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Sparrow Student Loans Review

If you want to compare both outcomes-based and credit-based student loans in one place, Sparrow offers the chance to check your rate with multiple lenders. It only takes a single application and won’t hurt your credit score.

sparrow review
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3.9
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No Min. Credit Score Required
Loan Amount $1K up to the cost of attendance
Loan Repayment 5 to 20 years
Lindsay Frankel
Written by:Lindsay Frankel
Personal Finance Expert

Sparrow offers financing for almost any degree and more than 2,100 universities. The company even serves international students. There’s no minimum credit score to apply, and Sparrow’s partner lenders offer a variety of terms to choose from. If you’re looking to shop for a new student loan or are hoping to refinance your existing student loans, Sparrow provides a convenient alternative to prequalifying with each lender individually.

Summarized Rating

This parameter considers loan term lengths, loan limits, and loan structure optionality (fixed and variable rate offerings). For each loan type offered, each of these features was evaluated using the five-point scoring system. Then, the various scores were aggregated and averaged to establish an overall loan features score.

Sparrow gets a 5.0 for Loan Features due to its best-in-class loan structure optionality (fixed vs. variable). However, other information regarding loan features was not available, which calls for some skepticism around this best-in-class rating.

Sparrow Pros
Check real rates without hurting your credit
Flexible terms ranging from 5 to 20 years
Centralized payment platform for all your loans
Outcomes-based and credit-based options
Low starting fixed and variable rates
One application for multiple lenders
No prepayment penalties
Free to use
Sparrow Cons
Can’t apply for federal student loans through Sparrow
Must be enrolled half time or more
Must be a full-time junior or senior for outcomes-based loans

What Types of Student Loans Does Sparrow Offer?

Sparrow offers a variety of student loans through its partner lenders. Almost any student can find financing through Sparrow, but it’s important to understand that Sparrow is not a direct lender. The two main products Sparrow offers are student loans and student loan refinancing.

These include the following loan types:

  • Undergraduate Student Loans
  • Graduate Student Loans
  • MBA Loans
  • International Student Loans
  • Student Loan Refinance
  • International Student Loan Refinance

Sparrow Student Loans Review

Sparrow Student Loan Features

Sparrow’s lending partners offer loan amounts starting at $1,000 up to the full cost of attendance minus any aid. Depending on the lender, you may be able to choose a 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 15, or 20-year term. You’ll also have four repayment plan options, including full monthly payments, fixed monthly payments, or interest-only payments while you are in school. You can also choose to defer payments until after you graduate. Sparrow’s partners offer fixed or variable rates, so you can choose what works best for you.


Loan terms

5 to 20 years

Repayment period

In-School or Deferred

Loan amount

$1,000 up to Full Cost of Attendance

Loan Structure Flexibility

Fixed or Variable

Sparrow Student Loan Interest Rates and Fees

Sparrow only works with lenders that do not charge fees. That means you won’t have to worry about application fees or origination fees, late payment fees, maintenance fees, or prepayment penalties. Applicants with creditworthy cosigners can qualify for APRs as low as 0.99% variable or 2.99% fixed. And Sparrow’s partner lenders cap variable rates at 11.98% and fixed rates at 12.99%. When you apply through Sparrow, you’ll be able to compare rates from multiple lenders side-by-side.


Borrowing/Origination Fees

None

Prepayment Fees

None

Late Payment Fees

None

Maintenance Fees

None

Fixed Rates

2.99% to 12.99%

Variable Rates

0.99% to 11.98%

Sparrow Student Loan Qualification Requirements

While some of Sparrow’s partners have income, debt-to-income, and credit score requirements, others do not. Some may require you to apply with a creditworthy cosigner, while others may approve solo applicants. Therefore, the only requirement to apply through Sparrow is that you be enrolled at least half-time in a university that is authorized to receive federal aid.


Institution Type & Course Load Requirements

Enrolled at least half-time in any school authorized to receive federal aid

Minimum Credit Score

None

Minimum Income

None

Maximum Debt-to-Income

None

Co-signer/Joint Application Requirements

None

Sparrow Student Loan Refinancing Review

Sparrow Student Loan Refinancing Features

When you refinance your student loans, you can choose from a range of terms lasting five to 20 years, and pick between a fixed or variable APR. You may be eligible to refinance up to $500,000 in student loans through Sparrow.


