LendKey Private Student Loan Debt Consolidation Review
If you’re considering Consolidating Student Loans, then we’ve got good news for you – LendKey offers an excellent loan consolidation package that was created to help borrowers like you reduce monthly payments and start saving money quickly.
For those who haven’t heard of LendKey before – this is the new name of the old-time favorite consolidation company CuStudentLoans – one of the top-rated consolidation companies on the market, and one of every student loan expert’s favorite places to send people looking to consolidate.
You don’t have to take my word for that either, because here’s a list of student loan experts who have gone on record to agree that CuStudent Loans (LendKey’s old name) is one of the top consolidation companies in the country:
If you’re already convinced that LendKey will work for you, then click the orange button below to start your application.
If you’re still skeptical, read on!
Who is LendKey / CuStudentLoans?
LendKey is a network that includes over 130 local credit unions scattered throughout the United States. Credit unions are relatively new to the student loan consolidation market, and only started getting heavily involved in 2010, but the important thing to keep in mind is that credit unions are not-for-profit companies!
Forbes writes “that alone probably means you’re going to do better than traditional banks… likely be able to refinance your private student loans at lower rates, possibly saving thousands of dollars per year in total interest and payment expenses… without extending the term of your existing loans.”
As LendKey has grown in size over the years, so have their lending options. Originally, many people were suspect of CuStudentLoans because they only offered variable interest rates, but that’s no longer the case. Now, borrowers have access to both variable and fixed rate programs, making this a much safer solution for long-term debt relief.
What Types of Loans can LendKey Consolidate or Refinance?
LendKey offers consolidation and refinancing programs for both Private and Federal student loans, though you typically won’t want to consolidate a Federal student loan through a private company, since Direct Consolidation Loans often come with lower interest rates, better repayment terms, and far more relief benefits.
Whether your loans were for Undergraduate or Graduate studies, LendKey can help. In fact, you can wrap up Undergrad and Grad loans into the same consolidation loan, allowing you to take care of ALL of your student loan debt with a single payment to a single lender.
The only limiting requirement for their refinancing program is that you must owe at least $7,500 to refinance or consolidate.
For most of us with student loan debt, that’s not much of a limiting factor at all (considering many/most of us owe tens of thousands of dollars…).
Does LendKey Offer Fixed-Rate Loans?
Yes! LendKey offers both variable and fixed-rate loans, with rates ranging as low as 1.90% for variable rate loans, and 4.50% for fixed rate loans.
Loan terms can run for 5, 10 or even 15 years, giving you plenty of flexibility in determining how long you’ll want to take to pay them off.
What are LendKey’s Minimum Interest Rates?
LendKey offers some of the lowest interest rates in the market, with rates as low as 1.90% APR on variable loans, and 4.50% APR on fixed loans (with autopay enrollment).
That’s about as low as rates get, even in 2016, when interest rates are sitting at historic lows.
As far as I can tell, only a couple other companies have rates approaching these numbers, but they come with some other drawbacks that you won’t have to face at LendKey.
Does LendKey Charge Origination Fees?
No! The credit unions who make up LendKey’s network of borrowers are not allowed to charge original fees, so you can secure that low interest loan without having to drop hundreds or thousands of dollars in up-front fees.
Some of LendKey’s competitors may be able to match (or even beat) the interest rates on offer here, but many of them will require dropping a substantial portion of cash up front as an origination fee, making those interest rates completely out of reach for the vast majority of borrowers.
Does LendKey Charge Prepayment Penalties?
No! Just like the rules for origination fees, LendKey’s credit unions are not allowed to charge prepayment penalties, no matter how early you decide to pay off your loan.
And that’s a good thing, because the sooner you get that debt paid off, the less money it ends up costing you.
Other lenders may seem like they’re offering a better deal than LendKey, but if they’re going to charge you thousands of dollars for paying off your loan early, you may need to think twice about the supposed value on offer.
Does LendKey Offer Interest Rate Reductions?
Yes! LendKey’s standard consolidation program offers a .25% interest rate reduction bonus simply for enrolling in automatic payments via ACH.
If you’re looking to trim the fat from your student loans, decreasing the interest rate is one of the absolute best ways to tidy up, and this is one benefit that you will definitely want to take advantage of!
Does LendKey Offer an Interest-Only Payment Plan?
Yes! LendKey’s interest-only repayment option allows you to pause principal payments for up to four years from the time that you consolidate your loan, meaning your monthly payments will be significantly lower while you establish better financial footing.
Does LendKey Offer Unemployment Protection?
Yes! LendKey’s unemployment protection program is, without a doubt, the best in the entire market, allowing you to pause your loan repayments for up to 18 months while unemployed.
Most lenders offers significantly shorter deferment periods, so if you’re concerned about retaining steady employment, then you will definitely want to look closely at LendKey.
Does LendKey Offer Cosigner Release?
Yes! LendKey’s cosigner release benefit allows your cosigner to be removed from the loan once you’ve satisfied certain eligibility conditions, including:
- Graduating from college
- Making 12-48 full monthly payments on your own
- Holding down a steady job and earning at least a certain amount of income
- Meeting minimum credit requirements to get approval for the remainder of your loan
Who Funds LendKey’s Loans?
Like I mentioned above, LendKey is a huge network of credit unions (local community banks), but the good news is that LendKey’s customer service is available throughout the entire course of your loan.
That means that you’ll always have someone on your side if something happens with the lender, someone who can argue on your behalf and ensure that wrongs get righted.
And believe me, the credit unions who make up this network will be afraid to say no to LendKey, since doing so would jeopardize their ability to generate new loans!
Can You Trust LendKey?
From what I’ve heard, read and found online, the short answer is yes.
Apparently, 97% of LendKey’s borrowers stated that they would recommend the service to friends and family.
When we’re talking about something as divisive, frustrating, and draining as student loan servicing, that’s a massive number, and a sign that this company knows what it’s doing.
How Do I Apply?
That’s the easy part – click the orange button below to get started right now.
Other Questions? Comments?
If you’ve got other questions about LendKey, or about student loans in general, please feel free to ask away in the comments section below.
In addition, if you’ve had an experience working with CuStudentLoans or LendKey, then please share that below as well.
I would love to hear how LendKey has worked for my readers, and I will be sure to pass on any feedback that you guys might have to the company.
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*In the interest of full disclosure, I want to point out that I have an affiliate agreement with LendKey.
If you use my “Apply Now” links above to sign up for a consolidation with them, I will receive a small commission for having your referred you their way.
You can rest assured that I’m not allowing this to get in my way of judging their program, however. LendKey really does have one of the best offers on the market.