If you feel like you may start to drown in student loan debt due to interest payments, you may want to consider student loan refinancing as an option. Below, we will go over the eligibility requirements, application process, benefits, downsides, and rates of refinancing your student loans with ELFI.
ELFI is considered to be a student loan debt consolidation program that is offered to students by SouthEast Bank. The company is based in Tennessee and can help students navigate their way through both consolidation and refinancing options. ELFI has over 30 years of experience and they are not new to the market. They do promise to offer affordable rates, manageable payments, and flexible terms.
The company prides itself on being able to help students afford their student loan payments while making the entire process easy and seamless.
Rates and Terms
ELFI does offer a number of different interest rates that you may receive for your student loans when you refinance. The variable interest rates will be anywhere between 2.19% up to 6.01%. Fixed interest rates will fall somewhere between 3.49% to 7.74%. The interest rate you receive will depend on the length of your repayment period. For example, your interest rate, whether variable or fixed, will be higher if you choose a 10-year loan repayment term over a 5-year repayment term.
In addition, ELFI states that your exact interest rate will depend on the terms of the loan, your financial information, your co-signer’s financial information (if needed), and other factors.
When it comes to the terms of your refinanced student loan, you can choose from either a 5-year plan, 7-year plan, 10-year, 15-year plan or 20-year plan.
If you are considering refinancing your student loans, you need to look at the eligibility requirements to determine whether or not you will qualify. Some students will fill out the application and then receive a denial letter because they did not initially meet the requirements.
ELFI does have some minimum eligibility requirements that must be met before you can be approved to refinance your student loans. To start, you must have at least $15,000 in student loan debt and you must have obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher from an approved college or institution. In addition, you must be a US citizen or a permanent resident. Lastly, you need to have a debt-to-income ratio that shows you are able to repay the loan.
The application process is considered to be relatively easy and does not take a long time to complete, but it is vital that you pay attention to the required document list and that you provide all of the information you can to speed up the process.
The application can be filled out online. You will need to provide a valid ID, recent pay stubs, current billing statements for each one of your student loans, your billing account information, and copies of your W-2s. For your documentation, especially the current student loan statements, you need to make sure that your name, account number, payment mailing address, and current balance payoff is clearly visible.
For your W-2s and loan statements, you need to make sure that they are less than 30 days old. Anything older than that will not be accepted.
There are many reasons to refinance your student loans through ELFI. In fact, ELFI is considered one of the easier refinance companies to work with. Below, we will go over some of the benefits of refinancing your loan through them.
1. You never have to pay an origination or application fee for your student loans.
2. You never have to pay a fee to pay off your student loans early.
3. Payments are not assessed a late fee, if you mail the payment within 10 days of the due date.
4. Repayment starts anywhere between 30 to 45 days after the money is disbursed.
5. Receive a $100 bonus if you apply for and accept loan terms within 30 days of your application.
6. All student loans from approved secondary institutions are able to be refinanced.
As with anything, there are some downsides to refinancing your student loans through ELFI. Below, we will explore these downsides and help you better understand them.
You may need to have a co-signer on your student loan.
This is important to understand because you may not receive approval without one. In fact, most students do require you to have a credible and credit worthy co-signer on your loan. If you do not have a co-signer, you can still apply for refinancing, but you may not receive it. If you do have a co-signer, they can often be released from the loan later on down the road, should you show that you can afford the loan.
You cannot refinance your loans unless you graduate.
One of the biggest downsides to using ELFI to refinance your student loans is that you must graduate from college. In fact, you are required to have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
You lose your federal student loan benefits.
If you have federal student loans, you will lose those benefits when you refinance your student loans. This includes benefits such as deferment, forbearance, and income-based repayment plans. If you do receive refinancing through ELFI, you do start repayment within 30 to 45 days as opposed to 6 months with federal student loans.
Refinancing your student loans is a good move, especially if it saves you a lot of money over the course of your loan. It is important to take your time and consider all of the terms of the loan BEFORE you sign the paperwork. For instance, a fixed interest rate may be higher than a variable interest rate, but the term fixed means just that. A variable rate will fluctuate in number over the course of the years, but a fixed rate is locked in.
If you want to refinance your student loans, now is the time to spend some time researching your options and considering what is in your best interest.