Refinance Medical School Loans: A Complete Guide

Abigail Eun
Abigail Eun

Abigail Eun is a freelance writer and personal finance expert. Through diligent research and continuous learning, she has honed her knowledge in budgeting, saving, investing, and debt management. Abigail is passionate about helping people get their finances in order. She believes that everyone should have access to the information they need to make sound financial decisions. Her goal is to provide clear and concise information that is easy to understand.

See author page
September 29, 2023

According to Forbes, the median total cost of becoming a doctor in 2020 was between $255,517 to $337,584, leaving many with hefty student debt totals.

If you’re looking to lower the costs of your medical school loans, consider loan refinancing. Refinancing is the process of taking out a new loan with better terms to repay your current debt. By scoring a lower interest rate or monthly payment, you may be able to alleviate some of the financial burden your medical school loans are causing you.

Keep reading for the complete guide on how, when, and where to refinance medical school loans.

When Can You Refinance Medical School Loans?

You can refinance medical school loans during residency or early in your career as an attending physician. However, the timeline of when you can refinance ultimately depends on your lender. 

While refinancing as early as possible will be the most advantageous thing to do, the most important thing is that you refinance when you are in the financial standing to do so. 

If you can get more competitive terms by refinancing during residency but it puts you in a tough financial spot, it may not be the optimal thing to do. It’s better to hold off on refinancing if doing so would cause you to miss a payment or wind up in loan default. 

Who Should Refinance Medical School Loans?

You should refinance your medical school loans if:

  • You borrowed private student loans.
  • You are not/will not use your federal loan benefits.
  • You have better, improved credit from when you first borrowed your loans. 

If you are a federal borrower, keep in mind that refinancing will convert your loans from federal to private loans. This means you will lose any federal benefits you have, such as an income-driven repayment plan, potential loan forgiveness, or flexible loan deferment/forbearance.

The Process of Refinancing

If you decide you want to refinance your medical school loans, you’ll want to take the following steps.

Determine If It Makes Sense for You

First and foremost, you should only refinance medical school loans if it will benefit you. 

If you have federal loans, note that you will lose your federal benefits if you decide to refinance. If you don’t plan to use them, refinancing your loans for a better interest rate or monthly payment may outweigh any federal benefits you have. 

If you have private loans, consider your current financial standing. If you have a better credit score from when you last applied and can qualify for better loan terms, refinancing may be the way to go. If you do not qualify for better loan terms, there may be no point in refinancing. 

Compare Prequalification Offers

To be sure refinancing makes sense for you, see what you qualify for before submitting a formal loan refinance application with a lender. You can do this by completing Sparrow’s free, 3-minute prequalification application.

We’ll show you what loan refinancing options you qualify for across 15+ private lenders — without damaging your credit score. 

Submit a Formal Loan Application

After determining which lender you’d like to refinance with, submit your formal loan application. 

You’ll want to gather the following information for a speedy application process:

  • Your Social Security Number 
  • Optional: Your cosigner’s Social Security Number (You do not need this information if you are not borrowing with a cosigner.)
  • Tax Information
    • Tax Returns
    • IRS W-2
    • Optional: Cosigner’s tax information (Again, you do not need this information if you are not borrowing with a cosigner.)
  • Personal Income Information
  • Information on any financial assets you have, including:
    • Cash in your checking and/or savings account
    • Investments (stocks, bonds, etc.)
    • Business assets
    • Mortgages

Start Making Loan Payments After Your New Loan Is Approved

Once your new loan is approved and you’ve signed your promissory note, your new lender will pay off your old lender. Then, you can start making loan payments on your new loan as outlined in your loan contract. 

Best Lenders to Refinance Medical School Loans

Arkansas Student Loan Authority (ASLA)

If you’re an Arkansas resident looking to refinance your medical loans, consider the Arkansas Student Loan Authority. ASLA is a state entity that offers loan refinancing for Arkansas residents. 

Fixed APR range: 3.50% to 7.48%
Variable APR range: N/A
Refinancing amount: $5,000 to $250,000 

Apply with ASLA.


Brazos is a non-profit lender that offers competitive loan refinancing terms for Texas residents. To qualify with Brazos, it is recommended that you have a strong credit score, a steady income, and at least a bachelor’s degree. 

