Connext is an online lending platform that harnesses the power of financial technology to help match potential student borrowers to lenders. Introduced in 2016, the goal of Connext is to offer students alternatives to traditional big banks by connecting them with smaller regional banks, credit unions, and other lenders.
Connext utilizes the ReliaMax platform, which provides the structure and administration that allows smaller banks and alternative lenders to underwrite and service student loans. By using this technology, Connext can offer borrowers greater options for both private student loans and student loan refinancing. While Connext is a relatively new provider of student loans, ReliaMax is an established company that has worked in the financial and technology industry for more than a decade.
Connext offers private student loans for both undergraduate and graduate students. Connext does not currently offer student loans to parents, although parents may be required to become co-signers in order for students to meet eligibility requirements for loans. In addition, Connext provides refinancing through its ReliaMax platform.
Connext Private Student Loans
Connext has two separate private student loans available: one for undergraduate students and one for graduate students. Each type of loan can be a fixed or variable interest rate loan. The annual percentage rates (APR) ae currently as low as 3.05 percent.
Undergraduate Loan Options
For undergraduate students, Connext offers private student loans in amounts from $2,000 up to 100 percent of school-certified educational costs. The total loan limit for undergraduate student loans through Connext is $100,000. These loans are available for terms of either ten or fifteen years, and with either variable or fixed interest rates.
For ten-year variable interest rate loans, APRs currently range from 3.05 to 10.01 percent. For fifteen-year variable interest rate loans, APRs currently range from 5.26 to 10.59 percent. For a ten year fixed interest rate loan, the APR currently ranges from 5.40 to 9.70. On a fifteen-year fixed interest rate loan, the APR currently ranges from 6.89 to 10.76 percent. Connext does not charge an origination fee or prepayment penalty on its student loans.
Graduate Loan Options
Connext’s graduate student loans offer similar terms, with loans available from $2,000 up to the cost of attendance, less other financial aid. Connext graduate loans are subject to loan limits of $150,000 for graduate school, $200,000 for MBA or law school, and $250,000 for medical or pharmacy school.
These loans are available as fixed or variable rate loans, with ten or fifteen year terms. The variable interest rate loans have interest rates that currently range from 3.05 to 10.59 percent APR, while the fixed interest rate loans have interest rates that currently range from 5.40 to 10.76 percent APR. Connext offers a .25 percent interest rate reduction for enrolling in automatic payments with Reliamax, its student loan servicer; however, if a borrower cancels automatic payments then the interest rate reduction ends.
Eligibility Criteria and Other Details
Connext requires borrowers to meet the credit eligibility requirements of the lender’s program. Typically, this will mean that a borrower must have a fairly solid credit score and be age 25 or older. Borrowers who do not meet these criteria will generally need to have a co-signer who does. In addition, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in order to qualify.
Repayment of student loans through Connext can begin during school, or once a student has left school. For borrowers who choose to defer, repayment will begin after the grace period (six-month maximum) that starts after a student graduates, withdraws from school, or drops below half-time status. For borrowers who choose to begin paying on principal and interest while in school, monthly payments will start within fifty days after the loan is disbursed.
To apply for a Connext student loan, a borrower needs to have valid state identification, a social security number, basic biographical information, information about the school that he or she will be attending and planned field of study, anticipated graduation date, cost of attendance, and an estimate of financial aid. Borrowers can apply online via the Connext website with a single application. Connext provides a list of required documentation and an explanation of the process to assist borrowers. Once an application has been submitted, borrowers will receive offers from several lenders that match both their borrowing need and their credit standing.
Connext Student Loan Refinancing
In addition to connecting undergraduate and graduate students with banks, Connext gives graduates the opportunity to consolidate and refinance their private and federal student loans. Refinancing student loans through Connext’s platform may result in a lower APR on current student loans, a reduced monthly payment, a fixed interest rate loan, and a release of a loan co-signer.
Connext offers a variety of options for refinanced student loans. This includes five, ten, fifteen, and twenty year variable interest rate loans, as well as five, ten, and fifteen year fixed interest rate loans. Interest rates for Connext’s refinanced loans will depend on the creditworthiness of the applicant. For variable interest rate loans, the APR may currently be as low as 3.08 percent to as high as 9.58 percent. For fixed interest rate loans, the interest rate currently ranges from 4.25 to 9.85 percent APR. The minimum amount of a refinanced loan is $10,000. Repayment of a Connext refinanced loan begins immediately after disbursement.
As with Connext’s student loans, eligibility for refinancing through Connext will be based on the credit underwriting criteria of the program. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to apply, and must have graduated from an eligible school. To apply, a potential borrower must have a valid state identification, Social Security number, contact information, school and graduation information, and information about the student loans that will be refinanced. Borrowers can apply online for a refinanced student loan using Connext’s simple web-based application. Connext will then match borrowers with banks and alternative lenders that correspond to their needs, then borrowers can choose a lender based on the options available.