Like the ACA healthcare marketplace or Kayak, Credible isn’t actually lender itself. It’s a student loan marketplace of (currently) 9 vendors that allows you to apply to multiple companies simultaneously and compare rates (and terms, monthly payments, total payoffs, etc).
- Polished interface
- Easy initial application process
- Ability to compare rates from multiple lenders simultaneously
- Saves time versus applying to all lenders separately
- Several big players are missing (enumerated here), which means you’d still have to do some separate standalone applications if you want to ensure you’re getting the absolute best rate.
- Neither of the companies that have refinance programs tailored to residents are included, meaning that Credible isn’t a viable option for most residents yet.
If you’re a busy attending who has been putting off refinancing because of the hassle, Credible is for you (yes you, I know you’re out there). Several of the big players are included and you can do the preliminary application in minutes and get a rate comparison within a day or two. Once you pick your lender, Credible sends over your application and documents and you’re turfed over to that lender to finalize the process as usual.
If you’re serious about getting the very lowest rate, Credible by itself may not be sufficient. While most lenders have similar rate ranges, you can’t predict who will provide the best, so you’d still have to apply to several of these guys not in the marketplace yourself for thorough comparison shopping. In this case, you could still use Credible to save some time by applying to several lenders together, but then giving up $100-300 referral bonuses in some cases may not be worth it to you.
If you’re still a resident or post-match MS4, Credible isn’t for you (yet). I’m told there are plans for some resident-friendly plans in the future, but the two current players in this arena aren’t part of the marketplace.