ELFI Student Loans Review
ELFI recently launched a private student loan service that provides loans for qualifying student borrowers. While ELFI’s private student loans are new, the company has been offering student loan refinancing for a long time and is a trusted name.
What we like:
|Fixed APR||As low as 4.99%|
|Variable APR||As low as 3.95%|
|Loan Terms||5 – 15 years|
|Loan Amounts||$10,000 up to 100% of school-certified cost of attendance|
ELFI has a long history of offering student loan refinancing to students and parents. It was established through SouthEast Bank with the goal of helping borrowers effectively consolidate and refinance loans. With a ELFI refinance loan, borrowers could ideally lower their interest rate and be left with just one loan to repay instead of owing money to multiple creditors.
ELFI now has its own private student loan service. This new service makes it possible to cover educational costs while still going to school. The application process is streamlined, borrowers enjoy a lot of flexibility in repayment terms and conditions, and both fixed and variable rate loans offer competitive interest rates.
If you’re trying to decide if ELFI is the right lender for you, this ELFI student loan review will help you make that decision.
In this review:
- How to Get an ELFI Private Student Loan
- Rates, Fees, and Other Basic Information
- Benefits of ELFI Student Loans
- Downsides of ELFI Student Loans
How to Get an ELFI Private Student Loan
It is possible to apply for an ELFI student loan either as a student borrower or as a cosigner. Cosigners can help students get approved for a loan if the student isn’t able to qualify on his or her own.
To obtain an ELFI student loan:
- Create an ELFI account or log into your account if you already have one.
- Choose the option to either view previous loans you’ve already taken out or to apply for a new loan. If you’re looking to get a loan to fund your education, rather than refinance existing debt, the button you’d want is the one labeled “In-School Loan.”
- Specify whether you are a student or are a cosigner.
- Complete the pre-qualification form by entering your personal information, including your name; address; place of birth and social security number; the school you will be attending or are attending; and your enrollment date.
- Choose from among the loans offered to you. If you’re eligible for an ELFI student loan, you’ll be given a choice of fixed or variable rate loans with different repayment terms. Each of these terms have differing interest rates and monthly payment amounts.
- Complete the disclosure verification form.
If you are happy with the interest rates and loan terms you are offered, you’ll need to go through the rest of the formal application process including specifying the amount you want to borrow; whether you’ll make any payments while you’re still in school; and what your employment status is. You’ll also need to upload any requested documents. You will not be provided with your final rate until after completing the full application, as your rate could change based on a full review of your financial credentials.
The minimum private student loan available through ELFI is $10,000. Either the person applying for the loan or the cosigner must also have an annual income of at least $35,000.
Basic Information: Rates, Terms, Fees & Limits
Information shown below is for the undergraduate student loan.
- APRs: Fixed APR as low as 4.99%; variable APR as low as 2.54%
- Loan amounts: $10,000 – 100% of school-certified cost of attendance
- Loan terms: 5, 7, 10, or 15-year term options
- Fees: No application fees, origination fees or prepayment penalties
- Repayment plans: Interest-only, fixed payments, or deferred payments until after graduation
The Benefits of ELFI Student Loans
There are some significant advantages to taking out a student loan through ELFI, including:
- Competitive rates: Not only do you get to choose between fixed rate loans and variable rate loans, but the rates offered by ELFI to well-qualified borrowers are well below those offered by many competitors.
- A no-fee option: You won’t pay a fee to apply for an ELFI loan, nor will you pay any origination fees when you take out the loan and receive your funds. If you decide you want to pay off your ELFI loan early, you also have the option to do that if you’d prefer.
- Flexibility: Borrowers who get a private loan through ELFI have a choice of how to pay back their loans while in school. You can defer payments until after graduation, can make fixed payments while in school, or can choose to pay only the interest on student loans while you’re completing your education. You also have the choice of four different loan repayment terms, ranging from a term as short as five years to as long as 15 years. This flexibility gives you more control over your monthly cashflow.
These are just some of the many benefits of borrowing private student loans from ELFI. You can also benefit from the fast and easy online application process, which even allows you to upload any required documents online.
The Downsides of ELFI Student Loans
There are some downsides of ELFI student loans, including:
- A minimum income requirement: Many student borrowers will not make enough income to qualify for an ELFI loan without a cosigner. This can be a downside because cosigners share legal liability for debt repayment, so they take on a big risk when guaranteeing a borrower’s student loans.
- ELFI is a relatively new private loan lender: This means that there’s not yet a lot of feedback about how loans are serviced and whether ELFI is responsive in providing good customer service to private loan borrowers. However, ELFI has been in the student loan refinancing business for a long time, so borrowers can get a good idea of how ELFI treats its customers by looking at the experiences of existing borrowers who previously refinanced their loans with ELFI.
Bottom Line: Is an ELFI Student Loan Right for You?
If you’ve already maxed out your federal student loans, a student loan through ELFI may be just the source of funding you’re looking for. Elfi is a great option if you want to apply quickly online for a loan, you have enough income or have a cosigner, and you want as much control as possible over how your private loans are repaid. But always compare ELFI with other lenders to make sure you’re getting the best rates.3.52 ELFI Student Loan
Author: Christy Rakoczy
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