Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinancing Review


Updated on April 28, 2021
By Julissa Treviño

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There are many good reasons to refinance your student loans. However, choosing a lender isn’t always so easy—but it’s a really important decision.

In addition to offering a lower payment or a better interest rate, a good lender can also provide flexibility, helpful customer service, and other benefits. Plus, you want a lender that is going to make refinancing as easy as possible, so you can get through the application and start saving money ASAP.

One increasingly popular student loan refinancing choice is Education Loan Finance, or ELFI. So let’s take a look at what you can expect when you refinance through this lender. 

Why refinance through ELFI?

In our view, ELFI combines the benefits of traditional loan lenders with the support and service found in many of the newer, private-sector startups.

This nimble business model is backed by a management team that has a combined 30 years of experience in the student lending business—allowing the company to make significant strides in reducing some of the pain points borrowers may typically experience during the refinancing process.

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For example, ELFI has a streamlined online application process, as well as some of the best-reviewed customer service in the industry.

All of ELFI’s loans are backed by Tennessee-based SouthEast Bank.

On top of that, this lender also offers significant incentives and interest rate protection that can add up to real savings. We’ll talk more about those in a minute.

What are the benefits of refinancing through ELFI?

Many ELFI customers save hundreds of dollars a month and thousands over the length of the loan term. The company offers extremely competitive interest rates to qualified lenders.

Every time you get a friend to refinance with ELFI, you’ll get $400 and your friend will get $100. View more details here.

You can also be sure the company is doing good in the community. To date, ELFI has offered more than $18 million in scholarships for students, and they also provide free scholarship searches and financial literacy programs for borrowers.

Also, ELFI never charges application fees, origination fees, or prepayment penalties.

What refinancing options does ELFI offer?

ELFI’s low interest rates and flexible loan terms makes it a popular choice.

The company offers a unique guarantee for borrowers who want to take advantage of lower variable interest rate loans. ELFI offers the assurance that your rate will not increase more than once per quarter and will never exceed 9.95%.

Variable rates start at just 2.39% APR and fixed rates start at 2.58% APR. Of course, your interest rate will depend on your credit score and other factors.

Flexible repayment terms range from five to 20 years. Typically, a longer term means that your monthly payment is lower.

Either way, ELFI’s flexible plans means there’s a right plan for everyone. On ELFI’s homepage, you can see some loan plans that will give you an idea of how you can the company offers you a tailored approach for different budgets.

Ready to conquer your student loans with ElFi? Refinance Now!

Who qualifies for refinancing through ELFI?

To refinance through ELFI, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Be at least 18 years old at the time of the application
  • Have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from an approved program
  • Refinance at least $15,000 in student loan debt, and
  • Reside in a state in which ELFI is authorized to lend.

How to apply for a student loan refinance through ELFI

The application process is easy. You'll need your current billing statement for each of your loans, your most recent pay stub(s), your W-2, a copy of your valid ID, and your billing account information.

To get started, head over to ELFI.com.

First, click “Apply Now” on the main page and create a profile. On the next page (see below), click on “Student Loan Refinancing.”

Start application_Elfi

After entering the verification code, you’ll be asked to submit some personal information, as shown below, which ELFI will use to create a conditional loan offer. Once you’ve filled this out, click “Get My Rate.”

Personal information_Elfi

Take a look at the rate the lender has offered. This is not your specific loan offer, but it can be a good indicator of what to expect if and when the lender accepts your application for refinancing.

Next, you’ll be asked to provide more specific information about yourself and the loan debt you’re trying to refinance.

While a cosigner is not required, having one can give you a better chance of the lender accepting your application if your credit score is on the lower end. A cosigner can also help get you a better interest rate, even if you already have good credit.

You’ll also be asked to upload supporting documents. Once your information is verified, the company will send you a personalized loan offer.

The lender will then explain the last remaining steps to getting your loan refinanced. Remember to keep paying your loans as usual until your loan is completely transferred to your new lender; don’t skip any payments

Should you refinance your student loans through ELFI?

Are you still debating whether Education Loan Finance is the right choice for you? Visit ELFI.com to learn more about what the lender offers or apply for refinancing.

