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This week’s review is by Hank Coleman who is an active duty Army officer and the publisher of Money Q&A, a personal finance blog focusing on interesting investing ideas after you’ve maxed out your retirement plans.
By the last count of the New York Federal Reserve, there are 44.2 million Americans with student loans. And, those student loans equate to more than $1.31 trillion. To make matters worse, more student loan borrowers are struggling to make their student loan payments. More borrowers are continuing to use deferment and forbearance instead of paying off their balances.
A report from the Brookings Institution estimates that as many as 40% may default on their student loan debt by 2023. Over 2.6 million borrowers are in forbearance and still owe $96.2 billion on their student loans. And, over 4.0 million borrowers are in default on their student loans to the tune of $67.5 billion.
A Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) study also alarmingly found that many student loan borrowers are not making sufficient enough payments to reduce their account balances. In other words, many students are merely continuing to pay only the interest portions of their student loans or deferring the loans altogether.
“The share of borrowers not making payments large enough to reduce their balances have increased, particularly among borrowers with loans smaller than $20,000,” stated the CFPB study. “Five years after starting repayment, over 23% of small-loan borrowers are not making payments large enough to reduce their balances.”
Student Loan Refinancing with Education Loan Finance (ELFI)1
In the past, it hasn’t been easy to refinance your student loans. All of that has changed with student loan refinancing from Education Loan Finance (ELFI). ELFI lets students and parents refinance student loan debt much the same way you would refinance a mortgage.
ELFI lets you consolidate multiple student loans, both federal and private loans, into one monthly payment. You can also refinance Parent PLUS loans as well. ELFI offers rates that are often lower than what you’re currently paying across all of your separate student loans. Education Loan Finance provides low fixed and variable rate student loan refinancing with flexible terms that range between five and 20 years.
Unlike a home mortgage refinance, ELFI’s student loan refinance loans have no application fees or origination fees. And, there are no prepayment penalties for paying your loans off early. ELFI offers loans that start at $15,000, and they can refinance up to $250,000 in total loans as well.
Education Loan Finance offers student loan refinancing and consolidation. And, SouthEast Bank, a bank based in Knoxville, Tennessee, operates Education Loan Finance. ELFI helps you consolidate your student loans into one easy payment, which may help you pay off your student loans faster and a lower interest rate, saving you money.
Education Loan Finance can help you to streamline your student loan payments from both private and federal loans into one easy to manage and affordable new refinanced student loan.
ELFI also offers refinancing options for graduate students and parents who are responsible for student loans as well. When you refinance your student loans with ELFI, you have the opportunity to choose your new loan’s term (how long you want to pay off the loan) between five and up to 20 years. You also can choose between a fixed or variable interest rate.
Student Loan Refinancing Eligibility Requirements1
To qualify for Education Loan Finance’s student loan refinancing, you must have:
- At least $15,000 in student loan debt
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Have completed your bachelor’s degree
Like all other loans, you must have a good credit score to qualify for student loan refinancing with Education Loan Finance. And, you should have a stable income and low enough debt-to-income ratio that shows you’re able to payback your new loan. While ELFI doesn’t disclose the criteria they use when approving loans, you should keep in mind that you are essentially applying for a new loan.
Refinancing your student loans is essentially a debt consolidation loan for your student loans. You’ll need to show ELFI that you’re a good credit risk to receive the loan just like you would from any other lender.
Easily Find Out Your Rate
You can easily find out the interest rate you qualify for a student loan refinance with the Find My Rate tool from Education Loan Finance. After a short application, the tool gives you a preliminary quote based on the rates you’re eligible for and the terms you’ve included. And, best of all, the tool conducts a soft credit check and does not affect your credit score when using the tool.
The tool helps you to find a new loan that can better fit your budget. You can immediately determine if you’re eligible for a refinance loan and receive a quote, all without harming your credit score. The tool gives you the ability to compare other offers you might be considering and then choose the right student loan refinancing that fits your needs and budget.
Furthermore, Education Loan Finance takes a unique approach to customer service through their Personal Loan Advisor Program. Each customer is assigned an individual Personal Loan Advisor, a subject matter expert on student loans, who will personally guide the applicant every step of the way. ELFI‘s online reviews confirm the high level of service they provide their customers.
ELFI Interest Rate and Fees1
The interest rates that Education Loan Finance offers can vary from 2.55% to 6.69% depending on the type of loan you apply for, either fixed or variable-rate student loans.
For ELFI’s variable-rate loans, currently, the interest rate can range from 2.55% to 6.04% depending on the length of the loan, amount of debt, and your credit history. For variable-rate student loans, your interest rate may increase depending on economic conditions. But, the variable-rate loan will never exceed 9.95% for ELFI’s 5-year, 7-year, 10-year, 15-year, or 20-year term loans.
It Only Takes a Few Minutes to Apply
The student loan refinancing application is 100% online and provides a fast and simple process for applying. All you have to do is gather a few required documents and input the information to apply. You can complete the entire process in as little as 15 minutes.
Documents you need to apply for a loan include:
- Payoff letter or billing statement for each eligible student loan
- Most recent pay stubs for the past 30 days or proof of employment
- Your W-2s or tax returns if you’re self-employed
- A valid identification card such as a driver’s license or passport
- Checking account information for automatic payment
Over 44 million Americans with student loans equaling more than $1.31 trillion. And, with the average student loan debt topping in at over $37,000, many students are struggling. And, many studies have shown that the defaults of student loan debt are increasing at an alarming rate.
Student loan debt is also holding families back from prospering financially. They are putting off having families, buying homes, and a host of other financial goals while they continue, often for years, to pay for their educations.
But, there are options for people struggling with student loans. Refinancing your student loans may be a great solution to help you take back control of your budget, debts, disposable income, and financial future.
With companies like ELFI, refinancing your student loan debt is a real possibility that can help you consolidate your debts into one easy to manage monthly payment. The new reconsolidation loan may also be able to help you lower the interest rate you pay, reduce your monthly payments, and even pay off your student loan debt faster.
If you’re interested in refinancing your student loans, check out ELFI’s options. Doing so just might save you a bundle.
1 RESTRICTIONS, RATE, AND OFFER INFORMATION:
This offer is subject to credit approval and additional requirements, including verification of attendance at an approved post-secondary institution and fulfillment of a Bachelor’s Degree or higher. Complete details, including a list of eligible schools, are available online at www.elfi.com. Terms and conditions apply. Minimum loan amount: $15,000. Terms from 5 to 20 years. Note that a longer term also means you’ll pay more interest over the life of the loan. Rates and terms provided by Education Loan Finance, the education loan finance program offered by SouthEast bank. For a variable rate loan product, the rate may change after the account is opened. The variable rate is based upon the 3-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), as published in The Wall Street Journal. Rates are offered for different loan amounts, loan terms, and credit score combinations. Electronic payment is required. Other restrictions may apply. See www.ELFI.com for details.
The lowest fixed APR of 3.09% and the lowest variable APR of 2.55% do not represent a guaranteed rate on an Education Loan Finance loan. Your interest rate will depend on a variety of factors, including household income, debts, credit qualifications, the loan type (fixed or variable) that you select, the loan term, loan amount, and other underwriting criteria. Rates and terms are subject to change. Rates are current as of July 26, 2018.