One of the most overwhelming decisions a student has to deal with in terms of searching for the best student loans is which option to go with, as there is an overflowing abundant market of the same. Fortunately, services like iHelp take much of the guesswork out of the equation to bridge the gap between the cost of education and the family’s resources.Owned and operated by the Reunion Student Loan Finance Corporation (RSLFC), a highly respected student loan originator and loan servicer with over 40 years of experience, this company has been serving students and their families since 1978 and continues to maintain its pristine A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. (BBB)
They offer student loan refinancing and private student loan programs which are primarily funded by community banks who invest in students’ educational dreams. The personalized customer service sets them apart in an industry dominated by recordings. When iHelp student loans renders to you their services, almost all of your contact will be with RSLFC representatives who serve as the main point of contact for borrowers— some with decades more experience under their belts than other online student loan refinancing lenders. Table of Contents
- iHelp student loan reviews
- Types of iHelp Loans
- Interest rates and fees
- How do I qualify for iHelp
- Refinancing with iHelp
- Contact details
iHelp Student Loan ReviewsIf you manage your student loans responsibly, they won’t take over your life. Start by doing your homework and continue being a responsible borrower by aggressively making payments on time, both in school and after graduation. Community banks often offer benefits that you can’t find with other lenders — like multiple repayment options whereas on the other hand, applying for financing with a local institution can involve a lot of red tapes. Unlike big banks, community banks reinvest money back into the towns they serve. When you support a small bank, you’re also supporting local families, jobs, and small businesses, and eventually, you’re playing a part in the growth of a country. Plus, community banks look for more than just your credit score when they consider you for a loan. They look at your circumstances and make “relationship banking” a priority which is also a quality that stands out.
Advantages of iHelp Student Loans
1. A dedicated account manager is assigned to your specific account. You have direct email and phone access to your account manager. Private student loan products are offered to meet individual needs, including consolidation loans. Expertise to guide the borrower through every aspect of the student loan process from selecting the right student loan through loan repayment.
- It offers several ways you can quickly and easily reach a customer service agent
- Uniquely flexible repayment options
- Low-cost student loans from trust lenders such that one can refinance even without a degree
- Graduated and income-sensitive repayment plans are available
- Personalized rate estimates are available via a soft credit check
Disadvantages of iHelp Student Loans1. Loss of benefits - Some advantages of Federal government loans are lost when they are combined with private loans which is a major risk that borrowers should keep in mind and consider.
2. Not competitive rates - It is in recent times (2018) that iHelp has decreased its interest rates and expanded its loan selection. But it can be said that the rates aren't the most competitive. Apart from the above, there aren't many cons to look out for, but one should choose the appropriate lender and finance option with due diligence. iHelp, which as we know is a collaboration between the Reunion Student Loan Finance Corporation (RSLFC) and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), which takes the good and streamlines the bad by simplifying the application process.
Types of iHelp Student LoansA disclaimer that everyone should be aware of is that before taking out a private student loan with iHelp or any other lender, make sure you exhaust all of your federal student loan options.
iHelp offers broadly two different avenues for their student loans.
- One type serves the currently enrolled or soon to be enrolled student, i. e. to pay for an undergraduate or graduate degree; while the other type is for graduates who are looking to consolidate as much of their encumbering student debt as they can.
- The application process to begin your search for a loan can be performed at any local branch of any of their participating institutions or online.
1) Undergraduate/Graduate Student LoanTo put it most simply, as a student attending an eligible school, you are eligible to apply for an iHELP® student loan. The financial aid office, at your school of choice, can give you viable information as to what other kinds of student loans are available to you. If after obtaining any of the various kinds of financial aids such as scholarships, grants, and federal loans, you still face a college financing gap, RSLFC's loan programs offer students an affordable private student loan. You can borrow up to the cost of your education or less than any other aid you are scheduled to receive.
