Founded in 2009, LendKey focuses on connecting millions of online borrowers with its lender network of 300 credit unions and community banks. The company is cloud-based and offers fixed rate and variable rate private student loans and refinancing, auto loans, home improvement loans, and cuGreenLoans. The minimum loan amount offered is $5,000, with a maximum amount of $125,000 for undergraduate students and $175,000 for graduate students.

With an easy online application process and competitive rates, borrowers can easily consolidate or refinance multiple loans. Additional resources, including educational guides and payment calculators, help borrowers understand and be in the best position to save more money and pay off their student loans quickly.

Continue reading for more information and verified Lendkey reviews.

The Good

  • Easy Student Loan Application
  • No Hidden Fees
  • Competitive Interest Rates
  • Reasonable Pricing Options
  • Cosigner Release
  • Good Customer Service

Easy Student Loan Application

Visitors to the LendKey website can see in minutes how much money they can save by refinancing a student loan.

The loan application process is easy, can be completed quickly, and is entirely online. By filling out a few questions and agreeing to a soft credit inquiry, which will not affect their credit score, the borrower can instantly see student loan rates that can be customized to their own loan amount, location, and credit score. As an added convenience, student loan borrowers can pick a loan term and monthly payment.

No Hidden Fees

There are no application, origination, or prepayment penalty fees.

Competitive Interest Rates

LendKey offers both fixed and variable interest rates.

For student loan refinancing, LendKey offers rates as lows as 1.99% variable APR and 2.99% fixed APR with AutoPay. The interest rate a borrower will receive is based on a credit history review. If a cosigner has good credit, this can help in getting lower rates.

Reasonable Pricing Options

Student loan borrowers have the ability to customize their term and monthly payment. Because LendKey does not go through big banks, but smaller credit unions, it can be more flexible with its interest rates and plans. In fact, its student loan interest rates are lower than average in the industry.

For unemployed students, borrowers have the option to make interest-only payments. Additionally, lenders have been known to consider academic credentials to give better student loan rates. People who set up automatic payments can save .25 percent on their interest rate. Those who hit their repayment period and pay off 10 percent of their loan are reduced 1 percent off their interest rate (which is tax deductible).

LendKey conveniently offers a 30-day, no-tax or interest return, if customers are not satisfied.

Check rates with Lendkey

Cosigner Release

Subject to lender approval, a cosigner release option is available. To qualify for this release, the borrower, alone, must meet specific criteria:

  1. Make the required number of on-time, consecutive, full principal and interest payments prior to making a request for a cosigner release. If there is any period of forbearance during this time, the repayment clock will be reset. These details can be found in the borrower's credit agreement.
  2. The borrower's account cannot be in delinquent status.
  3. Proof of income and a credit history review must be provided.
  4. No bankruptcies or foreclosures in the last sixty months, and no loan defaults.

Good Customer Service

LendKey focuses on customer service. Every time we called, they answered. LendKey representatives are with you from start to finish throughout the refinancing process. The customer service team is dedicated to helping student loan borrowers get through the process in a painless way, all while avoiding fees.

The Bad

  • Website Navigation
  • High Credit Score Required
  • Eligibility Requirements

Website Navigation

All key information regarding student loan refinancing can be found on the LendKey website, but it can require some effort to find. Loan terms and rates are displayed well, but loan amounts and credit information is more difficult to find. This requires website visitors to spend more time sifting through FAQ sections, than being able to see upfront what is required for refinancing student loans through LendKey.

High Credit Score Required

The minimum credit score LendKey takes is around 650, and a strong credit history is required. This alone has the potential to eliminate interested clients, especially since student loan borrowers are most likely going to be young college students.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for a private student loan or refinancing through LendKey, the borrower must be a U.S. citizen, currently living in the U.S., or a permanent resident.

Additionally, to qualify for student loan refinancing, the borrower must have already graduated from one the lenders' eligible institutions with at least an associate's degree, as well as demonstrating good credit history.

The Bottom Line

For borrowers looking to refinance their student loan debt, for either a private student loan or federal student loan, LendKey provides competitive services and APR rates through its network of credit union lenders. With a quick and easy online application, no fees, and flexible repayment terms of 5 - 20 years, there are a lot of convenient ways to refinance and lower student loan payments with LendKey.

It is important to note that a minimum credit score of 680 or higher is required to be eligible for refinancing, which can be a significant barrier of entry for many college graduates who may not have established a strong credit history. Having a cosigner with good credit can increase a borrower's chances of approval, as well as increase the likelihood of receiving a lower interest rate on their refinanced loan, but it is not always easier to have a cosigner. LendKey does allow cosigners to be released from a loan, if the borrower is meeting all repayment requirements.

Although it can be difficult to find important loan details upfront on the website, LendKey is known for its responsive and efficient customer service, ensuring that the student loan refinancing process is as simple as possible.

