April 19, 2019

Splash Financial Review

In our Splash Financial review, we’ll break down the pros and cons of this relative newcomer to the student loan refinancing industry. As we’ll see, doctors and physicians in residency or fellowship can dramatically lower their payments with Splash Financial.

This is one of the reasons that they were listed in our Best Lenders to Refinance Student Loans guide. But before we begin our Splash Financial review, here is how you can save $500 on a Splash Financial student loan refinance.

Great Splash Financial Bonuses

If you have over $30,000 of student loans to refinance, our link below can save you $300.

Click here to apply for a Splash Financial loan and potentially save $300.

But if you have over $50,000 of students, you could save $500 on your refinance. But to do that you’re going to have use someone else’s link. Yes, that’s right I’m actually encouraging you to not use my affiliate link.

Why would I do that? Because it’s simply what’s in your best interest as my reader.

I don’t have this sweet of a deal set up with Splash Financial set up as of yet. If, and when, I do, you can bet I’ll be using my own affiliate link!

Until then, here are two places you can get $500 back on refinances of $50,000 or more.

TheCollegeInvestor (Robert Farrington) and StudentLoanPlanner (Travis Hornsby) are both offering $500 promotions on Splash student loans refinances of $50k or more.

I personally know and respect both those guys and both of their sites are fantastic resources for students.

So after you’ve finished this review, if you decide that you want to go through with a refinance with Splash, then either use my link or one of theirs to save yourself some serious cash!

NOTE: The application links found throughout the remainder of this Splash Financial Review will be mine.

The Nuts and Bolts

Now that we’ve taken a look at some of Splash’s distinctive features, let’s get into some of the finer details of their business.

1. Junk Fees

Thankfully, Splash Financial does not charge any application or origination fees. They also have no prepayment fee.

Waiving these fees has become somewhat standard among the top student loan refinancers, but many lenders still charge them to their customers.

It’s good to see Splash Financial following the lead of the “good guys” in the space and choosing to treat their customers right.

2. Interest Rates

Again, Splash Financial grades well here, advertising rates that are competitively priced when compared to other leaders in the industry. As of September 9, 2019, they were advertising variable rates starting at 2.43% and fixed rates starting at 3.48%.

It’s important to note that only those with the highest credit will be able to qualify for these advertised rates. For most scenarios, expect your interest rate offer to be a bit higher than those eye-popping percentages.

Also, do keep in mind that interest rates are always changing. So by the time that you are reading this article, Splash’s rates could be slightly higher or lower than the rates shown above.

I highly recommend that you compare Splash’s rates with other student loan lenders by using Credible. Credible is like the Kayak of student loans. You should never take out any new student loan or refi until after you’ve checked with Credible to see what other lenders can offer you.

Related: Read our review of Credible and our guide to using their comparison tool.

3. Repayment Periods

Splash gives borrowers the following repayment period options:

  • 5-year loans
  • 8-year loans
  • 12-year loans
  • 15-year loans

They’ve chosen to go slightly against the grain here as a large majority of student loan refinancers offer the following repayment options instead:

  • 5-year loans
  • 7-year loans
  • 10-year loans
  • 15-year loans
  • 20-year loans

What does this mean? Well, first of all, if you were looking for a 20-year repayment period, Splash isn’t going to be the place for you. However, if you were looking to get a 7-year or 10-year loan, Splash could actually be more attractive than other lenders. Here’s why:

  • Their 8-year loans give you 1 extra year to complete repayment than the typical 7-year loans.
  • Their 12-year loans give you 2 extra years to complete repayment than the typical 7-year loans.

4. Customer Service

As we’ll discuss later in our Splash Financial review, they not service their own loans. Instead, all loans are serviced by their partner, Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed).

I have to admit that this caused me to have concerns about the quality of customer service that they would provide. But it appears that my fears were unfounded as Splash seems to do a generally good job in this area:

  • They have their own in-house customer service team.
  • They have a built-in process for escalating concerns.
  • Each borrower is even assigned their own dedicated banker.

For now, at least, it looks like Splash’ customers are well taken care of and my hope is that they will continue to keep customer service a priority as they grow.

5. Payment Flexibility

Warning: this not an area where Splash Financial shines. Let’s take a look at how Splash grades on the four key payment flexibility factors: deferments, forbearance, disability loan forgiveness, and death loan forgiveness.

  • Deferments: Not available
  • Forbearance: Available for their General Student Loan Refinancing product on a case-by-case basis.
  • Disability loan forgiveness: Available for only their Medical Student Loan Refinancing product.
  • Death loan forgiveness: Available for only their Medical Student Loan Refinancing product.

Yes, it’s true that only federal student loans are required to have these built-in hardship benefits, but many private student loan refinancers offer them anyway, SoFi probably being the most prominent example.

6. User-friendliness

I would say that the user-friendliness of Splash’s website and their application process is right on par with what I was expecting and hoping for.

  • You do have to provide your email address and create an account before you can check your interest rate, which is a bit of a bummer.
  • On the upside, they don’t require you to provide your social security number until after you’ve selected your new rate and you’re ready to apply for a loan.

Splash will ask for the following documentation to be sent in along with your application:

  • Pay stub or tax return
  • Driver’s license, passport, or state-issued ID
  • Loan statements from your existing servicer
  • Diploma or transcripts proving you graduated
  • PenFed membership application (more on this later)

Once you’ve gotten ahold of the documents that you need, you can apply to get started.

Apply now for a Splash Financial student loan refinance.