- Undergraduate loan: These loans intend to cover the cost of education for those students who are enrolled in: Associate or Bachelor degree program
- Graduate loan: These loans are intended to cover the cost of education of those students who are enrolled in a - Master Degree program, Doctoral degree program, professional degree program
- Eligibility to avail a 0.25% rate discount for payments that are made with automatic debit
- The Minimum loan amount is $1,000 ($3,000 for Georgia residents) and maximum is $100,000 for undergraduates, and $150,000 for graduates
- Co-signer of the borrower may be eligible for release at any time after 24 months of sequential, full, and successive on-time payments that have been made provided the borrower is ready to meet the credit requirement at that moment of time
- Deferment and forbearance options are available for those who qualify for those after graduation or drop below at least half time attendance
Multiple in-school payment options
- Adjustable repayment plans including income-sensitive options
- There is no origination fees and no prepayment penalty
- In-school payment options include immediate repayment, interest-only repayment, and full deferment
- Make no payments at all
- Make interest-only payments
- Make principal and interest payments
- Make Principal and Interest Payments – This is the default payment schedule that will automatically be set up unless specified otherwise
- Make Graduated Payments – Payments are greater than or equal to the monthly interest followed by a gradual increase in the payment amount
- Make Income Sensitive Payments – Payments are based on the gross monthly income, but no less than the monthly interest accrual
- There is no Origination Fee for this loan
- There is no Repayment Fee for this loan
Deferment and Forbearance Options for iHelp student loansThere are deferment and forbearance options available for students to opt for in case of certain contingent situations that might arise. (i) Deferment Options
- In-School - Loan payments can be deferred while the borrower is enrolled at least half time at an eligible school
- Internship/Residency - For borrowers in a supervised training program that requires the completion of at least a bachelor’s degree before acceptance into the program, and are accepted into the program
- Fellowship - For borrowers with at least a bachelor’s degree and are engaged in full-time study in an academic or professional study and has been recommended by an institution of higher education
Hardship - For borrowers experiencing temporary financial difficulty
- Partial Payment - This allows borrowers to make partial payments (less than their regularly scheduled monthly payment)
- Administrative - Those who qualify for this can use it to cover several scenarios including, but not limited to Military Service and Natural Disaster
2) Consolidation LoanConsolidation loans are intended to allow students to consolidate their private and/or federal student loans. This could potentially lower the interest rate and provide one place above all to make payments instead of paying multiple lenders and falling into an intricacy of a financial puzzle. The minimum loan amount in case one wants to opt for consolidation is $10,000, and the maximum amount permissible is $250,000. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is around 3.94% to 9.8%, with the interest rate being fixed.
iHelp Interest Rates and FeesThe Interest Rate and APR are either a fixed hybrid rate or a variable rate for the life of the loan depending on the loan program you choose.
- The Interest Rate and APR are variable for the life of the loan.
- The Variable Rate is based upon the 3 month LIBOR (as published in the Wall Street Journal calculated to the nearest one-eighth of one percent 0.125%) and adjusts quarterly.
- The LIBOR Rate and APR may increase after the loan is made.
- The interest rate you qualify for is dependent upon your credit or your cosigner's credit.
Fixed Hybrid Rate (FX5)
- The Fixed Hybrid Rate means your initial interest rate will stay fixed for 5 years from the first disbursement date and will be adjusted every 5 years.
- The Fixed Hybrid Rate will be adjusted based upon the Quarterly Prime Rate (as published in the Wall Street Journal) plus a margin.
- The Prime Rate and APR may increase after the loan is made.
- The interest rate you qualify for is dependent upon your credit or your cosigner's credit.
FeesThere is no Origination Fee for this loan. There is no Repayment Fee for this loan. Learn more about student loan interest rates
Qualifying for iHelp private student loans and/or a consolidation loanThere are certain prerequisites and criteria’s that need to be actualized to pre-qualify for the services of iHelp: (i) The first thing to do is essentially submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, to apply. (ii) A co-signer is not required; however, a co-signer generally helps a student qualify for a loan and possibly a lower interest rate. (iii) The minimum loan term is 10 years and the maximum loan term can be 20 years. (iv) The borrower or co-signer must be a US citizen or permanent resident and be at least 18 years of age in most states. Requirements - Fulfillment of the underlying requirement of including 3+ years of credit history, 2 of which are positive, either by the borrower or the co-signer and other credit-worthy requirements.
Income - The annual gross income varies based on the institution, state, and type of loan borrowed. If the borrower isn’t able to meet the income requirements, he must have a co-signer that meets the requirement. Generally, as an overview, the borrower or the co-signer should have made at least a $24000+ income for 2 years or at least $1500 as monthly income. Debt to Income Ratio - The borrower must have a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of 45% or less with no bankruptcies over 7 years. No open collections of charge off in 2 years and no defaults as such on student loans. If you meet iHelp’s initial requirements, you will be turned over to one of their affiliated institutions such as Citizen’s Bank.
How to apply for an iHelp student loan?Most lenders documentation are done online , likewise iHelp also require the document submission to be done on their website.
- Log in to their website, and take a look at the pre-approval form.
- ihelp has a soft credit check.
- Once the application is filled, the fund will be directly sent to your college.
- Since the private loan interest rate starts from the day of disbursement, it is a good idea to pay the interest rates while studying else the interest rate can accumulate over time.
