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RISLA Student Loan & Refinance Review

Home » Finance » RISLA Student Loan & Refinance Review

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RISLA reviews cite excellent customer service and an easy application process in which pre-qualifying won’t affect your credit score. RISLA stands for Rhode Island Student Loan Authority. However, the lender’s products are available to students and borrowers nationwide and through Credible. Credible’s student loan online lending marketplace features RISLA as one of its esteemed lending partner companies.

Scoring an average of 4.2 out of five stars across multiple customer and expert review and rating sites, RISLA stands out for providing its unique income-based repayment option and other customer-centric features. The organization appears in our best student loan refinancing review. Students considering grad school may even qualify to have refinancing payments deferred when going back.

RISLA began operations in 1981 and is a non-profit state agency in Rhode Island. The organization offers an informative website to relay current and future student and borrowing information and education. Scholarships and free planning are also available to Rhode Island students through RISLA

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  • Available low refi loan amounts

  • Income-based repayments available

  • Autopay discounts

  • Multiyear approval available


  • Parent loans not transferable to student refinancing

  • Limited student loan term lengths

  • High income level required to qualify

RISLA Reviews: Features and Benefits

Based in Rhode Island and offering additional benefits for students in the state, RISLA student loans and refinancing products are available to students and parents nationwide. While RISLA offers low-cost borrowing options with flexible repayment terms, loan and refinancing lengths are limited to just a few options.

  • Student loan amounts from $1,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms for loans are 10 or 15 years
  • Multiyear approvals are available
  • The minimum refinance amount is $7,500
  • Fixed refinance APRs from 6.34% to 8.54%
  • Variable student loan refinance rates are unavailable
  • No application or origination fees
  • Pre-qualify without a credit check
  • Refinance terms of 5, 10, and 15 years
  • 680 minimum credit score to qualify
  • Degree not required for refinancing
  • $40,000 minimum income to be eligible for loans or refinancing
  • 6% late payment fee applies
  • Internship loan credit available

RISLA Reviews: Editorial Rating

Trusted Company Reviews Rating Score for RISLA: 8.4

Our RISLA reviews for student loans and refinancing focus on the organization’s flexibility, ease of use, no-credit-check pre-qualifying, and potentially low APRs. RISLA ranks high on our list with 8.4 of 10 possible points, roughly in line with other public and expert review ratings.

The organization earned points in our review by offering multiple borrower-friendly attributes. Low borrowing and refinancing rates are available. However, the company’s flexible repayment options really stood out.

RISLA offers a deferred loan and refinancing payment plan for students who return to school in a graduate program. Income-based repayment options are also available for loans and refinancing for borrowers unable to pay due to hardship. A $2,000 loan credit may apply when students complete an internship program.

However, RISLA student loans and refinancing also lost some points in our review. Loan and refinancing term lengths are limited to 10 or 15 years for loans and 5, 10, or 15 years for refinancing. Additionally, income requirements to qualify are higher than most lenders in our review, at $40,000 annually, and a late fee of 6% of the payment amount will apply to late payments.

Fixed APR 4.40% to 8.99%
Variable APR N/A
Refi Fixed APR 6.34% to 8.54%
Refi Variable APR N/A
Loan Terms 10, 15 Years
Refi Terms 5, 10,15 years
Repayment Options Immediate, interest-only, deferred, fixed, income-based
Loan Amounts $1,000 to $50,000

About RISLA Student Loans

RISLA student loans are available to students and parents of students attending a Title IV school and are enrolled at least half-time. Refinancing is available for students without a cosigner, provided they earn at least $40,000 per year and maintain a credit score of 680 or higher.

Loan rates with RISLA vary from fixed APRs ranging from 4.40% to 8.99% and refinancing fixed rates from 6.34% to 8.54%. Repayment terms include loan lengths of 10 or 15 years for student loans and 5, 10, or 15 years for refinancing. Variable-rate loans or refinancing terms are unavailable.

Loan amounts are limited to between $1,000 and $50,000, and refinancing amounts range from $7,500 to $250,000. The minimum refinancing loan amount is the lowest of the companies we reviewed, making RISLA an excellent choice for borrowers wishing to refinance smaller amounts than average.

Students and parents working with RISLA or its partner, Credible, can apply for funding with a pre-approval step that won’t affect their credit score or appear on future credit inquiries.

Additionally, the organization offers multi-year approvals for student loans, meaning borrowers must only qualify once during their education, provided their financial situation or credit score doesn’t change dramatically.

About RISLA Student Loan Refinancing

RISLA offers flexible refinancing options with excellent features. However, they’re limited to just 5, 10, and 15-year loan lengths. Refinancing through RISLA includes the ability to pre-qualify for lending and offers income-based repayment terms. Additionally, borrowers who lose their income or ability to make regular payments may qualify for a hardship deferment.

