Education Loan Finance (ELFI) Reviews

Confused on which refinancing option to choose? ELFI offers several refinancing options from which you can choose from. Read more about the various customized features of ELFI.

Updated by Theres Ann on 11th June 2019

Education Loan Refinance is one of the newest companies to hit the loan refinance industry. As ELFI is a division of Tennessee-based SouthEast Bank, the focus is laid to help the borrowers restructure the loan and save money on monthly student loan payments.

College graduates with a good credit history and a stable job can get the most out of this lender. Though the company started to lend only in 2015, the organization has over 30 years of experience in the student loan business.

ELFI has proven to be one of the best refinancing options.

A combination of low-interest rates with higher than expected approval rates leads to good outcomes for many borrowers. Banks and lenders are selective on their loans. It seems that ELFI has not fallen into the trap.

These banks and lenders are selective on their loans. However, ELFI hasn’t fallen into being extremely selective on their loans. ELFI loans are a bank product.

Less regulation is faced by finance start-ups. As ELFI is a long-standing bank and offers low-interest rates, it has a comparatively higher rank than its competitors.

Loan Refinancing and Consolidation

Student loan refinancing and consolidation is offered for federal and private loans. Loans are offered by ELFI in 5, 7, 10, 15 and 20-year terms.

A borrower does not need to have a degree or pass a credit check, so as to qualify for ELFI Loan. No application fee, origination fee or prepayment penalties are not offered like most legitimate lenders.

ELFI requires a minimum loan amount of $15,000 in order to refinance. Lenders like the Common Bond and the Laurel require a minimum of $5,000.

Cosigner Release

A cosigner release option is allowed by ELFI. However, a co-signer can be released only if the borrower passes a credit check on their own.


List of Contents


How to refinance with ELFI?

Some of the steps to be taken to refinance student loans are given below.

  • Fill out the application with the necessary basic information

  • ELFI performs a soft PULL on the credit report, in the case of initial pre-qualification.

  • A preliminary offer is received after the submission of the application

  • After receiving the preliminary offer, you’ll have to upload certain documents and verify your income and financial situation.

  • ELFI would then perform a full credit check

  • The loan offer is received after the confirmation of the information

  • The offer can then be accepted through an electronic signature

If you want to refinance Parent PLUS Loans in your child’s name, you can do it if your lender allows it. If you haven’t graduated you can find a lender who does not ask for a college degree.

Research lenders, multiple rate estimates, choosing the lender and the loan term, completion of the application, signing of the final documents, waiting for the loan payoff and more.


Eligibility Criteria

The service of ELFI can be availed in all the 50 states, along with Washington D.C, and Puerto Rico.

The eligibility requirements for ELFI student loans are as given below.

  • The borrower should be a US citizen or should hold a permanent residency.

  • The minimum age of the borrower is 18.

  • The student loan debt should not be lower than $15,000.

  • The borrower should have graduated from an approved educational institution.

  • The debt to income ratio should show that you have the capacity to pay back the loan.

  • A sufficient credit score is required for approval. If else, a cosigner is required to guarantee your loan.


Documents for application

The essential documents to apply for ELFI Student Loans are as given below.

  • The borrower’s account number

  • Current balance and payoff amounts

  • Payment mailing address

  • Copy of the most recent billing statement

  • Payoff letter from the existing lender

  • Recent pay stubs for 30 days and other proofs of employment

  • W-2s

  • Tax returns in case you are self-employed

  • Valid ids such as a driver’s license or passport

  • Billing account info for automatic debit


Advantages and Disadvantages of ELFI

Advantages

ELFI offers more than just the lowest interest rates on the market. The call centers are located in Tennessee and the borrowers get a single point of contact with the direct number to call for support. Some of the notable benefits of ELFI are as given below.

  • You will not have to pay an origination or application fee.

  • No fee is charged to pay off student loans early.

  • Late fees are not assessed upon making payments within 10 days of the due date.

  • Lower interest rates are another advantage of ELFI Student loans

  • The starting variable interest rate is 2.80% and the starting fixed interest rate is 3.39%.

  • Borrowers who opt for a variable interest rate end up paying a higher amount over a longer period of time. Borrowers with stable interest rates opt for fixed rate repayment plan.

ELFI’s variable interest rate will not increase more than once in three months and will not exceed 9.95%.

Issue resolving should be made significantly smoother.

Servicing of ELFI Student loans are done by the Mohela. ELFI runs a promotion and grants a $150 bonus to the borrowers.

Potential savings are the biggest benefits of refinancing your loans with Education Loan Finance.

Upon receiving a good credit, having to will as a cosigner, refinancing your debt with educational Loan Refinance helps you.

