Find the Best Student Loan Refinance Lenders
Purefy refinances federal student loans, private student loans and federal Parent Direct PLUS loans via its partnership with PenFed.
People looking to refinance either a student or parent loan can begin by using Purefy’s loan comparison tool. This requires filling out a brief questionnaire and will give you an idea of which loans you are prequalified for, with sample rates.
If you select PenFed, the rest of the process will be powered by Purefy. (If you choose one of Purefy’s other lending partners, you will be redirected to those lenders’ full application pages.) The preapproval application should take about 15 minutes or so to complete.
Once you are preapproved for PenFed Powered by Purefy refinancing, you’ll need to submit some documents to complete the application process. All documents can be uploaded using photos or screenshots. Some of the documents you will have to submit include:
- A pay stub and/or tax return to verify your income
- A driver’s license, passport or state ID
- Payoff verification statements from your current lenders that specify the payoff amount
- Proof of graduation, either your diploma or transcripts
You will also need to become a PenFed member, but the membership application is built into the loan application.
Once you submit your loan application, you can log into your PenFed account to check the loan status. After it is approved, PenFed will pay your old lenders. It typically takes between three and 14 days for your old lenders to process the payoff. Your first payment to PenFed will be due 30 days after your loan disburses.
PenFed Powered by Purefy does not charge application fees, origination fees or prepayment fees.
For all loans, borrowers can choose from five-year, eight-year, 12-year or 15-year terms.
For student loan refinancing, the fixed annual percentage rate range is 2.99% to 5.15%; variable rates range from 2.17% to 4.47%. For Parent Direct PLUS loan refinancing, the fixed APR range is 3.5% to 5.15%; variable rates range from 3.03% to 4.47%.
PenFed Powered by Purefy does not offer autopay discounts or for making a certain number of consecutive payments, like some other lenders do.
To start, all borrowers and co-signers must be U.S. citizens. After prequalifying, borrowers’ applications will go into a credit review, part of which will require you to submit documentation to verify your income.
For those who are applying on their own for loans up to $150,000, an annual income of at least $42,000 is required, or $25,000 with a co-signer who earns at least $42,000. Borrowers who are seeking loans of more than $150,000 need at least $50,000 in income on their own or $25,000 with a co-signer who earns at least $50,000.
Those seeking Parent Direct PLUS loan refinancing must have a solid credit history, stable income and a minimum of one outstanding education loan.
Loan limits for both student and parent refinancing are between $7,500 and $300,000.
Without a fairly decent credit score, you may need a co-signer to qualify.
For loans less than $150,000: Borrowers who have a credit score between 670 and 699 (or who don’t meet the income criteria) will need to bring on a co-signer who has a credit score of 720 or more, plus meets the income requirement.
For loans more than $150,000: You’ll need a co-signer if your credit score is between 670 and 724 and/or you are below the income requirement. Co-signers must have a credit score of 725 or more and meet the income requirement.
Once a loan is approved, rates are determined based on factors including creditworthiness, income and debt-to-income ratio.
Purefy is headquartered in Washington, while PenFed is in Alexandria, Virginia. However, there are no residency requirements for borrowers – you only need to be a U.S. citizen.
Though it’s fairly new to the student loan refinancing market, PenFed has been around for nearly a century. Purefy launched in 2014.
PenFed has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, but it is not accredited. It has closed 164 complaints in the past year. PenFed has a 2.6 out of 5 rating on TrustPilot. Four users in the past year lodged complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regarding PenFed’s student loans, and all were closed in a timely fashion. Purefy has not been reviewed or received feedback.
One of Purefy’s selling points is its free student loan refinance consultation service. You can set up an appointment and then get additional questions answered as you move through the application process.
Once you move forward with refinancing, you will deal with the loan servicer for customer issues. PenFed has a policy of working with borrowers who have financial hardships on a case-by-case basis.
Every step of the refinancing process can be done online, from researching and comparing rates straight through to the application process itself. This includes the ability to upload any required documents. Once the loan period begins, customers can set up auto payments and manage their accounts online. You can also manage your account via PenFed’s mobile app.