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Splash Financial

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After living with the burden of monthly payments and interest fees, nothing compares to the joy of becoming debt-free. With student loans being one of the great scourges on the American economy, sensible refinancing should be on everyone’s radar.

For those who carry student loans, anyone offering to help make that debt more manageable might have the look of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. After all, it was a lender that talked you into taking on debt in the first place, so it’s no wonder you’ve dialed back your trust. That’s why I think Splash Financial is one of the better loan refinancing options on the market. When it comes to straightforward help for debt-burdened professionals, it’s hard to find fault in the Splash Financial approach.

Unlike some financiers, Splash takes singular aim at improving the lives of young professionals. Charging reasonable interest rates on sizable loans has allowed the company to grow and thrive while always helping college grads climb out from under that oppressive debt. If you or someone you know could use a little refinancing, here’s the skinny on Splash Financial.

Where Did Splash Financial Come From?

Most companies form because an entrepreneur sees an opportunity to get wealthier. In the case of Splash Financial, the founders didn’t see student-loan borrowers as a target demographic off of which to get rich, but as their peers and friends. The mission was never to squeeze the most interest money out of these people, but to make their lives better.

After launching in 2013 as a refinancing company focused exclusively on med school graduates, Splash expanded its umbrella to include most anyone with a bachelor’s degree or higher. The company connected with banks and credit unions to offer above-average rates and has steadily grown as word has spread.

Who Needs Splash?

If outstanding student loans with interest rates above 4% are keeping you from living your best life, you need to figure out a solution. Splash Financial could very well be it.

Many people compare their student loan rates to the APRs on credit cards, which can be a costly misstep. Sure, 3.75% is much better than 14.9%, but when those percentages are attached to debts of $50,000 and $2,000, respectively, you can’t sit back and feel good about the interest being capitalized on your student loans. Lowering that monthly charge by the smallest fraction will have a significant impact on your long-term financing.

In all too many cases, substantial debt leaves people feeling as though there are only two options:

● Ignore career aspirations

● Ignore debt reimbursement

Neither of those choices provides a sustainable route forward, but it’s hard to see another way out when you owe more than half your monthly income to Navient. You need a little breathing room, and that’s what the folks at Splash Financial hope to deliver. The debt won’t just disappear, but you can significantly lower your monthly payments without adding 10 years to your repayment period.

It’s also important to consider refinancing after your credit score has improved. Once you’ve paid loans consistently for a few years and perhaps padded your savings account a little, you should have a slightly better FICO number off of which Splash can base your interest rates. You may have looked into refinancing in the past and been disheartened, but I promise things can change for the better.  

It doesn’t take a financial genius to understand the burden student loan debt has placed on the economy. If this situation wasn’t a crisis, you wouldn’t see it bandied about in the news so frequently, and it certainly wouldn’t have made it into mainstream political discussions. With $1.6 trillion in debt resting largely on the shoulders of people between 25-40, the demographic needed to build, teach, and provide for the next generation is underwater financially.

Thinking about the statistics, it seems like we all need Splash Financial. People with student loan debt need to utilize these services and start moving toward financial freedom, and the rest of the country needs Splash to help turn things around for our collective future.

How Does Splash Separate Itself From the Competition?

In general, Splash Financial promotes a few core values that set it apart from other lending companies. The mission to help young professionals prioritize careers over debt so they can make a “splash” in the world is a fresh take on the whole refinancing game. In addition to those overarching qualities, the company offers a few impressive features that distinguish it from the competitors.

Couples Refinancing

Since most newlyweds tie their student debt to one another when they tie the knot, the ability to refinance separate loans into one tidy package is a huge deal. Varying amounts and interest rates can make it hard for a recently married couple to feel like their joint financing is on equal footing. It’s important to move on from the debt your spouse started piling up when he or she was 18, and combining loans helps smooth that over.

This option also enables couples to lean into whoever has the best credit score and highest income. The spouse who looks best on paper can help their better half get a rate they might not otherwise qualify for, thereby saving thousands of dollars while the debt gets paid off. Even couples who already have decent rates find value in this feature, streamlining the repayment process and making everything seem more manageable.

Cosigner Flexibility

Many borrowers have the option to add a cosigner when consolidating loans, something lenders would never offer graduates in the past. This option doesn’t apply universally, as Splash partners with different financial institutions and not every one of them guarantees the opportunity to use a cosigner. Should you get the green light on an additional signatory, this can be enormously beneficial for young lawyers and doctors who have a net worth of -$150,000 on paper and haven’t had a chance to build up credit. Adding a parent, spouse, or other relative can be the difference between getting approved or denied.

To make the cosigner thing even more appealing, some loans will release cosigners after 12 months. The fear of putting your name on another person’s loan comes in part from knowing anything could happen to delay repayment over the years. Shortening the term of that responsibility ups the likelihood of a hesitant relative sticking their neck out to help you with your debt.

Medical Refinancing

Largely thanks to the company’s origin story, Splash Financial still works wonders for graduates of medical school. If you’ve seen a doctor in the last 20 years, there’s a good chance that practitioner was earning a strong salary while still harboring a net worth well below zero. For too many years, people had to work through residency before a lender would consider refinancing loans. Splash called shenanigans on that and opted to widen the med student refinancing net. Not surprisingly, that practice is catching on with more and more refi companies.