Loan terms

5 to 20 years

Repayment period

Immediate

Loan amount

Up to $500,000

Loan Structure Flexibility

Fixed or Variable

Sparrow Student Loan Refinancing Interest Rates and Fees

Sparrow’s partner lenders for student loan refinancing don’t charge any fees. You won’t have to pay to apply or maintain the loan, you can repay your loan early without penalty. Even a late payment won’t result in a fee, but it will hurt your credit. Sparrow’s partner lenders offer competitive rates for refinancing, with fixed rates ranging from 2.4% to 8.48% and variable rates ranging from 1.74% to 10.51%.


Borrowing/Origination Fees

None

Prepayment Fees

None

Late Payment Fees

None

Maintenance Fees

None

Fixed Rates

2.4% to 8.48%

Variable Rates

1.74% to 10.51%

Sparrow Student Loan Refinancing Qualification Requirements

You can refinance a variety of types of student debt with Sparrow, including federal student loans, private student loans, medical school loans, law school loans, and MBA loans. Sparrow doesn’t specify a minimum credit score or income requirements for refinancing, but since refi loans are credit-based, you’ll either need good credit or a creditworthy cosigner to get the best rates.


Institution Type & Course Load Requirements

Federal student loans, private student loans, medical school loans, law school loans, and MBA loans

Minimum Credit Score

None

Minimum Income

None

Maximum Debt-to-Income

None

Co-signer/Joint Application Requirements

None

Sparrow Student Loan Application Process

To apply for student loans through Sparrow, you’ll need the following information:

  • Personal information like your date of birth and citizenship
  • Email address, mailing address, and phone number
  • Loan amount and timing
  • Financial information like your income
  • School information

If you’re applying with a cosigner, you’ll need their information as well. You’ll start by creating a Sparrow account. Click “Automate my search” on Sparrow’s student loans page and fill out the information requested.

The application takes about two minutes to complete. When you’re finished, Sparrow will show you multiple loan options, side-by-side, so you can choose the one that best meets your needs. Once you select a lender, you may be asked for more information in order to formally apply. At this point, the lender will run a hard credit check, which will cause a temporary decrease in your credit score. From there, funding time can vary by lender, but the funds will typically be disbursed to your school within two to four weeks.

Sparrow Student Loans Customer Support

Sparrow doesn’t list its customer service hours online, but you can email for help at support@sparrowfi.com, fill out this online form, or call 1-310-433-6966. Sparrow also has a live chat feature that you can access through your Dashboard once you create an account.

Sparrow has limited reviews on Trustpilot, but most are positive. One customer raved about the service the support team provided: “I was incredibly anxious about taking a private student loan because you hear so many bad things about student lending. Sparrow customer service answered all my questions and the FAQs and tips are a great resource. The cherry on top is that I was able to easily compare lenders so that I knew I wasn't being taken advantage of.”

Sparrow Student Loans Online Reviews

Though online reviews about Sparrow are limited, we found that most people had great things to say about the simple process. Reviewers said the platform makes it easy to compare lenders. For example, one customer wrote, “Sparrow's dashboard made it easy to do an apples to apples comparison across the different loans. The detailed side by side comparisons including some specific guidance on how to choose a specific loan helped me feel comfortable when deciding. I will always recommend my friends and family to use Sparrow.”

In fact, Sparrow only has one negative review from a customer who said their school wasn’t eligible for Sparrow.

Sparrow Student Loan Perks and Bonuses

Flexibility

The flexibility of the loans offered on the Sparrow platform vary by lender. However, all lenders allow students to defer repayment until after graduation. Before choosing a lender, it’s important to also check the availability of forbearance and other hardship programs.

Mentorship

Sparrow is a unique platform because it allows you to manage payments for all your student loans in one place. You can even pay your federal student loans through Sparrow. There’s also a mobile app you can use to manage your payments on-the-go. And you can set up automatic deductions as well. While Sparrow doesn’t offer career guidance or financial education, many of its partner lenders do. Be sure to consider the mentorship offered by Sparrow’s partner lenders before making a decision.

Technology

Sparrow’s technology is designed to make things easier for students. Both the mobile app and the online platform make it super simple to apply, compare loan offers, and later manage your loan payments. The live chat customer support offered through your individual dashboard is also a nice feature.

Final Thoughts

If you were considering checking your rate with a few of Sparrow’s partner lenders anyway, Sparrow can streamline the process and help you find the best rate. The platform does more than just connect you to various lenders — it provides the guidance you need to make the right choice based on real rates offered by those lenders. It also allows you to manage all your loans in one place. And since checking your rate with Sparrow won’t hurt your credit, it’s risk-free. Sparrow is a great option for students who are in the early stages of choosing a student loan.