If you have a $20,000 a 10-year loan interest is allowed at 7.00% interest. A total of $27,866 is paid over the length of repayment. You can pay over $7,800 in relatively high-interest rate.

In case you qualify for a 10-year loan at 4.50% interest, the difference is dramatic. You have just repaid over $24,873.

When you submit your refinancing form, you can save approximately $3,000.

The most important reasons to consider ELFI are as given below.

1) The competitor’s rates are matched – Lower rates are matched from other lenders, even if your loan has been approved with ELFI.

2) Easy rate check – ELFI’s online payment estimator or more personalized estimate of your loans are considered in the first part of the application without a hard credit check.

3) ELFI Referral Program – A $400 can be received for referring a friend, as long as they are approved.

4) Zero application or origination fee – You’ll not have to pay any fee so as to get your new loan.

5) Refinancing of federal consolidation loans – Even though you’ll lose benefits, the refinanced federal loans are consolidated with ELFI.

6) Upon proving economic hardship, you can qualify to pause repayments.

Disadvantages

Even though ELFI permits some borrowers to consolidate federal student loans with a private lender.

By refinancing your federal student loans, you might lose federal perks such as repayment plans depending on your income and student loan forgiveness programs.

These programs are looked upon as an insurance policy. Insurance rates are lower than the insurance policy. If you have a fear of losing your job or not being able to afford the student loans, you can keep your loans with the federal government.

Locking in a low-interest rate would be a smart move if in case you do not have an issue in paying off the debt.

A few of the additional programs that can be offered to increase the efficiency and acceptability of ELFI includes academic deferment, more than 12 months of repayment, biweekly student payments via autopay, applicant refinancing for associate degree and more.


Alternatives to ELFI

Borrowers with good credit score and a stable income can choose ELFI as the best option. However, before you decide on any loans, you need to finalize your search based on your needs and the best option available.

You can receive quotes from multiple lenders so as to decide on the best terms and interest rates. 8 Best Student Loan Refinancing companies include Ernest, SOFI, ELFI, Lendkey, SPLASH Financial, UFi, Citizens Bank, and Common Bond.

Ernest

For Ernest, the APR ranges from 3.50% to 7.89%. The variable APR ranges from 2.49% to 7.27%. The loan term ranges from 5 to 20 years. 

Ernest helps in refinancing for federal and private student loans and the loan amounts should be a minimum of $5,000.

This firm also does not charge any fee. 0.25% interest rate reduction is granted for setting up automatic payments.

SoFI

SoFi refinances both federal and private student loans and offers free career coaching.

A minimum loan amount of $5,000 is awarded and there is no maximum limit on the loan amount.

No fee is charged when you refinance student loans with SoFi. 0.25% interest rate reduction is applied for automatic payments.

For SOFI, the fixed APR ranges between 3.89% to 8.07%. The variable APR ranges between 2.49% to 7.11%.

The loan term can be 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years.

ELFI

With ELFI, you get $400 if you refer a friend. 12 months forbearance period and military deferment are the other advantages with regard to ELFI.

Citizens Bank offers possible interest rate reductions of 0.50% and the loan amounts from $10,000 to $90,000.

Up to 0.50% interest rate reduction is applied for automatic payment set-up and for being a bank member.

Comparison

For ELFI, the loan term ranges from 3.39% to 6.69% and the variable APR ranges from 2.80% to 6.01%. The term of the loan can either be 5,7,10,15 or 20 years.

For Lendkey, the fixed APR ranges between 3.49% to 8.92%. The variable APR for Lendkey is 2.53% to 8.79%. The loan term can either be 5,10, 15 or 20 years.

For Splash Financial the fixed APR can range between 3.75% to 7.03% and the variable APR can range between 3.10% to 7.84%. The loan term ranges from 5 to 15 years.

The fixed APR of UFi is between 3.70% and 6.06% and the variable APR of UFi is between 2.55% to 6.23%. The loan terms can be 5,10,15,20 or 25 years.

For Citizens Bank, the fixed APR granted ranges from 3.89% to 9.99% and the variable APR ranges from 3.00% to 9.74%. The loan terms are either 5, 10, 15 or 20 years.

Common Bond

Common Bond grants forbearance for up to 24 months. It helps to refinance both federal and private student loans and the loan amount ranges from $5,000 to $5, 00,000.

No fee is applied to these loans. 0.25% interest rate reduction is applied for automatic payments.

For Common Bond, the fixed APR ranges from 3.67% to 7.25% and the variable APR ranges from 2.53% to 7.42%.

The loan terms are either 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years.

Laurel Road

Laurel Road grants economic hardship support and refinances both federal and private student loans.