I think it’s incredibly important to borrow and lease from people who understand your circumstances. Farmers shouldn’t rent tractors from Tesla dealerships and people in residency shouldn’t necessarily consolidate loans with career accountants. The connection Splash Financial has with medical school graduates gives it a leg up with this type of refinancing.

Private and Federal

Some lenders get a little choosey when it comes to what types of loans they’ll refinance. Since private loans tend to have higher and more variable rates, repackaging that debt becomes a costly outing for whoever handles the consolidation. Fortunately for you, Splash Financial puts more emphasis on helping people than avoiding difficult debt, so the company will consider whatever type of loan you’ve got and try to deliver a better rate.

50 out of 50

Credit unions usually deliver the best rates when it comes to loans and refinancing, which is why Splash buddied up with so many of these institutions. A potential drawback has always been the size of credit unions and the limited number of people they can physically service. The network at Splash stretches from sea to shining sea, plus Hawaii and Alaska. U.S. citizens in all 50 states are welcome to apply without restriction.

Loan Range

You can refinance as little as $5,000 with Splash Financial, and the company puts no cap on how much you can ask to consolidate. The lack of ceiling makes a huge difference, with so many grad students joining the workforce with over $250,000 in debt and only entry-level work available. To pay 5% on $200,000 is a punishment no ex-student deserves; shaving down that rate by one or two or even a quarter of a percent will make a massive difference in the long run.

The limitless refinancing pairs very well with the opportunity for married couples to bundle their debt. The package deal wouldn’t have nearly as much appeal if it maxed at $100,000, but the option to get a good rate on $300,000 in debt can very literally change lives.

When Can You Get Started?

The online processing makes it easy to apply and get things moving as soon as you’re ready. Before I get to the application process, it’s a good idea to look at some of the finer print.

Investigate the Rates

Splash Financial interest rates start as low as 2.43% for the variable and 3.48% for the fixed rates. With either variable or fixed interest, that number always stays below 8%. Most student loan APRs live in the single digits unless something gets terribly out of hand with deferment, so you’ll hopefully find yourself on the lower side of the scale and able to lock in a fixed rate under four.

Variety is part of the appeal of Splash, and the number of credit unions and banks partnered with this financier helps provide options for the litany of graduates dealing with different circumstances, interest rates, and amounts of debt. As you do the math on your loans and their associated interest rates, think about how much you might save with a fixed vs. variable rate and make sure to ask someone at Splash about the specifics of each option.

Approval Criteria

I can sing the praises of Splash Financial all day, but you still need to hit certain benchmarks to get approved.

Unless you have a cosigner, you’ll need to show an annual income upwards of $42,000. You also need to push your credit score above 700. Now, it’s important to remember that debt alone doesn’t handicap your credit. As long as you make timely payments and inch that debt downward, your FICO number should keep climbing. To any recent graduates reading this - make sure you make your payments! The improved credit score can lead directly to excellent refinancing options and help you get out of debt earlier.

Perhaps harder than maintaining a good credit score is getting your debt-to-income ratio down, as Splash requires that to be below 40%. For this, especially if you have excessive debt from undergrad and graduate school, you might need to go out and find that cosigner.

The Process

Once you’re ready to apply, navigating the steps on the Splash Financial site is pretty simple.

1. Click “get my rate.” This button appears on pretty much every page on SplashFinancial.com.

2. Put in your email address. Don’t be shy, I’ve gone through the process myself to see how it all works and I don’t deal with any sort of aggressive spamming.

3. Come up with a password. It might feel a little involved, but you can’t get an accurate estimate if you don’t provide some financial details. You should find comfort in the fact that Splash takes steps to ensure the safety of your data.

4. Plug in your personal details - name, address, DOB and citizenship status.

5. Fill in your financial details - annual income, not much else to it.

6. Give your education history to confirm you qualify for loans matching the previous details you submitted.

7. Agree to the terms and conditions and then wait to receive your rate.

I know when I start filling out boxes for the first time on a website, everything feels like a red flag and I want to close the browser. Hopefully this overview helps you understand why the details you give allow Splash to provide a more accurate rate with a relatively small amount of information.

With a rate estimate sent, you haven’t yet been preapproved. You still need to send in the fancier documents that constitute an application:

● Three months of pay stubs

● Proof of graduation

● Proof of loan payments

● Proof of citizenship

Once you’ve gone through with the application process and been accepted, transfer and consolidation usually takes about two weeks.

What’s the Catch?

Honestly, there aren’t really any tricks or gimmicks. Make sure you look into other consolidating options to see if another company can get you a better rate based on some particular of your situation. Otherwise, Splash Financial exists to help people pay less on their student loans. You won’t get hit with hidden fees and if Splash can’t offer a better rate than what you already have from your lender you shouldn’t refinance. Any cons have more to do with the whole debt repayment process and less to do with Splash Financial policy and procedures.

And there you have it, the who, what, where, when and how of Splash Financial. I’m happy to promote this company because I believe they make a difference for people. If you spend most of the day wondering if student loan debt will literally kill you, visit the Splash Financial website and get a rate quote. You might be one application away from slashing your monthly payments and getting on the road to financial freedom.

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