Medical Student Loan Refinancing

Ok, now we’ve covered the basics. But as we continue our Splash Financial review, let’s get into some of their distinctive features.

By far, the group of people that could get the most value out of a student loan refinance with Splash would be men and women working in the medical field — and, even more specifically, those working in a residency or fellowship.

After medical students graduate and begin their residency, they face a very unique financial situation:

  • They have to start paying back their “doctor-sized” loans immediately after graduation.
  • While they’re in residency or fellowship, they aren’t earning anywhere close to “doctor-sized” incomes.

This can make the years spent in residency incredibly difficult financially for medical professionals. And it can cause them to fall behind on their payments or to default on their loans altogether.

This is where Splash comes in. To help serve this unique demographic, Splash allows medical graduates who are working in residency to make as little as $1 payments for up to 84 months, and even up to 90 days following the completion of their residency.

The Fine Print

Here are some details about their medical loan refinancing (which is actually serviced by Bank of Lake Mills rather than PenFed):

  • Loans must be between $25,001 and $350,000.
  • You must be currently in a residency or have graduated from a residency. Applicants who have medical debt but who do not meet the residency requirement will be redirected to Splash’s general student loan refinancing product.
  • Once you’ve finished your residency (and your 90-day grace period ends), you’ll have ten years to pay off the loans.

As we’ve discussed in 6 Questions to Ask Before Refinancing Your Student Loans, delaying payment with a plan like this means that you will end up paying more in interest and will ultimately pay more overall towards your loan. 

For many medical student loan borrowers, though, quick repayment shouldn’t be a problem due to their increased income. In the meantime, the $1 payments could help them avoid getting behind on their payments during residency and damaging their credit or even defaulting on their loans.

If you are a medical school graduate in residency who has been struggling with the crushing weight of your student loans, Splash’s medical loan refinancing product may offer you the temporary financial relief that you desperately need.

General Student Loan Refinancing

As mentioned before, Splash Financial offers its general student loan refinancing through their partnership with PenFed.

  • You’ll need to become a PenFed member to qualify. But they reassure customers that it’s simple and can be done after you’ve been pre-approved.
  • You don’t have to be on active military duty or a veteran to be a PenFed member.

The one main feature that Splash offers with their general student loan refinancing that most other lenders don’t, is the ability for married couples to merge and refinance their student loans together. Why would this be a good idea?

  • If one spouse has a significantly higher credit score than the other, Splash can base the interest rate of the consolidated loan on the higher score. This could save couples a lot of money in interest.
  • Some couples would just like to simplify things and have one payment to make each month instead of having to keep track of several different loans and their payment schedules.
  • With only one student loan, the couple doesn’t have to choose whose student loan to pay off first. Instead, they can just work as a team on their one combined loan, knowing that when it gets paid off, they will both be student loan debt-free.

Weigh the Pros and Cons of Consolidation Carefully

Are there downsides to refinancing your student loans together? There are two possible ones:

First, you lose the motivating effect of achieving small wins along your debt-free journey (as in the Debt Snowball or Debt Avalanche methods). Second, if any of the loans are federal, consolidating will cause them to lose their federal benefits.

Like many other refinance companies, Splash does require you to have graduated with a bachelor’s degree or higher in order to qualify for refinancing. If you’d like more specifics on Splash Financial’s product offerings, check out their disclaimers page or their FAQ page.

Apply now for a Splash Financial student loan refinance.

Our Warning to Federal Student Loan Borrowers

As we make clear in our student loan refinance guide, federal student loan borrowers need to think long and hard before refinancing into private loans.

When you move a federal loan to private, you lose all of federal student loan benefits, such as:

  • Income-based repayment
  • Forbearance
  • Deferment
  • Loan forgiveness.

For a better understanding of each of the benefits listed above, we recommend that you take the time to read The Complete Guide to Getting Out of Student Loan Debt.

You, ultimately, may decide that the lower monthly payments would outweigh the loss of the federal student loan benefits. But that’s a decision that I want you to make with a full understanding of the benefits that you would be forgoing.

Conclusion:

In summary, Splash Financial grades from average to above average in almost every important student loan refinance category. If you fall into one of the following two categories, however, they could be one of your best refinance options:

  • You are a medical professional who is currently in or has graduated from a residency or fellowship.
  • You are a married couple that would like to refinance your student loans together.

If either of those descriptions fit your situation, then I recommend that you get a quote today to see if they could help save you money on your student loans…and don’t forget to use my affiliate link below or one of the others found at the beginning of the post to save $300-500!

Apply now for a Splash Financial student loan refinance.


General FAQ

What are the interest rates on Splash Financial student loan refinances?

Variable rates start at 2.43% and fixed rates begin at 3.48%.

How does Splash Financial make payments more affordable for medical residents?

Splash Financial allows medical graduates who are working in residency to make as little as $1 payments for up to 84 months. And the lower payments can continue up to 90 days following the completion of their residency.

Does Splash Financial allow married couples to merge their student loans together?

Yes. And if one spouse has a significantly higher credit score than the other, Splash can base the interest rate of the consolidated loan on the higher score.

Does Splash Financial charge any application, origination, or prepayment fees?

No.

What repayment periods do Splash Financial offer?

5, 7, 10, 15, and 20-year loans

About the author 

Clint Proctor

Hi, I'm Clint! I love writing about everything personal finance. In addition to this site, my work has been featured on several major publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Credit Karma, and U.S. News and World Report. My hope is that you'll be able to find plenty of helpful information and inspiration on this site to help you reach your financial goals. Thanks for visiting!

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