depend on the lending partners you qualify for. For certain borrowers, applying with a cosigner may enhance your application.
What are the criteria for applying as a cosigner?
At this time, cosigners are required to be U.S. citizens. Additional cosigner criteria will vary based on the lending partners with whom you qualify. When an application has a cosigner, the borrower and the cosigner will both a) jointly apply for credit; and, (b) be jointly liable for the requested loan, but only you will receive the loan proceeds.
Who can serve as my cosigner?
A cosigner can be a spouse, parent, relative, or any other adult that meets our lenders’ criteria of having U.S. citizenship. A cosigner is responsible for repaying the loan if you cannot. Adding a cosigner may enhance the rates you are eligible for.
Does Splash offer a cosigner release option?
Cosigner release options vary based on Splash lending partner. Typically, Splash customers with a cosigner on their loan may request a "cosigner release" after one year (twelve consecutive months) of on-time payments is met. Upon the request, a quick re-evaluation is completed on the borrower’s financial and credit profile (this does not mean the borrower would have to re-apply).