Overall, the pros outweigh the cons with LendKey, and it is a solid option to look into when thinking about student loan refinancing.

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User Reviews

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Lauren S Hartin

July 31st, 2019 Blackstone, MA

I called LendKey and told them I am an independent contractor and asked what documents I would need to submit for my application. The man on the phone told me that I would need to submit something showing the breakdown of how much I am paid for specific duties. I submitted that and received an email stating they needed my W2s. I replied to the email explaining again that I do not have W2s because I am an independent contractor and I was already told to submit other documents. I was then told I actually needed to submit my tax documents. I did that and sent my last two bank statements just to be extra safe. I again received an email stating they need my W2s. I have withdrawn my application. If it is this terrible dealing with them when trying to become a customer, I cannot even imagine how they treat their existing customers.

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V

July 10th, 2019 Chelmsford, MA

My husband started his current job last March. Unlike other companies we've gotten loans through, LendKey refuses to use his current salary (as evidenced in his two most recent paystubs and his original offer letter) and instead insists on assuming his income is the same as his 2018 reported income, which is significantly lower because he spent the first 2 months of the year at a much lower paying job. If they'd told me up front that that's how they were going to calculate his income, I wouldn't have wasted the time and the hard pull.

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Jim

February 22nd, 2019 Cedar Springs, MI DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I have a loan with LendKey, I have found them difficult to work with and very annoying. It is a 5k loan and they insist on paying the interest monthly but if your a day late paying interest you get a barrage of emails and phone calls. The company is inefficient and not service orientated. I have since switched picket and hatcher, much better to work with and quarterly interest payments and no annoyances.

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R. M.

August 3rd, 2018 Aberdeen, MD

Don't bother applying for a loan with LendKey if you are a postdoc who pays your own taxes. They will tell you you are approved at first but then insist you are self-employed and reject your loan application on the basis that your employer doesn't withhold taxes. At least the customer service agents are friendly. Waste of time.

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Dean

May 24th, 2018 New York, NY

LendKey was super helpful in helping me complete my application and cut my interest rates nearly in half. Easy to use and friendly when you call in.

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Nikki McMillan

May 15th, 2018 Leonard, MI DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I regret taking my loans out for school with Lendkey. They willnot refinance me even with a co-signer who makes more than enough and has great credit. I also have good credit and somehow still get denied. This company doesn't want to help you, I promise you will regret working with them.

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J B

October 17th, 2017

Stay AWAY from these incompetent, disorganized buffoons ! SAVE YOURSELF THE HUSTLE ! Sallie Mae my lovely Sallie May! ALWAYS SENDS THE BILL PROMPTLY AHEAD OF TIME,* WITH AN ENVELOPE INSIDE * All I got to do is put in the check and a stamp on it. These MORONS they want you to WASTE YOUR TIME ( TO SAVE THEIR PAPER ) to remember your password, to get in their stupid website (to lure you to get another loan from them), and only after you call them and demand it repeatedly they agree to send you a bill ( BUT NO ENVELOPE ); Sometimes the bill never comes (THEIR AUDACITY THEY WARN YOU AT THE TIME OF ARRANGEMENT that you may still have to log in their website and print the statement in case it does not arrive by the mail). Then they send you a note of delinquency through e-mail --- CHECK THIS OUT --- after you had paid them a few days prior and after they finally applied your payment; the note of delinquency dated 1 day after date of application of payment; leaving you in bewilderment wondering "WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON!" Total hustle; YOU DON'T NEED THIS CRAP! Disclaimer : I am not affiliated with any loan company. I AM A TRUE AND UNFORTUNATE BORROWER whose account was established with another company (RARITAN CREDIT UNION) which sold it to Lendkey (not that they were any better, but the account was still new}. Lendkey THIS REVIEW WAS LONG TIME COMING.

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lori

July 5th, 2017 Elmwood Park, IL

Consolidated my loans with Lendkey when they calling themselves ECSI. At first it was great, I got a good rate, then they changed the name, hiked up the interest rate (and my monthly payment) without any warning. Good luck trying to work out a monthly budget when they change the rates without telling you!! Just another greedy corporate loan company.

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Shannon M

February 12th, 2017

I tried several lenders (that were ranked higher on this site) and marketplace sites, and found the lowest rate with a credit union on LendKey. Their customer service was also the most helpful and friendly, which was the biggest reason I chose to go with them.

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J.R.

April 29th, 2016 Saint Michael, MN

I would say that I'm fairly happy with Lendkey. They weren't my initial choice but after having a bad experience with Sofi and Commonbond I checked them out. Lendkey got my loan processed in 2 days and with a lower rate than Commonbond. I don't mind paying a Credit Union through Lendkey as long as they lower my rate and don't try any shady business. So far so good. I recommend checking them out.

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