Depending on when you graduated college and the type of loans you borrowed, you might have student loan debt with very high interest rates. The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS) reported that private student loans had rates as high as 14.24% in 2019, the last available data.
Student loan refinancing can be an excellent way to lower your interest rate and save money. But there are many lenders out there, and finding the right one can be overwhelming.
Splash Financial, one of Money’s best student loan refinance companies, is a marketplace that connects borrowers to banks and credit unions to make it easier to find the best rate. Rather than requesting quotes from individual lenders, you can fill out one form and view multiple options.
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Splash Financial Student Loan Refinancing Overview
Splash has been in operation since 2013. Since its inception, it’s handled over 100,000 accounts and $6 billion in student loan refinancing requests.
Splash Financial specializes in student loan refinancing and medical school refinancing. It partners with credit unions, banks and other financial institutions to connect borrowers to the best possible rates.
- Borrowers can refinance without a degree
- No loan maximum
- Offers parent loan refinancing
- Forbearance options vary by lender
- Not all lenders offer cosigner releases
- No special discounts for users
Most student loan refinance lenders require that borrowers have graduated from college with a qualifying degree (typically a bachelor’s degree). By contrast, some of Splash Financial’s partner lenders allow borrowers to refinance even if they didn’t graduate and are no longer enrolled in school.
With Splash, you can refinance up to your total outstanding balance. You can refinance both federal and private student loans, including private parent loans and Parent PLUS loans.
Because Splash Financial isn’t the actual lender originating loans, repayment terms and policies vary by lender. For example, not all lenders offer cosigner releases, and forbearance options due to economic issues are dependent on the lenders’ discretion.
Splash makes it easier to shop around and compare refinancing lenders. However, Splash users do not get special discounts or rewards for using the platform. On some other marketplace sites, users can qualify for additional interest rate discounts or up to $1,000 in cash bonuses.
Splash Financial’s Services
Although Splash Financial is primarily known for student loan refinancing, it also offers personal loans through its platform. It has a prequalification tool, so you can check your eligibility and view loan rates without damaging your credit.
What they offer: Private student loans
Splash Financial offers two forms of refinancing:
- General student loan refinancing: General student loan refinancing is available to student and parent borrowers. Loans can have fixed or variable interest rates, and there is no cap on how much you can refinance.
- Medical school refinancing: Medical school refinancing loans are available only to borrowers who are currently in a medical residency or fellowship program. Once you refinance, your new lender will allow you to pay just $100 per month during your training and for six months afterwards.
|General Refinancing||Medical School Refinancing|
|Loan Amounts||$5,000 to total balance||$5,000 to total balance|
|Loan Terms||5 to 20 years||5 to 20 years|
|Variable Rates||1.74% to 11.05%||3.96% to 6.53%|
|Fixed Rates||2.59% to 8.44%||3.95% to 6.50%|
|Rates are current as of July 13, 2022. Lowest rates include 0.25% autopay discount.|
None of Splash Financial’s partner lenders charge application fees, origination fees or prepayment penalties.
What they don’t offer
Although Splash Financial can be a useful tool for borrowers looking to refinance their loans, its other options are more limited.
While Splash Financial advertises in-school student loans on its site, it doesn’t have the same marketplace structure as it does for student loan refinancing. Instead, Splash Financial partners with just one lender — Earnest — to provide in-school student loans. If you want to check your rates or find more information about available private loans, Splash will redirect you to Earnest’s website.
Splash Financial’s Credentials
Splash Financial has a strong reputation in the student loan and finance industries. The Cleveland-based company is backed by major investors like Northwestern Mutual Fund Ventures, DST Global and Citi Ventures.
In 2021, Splash Financial experienced record growth, with a 52% year-over-year increase in student loan originations.
Licenses and Registrations
Splash Financial isn’t a lender or bank. Instead, it’s a marketplace platform that connects borrowers with lenders. It’s not a licensed lender, but it works with banks, credit unions and other financial institutions to provide student loan refinancing.