Borrowers may refinance federal or private student loans. However, it’s important to understand that refinancing federal student loans disqualifies you from the benefits of federal loans and their repayment terms. No degree is necessary to qualify for refinancing through RISLA.

Refinance borrowing rates through RISLA range from 6.34% to 8.54% fixed. No variable rates are available. Students are unable to refinance parent loans into their name.

Qualification Requirements

Qualifying for RISLA student loans or refinancing is straightforward. However, some qualification requirements are steeper than some of its competitors.

  • Must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • A credit score of 680 or higher
  • Meet 50% debt-to-income ratio requirement
  • $40,000 minimum annual income
  • Attend, will attend, or have graduated from a Title IV not-for-profit school

Repayment Details

RISLA offers several repayment options for students and parents.

  • Loan length terms for student loans are 5, 10, and 15 years
  • Loan length terms for refinancing are 5, 10, and 15 years
  • 0.25% APR reduction for auto-pay
  • Repayment structures are available with an income-based option.
  • Hardship payment deferrals may be available.

Repayment Options

  • Immediate loan repayments begin 15 days after disbursement to the school and include full principal and interest payments.
  • Deferred loans require no payment while in school. However, interest will accrue from the loan disbursement date. Full payments begin after the grace period.

RISLA Reviews: Student Loans and Refinancing

RISLA reviews are generally positive. Trustpilot reviewers award the organization 4.8 out of 5 stars, while the overall average across multiple review sites is around 4.2 stars. 88% of Trustpilot reviewers give the company a five-star rating, while under 4% rate it below four stars.

RISLA borrowers appreciate the company’s ability to answer their student loan questions, ease of use and application, and well-organized and knowledgeable representatives.

You can always count on RISLA to get back to you in a timely manner. I had a question, and someone got back to me right away. I truly appreciate it. Thank You! – Lucy, Trustpilot

Everyone is always so helpful and pleasant! Such a relief we have RISLA to help with FAFSA!! – Jessica, Trustpilot

Overall a great experience. The only thing that would have made it better was I wish there was a dashboard you could log into to easily check the status of your loan and what step you are at in the process because at times it got a little confusing. – Olivia, Trustpilot

The company is only versed in a traditional avenue of school after high school in regards to finding funding that is needed for students to pursue life after graduation. My daughter wants to go to mail technician school, and I had hoped to be turned towards different options available for financing. I was also told I would hear back if anything was found, and it has been a week with no contact. – Anonymous, Trustpilot

Frequently Asked Questions

Can students in other states apply for RISLA?

Does RISLA offer federal loans?

Who is eligible for loans through RISLA?


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About Author

Dr. Ali
Deane Biermeier is a prominent figure in all things finance and home improvement, renowned for his detailed written content, analyses, and expert advice. Over the past several years, he's contributed to industry-leading publications such as Forbes Home, Angi/HomeAdvisor, US News and World Report, Newsweek Vault, and Family Handyman. Deane's expertise is further established and recognized through his review board roles and by providing expert insights at The Spruce and Family Handyman. His recent affiliation with in 2023 further solidifies his position as a respected authority in his field. Key Highlights Extensive Publication Contributions: Deane's work is featured across multiple esteemed platforms, including Forbes Home, Angi/HomeAdvisor, US News, Newsweek Vault, and more. Expert Consulting and Insight: Offers specialized content reviews and consultations for The Spruce and Family Handyman, using his vast knowledge and experience. What Makes Deane Biermeier Stand Out? Deane's writing goes beyond providing lists of information. He strives to make complex topics understandable and breaks them down into easy-to-understand points so his readers can make confident decisions quickly. His content covers a wide array of topics, offering practical and valuable information on home-related, DIY, and home and personal finances. Philosophy and Approach Deane firmly believes in the power of informed decision-making and empowers his readers to do the same. His reviews focus on delivering essential and pertinent information with honesty and transparency without bias. He stresses the importance of understanding the full picture before committing to financial products or home improvement services and provides relevant information to ensure his readers can make confident decisions. Impact and Recognition Readers and industry leaders have widely acknowledged Deane's contributions. Delivering trustworthy information has made him a go-to source for those seeking practical advice on home improvement and financial decisions. With years of field experience complemented by thorough research, Deane continues to serve as a valuable resource for homeowners and consumers alike. Engage with Deane Biermeier Readers are encouraged to follow Deane for the latest reviews and updates. His author bio page, featuring his latest content, is filled with valuable insights and information to refer to when making product and provider choices. Sharing his profile and work on social media is a great way to empower others with useful and factual information.
Dr. Ali

Deane Biermeier

Last Updated: April 15, 2024