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Splash Financial lets you check your student loan options with multiple lenders at once. But since each lender offers different policies, it's especially important to vet the lender yourself.
- Pros and Cons
- Key Takeaways
- Company Overview
No loan maximums
Potential for excellent loan options
Easier repayment plans for medical and dental school loans
May be able to refinance student loans together with spouse
No origination fees, application fees, or prepayment penalties
May need to join a credit union
Loan options vary among lenders
Generally only available to people who've finished their degree
- Splash Financial isn't a direct lender per se, although it acts like one; rather, it styles itself as a marketplace that matches you with a few specific lenders based on how well you fit their individual requirements.
- Splash Financial is unique because you may be able to refinance your student loans and your spouse's together for one easy loan repayment.
- If you're a medical or dental student, you may qualify for an ultra-affordable repayment plan until you're six months out of your residency or fellowship.
Splash Financial is a student loan marketplace that's been around for about 10 years. It works similarly to other loan marketplaces: You submit a request for a rate quote, it'll compare your details with the eligibility requirements of its partner lenders, and then it shows you your available options. If you like one, you can proceed with your application, working with Splash Financial through the approval process until the loan is finalized.
You can apply for private student loans through Splash Financial, although it currently only offers one partner lender for that purpose (Earnest). Rather, it's geared more toward people who've completed their education (or are close to it) and who want to refinance the student loans they already have.
- Year Founded 2013
- Official Website www.splashfinancial.com
- Loans Offered Private student loans and student loan refinances
- Customer Service Phone: (800) 349-3938 (Monday through Friday, 9 am to 9 pm EST). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail. Live Chat
- No loan maximums: Many lenders only allow you to refinance your loans up to a certain point, which is a problem for people who've completed spendy educations like law school or medical school, or if you want to combine your student loans with your spouse. In that case, Splash Financial is a good option since it has partner lenders with no limits on your refinance amount.
- Potential for excellent loan options: Some of Splash Financial's partner lenders offer very competitive rates, lower even than what you might expect by shopping on your own. The catch is you'll need excellent credit and to meet other criteria in order to get those low rates.
- Easier repayment plans for medical and dental school loans: Medical residents and fellows earn a fraction of what licensed doctors bring home, yet they're generally still expected to start making big-time payments on their loans. In these cases, Splash Financial offers refinancing options where you only have to make $100 monthly payments while you're in training and for a six-month period thereafter.
- May be able to refinance student loans together with spouse: If you and your spouse have combined finances, refinancing your loans together can simplify repayment and be cheaper too, if you can get a lower rate. This option is hit-and-miss among lenders if you're shopping on your own.
- No origination fees, application fees, or prepayment penalties: Splash Financial doesn't dictate the rates, fees, or terms of any agreements you sign with its partner lenders—except for guaranteeing that you won't have to pay any of these pesky fees.
Like other loan marketplaces, Splash Financial is biased because it'll only show you lenders with whom it has a business relationship. That's why it's also important to do your own research on the best student loan refinance companies as well.
- May need to join a credit union: Some of the lenders in Splash Financial's partner network are credit unions, which means you may need to consider joining them if you're approved for a loan. It's not usually a big deal, but it does mean one more bank account for you to manage.
- Loan options vary among lenders: Since Splash Financial isn't the one in charge of the loan terms, you'll need to read the fine print carefully if there are any important things you're looking for. For example, each lender will vary in terms of its late payment policies and options for loan discharge, forbearance, and deferment.
- Generally only available to people who've finished their degree: If you're done with school but you didn't finish your degree, you won't be able to refinance your loans with Splash Financial's partner lenders.
Lenders Available Through Splash Financial
Splash Financial doesn't offer student loans directly. Rather, it partners up with other lenders and compares your financial details with the requirements of each individual lender in its network to match you with the best options. If you like one of the offers, Splash Financial will facilitate your loan application with the lender, who'll take it from there after your loan is disbursed.
Unfortunately, Splash Financial is relatively tight-lipped about how many—and which—lenders are in its network. That makes things tough if you're still shopping on your own, because there's no way to know if you're reinventing the wheel by checking your rate with a lender you didn't match with in Splash Financial's network.
While we aren't sure of all of the lenders in Splash Financial's network, we can get clues about some of its partners from its website and various press releases over the years:
Loan Eligibility and Approval
Specific loan eligibility requirements vary depending on each individual lender in Splash Financial's network. However, when you compile them all together, we do have some information about who is eligible to apply:
- Location: Available in all 50 states, plus Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands
- Residency: U.S. citizens and permanent residents
- Credit score: Recommended minimum of 640
- Types of loans: Private student loans, and student loan refinancing for federal and private loans; parents are able to refinance loans they took out for their child's education
- Degree completion: Required, unless you're getting certain associate degrees, you're in your last semester, and you have a related job offer
Are Co-Signers Required?
Some of the lenders in Splash Financial's partner network do allow for co-signers. If you have bad credit or otherwise don't meet a lender's requirements, you may need to use a co-signer. In addition, if you're refinancing your student loans together with your spouse, one of you will be the main borrower and the other will be listed as a co-signer.
Is Loan Pre-Qualification Available?
Yes. You can fill out a form on Splash Financial's website in a few short minutes and get a rate estimate from its partner lenders. Splash Financial uses a soft credit check for this part, so there's no impact on your credit score.
Length of Time for Loan Approval and Disbursement
It only takes a few minutes to see if you're pre-qualified for a loan, but after that, Splash Financial doesn't say how long it actually takes to complete the loan approval process. Typically, with most lenders, it'll only take a few days at most unless they need to do extra work to verify your information.