Refinance & Save Today With These Leading Lenders

#1 - Nitro Recommended View More Details

Special offers for medical resident and fellow refinance products

  • Fixed rates: 2.49% - 6.25% APR
  • Variable rates: 1.88% - 6.15% APR
  • Minimum credit: 650
View More Details
Visit Splash View Loan Disclosure

Splash Financial is a leader in student loan refinancing with new rates as low as 2.49% fixed APR which can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loans. No application or origination fees and no prepayment penalties. Splash Financial is in all 50 states and is intensely focused on customer service. Splash Financial is also one of the few companies that offers a great medical resident and fellow refinance product. You can check your rate with Splash in just minutes.

  • Low interest rates – especially for graduate students
  • No application or origination fees. No prepayment penalties.
  • Co-signer release program - you can apply for a cosigner release form your loan after 12 months of on-time payments
  • Specialty product for doctors in training with low monthly payment

Click here to see more of Splash's offerings and to see how you can save money.

#2 View More Details

Best for borrowers who want to customize their repayment schedule to pay off debt fast.

View More Details
Visit Earnest View Loan Disclosure

Using technology, data, and design to build affordable products, Earnest's lending products are built for a new generation seeking to reach life's milestones. The company understands every applicant's unique financial story to offer the lowest possible rates and radically flexible loan options for living life.

  • Commitment-free 2 minute rate check
  • Client Happiness can be reached via in app messaging, email, and phone 
  • No fees for origination, prepayment, or loan disbursement
  • Flexible terms let you pick your exact monthly payment or switch between fixed and variable rates
  • Skip a payment and make it up later
  • Online dashboard is designed to make it easy to apply for and manage your loan

Click here to apply with Earnest and to see how much you can save.

#3 View More Details

For every loan they fund, they contribute to the education of a child in need

  • Fixed rates: 2.83% - 6.74% APR
  • Variable rates: 1.99% - 6.84% APR
  • Minimum credit: 660
View More Details
Visit CommonBond View Loan Disclosure

CommonBond was founded in 2011 by three MBA graduates from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School who wanted to help their peers escape from high-interest student loan debt. Its original focus was on grad students, but it has since expanded to cover undergrads as well.

Of all the companies we reviewed, CommonBond has some of the best customer service. The company prides itself on being easy to reach by email, phone, or live chat. It offers networking events, expert panels, insider newsletters, and even has a program help borrowers who lose their jobs to find new ones. CommonBond also makes you feel good about choosing to refinance with them by donating money to an education nonprofit for each loan they write.

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance review

  • Unemployment protections - If you lose your job or decide to go back to school, you can delay your payments for up to 24 months.
  • Social promise - For every loan they fund, they also contribute to the education of a child in need.
  • Hybrid loan option - Offerings include a 10-year hybrid loan with fixed interest for the first five years, and variable interest for the final five.
  • Referral bonus - For every friend you refer who refinances their loans with CommonBond, you’ll earn a $200 cash bonus.
  • Qualification - Borrowers must have graduated at least 2 years prior if they want to apply without a co-signer. And borrowers in 6 states – Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, South Dakota, and Vermont – cannot currently refinance through CommonBond.

Get a personalized review of your refinancing options with CommonBond today.

#4 View More Details

SoFi is the leading student loan refinancing provider. 

  • Fixed rates: 2.99% - 6.88% APR
  • Variable rates: 2.25% - 6.43% APR
  • Minimum credit: 650
View More Details
Visit SoFi View Loan Disclosure

$30 billion+ in refinanced student loans. SoFi has some of the lowest interest rates and, unlike the other lenders we reviewed, there's no maximum on the amount you can finance. Some state restrictions may apply.

  • Serious savings: Save thousands of dollars thanks to flexible terms and low fixed or variable rates.
  • No hidden fees, no catch: No application or origination fees. No pre-payment penalties.
  • Fast, easy, and all online: Simple online application and access to live customer support 7 days a week.
  • Access to member benefits: SoFi members get career coaching, financial advice, and more—all at no cost.
  • 98% of surveyed members would recommend SoFi to a friend

Save thousands on your student loans and pay off your loans sooner. Find your rate.

#5 View More Details

Ability to apply for cosigner release after 24 consecutive payments. 

  • Fixed rates: 2.70% - 6.10% APR
  • Variable rates: 2.10% - 5.53% APR
  • Minimum credit: 680 (640 w/ co-signer)
View More Details
Visit NelNetBank View Loan Disclosure

Give Your Life’s Journey a Jump-Start.