The minimum loan amount granted is $5,000 and there is no maximum. No fee is charged for the loans and for setting up auto-payment options you are rewarded with a 0.25% interest rate reduction.

iHelp

For iHelp the loan amounts from $10,000 to $2, 50, 000. A 0.25% interest rate is applied for setting up automatic payments. Lendkey refinances both federal and private student loans. The loan amount ranges from $7,500 to $1,25,000 for undergraduate students, $2,50,000 for graduate students, $3,00,000 for medical students. 0.25% interest rate reduction is applied for setting up automatic payments.


Conclusion

Recent studies have shown that nearly half of the student loan borrowers graduate with a minimum of $20,000 of student loan debt.

2.6 million borrowers are into forbearance for $96.2 billion dollars, and 4.0 million borrowers have already defaulted for $67.5 billion.

If you are looking to make maximum savings out of your student loan interest and monthly payment, student loan refinancing is a viable option.

Just the way in which you refinance your student loans, you can refinance your mortgage or debts.

ELFI is one of the most popular search results of student loan refinancing.

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You could easily simplify your payment, by combining the loans into one easy payment. After you’re a than having to tolerate with a mix of private and federal loans, multiple payments and different due dates.

With refinancing these loans can be combined into one single loan with a single payment due date. ELFI offers to refinance for graduates with personal loans, as well as parents with Parent PLUS Loans or private loans.

Multiple loan consolidation of federal and private loans is also possible with ELFI Loans.

Thus your debt is easily managed with a single easy payment and a single loan servicer. This helps to compare offers and find the right loan for you.

The interest rates of ELFI depend on the types of loans you want.

If your application for a fixed rate loan is approved, then the interest rate could range from 3.39% to 6.69%.

The starting interest for a variable rate loan is 2.80% to 6.01%. The interest rate then increases with market changes.

Borrowers are never charged with an application fee, origination fee or prepayment penalty in the case of an ELFI.

In the case of late payments, you may be charged 5% of the late amount. You could be charged $30 in the case of returning a payment.

Customer Ratings

With regard to faster payment, ELFI is rated on an average basis. With regard to requirement disclosing and cost limitation, this loan servicing facility is ranked above average. If fees and interest rates are limited, lenders score high.

Transparency about the underwriting criteria, and personalized rate estimation before application also enables the lenders to score high.

By catering to customer requirements in different locations, financial situations and varying citizenship statuses, ELFI score an above average score in service to the range of borrowers.

For payment flexibility, ELFI is granted only a below average score. The customer service request is also above average.

Complete APR ranges, fees and forbearance policies are supported by customers.

The offering of payment flexibility is below average. If longer than 12 month forbearance periods are offered, including in-school, military deferment and other flexible policies then lenders score below average during tough times.

The customer support is average and the lenders score high if the borrower is assigned an advisor.

Entire APR ranges, fees and forbearance policies are displayed by the websites.


FAQ's

  Would I be ineligible if I do not see my school listed on the application?


ELFI can be contacted to include your school in the list of eligible schools. You can search the list on the website, before searching how ELFI writes out your school. The link can be found at the bottom of ELFI pages.

  What is the difference between refinancing and consolidation?


Though refinancing and consolidation involves taking a new loan to pay off the debt, refinancing only involves one type of credit. Student loan refinancers who offer refinancing also grant consolidation. The same is the case for loan providers who offer consolidation.

  Would I still have to repay my ELFI loan, if I file for bankruptcy?


As it depends entirely on bankruptcy’s court ruling, you need to verify it with a bankruptcy attorney.

  Is loan consolidation or refinancing the best choice for me?


Consolidating or refinancing will be a right decision, for you save money, as you can reduce the current monthly payments. By paying off your principal at the earliest, you can save some money in repayment.

  Does ELFI offer temporary forbearance for economic hardship?


If due to financial or medical difficulty you are unable to pay the loan, South East Bank (the lender) offers up to 12 month forbearance. Forbearance offering is the discretion of the bank.

  Can I consolidate or refinance my loans all at once?


You will not have to refinance or consolidate your loans. During the application process, you’ll be able to select the amount and type of student loan refinance.

  Is the consolidation of federal or private student loans possible?


Yes, both federal and private student loans can be refinanced. Upon consolidating federal student loans, some alternative payment plans associated with the federal government loan program will be lost.

  Is cosigner release possible from existing student loans?


Cosigner release releases cosigners from existing student loans, in case you qualify for an Education Loan Finance Loan.

  Can monthly statements be sent electronically?


MOHELA is the third party servicer for student loans and has a highly efficient mechanism to sign-up for e-statements.

  Does ELFI have a referral program?


The ELFI referral program is a rewards program for those who are able to refer individuals to refinance a student loan with Education loan refinance. A new customer is one without an existing Education Loan Refinance or the customer who has not held an Education loan account within the past 24 months.