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Student loan refinance rates: How they work and what to know

The biggest drawback to refinancing is giving up federal student loan repayment protections, like access to payment postponements (deferment and forbearance), income-driven repayment plans and pathways toward loan forgiveness. Once you refinance a federal loan with a private lender, there’s no going back.

Mayotte said she’s seen many borrowers regret refinancing their government-held education debt because they missed out on a forgiveness program or the interest-free repayment pause due to COVID-19.

“The safety nets are so robust … and they’re so unique to the federal loan program,” she said.