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Updated on Tuesday, January 12, 2016
First Republic offers a way for professional graduates to refinance large amounts of student loan debt on fairly low interest rates through its Eagle Gold All-in-One program. The downside is you must apply in person at a branch, and branch locations are limited throughout the United States. If you live near an office, read on to find out the details of how you can refinance your student loans with First Republic.
Details of First Republic’s Eagle Gold All-in-One Student Loan
You can refinance $60,000 to $300,000 worth of student loans on 5, 7, 10, and 15 year terms .
The APR on fixed rate loans is as follows (as of January 3, 2017):
- 2.25% for 5 year term
- 2.95% for 7 year term
- 3.75% on 10 year term
- 4.10% on 15 year term
The APR on variable rate loans is as follows at time of writing:
- 2.43% for 5 year term
- 3.08% for 7 year term
- 3.78% for 10 year term
- 4.23% for 15 year term
First Republic has a calculator on the front page you can use to estimate your payments.
Be aware that you have to open a First Republic ATM Rebate Checking account with automatic loan payment, direct deposit, and online banking to receive the rates quoted above. This account will be used to pay your loan, although it has a $500 minimum to open, and you must maintain a $3,500 balance to avoid the $25 monthly fee.
If you don’t open this account, according to First Republic, “rates will be 5.00% per annum greater than the rate quoted.” If you qualify for a 1.90% APR on a 5 year term, your APR would then be 6.90%.
For such low interest rates, it’s not surprising to see that a 750 credit score and two years of experience in your current industry is required to qualify for refinancing with First Republic. This refinance program is mainly intended for professionals who took out large amounts of student loan debt, have a good career, a good credit history, and are looking to save money over the life of their loan.
That said, First Republic allows co-signers, so if you don’t think your credit is substantial, you may want to apply with one.
Application Process and Documents Needed
Unfortunately, the application process requires you to meet with a First Republic personal banker in person at a local branch. You must meet with them first to begin the process.
First Republic isn’t offered in many areas of the country. Offices are mostly located in California, New York, and Massachusetts, with a few other locations in Florida and Oregon.
There’s no phone number listed on the All-in-One loan page, but you can call 855-829-0692 for the First Republic Eagle Lending team. You can also get the contact information of a banker near you by clicking on “See what it takes” under the repayment calculator. Alternatively, you can click “Have us contact you” at the top of the page to have First Republic email or call you.
First Republic has the documents needed to apply listed on its website, and it’s a good idea to gather these ahead of time if you want to go through the student loan refinance process:
- Most recent tax return or W2
- Photo ID
- Most recent pay stub
- Signed 4506T form (Request for Transcript of Tax Return)
- Proof of liquid assets
You’ll also want to have the information ready to go for the loans you plan on refinancing. Have the most recent statements available, and make sure the account number and contact information for your current lender is on there.
First Republic will take around one to two weeks to review documents and process the refinance. A cashier’s check is sent to your current student loan servicer to pay off the loans.
The Fine Print
There is no origination, prepayment, or annual fee.
First Republic is very clear in its FAQ that you might be giving up Federal student loan benefits by refinancing your loans through its program. In case you aren’t aware, Federal student loans come with many repayment options, including Income-Driven Repayment Plans, deferment, forbearance, loan forgiveness, cancelation, or discharge, and more.
While we mentioned it a few times in this review, don’t get caught by surprise: you have to open a checking account with First Republic to receive the APRs listed on the website. Otherwise, they’ll be 5% more, bringing the rates in-line with what you’re probably already paying.
Repayment Assistance Options
First Republic is upfront about what it doesn’t offer. According to the product details page, you can’t request deferment, forgiveness, or income-driven repayment plans. Additionally, the interest you pay on this loan isn’t tax deductible. There are no options for forbearance, either.
Pros and Cons of the Gold All-in-One Student Loan
Pro: If you’re able to pay your loan off within 48 months (4 years) of refinancing, then you’re eligible for a rebate of up to 2.00% on the interest you’ve paid against your loan. If you paid $4,300 in interest toward your loan, that would mean getting $86 back, assuming you got the full 2.00% rebate.
Con: At the very bottom of the website, First Republic notes that applicants must complete the application in person at a branch. There are many other refinance options available where you can complete the entire process online. This is more convenient for those with a busy schedule who can’t make time for an appointment or don’t live near a First Republic branch.
Pro: By clicking on “See what it takes” at the bottom of the calculator, First Republic will eventually show you the contact information of the associate that can help you through the loan process. Their cell phone, LinkedIn account, and email will be available.
Con: To receive the lowest interest rates, you must open a checking account with First Republic. The checking account in question isn’t very consumer friendly, as you need $500 to open the account, and need to maintain a monthly balance of $3,500 to avoid the $25 monthly maintenance fee.
Alternative Refinancing Student Loan Options
Don’t want to be bothered with opening another bank account just to receive the discounted rates First Republic offers? You don’t have to! Here are other private student loan refinance programs you can apply to that have competitive interest rates with no extra strings attached:
SoFi: You can refinance a minimum of $10,000 and there’s no maximum amount you can refinance. 5, 10, 15, and 20 year terms are available. Fixed APRs start at 2.99% and variable APRs start at 2.25% with autopay. There is no origination fee or prepayment penalty, and SoFi offers forbearance and unemployment assistance if you hit a rough spot with your finances.
Earnest: There’s no maximum amount you can refinance, and Earnest has some of the most flexible terms out there. Fixed APRs start at 2.98% APR and variable APRs start at 1.99%. You can choose your repayment term and monthly payment; this loan can be customized to fit your needs. Earnest also offers forbearance, and if you make six on-time payments, you can skip a payment once every 12 months in case of economic hardship (though interest will continue to accrue).
You can view our other recommended options on this page and compare them side-by-side. Shop around to get the best rates, as your credit won’t take as large of a hit provided you apply within a 30-day window. The credit bureaus will count all inquiries made during that time as one single inquiry. It’s worth applying to several lenders to see which one can offer you the most savings.