Education Loan Finance (ELFI) Student Loan Review

Education Loan Finance (ELFI), launched in 2015, is a leader in the student loan industry due to its affordable rates for undergraduates, graduates and parents of students. Through SouthEast Bank, ELFI’s private student loans and loan refinancing opportunities have supported higher education for years.

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Last Updated: 7/28/2022
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ELFI offers low fees, competitive rates and trustworthy customer service, making it a valuable option for undergraduate, graduate and parent loans. MoneyGeek’s Education Loan Finance (ELFI) student loan review offers a comprehensive guide about loan terms, requirements and offers so you can decide if it’s the best lender for you.

At a Glance: Education Loan Finance (ELFI) Student Loans


  • Education Loan Finance (ELFI)

    • From 3.20%Fixed APR Range
    • From 1.20%Variable APR Range
    • Minimum of $1,000Loan Amounts
    • Six monthsGrace Period
    • U.S. citizen or permanent residentCo-signer

    on Education Loan Finance (ELFI) Website

MoneyGeek Breakdown: Education Loan Finance Student Loan Details

Education Loan Finance (ELFI) Details

  • Fixed APR

    2.43%–⁠5.99% for student loan refinancing; private loan starts at 3.20%

  • Variable APR

    1.86%–⁠6.01% for student loan refinancing; private loan starts at 1.20%

  • Loan Types

    Undergraduate, Graduate, Parent and Refinancing

  • Loan Amounts

    Minimum private loan amount of $1,000

  • Repayment Terms

    Student loan: 5-15 years Student loan refinancing: 5-20 years Parent loans: 5-10 years

  • Grace Period

    Six months

  • Co-signer Required

    Must be at the age of majority or older at the time of loan application

  • Time to Receive Funds

    About three weeks

  • Late Fees

    5% of the past due amount or $50 (whichever is less)

  • Prepayment Penalty Fees

    No prepayment penalties

  • Perks

    Highly-rated customer service

  • Mobile Application

    No

Education Loan Finance (ELFI) Student Loan Application Requirements

1

Must be a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident with proof of eligibility

2

Must be at least 18 years old at the time of loan application

3

Must be pursuing a Bachelor's, Master's or Doctoral degree program at any eligible school

4

Must have a minimum loan amount of $1,000

5

Must have a minimum income of $35,000

6

Must have a minimum credit score of 680

7

Must have a credit history of at least 36 months

8

Must be enrolled at least half-time in school

9

For parent loans, the borrower must meet the qualifying dependent requirements

10

Must comply with documents (recent pay stub or proof of employment from within the last 30 days, W-2 Form from the most recent tax year and government-issued identification)

Is Education Loan Finance (ELFI) Right for You?

The best student loan lender can differ from one person to the next. To choose the right one for your needs, compare the terms, fees, rates and offers of different lenders to ELFI. Also, understanding the borrowers that ELFI caters to can help you determine if it’s the right option for you.

Type of Student Education Loan Finance (ELFI) Is Perfect For

Borrowers who have a stable job and substantial student loan debt should consider ELFI’s student loan refinancing. You can save money on the original loan value by taking advantage of lower monthly payments and cheaper interest rates.

ELFI’s student loans are perfect for borrowers who need to borrow at least $1,000 for college or refinance at least $15,000 in student loans.

Ultimately, you want to pay off your loans as fast as possible without putting a strain on your finances. ELFI can assist you in achieving that goal since they offer competitive rates and terms.

Who Should Not Choose Education Loan Finance (ELFI)

Education Loan Finance (ELFI) student loans might not be a good fit for borrowers who aren’t earning at least $35,000 per year in income. It’s also not ideal for people with a co-signer who want to eventually release their co-signer from the loan.

MoneyGeek’s Education Loan Finance (ELFI) student loan review also looked into ELFI’s list of accredited schools that have a reliable co-signer or a solid financial history. The list is a bit limited, and borrowers attending institutions that are not on the list may not be eligible for an ELFI student loan.

How to Apply for an Education Loan Finance (ELFI) Student Loan

The application process for all ELFI student loans is handled online and can be completed in a matter of minutes. Following the submission of your application, you will be assigned a student loan advisor who will help you with any questions you may have regarding the process.

1

Prequalify

Create an ELFI account or log in to your existing one. Then, fill out the prequalification form with your personal information, including your name, address, date of birth and Social Security number, as well as the school you plan to attend or are already attending. ELFI only does a “soft pull” of your credit history for the initial prequalification. You will receive a preliminary offer once your application is complete.

2

Fill Out Application Form

If you accept the preliminary offer, you will be required to upload specific documents and provide proof of your income and financial status. ELFI will do a comprehensive credit check at this point which can impact your credit score.

3

Wait for Approval

After you submit all of your information, you will need to wait for ELFI to make a decision about your application. This will involve them verifying your academic information with your school.

4

Review Loan Agreement

Once your information has been verified, ELFI will make you a loan offer. Read the loan agreement carefully. Check all the details and make sure that you understand the loan's terms and restrictions. This can help you save money throughout the term of your loan as you will be able to avoid fees and extra charges.

5

Sign Loan Agreement

If you have read and understood the loan agreement, you can accept the offer via your electronic signature. A student loan advisor will be assigned to you and can answer any questions you have.

6

Receive or Direct Funds

After your school authorizes the loan amount and you agree with the loan terms, ELFI will send the funds.

7

Make Payments

ELFI offers repayment terms ranging from five to 15 years on private student loans and five to 20 years on student loan refinancing. Parents have a 10-year cap in both situations. For a private student loan, you have the following repayment options:

  • Immediate: Full principal and interest payments begin 30 to 60 days after funds are disbursed. This commences while you are still in school.
  • Fixed: $25 payments during the grace period and while in school.
  • Interest-only: Interest-only payments during the grace period and while in school.
  • Deferred: Repayment will begin six months after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment.

What to Do if You Are Rejected From Education Loan Finance (ELFI)

Having your student loan application denied is disappointing, but it’s not uncommon. You might be denied an Education Loan Finance (ELFI) student loan due to a low credit score, insufficient income or issues with your credit history.

If your ELFI application is denied, try to figure out why it was rejected and what you can do about it. MoneyGeek suggests reaching out to ELFI and asking why you were rejected. Ask if there is anything you can do to change the decision, such as getting a co-signer.

You can also request additional information and services from your school's financial aid advisors or office. Additionally, it's a good idea to look into other options that might be open to you. Compare many lenders and loan offers to find the best solution for you.

Frequently Asked Questions About Student Loans

You should do your research to ensure that your student loan matches your needs. MoneyGeek answers some of the frequently asked questions concerning ELFI student loans to help you make an informed decision.

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*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
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