Once you're approved for a refinance, however, it could take between three days to two weeks before your old student loans are closed out and your new account is set up.
Loan Fees and Repayment Options
The specific details of the student loans available through Splash Financial vary, but they do have some commonalities.
Splash Financial itself doesn't charge any fees. Nor can you expect its partner lenders to charge any application, origination, or prepayment fees. However, after that, each lender may differ in terms of what loan fees they charge, if any (such as late fees, or returned payment fees).
Since Splash Financial doesn't charge you anything for its service, there aren't any discounts it can offer. Some of the individual lenders may offer autopay or other discounts, but you'll need to verify that based on your lender match results.
The specific repayment options available to you depend on the lender that Splash Financial matches you with, and they could vary. However, we do have some information about what you might be able to expect.
- Grace period: If you're applying for new private student loans, you'll benefit from a nine-month grace period before you have to start repaying your loans after you graduate (six months is the norm). During this time, your payments are deferred, but interest will still accrue.
- Term lengths: You may be able to choose loan term lengths of 5, 7,10, 15, 20, or 25 years if you're applying for private student loans while you're still in school.
- Medical and dental school repayment: Refinance your med or dental school loans and you'll only have to make fixed monthly payments of $100 while you're in a residency or fellowship, and for a six-month period after you leave those programs.
One of the complaints registered with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) against Splash Financial is from a medical resident who unknowingly voided the $100 monthly payment offer by also pre-qualifying with Splash Financial's partner lender directly. If this benefit is important to you, make sure you check with Splash Financial first before shopping around on your own.
If you like Splash Financial and you have some friends or family members who might benefit from it too, you can give them a custom referral link.
If they check their rate and get pre-qualified for a refinance student loan (with no obligation to apply), you'll get paid between $10 and $20 per person, depending on how many people use your referral link. If they use Splash Financial to refinance at least $30,000 in student loans, you and your friend will be paid an additional $200.
Loan Forbearance and Discharge Options
Each partner lender that Splash Financial matches you with will vary in terms of their forbearance and discharge policies. You'll want to make sure to understand under what circumstances your loan will be discharged, if any, and what your forbearance options are before you sign on any dotted lines.
If you're applying for new private student loans, Splash Financial's partner Earnest will discharge your student loans in case you die or become permanently disabled. Earnest offers options for loan forbearance if you run into financial problems, and you can also skip a payment once a year if you've regularly been making on-time payments.
Is Student Loan Refinancing Available?
Yes. Although Splash Financial does allow you to apply for private student loans through Earnest if you're still in school, it's mainly used by people looking to refinance the student loans they already have.
Splash Financial's partner lenders offer the following terms on student loan refinances:
- Fixed rates: 4.64%–9.24% APR
- Variable rates: 3.99%–8.99% APR
- Term lengths: Varies by lender; you'll need to apply and see what you're offered
- Loan amounts: $5,000 minimum, no upper limit on loan amount
It's fairly easy to get ahold of a live person with Splash Financial. Customer service hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time, which is quite a broad range. There are also plenty of ways to contact customer service.
- By phone: (800) 349-3938
- By email: email@example.com
- By mail: Splash Financial, 812 Huron Rd E Ste 350, Cleveland, OH 44115
- By live chat: On Splash Financial's website
It's important to note that Splash Financial is not who you'll be working with the entire time you have the loan. Its customer service team will only be able to really help navigate the sometimes-tricky process of getting the loan in the first place. After that, your main contact will be whoever services your student loan.
Reviews for Splash Financial are mixed. The company has a great reputation on Trustpilot, where it maintains a 4.8 rating out of 5, based on over 500 reviews. However, the company has had three formal complaints filed against it in the past two years with the CFPB.
Applying for a Splash Financial Student Loan
To get started, you'll create an account and fill out a brief pre-qualification form on Splash Financial's website. From there, Splash will present you with a range of pre-qualified offers from lenders within its network. You can keep shopping around on your own, or you can start an application for one of your pre-qualified offers.
The specific information and documents you'll need to provide in your application depend on the lender. However, most lenders will require the same few items. Take a few minutes to get these documents together before you apply so you can speed up the application process:
- Most recent pay stub
- Copy of your official photo ID
- Most recent tax return, if you're self-employed
- Payoff Verification Statement from your current student loan lender
If you're still in school and looking for private student loan options, remember to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before getting any private loans. This lets you apply for federal student loans first, which usually offer much better terms and benefits than private student loan lenders.
|Splash Financial||Laurel Road||Education Loan Finance (ELFI)|
|Loan types offered||Refinance; various student loans through partners||Refinance; refinance for medical professionals||Undergraduate; graduate; parent|
|Student loan refinance fixed APR||4.64%–9.24% APR||4.49%–6.90%||4.29%–7.29%|
|Student loan refinance variable APR||3.99%–8.99% APR||2.50%–6.80%||2.48%–7.24%|
|Repayment options||Deferred; fixed payment (med and dental students; interest-only; full payment||Fixed payment; variable-rate payment||Deferment; fixed; interest-only; full payment|
Splash Financial is a great option if you're short on time and want to see your student loan refinance options. It's also an especially good choice if you're a medical or dental student looking for affordable loan options while you're finishing up your training. However, it's still a good idea to shop around on your own, too, so you can be sure you're getting the full picture, rather than just seeing the lenders that happen to partner up with Splash Financial.
Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of student loan lenders. We collected thousands of data points across 30 lenders—including loan types, interest rates, fees, loan amounts, and repayment terms—to ensure that we help readers make the right borrowing decision for their education needs.