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Welcome to NerdWallet’s SmartMoney podcast, the place we reply your real-world cash questions — in 15 minutes or much less.

This week’s query is from Valerie. She says: “I’m paying down over $40,000 in scholar loans. The month-to-month funds are doable, however positively squeeze my funds. I’ve been questioning if it is sensible to refinance the loans — and if I’ll even qualify.”

Our suggestions

You’re a superb candidate for scholar mortgage refi you probably have non-public scholar loans and can lower your expenses by refinancing. If in case you have federal loans, you’d quit distinctive protections by refinancing, so refi provided that you’re snug giving up these protections and it’ll prevent cash.

To qualify for the perfect scholar mortgage refinance offers, you or a co-signer will possible want a credit score rating not less than within the excessive 600s.

Refinance to scale back your curiosity cost or shorten the mortgage time period — not the month-to-month cost. A refi mortgage with a decrease month-to-month cost however an extended mortgage time period or larger rate of interest isn’t truly saving you cash.

Not a superb candidate for refinancing, however want decrease funds? For personal loans, name your lender and see what choices they’ve, comparable to scholar mortgage deferment or forbearance. For federal loans, look into income-driven compensation plans. Simply consider these choices can enhance the quantity you repay total.

Extra about refinancing scholar loans on NerdWallet

Evaluate scholar mortgage refinance lenders

Pupil mortgage refinance calculator: Ought to I refinance my scholar loans?

Easy methods to consolidate and refinance your scholar loans

four scholar mortgage refinancing myths debunked

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