Earnest is an online lender that uses new technologies to provide loans to individuals that wouldn't qualify for traditional loans. Instead of focusing exclusively on credit scores and debt-to-income ratios, Earnest uses a proprietary algorithm to analyze a wide range of financially relevant factors to determine whether a customer qualifies for a loan.

How Does Earnest Work?

Earnest offers loans while filtering borrowers with a good education, high-income potential, responsible spending patterns and low credit card balances.

What APRs Does Earnest Offer?

For student loan refinancing, you can choose between having a variable or fixed APR.

  • Earnest's variable rate APRs range from 2.57% to 6.19%.
  • Earnest's fixed rate APRs range from 3.35% to 6.39% APR.

How Much Money Can I Borrow?

Available loan amounts range from $5,000 to $500,000, and terms range from 5 to 20 years. 

What Is the Application Process Like?

The only catch of Earnest's ultra-low rates is you have to reveal a lot of information most lenders don't require. For instance, Earnest requires access to your savings account, and your retirement accounts to confirm your education, employment, salary and financial situation. The good news is Earnest uses the information collected from your accounts to automatically populate the application form, so you won't have to waste time filling forms. Borrowers should expect a reply within one week. After you're approved, you have 30 days to either accept or decline the loan. The money will take 1 to 3 days to reach your account.

How Is It Better Than Other Lenders?

Earnest is a merit-based lender that looks at more than your credit score when assessing your loan application. If you fit Earnest's guidelines, such as a having a good employment history, working in a sector with high-earning potential, having a good education and solid spending and saving habits, you could qualify for rock-bottom rates even if you have little or no credit history.

There are no initiation or prepayment penalty fees, and they guarantee the best rates among no-fee lenders. The only catch is the entire process could take up to 10 business days, and only borrowers who meet their stringent eligibility criteria are eligible.

  • Loan Term (Years)
    5 - 20
  • Min Loan
  • Variable APR (Refinancing)
    2.57% - 6.19%
  • Fixed APR (Refinancing)
    3.35% - 6.39%
  • Cosigner Optional
  • Undergraduate Students
  • Graduate Students
  • Parents of Dependent
  • Grace Period / Deferred Interest
  • No Origination Fee
  • Student Loan Type
  • Unemployment Protection
  • Funding Time
    1-2 weeks
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0 votes

(Earnest - College Debt Consolidation) The application process is easy. Although mine took a bit longer than expected so make sure to call them to check on your application status if you suspect it is taking longer than usual (a couple days to a week to respond with approval/denial/requesting more)

0 votes

horrible experience, the process is very bad and they are NOT helpful :(

0 votes

Hi, I recently consolidated my student loans 18k with avg rate of 6.46% down to 3.96% with Earnest. I was uncomfortable giving them my bank account log on but once I accepted the loan and it was all done with I changed my bank password so they can't continue to gain access or if it leaks somehow no one can get in. I started the process Friday, provided requested documentation Monday morning and they approved my loan later Monday.

0 votes

The loan process was a waste of time, inefficient, and the rates came back 42% higher than advertised, so it wasn't worth it to switch. With a superb credit score, low debt to income, high income, and more than 3x the assets to cover the loan and get denied the best rates is a complete joke.

0 votes

It seems there are a lot of negative reviews on this company on this website. Most of them are people who are angry that they got denied. I get it, the application is extensive and invasive. However, most of these new loan companies require more than just a credit score to approve a loan. This allows for less defaults and in return they can give their customers a lower rate. I managed to get my crazy grad plus rate of almost 8% down to 4.5%! Here are my stats for comparison: ... Income $150,000/year, savings $18,000, $0 retirement(I know, but I am maxing out my 401k now!), $10,000 credit card debt at the time, credit score 780 Loan amount $81,000. I graduated in may and applied with just an offer letter in july(didnt even get a pay check yet), something that SOFI wouldnt even consider. Everything went smooth after approval! They even offer a referral program where they send you a link and if people sign up under your name you get $200! Feel free to copy the link if you found this review helpful :) www.meetearnest.com/invite/alan49 More Less

0 votes

I'm currently looking for a way to refinance my student loans. I have been out of college for 12 years, and still have 11 years to go with my navient loans. I am currently working as a freelance designer from my home, while my two children are small. My husband works full time out of the house. Our fico scores are over 800 and we make a combined 140k/yr. Earnest will not refinance my loans because I am a stay at home parent, and do not earn enough money on ... my own. This infuriating and discriminatory. More Less

0 votes

Horrible rate to consolidate. over 30 years of credit. credit score near 800. Offered me higher rate than my federal loan which I had already paid of 2 years. Are you kidding?

0 votes

The whole Earnest pitch was great. However, when I got to the process I found that they don't even abide by their own eligibility guidelines. In my case, I graduated from a community college which is on their list from the Department of Education, a title IV school. I then attempted a Bachelors degree but didn't finish. I still got denied for the loan. I even attempted to just get that portion that was for the Associates Degree. I still didn't get anywhere. They need to clarify or update their ... eligibility requirements. They clearly don't abide them. They most definitely only do student loans from Bachelor Degrees. More Less

0 votes

Dont waste your time with these guys. I have a 30k student loan @ 7.5% I wanted to refinance with them. I make, a well documented, over 100k income. I have been with that company for 8 years, and have over 60k in my 401k, near perfect credit (790+), I have minimal credit card debt, and never miss payments and am never late with any bills.