Splash Financial works with borrowers in all 50 states. It’s licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law.
Awards and Certifications
Splash Financial has been recognized as a leading financial company in terms of its loan options and innovation. It was selected by CB Insights as one of the top 250 fintech companies of 2021.
As a student loan refinancing platform, Splash is not evaluated by credit rating agencies.
Splash Financial has not been the target of any class-action lawsuits or regulatory issues to date. And Splash Financial doesn’t disclose its list of partner lenders on its website, so it’s difficult to see if any of its lenders have had past issues.
Before moving forward with a loan, do some homework on the lender you’re connected with to ensure they’re a reputable and legitimate lender. Good places to do some background research include the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Splash Financial’s Accessibility
When you’re refinancing your loans, you want to make sure the company you choose is readily accessible if you have questions or problems. If you work with Splash Financial, Splash can only help you through the loan application phase; once your loan is disbursed, you have to contact the loan servicer — the company managing your loan — with any other questions or problems you may have.
Splash Financial does not offer in-person customer support. You can only get help by phone or through its website.
During the application process, you can reach customer support via online chat, email or phone.
Customer support hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 am until 9:00 pm EST.
Splash Financial’s platform is streamlined and simple to use. You can fill out the prequalification form and view potential loan options in under three minutes. This is known as a soft credit check, and it does not affect your credit score.
Splash doesn’t service any loans, so a third-party lender is who you’ll have to contact with questions about your account, monthly payments or repayment options.
Splash Financial’s Customer Satisfaction
Customer service levels can vary a great deal between student loan refinancing companies. Generally, Splash Financial has a strong reputation for customer service, with many positive reviews.
On TrustPilot, Splash Financial has a 4.8 out of five rating based on over 475 reviews, putting it in the “excellent” category. Customers praised the quick and easy application process and timely responses to questions. Splash Financial is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has a B+ rating.
The CFPB collects complaints submitted by consumers about lenders and financial companies. As of July 13, 2022, five complaints were submitted about Splash Financial, a relatively small amount for a student loan company. Complaints with narratives were about loan denials.
Splash Financial FAQ
What credit score is needed for Splash Financial?
Splash Financial does not disclose its minimum credit score or income requirements, and eligibility criteria can vary by partner lender. In general, you’ll need to have good to excellent credit, meaning a score of 670 and above, to qualify for a loan. Otherwise, you will likely need to add a cosigner to your application.
Who does Splash Financial work with?
Splash Financial does not list its lending partners on its site. However, its partners tend to be major banks, credit unions and financial institutions, such as PenFed Credit Union or the Bank of Lake Mills.
Does Splash Financial offer forbearance?
Splash Financial isn’t a lender, so it doesn’t set the policies for the loans originated through its platform. Instead, its partner lenders set their own policies. If you are experiencing financial issues and need help with your payments, contact your lender or loan servicer to discuss possible options.
Does Splash Financial have fees?
With Splash Financial, there are no application or origination fees, and there are no prepayment penalties. However, some of Splash Financial’s partner lenders may charge some fees, such as late fees or returned check fees. Read the lender’s loan disclosure form to see what fees may apply.
How We Evaluated Splash Financial Student Loans
To select the best student loan refinancing lenders of 2022, we evaluated 16 lenders and marketplace platforms. We looked at loan minimums and maximums, repayment terms, forbearance policies, cosigner release availability and interest rates.
Summary of Money’s Splash Financial Review
Student loan refinancing can be a smart way to save money or pay off your loans faster. However, rates can vary between lenders, and shopping around can be time-consuming. Splash Financial’s platform makes it easy to compare lenders and find the lowest possible rates.
Not all of Splash Financial’s partner lenders offer financial hardship deferments or cosigner releases, so be sure to read the fine print before signing a loan agreement. If you want to consider other options, check out our picks for the best student loan refinancing companies of 2022.