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Rhode Island Student Loan Authority

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LAST UPDATED: November 11th, 2021
Founded in 1981, Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA) is a nonprofit quasi-state authority, providing income-based repayment on refinanced student loans. The company offers state-based private education loans, student loan refinancing, and financial aid assistance nationwide.   Continue reading for a complete review of this student debt company, as well as Rhode Island Student Loan Authority reviews from real customers.  

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The Good

  • Prequalify with No Impact to Your Credit Score
  • Income-Based Repayment Program
  • No Fees
  • Low Fixed Rates
  • Helpful Tools and Calculators

Prequalify with No Impact to Your Credit Score

To check your rates with RISLA, you can prequalify with no impact to your credit score. If you choose to accept your offer, a hard credit check will be performed as part of the loan process.

Income-Based Repayment Program

One unique service provided by RISLA is Income-Based Repayment (IBR), which provides struggling borrowers with repayment flexibility.

The program is designed to reduce monthly payments and make student debt more manageable by providing borrowers with an extended loan term up to 25 years and allowing them to pay based on what they earn.

Enrolling in IBR doesn't disqualify you from RISLA's loan forgiveness programs, providing even greater flexibility to borrowers who need increased assistance and flexibility in their loan repayments.

One downside of IBR is the fact that you may pay more interest overall because your loan term will be extended.

IBR is available to borrowers and cosigners who can demonstrate that they are experiencing financial hardship based on their current wages and/or family size.

No Fees

RISLA doesn't charge any upfront fees including an application fee, origination fee, interest fee, or service fee. But, the company does charge a late payment fee, check fee, and default-related fee when necessary — a standard practice in the student debt industry.

The fact that RISLA doesn't charge an origination fee, in particular, is a unique benefit because most other student loan refinance lenders, or any other kind of loan lender, have an origination fee.

Low Fixed Rates

RISLA's refinancing fixed rates are competitively low, starting at 3.19 percent APR (with a 0.25 percent auto-pay discount).

In comparison to other lenders, this is a median rate offer, with other lenders offering starting rates as low as 2.99 percent and others as high as 3.99 percent.

However, RISLA's rates are competitive especially based on the fact that the company focuses on providing refinance options especially to borrowers with low credit.

Helpful Tools and Calculators

To assist borrowers in managing and paying down their student debt, RISLA provides helpful tools and resources including its blog, brochures, college planning and college financial aid assistance, and assistance in finding scholarships.

RISLA also has five helpful calculators:

  • Estimate my EFC calculator — estimate eligibility for federal financial aid
  • Paying for college calculator — input college costs and financial aid and determine how to meet the difference
  • Budgeting calculator — create a personal spending plan
  • How much can I afford to repay calculator — estimate maximum amount you should borrow
  • Loan payment calculator — estimate your monthly student loan payment

The Bad

  • No Variable Rates
  • Higher Minimum Income Requirement
  • No 20-Year Term

No Variable Rates

Unfortunately, RISLA does not offer variable interest rates; its refinancing program only works with fixed interest rates. Most companies in the industry offer both fixed and variable interest rates.

Higher Minimum Income Requirement

RISLA requires that borrowers have an annual gross income of at least $40,000 in order to be eligible. This could be a difficult requirement for individuals just coming out of college to meet.

No 20-Year Term

Most companies in the industry offer a 20-year fixed term. RISLA's longest term is only 15 years. However, if you qualify for income-based repayment (IBR) you will be eligible for a 25-year fixed loan term.


The Bottom Line

Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA) is a transparent organization that offers affordable fixed interest rates to borrowers across the nation.

With a focus on helping low-income and/or low-credit borrowers manage student debt, RISLA offers income-based repayment to qualifying borrowers. This repayment program extends a borrower's loan term up to 25 years, which can significantly decrease monthly payments, but may result in paying more interest overall.

If you anticipate that you may have difficulty making loan repayments, or you are currently experiencing this difficulty, RISLA could be a good option for you.

If you have refinanced with this student debt company, please tell us about your experience by leaving a Rhode Island Student Loan Authority review.

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[email protected] Chicago, IL

Company was pretty easy to work with, got approved with a day, emailed in all the paperwork they needed and they were quick to pay off the other loans. Would definitely recommend them. Saving me thousands over dollars over the life of my loan.

6 years ago


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Julia UP Brunswick, GA

It was approved less then 10 days. Great customer service. Very satisfied. Would recommend

2 years ago


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G Miami, FL

Great company to work with and easy to get ahold of if any issues arise.highly recommend 👌

2 years ago Edited June 5, 2023