If you’re ready to put student loans in your rearview mirror, Nelnet Bank student loan refinancing offers low rates and flexible terms to help you start getting ahead.

  • VARIABLE RATES: Rates as low as 2.70% APR
  • FIXED RATES: Rates as low as 2.10% APR
  • AUTO DEBIT SAVINGS: We’ll knock .25% off of your interest rate when you enroll in auto debit. See Disclaimer
  • NO ORIGINATION FEES: No application, origination, or prepayment fees on Nelnet Bank loans.
  • HARDSHIP PROTECTION: Hardship forbearance helps protect against unexpected loss of income. See Disclaimer

See How Much You Can Save: Estimate your savings with a student loan refinance from Nelnet Bank.

#6 View More Details

Works with 300+ community lenders for higher approval chances

  • Fixed rates: 2.95% - 7.63% APR
  • Variable rates: 1.90% - 5.25% APR
  • Minimum credit: 660
View More Details
Visit LendKey View Loan Disclosure

Connecting student borrowers to a network of over 300 community lenders with low interest rates. By partnering with these lenders, LendKey is able to give consumers direct access to the best rates available from the most borrower friendly institutions. As the servicer of all loans obtained through its platform, you can rest easy knowing your personal information will be safe and that the best customer service team will be ready to answer your questions from application until your final payment.

LendKey Student Loan Refinance review

  • Lightning fast rate check - 2-minute rate check with no impact on your credit score
  • More lenders, more options - see the best offers from over 300+ community lenders for higher approval chances
  • Life of loan relationship - With LendKey, your personal information will never be sent or passed on to third parties. Their customer service team is with you from the moment you land on their website until you've completely repaid your loan.
  • Unmatched benefits- Community lenders put people over profits and offer unique benefits like cosigner release after 12 on-time payments, interest only repayment options to keep monthly payments low, the largest unemployment protection period in the market, and more.

Get a personalized quote from LendKey now.

#7 View More Details

16 different loan term options – more flexibility to pay down your loan faster

  • Fixed rates: 3.24% - 5.54% APR
  • Variable rates: 3.34% - 5.69% APR
  • Minimum credit: 680
View More Details
Visit CollegeAve View Loan Disclosure

College Ave Student Loans offers major help and minor stress. We’ll help guide you through the process to find the right loan term and interest rate for you and the family budget.

  • Fast rate check: Get your new rate in 60 seconds 
  • Instant credit decision
  • Super flexible terms: 16 loan terms available from 5 to 20 years
  • No fees to apply

Click here to see more College Ave offerings and to start saving today! 

  Rates (APR) Loan Types Terms Eligible Degrees Eligible Loans  
1.88% - 6.25% Variable & Fixed 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 15, 20

Undergrad & Graduate Private & Federal Visit Splash

View Disclosure

  Rates (APR) Loan Types Terms Eligible Degrees Eligible Loans  
1.88% - 5.79% Variable & Fixed 5 to 20 years

Undergrad & Graduate Private & Federal Visit Earnest

View Disclosure

  Rates (APR) Loan Types Terms Eligible Degrees Eligible Loans  
1.99% - 6.84% Variable & Fixed
& Hybrid
5, 7, 10, 15, 20 Hybrid 10 years

See More Info

Undergrad & Graduate Private & Federal Visit CommonBond

View Disclosure

  Rates (APR) Loan Types Terms Eligible Degrees Eligible Loans  
2.25% - 6.88% Variable & Fixed 5, 7, 10, 15, 20

Undergrad & Graduate Private & Federal Visit SoFi

View Disclosure

  Rates (APR) Loan Types Terms Eligible Degrees Eligible Loans  
2.10% - 6.10% Variable & Fixed 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 & 25

Undergrad & Graduate Private & Federal Visit NelNetBank

View Disclosure

  Rates (APR) Loan Types Terms Eligible Degrees Eligible Loans  
1.90% - 7.63% Variable & Fixed 5, 7, 10, 15, 20

Undergrad & Graduate Private & Federal Visit LendKey

View Disclosure

  Rates (APR) Loan Types Terms Eligible Degrees Eligible Loans  
3.24% - 5.69% Variable & Fixed 5 to 20 years

Undergrad & Graduate Private & Federal Visit CollegeAve

View Disclosure

I reduced my student loan payment by $152 per month, by refinancing thru Nitro

Save Money Now