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.
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- ELFI offers several private student loans for undergrads, graduate students, and their parents.
- A minimum income of elfi-psl-1560-minannualincome is required for all loans, but cosigners are allowed if the student can’t meet that requirement.
- ELFI also offers student loan refinancing, which we cover in a separate review.
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. With an ELFI student loan refinance, 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 offers its own private student loan service, which makes it possible for students to cover their educational costs while still attending school. The application can be done online and borrowers can enjoy flexibility in their rates, repayment terms, and conditions.
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:
- What Student Loans Does ELFI Offer?
- Eligibility & application information
- Benefits of ELFI Student Loans
- Downsides of ELFI Student Loans
- Where to Find ELFI Alternatives
What Student Loans Does ELFI Offer?
|Loan amounts||Term lengths||Fixed rates start at||Variable rates start at|
|Undergraduate Student Loan||elfi-psl-1560-amountlow – elfi-psl-1560-amounthigh||elfi-psl-1560-termlengthrange_y||elfi-psl-1560-fixlow||elfi-psl-1560-varlow|
|Graduate Student Loan||elfi-psl-1561-amountlow – elfi-psl-1561-amounthigh||elfi-psl-1561-termlengthrange_y||elfi-psl-1561-fixlowa||elfi-psl-1561-varlow|
|Parent Student Loan||elfi-psl-1565-amountlow – elfi-psl-1565-amounthigh||elfi-psl-1565-termlengthrange_y||elfi-psl-1565-fixlow||elfi-psl-1565-varlow|
|MBA Student Loan||elfi-psl-1564-amountlow – elfi-psl-1564-amounthigh||elfi-psl-1564-termlengthrange_y||elfi-psl-1564-fixlow||elfi-psl-1564-varlow|
|Healthcare Student Loan||elfi-psl-1562-amountlow – elfi-psl-1562-amounthigh||elfi-psl-1562-termlengthrange_y||elfi-psl-1562-fixlow||elfi-psl-1562-varlow|
|Law School Student Loan||elfi-psl-1563-amountlow – elfi-psl-1563-amounthigh||elfi-psl-1563-termlengthrange_y||elfi-psl-1563-fixlow||elfi-psl-1563-varlow|
ELFI offers several different student loan options for various types of borrowers, including students pursuing advanced degrees in law, healthcare, and business.
None of the loans covered in the table above charge any fees other than a late payment fee of elfi-psl-1560-latefee. And apart from a difference in the degree requirements each loan type relates to, these loan options come with the same basic eligibility criteria.
We’ll look at that criteria next.
Eligibility & application information
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.
ELFI borrowers (or their cosigner) need to meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Be U.S. citizens or permanent resident.
- Be enrolled at least half-time in a bachelor’s degree program or higher.
- Have a minimum annual income of at least elfi-psl-1560-minannualincome.
- Have a minimum credit score of at least elfi-psl-1560-mincreditscore.
- Have a minimum credit history of at least elfi-psl-1560-mincredithistory.
- Be seeking a loan amount of at least elfi-psl-1560-amountlow.
How to apply
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
- What your employment status is.
- You’ll also need to upload any requested documents, including a recent paystub a W-2 Form, and government-issued ID.
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.
Benefits of ELFI Student Loans
There are some significant advantages to taking out a student loan through ELFI, including:
- Online application: ELFI allows you to quickly get a rate quote online, and you can even complete the entire application process without ever leaving your home.
- 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.
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.
Where to find ELFI alternatives
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.
However, we always recommend comparing quotes from at least three lenders to make sure you’re getting the best rates. You can see our choices for the best private student loans here.
How we rated ELFI student loans
ELFI received a LendEDU rating of 3.52 / 5.00 for its undergraduate loans and a 4.64 / 5.00 for its parent student loans. LendEDU rates private student loans based on the weighted average of multiple data points. You can read more about our ratings and methodology here.3.52 ELFI Student Loan
Author: Christy Rakoczy
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