EdFinancial Student Loans – Learn How They Work


Michael Brown Updated: July 24, 2019

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.

About EdFinancial Student Loans

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.

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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.

What does EdFinancial do?

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.

How does EdFinancial differ from other servicers?

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.

What repayment options does EdFinancial offer?

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:

  • Standard, with fixed payments over 10 years
  • Extended, with fixed payments over 25 years
  • Graduated, with payments that increase at regular intervals over 10 or 25 years.
  • Income-driven, with payments that are capped at 10, 15, or 20 percent of the borrower’s discretionary income.

Borrowers can compare options and switch plans on the website.

How does EdFinancial help people struggling with student loan payments?

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.

Are there other options to manage my student loans?

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...

EdFinancial Contact Information

Office Hours:

M - TH: 8:00 AM - 8:30 PM (EST)
F: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM (EST)

Email: https://www.edfinancial.com/contact/Email 

Phone

Acct #s beginning with "F" (1-855-337-6884)
Acct #s beginning with "C" (1-800-337-6884)

Mailing Address:

EdFinancial Services
P.O. Box 36008
Knoxville, TN 37930-6008
* see more here - https://www.edfinancial.com/Contact#correspondence

Website: https://www.edfinancial.com 


Click here for more information on the other main student loan servicers.

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: 1.81% - 6.99%
  • Minimum credit score: 650
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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.

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#2 View More Details

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

  • APR: 2.02% - 6.45%
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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.

#3 View More Details

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

  • APR: 1.99% - 7.02%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • No refinancing amount maximum
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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.

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#4 View More Details

Offers unemployment protection and career/coaching/networking

  • APR: 1.81% - 5.98%
  • Minimum credit score: 650
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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

Credible is an online marketplace that provides borrowers with competitive, personalized loan offers from multiple, vetted lenders in real time.

  • Free to use, no hidden fees
  • Minimum credit score: 650
  • No refinancing maximum amount
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Visit Credible View Loan Disclosure

Credible is a multi-lender marketplace that empowers consumers to discover student loan refinancing options that are the best fit for their unique circumstances. Our integrations with leading lenders and credit bureaus allow consumers to quickly compare accurate, personalized loan options ― without putting their personal information at risk or affecting their credit score. The Credible marketplace provides an unrivaled customer experience, as reflected by over 2,000 positive Trustpilot reviews and a TrustScore of 9.5/10. Credible is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

For more information, click here to apply now with Credible.

  • Compare prequalified rates from multiple, vetted lenders in 2 minutes.
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  • Credible’s partner lenders do not charge prepayment penalties, loan application fees, or origination fees.
  • Free to use, no hidden fees: Requesting rates can take just minutes and costs you nothing.
#6 View More Details

Works with 300+ community lenders for higher approval chances

  • APR: 1.90% - 8.65%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Refinance up to $300K
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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.

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  • Lightning fast rate check - 2-minute rate check with no impact on your credit score
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  • 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.

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#7 View More Details

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

  • APR: 2.39% - 6.69%
  • Minimum credit score: 680
  • No refinancing maximum amount
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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!
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Special offers for medical resident and fellow refinance products

  • APR: 2.43% - 7.60%
  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • No Maximum when refinancing
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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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