- You can refinance your student loans as often as you qualify.
- Refinancing your student loans more than once may help you pay less per month or pay back the money more quickly, depending on your circumstances.
- Evaluating your current financial situation can help you decide if now is the right time to refinance your student loans again.
Student loan refinancing is a great way to potentially save money on your overall loan cost — but if you’ve gone through the process once, you already knew that.
Whether you have federal or private student loans, now may be a good time to consider whether refinancing — or even an alternative option, like a personal line of credit — can help you save money or pay less in interest.
Note: By refinancing student loans, you may permanently be giving up tax and repayment benefits, including forbearance, deferment and forgiveness. Please consider this as you make a decision to refinance student loans, and talk to a banker if you have any questions.
Currently, all payments for certain types of federal student loans are suspended potentially until June 30, 2023, per an executive order by the President. Interest will not accrue during this time period. For more information, please visit ed.gov. (Note updated on 1/24/2023)
How many times can you refinance student loans?
There’s no limit to how many times you can refinance student loans, though there are times when one refinancing solution may be more beneficial than others.
With that said, you have to qualify to refinance your student loans. If, for example, your credit has been declined since you first refinanced, you may not be approved to refinance again with favorable terms, or at all, until your credit improves.
Benefits of refinancing your student loans more than once
Though refinancing student loans multiple times won’t necessarily benefit everyone, doing so may afford you a number of benefits. Here’s a breakdown of each of the possible upsides of refinancing your student loans more than once.
Lower interest rates
Refinancing your student loans for the second time could provide you with the opportunity to take advantage of an even lower interest rate.
Shorter repayment terms
Another possible (and desirable) outcome to refinancing is the opportunity to make student loan payments for a shorter length of time. Shorter loan terms may enable you to pay off your student loans faster since they’ll have less time to accumulate interest. Note, however, that you may be required to make a higher monthly payment when you refinance to a shorter repayment term.
Adjust focus to other financial goals more quickly
Paying off your student loans more quickly through another refinance could allow you to start saving for other financial goals — like early retirement, putting more into your child’s college fund or allotting more for the down payment on a house.
Refinancing with a Personal Line of Credit to Reach Your Goals
In addition to traditional refinancing solutions, a financial product like First Republic’s Personal Line of Credit may help you pay off your loans at a lower interest rate, while also offering you the opportunity to start working toward other financial goals as soon as possible.
Learn more about how a personal line of credit works as well as the ways it could help lower your overall student loan costs.
Opportunity to remove co-signers from refinanced loan
If you’re in better financial standing than when you originally refinanced your loan(s), you may be able to remove the co-signer on your loan. Be sure to speak with a qualified financial advisor before making a decision.
Factors to consider when refinancing your student loans more than once
Aside from the many benefits described above, here’s a breakdown of a few possible caveats to refinancing student loans more than once.
May impact your credit score
When you apply to refinance a loan, the new loan provider tends to do a hard credit check on your credit report. This may slightly lower your credit score — but only temporarily, as hard pulls are typically removed from a credit report after two years.
The age of your credit accounts can also affect your credit score. Refinancing a loan means opening a new loan account and closing any accounts associated with previously existing loans. A new loan can decrease the average age of your credit accounts, which may have a negative impact on your credit score.
Potential fees or penalties
Before refinancing again, you should discuss any additional fees with your prospective lenders, like origination fees, late fees or application fees, that might make refinancing again undesirable. We encourage you to do your due diligence while evaluating lenders, as fees may vary.
Should you refinance your student loans again?
To ensure you make the most informed choice, consider what you want to achieve by refinancing again, evaluate your available options, and weigh the benefits and caveats of another round of refinancing.
Consider refinancing again if …
Refinancing again may not be ideal if …
Other considerations before refinancing student loans multiple times
To help you decide whether refinancing your student loans is an appropriate option for your current financial situation, consider the following factors:
- The details of your current loans: Checking out opportunities to refinance your current student loans also gives you a chance to go over the details of your existing loans with a professional.
- Your current financial situation: If getting a lower student loan interest rate is your ultimate objective with an additional refinance, keep in mind that private lenders’ interest rates are often tied to multiple factors, like elements of your personal finances (including income, credit history, debt-to-income ratio and credit score). Some or all of these factors may be better or worse than when you previously refinanced your loan, especially for the first time.
- Current market rates: Like your own financial situation, the state of the economy may be better or worse than when you originally refinanced your loan. Factors like inflation can affect the options that are available to you and the interest rate you’re charged.
- The total interest you will pay: Be sure to calculate the total interest you will pay. Even if your interest rate goes down, refinancing to a longer loan term could mean you could pay more over the life of the loan. Another factor that can play into how much interest you pay is whether your new interest rate is variable or fixed.
- Your desired monthly payment: You may want a lower monthly payment, but increasing it may be worth considering. Higher monthly payments can help you pay off your loans more quickly and decrease the amount you pay on the loan overall. Keep in mind that paying more per month toward your student loans could cause you to defer savings to other financial goals in the meantime. Learn more about whether paying off student loans or investing makes more sense for you. We always recommend speaking with a trusted financial advisor to ensure you’re making the right decision for your needs.
- Your desired repayment term: A shorter repayment period could mean less in overall interest, but higher monthly payments. Consider that if you’ve already been making payments on your previous refinanced plan for a number of years, refinancing again — even to a loan with a shorter term — may extend the life of your loans overall (see below).
If you refinanced your original student loans to a 10-year plan and are six years into those payments, refinancing to a new 5-year plan means you’ll be making payments for 11 years overall, one year more than the initial 10. This could mean more interest than if you kept your current plan, even if your new loan offers a lower interest rate.
Finding the best time to refinance your student loans
The ideal time to refinance your student loans often depends on your current financial health as well as the state of the market. If your current financial situation makes you a more desirable candidate than when you initially refinanced, it might be a good idea to research new rate and term options available to you. However, it may make sense to hold off on refinancing until market conditions and your current financial standing have improved.
Before applying for a student loan refinance, it’s a good idea to determine what your overall financial goals are for the foreseeable future and how to best pay off your student loans given your current monthly budget. With that information in mind, you can make an educated decision about whether refinancing is right for you.