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LAST UPDATED: February 8th, 2022

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

Easy Application Process

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.

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.

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The Bad

  • Not Available Nationwide
  • Website Navigation
  • High Credit Score Required
  • Eligibility Requirements
  • No Refinancing for Parent PLUS Loans

Not Available Nationwide

Lendkey's loan products and services aren't available in the following states:

  • Maine
  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • West Virginia

If you live in any of the states listed above you will need to look into other student loan refinancing options.

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 - even if you are a student in the U.S. with the correct Visa, you are not eligible for Lendkey's refinancing services.

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.

No Refinancing for Parent PLUS Loans

If you have a student loan taken out in the name of a parent as the primary borrower, such as a Parent PLUS loan, you will need to look into other student loan refinance options because Lendkey doesn't currently service these loan types.


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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J.R. 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.

7 years ago


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Robert Rootes Bestselling Author Fredericksburg, VA

I've had a student loan hanging over my head since 2014. It will never go away. A lot has happened between then and now. Since they don't intend to forgive any student loans, I will likely pay then for the rest of my life. Lendkey has a lot of solutions when it came to debt relief from student loans. They listened to my situation when it came to repayment. They had options for consolidating. They had made suggestions to improve my chances to get out from under the heavy burden of student loans. I don't know if a lot of them will work for my situation. But they have professionals that share empathy with former students.

1 year ago