- To apply for student loan refinancing, you will need to keep the following information handy. *Personal information. *Employment information. *Two personal references. *List of student loans for consolidation.
- Having a cosigner and with viable credit history getting iHelp loans must be easy.
- The cosigner can be released after making consecutive payments for 24 months.
iHelp Student Loan RefinancingNow we will review iHelp’s refinance loan as much as it is needed to give you a brief understanding of how it can benefit you. Before deciding on a student loan refinance lender to chalk out a manageable payment for yourself, it is incumbent on you to compare multiple student loans refinance options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you can qualify for. In addition to interest rates, comparison of lenders’ repayment options and the flexibility they offer borrowers who are struggling to make payments is also an important factor to look into. iHelp can be a great match for certain borrowers, especially if you’re looking to serve and in a way, support your local community. Each refinancing lender determines the rate they’ll offer you on a personalized basis — so it’s impossible to know your lowest possible rate without doing a comparison.
Perks of refinancing with iHelpIt must be noted that refinanced student loans work a little differently. If you apply for student loan refinancing, you could get a range of interest rates depending on your credit score, which varies from case to case, as mentioned above. The stronger your credit history, the lower rate you’ll get. Keep in mind that most interest rates you’ll find through the iHelp program are not the most competitive in the student loan lending space. Since each loan comes from a community bank, it won’t necessarily have the lowest rate. That being said, community banks offer other perks like flexible repayment plans and great customer service which you most definitely won't get all together from other lenders. Also, they’re especially transparent when it comes to eligibility requirements, interest rates, and fee structures.
Eligibility for availing refinancing with iHelpTo refinance student loans with iHelp, you don’t need to have graduated from a post-secondary school. Plus, the borrower need not have graduated or attended a school on the eligible school list, making it a very preferred and strong option for those without a degree. You must have two years of good credit history, though, including no open accounts in collections and no student loans in default. Basic requirements
- Steady employment for at least 2 years with a minimum income of $24000 is a must
- Being a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident
There are other things to keep in mind while you're refinancing with iHelp such as the following: There are no fees in refinancing from iHelp. Loans eligibility - Both federal and private student loans are eligible for refinancing. Note that if you refinance federal loans, you lose access to federal programs such as income-driven repayment. A form of its flexibility is its graduated repayment plan which lets you make interest-only payments for a set amount of time usually 2 years. You might also be able to temporarily pause your payments by putting your loans into forbearance. Amount and Term - Depending on educational background, you can refinance from $10,000 - $150,000 (undergraduate) or $10,000 - $250,000 (graduate). For terms, you can choose a 10-year fixed rate, 15-year fixed rate, or 20-year variable rate. Debt-to-income-ratio - An important point of eligibility is that your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio cannot exceed 45 percent. If you’re not sure where your DTI falls, you can use a debt-to-income calculator to find out. iHelp lets borrowers make full monthly payments or pay on a graduated or income-sensitive plan. These are unique options for a refinance loan that aren’t generally provided by other lenders. Though iHelp sometimes calls their student loan refinancing a “consolidation loan,” it’s important to note that it’s refinancing. It’s very different in comparison to the process of federal student loans.
Learn more about student loans
iHelp Contact detailsiHelp’s online platform doesn’t have an exceptionally outstanding blow you away design, but what matters is that it is relatively easy to use. You can check your rates in under a minute with iHelp’s instant preapproval process. All you have to do is provide basic information. For any loan-related inquiries, feel free to contact the following number, or use the email id provided below: Email address - email@example.com Phone Number - 800.645.7404 The corporate office address of iHelp is: Reunion Student Loan Finance Corporation
105 1st Ave SW Aberdeen, SD 57401-4104 and the toll-free number is: 800.645.8272 Official Website - www.slfc.com/ihelploan A very common scene is that most people graduate out of college these days with some kind of student debt. Those monthly bills may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be as difficult as it seems to manage your private student loan payments. From pre-college to post-college, it’s important to practice good financial habits when it comes to your student loans. A significant tip to keep in mind, which will aid you in being a responsible borrower is doing your research. Study up on all things student loans so you’re an educated decision-maker. You can go through our articles blog to find out more details on all possible relevant topics. If you’re like most students, a school loan is the first loan they’ve ever taken out and there’s lots of new information to take in. Hence, the first step would be to start by getting a good grasp on the student loan lingo, all the terms connected to it, and ensure you understand the basic differences between fixed and variable, subsidized and unsubsidized, and the cost differences in making in-school payments versus making none.
This is a big financial decision that will impact you for years to come, invest the time in it that it deserves. And during the entire procedure, it is evident that a companion quality that will get you through smoothly is getting organized!