Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinancing Review


Updated on July 3, 2019
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 2.80% APR and fixed rates start at 3.29% 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

Earnest empowers people with the financial captial they need to live better lives.

  • APR: 2.27% - 7.59%
  • Minimum credit score: 650
  • Refinance up to $500K
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.

#2 View More Details

Operates in all 50 states; 2nd largest student loan refinancing lender

  • APR: 2.43% - 7.02%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • No refinancing amount maximum
View More Details
Visit Laurel Road View Loan Disclosure

Laurel Road is a national online lender with customers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Many of our non-bank competitors are not able to lend in all 50 states.Laurel Road has grown to be the second largest player in the student loan refinancing space in large part because of our reputation as the go-to low rate provider.

Laurel Road Student Loan Refinance Review

  • National reach - Online lender that is available in all 50 US states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
  • No fees & the lowest rates in the space - Laurel Road is the most transparent about the rates they provide customers, and offer the lowest rates where it counts. Our customers will save more than $20,000 over the life of their loans on average. 
  • Customer service reputation - Laurel Road's customer service representatives are no rookies. With 19 years of experience on average, Laurel Road’s Customer Service team delivers an experience that is best in the industry. They work to build meaningful, life-long relationships with our valued customers to improve their overall financial wellness.
  • The stability & security of a bank - They are a division of Darien Rowayton Bank, a stable and secure FDIC-insured bank, regulated by the FDIC and the Connecticut Department of Banking.

Get your personalized, pre-approved rates in less than 5 minutes.

#3 View More Details

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

  • APR: 2.27% - 8.24%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Refinance up to $500K
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

Offers unemployment protection and career/coaching/networking

  • APR: 2.27% - 7.94%
  • Minimum credit score: 650
  • Refinance up to 100% of student debt
View More Details
Visit SoFi View Loan Disclosure

SoFi, which stands for “Social Finance,” was created by a group of Stanford business students who found themselves with a mountain of debt after graduation. They set out to change the student loan industry and help borrowers like themselves to get lower interest rates. SoFi has some of the lowest interest rates and, unlike the other lenders we reviewed, it has no maximum amount you can finance. However, Nevada residents can’t currently refinance with SoFi. Minimum loan balances are higher in Arizona, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania due to state laws. Additional state restrictions may apply.

SoFi Student Loan Refinancing Review

  • Low interest rates - For well-qualified borrowers, SoFi offers some of the lowest rates we have found.
  • Strong customer service - It has more than 350 customer service reps available to help applicants through process.
  • Career coaching and networking - Perks include career services representatives who can help you find a job or negotiate a higher salary. SoFi also hosts networking events, happy hours and educational lectures on topics like buying a home in major cities around the country.
  • Unemployment protection - Borrowers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own may apply for Unemployment Protection. If approved, SoFi will suspend their monthly SoFi loan payments and provide job placement assistance during the forbearance period. These benefits are offered in three month increments, and are capped at 12 months, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. Note that interest will still accrue while loans are in forbearance.

Find out what interest rate SoFi can offer you here.

#5 View More Details

Works with 300+ community lenders for higher approval chances

  • APR: 2.24% - 7.50%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Refinance up to $300K
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.

#6 View More Details

Many ELFI customers save hundreds per month month and thousands over the length of the loan term.

  • APR: 2.80% - 6.69%
  • Minimum credit score: 680
  • No refinancing maximum amount
View More Details
Visit ElFi View Loan Disclosure

Education Loan Finance is designed to assist borrowers through consolidating outstanding education loans into one single loan that effectively lowers your costs of education and/or makes repayment very simple. Education Loan Finance - backed by the strength of SouthEast Bank - combines the benefits of traditional education loan refinancing with the superior products, service, and support found in the private market.

Education Loan Finance (ElFi) review

Check out their low rates today to see how much you can save.

  • Get Your Rate. With Education Loan Finance's Find My Rate tool, you can complete a short application to receive a preliminary quote on your eligible rates and terms, all without affecting your credit score.
  • Apply in Minutes. Education Loan Finance's online application is fast and simple.
  • Outstanding Personalized Service. Our Personalized Loan Advisors specialize in student loan refinancing and help busy professionals find the option that's right for them.
  • Student Lending Experience: Education Loan Finance isn't a start-up company - we have a longstanding history and expertise in serving student loan borrowers.

Attractive Bonus and Referral Programs:

  • Education Loan Finance Fast Track Bonus**: Education Loan Finance's application process is streamlined and simple, and you can earn a $200 bonus just for closing your loan within 30 days of your initial application.
  • Education Loan Finance Referral Program**: Earn $400 for each new Education Loan Finance Client referred by you!
#7 View More Details

Special offers for medical resident and fellow refinance products

  • APR: 2.43% - 7.60%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • No Maximum when refinancing
View More Details
Visit Splash View Loan Disclosure

Splash Financial is a leader in student loan refinancing with new rates as low as 3.25% 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.

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