Best Ways to Refinance Parent Plus Loans in 2021

As a parent, helping pay for college can be an important goal. This article discusses how refi works with Parent PLUS loans.

When it comes to helping your child pay for college, getting a Parent PLUS loan can be one way to help. However, Parent PLUS loans can have higher interest rates than you’d like.

If you’re looking to reduce your interest rate and save money, it can make sense to refinance Parent PLUS loans. Here’s what you need to know about refinancing Parent PLUS loans.

Can you refinance Parent PLUS loans?

Yes. 

First, it’s important to note that you can’t refinance a Parent PLUS loan through the government. These are federal loans that you take out in your name for the benefit of your child’s education. In most cases, you’re responsible for repayment unless you can get a Parent PLUS loan refinance into your child’s name.

The good news is that private lenders are willing to do a refi of PLUS loans, as long as you go about it the right way.


Use Juno to refinance Parent PLUS loans

One way you can get a head start on refinancing Parent PLUS loans is to use an organization like Juno. As a member of Juno, you get access to partner deals that can help you refinance Parent PLUS student loans in your child’s name. On top of that, the negotiating power of Juno often leads to better interest rates and terms than you’d find elsewhere.

Some of Juno’s partners when it comes to refinancing Parent PLUS loans can help you and your child pay off debt faster. Individual results may vary, but it makes sense to do some research and consider whether you might benefit from using Juno and its partners to refinance your PLUS loan.

Splash

With Splash, you can look for various options to refinance Parent PLUS loans into the student’s name. In order to qualify, however, you need to meet the following qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Credit score of at least 700
  • Debt-to-income ratio of less than 40%
  • Income of at least $42,000 per year as a solo borrow and $25,000 with a cosigner

This can be a good option for grads who are making progress in their finances and careers and are willing to refinance Parent PLUS loans into their own names and free parents from the burden of paying for their student loan debt.

Laurel Road

Laurel Road is a partner that offers a wide variety of student loan refinancing options for borrowers, including the ability to refinance a Parent PLUS student loan. You need to meet the lending requirements, but if you do, you can refinance a Parent PLUS loan directly into your name.

This can also be a way to consolidate several student loans into one payment if you qualify. Carefully consider how you might be able to get your loans into one place to make repayment more convenient.

Earnest

It’s important to note that Earnest doesn’t allow you to refinance Parent PLUS loans into your name directly. Instead, you can only refinance loans in your own name.

If you want to do a refi of a Parent PLUS loan with Earnest, you should first find out if the original parent loan can be transferred into your name from the first lender. You can also see about refinancing the Parent PLUS loan to your name.

Then, after the loan is in your name, you can apply for student loan refinancing with Earnest (through Juno). This process can seem like a lot of steps, but once you get through it, and you refinance all of your student loans under one loan, it can be much more manageable to make payments, potentially lower your overall interest rate, and get rid of your debt faster.


Should you refinance Parent PLUS loans?

Before refinancing Parent PLUS loans, it’s important to understand the consequences. Even though Parent PLUS loans don’t come with the same benefits as Direct student loans, there are still some benefits that come with federal parent loans.

Parent PLUS loans are eligible for income-contingent repayment when they’re consolidated using a Direct consolidation loan. This can provide parents with a way to manage payments if they can’t afford them. Additionally, Parent PLUS loans are eligible for graduated and extended repayment plans. This can be useful if parents can’t meet the requirements of the 10-year standard repayment plan.

When you refinance Parent PLUS loans into a child’s name, or even if you privately refinance the loans for a better rate, you lose access to federal programs. As a result, if you run into hardship or some other circumstance, you won’t be able to fall back on federal benefits. Carefully consider whether this is best for you before you make the move to refinance a Parent PLUS student loan.

Pros and cons of Parent PLUS loan refinance

Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of refinancing Parent PLUS loans can help you make a more educated decision about what’s the best move for you and your student.

Pros

  • The loan is in your child’s name, rather than yours, taking you off the hook for their student debt.
  • Potential for lower interest rates, if your child meets qualifications.
  • Potential to pay off debt faster.

Cons

  • Lose access to federal student loan benefits, including those available to Parent PLUS borrowers.
  • Your child might not be ready to take on the debt, and it could impact them later.
  • If your child doesn’t meet the criteria to take on the debt, you might still need to cosign, making you ultimately responsible for the debt.


Bottom line

If you’re trying to reduce your own debt and help your child be responsible for their student loans, it can make sense to refinance your Parent PLUS loans to their name. Even if you don’t refinance a PLUS loan to your child’s name, refinancing on your own can still provide you with the potential for lower rates and monthly payments.

Carefully consider the situation and compare Parent PLUS loan refinance options using an organization like Juno. Then, make a decision that’s likely to work best for your individual situation and financial needs.


Juno can help you find the most affordable possible rates on refinancing student loans. Juno negotiates on behalf of borrowers with partner lenders to help each student qualify for the best refinance rates they can given their financial situation. 

Join Juno today to find out more about how you pay off your student debt faster.


Miranda Marquit
Written By
Miranda Marquit

Miranda has 10+ years of experience covering financial markets for various online and offline publications, including contributions to Marketwatch, NPR, Forbes, FOX Business, Yahoo Finance, and The Hill. She is the co-host of the Money Tree Investing podcast and she has a Master of Arts in Journalism from Syracuse University

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