They denied my refinance application.

Show me any student that has better circumstances than mine, trying to refinance their student loans..... ... you wont find it. So why do they even offer student loan refinance programs?

I honestly suspect they're a scam and only looking to collect customer bank account login information. (they require you to supply them with your finance account login info. I should have stopped there. Luckily I supplied them only with temporary passwords.... but still, it was a dumb move on my part. I'll be monitoring my credit / accounts closely because of it.
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0 votes

I was paying 6.8% interest (47k loan) with myfedloan.org and was able to lower it just a little through Earnest (6.3 fixed or 4.3 variable so I am taking a risk with variable for now, if it goes up I will change to fixed after the 6 month wait). I have a high credit score, I wish they would've given me a better interest rate. My advice is to apply to Greatlakes first, just in case it's better. I did try Sofi first and was rejected.

0 votes

I would suggest that people seriously consider how they will feel if they are denied by Earnest after providing the extensive amount of information they require. I was denied despite a relatively high income and excellent credit score because I'm in grad school part time. Maybe I'm just bitter, but I'm not sure how "sophisticated" their system is for determining potential income if it denies everyone who is still a student, despite their situation. I would highly not recommend you waste your time with Earnest.

0 votes

I read all of these reviews when I was contemplating getting a loan with Earnest and I had mixed feelings just like any other reasonable person would. I didn't like putting my personal data online but I promise it was well worth the initial trouble of uploading all of the required documents, accounts, etc... I am used to going to a bank giving my social and signing a consent form to pull credit and then having an answer within a few moments. It is not that type of experience at ... all. They really do take the time to review all aspects of your personal data. But enough with the experience (which was very good overall) when I was reading these reviews I found plenty of "numbers" from people who were denied but not so much from those who were approved. So here is one that was... I am mid 30s, married , and have a child. Bought a house 2 years ago. I have always paid my bills on time and most of the time I pay my debt off early. I wanted to finance about $19k in student loans which were a combination of Federal and private. I did not put my wife on the loan. So it was based on my income only but both of our bills were considered, ex: house, cars, credit card. I have an associates in healthcare and my income is roughly 55k a year and been employed full time since graduation (7years). My credit score was 729. My overall payments per month excluding prior student loans was almost 1700. That is including my house and my cars. So that's the numbers. 2 year degree, 55k income, roughly 1700 in monthly payments from debt (not utilities,cell,cable,... Just debt), a very average 729 credit score, Several months (3) of living expenses in savings, and about 50k worth of other assets(retirement, investments, etc). I got approved for a loan with a fixed rate of 7.3% which cut my student loans in half, reduced my total interest by a ton, and reduced the life of the loan. Just be honest on the application and let them know what you are looking for. I was looking to cut my total monthly payments by cutting my interest rate on existing loans, getting rid of cable, switching phone services, etc... due to rising expenses that come with a child and owning a home and living on a modest income. My goal was to put more in savings, pay off my consumer debt faster, save for child's education, and invest more for retirement. Earnest takes all these things into account when deciding if your loan is approved so just be honest. More Less

0 votes

Great experience with student loan refinance, 1.9% APR variable rate. Painless application process, final decision took about 2 weeks. Love that you can switch between fixed and variable after loan is taken

0 votes

Earnest has great rates - the best I could find. And very flexible options. The only issue I had with them was that they wouldn't cover a loan that was tied to a small stint in Grad School, because I never finished the degree. They only cover loans that you have received a degree with. Weird, but I just took that loan elsewhere at a higher rate (still way less than the Federal rate). They even have a referral program where you get $200 if ... someone else signs up. Feel free to be my referral :) https://www.meetearnest.com/invite/katherine269 More Less

0 votes

Honestly, I wish I could give them no stars. I'm a homeowner, very gainfully employed, 783 credit score, and I have a nice sayings account. I was denied for a student loan consolidation because they claimed I "overdrafted and paid late" on my checking account. First off, my savings account is linked to my checking so I rarely transfer funds (the bank does this for me), and please explain how I can get late payments on my checking account?

Earnest is a bunch of crooks looking to mine/sale your personal ... data - please stay away!!!! Customer service is also terrible, good luck getting anyone but a "happiness engineer", which I imagine is a dumb CSR that isn't cut out for a real job. More Less

0 votes

They asked for all my information. I provided it. They denied me because of "too low savings" I generated and saved $2500 and re-applied and they still said "No"

You jump through 50 different hoops 3 separate times just to get told no.

Don't waste your time, the hope the provide with their, "Happiness Technicians" is quickly taken away each and every time.

Thanks for nothing.

0 votes

I feel vulnerable after giving them so much info including access to my bank account. Only to get rejected for a student loan refinance. Now I will need to monitor my online identity. These people could do real damage if they wanted. Don’t do it. It was a waste of my precious time.

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