Fixed APR range: 4.90% to 6.99%
Variable APR range: 5.31% to 9.11%
Refinancing amount: $10,000 to $400,000

Apply with Brazos.

College Ave

College Ave is a non-profit that offers competitive interest rates, zero fees, and a cosigner release option for qualifying borrowers. A highlight about College Ave is that they do not require borrowers to have a degree or qualify for financial aid. So, if you did not complete your medical degree but still have your loans, College Ave will be a great option for you.

Fixed APR range: 6.99% to 11.99%
Variable APR range: 6.99% to 11.99%
Refinancing amount: $5,000 to $300,000, depending on degree type

Apply with College Ave.


Refinancing with Earnest gives you access to merit-based rates, customizable payment, and loan terms, as well as the option to skip one monthly payment every year. 

Fixed APR range: 4.96% to 9.79% (including 0.25% auto-pay discount)
Variable APR range: 5.49 % to 9.74% (including 0.25% auto-pay discount)
Refinancing amount: $5,000 ($10,000 for California residents) to $500,000

Apply with Earnest.

View disclosures.


EdvestinU is a student loan program under the New Hampshire Higher Education Loan Corp, a non-profit based in New Hampshire. You can refinance your student loans with EdvestinU without a degree and have access to special perks if you are a New Hampshire resident. You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who qualifies for financial aid.

Fixed APR range: 4.41% to 7.78%
Variable APR range: 7.80% to 9.55%
Refinancing amount: $7,500 to $200,000

Apply with EdvestinU.


INvestED is best for students who are Indiana residents or attend school in Indiana. You must be a U.S. citizen or qualifying resident who receives financial aid at your academic institution. The lender offers competitive interest rates, 36 months of academic deferment, and does not require a degree to qualify. 

Fixed APR range: 5.85% to 9.48%
Variable APR range: 8.36% to 12.00%
Refinancing amount: $5,000 to $250,000

Apply with INvestED.

ISL Education Lending

ISL Education Lending is a non-profit that offers loan refinancing options with competitive interest rates, zero fees, and a cosigner release option. You also do not need a degree to qualify, which is a perk. 

You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who is not based in Maine or Oregon to qualify.

Fixed APR range: 3.94% to 8.48%
Variable APR range: N/A
Refinancing amount: $5,000 ($10,000 for California residents) to $300,000

Apply with ISL Education.


LendKey connects borrowers with small lenders, credit unions, and community banks. You can refinance with LendKey if you’re a graduate student with a steady income and strong credit history.

Fixed APR range: 7.11% to 11.18%
Variable APR range: N/A
Refinancing amount: $5,000 to $300,000 (depending on degree type)

Apply with LendKey.


MPOWER is a great lender that refinances loans for domestic, international, and DACA undergraduate and graduate students. To refinance with MPOWER, your loan(s) must not be cosigned. 

Fixed APR range: 11.74% (12.69% APR)
Variable APR range: N/A
Refinancing amount: $2,001 to $100,000

Apply with MPOWER.

Nelnet Bank

Nelnet Bank offers competitive terms, including flexible repayment options, a cosigner release option, 12 months of forbearance, and the ability to refinance your parent PLUS loan in your name. 

To refinance your student loans with Nelnet Bank, you must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident with a Social Security Number. You also must have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree. 

Fixed APR range: 7.12% to 10.79%
Variable APR range: 7.59% to 14.49%
Refinancing amount: $5,000 to $225,000

Apply with Nelnet Bank.


SoFi is a well-established name in the student loan industry that offers one of the most competitive rates for loan refinancing. To qualify, you must have an associate’s degree or higher. 

SoFi also allows borrowers to refinance parent PLUS loans in their own name, offers loan forbearance and deferment, and doesn’t have any origination fees.

Fixed APR range: 4.49% to 8.99%
Variable APR range: 4.49% to 8.99%
Refinancing amount: $5,000 to your total outstanding balance

Apply with SoFi.

Closing Thoughts From the Nest

Refinancing medical school loans is a great way to save money in the long run. Like all things, doing your due diligence is crucial. Look into all of your refinancing options so you know you are getting the best offer on the market.

Dive deeper in student loans