LendKey is an online student loan marketplace that connects students and graduates with credit unions and community banks. The company is based in New York City, has been in business since 2007 and has an A+ BBB rating. Qualified borrowers can compare rates and terms from a variety of low-cost lenders and save hundreds and even thousands of dollars when they refinance their student loans. Although LendKey focuses on student loans it also provides home improvement loans.
How Does LendKey Work?
LendKey is not a direct lender. Instead it provides community lenders with an online platform to market their products. As of 2017, LendKey is used by more than 300 credit unions, community banks and other financial institutions. For instance, they have an exclusive partnership with Western Independent Bankers, which represents over 130 community banks. The entire loan process is performed using LendKey, which protects borrowers' information and the time they must spend completing loan applications. To qualify, borrowers must have a college degree and a job that pays at least $24,000 a year. LendKey's network of lenders is mostly made up of credit unions, so successful applicants may need to join a credit union to receive the loan.
What Are LendKey's Interest Rates?
Interest rates vary depending on community lenders available in your area. Borrowers who live in areas with a wide selection of credit unions and other not-for-profit lenders may have access to lower interest loans. Student loan refinancing loans start with interest rates as low as 2.52% APR, although more typical rates range between 4% and 5% APR.
- Student Loan Refinance: 2.52% APR - 7.26% APR
- Private Student Loans: 3.74% APR - 9.94% APR
How Much Money Can I Borrow from LendKey?
LendKey's student loans range from $7,500 to $175,000. Loan terms range from 5 years to 20 years and borrowers can choose whether to get fixed or variable interest rates. To illustrate, a qualified borrower with excellent credit and a $30,000 loan, which was the average student debt in 2014, could receive a 5-year variable loan with monthly loan repayments of $525.
Which States Does LendKey Operate In?
Private student loans and student loan refinancing are available in all states except ME, RI, WV, NV, and ND
What Is LendKey's Application Process Like?
The entire application process is performed online on LendKey's platform. The application takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. You will need to provide your social security number, proof of graduation, current employer and proof of income
How Is LendKey Better Than Other Lenders?
LendKey is the largest lending platform for student loan refinancing. It offers low interest rates (starting at 2.52% APR) and terms of up to 20 years on loans of up to $175,000. Students can choose whether to get variable or fixed interest rates and loans are available in all 50 states. LendKey has been in business for over 8 years, has an A+ rating with the BBB, and is backed by over 300 credit unions and community banks.
Loan Term (Years)
5 - 20
2.52% - 9.94%
3.25% - 9.94%
"The APR for variable rate loans may increase after loan consummation. Additionally, the APR displayed may include a 0.25% reduction for enrolling in automatic monthly payments from a personal checking or savings account to pay principal and interest amounts that are due. This rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of forbearance. As a result, any increase will take the form of higher payments."
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LendKey uses predatory lending practices. I've found them to be unwilling to assist any requests - such as accepting an non-interest inclusive loan payoff, and changing my payment due date! Customer service is less than stellar and many times it takes forever to get a manager on the line. If I could give a rating of less than a zero - I would.
LendKey has false advertisements: they get all of your personal information from you (which takes a lot of time as you have to upload and scan many documents). They make it seem like you will definitely be able to get a loan (especially if you have good credit). Then they tell you what they require (which if you are self-employed is more difficult to get a loan even if you have good credit and steady income). It would be better to be up front so people don't waste their time. ...
Also, I tried calling them a few times and I could never get through to a real person. Get your loan from somewhere else! Don't waste your time with this company.
I went to this company to get out a loan to pay off my student loans, which are on variable interest rates--they are private and crappy! LendKey helped me save a lot in interest. So much that I might actually pay off the loan before the birth of my grandchildren. LendKey knows what they are talking about and doing!
If you need a student loan, LendKey will hook you up with a nonprofit lender in your area. There are no origination fees plus there are provisions to help borrowers who run into financial trouble. Really great operation.
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