You may have heard of EdFinancial for the first time in 2012, when many student loan borrowers received a notice in the mail saying their federal student loans were being shifted to a new servicing company. EdFinancial is a relative newcomer to the roster of firms that manage student loans for the U.S. Department of Education, but it has been growing steadily over the past several years. If your student loans are being serviced by EdFinancial, you’ll be dealing with the company for everything from paying bills to applying for loan forgiveness. Here’s what you need to know.
EdFinancial is one of five private, not-for-profit companies that were added to the Department of Education’s roster of loan servicers as a result of a little-known provision in the 2010 healthcare overhaul. The Knoxville-based company was founded by CEO Tony Hollin in 1988. Originally known as Educational Funding of the South (EdSouth for short), it bought student loans from regional banks and pitched its services to financial aid departments at colleges and universities. It launched a subsidiary, eCampusTours.com, in 2002.
EdFinancial began servicing loans for the Department of Education in 2012, but it’s still a fairly small player in the federal student loan market. Today, EdFinancial is one of five non-for-profit servicers that, together, handle about 6% of the U.S. Dept. of Education’s direct loans, serving 4 million borrowers with debt totaling $61.7 billion. It also services loans for more than a dozen private lenders.
Like all loan servicers, EdFinancial sends bills, processes borrowers’ payments, and deals with requests for deferment or forbearance. It offers a standard assortment of federal repayment plans, and helps struggling borrowers find the one that best suits their needs. EdFinancial fields any questions borrowers have about repaying their loans, including whether they’re eligible for loan forgiveness.
Most people interact with EdFinancial through its website, because the company does not yet have a mobile application. After setting up a username and password, borrowers can use the online portal to make payments, print tax forms, submit renewal documents for income-driven repayment plans, and more. The site’s help center has answers to many frequently asked questions.
EdFinancial’s website is fairly utilitarian. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but is easy to navigate. The company’s Facebook and Twitter accounts are similarly straightforward, offering a familiar assortment of tips and tools. What sets EdFinancial apart from other servicers is its ambitious customer service goals. The company strives to answer all calls within 30 seconds and promises to stay on the line as long as it takes to fully resolve all of the borrower’s concerns – a philosophy it calls “one call resolution.” EdFinancial also claims to go beyond what is required by law to contact delinquent borrowers and help them get back on track. Although not immune from customer complaints, the company does seem to have fewer detractors than many of its rivals.
Servicing companies don’t establish the repayment options for federal student loans; the U.S. Department of Education does. So EdFinancial has the same limited set of repayment plans as every other federal servicer:
Borrowers can compare options and switch plans on the website.
If you have an EdFinancial-serviced loan and are having difficulty making payments, the first step is to call or email the company’s “Fresh Start” hotline. The company has a few options to help delinquent borrowers, or those at risk of default, to manage their accounts responsibly. If your income is low, you might qualify for forbearance, deferment, or reduced payments. If you’re on a 10-year repayment schedule, you can lower your monthly payment by extending the term to 25 years. However, most of the remedies EdFinancial can offer will keep you in debt longer and increase the amount of interest you pay over the life of the loan.
Lowering your interest rate is one of the most effective ways to cut your monthly payment and pay off your loans faster – but you can’t do it through EdFinancial. The only way to get a lower interest rate is to refinance with a private lender. Fortunately, it’s really easy to find out how much you could save. Most modern lenders have simple online applications that take less than 5 minutes to complete and give instant results. In a recent analysis we found that people who refinanced with private lenders saved an average of $259 a month and $19,231 over the life of their student loans. If you have multiple student loans, you can also consolidate them into a single monthly payment, simplifying your finances and making it easier to chart a path out of debt.
There are many companies that offer student loan refinancing and consolidation, but we’ve made it easy to sort through them. The following lenders topped our latest rankings for having the lowest interest rates, best customer service, broadest assortment of products, most transparent terms, and easiest applications.
Want to see how much you could save by refinancing? Find out now with the top lenders listed below...
M - TH: 8:00 AM - 8:30 PM (EST)
F: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM (EST)
Acct #s beginning with "F" (1-855-337-6884)
Acct #s beginning with "C" (1-800-337-6884)
P.O. Box 36008
Knoxville, TN 37930-6008
* see more here - https://www.edfinancial.com/Contact#correspondence
Earnest empowers people with the financial captial they need to live better lives.
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.
Click here to apply with Earnest and to see how much you can save.
Operates in all 50 states; 2nd largest student loan refinancing lender
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.
For every loan they fund, they contribute to the education of a child in need
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.
Get a personalized review of your refinancing options with CommonBond today.
Offers unemployment protection and career/coaching/networking
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.
Works with 300+ community lenders for higher approval chances
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.
Many ELFI customers save hundreds per month month and thousands over the length of the loan term.
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.
Check out their low rates today to see how much you can save.
Attractive Bonus and Referral Programs:
Special offers for medical resident and fellow refinance products
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.
Click here to see more of Splash's offerings and to see how you can save money.